Fears. We all have them. Every last one of us.
Lately, thanks to one of my medications that I have to take in order to function like a semi-healthy adult, I’ve been dealing with an unexpected side-effect: Anxiety. I’ve always suffered with varying bouts of anxiety, but it usually stemmed from some pretty normal sources, like meeting new people, or going to large gatherings, or having to talk about something that makes me uncomfortable, or interviewing for a job, etc. However, this new anxiety is different. Now, I worry about everything. Big and small. Day and night. All the time. It just doesn’t stop. I’ve never had so many fears in my life. Ever. I’ve talked to my doctor about my anxiety, but she only prescribed an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication, which I refuse to take, because one of the side-effects is ANXIETY. No thank you, doc.
I don’t really have anyone else in my life to talk about my fears and worries with, which means I keep all of it bottled up inside my mind, where I play, replay, and re-replay scenarios over and over again, like little movies in my mind, imaging all the worst things that could happen. It really sucks.
Today, I feel like sharing some of my fears with you. Maybe some of you have the same types of thoughts and anxieties, and feel like you’re alone in how much, and how often, you worry about things.
In no particular order, here are some of the bigger fears that have been giving me a lot of anxiety, and weighing heavily on my heart and mind lately.
I live in a very rural part of Illinois. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Illinois, we get a lot of tornadoes. Sometimes, upwards of 120 a year. I live in a two-story apartment building, with no real basement, and only one inner room, which is our bathroom. Ever since having my son, whenever we have even a chance of thunderstorms that are supposed to occur overnight, I keep myself awake, sometimes until the sun comes up. I keep my phone in my hand, keeping one eye on our local weather radar for alerts, and the other eye out the window, just in case I see something before I hear about it. Sometimes, I get so worked up, that it makes me physically sick.
The idea of a tornado destroying my apartment, and everything inside of it, makes my chest feel tight. The idea of losing what very little I have in my life, makes it hard to breathe. We have no renter’s insurance. We have no money. And if something were to happen to any of us, or all of us… I can’t even think about it.
2) Losing My Mom
My mom and I had a strained relationship when I was growing up. To make a long story short, I was a handful. I was selfish, and took her for granted, and she loved and supported me regardless. I left home at 18, and moved several thousand miles away. I’ve only been back home once since then, back in 2012. Since my son’s birth, my mom and I have gotten a little closer, and she was able to come and visit me in 2016.
I don’t speak to anyone else in my family. My dad spent a majority of my life in jail, and is currently a homeless drug addict. My grandmother and I… well, that’s a story for another time. My brother and I don’t speak, because he is toxic as hell, and I don’t need that in my life. My two younger sisters were both taken from my father and his girlfriend, and were adopted separately, and likely don’t remember me, or know I exist. My mom is all that I have. I worry that one day, she will just be gone, and I won’t even find out until days, weeks, or months later. I worry that I won’t be able to come up with the money to fly out to her funeral. I worry that my son will ask me about her in the future, and it will kill me to tell him how awful I was as a daughter, and how I failed her.
3) Losing My Husband
Despite how young he is, my husband has a whole slew of medical conditions. Diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc., and he’s only in his early 20’s. His father passed away a few months after we started dating, and had a long history with obesity, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and heart surgeries… he never even got to say goodbye to him. When Kyle was a teenager, his doctor told him that his dad had his first heart attack pretty young, and that if Kyle didn’t change his diet and lifestyle, that he could have one in his 30s, or even his late 20s. He relies completely on medication. He refuses to eat healthy in any way, and won’t even make an effort to eat anything when I cook for him. To this day, we’ve been dating for over five years, and I have never seen him eat a vegetable that wasn’t a potato. I wish I was exaggerating. I have never seen him eat a vegetable. And fruit? I’ve seen him eat maybe three bananas, and a handful of apples. That’s it.
He was diagnosed with diabetes a little over a year ago, and nothing has changed. He takes his medications, and that is it. I nag, and I remind him, and I tell him that the idea of my life without him in it physically hurts me, and he just gets angry with me for bringing it up. Nearly nine months ago, he cut his foot open, and it still hasn’t healed. It hasn’t gotten worse, or badly infected, but it hasn’t healed. He just replaces the bandaid on it every day, but it still bleeds. My father, who is a homeless drug addict with diabetes, recently lost his foot, due to not taking care of himself properly. Over and over again, I remind him that he needs to do better, because his son needs his father, and I need my husband… but he just doesn’t seem to care enough. And it really, really fucking scares me.
4) Sending My Son to School
My son is three years and four months old, and he is nearing the age where I will have to send him to school. I have been a stay-at-home mom since he was born, and he has never once been in the care of anyone that wasn’t me or his father. I know it is pretty normal to worry about handing your child over to someone else, whether they are family, a friend, or a total stranger, but the idea of sending my son to daycare, or to preschool, makes me want to vomit. Every day, I read these stories on the front page of every news site I visit, about kids being abused, and neglected, and even killed, in professional daycare centers and schools, all across the country. Kids of all ages. Babies, toddlers… And the shootings, you guys… my heart fucking hurts. I don’t want to live in a world where I could be putting my son on the school bus one morning, for a normal day of fourth grade, and get a phone call later that same day telling me that he is dead. I would never recover. I wouldn’t be able to live with that. It terrifies me.
That’s it. For now. Those are some of the bigger things that have been weighing heavily on my mind, and on my heart, recently. Does anyone else ever just, I don’t know… want to flip a switch and turn your mind off completely? I know I do.
Thanks for reading, friends.