Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Learning to Let Go of Fear

Technically this post is inspired by an Ask Me Anything question. But I have to admit this one gave me pause, and as I started writing I realized I had quite a lot to say on the matter. So I decided to warranted its very own post. 

"Which heart condition do you have? Does it ever scare you? You always seem so confident and calm. I admire your strength and motivation so much" 

So first of all, I appreciate that you think I am “calm and confident”. I am not so sure I would agree. I generally feel like I am running around like a little crazy person, just trying to stay one step ahead, and struggling to keep my head above water. But I think I have made great strides in the "calmness department" over the past few years.

I have been living with my diagnosis – Long QT Syndrome – treatment, and consequence of said treatment for over 10 years. And in that time mistakes were, lessons have been learned, and I have slowly made peace with things.

When I was first diagnosed and throughout the first few years of treatment; the impending nature of surgery and frequency of complications overwhelmed me. I struggled a lot with anxiety. These monumental things were happening, I was in the middle of a life-changing diagnosis, and it felt like my whole world should stop. I wanted life to wait for me to be ready.

But life didn't stop. 

While you feel like your life is on pause, everyone else is moving forward. The world still moves on around you - years pass, life happens, and I was just stuck there. I was just waiting for things to be fixed. I was waiting for things to be perfect. I was waiting for the right time to move forward.

Well here I am 10 years later, and I think it safe to say the "right time" never came. 

Over the last 10 years I have had 6 surgeries, one devastating loss, and too many other subsequent complications list. But a whole of living has been accomplished in between those things too. I just had to let go of my self-imposed limits. I know now that I will always have Long QT syndrome. I will always require a pacemaker/defibrillator for treatment. And that type of treatment will always require monitoring and inevitably surgery. I cannot control when this happen, but I am also no longer willing to limit my life because of fear.  

I started to realize that I will never be "fixed", but that didn't have to mean that I could never be healthy. I didn't need to give up on the life I wanted, I just had to be willing to do things a little differently (and maybe also be willing to work a little harder).

I eventually learned that I am not in control of everything. I will not always be in control of where life takes me, but I am in control of how I allow it to affect me.  Giving into the fear robs you of your potential, your joy, and of your life. So I try to chose happiness. 

You do not always get to chose the life your get, but you have the opportunity to create the life you want.

So while it is still a struggle, I am trying (*really hard*) to to create the life I want. My goal is to dream big, and to accept that life will likely always be a work in progress.

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail.