Fear is something that every one faces, so I’d like to share a story with you that may help you accept it. I found this entry in my journal. It’s not dated but I know exactly when I wrote it. It was six months ago and I remember the fear like it was yesterday.
Rawness of Fear
What better time to write about fear than when I am smack dab in the middle of it? My vision is blurred because I can’t see without my contacts or glasses. Not really, it’s because I have ointment in my eyes. I am two days out of a surgery that should have been a couple stitches and a small skin graph. Instead, I can’t see, I’m in pain and the right side of my face is swollen with god knows how many stitches; from my eye to the bottom of my nose. The worst-case scenario they gave me four weeks ago is my reality right now.
My family was here for me with hugs, flowers and meals. I am so lucky to have them. The surgeon did an amazing job. But still, tears creep in every now and then for whatever reason. I’m exhausted by the end of the day so I start getting ready for bed. I take the pain medicine I was so reluctant to fill, heat up the heating pads my sister gave me to relax the tension in my neck and prepare an icepack that will numb the pulling of my stitches. I reach for my phone one last time before going to sleep. My sister-in-law writes, “How was your day Patti?” I begin to cry again and answer, “It was a rollercoaster, but tomorrow will be better.” I lay down with all my tools of comfort and cry. Why? I don’t know. I can’t stop, I just cry. Trying to be positive, I rationalize; they took out the cancer and did such a great job on my face, my family is so amazing and supportive. I should be grateful, but I am sad. I’m scared and I can’t stop the tears.
I’m scared. Not knowing what tomorrow will bring is lets my mind run wild. Fear… the unknown. How do you trust what’s ahead? I flashback to my doctor giving me the prescription. He said, “It’s better to have it just in case you need it”. I said, “I’m fine” and he said, “you’re not right now”. I snapped back, “I’m just crying… there’s nothing wrong with crying.” I don’t know if I was trying to convince him or me.
Fear Brings Courage
Now I realize I was right. It’s okay to cry, to be scared and to fear what is ahead. We fear change of something that we don’t know, until we do know it. Everyone is faced with fear. It’s a “normal” reaction in times of heart break, loss and the unknown. It’s okay to cry. Go ahead and release the stress of it. Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow will be better. There’s nothing wrong with you … you’re normal and every moment of fear you take a step toward courage. These are the moments you develop strength, resilience and hope. Let it happen.