Thursday, November 18, 2010

Waiting for the other shoe to drop

I can have anxiety.

It's not there, all the time. It used to be much worse. You might have even referred to me, once upon a time, as a bit of a hypochondriac (I hate that word). Every symptom paralyzed me with fear and every non-symptom prompted me to imagine one. After years of learning that most of the time, it was "nothing," or, in the rare cases when it was "something," I was able to deal with it and move on, the anxieties eased. Somewhere along the line, over the last few years, I stopped being so afraid.

But recently, I've noticed it lurking...the old familiar fear, seeping back into me, stalking. It's subtle, and definitely more manageable than it used to be. But I sense it.

Thankfully, I've grown enough (and spent a few good years in therapy) to recognize it now, even before it takes hold of me. And so I've spent some time contemplating: why? Why now? Why, after all this time, are some of my old ways coming back, messing with my head, my days, my life? And then, it hit me: It's all good.

Life, I mean.

It's good.

Things are calm. Happy. Easier.

I've been pretty busy the last few years...having babies, buying houses, becoming a real grown-up (albeit begrudgingly at times). Life's been frenetic: sleep-training, potty-training, weight-training...and then, trying to keep my job, my marriage, my social life, and my sense of self all in working order. But lately, things seem to have settled. Hubby and I don't have to fight for quiet time (as much). We aren't waking up in the middle of the night (as much). We're planning exciting adventures again. I find that we are no longer "in survival mode"...we have made it through the infant years, we have settled in, gotten comfortable with parenting, found our groove, and have continued on with our plans for This Grand Life. And so...

There it is.

The anxiety.

The fear: When will the other shoe drop?

It can't be this good. I can't be this lucky. It can't be this easy.

* * *

It reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from the Sex and the City movie (yes, I am going to refer to SATC in the middle of a pretty serious blog post...and to those of you who know me: Why are you surprised?) when Charlotte admits to Carrie that she's scared because she has everything she has ever wanted:

Carrie: What makes you think that something bad is gonna happen?
Charlotte: Because! Nobody gets everything they want! Look at you, look at Miranda. You're good people and you two both got shafted. I'm so happy and...something bad is going to happen.

That is exactly how I feel. I have everything I could possibly want: a husband I am so in love with I can hardly believe he's mine; two healthy, smart, sweet little boys who grin and squeal "Mama" when I walk in the door; a home I never thought I could buy; amazing family; and my list can go on and on. Nothing "bad" is happening. Every one is "good." I am blissfully happy.

And terrified it's too good to be true.

The worst part of it is that the older I get, the more I know of people and their stories...their sadnesses, their losses...and like Charlotte thought: Why not me? Why not us?

It's a terrible way to think. I hate it. I detest it. It is not even easy to write about, to put "out there," because then I almost feel like perhaps I'm making it more real, more me. And I absolutely do not want That to be a part of Me ever again. I refuse.

The crazy thing, the contradiction, is that I don't actually believe in any of this. I believe in surrendering to the universe. I believe in God. I believe in karma. Energy. Trusting. Letting go. I believe in optimism, the strength of spirit. All of it. But sometimes, it's hard for me to apply, to live. And I well know that living in fear, in worry, only has a negative power on my psyche, my day to day, and my health. I get frustrated when loved ones (who I've obviously been influenced by) expect the worst. I want to hit them over the head, yell and scream: Expect the best! Only the best! Let go! Trust! Believe! And most of all, Live! Live life and drink it in...all its joys and blessings and good. Perhaps, it is myself I am really trying to remind.


  1. Preaching to the choir...and I too, have felt, from time to time, that the other shoe was about to drop.

    And then, it never happened as badly as I imagined it to be. And I survived. And the people I loved the most in the whole weren't horribly scarred. Everything was ok.

    I am here. At times, I think we are much more alike under the surface than we let ourselves believe. And those who don't vocalize are either in denial or REALLY ggod at hiding it.

    As much as you love shoes, don't wait for them to drop. Wear them, running into life and all it's glory with all you've got!

  2. **in the whole world** I think I need to go to bed...

  3. "You might have even referred to me, once upon a time, as a bit of a hypochondriac (I hate that word). Every symptom paralyzed me with fear and every non-symptom prompted me to imagine one."
    That was me...can still be when I get overwhelmed.
    I could have written so much of this post!

    Regardless of if/when shoes are going to drop, they never fall directly in the mud. The clean up may be a little tougher sometimes, but it all comes out ok. I often try to tell myself that worrying about it gets you nowhere, rather, use that time to DO something that will make you feel better. I hug my kids and appreciate the right now, because if things are going to fall to crap, I'll have a happy moment to look back on. :)

  4. I hope you're able to let go and enjoy what you have while you have it. If the other shoe does drop, I hope you're able to say that you enjoyed every drop of your "perfect" life while you had it.

  5. I think we all feel that way occasionally. You have a good grasp on life, and the way to look at it - expecting the best; trusting and believing. But as humans - sometimes doubt creeps in.

    As a few others mentioned, realize that when/if that shoe drops - you are well equipped to deal and it won't be nearly as bad as you expect.

  6. Hello - this really does resonate with me - I am sure I have said that before about your posts? I too have moments when I wonder if the bubble will burst. I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about untold disasters. Then when I see real personal disasters happening around me (such as my friend being diagnosed with breast cancer) I then worry even more. It's wretched. I wish there were words of wisdom I could offer...if anyone has any please share! Lou x

  7. Enjoy your happy life - and all the good things you have. Don't waste time worrying that something is going to happen. The other shoe dropped for me - big time - and the only way I can live now is in the moment. And that's all any of us have anyhow.

  8. i get this. thanks for writing it out....


Comments rock...