I think most people are familiar with the idea that change is scary.
Change happens where fear lies. And growth happens where change transpires.
Have you ever thought that maybe you fear getting well because it’s change? Because you are familiar with your illness, you know how it operates, you’ve become used to feeling ill, you’ve made friends somewhere deep inside your body with sickness?
It dawned on me about a year and a half ago that I actually hold fear around health. It’s a concept I’ve been working through for awhile now. Albeit, an odd one. One you may be afraid to admit. One you may not understand. Why would I (or anyone else) hold fear around getting healthy?
Well, let me explain. I’ve been sick for a very long time and I’ve had symptoms for even longer. I know what it feels like to be sick. It sucks, don’t get me wrong, it’s horrible and I hate it, but I understand how it feels and how it controls my life. Being healthy is something I don’t know and since I don’t know it, it scares me. Who will I be? What will my personality be like? What will I do with my life? How many things will I have to take on because I have energy for it?… Are you starting to see where I’m coming from now? Becoming healthy should be a POSITIVE change, but even positive changes are scary because all change is UNKOWN. It is fear of the unknown that holds us back. The unknown has always been a huge, terrifying thing for me.
I think of it in the same way as someone who is an abusive relationship. Why don’t they just leave? Because they fear what leaving holds- they’ll be alone, they’ll have to do things by themselves, will someone ever “love” them again? They stay in the relationship because it’s familiar. There is a sense of safety and comfort in the relationship, even if it isn’t healthy. The same holds true for chronic illness, even though I can’t just up and leave it behind.
So, I can’t just leave illness behind that easily. But is it holding be down because… or rather, am I holding on to it in some desperate, subconscious way? Perhaps. How do I let go then? To be honest, I’m not sure. That is what I’m working on. I’m working to embrace the fear, embrace the change. And for me, that doesn’t just start with embracing the fear and change around health, it starts with learning to embrace (or let go of) the fear around change in general.
I hate change. I’ve always hated change. For all the reasons I’ve discussed above. Change is scary. The Unknown is scary. So for me, I have to begin to learn and accept that change happens where fear lies and that it isn’t a bad thing. Change is positive because that is how and where we grow. That is how and where we learn.
I believe that, for me, part of my healing journey, or lack thereof, is a result of a fear of health. A fear of change. As I work on that fear and embrace the change, there will be nothing for illness to hold on to within me and it will slowly begin to let go. I will slowly begin to embrace the change of healing and start to feel better.
Have you ever considered this in your chronic illness journey? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them!