Phyllis Griffiths

[ Phyllis's Bio | Table of Contents ]


What is one to do when faced with a wall of unrelenting fear? I have yet to figure this out... how to deal with the fear.. all the fears.. that arise out of a single source.. CFIDS/ME.

There are many different aspects to and levels of fear. It can be an uneasy feeling that something is not right. It can be the terror of facing an uncertain and hopeless future and a fate worse than death. It can be a blind panic springing from no single identifiable source. Fear is a demon that is the worst that the DD can throw at a person.

I cope with my fear badly. I cope by doing all that I can to make sure that the things I fear do not come to pass... and hence spend most of my available energy just scrounging about to make sure the bills are paid and that there is food in the cupboard. When I cannot do anything about the aspects which bring about my fear, I try to avoid thinking about them. But it is hard to not think about such things as getting sicker while every day presents another variation in the symptoms of the disease.

How does one cope with unrelenting fear? Humor distracts my focus away from the fear sometimes. At other times, nothing is humorous. Nothing distracting. The fear is just there, like a thick, smothering layer of smog that blocks out the healing rays of the sun.

I pray.. and some times I can pray away the fear for a while. There are days when the fear overwhelms even the prayers and disrupts the meditations.

How does one overcome the demon of fear? I dig out my pencils and drawing paper... and pour the emotions out onto the page. For a while they are gone. But then the fear creeps back.. or something will happen to throw it back up in my face.

To hold in the fear poisons the soul... it has to be let out. But few are willing to hear another's fears. My family doesn't want to hear of my fear. It causes them discomfort... so they refuse to listen. Not wanting to listen, they will avoid me if I insist on talking about my fear. So I say nothing of it to them. Fear is seen as weakness... a weakness of the worst kind, next to cowardice.

Getting worse with this DD is not what I'd call my worst fear... but it is right up there as it is the lead up factor to my worst fear... being helpless and abandoned... homeless and alone, unable to take care of myself and having no one who cares enough to take care of me. It is hard enough to get the help I need out of my family on days when I am too sick to even think of what I need, let alone ask for it. The house is empty but for me and my cats... and try as they might they can't pick me up off the floor or stairs should my legs collapse out from under me. As is, I have to work darn hard just to stand still... to scrounge out the bargins at the thrift shops and grocery stores.. I have to have my brains at least half working to make ends meet. When I can't do it, no one else does it.

I live in fear most of the time. fear of getting worse. fear of being unable to do my job to manage our megear finances and the hunger and stress and possible homelessness that may be the outcome of it all. I fear losing everything that I have left of my life, my hopes and dreams. I fear that the cutbacks in government programs funding at both the federal and provincial levels will see my disability benfits cut back or withdrawn. Fear, there is always something there to fear.

In the past few months I have seen my health deteriorate once again. I have been here before... I know how bad it will get if the slide continues. I would lie to say that I am not afraid. Knowing that there is nothing that the doctors can do to help me is not a point of comfort, but a stark point of reality that strips away any illusion of possible hope. Since each slide down the slopes of illness that I have faced in the past has taken me deeper and further into the belly of helplessness and invalidism... how far I will go this time is a point of great fear. I know how bad I was at my worst... when it was the worst. What will be my new low point? I don't want to find this out. I dread this prospect.

So much for the ramblings of one who is feeling very weak this day.

© Phyllis Griffiths, 1997

[ Phyllis's Bio | Table of Contents | Action Page: how can I help? ]

Send comments or submissions to

©1996 - 1999
Web page design by
WWCoCo New Media