My three part blog series uncovering fear as the bubble wrap holding my outdated ideas within my analogous boxes has naturally set the stage for talking more about fear. The way those pieces developed made me willing and ready to take a closer look at fear.
Today, fear has center stage. It seems to me that putting it in the spotlight, rather than allowing it to work behind the scenes, will serve me (and you) better.
Last April in a post, I shared my realization that my relationship to fear no longer needed to be adversarial. I grew up, like most of you, with the notion that you “conquer the fear.” Next time, we will get more into that. Prior to sharing this cooperative perspective with fear, I also shared my fears about the upcoming surgery.
After I wrote Lessons from the pump, I was able to let go of the fear of losing the pump during surgery on some level. I had consciously surrendered to a lot during that period in anticipation of that surgery. The worst possible scenario was the outcome of that surgery, which was the removal of the pump. Whatever level I had let go hadn’t caught up with the freaking out level of me after the surgery.
Because I have already shared so much about the surgeries and the pump, I want to try to briefly share how so much in my life became associated with and attached to the pump. My hope here is that it will serve as an example that we can refer back to in our discussions of fear.
My first intrathecal baclofen pump became my best pal. Together we were able to create a wonderful life outside of the wheelchair and PLS symptoms. I loved that pump, named it Codie (it was a Codman brand), and often lovingly referred to it with cute pet names.
Associated with Codie was my new wonderful life, my freedom and independence, my ability to explore without the need for wheelchair access and so much more. With Codie, I was able to do so much more than I ever thought imaginable.
I had never been so in the moment in my life than I was those first couple of years with Codie. It wasn’t until I had to consider losing Codie for real that I realized what had occurred during our 3 ½ years together.I had forgotten how much work and rehabilitation I had done the year before the pump was implanted.
I had given the pump all of the credit when I had already been finding new ways to better manage my symptoms, relieve pain and rebuild atrophied muscles.
I was standing and hobbling when I gave my workshops at the SPF Women’s retreat in Tampa in 2006.
By losing touch with my own abilities and my own power, I had begun to give it all to Codie. Codie got all of the credit. The more credit the pump got, the more fear permeated because I couldn’t bear the thought of living without Codie .
I had concluded somewhere along the way that without the pump, I would have no quality of life. I know that wasn’t true of my life before the pump was implanted, but I had forgotten.
Let me outline how I see the progression from a primary relationship with my pump to becoming overly attached to it and then entering into a primary relationship with fear instead.
- Codie and I are together and each day and each experience was richer for me because of the partnership.
- I am present, in the flow creating life and experiencing joy and excitement all of the time.
- I start giving credit to Codie for my ability to enjoy life and experience so much. I then shorten my story for others to the point where Codie is the only reason I am standing and walking.
- I find myself worrying and intermittently obsessing about whether my pump is working properly, attached properly, or wondering what I would do without Codie.
- The accident happened 7/10, after which I was doing #4 more often than not. Codie was removed 3/11.
- I was still pining for Codie nearly a year later.
Fear didn’t enter the picture here until #3 and #4, and if you notice, this is when I was no longer aware of my own abilities and my own power. This is also when I lost touch with being in the present.
When I lost my personal power, I was not able to stay present for long. Fear cannot exist in the present moment—only in the past and future.
Did you happen to notice that this reads more like a relationship with a living being, rather than an inanimate object made of titanium?
The parallel is quite clear, huh? The next time, we will talk more about that and how to work together with our fears!