But Fear Itself

FDR (Franklin D. Roosevelt Thirty-Second President 1933-1945) said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". Over the years it has been changed to "Nothing to fear but fear itself" But fear itself... That's enough! Trust me. As most of you (the four of you who are regular readers lol) know, I suffer from Chronic Generalized Anxiety Disorder and it's very hard for me to make it through the day sometimes. I will be the first person to admit that it is a dang sight better than a couple years ago though. Read here for more info on GAD I won't bore you with details on what you can read off the link or off other sites dealing with GAD. I just want to touch on what goes through my mind on a typical day. This morning for instance, I got up at around 3:30 to pee and got back in bed. What's in quotation marks is the actual "worry". "What if the alarm doesn't go off and David oversleeps and is late for work?" I know it's been set and is reliable. "What if the battery has gone down overnight." Doubtful but even then we're used to waking up around that time. "What if it's broken from being knocked off the other night and we don't wake up" The chances of that are slim to none as the clock has worked fine since then... "Did I set the coffee pot up?" I had "What if I forgot to push the delay button and it doesn't start" Well duh one of us can just turn it on "What if it's broken and he doesn't have coffee and can't wake up he might fall asleep and have a wreck" we just bought it and he can stop and get coffee if he has to. Alarm goes off and David gets up coffee pot starts and makes coffee with no problem. I didn't wash any of his favorite type of shirt for work I didn't think he needed any shirts and was going to wash them today. "What if he's mad and it builds and he leaves because I am so inept" He's not mad, he has other shirts. I will wash the rest of the clothes today. "what if the washer breaks down" The washer runs fine, if it does break down I can hand wash. I needed to get up and take trash out as today the trash comes. "I can't go outside something is going to happen" Nothing will happen. "I know something horrible will happen the minute I step outside" What is going to happen? "I don't know but it is bad. A plane could crash... a rabid dog could be running loose... a car could loss control and run off the street." I know None of those things are going to happen. "I could get locked out" I'll take my keys. "What if the lock doesn't work. Those are old door knobs you know they don't work right" David can let me back in "What if he doesn't hear me I'll be locked outside and something bad will happen" David would hear me. I get up and take the trash out and all is fine. "I can't go back to bed I'll fall asleep" huh? "If I fall asleep Sean will wake up and wont wake me up and will hurt himself or go outside someone will see him out without me and call social services and they will take him away because I wasn't watching him" I stay up. "Bills are coming due what are we going to do" Pay them "What if they are higher than figured and Christmas is coming how are we going to do all this" We will just like we always do it'll be ok. "Has David made it to work yet? Check for accidents" I'm sure he's fine he hasn't been gone 30 mins yet" He could have had car trouble and someone could have crashed into him" He's fine. He isn't even late. "But he could have had trouble I would never know" I would know "But I may not, what if he couldn't call" By now I am tired of trying to fight so I just let the worry go unchecked for awhile- "How is Grandma gonna be without grandpa? Where is Grandpa now is there really something after or just nothing is he ok will I be ok does he see me what if he does and sees what a real failure my life has been what if I can't handle things today." "How will I get everything for the kids all done (bought and made) for Christmas and mailed what if the package is lost in the mail" "What if they don't like what we get or I make" "What if they get mad" "Would my mom be mad if I called to see how she was? I should just call my aunt but what if she doesn't want to hear from me, she said if I didn't hear from them things were ok" "Is Sean getting enough to eat? What if he is too skinny? If he is too skinny they will take him away cuz I am not feeding him enough" "Are we safe in this house? What if the heater messes up it is gas it could blow up" "If it blows up we'll die before we can get out" "What if there is a carbon monoxide leak?" "Was that something at the door is someone trying to come in maybe I need to turn all the lights on maybe I turn them out and hide?" "something bad is going to happen today I just know it" This is just a small sampling... My thoughts can run on and on if I don't try to stop them. Sometimes though I can't. Either I am just to weak to get it done or they are just to much at one time but sometimes I end up with a panic attack. On a good day I can MAKE myself snap out of the cycle of worry and just push it far enough back in my mind I will be able to function. I get busy with things and am ok. Other times I am not so lucky. They say GAD is treated more successfully by behavior therapy than medicine. I believe it for I used to take medicine. I have done better just by having people ion my life (as in David) who understand and can be patient and reassuring rather than laugh and dismiss my worries as just stupid. I know my fears are stupid. I know a plane is not going to come out of the sky and fall on the house but it doesn't stop me from worrying about it. That is my hell. That is my battle. This is my life. I have worked hard to be able to get to a point where I can force myself to become my own diversion. When I start worry I go clean or get busy doing something. Sometimes my anxiety is sooo bad even cleaning or baking becomes "one of my worry" Such as "What if I break a glass and cut myself so bad I bleed to death before I get to the phone what would happen to Sean" Those times used to send me to bed to hide. Now I sit and crochet until I have calmed myself down enough. I also have found that blogging has been of help too. But even now... Having written all this down I worry someone will read it and call the nuthouse to come get me. heh. Why did I write this? I guess I just wanted people to understand what can go on in the mind of someone who has an anxiety disorder. Sometimes these worries get so bad one becomes paralized with fear and cannot do anything but sit and worry. I have been there it's horrible horrible feeling to be so trapped by your fears. Fears you know deep inside are not real fears. But when the fear itself is what controls you then it is real.

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