I told my therapist recently that I don’t do “adult stuff” very well. She proceeded to point out all of the ways that I do “adult stuff” pretty well. Yeah, ok, maybe I do adult ok most of the time but there are times, many of them, when I still feel like an inexperienced teenager and I really wish I could ask my mom to help me out. Preparing myself and my doctors for my upcoming surgery in a few weeks is triggering a lot of my insecurities around being an adult. I don’t like dealing with medical stuff at all. Even going to the dentist makes me wish my mom could go with me for reassurance. For a person who doesn’t like to deal with this stuff I spend a lot of time dealing with it. Between my stuff, my brother’s stuff and my partner’s stuff I probably am at a doctor’s appointment at least once a week. Today I had to have a mammogram, which I don’t usually mind getting. They’re over quick and are relatively painless. I know what to expect with them. But today I had to wait around longer than usual and I was sharing a waiting room with people in wheel chairs and people on oxygen and it got me thinking about how scary life really is. Is it any wonder that I suffer from an anxiety disorder and still want my mommy at 53 years of age? We go in for these diagnostic exams and sometimes they turn up problems we didn’t know we had and suddenly we’re the ones on oxygen or having emergency surgery or chemotherapy.
I’m not trying to bring anyone down here. I completely understand how talking about this stuff is unpleasant. I would really like to not ever have to think about it let alone see it but it’s a part of life. Sometimes life gets really scary. For me, that’s often because I’m a wuss. I used to faint at the sight of blood. I still turn my head when they draw blood but I’ve toughened up quite a bit over the years. I remember seeing a kid in elementary school who was born with only two fingers on one of his hands and it made me nauseous and light-headed to look at his hands. See? I’ve come a long way since elementary school!
But still, being reminded of how rough life can get in a blink of an eye makes me feel queasy and unsteady. Reading all of the possible side effects of drugs makes me miraculously start having those side effects. I don’t read that stuff anymore. Commercials asking me if I have shortness of breath almost certainly will spur a sudden attack of light-headed tight breathing while I check to make sure I’m ok. I’m always checking in on myself this way. I scare myself too sometimes with all of this obsessive checking in. Did my heart just skip a beat? What’s that sudden pain in my chest about? Oh my God, why can’t I remember what day it is?
My upcoming surgery has me freaking out a bit too. What if I die? What if it doesn’t go well and I end up brain dead or she punctures my bladder? The doctor had to go over all of the risks yesterday with me so now I’m thinking about all of that stuff. No, I’m obsessing about it. I catch myself asking if it’s worth all of this anxiety.
I sure wish some nice adult would come give me a reassuring hug and tell me it’ll all be ok. I’d really like to take a break from this “adult” stuff once in a while and let someone else do the worrying.