Thursday, October 11, 2012

Facing my Lupus fears

I have been struggling these last few days with some fears that I have about my Lupus.  It was really brought on when I was at a PTA meeting this week.  I had gone to the meeting to help plan Dawson's fall party.  I was introduced to two other moms by Dawson's teacher and we all sat down together to plan the party.  About ten minutes into the meeting I go to use one of the mom's names and in a panic I realize that I have no idea what it is.  I know that she told me and I even repeated the name back but I have a complete blank.  Thankfully I made a note at the bottom of my paper the names of the two women!  We got everything all planned out and as I am leaving another mom from the class catches me, introduces herself and tells me that she was at a different party planning and that is why she couldn't be at ours.  She tells me that she would still like to help and if there is anything that I need to just let her know. I have her write down all her information for me because once again I begin to panic.  I can't remember her name!  She just told me and I repeated it back!

I am freaking out on the way home because I start thinking of all the times that I can't remember.  Dan will tell me things and I have no recollection of him saying it to me.  I have had people request to be my friend on facebook and I have no idea who they are.  I know that I went to high school with them.  I know that people I do remember are friends with them but I've got nothing.  There are parts of my childhood that my siblings will talk about that I don't remember at all.  Dan will talk about our college years and early marriage and many times I don't remember what he is talking about.  It scares me.

I was sharing all these fears and worries with my friend Jennifer and she said something to me that really stuck out.  She said, "Really Heather, what is it that you are afraid of?  You are scared but what it is exactly you are afraid of?  You need to face these fears head on."  She is right!  When I face these fears head on and actually list them out loud then I can deal with them.  I think that for a long time I have not even addressed these fears because if I said them out loud it would make them true.  So here they are ...

1.  I am afraid that I am going to forget something  with the kids' schedule and they will be disappointed in me.

2.  I am afraid that I am going to forget something and let someone down like my family, my friends and people that the kids are in contact with at school.

3.  I am afraid that I will continue to forget things from my past.  Unless it produced a strong emotion in me I don't remember much from my childhood and teen/college years. 

4.  I am afraid that I won't remember these years when the kids are little.  That I will forget how Dawson went through a stage when he was two where he said Harry Potter in an English accent, or how Aubrey uses words and phrases to no 2 year old usually uses (like "that's amazing" or "that's perfect"), or ALL the crazy things Emma has done since she was born.  I don't want to forget!

5.  I am afraid of what I will be like 10, 20 or 30 years down the road.  If I can't remember where I put my keys now at 32 and spend 5 minutes looking for them only to realized that they were right next to me the whole time what  is my life going to be like when I'm 62?!?

So there they are.  In black and white.  As I look at them and speak them out loud I can already see that some of these fears are unrealistic.  I can let go of number 1 and 2 because even if I didn't have Lupus or wasn't on a chemo medication I am human and have three kids.  It will happen that I forget something.  Those fears I can let go because I know it is just life.

Fears 3 and 4, to me, are valid fears that I can address.    I think that by blogging or keeping a journal I can begin to keep those memories.  If I blog more about my day to day with the kids I can preserve those beautiful, small moments that occur with my children instead of just the big things that happen.  If I  journal my memories that I still have from my childhood I can keep those and have them to pass on to my children and grandchildren.  Memories are a gift and I want to be able to give those memories to my kids and then to their kids. 

Fear number 5, being afraid of what I will be like in the future, is a fear where the resolution seems elusive to me.  I have no control over this fear.  So, in this situation, I do the only thing that I can do.  I turn this fear over to God.  He has multiple promises that I know I can trust in.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" Matt 6:25-27
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Phil 4:6-7

Facing my fears about my memories has been scary and even painful.  I am thankful that I listened to my friend and faced them.  Allowed myself to feel those fears because I have now been able to work through them.  To let go of those that are unrealistic, to form a plan to help me preserve the memories that I do have and to turn over the fears that I can't control.  I am allowing God to give me a peace the transcends all understanding  because I KNOW God holds me in His hand. 

1 comment:

  1. Heather, know you and your family are always in my prayers.

    I'm not facing any major (known) health issues, and I am scared of forgetting those little moments with Ethan. I've set up an email account for him, and send him notes and pictures throughout the day. I like to think its like a little journal in a time capsule.