Fear: The one thing I will not allow to take over my life, hard as it has been

Fear: The one thing I will not allow to take over my life, hard as it has been

Every month Chicagonow has what is called a "Blogapalooza". We are given a topic and we have one hour to write about it. This month's topic: "Write about fear, or lack thereof, and the role it has played in any aspect of your life."  What a perfect subject for me.

In his first inaugural address President Franklin Delano Roosevelt stated the following: So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance". In simpler terms, do not afraid of fear, it can prevent you from doing what needs to be done.

Quite some time ago I wrote about how I suffer from GAD, or generalized anxiety disorder. I feared writing about it, making it public but I faced that fear and found that it helped other people.

Fear is something that could take over my life if I allowed it. From as far back as I can remember, I have been afraid of my own shadow.  My fears have most always been irrational and I have come to terms with it which isn't easy. Medication helps and I'm not afraid to admit that at all. It allows me to function on a day to day basis without being afraid that someone is about to break into my house, that when my kids don't answer their phones right away there isn't something wrong - they're just busy or away from it.

Fear comes in many forms. There are dozens and dozens of phobias; fear of one thing or another. I have always been terrified of sharp objects - knives in particular. There is no reasonable explanation for it. No one ever tried to attack me with one. No one ever hurt me. I am just plain and simple: terrified. But these irrational fears I can control. What I can't control now in the constant fear of illness.

This past eight months I have blogged often about my journey with breast cancer. When I first had it ten years ago I did not experience the type of fear I have this time. This was more serious: this was my second time! I discovered that I carry a genetic mutation that predisposes me to a higher risk of certain types of cancer. If that isn't going to scare the crap out of someone I don't know what is.

Though I have successfully completed chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, an oophorectomy (removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes), reconstruction and finally have some hair regrowth, I remain fearful. But I am trying to learn how to not let it run my life.

Every ache, every pain is not cancer. Though I will always fear it is I have to remind myself that I could just have a stomach ache, I could have somehow aggravated my back. I may just have a simple headache. Not colon cancer, bone cancer or a brain tumor.

Fear can be paralyzing and I can't afford the time, stress or energy to allow that. That thought and a daily dose of Lexapro will get me by.

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