I have been asked many times, and I’ve even asked others many times myself “What’s your fears?” That question goes hand in hand with the question “What are your hopes, and dreams?” They go together like peanut butter and jelly. Like ham and cheese. Milk and cookies or like southern folks and the saying “bless your heart!” Most of the time when people want to know your hopes and dreams they also want to know your fears. Not always is this the case though. Sometimes they can be separate. The same way I don’t like cheese on my ham sandwich, and my son likes only jelly on his. But alas I am sure you have got asked this question before, and if not you will. At some point in your life you will. When you’re sick it seems it comes up even more.
How would you answer? Everyone has fears! Even people that are not your scared types. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t have some fear of something or someone. Some people fear way more than others. Some people have more intense reactions to fear. For some fear brings about crippling reactions. For some it’s nothing more than “oh that scares me.” But you would never think they act scared. They are scared all the same. Some have many fears, and some only have minimal fears. Having fear doesn’t make you weak, and it doesn’t make you crazy.
For me fear never has been many things. My whole life I’ve been scared of turtles, and horses. If you where to see me around them now in my adult life you might not even notice. That’s because I have overcame many of the fears. Well somewhat overcame my fears. Not totally overcame them though. To get on a a horse still requires much self talk, and calming myself down. Fear, and horses don’t mix. Horses can sense your fear, and they act on it in a major way. But some fear still remains, and even being around a horse takes work for me. I don’t think I will own a pet turtle anytime soon. Those things just freak me the hell out! The way their head pokes in and out. However I do have a horse.
Fear changed for me when I became ill, and with illness it brought all kinds of new fears. Fears that are much more complicated than turtles, and horses. Fears that takes the wind out of my sails, and sometimes kicks me on my ass. Fear that shows so much so sometimes that it also scares my family members. These illnesses have also created fears for my family that was not there before. THIS makes me sad. I hate that I cause them to have fears that they did NOT HAVE BEFORE! I hate that I cause them worry. Most of these fears are felt by my hunny. Then also by my oldest children. They fear what will happen to their mother? My hunny fears many things, and this makes me sad. Very sad, and makes me feel very guilty. He tells me that he fears I will not wake up one morning. This eats at my soul! This shouldn’t be something a young couple should have to fear!
What are my fears you may ask? I will give you a cookie if you can guess! But if you have a chronic illnesses I can almost bet that know what I am afraid of. I can almost bet right now that you’re nodding your head, and saying “YEP! YEP I can totally relate to that.” I know that my fears are those of many folks that are ill. I know that I am really not that unique in the things I fear. But that doesn’t make it any less frightening. It doesn’t make it any more easy. It doesn’t being you much confront when you’re alone, and scared. It doesn’t hold your partner when they are scared out of their wits. It doesn’t help my normal friends and family understand me any better. It doesn’t help me NOT be afraid any less. It doesn’t comfort my hunny that nothing will happen to me.
What are my fears you say? I will tell you my fears, and I hope by sharing my fears it will help many of you know that you’re not alone in yours. I hope it helps you know that you’re NOT wrong to fear these things, and that maybe it will help your family know that are not being dramatic. That you’re not asking for attention. That you’re NOT playing games, and that you’re NOT crazy. And you’re NOT any different from most people that have a chronic illness. You’re NORMAL in the chronic illness world, and here in this world you’re like many others. You’re NOT a dramatic, attention seeking lush here. Oh no here in this world you’re THE NORMAL! You’re like many others, and you fit right in among the crowd here. And here in this world we have legit fears. We have reasons to be scared, and we’re NOT wrong for it.
I am scared of dying. I am scared of leaving this world, and NOT having everything prepared. I worry that my family can NOT pay for it. I worry that my kids would be without a mother. That my hunny wold be without someone to hold at night. I worry that he will have to do all the things parents do, but that he would have to do them alone. I worry that he will no longer have someone to say “remember when?” To share the memories of when our kids talked, walked, rode their bikes without training wheels, got a boo-boo while climbing to fetch the cookies we hid from them, and I worry if he can go on without me. I worry what life will be like without me in it. I worry that maybe he couldn’t do everything we do together alone. I worry about who would help him if I left this human world? Who’s shoulder would he cry on? Who would hold him, and listen to all his fears. The things I do now? Who would kiss my kids boo-boos? Who would bake them cookies, and make their favorite Birthday Cake? How would he pay for a funeral? How would he even plan a funeral alone? But that’s not all! That isn’t my ONLY fear. Oh boy are their many more!
I worry that my family may grow tired of me. That they get sick of having to care for me. I worry that they will grow sick of their house not being spic and span, and not always is there a dinner waiting for them. I worry that they will grow tired of me because I can no longer play with them everyday. That I lack the energy to be Super Mom. I worry that I am not the best wife that I could be. That I am not the best friend I could be. That I am the lame sister. I worry that people will grow tired of me. I worry they will get angry about all the events I miss, and the things I can no longer do. I worry that love isn’t enough.
Love can conquer many things. But can love conquer all the complications that illness adds to it? I am a dreamer, and I always see the good in others. So much so that many times this backfires, and I get hurt by it. I always assume people are good, and want to do good things. Meanwhile they may be the most mean, and corrupt people. They do things that hurt others, and sometimes I sat there in disbelief. In my mind everyone is good, and intends to do good things. I worry about the burden I place on my family and my hunny. I worry because when we met I didn’t have all these health issues. I could do much more than I can do now. Am I letting him down because I changed? Yes I know the whole “In sickness and in health thing” of marriage vows. But we wrote our own vows and we didn’t promise this to one another back then. Sure we promised one another forevers, and always. But………..what if? What if love is no longer enough?
Is love enough? Is that enough to patch the wounds that illness causes. To sooth his heart when I am an asshole because my pain is so great. Who can comfort him through his own illness when I am to sick to do so? Who will make his favorite supper when I am to sick to. He says that it’s okay that I don’t. But does he really mean it? No amount of beauty, and no charm can soothe the heart of your lover. Even the most beautiful person can be ugly. The best marriages suffer sometimes. And illness is like an ultimate test. A test that offers no grand prize, and no all expense paid trip to Hawaii. Some win, and some lose. Some play because they feel they have to. They feel it’s the thing to do, and they are obligated to do so. Is my hunny only remaining because he feels he has to? Or does he stay because he chooses to?
What happens when one grows tired? What happens next? When will it happen? Or will it ever? This fear is one that is very overwhelming, and at times feels like an elephant on your chest! What do we do about these fears? Do we sit around, and worry about them day in and day out? Do we plan on the “what ifs”? Do we make an exit plan “just in case”? Or do we put it all aside, and just live our lives? Be happy, and live? The choices we must face day to day. The choices we face when we’re are ill? The guilt we feel. The burdens we carry.
I can’t tell you how to live your life! I cannot tell you what to do, and when. I cannot tell you how your life will play out. I also cannot promise you that your life will be all puppies and kitties. I cannot promise you that your lover will never leave you or that your family will always understand you. I cannot promise your doctors will always be kind, and that your illness will get better. I cannot promise you friends won’t grow tired of your and leave your side. I cannot promise you everyday that you will smell the roses. That things will always be easy. In fact what I can promise you is that at some point you will get hurt. That you will likely have bad days, and that some doctors are going to be pricks. I cannot promise you a Rose Garden. In fact my gardening skills suck!
What I can promise you is this! I have fears, and that it’s okay for you to have fears too. It doesn’t make us bad, stupid or crazy! It only proves we’re human. We have feelings that humans feel, and we cannot always control what or how we feel and when we feel it. It’s okay to be scared, and it’s okay to have fears! What I can tell you is this. NEVER STOP living your life because you’re scared! Let that fear motivate you to live harder, longer, happier, and more free!
Much love to you all! Now go out and live! Live even when it hurts! Do what you love and NEVER regret!