Situational Hypochondriac

Things are great. I have three beautiful children. A house. A car. A job. My health. Family nearby. And my husband. Wow. You know how when you’re first dating and you see the person and your stomach gets the flutters? Well, imagine still feeling that way 16 years later. Every now and then he’ll turn a certain angle or I’ll see him holding the boy or talking to one of the girls or a song will come on, or best of all he’ll just be staring off at the backyard trees and it’ll hit me: the flutters. Life is good. But.

But. That awful word that people use after they’ve given you a compliment and need to qualify it (“that dress fits you perfectly, but”). I keep wondering when the other shoe is gonna drop. Am I claiming too much earthly happiness? I mean, these girls entertain us like they’re getting paid to do it. I literally laugh until my stomach hurts at them sometimes. I can’t wait to get home most days to just be with them. I have forsaken my friends at times when I could have gone out (“no, I’ll catch y’all next time. There’s a Monopoly game calling me”).

I start imagining horrendous situations: car accidents, fires, bombs, abductions. It is this utter feeling of no control and it is at times too much to bear. The “what ifs”, the “it could happens.” I know that we are doing our best to protect them and neither of us is negligent. But for the better portion of every weekday we entrust our little people to others. Are they definitely going to get my baby out in a fire? Are they going to question the strange man at the school? Will my child be in a car seat or booster every time she’s in someone else’s car? Relying on others to do right is almost as bad as beating myself up for potentially doing wrong. Don’t even get me started on my fear of stairs.

But really, is it unreasonable to just want to be happy, to want it to last, and to not worry about all the potentially destructive things the big bad world holds? I’ve let go and let God hundreds of times, but the feelings creep back. Panic attacks at Metro because what happens if this heavily jacketed man has a bomb in his bag? Heart palpitations in the car because what happens if these other drivers are texting? I am as safe as I can be. It’s everyone else I’m worried about. There are times when I literally have to shake my head to get out of whatever daydream I’m having that has everyone special to me dying. Again, when does this fear lift? Does it ever? Or will I eventually get used to managing it? I can’t imagine feeling any less out of sorts as the kids age and start driving (oh lawd, now I need an upper).

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