Take a moment to think about that question.
I was asked this question earlier this week and my mind instantly went to the fear I felt when I left my daughter in the hands of the surgeon for her major operation. It felt different from her other operations because this one was the 'serious' one, things could happen, things I didn't want to happen. She could have been left brain damaged, she could have been left paralysed, She could have died. We were told all this before the operation and had to sign a form to say we understood. We could have not signed, not risked all of that and just let her live her life deformed and in pain. It was the most courageous thing I have ever done, letting her go, not knowing what would happen, trusting her life and well being into the hands of someone else.
She came back safe. It was worth it. Our biggest fears revolve around losing those we love.
Now, on a smaller scale I was set to thinking of what scared me in my every day life. I don't like spiders but I wouldn't say I'm scared of them anymore. I have built up my courage slowly and now I can catch them in my bug catcher and put them outside.
I'm also scared of conflict. It happens a lot in my life and I'm the peacemaker. I need to keep things calm, I can't bear it if it isn't. I'm frightened of the consequences of violence and hatred. Even if it's only verbal it can be just as bad as physical. I hate violence of any kind and I will admit to being afraid of it. I feel that sometimes I let my fear of conflict get in the way of expressing my true feelings. That's not very brave is it?
With my illness I fear that I may never get better. I'm afraid of living the rest of my life not being able to walk, not being able to run or climb or do the things I used to do. However, this is one fear I can calm. Yes, I'm frightened but my positivity and love of life itself gets me through this. I'd rather be here and disabled than not be here at all. Most of all my positivity gives me hope. I can accept being disabled even if I fear it, but I can't let the fear stop me from getting better.
That sounds paradoxical and it probably is. I fear not getting better, but I also fear the things I have to do to get better. It's scary getting to my feet and walking in a body that no longer responds naturally. It's scary letting other people see me try. It's scary when I think about falling either inside or outside. If I fall I know I won't be able to get back up alone, and it will be so painful having someone lift me up. I've been so lucky not falling so far, I've had a lot of near misses in the house. but not actually fallen yet. There is always something to lean on to stop me from going down.
This week I faced up to a fear and I was really courageous.
This week I walked outside! I walked out of my front door and up the garden path to the street. Our path is about 3 metres long and a slight incline. I've not walked on an incline before. I have walked the path with my crutches, but this time I walked alone, no crutches, no sticks. My partner walked with me, there to catch me if I fell.
I didn't fall or stumble, I concentrated very hard and walked unaided to the end of the path. It was slow, it was scary, it hurt, but I wasn't frightened, I felt brave. I did not worry about the neighbours seeing me. I know I walk funny and I do feel embarrassed. I don't want to be laughed at or pitied. I just want to be me, be normal.
I think I might do it again sometime.