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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm NOT John Wayne...

What are you supposed to do when you're afraid?

Obviously fear is a warning of sorts...sometimes one is afraid because of a specific situation where there is danger. The fear I'm thinking about this morning is the more subtle, "behind the scenes" kind of fear that hovers between your conscience and sub-conscience mind. That nagging, worry oriented the "I am ill, very ill and I haven't a clue what's going to happen to me" fear. The "am I going to die" kind of fear.

And that is what I'm getting I sit here and write this, I am afraid. This stuff going on inside me, frightens me more then I can say. It haunts my dreams and messes with my mind. It attacks the faith I just so recently have found.

Fear...can be debilitating. It can paralyze you and send you cowering in a corner. I struggle to find much good in that type of fear. The "RUN, the house is on fire" fear? Yes, I totally get that and see the point...this subtle, faith destroying fear...NADA, is no good as far as I can see.

I am fortunate to have gotten in to the MAYO Clinic as quickly as I did (one week). But this week, quite honestly has seemed like an eternity. That has been the challenge, to keep focused on the positive and keep moving forward.

But those desires are running into resistance from my illness, physically. The lethargy of the body is creeping into my spirit. Only sleep seems comforting to me now, though I know I need rest. I know I need to listen to my body... but this desire for sleep/rest reminds me all to clearly of my constant search for oblivion when I was an active addict/alcoholic.

In the last days of my active drug and alcohol abuse, sleep was just as good as getting plastered. ANYTHING to make the hard reality of my life GO AWAY. The problem then was I could never get any relief..from drugs, booze or nightmare then was constant and it never tired. It was 24 hours/7 days a week of living hell...

That is not what I am feeling this, not at all. But the constant desire to rest, to stop to sleep just reminds me enough of that time that it makes me slightly uncomfortable. Isn't that funny? I'm amazed that I've even made that connection but that is how much I am in tune with my body, mind and spirit today, that I notice even that subtle similarity. That is the active, real result of a spiritual connection...

Those readers of a spiritual nature will certainly see that my situation today is one where perhaps prayer and/or meditation would provide some relief. And I know that. That certainly is why I am so grateful for my spiritual beliefs today, because in God I find the peace and serenity needed to combat those nagging, soul destroying fears...

But the focus of this post was more my attempt at articulating what is happening to me. To explain, describe and those who care about me can better understand my long silences. Or the sadness that may creep over my face like the sun going down in my eyes. That way, my friends know that Thom is hurting and he is afraid, even when he is doing his best John Wayne TOUGH GUY impression and trying NOT to show it.


  1. you're not? that's it, i am no longer following.

    you're the man, man. tough it out, you're a tough mo-fo

  2. Hey Ryan, there is only one DUKE, Brotha!

  3. When you sleep, you are in God's hands, just as when you are awake. What is it that you fear? To sleep, to die? Sorry to be so blunt. Whenever that fear creeps in, close your eyes and say "I am in God's hands." Oh... and breathe. I know it sounds too simple... just try it.

  4. SG-No worries, in my book blunt is good. No it isn't that I fear sleep,on the contrary I am craving it and am so physically tired I just want to try and sleep all the time. And remember sleep for me comes in 30 minute segments now. Thats it, 30 minutes at a time then I have to get up and use the bathroom. I fear that my constant longing for sleep is similar to my constant longing for oblivion, just like I used to crave it when I was using booze/drugs. That was the connection I was making. It reminded me of that and though that may sound like no big deal to a "non-addict" it is something that I need to watch behaviorally. It made me feel a little uncomfortable because it reminded me of craving the oblivion back in the day. That probably makes no sense to you but thats OK, your much better off not having to fret about such things.

  5. T:
    I understood where you were coming from in your post... including the "craving oblivion". Even though I have not been through what you have and am not going through what you are going through, I have somehow managed through the years, to be "in that place", but... not by the same road, nor with the same impediments. I know that will be difficult to comprehend. Again, I was extremely hesitant to post the previous comment, as I am with this one, because I know I am too brief, leave too much unsaid and am very easily misunderstood.

  6. SG-No worries thats what comments are all about. I still learn something from your comments, I really do. Plus you've already touched on things I never thought of. I don't always do the best job saying what I mean when I write here and it's helpful to know what others are hearing. If I sound touchy or arrogant about it please know that isn't my intention at all. I really like the feedback...