Saturday, July 4, 2015

anxious gratitude

I have this overwhelming sense of gratitude for my husband this evening. He’s not home. I’m home alone, in fact. I was supposed to be with him this evening, and his family, and was looking forward to the outing. For the first time ever I was going to watch the Boston fireworks. But then the day came.

Some holidays are still pretty rough for me, even though it’s been almost 3 full years since we lost Mom, and nearly 5 since Dad died. I did think it would be easier now.

This holiday was always a big gathering at the house with almost everyone making the time to get together, so it’s a time when I really do miss the way things used to be. And that meant anxiety. The panic attack started at around 11am and worsened when I found out that the trip to Boston planned for the evening had turned into a major adventure involving several stops. My stomach is lurching with the memory.

I made it through a quick visit to my niece’s house to see her new baby and didn’t come anywhere close to crying until we were in the car headed home. But I couldn’t cry because my daughter was in the back seat and I knew the visit had inspired her own emotions and did not want her to worry about me. But at that point I knew for sure I could not continue on with the Boston adventure.

And Greg knew before I even told him. And he made it easier for me though I know he wished I could share the family fun with him.

Anxiety is not easy, and it’s not getting easier with age. But I recently feel more comfortable with this part of me. I think I owe a lot of that to sharing more with Greg and some of my friends. The relief of being honest is near joy. Just accepting that anxiety is a part of me makes me a little less anxious. The best part is feeling like I don’t have to be ashamed or to try to “toughen up” and do things that I just don’t feel up to doing. It’s not that I want to be left alone to hide away in safety, never challenging myself, but by allowing myself to say no to some I am better equipped to take on those I choose. 

And I could not do this without a husband who loves even my crazy because it is a part of me.

This sign was up in the yard weeks ago, but seems to fit today.

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