Living in Fear

I have fears, a lot of them, or at least more than I think is a normal amount. You know, if there were such a thing as a normal measure of fears and all.

Some of them are things I have always been afraid of and to some degree they are just part of who I am. I live in fear of vomit, am afraid of small, confining spaces and have this fear of my car plunging into water and being stuck inside with my kids. Which results in all of us basically drowning. I saw a story about that happening on an Oprah show years ago and now whenever I am crossing a bridge, that is my fear. Thanks, Oprah.

I used to live right by a river and this fear was enough that my Mom actually bought me one of those handy tools that you can break glass with and also cut seat belts off with, just in case. It was comforting to me at the time. Now I no longer live by that river so I only feel this fear creep in when I am crossing a long bridge. The only issue is the tool is buried in my glove box somewhere so if I ever was to crash into said river I would probably drown while looking for the tool. It would be a total fail.

But I digress... The more grown-up I get (which is really another way of saying older) the more fears I seem to be developing. There are days when I live more in fear of the fears than not.

I fear something happening to my kids. It seems not a day goes by that there isn't some sad story on the news, in a blog I read, from a friend, etc. about a child dying. If those kids can die, mine can too. That is what that means to me. My kid says his legs ache, I instantly think he must have some form of cancer. I am smart and logical enough to know his legs probably hurt because he played extra hard / rough today or he fell and bruised it somehow. I know this yet I can not stop my brain from thinking the worst.

Because what if. What if something happened to one of them? It is a question I can't bear to answer yet I can't seem to stop thinking about. It is sick and twisted that I even think such horrible thoughts. It's just I  know how lucky I am to have healthy, beautiful kids so it is like I am waiting for the what if to happen.

I fear something happening to one of my parents or sisters. I know as my parents get older my time with them is shorter. I am dreading the phone call that tells me something bad has happened to one of them. Just the other night my older sister called my cell (which is not a regular weekly occurrence) at 9:50pm. Instantly my heart started pounding and my minds first thought was something happened to my Mom. In my mind why else would my sister be calling me? What  I should have thought was why wouldn't she be calling me. We do talk often and sure enough she was calling me to talk about a blog we both read. Nothing bad, nothing urgent. I had that panicked fear feeling for absolutely nothing. God forbid someone calls my house in the middle of the night. I might just have a heart attack.

I have had the fear of something bad happening to my husband since the day I realized I loved him more than most things in this world. I always worry about him and he hates that I constantly check-in with him throughout the day to be sure he's okay. If he mentions he has the slightest ache or pain, I am insisting he goes in to the doctor for a complete work up. It is insane, yes I know. It is also part of who I am.

I also have a newer fear involving my husband. Divorce. No, we are not having marital problems and I have absolutely no reason to believe that we would end up divorced. It's just that it seems like so many people end up that way these days. I mean when 50% of all marriages end in divorce, it is tough not to worry about it. More specifically, I obsess over how to not end up divorced. This just leads me to worry about things in my marriage that are probably not worth thinking about let alone fretting over. I just don't want that to be us one day, the divorced couple. I can't imagine being happy without my husband.

The people who know me, know that I am like this. That I worry a lot and obsess about things I have no control over. This isn't a new thing and I do feel like my fears ebb and flow. Sometimes they are easily quieted in my mind and then other times they are so loud it is like screaming in my head.

It is a work in progress for me. I try not to project this worry and fear onto my kids because I would hate for them to worry like I do. I also know that living in fear of the fear is really not living at all - but merely existing.