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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


It's a funny thing about fear - sometimes we don't even know we're feeling it. I just went through a couple of weeks of serious concern about my health (I'll tell you right up front that I found out yesterday that I'm fine) and I learned a lot about fear.

I learned:

  • sometimes we don't even know that's what we're feeling - we feel tired or worried and don't translate that into fear

  • it affects every part of your body - you get headaches and upset stomaches and odd feelings in different organs

  • it might make you cranky - because you're coping with this one big thing and you don't want to be bothered with anything else

  • it might turn you into a hermit - don't talk to me, don't phone me, don't make me go out - even though all of those things would probably make you feel better

  • it's hell on your sleep patterns - you might fall asleep (I couldn't without - for the first time in my life - sleeping pills) but then wake up in the middle of the night panicking or you might not be able to fall asleep at all because the whole worry thing is going on in your head

  • it's hard on your skin - I know, that seems weird, but it is - my face got splotchy - not seriously enough for anyone else to notice, but I did

  • it's always easier to know than to be waiting to find out

  • no matter how hard you try, people around you realize that something is wrong with you.

I suspect that fear is much easier to cope with when it's something obvious - a grizzly bear or a fire or a mugger. That way, you know what you're worried about, you understand why you're scared and your heart is pounding like a hammer in your chest, your body is coated in cold sweat. And then it's over - good or bad, it's over.

The trouble with something like a medical concern is that you don't know what to worry about and, at least until the tests are done and the results are in, it is out of your control.

Maybe that's the worst thing about this kind of fear - you have no control over it. And that's the scariest thing of all.


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