Sunday, November 11, 2012


Honestly, with all that has been going on, I fully expected to find myself coping with some serious depression...oddly enough, that hasn't been the case.  Of course I've been every shade of all of the emotions on that spectrum at some point, but overall I'm still on this side of that chasm.

What I didn't expect to be so prominent is my ongoing battle with anxiety and fear.  After doing more research and reading plenty from other mommas who have been where I stand, I probably should have expected it.  At least now, I'm at a point in my life where I recognize my own anxiety spirals and have a pretty good idea of how to handle them.

You see, here's the process behind it...we are all pretty secure in our lives, most of the time.  We have our normal ups and downs, but most of the time there is nothing Earth-shattering going on for us personally.  We see devastation in the news or hear about the friend of a friend going through something tragic, but the majority of the time we aren't personally drawn into it.  Then, out of the blue we are staring into the face of a tragedy that has inserted itself in the very middle of our own lives.  (This can, and does, happen with many types of trauma but for my purpose, I can speak only to the loss of a child right now.)

When you lose, or are in the process of losing, your child - you are shaken to your very core.  As a parent, our number one duty is to love our children; our second duty is to protect them.  You are fulfilling duty number one with all of your heart, but all of a sudden you feel like a complete and utter failure at duty number two.  There is nothing in the world that you can do to reverse the process that has been set in motion and it has to be one of the most helpless feelings in all the world. 

In a matter of moments, your safe little world is no longer so safe.  (Even those with an incredible faith in God will often describe this same feeling, even if it is only briefly.) Each moment becomes a terror in itself and you begin to imagine all of the other terrible things that could happen to further rip your life apart.  You imagine losing your other children, your spouse, your parents, yourself, your home...every manner of tragedy that could occur plays itself out in slow motion. 

Fortunately, at least for me, these periods come and go.  I recognize them as fairly well irrational and am firm enough in my belief in God that I understand that much of this is out of my hands anyway.  What it comes down to is a choice: a choice to embrace each day and make the most of it despite the fact that we never know what each sunrise will bring or a choice to live each day in fear of what might happen and miss all of the wonderful things that do happen.

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