What am I afraid of? Honestly, what am I NOT afraid of? My diagnoses changed my life, no doubt. Where once, I was only afraid of failure, I suddenly became afraid of everything. From performing on stage to dealing with the unknown. From the predictable to the pain I felt in my body every day.
Fear strangled me for over 3 years. I didn't go to poetry readings or audition for plays because I was afraid I'd forget my lines or fall over. The meds I was on kept me in a constant haze. I lost all confidence in my abilities as a performer and I didn't want to risk making an ass of myself in front of people who only expected the best of me.
I let fear keep me from taking risks and trying new things because I'm afraid of the physical pain it will cause me.
I let fear keep me from pursuing fertility treatments for 2 years because the thought of actually getting pregnant and miscarrying again, or suffering through a painful pregnancy and traumatic delivery were too much to handle.
I am afraid of feeling joy because I know it's fleeting.
I am afraid of finishing my second memoir, because then what will I have to hold on to?
I am afraid to run and work out because almost two years after my heart incident, I STILL don't know if my heart is strong enough to handle it.
I fear the future because of all the what ifs that I let creep into my head:
What if I lose more fingers?
What if i end up in a wheel chair?
What if I end up needing an oxygen tank?
What if my unborn children resent their disabled mother for bringing them into this world knowing she couldn't do it all?
What if? What if? What if?
I am afraid, all day, every day.
The loss of control over my own body is to blame. After all, how can you trust anyone or anything after your own body has decided to betray you?
But, it hasn't stopped me. Every day that I wake up and take a shower despite the fear of collapsing in pain is a victory.
Every day that I use 7 fingers to type these blogs instead of 10 is a victory.
Every day that I move my muscles and joints to do what I love is a big F You to fear.
It may not seem like much to some, but to me those little victories are everything. You see, I have two options: I can let my fears control me or I can control my fear and live.
I choose the latter, if only because I know that I still have a purpose on this Earth, and dammit I'm going to see it through to the end.