Archive for the Week 13: Fears Category

Fear By Jeannette

Posted in The Blogs By Jeannette, Week 13: Fears on October 3, 2011 by Cookie Has A.S.

I had an incredible dream early this morning. It was about fear. My dreams are typically interesting, vivid and in color. On a rare occasion I’ll experience a dream that I know I’ll remember the rest of my life. This was one of those dreams.

This particular dream began in black in white and with a great sense of urgency. I was forced to leave a dear friend. I promised her that I’d return, but she was paralyzed with fear that I’d never come back. After some time I returned as promised. I knocked on her door repeatedly, but there was no answer, only an eerie silence that told me something was very wrong. I broke into her home and walked over to a room with a closed-door. I opened the door and found her slumped over in the corner with her face to the wall. I looked around and was horrified and angry to find the room was infested with fear. The walls were like catacombs and porous. Fear had embedded itself into the walls. Each cavity contained an amoebic shaped being with a haunted face that moaned and wailed. It had become part of the walls it lived in and was feeding off my friend like a parasite. I grabbed my emaciated friend in one arm and wretched each being out of its cell with my other hand. It took all the strength I had to eradicate fear. I carried my friend out of the room, out of the house and into the light. Black and white turned to color and then I awoke.

I believe this dream is very symbolic. So often we let fear hinder our lives. I know all too well as I guarded my heart for years with a wall made of humor and smart ass comments. There are so many fears that can detour our lives if we let it. Fear of being hurt … fear of hurting someone else … fear of death … fear of failure … fear of the unknown … fear of the power that’s within each of us. Instead of letting fear keep us from our goals we should harness it and use it as a too to reach our goals and achieve self-actualization.

Yes, I realize the friend I saved was me. The above image is an illustration I drew to illustrate this dream.


I Fear I Will Forget To “Choose Joy”: In Honor Of Sara Frankl By Cookie

Posted in The Blogs By Cookie, Week 13: Fears on October 3, 2011 by Cookie Has A.S.

September  15, 2011

I learned what my deepest fear of Ankylosing Spondylitis was.

I had signed on to see what was happening with my Spondylitis family.

Jennifer had posted that she was saying good-bye to a friend by the name of Sara Frankl.

sara riley

Sara and Riley.

Sara is a young woman who suffers from Ankylosing Spondylitis and is living the last moments of her life. I was heartbroken that my friend Jennifer was going through this and devastated for the young woman I didn’t know. My heart was also full of concern for Riley who would be losing the center of his universe.

A person in Sara’s life by the name of Shannon had posted a beautiful blog “Looking Homeward.” I had to learn about this person who could inspire such loving words.

I spent the next seven hours reading her blogs, so intrigued, so connected, so grateful. I wanted to learn about this amazing person who had touched and changed so many lives, and who was now changing mine.

I came to know her, maybe better than some ever will. We share a common bond. Ankylosing Spondylitis.

That wonderful human being with such a beautiful spirit spoke to me for hours.

I laughed. I cried. I learned. I understood. I envied. I grew.

I was reminded to “CHOOSE JOY.”

I was changed in a way that I can’t explain, but those who walk in our shoes would understand. I couldn’t help grieving over the fact that I will never be a part of such a magnificent person’s life, but I am so grateful that she is able to be a part of mine.

Earlier in the day I had posted some tags that I had found. I posted them because I thought they were cool, but the more I began to know Sara, the more meaningful they became to me.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Awareness


You better believe it matters, because at this very moment as I write this, I am aware that this beautiful soul is fighting a battle that she is never going to win.

It matters because she is loved.

It matters because she is a person.

It matters because she suffers.

She should matter to each and every one of us, because one day it could be our “Sara” fighting this battle.

I am taken back in time to the day I learned Stuart passed away. A young man who lost his battle with Ankylosing Spondylitis.

It matters to those who love them.

It matters to those who know them.

It’s important to each and every one of us, who blog, who fund raise, who bring awareness to anyone and everyone we can,

BECAUSE IT MATTERS to those with Ankylosing Spondylitis.

After reading her blogs, I realized she is truly a graceful and beautiful Ankylosing Spondylitis Warrior. Her fight is carried with quiet dignity, deep compassion and a wisdom that is far beyond her years. You could see it clearly in every word she typed.

What amazed me the most is her faith, and her determination to “Choose Joy. ” Her words will always be an inspiration for us and those to come, who will fight this battle against Ankylosing Spondylitis beside her, for her and in honor of her.

Every single one of us makes a difference in this battle against Ankylosing Spondylitis. Remember no matter how small you believe it to be, they will all add up one day to make a significant change in the Ankylosing Spondyilitis world.

