Re: Help> Overcoming Fear
Late last year I hurt my right shoulder taking a roll from kote gaeshi (seperated the joint and suffered a torn ligament as a result). It was relatively serious - I couldn't lift my arm, couldn't lift any weight (not quite sure how I managed to get dressed or drive!!)
I stopped work and physical training for two weeks which was probably too short a time. I only breakfalled and rolled on my left side for a couple of more weeks. When I did start on my right side I developed a habit of rolling "square". It wasn't a concious thing, my body just seemed to do it habitually to compensate for and protect my shoulder. I had to then actively try to stop that habit which wasn't easy because it had become so instinctive.
The best thing I can suggest is to avoid rolling or falling on your bad side until there is absolutely no pain. If there is pain, then you are not fully healed and you are setting yourself up for re-injury (especially if your body is somewhat tense due to the fear and apprehension of rolling).
As for the fear factor, it's completely natural. It only takes one bad experience or injury to trigger ongoing fear, because we start to associate a particular exercise or activity with an unpleasant consequence. I am still a little apprehensive when taking ukemi from kote gaeshi after my injury, but mostly I try not to think about the negative. I think it just comes down to being able to control our mind and focus on what we would like to acheive rather than "EEEK! THIS COULD REALLY HURT!!" Take things slow. Allow yourself to fully heal. Fear is a good because it reminds us that we are mortal and keeps us cautious, but try not to be restricted by it. It is an obstacle of the mind, that's all. Have faith in your ability, be determined...and take your time.