Life is made of ups and downs. There is much to be grateful for, to rejoice over, and even sometimes fear.
Most days, I go through my life on auto-pilot. Sure, there are some bumps, snags, and hiccups along the way but generally, my routine is pretty stable. My general attitude is to plow on through and come what may. Then there are those times I worry – no I FEAR – what if “it” happens to me? If “it” does happen, then my world as I know it would crumble down around me and I am definitely not ready for that.
There are some things that I do not fear:
**I do not fear cancer. I have had too many friends who have courageously battled this horrible disease to fear it. Their examples through this adversity gives me the strength to fight this battle – should it come my way.
**I do not fear financial loss. Money buys things that are temporary. Things are just things. If this happened to us, I would be overwhelmed but I know I have the fortitude and energy to build back.
**I do not fear death. My strong religious foundation of faith gives me hope for life after death. I would be sad to leave my family, friends, and experiences but I know it would only be a temporary absence.
What is it that I do fear? I fear Alzheimer’s disease— the type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily task
When I can’t remember something or I forget something, my fear of getting Alzheimer’s intensifies. Just last week, I misplaced my diamond anniversary band. I retraced my steps, cleaned every nook and cranny, tried to envision where it could have gone — all in hopes of recalling where I could have left my ring. It was my husband who ended up finding it in an obscure place I had gone over several times. Phew. And frustrating.
Random objects, people’s names, directions, conversations – these are other things that I tend to forget. And each time, I get that Alzheimer’s fear again. (It also didn’t help my fear reading Still Alice) People joke, “Well, at least you won’t know if you get Alzheimer’s,” Ha Ha Ha. Why do I fear Alzheimer’s so much? It’s knowing now that being in this state would be such a burden to my family that I fear. It’s the thought of losing who I am and all I have come to be, that I fear.
Having a fear is a call to action. In order to face this fear , I need to know the signs, keep up to date on the research, let my family know my wishes, and don’t allow it to suffocate my forward progress. Being informed is the key to overcoming fear.
What do you fear? How do you fight your fear?