Irritational fear?? Nope, that’s not irritational. It’s a real genuine fear. I too had that fear “That’s my brain in there, that’s what makes me “Me” and you want to do WHAT??? …OMG!!!” My mind took me down all of those worst case scenario lines. For many years I’d worked with people with disabilities and I’d worked with some of those ‘worst case scenarios’ so it wasn’t a case of just thinking the worst. I’d had experience in dealing with the outcomes and those outcomes scared me.
One lady I worked with was wheelchair bound and she used a ventilator, but she was super intelligent, she also had an emotional intelligence far beyond anybody else I knew. Her life experiences gave her that emotional intelligence. People would look at her and automatically pass judgement, as if the chair limited her psychologically, far from it, far, far from it.
One day I asked her how she coped with it all and she said to me ‘I turn it around…’ Her example was that she could use public transport to get around, but due to her disability she was provided with free taxi vouchers which took her directly from her door to her destination. No waiting for buses, no sorting out timetables, no cold, wet bus stops and no cost to her. To her this was a big advantage. I try to use her approach now. I can easily get the ‘What if’s?’ ie what if ‘X’ happens? What if ‘Y’ happens? X&Y are usually negatives. But what happens if I turn it around and make it the possibility of a positive outcome. Maybe this will fix my headaches? Maybe this will fix my body temperature issues?
OK, so fixing the headaches maybe a little far fetched, a little bit TOO hopeful on my behalf, but one surgery did have a big positive impact on my temp issues. You say you’ve been stable for a long time, so you know you have the skills to be able to manage already, you’ve already proven that to yourself. Don’t be doubting yourself, you’ve got this. As I’ve said to others ‘This is a time to be kind to yourself. Don’t be pushing your limits…’ When your body tells you it needs ‘Timeout’ Take it. Do what ever you need to manage ‘YOU’.
Getting back to teaching is the long term goal, Keep an eye on that goal, but don’t be concentrating on the goal itself, rather look at the little steps you need to take to reach that goal. Concentrate on the little steps. If you keep looking at the final goal you’ll miss all of the little triumphs along the way. Those little triumphs will give you the skills to be able to manage around those thoughts. I’m not saying that those thoughts will disappear, mine didn’t, but when you can identify that negativity creeping in you can take steps to change your mindset, move on from the negativity.
Also YOU. YOU need to be congratulating yourself for getting this far and I seriously mean that. I know of people that simply fall in a heap upon hearing such news, can’t function at all, often isolating themselves, giving up. You are here, you are talking to us. You aren’t isolating, you’re asking questions, you’re looking for answers/information. Those are not the actions of someone who is (as you say) looney, far from it.
If anybody ever tells you this is an easy thing to deal with, they have NEVER been in this situation themselves. So how would they know? They don’t. Do not, DO NOT, DO NOT be doubting yourself.
You’re stronger than you think you are.
You’ve got this.
Merl from the Modsupport Team