I am afraid for the man in my pod who is so eaten up with cancer he can’t climb the stairs anymore. I am afraid for the pregnant guard who walks through, no more protected than we are. I am afraid for my family. I am afraid for my friends. I am afraid for myself.
There is a ferocity to fear that makes me want to run from it. For years I ran to the numbness of drugs and alcohol. Sometimes I still try to eat, sleep or exercise it away. Today I am sitting with it.
Giving myself permission to feel scared and unsure means dealing with the root of what is going on. It means accepting the places I am powerless. It means giving myself permission to be human so that I can emerge whole on the other side and hopefully help someone else. More than anything else this experience reminds me how interconnected and interdependent we all are. We need each other. The only way to be there for each other is to be there for ourselves first. We need to feel. We need to share. We need to reach out. This too shall pass.