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The “What If” War

There was a time when I let the fear of “what if” keep me from trying new things or from going places that I have never been to before.  What if I couldn’t stay awake? What if I couldn’t stand or walk?  What if I needed assistance?  What if my conditions decided to flare?  What if I wear myself out and have to spend weeks or months in bed following my excursion? 

Preparing for combat

Whether I am planning on leaving the house for a day or a week my mind swirls with hundreds of different “what if” scenarios.  Those “what ifs” used to terrify me.  Thankfully, throughout the past few years I have learned to overcome this fear.  Instead of giving those fears and my chronic illnesses control over my life I began fighting back.  For every “what if” that entered my mind I began looking for ways to fight back.  I think of ways to prevent the fear from coming true.  For example, instead of worrying about how much walking or standing I may or may not be able to withstand, I bring my wheelchair.  When I am able to walk I use it as a walker.  This helps me keep my balance and provides a place to hang my chronic care bag and more.  Another way I combat the “what ifs” is to stock my chronic care bag with items that provide comfort, like heat wraps and extra medication.  Most importantly I ask myself, what is the worst that could happen?  Recently I faced my fears and flew across the country to meet the staff and fellow writers at Health Union.  After sifting through all of the “what ifs”, I came to the conclusion that the worst thing that could happen would be that my body wouldn’t cooperate and I would spend the entire time in my hotel bed.   Once I accepted what could have happened I was ready to face my fear.  I prepared for the worst and packed accordingly.

Entering the battlefield

I had mentally prepared myself to deal with the worst case scenario and planned to embrace and find delight in everything I was capable of doing.  The first two days my body exceeded my expectations.  My final day didn’t start like I had hoped.  No matter how hard I tried, my body refused to get out of bed or allow me to get dressed.  By giving into my body’s demands, I was finally able to get ready and leave a couple hours later.  I missed half the day’s events, but by accepting my body’s needs and giving it the rest it demanded the rest of my day went better than expected.  The way I see it is that this trip would have been successful even if all of my “what ifs” came true.  Are you ready to combat and/or accept the “what ifs” in your life?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.