Fear is the mind-killer.

Something in me changed yesterday, and for the better.

When I got to the cardiology dept yesterday, they were running 35 minutes late. 15 minutes later that had gone out to 90 minutes, and I was stuck there with nothing to read. So, as I had my wheelchair, I went for a trundle round the hospital and, as it was lunchtime by then, I found I had long, empty corridors to play with, where I could get up to a pretty good speed, unimpeded. Eventually, though, the fun had to stop and I went back to cardio to find there were still two people in front of me. Something, though, had changed and, though I wasn’t aware of it at the time, I’d lost the fear that’s plagued me for the past 18 months.

Everything I’ve done has been with a subtext – will it harm/kill me? – and the fact that hauling shopping in from the car-park almost invariably triggered a bout of angina, and on a couple of occasions caused me to pass out, only reinforced that feeling.

And now it’s gone.

Last time I used my manual chair – about 5 months ago, I had neither the breath nor the strength for it – yesterday I had both, and apart from the fact that, last night, my shoulders hurt, I suffered no ill-effects from my exertions at all.

So today I’d planned to take my new camera to the lake  and take some photographs, only to find out that my Met Office web page, which should be locked on to my local weather station, had somehow defaulted to London, and I hadn’t noticed, so the cloudy but dry day wasn’t for me – it is, as ever, except for the brilliantly sunny day yesterday, pissing down here.

No photography then, but I am going to the pub and, you know what, I still feel pretty damn good, and more positive than I’ve felt in 18 months.

Don’t get me wrong, nothing’s changed – as I said yesterday, I could still die tonight or next year, depending on how the averages pan out – the difference is I’m not afraid any more.

In his epic novel Dune, Frank Herbert had one of his characters say “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

I’ve always thought that was complete bollocks  – turns out he was right after all.


8 thoughts on “Fear is the mind-killer.

  1. I remember hearing someone saying “There’s nothing to fear, but fear itself.” I’m glad that you’re feeling better in yourself now Ron.

    • “There’s nothing to fear, but fear itself.” I always felt that whoever said that had never been afraid. Herbert, verbose sod that he was, had it right, but took psychobabble to say it – Fear is Destructive.

      For now, that knowledge is working for me – I hope it lasts!

      Actually, in Dune, Herbert makes quite a few interesting philosophical points but, dressed up in 60s hippy cobblers, they’re easily missed. If you haven’t read it, Tricia, I highly recommend it (it’s available for Kindle). Just avoid the sequels – they’re dire.

  2. I rarely comment but do read..im so glad for what ever reason it shifted but seeing things from a new perspective can be liberating and while it doesnt make you any less ill..the simple power of ok right this minute im ok and i will enjoy it..is very special

    Enjoy that pint and relief from the fear

  3. Great news Ron, I know it’s easier said than done and it’s so easy to give advice that you don’t take for yourself, on that note I’d say live today as thought it was the last day of your life, none of us know when our time will be up, so we should make the best of it each and every day. It’s pissing it down here too, my daughter’s sports day had to be cancelled – she won’t be very happy about that ;-( Have a good weekend

  4. Until you are ready to see/feel these things for yourself no one can tell you, it’s your path you’re walking and you will walk it in your own way but I am a great believer in the ‘keep your eyes and your mind open’ philosophy as these ‘lightbulb’ moments do happen.

  5. At last Ron….I read and enjoy you every week, but sometimes find your thoughts heavy….as Pennyessex 1 says, no one can tell you…and you have found your own lighter thoughts, guard them, feed them, it’s a freer way to live. Love the ” middle name” remark from a doctor….there is more humour in your postings this Monday…..Enjoy! Same pain different attitude
    So very pleased for you.

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