An unsettling thing happens when you stop self-medicating; that is, when you stop distracting yourself with online shopping, or pouring that glass of wine in the evening, or continue “getting things done” instead of just being still for a few damn minutes…or however it is that you subconsciously attempt to pad the pain that life can dole out…
You feel it.
You feel everything. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Now that I have made a deliberate move to stop with those distractions and just be, I can feel what I’ve not wanted to. I thought I might feel anxious, or sad, or even a bit angry….but none of that is what I feel. What I feel is FEAR.
I’m so afraid. (Even typing this, acknowledging it, has brought me to tears.) I’m afraid of the future; terrified of Evrett regressing. (And being afraid makes me feel like a horrible mother…why is that?!) But do you know what I’m most scared of presently? I’m scared that when he tightens the muscles around his hips during diaper changes, seemingly to protest being stopped mid-play for a change, that the tightness is actually something our pediatrician has mentioned to watch out for: if his diagnosis turns out to be what they are leaning towards, then we must be watchful of over-tightening of certain muscles. The tightening has a special name of course, which I can’t recall right at this moment, but it can impact their growth & development. So….what if this isn’t just a 3 year old not wanting a bum change? I’m scared that it is a symptom of his disease.
And my mind silently screams “I don’t want that to be true!!!”
Up until the last few days, I hadn’t worried too much about him ever being in physical discomfort, or him not being able to “keep up” with other kids in that respect. But with this recent change, along with my newfound resolve not to distract myself from my true thoughts, I can feel that fear.
I can feel that fear much like the aftermath of being burnt; this searing, sharp, incessant pain deep in my core. At moments, it makes me feel like vomiting. I really don’t want to feel this way…but as I have told myself before, the only way out is through. And so, I will sit here in this fear, acknowledge it, expose it to the light, and begin to watch it’s power fade.