When you live with such a complicated and unpredictable illness like Meniere’s disease there’s a deep sense of fear that’s always with you.
The fear of having a vertigo attack. The fear of getting hurt, physically and emotionally.
The fear of losing friends and our loved ones who just can’t seem to understand what we’re going through.
We fear for our health, our future, for our careers if we still have them. We fear we won’t find the right doctors or that they won’t be able to help us.
The list goes on and on.
A lot of people write to me and ask me questions like, “Is it safe to go out and do this? Or is it okay if I try to do that thing I’ve wanted to do?
Of course there are no simple answers because Meniere’s disease does limit us in so many different ways. But so does the fear.
The fear keeps us locked in our homes, avoiding opportunities, and enduring regret.
It answers those unknowable questions we ask ourselves like, “Can I do this thing I’ve wanted to do for so long?” with a resounding no.
But it’s not a real answer. It’s just the fear. And it makes our already difficult lives that much more difficult.
Reframing the Fear:
I watched an interview the other day with the comedian Louis CK that really changed the way I think about the fear.
He explained that the thing that helps us face our fear more than anything else, is to learning how to recover from failure. He said, “If you can recover from things not going well, then the worst that happens is, this is going to be a total wreck, but I know how to recover. I know how to be okay after I wasn’t”
And it really resonated with me. It gave me goosebumps. And it made me think about Meniere’s disease differently.
Because it put something I’ve felt for a long time into words: we can learn how to recover. It’s a mindset, but it’s also a skill that we can learn and become better at.
We can learn how to be okay after we’re not. Even if recovery takes long time. Or if you have more bad days than good days. When you know you can recover, everything changes. It’s like seeing your life through a new lens.
And the answers to those unknowable questions start to change too.
It becomes: “I don’t know if I can do this thing that I want to do. But I’ve done other things that I didn’t know if I could do, when I did them, and one way or another I was eventually okay. So I’m not afraid to try. Because I know how to recover if things go wrong.”
I’ll leave you with this:
What is the one thing that you really want to do, but haven’t? And what’s holding you back? Because if it’s just fear, then you can learn how to recover and finally do the thing you’ve wanted to do for so long knowing full well that it will be worth it.
And that even if it ends in disaster, you will be okay again after you’re not.
Learn more about how to recover and facing your fear: