Worry. It’s what I do. We make jokes about it. We call me the “worrier” and the husband the “calm one” and we say that I do all the worrying, he does all the calm coping.
But it goes beyond that. I know it’s hard for people to understand. Anxiety for me, is triggered by health issues, in those I love. So for me, when someone I love gets ill, it’s a spiral into anxiety.
It sounds silly. Of course, having a loved one with health issues is a cause for anxiety and worry. Everyone feels worried and anxious when someone they know and love is ill, or might have health issues.
But for me it’s more than that. It goes a bit deeper. I have seen death, up close and personally, and that experience changed me. For some reason, in my head, I cannot switch off the fear that those around me that I love, will be taken from me.
That is hard to face. It is hard to admit. It is hard to explain. It’s hard to justify, and to manage.
I don’t want to worry. I don’t want to feel the way I do. Therapy has helped but inherently there is that stomach clenching, mind bending, almost irrational fear of loss. No one is immune to loss, I know that but for me it’s a spiral of destructive thoughts and patterns that I know well, that surface and bubble away. I have to fight them, I have to either keep quiet and let them brew away, or I tell people who don’t get what they see, as irrational fear. I can’t explain it. I wish I could.
The last few weeks have not been about me, or my anxiety. I have put it very firmly into a box and kept it there, whilst we looked after the husband. I have had moments, where the worry escaped it’s box and sprang on me. To be fair, being told that your husband is having a heart attack isn’t something you gloss over. To be waiting for test results, to have to leave him in hospital, to not know fully for weeks if he would recover fully or if he would be the 1 in 10 who would be affected by the illness that had attacked his heart.
Now we are getting back to normal. Now I have to deal with the side effects. Now the adrenalin has worn off, and the ups and downs of the past five weeks are slowly easing, I need to face my fear. I am generally very good in a crisis, I cope, and manage. Then after it’s all over, I stumble and fall whilst everyone else goes back to normal.
Will I always worry? I don’t know.
I don’t want to. Maybe one day I won’t.