I recently received an email from Cameron Von St. James, whose wife, Heather, has mesothelioma. Cameron runs a website to raise awareness about Mesothelioma and provide copious amounts of information! Yes, I have Lyme disease not cancer but this post isn’t about cancer- it’s about chronic illness and about fears. Cameron and Heather have a yearly tradition of smashing their fears. They (along with family and friends) write their fears on a plate and smash them into a big fire. They call it LungLeavin’ Day and they do it every year on the anniversary of Heather’s lung removal surgery.
Cameron emailed me because they’ve made this tradition a virtual one, so anyone can join. They’ve created this great interactive site where you can read Heather’s story (it’s short and sweet) and then where other chronically ill (or ANYONE) can do exactly what they do- write their fears on a plate and smash it into a fire! I literally teared up when I checked out their LungLeavin’ day sight and smashed my fears into this virtual fire. Being ill is SCARY. Having an illness with no set cure is scary. Having Lyme is incredibly scary given the medical worlds knowledge of the disease. But I honestly felt a wave of relief and like a slight weight had been lifted off my shoulders when I smashed my virtual fear plate.
It’s hard to let go of the fears we have, just general ones, but then tack on a chronic illness and it adds a whole new level! Although smashing a plate didn’t completely get rid of my fears, it did help dissipate them a bit- enough to let me relax slightly (which, let me tell you, is almost impossible for me to do!). I truly encourage everyone to check out this site and smash your fears!
Fear is normal. It’s natural. We all fear. And sometimes it is hard to move beyond that. A lot of times it is hard for me to move beyond that. I fear a lot. I’m kind of a baby sometimes ;). I think I am so drawn to this smashing of a fear plate because it makes me thoughtfully acknowledge my fears (I mean, I have to articulate them and write them down on a plate!)… acknowledge them head on. Then smash them into pieces. It may be smashing them figuratively but it gives me a stronger ability to address them head on and move towards smashing them literally.
My biggest fear is of never getting better. I’ve responded poorly to treatment and it’s frightening to think I may never be 100% again. But I have to keep my hopes up and know I have people around me who are doing everything they can to help me get there. I’ve been struggling recently, especially mentally and emotionally with dealing with having Lyme and feeling like shit. I’ve had A LOT of bad days but I am so ready to fight. I have to believe I will get better so that I can get better. Dr. Horowitz said that you can try every treatment in the world but if you have emotional blocks of any kind, none of those treatments will work. I have to continue to smash my fears so that I can take those steps, even if they are tinier then tiny, forward.
What are your biggest fears? Leave a comment letting me know what you’re afraid of, or at the very least, what keeps you going. We have to pull the strength out of ourselves and it’s okay to fear, but we can’t let that run our lives.