This morning I was messaging with a friend of mine who mentioned she just started taking some medication because of her anxiety. I get it. I have it, too. Sadly, it’s a conversation I feel like I have with so many friends. Is it the world we live in? Is it something in the water?! Anxiety… depression… it’s just everywhere. I happen to speak freely about it because I believe there’s comfort in knowing you’re not alone. I’ll blog a lot more about my struggles with it.
But, something she said today really stuck with me. One of the biggest causes of her anxiety is worrying constantly about something terrible happening to her daughter. I. So. Get. That. Sometimes I wonder if my fears are ‘normal’. I mean, I can literally picture things happening. I’ll give you some examples.
Our master bedroom is on the main level of our home. My kid’s rooms are upstairs. EVERY single night since we moved in, I worry about a fire. I imagine myself racing up the steps and running through the fire to save them. I have a totally huge fear of our staircase. It’s beautiful and slightly curves as it makes its way up to our second floor. I have visions of my son (because boys come up with insane ideas… I have flashbacks of my brother nearly killing himself on many occasions!) trying to swing from the railing and ending up seriously hurt or worse. THESE. ARE. MY. REAL. FEARS.
Then, I watch the news (and swear I’ll never watch again) and I see stories like the recent incredible escape and recovery of Jayme Closs. An insane man saw her and decided she needed to be his so he went to her house, killed her parents and abducted her! Thank GOD she was able to escape and he’s now behind bars. But, I think about that scenario. She had no idea this psychopath was stalking her! Then, I think of my own children and kidnapping has always been an enormous fear of mine. Stories like this don’t do anything to help my mom fears.
Every single time my kids get into a car with anyone, fear rolls in. I say a silent prayer of ‘thanks’ every afternoon when I pick my kids up at school. Hearing about school shootings incites total panic. I imagine them driving… how in the world will I ever relax knowing they’re behind the wheel?! College… adult life… they won’t always be my babies. They won’t always be in my bubble.
But, here’s what I have learned as I have journeyed my way through anxiety for most of my life. Fear solves nothing. It does literally NOTHING. It creates a mental tornado! But, as I’ve seen… it’s a gift to be given life in the first place. And, when it’s our time… it’s our time. There is NOTHING we can do about it. The unknown = fear, but we can’t let it prevent us from LIVING every single day.
Yes, I have to talk myself down… a lot. More often than I should probably admit! I can get seriously worked up in a matter of seconds. So, I’m constantly reminding myself that, again, fear solves nothing.
Work in progress over here.