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.