We all have fear though it could be different from person to person. I'm certainly no different. One of my biggest fears is being trapped under the ice. Given that I live in a cold climate and ice fishing and snowmobiling is a big part of the culture here it's not an entirely crazy fear to have either. I don't have the money to snowmobile but I am looking to get into ice fishing by next winter so it will be necessary for me to work on that fear at some point.
But that's not the fear I'm talking about. The fear I'm referring to in this post is something I don't talk about with my wife or anyone else. Something that may upset her when she reads it here because while I'm pretty sure she's aware it exists, I shut down the one time she attempted to discuss it with me. It's something I keep buried down into the deepest bowels of myself and it only comes out to play now and again, mostly so I can mentally prepare for it. The fear I'm talking about is the fear that whatever her medical problems are, if continued to go unsolved, could someday take her from me much faster than I want or am planning.
Her seizures only play a small part. I'm well aware that they have the potential to be catastrophic. I had a classmate pass away from a seizure in her sleep not long after we graduated. It's why I'm on my toes and don't sleep if the dog is alerting or I feel a change in her body chemistry indicating that a seizure may be coming along. Why I monitor her breathing after she's had one. Why, on nights when she's not feeling well and her breathing becomes shallow I monitor her for hours. Why, in the past, I've done subtle things that will create a response while she's sleeping just so I can make sure she's aware enough to move on her own.
So what do I do and how do I manage this fear? I push it down, I don't talk about it, and I only let it come out to play once in a while. I use to prepare and train myself. In those times I run through scenario after scenario of what ifs to be prepared in the event I have to jump into action. I use to as much as I can to be mentally and physically prepared.
I know I should probably talk about such things more, if not with my wife than with someone else but I won't. You're probably wondering why, which is certainly a valid question. So here's my thoughts on this. Fear can suck and it can wear you down and bring along a whole host of others problems. However, fear, if harnessed, can also be a benefit. Fear keeps you own your toes, makes you react quicker, and can make you work harder and pay more attention to your surroundings and whats taking place around you if you're prepared for it. That's how I see this fear. For me it's a trade off. As I mentioned above, it's not a constant just something that comes up from time to time and in those times I try to use it to make myself better and make my family safer. It's not fun, can be quite upsetting, and not something I'd ever want for other people but in our life I find it to be a necessity.
I'm not even sure why I chose to go with this topic this week. I guess it was because I had one of those 'pop up' late last week and it's on the brain. Like many thoughts, they come in the quite moments when you're all alone with nothing but your own brain to keep you company. I don't have PTSD and honestly I think this pales in comparison but it is something I deal with on a regular basis. I'm not sure if others in similar situations do as well but if that's the case I hope while reading they realize they're not alone and it's ok. It's ok to have fear, it's ok to be unsure of what you're feeling and why. It's ok to seek help and someone to talk to if you need it and it's ok to hold it close if you feel that's what's right. Regardless of the path you choose to take, you need to do what's right for you and what you feel is most beneficial but I would recommend keeping a close eye on yourself for signs that it has become too much. Remember, if you're unable to take care of yourself it's going to be hard to take care of your loved one.