I need to let go of the “What ifs”? You know… the “what if’s”?
- What if I die tomorrow and there is no-one to look after Baby Girl and Hubby?
- What if I lose my appetite and never eat again?
- What if I have a panic attack? Another one? Again?
- What if I don’t love my hubby as much as what I think I do?
- What if he doesn’t love me?
- What if I get sick?
- What if I can’t work?
- What if we battle financially all our lives?
And people want to know why I battle with anxiety. Yes, seriously. It is these negative thoughts that haunt my dreams and my mind. Things that I cannot control. Things I shouldn’t even try to control. Dr Phil always says, if you’re going to play the “What If” game, you need to play it through to the end. So, well, here goes:
- What if I die tomorrow and there is no-one to look after Baby Girl and Hubby? Well, while of course they will mourn and life will be hard, they will move on. Life goes on. That is the sad reality of death. And all I can do is pray that a woman will come into Baby Girl’s life that will mentor her and look after her and give her guidance and advice and pray for her when she’s feeling scared and lonely. I can never control my own death, but I can look after my health and pray that someone will fulfil that role for me for Baby Girl – IF this should ever happen. And as for my hubby – well, it kills me to say this, but I would want him to meet someone. I don’t want him growing old alone. But, it would have to be someone who will love him and his past with me and respect that I am his first love. And someone who will adore Baby Girl. See – I’m not even sick and there is no need for me to even worry about this, but already I am making plans. The point is, that even though this fear may happen, in the long run, Baby Girl and Hubby will be just fine.
- What if I lose my appetite and never eat again? This is a long and ongoing fear of mine. From years of abuse regarding my weight, I’ve developed a sensitivity to not eating that has seen my grow in size and become rather, uh, large… What if I don’t feel like eating now? Am I going to die? NO – I’ll probably eat later when I’ve calmed down enough to swallow. Its nothing to fear really, but for me it is such a big fear. But, no-one just stops eating unless they are sick. Even people who lose their appetite under huge strain, eventually do start eating again. Even anorexics start to eat – sadly, though too late, but they do try. People have this innate need to survive. So, really, a what if I should never bother to fear. And if I can make peace with this fear, I can lose some weight and start being healthy again.
- What if I have a panic attack? Another one? Again? Seriously, I have been through this more times I can count and I always, ALWAYS come out fine. A bit shaken, a bit nervy, but fine. And if I get my mind right, I can move on from these panic attacks without allowing it to affect me too much. Once again, nothing to fear, nothing to worry about. I have to learn to take the fear out of these panic attacks, because while I still fear panic attacks, it will always have a hold over me. Not fearing panic attacks, frees one to just go on and enjoy what you’re doing. If there is nothing to fear, then I’d probably wouldn’t have another panic attack. But fearing them makes them all too real. And frightening and that fear that holds so much power over me is what brings on these panic attacks in the first place. For me. For you, it may be different. But for me, I know this to be true.
- What if I don’t love my hubby as much as what I think I do? Well, I can’t control what may happen tomorrow. But, for now, I can control how we manage our relationship. And what I feel for him now. And I know that now I love him with all my heart. And I know that underneath all the fear and anxiety, he is the only one for me. So, why fear something in the future that may or may not happen? Who knows – I pretty much fear anything and everything. My point is I only have now to worry about – how I manage my relationship NOW. How I react and love my husband NOW. What type of family life I create NOW. All of this will dictate and pave the path for the future, but I can’t control that outcome – I can only control now. And now? I love him with my whole heart and if I nurture that and maintain that, then this fear will never be realised.
- What if he doesn’t love me? I know how important I am to him. I see all the little things he does for me. How he puts up with my anxiety. How he has stuck with me through all the financial heartache we have experienced, through the lack of support and a baby who cried solidly for the first year of her life.
- What if I get sick? Well, what if I do? We’re on a good medical aid, with some amazing doctors, so what if I do get sick. Or, what if, just for a change, I focus on the fact that I am healthy now. And perhaps I should focus on losing weight and getting fit because then if I do get sick, my body is fighting fit.
- What if I can’t work? Well, hubby and I have already been through so many financial issues that this is almost a no-brainer. Yes, we need both salaries to survive, but we have made it through some really tight financial messes already, I have no doubt that we will find a way to make this work.
- What if we battle financially all our lives? Well, we’ve been battling the last seven years and we’ve been doing okay. In fact, we’re going to send our one and only to a private Christian school, because we both feel that it is just the right school for her.
So, all I have proven is that there is nothing to fear in any of my fears. At all. The trick now is to learn to live all this out. So, that in truth, my life is not governed by fear, but rather by the freedom to enjoy life.
The Anxious Mama