Tuesday, March 25, 2014


One of my biggest inner demons, the thing that keeps me awake lots of nights, (and the thing that's gotten me banned from WebMD), is a tendency to think the worst whenever something just "doesn't feel right." I don't know if I would call it hypochondria exactly (although I think my husband and sister might!) because I don't make up symptoms or use illnesses to seek out attention or get out of doing things, and I'm not constantly obsessing over my health. And it's not just related to health stuff. It's more that I just have trouble shaking off the "what ifs."

My brain keeps running this awful soundtrack in the back of my mind whenever something like this comes up: "He hasn't called because he was mugged while walking home from work and now is lying in a ditch without his phone and with a terrible headache" or "you might have left the stove on when you left for work and now your whole house is filling up with gas and when you get home tonight it will explode." There's a scene from the movie "Amelie" that gets this pretty right on:

And this kind of stuff happens often enough that I have trouble trusting my instincts. I don't want to be a worrier, or a whiner, or a totally irrational hypochondriac. Rationally, I know that most of the awful things I think of aren't true. I can usually talk myself out of a lot of the worry rather quickly, and most of the time, there's a quick fix, like calling my husband or waiting a day (and then the random intense finger pain that just maybe might be cancer is gone and I don't have to worry anymore about what my husband would do for a social life if I were dead). So when something really does scare me, I can't tell anymore if it scares me because I scare easily (and I scare really easy - it's actually pretty ridiculous how easily startled I am), or if it scares me because it's actually scary.

For the past week or so, I've been battling this kind of "disaster thinking" about my pregnancy. I was pretty certain that I felt the baby moving around fairly regularly starting around 14 or 15 weeks in. I'm almost 19 weeks now. And for the past week, I haven't really felt the baby moving. At least, not like I was before. There have been a couple of little things here and there that might be baby, but I haven't been certain. And I know that there are about 700 rational explanations for this. Moms don't usually feel their babies move on a regular basis until about 20 weeks. The baby might've shifted position. The baby just might be doing other things. I may not have been feeling the baby before and only thought I was. Etc, etc, etc. Tons of totally rational explanations for what, in itself, isn't something Drs worry about at this point in a pregnancy (I know this because I called the Advice Nurse. Ross and I agreed that it's probably better that the Advice Nurses get to know me by name than that I spend any time googling things about my pregnancy worries).

And yet, I can't shake this worry. I'm scared there's something wrong. I'm scared to admit that I'm actually scared something's wrong. I'm scared that if I'm wrong about something being wrong that it'll make me seem crazy. I'm scared of sharing this fear and never being taken seriously again when I'm right to be scared. I'm scared of being right and sitting with the fear for another 6 days until my scheduled ultrasound, and scared of being right and demanding to be seen sooner and then finding out that I'm right and having to cancel the ultrasound appointment. I'm scared that I'll be scared for this whole pregnancy and then scared for the rest of my kid's life or the rest of my life and that I'll never manage to just be and to not worry.

Ross says I'm not crazy, or at least this whole thing doesn't make me crazy...I'm not so sure. But then again, I don't trust my own judgment right now anyways, so I think I should probably listen to him.

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