When I’m afraid

I am terribly afraid of cockroaches. I don’t know why, I just am…especially the flying kind. Those freak me out. Just writing about them gives me the heebie-jeekies. I remember one time when one landed on my shoulder. I danced around the room like a breakdancing ninja trying to shake it off. I can still feel its legs crawling across my back. Yikes! To this day, if a cockroach shows up in my house you will hear me scream…all the way over in Australia.

Fear is a powerful thing. It has this way of paralyzing someone no matter how strong they think they are. Those of us living with Multiple Sclerosis are faced with some pretty big fears too. I have personally dealt with my own set of fears because of MS: the fear of not being able to take care of myself, of being rejected by the non-disabled world, of having to depend on others, of not being taken seriously when talking about my hidden symptoms, of being made fun of for using a cane, walker or wheelchair.

With all those fears swirling around in my head, I had a choice to make. Was I going to let fear control me, bringing great amounts of suffering to my life, or was I going to admit they exist and work through them? Could I stand up to the very things I feared? Was I even strong enough to face them?

I chose to work through them. It wasn’t easy and new fears kept trying to sneak their way in, but I was determined to keep my focus on living for today, not on the fear of tomorrow. You do realize that even the most courageous warrior’s knees will knock and voice will shake when staring down their fears.

For so many people, the fears of MS can be a lifelong struggle. It takes courage to confront them head-on, but if you want to find your place in this world you have to face them. You have to learn to accept yourself, your disability, and your limits, yet push past them to discover your new abilities and greater passions. MS is real but so is your future. You have a future ahead of you but in order to reach it you have to let go of the fears that are holding you back.

I won’t lie, we have a long road ahead of us and it’s not an easy one either, but don’t let fear run over you along the way. Make sure the choices you make today are not being made out of fear. You will discover that you have strength far beyond what you could ever have imagined possible had you never looked MS eyeball to eyeball and said, “I can do this. I refuse to give up trying.”

Be determined and stand strong. You really can do this!

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  

About the Author

Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

16 replies
  1. Kristine Marie Naef
    Kristine Marie Naef says:

    I’ve had to face these fears a lot this last month, slowly, things are getting ~~~ lol ~~~ I almost said “back to normal” and that’s kind of true, its just my “new” normal 😉

  2. Patrice Brady
    Patrice Brady says:

    I love this….. “but I was determined to keep my focus on living for today, not on the fear of tomorrow. You do realize that even the most courageous warrior’s knees will knock and voice will shake when staring down their fears”

  3. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    I gave up on fears when I was quite young. I found they just stop us growing and understanding (not liking sometimes) is a way of getting past them. Fear is a great disabler in anyone and with MS it doesn’t change only seems worse. It is not bad if you are fearful and if you can’t ‘see the forest for the trees’ so then please get support from anywhere you can and you feel comfortable with.

  4. Jo Ann Maxwell
    Jo Ann Maxwell says:

    None of us are free from the unknown. And therefore we have fear. The only way I have been able to overcome my fear and find victory is through my relationship with God. The fears still creep up every once in a while, but I know that God is bigger than my fears.

  5. Leah
    Leah says:

    Who knew cockroaches could fly?! I discovered this fact when I used to live in Thailand. Eeeek!
    Like you, I fear certain MS realities…particularly the side effects I have or bound to have with the medication I take. I hate feeling dizzy, fatigued, nauseous, and the discomfort they give me on most days. God only knows what these meds are doing to my insides! The thought scares the hell out of me!

  6. Juana Driver
    Juana Driver says:

    Thank you for addressing our fears. The “what if” sometimes takes over but staying there only creates more problems. Thank you for reminding us and speaking about all the things and situations we don’t always want to face. Thank you for the grins and giggles I get when I see your name and posts. ⚘⚘

  7. Leslie Beaver
    Leslie Beaver says:

    A very real and reasonable reaction to our shared reality. I thankfully have not often felt fearful. About my MS or anything else. Cocky I guess. Have always felt that I could think and talk myself out of a tight spot. And was almost always proven correct as events unfolded. Hoping that this holds true for my future.

  8. Saima Akram
    Saima Akram says:

    same fears i had and still have them on my bad days but when some fellow died in my circul due to cancer or sudden heart atack or got disabled due to road accident then i say thanks to my god and love my life its still beautiful .my freind’s mum says your desease hears you when you fear of it ,it will finish you and when you said who the h*** you are doing with my body you trying to nock me down myyyy foot. then yoy will win

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