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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 Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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