I was Scared. It’s Okay That You’re Scared Too.

By Jana

April 12, 2023


Like prey being hunted I can never relax. A ticking time bomb waiting for the relief of an explosion. Angry that I am unable to perform the simplest of tasks. I curse you and beg for relief. I dream of that girl dancing in a field of wildflowers. Yearning for her buoyancy. Pleading for a return to normalcy.

A world spinning out of my control. My brain swimming in a sea of despair. Surrealism has become my norm. A noise echoes in my body and creates pain. There are a million tiny bees living in my ears, chattering away and living a life I desire. My bed is floating. It bounces off a cave wall that surrounds me and reaches to the sky.  I can’t climb out nor can I burrow down. All I can do is ebb and flow with the tide.

I am scared, oh so scared. Every day. It’s okay that you’re scared too.

Fear is a constant. It surrounds me and follows me like smoke from a fire. Every time I shift, it shifts too. I try to run from it but it follows. A new rash has appeared. My brain shivers and pangs. A house that once felt like a home now feels cold and strange. I awake in a puddle. Cold and clammy now, I stumble to the bathroom. Where am I? Nothing is familiar anymore. Trembling, I try to relieve myself. I strain to do what should come naturally. Will this ever end?

I was scared, oh so scared. Every day. It’s okay that you’re scared too.

My scars you can not see. I cradle them close to my heart as a reminder. A reminder of the challenges I faced. The challenges that I met head on and lived to fight another day. My scars are beautiful and serve me well. They resonant with the tenacious strength of a warrior.

“If you can recognize and accept your pain without running away from it, you will discover that although pain is there, joy can also be there at the same time.” – Thich Nhat Hanh-

For a long time, I looked back at that woman who battled Lyme disease and saw nothing but fear and weakness. Now, I am able to see the warrior in me. I charged forward with little recognition for the difficulty of my journey. Now I can see my strength. In retrospect, I am in awe of my courage. Battling Lyme disease requires tenacity and determination. Day in and day out, I exhibited those traits of character. You are exhibiting those traits of character right now.

Fear is part of the process. Embrace it instead of running away.

Feeling scared is a normal reaction to danger. It is a motivating emotion that urges us to change our situation. To flee for safety. The fact that you are scared should not make you feel weak. The trick is embracing it and using it to your advantage. Walk through your fear instead of running away from it. I imagine some of you want to smack right now if you could. I can understand that desire. You can use that anger to your advantage too…but for now, I’ll continue with my current thought…

Walk through fear

Your body is under threat from an elusive enemy. Every day, you watch it eat you up from the inside out. That is fucking scary. Go ahead and say it out loud to yourself… “This is fucking scary!!!!” Yes, it is. Now, stand up (if you can. If you can’t that’s okay. You can imagine it in your mind and it’s just as effective) and walk with the knowledge of your fear. Feel that fear, deep in your bones. Keep walking straight to your bathroom or your closest mirror. Look deep into the reflection of your eyes. Really see yourself. Now say it again, “This is fucking scary! I am scared. And that is okay.” Now, congratulate yourself because you just walked through your fear instead of running away from it.

That is what a warrior does. You are all warriors. Tenacity drips from your pores. Determination is radiating from every inch of your body. For many of you, if not all of you, this will be the most difficult thing you have ever done. This battle against Lyme disease is terrifyingly challenging. Take the time right now to recognize your strength and power. Don’t wait until it’s over to be proud of yourself. See the warrior in yourself right now. Walking through that fear.

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