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The Positive and Negative Impact of Fear and Anxiety

"Everything that you've ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear."

- George Addair

Fear and Anxiety. Fear is a normal reaction that signals us that there is a potential threat to our safety. Our brain is doing its job; it is wired to keep us safe. Fear was a natural response for our ancestors to survive — to be aware of a predator creeping nearby.

Consciously, we might know that we really have no real control over everything. But as parents, guardians, and caregivers of our special needs love ones, there are usually some fear and anxiety of our love one's future. Who will take care of them when we are gone? Will someone hurt them? And the list goes on.

For the most part, I focus on the positive, live in gratitude and joy, walk by faith, learn and grow, and take it step by step accomplishing all the goals and dreams for my family and me. However, there was an underlying quiet fear and anxiety. Questions like "what if something goes wrong and I am not there to help my non-verbal son?", "what if he becomes scared and runs away or becomes aggressive?", and "what if he gets thrown in jail or hurt in some way?" I have been told of these scenarios over the years by attorneys, other parents, and news media. And since my son and I are together almost 24/7, these fears were not in the forefront of my mind.

A couple of weeks ago, we had to walk through the fear.

My son's seizures were not stopping, I had to call for emergency transport to the hospital (at this very moment, my son, Sean is fine). The doctors were able to stop the seizures. Though it was not an easy situation, we all worked well together. There were moments that I was not by Sean's immediate side, but all we had to do was to trust each other. There were moments of Sean trying to escape the hospital, but it all worked out, and many new lessons learned by everyone involved. It was all good.

As I reflect back, I believe I was ready to walk through that "fear". If it happened a few years ago, I probably would have "white-knuckled", remained calm, and have an emotional meltdown in the bathroom.

This all happened days before me leaving on a sisters' Hawaii trip. My family and I were apprehensive about me leaving for a 5 day trip, as caring for Sean could be a bit overwhelming. The oddest thing - after walking through this "fearful" event, I was able to travel with total peace!

And the takeaway? Joy and peace sits on the other side of fear. Lose the fear and gather all the courage to deal with it, things are going to be smooth-sailing before you know it!

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