The F.E.A.R. of Losing Your Sight
This F.E.A.R. acronym certainly applies to macular degeneration (MD), among many other things.
What is F.E.A.R.?
F - False
E - Evidence
A - Appearing
R - Real
Six ways to eliminate fear:
- Obsess about going blind or your dry MD turning wet. Neither is likely to happen soon (or ever).
- Get caught up in the drama of others and their doomsday scenarios. Listen to the experts instead.
- Respond or react to promises or promotions that have not been proven.
- Spend an exorbitant amount of time researching and reading about your condition.
- Check your amsler grid 10 times a day. This only makes you more anxious.
- Start your day by reinforcing your fear with negativity, such as the news or other social media that may disturb your peace.
Six things you can do instead:
- Keep a healthy balance on staying up to date without going overboard.
- Surround yourself with positive, upbeat people who are optimistic about your condition.
- Check the credentials of anyone claiming a miracle cure and do thorough, reliable research.
- Find other productive ways to stay active, healthy, and upbeat. There’s more to life than MD.
- Establish one time a day to check Amsler Grid, and then LET IT GO!
- Create a Daily Practice to cultivate calm, such as Yoga, meditation, prayer, and/or reading meaningful spiritual material. Creating and maintaining inner peace will take you far!
Why I'm sharing this...
Recently I fell into the dreaded F.E.A.R trap when I succumbed to all six DO NOT points above - the outcome was not pretty!
It has been nine years since my diagnosis and I regularly see a retina specialist (RS) every six months. In spite of the fact that my dry MD has held steady the last two years, that didn’t stop me from imagining the worst. Even though it had only been 4 weeks since I had received a stable report from my RS, I convinced myself that my better eye was much worse and returned for another exam, FEARing my dry MD had gone wet.
It had not. There were no changes, even after running several tests.
Not my vision, but my anxiety
This is what F.E.A.R. did to me, or rather, what I did to myself! It felt so real but there were no changes. My RS was very understanding, but I felt bad that it was a false alarm and that I inconvenienced him and my spouse, both who were appreciably kind.
After the fact, my personal impression was that I needed to treat my anxiety, not my AMD! I allowed F.E.A.R to dominate - I know better!
Reversing F.E.A.R. to R.A.E.F.
We CAN reverse fear. We MUST reverse fear if we are to live any semblance of a happy life. The answer is in reversing the letters in fear:
R - Real.
A - Awareness.
E - Extinguishes
F - Fear
Ask yourself what is Real - Exactly what are the facts? Specifically what has changed? Our personal, inner Awareness should be based on concrete evidence, not the false evidence we convinced ourselves might be occurring. When we make a brutally honest assessment, it extinguishes all our F.E.A.R., not only when we become anxious about MD but in every aspect of life.
MD may be our personal portal to learn important life lessons. . . The choice is ours to make!
As strange as it sounds, our condition provides opportunities to learn valuable life skills that benefit other critical life experiences that we may not have learned otherwise. Me? I’m working on managing anxiety right now. What will it be for you?
We have this condition... let us use it for good!
How does your mental health relate to your physical health?