Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Fear the Fear

Last year I went back to school…it was time.  I’m working on my PhD focusing on “Art as a healing modality when facing chronic and life-threatening illness.  I only tell you that because I had a realization last night while writing my paper for the up and coming class.  The class is on Wisdom and Civilization.  Throughout the paper I’ve been writing about the mess the United States is in economically and began thinking about fear.

It’s impossible to turn on the television and not be scared by the news.  If that weren’t enough we’re in the midst of a heated presidential election and the television ads would make you want to set up home in the United Nations.  So how is it that we’ve come to fear the fear more than the situations we’re facing in the world?

Fear is the one thing that will generally derail all the hard work you put into getting well.  I can understand fearing the illness because you may feel that you’re fighting something that not only has a mind of its own, but seems to have the resources to put a good fight.  But when we begin to fear the fear, we’re challenging ourselves to engage in a conflict that is self-made.  We invoke fear in others by telling them horror stories of the disease process or of treatment.  We invoke fear talking about the financial impact of an illness.  We invoke fear when we believe it’s punishment from a Supreme Being for something we did wrong.

Fear is not the enemy.  Fear is not the arena to put your resources.  Fear is a distraction, a large one I’ll admit, but still a distraction.  Being fearful detracts you from putting your full attention on health progression.  Don’t give in to the imposter, challenge the real thing…the illness.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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