How An Unexpected Event Taught Me About Fear

I woke up to a loud ‘Thud’ on an early Tuesday morning.
It was not yet 7 am. I ran (literally) out of my bedroom to check.
My only thought was, ‘Is Mohit alright?’

 

I heaved a sigh of relief when I saw it was only the house maid pushing open the living room windows. The windows were slightly jammed, hence the sound.

 

You see, about 6 months ago, Mohit had fallen while climbing down the wooden stairs of our home.
We still haven’t figured how he lost balance. Was he dizzy? Did he slip? Was it a mini seizure?
All we heard was the loud thud.

 

Luckily he didn’t suffer any major damages besides a stiff shoulder for a week or so.

 

As I reflected, I realized how much fear I carried within my heart.
Fear about Mohit and his health.

 

That week as I spoke to each of my families, asked them this question.

 

Screen Shot 2021-03-12 at 5.50.42 pm

 

Not surprisingly, the majority of people came up with- ‘After me, what?’
This was closely followed by health and relationships.

 

I reflected deeply on this and created a list for myself.

 

1. Acknowledge it

 

It’s alright to be fearful. It’s not a sign of weakness.
Fear is not a negative emotion.
Its purpose is to warn and protect and not to scare and prevent.

 

 

If we acknowledge what we’re experiencing, that’s half the battle won.

 

Fear is one of the seven universal emotions experienced by everyone around the world. Fear arises with the threat of harm, either physical,emotional, or psychological, real or imagined. While traditionally considered a “negative” emotion, fear actually serves an important role in keeping us safe as it mobilizes us to cope with potential danger.

 

https://www.paulekman.com/resources/micro-expressions/

 

2. Understand it

 

Fear is not the enemy, work with it.

 

My fear was pointing me in a direction of caution.

 

I realized I had to work on Mohit’s health issues. I needed to get that blood work- something I had been pushing away. Needed to talk to his neurologist and his dentist.

 

The fear also pointed me in a direction of self care.
What lay beneath the fear?
Just like every one else who answered- ‘After me, what?’
I had to deal with it.

 

When Mohit was younger (and so was I), I chose not to think about it.
But it was time to address it and think deeply about situations in my life.
Besides taking care of Mohit, I needed to take care of my health and my family’s health too.

 

3. Take necessary action

 

What needed to be done to ensure that Mohit becomes as independent as possible?

 

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Was there any point in worrying. It would be better to take action…

These thoughts ran through my mind:

 

a)Working on the core deficits through the RDI program was most important. This would give Mohit the ability to think and problem solve independently.

 

b) A good exercise regime

 

c) Make sure finances are on track

 

d) Have clear communication with Tanya (my daughter) to ensure she is very clear about our decisions for Mohit’s care.

 

e) Schedule ‘work time’ or ‘lab time’ with Mohit on a daily basis to give himthe tools to be as independent as possible.

 

f) Give him the necessary communication tools.

 

 

While Mohit communicates using small sentences, I’ve been working on typing and using a communication board. Need to be persistent with it. Presuming Competence is a principle I live by.
For inspiration, I look to the Autism Doorway to Consciousness FB group.

 

g) Mohit is an artist. Need to ensure that he gets into the habit of making this an independent work skill.

 

I knew if I worked consistently on all of this, it would help Mohit in the long run.

 

So I decided to implement all of this instead of getting worried about it.

 

4. Let it go

 

Once action is taken, I’m going to encourage myself to make it a part of my daily life.

Then it will be time to let it go.

 

wise

 

As I reflected on all of this, I realized (once again) how Mohit was my biggest teacher of life.

He made me reflect on my own life, yet again.

 

Acknowledge it
Understand it
Work on it- do your best
Let it go

 

Surely, this is a winning formula for life?

 

I would love to hear your thoughts too.
Feel free to drop me an email at saiconnections@gmail.com

 

 

Kamini Lakhani

Kamini Lakhani is the founder and director of SAI Connections. She has been providing services in the field of autism for more than 25 years and is the authorized director of Professional Training for RDI in India and the Middle East. She is also the mother of a young adult with autism.

7 COMMENTS

  • Kumari B NAVEENA says:

    Very nice thoughts put through its divine who always brings in front of me uour article or mail whenever I feel like giving up and I am again on the run

    One different thing I have to think is IShankar is the only son and I have yo find different options for the question what after me

    Thanks for this mail divine will surely show a way but we have to be persistent in our work

    Thank you madam

  • Kanni Ravi says:

    Its so true Ma’am. The Coregulation aspect of RDI which you taught us in communication session actually helped me in encouraging both of us to go to hospital to remove my plaster both in hand and leg. I actually wanted him to coparticipate and connect to me emotionally while I was going through fear (when plaster was cut using an electric cutter) but Pradyunn was there to tell me like its ok. And also he held me when I could not balance myself after I was out of the plaster.. So many things happened that day in hospital. Yes he was monitored by his elder brother though not directly. Paying the bills etc.. I can’t thank you enough Ma’am. Thanks a million

  • This is so wonderful to hear Kanni.
    Co regulation is the key to many treasures.
    Totally inspired by Pradyunn’s progress.
    I hope you’re absolutely fine too.
    Best Wishes.

  • Sunita Ann Mammen says:

    Dear Kamini,

    I relate to every word in you article. It has been and still is the biggest fear, that keeps me awake in the middle of the night.

    I really appreciate your empathising heart, to help us all row through against the tides.

    Much Regards,
    Sunita

  • […] my last article I spoke about substituting worry with […]

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