Fear & Its Grip
I watched a film over the weekend, called Counter Earth with Will Smith, this coincided with the fact that in the next couple of days I had to face something which to me presented a real fear, which I will cover later in this article.
Let me tell you a little about the film that resonated to me please
There are always things in life, snippets of conversations, quotes, pictures, music and indeed films which can suddenly stick in one’s mind for one reason or another. Sometimes these images or memories if drawn back in to the forefront of one’s mind can help one focus on certain things that might pose a challenge.
There was a clip, which you will see below. I don’t want to give the whole film away in case you haven’t seen it. But the essence of this clip is that Will Smith doesn’t yet believe in his son’s abilities, won’t let him strike out and put himself in a situation that could possibly pose danger, but if encountered will save them both. His son on the other hand has constantly fought with being pulled back to safety, not stepping out to fight the demons, he is desperate for his father’s belief in him, that he can do this.
I transferred Will Smith as my pain, constantly caging me and drawing me back into the inability to do anything and my demons telling me that I simply cannot move forwards. His son is me fighting back, going to take the leap of faith in to trying something that makes me incredibly fearful, but I will prove if only to myself that I can do it.
What is my fear, my pain?
My undiagnosed condition is set off by physical movement. I can have pain in various areas, varying sensations and lasting for differing amounts of times, but through time management and certain activities I can manipulate this a little to calm it down.
However, there is one sensation I have no real control over, it controls me, as it forces me to have less and less of an ability to do ‘normal’ activities. This physical sensation is like a tourniquet moving up my chest, twisting and turning, getting tighter and tighter, eventually it causes a spasm just below my right breast and then whatever it is that is getting tight actually appears as a lump sticking out of my skin.
By this time, I am on the floor, unable to speak, experiencing a kind of white pain that makes you just want to pass out. If I relax (which is jolly hard when in such pain), don’t talk and don’t move, eventually this lump will go back down, the area remains sore. For about three weeks after this it will remain very active, the nerves causing the muscles to twitch around that area, threatening for the tourniquet to start again. Of course I don’t want it to, so I stay still, don’t move, day by day doing a little more trying to get back to normality but with a constant cloud of fear hanging over my head.
As such I have stopped all forms of exercise but this in itself as many other sufferers will know has consequences in itself.
Yesterday however, I attended a new type of exercise (which I will cover in another post) and put two fingers up to my fear.
But it didn’t start out like that
The point is, I woke up with a stomach ache, upset stomach, shivery, this was all due to fear.
I had no idea that this would grip me so intensely. I didn’t duck out, I went. The therapist could see my fear and would have been willing to not continue with the appointment.
But I was at that stage where I just had to throw myself over the precipice and get on with it because I couldn’t bear the anticipation anymore. So I did. Yes during the session I found my body feeling almost like rigamortis, chest tight, hands gripping on to handles and at times I stopped breathing, it was a constant fight, it was exhausting, but I did it, hopefully next time I will do it better, but there is progress, I am facing my demons..
During the session, I thought of another thing about the film. That was the fact that Will Smith could ghost. What does this mean? It means that he had the ability to switch off fear, to stop his body reacting in a way that was traceable by an alien. If he didn’t experience fear, the alien in the film would not see him, he would literally become invisible to him.
Now I know we can’t just never again ‘not’ experience fear, but it was interesting because he said “fear is a reaction to something that might never happen”, you are in the here and now, but fear a consequence.
What if that consequence never happens? We put our bodies through so much as I discovered the other morning, for something that might not happen; it’s just my mind fearing that it might happen.
I know history can make us fear more, because hey it happened last time, and pain sufferers generally tend to know our bodies pretty well, we have to. But as I lay there, I let go at times, not all the time, pushed out of my mind the fear of the tourniquet and focused on what I was doing right now and what it might achieve for me and that being getting fitter and as such helping my body to hold itself better and possibly help to eradicate this undiagnosed condition.
Heck I want to learn to ghost!!!
Here’s a clip on it when the son finally realizes he can ghost, starting with him concentrating on removing all those bodily reactions that fear causes and as such becoming invisible:
And yes I love sci fi 🙂