Now I know I already talked about Fear around 2 months ago but that was quite a succinct and optimistic view. The view of fighting a more superficial fear that can almost be defeated with logic. The Fear I am struggling with at the moment is that all encompassing fear that consumes you where you can’t see anyway out and don’t know how you can possibly fight it as you don’t feel like you have the means or the energy to do so.
I’ve always been a kind of ‘Feel the Fear and do it anyway’ kind of person but I think that’s quite easy when you’re looking at something transient. You’re scared of heights, you jump out of a plane, you’re scared of the dark, turn the lights off, you’re scared of spiders, hold one (that is not a fear that I’m particularly eager to face to be fair I’m ok with just running away from them). The problem is, with these events you take a deep breath, face them and then it’s done. But what about the kind of fear that you have to face every minute of everyday, that’s always stalking you just that few footsteps behind.
At the moment when it catches up with me I have a bit of a breakdown, a cry, curl up in a ball then God gives me the strength and energy to pick myself up, dust myself of and keep going. The problem is this gives me a little distance, it’s still in my rear view mirror but I can kind of pretend it’s not there at the moment but slowly it starts to gain on me, the gap closes, I keep glancing over my shoulder trying desperately to keep ahead of it. And then it catches me.
It’s the fear of pain that makes you whimper, of exhaustion so severe you can’t think, of a career lost, of no life, or prospects and being alone. I just don’t know how to defeat it. All I seem to manage is to hold it off for a while.
Before I got into uni I visualised getting the interview, it going well and the receiving my offer. I would see it in detail and feel it. The nerves, the confidence, the excitement. The problem is when I try and do that now, yes I can see myself doing my job and living but I can’t imagine not feeling ill, not feeling pain, not feeling exhausted because I just can’t remember what that feels like. It’s like some distant memory that I know I must have but I just can’t quite recall.
When I expressed my fear that I am determined not to fail but I also feel like I don’t have the energy to fight enough to stop myself failing a wise person told me ‘Why does it have to be a fear or failure thing?’. If I see life as a constant fight for survival I will never get well. I know I need to live in the moment and I’ve said that before, but it’s struggling to have the energy and motivation to makes such drastic lifestyle changes and maintain them. I don’t want to spend my life in bed, watching tv on benefits but nor do I want to be in constant agony struggling to have the energy to get my body to move.
I know Jesus said ‘if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’ Matthew 17:20 But in the times when the fear catches up with me I feel like keeping my faith, trust, determination alive is like trying to keep a flame burning in the wind, I’m desperately trying to protect it but it keeps flickering and going out and I’m left desperately trying to resurrect it from the embers. The thing is I don’t know if it’s faith in God and his love and power, though my faith in him generally flares when I hit rock bottom, or whether it’s really faith in myself, that it’s me I don’t trust to endure the storm.
I know I want this to be a positive blog that shows other people struggling the light that is Jesus at the end of the tunnel but I also need this to be truthful so that others can understand the struggle that so many of us face especially when you’re chronically ill.