Facing fear and feeling free

Not only, during my many hospital visits, but in most other life situations, I am a ‘people watcher’. A lot of my friends tell me they do the same! I find other people so interesting,how they all react differently to situations, what they say or do in certain circumstances. Obviously we all have what is known as a ‘comfort zone’. But it is what happens when we are outside that zone that really interests me!

I imagine that we all have different size ‘comfort zones’,gained from our life’s experiences. You might assume that the more experiences you have, the more comfortable you might feel. Taking that assumption a step further older people should have a larger comfort zone than youngsters. But it isn’t like that at all, and a lot of older people feel very vulnerable and frightened.

We are all affected by fear, in different situations, and there appears to be no logic to it. People don’t like crowds, tiny spaces, heights, needles, blood, certain animals, flying, going on boats, going to the doctor/dentist. The list is never ending and we are all totally different. Some of that fear may be generated by bad experiences in the past, which stay with us during our lives. For other people, they maybe know someone who has been directly affected by something, and they have taken on that fear.

Fear is not always a negative emotion. It can actually drive us to be stronger. There are times when there is no option but to face our fear. In a lot of cases, once that is done, the fear is removed forever. More often than not, our feeling of fear, is generated by what we THINK might happen, rather than what will ACTUALLY happen. The longer this continues, the stronger hold, fear has on us. Let’s be honest, the thought of a visit to the dentist is generally worse than the visit itself!

The power of the mind is a fantastic thing and can certainly help us achieve things that we never dared believe possible. That is, if we use it positively! If the reverse happens, that is when the problems begin.

I am extremely interested, in the relationship of fear and illness. It seems fairly inevitable, that if fear and anxiety start taking over our lives, that we will become ill. Hopefully this illness will only be temporary, and with a course of medication, and a bit of deep thinking, your life will be back on track. However, if we are unfortunate enough to get a serious long term condition, this downward spiral could continue, with fear not only fuelling the disease, but obstructing the treatment too.

Over my years as a patient, I have found three different categories that we fall into. Either, positive, confused, or frightened. Sometimes very positive people, before their diagnosis, become frightened after it. Also the reverse can apply. I think that there are times when we all can fall into the confused camp!

As we are all aware, it is impossible to tell someone to be positive, when that is the very last thing that they are feeling, but I have found that people who have been able to reach an element of positivity with their situation, seem to have a better experience. Why is this?? I have no statistics or any logical reason. Maybe, like me, they have faced their fear, and are no longer shackled by it. For me, it has been a very empowering experience. I now live without personal fear, and it has enabled me to do so many things I would never have felt possible before.

I have faced my own mortality several times in the last 5 years, and faced some of the worst regimes of treatment available. Anything else that comes along will just be swatted like a fly! I was frightened at first of course, but my imagination was much worse than actually what happened. Like all of you, I have had many difficult situations to deal with over the years, not involving my health. On no occasion was the result worse than I had imagined.

Living in fear of something can be very debilitating. What are you frightened of? Do you feel like facing your fear? I can recommend it, if at all possible.

The Grove Hotel Bournemouth

I am an official support partner of the Grove Hotel in Bournemouth. The only hotel in the UK specifically for people affected by cancer and other life limiting conditions. 

 

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