Friday, September 02, 2011

Negative Energy: Fear (2 of 3)

My second fear comes from my inability to live independently.  My son lives with me and commutes to college.  I depend on him for many things including companionship.  I am afraid to be alone, navigating my life by myself.  When the wall fell on me, my self-confidence was shattered.  I experienced the extinction of myself.  The freak accident destroyed my life, leaving me helpless and fearful.

Because I need supervision with cooking and other things, I become overwhelmed thinking of the future without him.  The future of being alone frightens me.  I see myself alone, isolated, solitary without anyone to care for me.  Thinking about this sets my brain spinning, and I start to grind my teeth.

My fears of being alone may override my commonsense.  I may make hasty decisions and invite unscrupulous people into my life.  Before my accident, I lived independently confident of my actions.  Now I cannot even leave my home without help.

My third fear is to go somewhere and not be able to return home.  Once, I used the disability-access transportation to go shoe shopping.  Because of a mix-up in communication, the return transport was not waiting for me.  After waiting awhile, I panicked and crying and shaking.  But I did have the presence of mind to call my family, who came for me.  Once I started shaking and “seizing”, I could not remember what happened next.  All I know is that I came home in very bad shape.  I had panicked because I thought I was stranded by myself.  There were no familiar landmarks for my brain to focus on.

Since my goal is to be a fully functioning human being, I must overcome my fears.  In her blog, Joan Sotkin points out that fear can be a positive force in a person’s life.  Instead of reacting by running amok, fear tells us to stop and think.  She further states that “fear is a signal to bring you back to the present.”

I see fear as being a conditional emotion.  For example, the wall might fall down – not will fall down.  To counter the fear of “I am alone in the future”, I can focus on the here and now.  Ms. Sotkin further writes that “fear can motivate you to find solutions.”  Taking her advice, I can view my fears as problems to be solved.

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