(Written from the back of the motorcycle) Fear…. the knot that sits in the pit of my stomach, churning this morning’s coffee and bagel into a well of anxiety. Fear has controlled my life since I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis 14 1/2 years ago. Fear of not finding a bathroom soon enough, fear of not finding someone who will love me despite the illness, fear of the next hospitalization, the next scope and the next episode of debilitating pain (because there always was a next time). Surgery brought new fears- fear of a leak, fear of what to do if I’m in a public place and have that leak, fear if my new husband would still love me and now recently fear of a new diagnosis (crohn’s) and the unknown of several strong immunosuppressants. Fear has been my one constant companion in my 14 year journey. It slowly seeped into my core and became my comfort, soothing me in the dark times. I became my illness and my illness became me.
That’s all changing though and it started with the crazy idea of traveling on a motorcycle across the country. Let’s face it- for someone whose biggest fear has always been if there will be a bathroom nearby, it’s a completely ridiculous idea. This entire trip is a journey of the unknown.. the weather, my health, the closest bathroom and even more important my relationship with my husband. Even today, as I write this hurling down I-75, fear silently whispers her doubt to me. But I am stronger than my illness, my surgeries and my fear because on the other side of fear lives everything I have ever wanted. So when we go kickstand up in 13 days, though fear will be tagging along for the ride, faith in the road, the machine and my husband will be its companion.