“Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.”
― Emma Donoghue
Fear is an inextricable emotion when faced with long-term illness. Initial fears may revolve around prognosis and worst-case scenarios. The practical and daily living aspects of long-term disease may also cause fear: the fear of financial instability or the inability to care for children and loved ones, for example. Eventually, your fears may evolve to include the fear of adapting to a new reality – one which may comprise more doctors’ visits, medications, discomfort, and physical changes than you could have ever anticipated. The fear of making changes that are necessary to optimize healing may also weigh heavily on you; change is scary for most, especially when the change involves thinking differently about things that may have brought pleasure, or felt comfortable, up until this point.
Fear is a powerful force that can paralyze or cause us to retreat. But fear can also incite action and motivate us to push forward. Facing your fears as they relate to your long-term disease is an important initial step in emboldening and motivating yourself for the journey ahead. The following pages provide additional insight into fear associated with long-term illness and change-making, and reframing perspectives to replace fear with hope for the journey ahead.