One of the things I respect and admire most about Sara is her honesty, and her keeping it real attitude. Believe me my friends, that takes real courage! I have spent the last two days reading her blogs and almost every blog someone has written about her.

My favorite quote keeps coming to me…

I have learned the hard way that courage is not always a loud roar, but sometimes a soft whisper in the dark, saying I will try again tomorrow.

I wished I had met her sooner so she could put it on a canvas. ( I guess I will need to start a new tradition.)

I will never be able to read this quote again without thinking about ”Sara”.

Who is an amazingly beautiful spirit whose soul is pure love.

Who is inspiring me to “Choose Joy.”

I will take her courage about honesty to share what I fear most about Ankylosing Spondylitis.

I fear someday a loved one will suffer from this disease.

I fear for those who will suffer as bad as Sara.

I fear they will never find a cure for Ankylosing Spondylitis.

I fear people will forget.

I fear I won’t be just like “Sara”.

I fear “HOPE” will leave my soul.

I fear I will forget to “Choose Joy.”

My deepest fear is I will loose the true ”joy” of  living my life.

HOPE MATTERS the most, because HOPE is what carries us through our life. Anyone’s life, not just those who suffer with Ankylosing Spondylitis. Hope is what keeps us getting up in the morning, day after day.

Hope is what gives a person the ability to “Choose Joy” in her life when most can’t.

Hope is the reason that “Sara” and all of us choose to blog, because we HOPE in some small way to make a difference in someone’s life, hopefully our own.

I hope Sara knows how much she is loved.

I hope her father(both of them) will be there to welcome her home.

I hope they find a cure for Ankylosing Spondylitis.

I hope Sara knows how much we respect and admire her.

I hope her family knows how wonderful she is.

I hope Sara knows how much she touched people’s lives.

I hope we never forget the lesson of love she taught in “Choosing Joy.”

I hope to be just like Sara one day.

I hope Sara finds peace.

I hope Heaven is as beautiful as Sara is.

I hope one day I am blessed with the honor of meeting Sara.

I hope Sara will love her view in heaven, with flowers blooming and birds singing.

In Honor of Sara Frankl

Who taught me to… Choose Joy… Not because of but in spite of.

Joy: The unwavering trust that God knows what He’s doing and has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it….not despite what’s happening in my life but because of it. When everything earthy feels heavy He gives me an internal lightness that can’t be touched. Sara Frankl

Dear Sara,

Thank you for caring.

Thank you for sharing.

Thank you for having the

courage to


Today is September 17, 2011.

Sara Frankl went home on

September 24, 2011

Thank you for having the courage to show us how to “Choose Joy.”

Thank you for having the courage to share your truth, life and joy. May you rest in peace and your words continue to bring comfort and strength to those who read them.


Self Esteem And Fear — Are They Related? By Meloni

Posted in The Blogs By Meloni, Week 12: Self Esteem, Week 13: Fears on September 26, 2011 by Cookie Has A.S.

Self esteem and fear–are they related?

When given a topic of self-esteem nothing “bloggy” comes to mind. I’m not an arrogant person, just that I do not struggle with a “low” self esteem. I can think back to my childhood and all the bullying that I endured, but even that didn’t stop me from reaching for things I wanted. And trust me I was certainly one that was bullied a LOT!
So, having a chronic, life-changing, VERY painful disease doesn’t” bully” me enough either to have a lower self esteem. It just makes me want to “reach” for things that are harder. Not really setting myself up for failure but learning the limitations and/or setting new ones, but still LIVING TO THE FULLEST! The fullest that a life with AS can be.I think that’s where fear comes in. Are you afraid to try? Are you afraid to reach for those things that seem so far away? I think a lower self esteem causes fear! So, for me I do think they can be related to each other.

Now, there are things that make me go hmmm, but I’m not afraid of them. What does my future with AS hold? Will I be all fused and hump back–makes me sit up straight as I’m typing :)!!! Will I be able to throw my grandchildren up in the air and run and play with them (as long as their young-ha). Will my medicine work and do I have to be on it forever? But, I truly think that if you dwell on all the “what-ifs” in life then FEAR will consume you. I think we all-healthy or not-should live today as if it were your last. Cause really there aren’t ANY of us guaranteed LIFE, we are guaranteed ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ, but LIFE? NAH-we are not.

So–put others first–think positive thoughts–don’t let fear and low self esteem stop you from LIVING!

Reach for those Dreams–even if it’s walking to the mailbox today! Or calling a friend and saying I love you!!

CHOOSE JOY!–yes, I truly believe it’s a choice.

Just like when a kid say “I’m bored”–makes me shake my head–that’s because they’re choosing to be!

AS has my body, but NOT me!   I don’t choose AS!!!