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Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid. December 13, 2011

Topic #334: Where do you go to be brave? Is it your home? The gym? Your journal? Where is the place you are bravest? When are the times you are the most brave?

“Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.”

 Franklin P. Jones quotes (American Businessman, 1887-1929)

I think there are two kinds of bravery, the type reserved for heroes, who risk their lives for others and then the type for normal, everyday people, who are scared about life, the risks and challenges they face. They’re small compared with going into a burning building or fighting in a war; but that’s the thing about bravery, and fear for that matter, it’s all relative.

The bravest place I’ve had to be was lying in bed. It doesn’t sound scary at all; but when your own body is attacking itself, is noticeably getting weaker and weaker every day and you can feel the pain of it falling apart; but there’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop it or even slow it down. That is terrifying! You feel like your slowly dying and nobody, not doctors, nor other professionals can give you any advice, all they can say is rest. It’s so unhelpful, not when you need concrete suggestions of things you can do, or even better tablets or something that you can take, some sort of treatment, anything other than waiting and hoping.

One of the hard parts is that there is no end in sight. The uncertainty of waiting and wondering, hoping and praying, over years is emotionally exhausting. You never know how you will be from one month to the next, whether you may get better or worse and you don’t really know what triggers either. It takes a lot of bravery to wake up every day and just keep living. There are millions of brave people fighting illnesses around the world. My personal battle with ME/chronic fatigue syndrome has been long and hard. I’ve found ways to be brave, learnt tricks to help me cope and I know that everyone does. For me people that cope will illness, silently and alone, they are truly brave.

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