There are all kinds of reasons to be fearful of being healthy. As odd as it sounds, there really are. Once we recognize those fears that create barriers, we can move toward health more smoothly. Bridging the transition can be beautiful and yet there can be fear. Check out these legitimate reasons to be fearful of health.

Handsome young man sitting under bridge, using tablet computer,Amazed again at the twists and turns of chronic illness and trauma.

Men, you are right here with us on this journey called being human. You too have suffered through illness and trauma. You usually do not speak up as much as woman but you are never forgotten.

Here are only three examples of how and why a person can be fearful of health after suffering through chronic illness and pain.

Takes away protection from Sexual Abuse – Childhood Trauma

Sexual abuse can create disease and extra weight. Whether it is sexual abuse as a child or as an adult, it is devastating. As we deal, or don’t deal, with the abuse, our bodies can take on disease and/or extra weight to protect us from further abuse. It is usually a subconscious cascade that occurs.

ACE’s are Adverse Childhood Events. Niki Gratrix is my all time favorite teacher and healer when it comes to ACE’s. Her knowledge, wisdom and compassion for the subject kept me on course to work through issues. I have my clients with childhood trauma get educated to create an opening for movement in this area.

Fear factor of sexual abuse – childhood trauma

As we learn why and how our bodies are not functioning properly we discover that we can move through the issues toward health. This can be scary. We have learned (usually subconsciously) to keep on the extra weight and health issues to protect us from being noticed and enduring more abuse.

The fear can arise when we realize we have the ability to become healthy and face the world as our real selves. That means, we feel more vulnerable to abuse and trauma again. This is when it can be useful to have additional support.

Creates a different person that we do not know

Best way I know how to explain this one is to use my own situation.

I have had Lyme Disease since early childhood. I have had to learn from an early age how to create ways to adapt to my health issues. Until I was diagnosed with Lyme from a blood test and symptoms, I had no knowledge of why I felt so strange and different ALL of the time. I grew to accept myself the way I was and get on with life.

In 2013 when my health crashed, again, from a series of traumatic events, I was forced to find answers to save my life. Those answers led me down a path of health. I should have been the happiest person to be able to have lived through such an ordeal. Instead there was some fear.

Fear factor when we discover we are more than we thought

As I have walked through the healing process, my brain has very slowly started coming to life. The damage from a lifetime of Lyme Disease is significant. I have been through several rounds of severe neurological Lyme. I have experienced the beginnings of Alzheimer’s when I could not put sentences together and I got lost driving home from 10 miles away.

Now I have a brain that has worked better than I have ever experienced. It almost did not feel like ME. My brain still had a long way to go but the progress was truly remarkable. My grammar and spelling continued to stink and I could not blame it on Lyme any more!!

This was exciting and fearful at the same time. I had no idea of who I really was. How was I created to be from the beginning? What am I supposed to do with a brain that works better than I know how to use? How do I fit this new health into who I have always been and how I know myself to be?

It can be scary to overcome disease when we have been ill for so long that we have no memory of health. We now have the opportunity to discover who we were truly meant to be and fulfil our purpose in life. Scary and exciting at the same time. Allow for the fear. The excitement will come when you are ready.

Losing the familiar

When one walks through chronic illness, we all get familiar with our daily lives as a chronically ill person. Some may take on the identity of the disease. Many people with Lyme Disease call themselves Lymies. I too have done that although it does not truly define who I am.

Our lives are not only interrupted with disease and pain but our soul seems to take on a different life as well. We are forced into dealing with all of the changes in our lives. Everything is different. How we interact with others, how we spend our money, the unending changes in our bodies, and how we view everything in life.

Fear factor of losing the familiar

It has taken an act of God to get us to accept chronic illness and pain. We finally have adapted and chosen to fight for health at the same time. Then we finally see that we are healing. There is hope. As we get closer to health the factor of fear arises.

We, again, will have to lose the familiar. We will have to adapt again. We will have to find ways of explaining to others what they will never understand unless they have experienced it, again. Sometimes the familiar feels safer than the unfamiliar, even when it means health.

Beautiful Bridge In Botanical Garden

Solutions to the fear of becoming healthy

  • Envision this path as a beautiful journey you are on. Stroll through the journey, this is not a race.
  • Acceptance of wherever you are at the moment.
  • Test the waters as you are comfortable moving through your fear.
  • Patience with yourself.
  • Practice. When you slip back into fear, allow yourself to try again later.
  • Kind self-talk. The kinder your own words are, the better the experience.
  • Ask family and friends to be patient and gentle with you while you make the transition into health.

It’s been said that almost everything new (including good things) involve some sort of loss. That’s not necessarily a bad thing…it’s just a fact.

What are your fears as you move through disease and into health?

Maribeth Baxter, MBEC

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Donations are accepted to serve others on their chronic illness journey. Maribeth Baxter, MBEC provides voluntary certified health coaching services to the financially limited during their time of crisis.


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