Tuesday, September 3, 2013

High Anxiety

Life is good for me right now. My kids are thriving, I am keeping busy, my husband is kicking ass at work. We live a very blessed life, and we are thankful for it each and every day. I can't help but think to myself that since things are so good in our life right now that something terrible is going to happen - which has led me to have some anxiety issues these past few months.

I think when you become a mother, anxiety, worry and guilt are just par for the course. You are constantly worried you aren't being the best mother you can be, or that you aren't giving your baby what she needs, or (in my case) you have anxiety about something terrible happening to that child 24/7. Maybe it is because of the world that we live in these days, where horrible things happen where  and when you'd least expect it, that I have had such crazy thoughts go through my mind.

When we are in the car I constantly have these visions of us getting in terrible accidents, or of one of the kids opening the car door and falling out of the moving car. Or even last week I looked up in the sky while driving and saw an airplane and then had this horrible vision of the plane falling out of the sky onto the highway and us having to swerve to avoid wreckage. I know, crazy.

When M was at school (or camp this summer) I would have daily moments of panic thinking about something terrible happening to her at school, or of her somehow going missing from school.

Put me in a crowd and the anxiety gets even worse. Hubs and I took the girls to the aquarium yesterday and it was jam packed. Now, I hate to go anywhere when it is crowded, especially a museum or the aquarium. If we go, we go during members hours, or are usually there when the doors open. But we got a late start and arrived to the museum at 11 AM, on Labor Day...madness. It is so dark in the aquarium that all I kept thinking about was someone taking one of the girls. Sure, I had Val strapped into a stroller, and Hubs had M's hand the whole time, but I still couldn't help checking out every suspect that walked by us. "What is that lone guy doing here without any kids? Did that person just look at M funny? That person looks like a child molester..." There was a split second that Hubs wasn't holding M's hand and I of course was all "hold her hand! What are you doing!!" I know, crazy.

But even without my kids with me I have had some anxiety in crowds. I went to the JT/Jay Z concert last month at Fenway, with about 35,000 other people. As soon as we found our seats, in the middle of a row, in a box in right field, I sat and looked around - and started to feel panic. I never used to be one to feel panic, ever, but I sat there thinking "I am trapped. How the hell would I get out of here alive if something terrible happened? Should I just lay on the ground? Where would I exit? Does that guy look like he has something in his jacket he shouldn't? What if I never see my husband again? What if my kids grow up without a mother...yada yada yada..." After a few deep breaths I was fine, but don't think I didn't scope out my best escape route.

I have talked with close friends (who are also mothers) about this in the past, and was surprised that they too have the same thoughts on a daily basis. I think it also comes with getting older, and getting wiser, and not being so naive about the world we live in.

Don't get me wrong - I don't live in a constant state of panic. I sleep very well at night. It is just that when you become a parent, you abandon the carefree life you had before. You now have these precious lives to take care of and that responsibility is not something to take lightly. If anything was to ever happen to one of my children, or my husband, I don't know...actually I don't even want to think about right now.

Deep breath...deep breath...glass of wine...much better. But I think someone just walked by the front of our house so I better go make sure the front door is locked.

I know, crazy.