Fear can consume our day, make the smallest task seem unattainable, and have us quivering in a corner wondering who will save us from the torment we are experiencing.
Fear builds on fear.
Fear says: “You can’t! Nothing you can do will take your suffering away. Your old life is gone and you will never get your identity back.”
Fear encourages us to give in, give up, and give over to the illness completely and let it have its way with our body.
Fear loves to be in charge, it likes to dominate, and it also plays havoc with our relationships. It tells us: “they don’t really care about you,” or “you are a burden to those around you.”
Fear creates distance with those who genuinely care for you.
Fear also wants to convince you that you cannot effect any positive change with your struggle with pulmonary hypertension: that your efforts are meaningless.
The truth is fear is a bully, pushing you around, trying to take away your power and making your day unbearable at times.
Here’s what we can say back to fear:
- How dare you push me around!
- I am doing everything I can to alleviate the symptoms of the illness.
- I will exercise my power as much as I can.
- I know I am resilient: I can be strong in the face of a struggle, and I can look for small steps of accomplishment when I feel powerless.
We can also consider the following potential responses/reactions to fear:
When I struggle to breathe, I will take a break and remind myself that I can pace my day to lessen my symptoms.
On the days that I can, I will try to do a little bit of exercise or mindful breathing, to help me feel calmer and provide protection against fear’s ruthless ways.
When I feel fear build up in my body, I will write fear a letter and tell it all the ways it tries to manipulate me, educating fear that I am onto its tricks and devious ways, and remind myself that I am in charge.
I can also write a list of positive affirmations, attributes I genuinely believe about myself, and when fear tries to control my day I can drain its power with reminders of my strength and ability to adapt to change.
I know deep down if I recognize and acknowledge fear, I have already started to minimize its impact on my day and my struggle with Pulmonary Hypertension.