Anxiety is Awful!

I’ve written before about anxiety and child loss here.  No matter the cause of death, the FACT of a child’s death seems to create the perfect conditions for a parent’s body and mind to experience anxiety, dis-ease, fear and often a sense of impending doom.

My world was rocked to its foundation the moment I heard the words, “He was killed in a motorcycle accident”.  

The worst thing I could imagine had come true.  

There was no protection from it happening again, no guarantee that THIS unbearable pain would be the ONLY unbearable pain I would have to carry.

I think my body chemistry was instantly transformed that morning to include rapid heartbeats, shallow breathing and a horrible creepy tension that climbs my spine and clenches its claws tightly at the base of my skull.

Before Dominic left us for Heaven I was not an anxious person.

No matter what happened, I generally took it in stride, looked for a solution and moved forward armed with an arsenal of choices to meet the problem head on.

Now, I can be pushed into a corner by an ordinary phone call that lasts too long.  I can feel trapped if a price fails to ring up properly and I have to wait to have it corrected by a head cashier.  I can become positively frantic when I reach in  my purse and can’t find my keys even though I know for a fact I put them there and if I look a bit harder I’ll find them.

Traffic makes my heart go pitter-patter.  The doorbell sends me flying to make sure it’s the UPS man and not another police officer to tell me heartbreaking news.

If I try to multi-task (which I rarely do) I am soon overwhelmed and have to sit down to catch my breath.

I only shop in stores where I’m familiar with the aisles and where products I need are shelved.

I check and re-check directions if I have to go to an unfamiliar address and leave with double the time needed to get there in case I get lost.  Making on-the-fly course corrections doesn’t happen.

I pull off and have to figure out where I am.

And heaven forbid the phone rings past midnight -I wake with a start and even a wrong number means I won’t sleep for the rest of the night.

This is not “worry”.  It’s not “borrowing trouble from tomorrow”.  It is not an indication that my faith is weak or I’m “caving in” to my feelings.

It’s an uncontrollable physiological response to various stimuli.

So please, please don’t judge me or other bereaved parents for making choices about where we go, when we go and how much we go-most of the time we are anticipating an anxious response and trying to beat it.  

We are doing the best we can.  

Honest.

courage doesn't always roar male liion

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

10 thoughts on “Anxiety is Awful!”

  1. Yes. This. Exactly like this.
    Our son ran ahead of us to heaven almost 4 years ago. The first two years or so were a minefield. We didn’t do much of anything. We are slowly adding simple things back into our lives, but the anxiety is such a surprise. The feelings of being trapped and panicky in non-threatening situations is awful. I am grateful that you shared these thoughts. It is impossible to explain but your words could have been mine. Thank you.
    I want to exhibit God’s grace with my life and am also aware of watching for where I could be overwhelmed and derailed. Grief is hard work. The promise of heaven is sweet and true.
    Sending you encouragement and a hug from my thankful (broken) heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your words are a comfort to all of us in the throws of grief. I lost my 13 yr old son to an ATV accident just 7 months ago. I am comforted by your honesty and knowing I’m not alone, but also saddened by the fact that there are so many struggling w the loss of a child. A friend started a caringbridge for us which I thought I would never use. But too my surprise I am soothed by sharing my heart and our story. Check it out of you get the time. Just type in Logan Rautio. Thank you Melanie. Ann

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ann, I am so very sorry for your pain and your loss. Thank you for letting me know the blog helps, a little. Obviously, I feel strongly that sharing your story is healing and helpful. I hope you will continue to share yours on your caringbridge site. Yes, we are stronger together-even as we wish no other heart knew this pain.

      May the Lord give you the strength you need for every day and may He flood your heart with His grace, love and mercy. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You do not have to apologize or explain to anyone how you operate nowadays when you are an unfortunate member of this group.
    I can relate, Our son Ben also was killed on his motorcycle. NEVER thought anxiety / panic attacks were real but 1 year after being in that “uncomfortably numb” state a trigger sent me into the worst panic attack I have ever experienced & no matter what I tried I could not shake it. My poor husband – I overwhelmed him. I continued to have them for two more years mostly when I drove (which I have always drove for a living & still carry the dream of being a NASCAR driver 😉 ). Overthinking every outing, even to the nearby grocery store was a huge deal. Now I still have days on end where I won’t go farther than the yard but then there are days where I will drive alone for 14 hours cross country to see family. I do not feel guilty if I cancel plans for anything with anyone anymore, I shake my head at those who think the worst thing that could happen to them is a schedule change out of their control ~ Little do they know….
    Hang in there Melanie & thank you so much for having this blog ! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sheree,
      Thank you for sharing part of your story here-I’m so sorry for your loss and your pain. You made me laugh with the NASCAR dream and your observation that those who freak over a change in plans 🙂 . Yes, we were remade in many ways when we found out, weren’t we. Thank you for the encouragement. May God give you exactly what you need exactly when you need it. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. TY!! I so identified with this, Melanie. Been having a terrible ‘Grief Fog’ day…can’t concentrate on anything. Spent hrs. just sobbing. I’m a mess. I read this and know I’m not the ‘only one’ that has such days. When I go to the store…the same store in which I know where to find most things, I even park in the same row so that I always know my car is at least somewhere in that row…it helps narrow it down a bit. 🙂 I was thinking last night how ‘fearless’ I once was…but now, I see certain names pop-up on the caller ID, and I instantly ‘freeze’ momentarily cause I am not sure if the news will be good or bad. 18 1/2 yrs., and it still occurs from time to time…always reminding me of ‘why’. I hate this journey on many levels. Looking forward to my ‘release’ and going Home. Very, very Homesick. (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jude,
      You are much further down this path than me. It’s helpful to have your perspective as well. Thank you for sharing here, in the comments, and on your own blog. We have been changed in profound ways and I don’t imagine we will be able to undo these changes as long as we walk the earth. But one day, in our new bodies, all these frailties will melt away! Can’t wait. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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