Fear can be defined as an anxious feeling, caused by our anticipation of imagined, stories, events and experiences. Most of our fears are about the future.
When I took speech in college, I was excited and eager to learn. I’ve always been social and outgoing and I’ve lived a challenging and adventurous life. I thought my stories would interest and help others. I was ready to share. The first time I stood up in front of the class, I was anxious and nervous. After about five minutes, I couldn’t go on. In front of everyone, my voice cracked and I began to cry. I quickly returned to my seat. I thought I would die from embarrassment.
When I was 10 years old I changed schools. My sister had been a pupil at that school for two years when I started and was the school sporting champion. Because of my sister’s sporting prowess I was welcomed by the teachers and other students with open arms and for a couple of weeks I was popular. However, once the teachers and students discovered that I was hopeless at sport no one wanted me on their team, that was when I decided that I was always going to be hopeless at sport and that I was never going to be humiliated like that again.
I made the decision that I was going to avoid all forms of exercise.
It was hard. Really hard. I’ve seeing my mother cry 2 times in my lifetime… Now it’s 3.
“I don’t want you to go.” I didn’t know what to say, how to respond, what to do. So I did nothing. She hugged me, tried to hold back her tears, her emotions. But I’d already seen it, felt it.
At some time or another, we have all felt like we’re stuck in a rut. No matter what we try or what we do, everything around us stays the same. Even worse, when we try to change, we end up feeling like the same old person. No amount of New Year’s resolutions, self-help books, or community groups can make us feel different.
I certainly can relate to feeling stuck. Deciding to be a stay-at-home mom these past 18 months has meant my days have melded into one long string of diaper changes, laundry, reading board books, and singing the same songs over and over again. Sure, I attend play dates and library story hour, but time still runs together.
I was down and anxious. It was only a few months after our move when I started feeling like a shell of my former self. I had never experienced anything like this. I had no appetite and no energy. I was in a dark space devoid of life. Lethargy met me at every turn. I was circling the drain. The best I could do was to get my kids off to school and climb back into bed.
After a few weeks, I began to wonder what was going on. Being an independent stubborn person, I decided to ride it out on my own. In retrospect, this was probably not the right way to go.
I remember being told about my biopsy. My doctor sat down and said, “I’m sorry; it’s melanoma.” I told him he didn’t need to apologize, and thanked him for his work. The news took a while to set in.
Truthfully, it was a chance to learn and grow. My pre-cancer schedule focused on work and building my wealth. My post-diagnosis schedule involved much more quality time with my amazing wife and daughter.