Do you remember that feeling of being in trouble that you had as a kid? That jumpy feeling in your stomach. Not quite nausea, but butterflies.
I have had boughts of this type of anxiety throughout my life like everyone else. As a child I worried about school stuff and friend stuff. As a college student I worried about grades, scholarships, boyfriends, etc. Early in my marriage I worried about the compromises I felt I was making. Later I worried I wouldn't get pregnant. I now have worries about parenting, money, home maintenance, etc.
These kind of worried are what everyone deals with. They come into my mind and then leave fairly quickly like a bee flitting from one flower to the next. I know that everyone who reads this can think of a half dozen such worries.
It seems that I have been having a different sort of worry for the past few months. This worry feels different. Instead of a butterfly this worry feels like a rock. It comes on suddenly, and when it happens I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me. Sometimes it is related to things grounded in reality like money troubles, but sometimes it is related to things that there is no real reason to even consider like whether I may get skin cancer. I worry about big things like whether global warming will destroy the earth during my kids lifetime and small things like whether the price of gas will make me unable to go anywhere.
One of the problems with this type of worry is that since I know it is irrational I don't trust my instincts. I have always had great instincts, but lately I can't be sure if a concern is real or not. For example, Bear's heel pain. I waver between thinking it is no big deal to thinking it is a gymnastics ending injury. What is real? John says it's no big deal; that an injury like that will take a while to mend. Her coach recommended a sports medicine doctor. I don't know what to think. It is keeping me awake at night.
I think all this anxiety is related to menopause. I know I am pretty young for it, but my Mom started having symptoms when she was about my age. Another worry I have is that I will have serious symptoms with menopause. One of my Mom's sisters basically went crazy when she was gong through the change. She is fine now, but she had a few rough years. Another of her sisters fell into a depression that she never surfaced from. I know that I should go to the doctor, and I will go in June.
Until then I am thankful that i have surrounded myself with people who help calm my fears as opposed to fanning the flames of them.