I agonized over this prompt because some of the bravest people I know have fears. I also have seen fear rear its ugly head in anger causing pain and self destruction. Fear of differences, loss and our own mortality can make people act out or hide from the world. Just look at politics and you will find the bottom line of many choices are made out of fear. Being fearless can be looked at in two ways according to my dictionary, literally living without fear or calmly resolute in facing fear. I don't believe humans can live without fear so I'll write about what I have learned about fear on my own journey.
When I was a single, working mom I was given the "put your affairs in order" speech. As a parent how can leaving a 7 and 5 year old behind not scare the hell out of you? I was the stable parent and had a job that sustained us, I could not leave them! I went into survivor mode and had no time for self pity or anger. I became a stay at home mom that focused on preparing the girls to be independent. Growing up with the fear of me leaving them affected who they are today. Each person has a choice in how they handle fear and I can't expect my girl's to deal with fear in the same ways I do. Once they were out of the house I had time to face my fears of the disease.
I'm certainly not afraid to die but I'm terrified of suffocation, which is how this disease ends. Morphine will apparently help with that, but instead of dwelling on it I asked a dying ALS patient. He had his wife call me one week before his death just to tell me that dying of suffocation was not as bad as we had imagined in our support group. What a gift this man gave me in such precious moments. I think facing my greatest fear head on empowered me to face the smaller fears.
My latest fear in my "happily ever after life" is that my husband will stop thinking of me as a woman when I get to the intimate needs of living with ALS. I'm doing good on my own right now but I'm researching in-home care and respite care before I need it. You can give your spouse a vacation by checking into a hospice for a short stay and he can be worry free. I will only chose a ventilator if my loved ones are not overwhelmed and we can afford it. This was a fear that needed to be discussed at length in our marriage for me to move on.
Fear can be toxic to my well being and those I love so I must keep it in check with positive action. Brave? No, I'm just happy that I'm still alive and enjoy living.