What would FDR Say?

A surprising number of comments on my blog posts refer to fear.    On falling, one person wrote,  “I forwarded the link to your blog to my close friend who also has MS and is too afraid to speak up about it as she fears she is going to loose more than just her health every day. Fear can be just as paralyzing.”

Huh?  How does speaking out threaten health?  And what does she mean by her fear of losing more than her health?  I do not want to  trivialize or make light of the concerns of any sick soul, but what is the deal?  Is the MS Mafia watching her house?   Speak out, my friend.  Words are therapeutic.  Express yourself and know the freedom that travels with thoughtful comments.

I am a big believer in counter-phobic behavior.  Do what you fear the most.  It will set you free.  I covered wars for the networks when I was legally blind.  Crazy, perhaps.  But the act was liberating.  If you are afraid of acknowledging your own MS, get over it.  You freaking have the disease.  Live with it. Take control.

FDR declared at his first inauguration. ““The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”   Or, ‘”We have nothing to fear but fear itself’”  Depends on who you talk to. Ether version suggests that we should face our fears boldly and with courage, rather than  a wimpy whisper before them. We should not live in fear of our fears. We should master them, and not let them master us.

That is today’s free advice.  We are going out for pizza now, though I am afraid of get cheese stuck in my teeth.



5 Responses to What would FDR Say?

  1. Karen November 22, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    One of the greatest gifts that MS gave me is the understanding that I must confront fear. And confront it now. A diagnosis of MS launches you into a whole new world where your future is uncertain (and, yes, everyone’s future is uncertain, but with MS it’s somehow “more” uncertain). After recovering physically and emotionally from my diagnosis 16 years ago, I went out and bought a kayak. I’d always wanted one and now there was reason to fear that my time to enjoy the sport would be limited. It’s a great lesson in life actually.

  2. Nancy Cincotta November 22, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Fear has become a major problem for me. I do try and embrace what I fear but the outcomes can be so difficult. Ending up in the. Bottom of the shower stall alone. How does one overcome fear?

    • Richard M. Cohen November 22, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      I do not know. I don’t know much of anything. I do know that you have a lifetime of MS ahead. I think you have to gather strength and choose not to be a victim. You can have a good life. Please go for it. Screw MS.


  3. Tricia November 25, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    I wrote that comment about my friend and her being in fear. I did not mention this but you might care to know that she actually works as a patient advocate with major hospitals in the area and speaks up for patients’ rights every day. She is full of courage but finds it much easier to hep others while it helps her stay out of her own head is what she tells me. I can relate in so many ways and understand that your mind and your thoughts are not always your friend. We can learn so much from each other by telling each others’ stories.

    And slightly more political but in response to another one of your blog posts, I am also very upset at the health care system in this country and I am determined to speak up for her and everyone who needs help. Those of us who feel they can speak up should not be afraid. Health care is a human right. We live in the richest country in the world and too many suffer without getting the help they need. We are all in this together and need to care together while politicians need to work together and not against each other.

  4. Tricia November 25, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    …oh and the fear she has is about loosing her job with the hospitals due to her chronic illness and not being able to show up…very ironic, isn’t it. She is a patient advocate and I jokingly call her a “hospital advocate” at times. We laugh about it.