Thursday, June 20, 2013

ANXIETY Lives in Our Marriage Now

I worry about my husband now.  I worry what will happen to him when he is gone. I know he worries too.  He doesn't say it in so many words, he shows it in his actions.

It took Nick four full weeks to leave my side for more than an hour after Nora died.  And in the time he left, he wouldn't go unless someone was with me, and not just anyone, it had to be family or friends.

When we finally learned how to let go, and put a facade of trust back into our life again, we went our separate ways (mostly because he had to go back to work).  But we would cling to our phones as life lines. Memorizing schedules and appointments.  Calling to check up on each other throughout the day.

This anxiety, we both silently shared, I hoped would go away. But, it hasn't. Last week when Nick was at work over the weekend, he called which I thought was while on his way home, as it was that time.  I had just missed the call minutes before and when I tried to call back there was no answer.

Panic set in.

My husband should be referred to as Mister Reliable instead of Mr. Henke.  I love this quality about him and I know his habits and schedule like the back of my hand.  So when he didn't pick up on the 5th call (I am not exaggerating on this, I'm an anxious freak sometimes)...I spazed out.

Inside I was trying to stay cool.  I told myself, "Lindsey just breathe.  Be cool."

I couldn't.  My mind was racing.  What if he's dead? What if he got into an accident? I had weird irrational thoughts.   Where I started rationalizing with myself saying things like, "Lindsey you haven't felt his spirit leave yet.  He's still here."


Then the logical therapist in me started questioning my mental state.  "When did you lose your mind?" I said to myself.

I decided to leave my brain by distracting it with a task.  That worked for a whole two seconds. I succumbed to my anxiety.  I did what you're not supposed to do.  I fed it.


I called his office.  "How can I help you sir or ma'am" (remember, it's the military were dealing with here).  I said, "Is Nick there?

He said, "Ah, no. I think he is in a meeting right now."

Ah, RELIEF washed over me.

I remember now he mentioned this meeting after work today.  My fear lifted as my body released it's pent up tension.

"Is this an emergency?"  The officer asked.  I was embarrassed because the man had obviously noticed the fear in my voice.

"No, no."  I lied. Two seconds ago it was a big F*** emergency.

"Thanks." I said as I hung up the phone.

Once you have had a life altering traumatic experience happen in your life, small events can quickly snowball into big hypothetical emergencies until you find some kind of footing again.

I haven't been able to explain how painful it is to expect to have the happiest journey of your life begin, only to have it taken away in a nanosecond.  Your world is forever shaken and you have learned that the cliche that "life can change in a matter of a blink of an eye" is horribly true.

Now I live forever with knowing that reality and I live in a constant state of anxiety.


  1. It's exactly the same here... Since Sahar was diagnosed we hadn't spent a moment apart from each other... When the time came that he had to go to work again, it was hard. I stayed at home a week longer, and even though I stayed in bed to sleep in, that never happened. The anxiety chocked me up until I got a text from him saying he arrived safely at work, and we call each other several times a day. I need those texts, I need to make sure he's okay. Because we know what it is to lose someone so incredibly important in our lives, we can imagine what it would be... And it terrifies us...

    A big hug to you. Hopefully this feeling will fade with time...

    1. Sounds so familiar. I agree with needing those text. And it is terrifying at times. Thanks for the hugs.

  2. I definitely felt this way about Jon after Oscar and Bella were born/died. With time, the severity of my anxiety has lessened, but it's still there. When your children die, it's also a big, fat slap in the face that anyone can die at any time without any warning.


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