Feeling the Fear ... and then What?


I have not had an easy ride the last few weeks.  I felt fine for three months previously so it is hard when I 'lose' my sense of well-being.  It always feels like I am sliding backwards - and THAT is terrifying.

I am becoming more and more aware that I tend to catastrophise.  The minute I feel unwell (either up or more often down) I feel terrified of going back to where I was at the worst time of my illness. It is understandable but it is not helpful.

The problem is that the fear is itelf part of the illness.  I am ill therefore I feel terrible fear and I feel terrible fear so I am terrified. The more terrified I feel the worse I get. This is a nasty vicious circle I have not yet managed to escape.  I have just reached the stage where I can observe myself going through it but without being able to stop it.

My coaching training tells me that this is a problem of belief.  I need to change the underlying belief that supports the vicious circle. I have a deep negative belief and it is this one:  I am only hanging on to my well-being by the tips of my finger nails, with the unreliable help of the medication I take.

I need to start BELEVING that I cannot possibly go back to the darkest most horrendous days of my illness whilst I take two mood stabilisers and an anti-depressant.  I CANNOT.  It is not 'chemically possible'.  The medication cannot eradicate all fluctuations BUT it is supporting my brain and it is doing its job.  I need to accept my fluctuations without feeling the fear.


Oh boy that's tough because the fluctuations are themselves 'terror creators'.  As my brain and my body go through the ups and downs of my condition, they get flooded with biochemicals OR suddenly get starved of the same biochemicals. Those biochemical storms are hard to relax into - very hard.  It feels as if I am sudenly lost in the middle of a stormy sea on a little raft that's just about holding together.  I can't think of many people who would feel very relaxed in this situation.  And yet, that is exactly what I must achieve if I am to help myself better.

The thought that is coming to me sounds over the top melodramatic but it feels very powerful right now: I need to be ready to die in order to live. If I no longer fear the worst then I can be at peace with whatever happens.  I can handle that when I am reasonably together - I now need to master the art of handling it when I am falling apart.

Well, talk of setting goals for the New Year, I think working on this one will keep me busy for a good long while!

In the meantime, I will do my best not to feel terrified when I feel terrified. That's a bit like a one legged parrot trying not to hop but who says it can't be done?  Parrots happen to be very resourceful creatures   :D

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