A wise therapist once taught me the art of turning your fear to hope. It was during a time when my life pivoted abruptly toward catastrophe and loss. A time where the only clarity was the glaring uncertainty in front of me. I was a married mother of two young children, drifting comfortably along with casual grace, when my husband was diagnosed with leukemia.

Treating leukemia is perhaps always complex, and often fraught with great uncertainty. In the case of my husband, it required him to have a bone marrow transplant and to temporarily annihilate his immune system.

Life after a bone marrow transplant looks a lot like life during the coronavirus. There is the need for quarantine – in his case, for a minimum of 100 days. There is the terror of a deadly invisible germ being everywhere and anywhere. There is feeling of a total loss of control and a desperation to return to “normal” that is palpable. There is sitting with discomfort and learning to tolerate the uncertainty of the future.

And so I practiced turning my fear to hope. Shifting my thinking. Sometimes it was while running. Sometimes it was with tears streaming. And sometimes it seemed impossible. But this hope, which I sought out each day through his healing, allowed me to find silver linings and beauty amid a storm that felt at once insurmountable.

Try it. Shift your thinking. Look for the trees that are budding and listen to the birds chirping louder than ever. There is hope.

Jesse Sokol

Portland

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