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Honeymoon is over - sort of

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by debbi1955, May 9, 2014.

  1. debbi1955

    debbi1955 Peer Supporter

    Well, I was one of those lucky ones that got relief almost immediately from learning about TMS, and I've been waxing poetic about having been pain free for 2 days. But this morning, I had my first 'relapse' and woke with the old pain back.

    The good thing now is that I know why. My husband, who is a long-distance cyclist, woke me at 5 AM to say goodbye as he headed out for 4 days on the road on a bicycle. We have predictions of severe weather tomorrow, and that will not stop the ride. I am always anxious when he is out on the road, and when I know he will be riding for 12-14 hours in hazardous conditions, well, it really spikes. And this is hard to admit because I have not told anyone, even my husband, that I get just a bit anxious about being alone. Twice while he has been gone I've had medical issues. I was unable to move from pain once (called my sister on that one), and once woke unable to breathe from a viral infection similar to whooping cough (that one was really scary - I had learned not to panic when I can't get air from years of having asthma, but this was much more acute, and I was ready to call 911 when my air came back). I have always toughed those things out, and I don't want anyone to think my husband is abandoning me (I know he'd stay home in a heartbeat if I ever asked him to). And things could happen to anyone - I don't need a babysitter any more than anyone else. But I have to admit that those occasions do pop up in my mind sometimes when he's gone. I have a reputation for being tough, especially because of the medical issues I've had over the years, but inside I still had a lot of anxiety, both about the medical issues and a fear of someday having to ask others to sacrifice what they enjoy in order to take care of me.

    I have been reciting my mantra (there is nothing wrong with my back) every night as I fall asleep, but when he wakes me that early to say goodbye, I usually just tumble back into bed and doze back off, and this morning was no exception. And I woke to my old familiar nemesis. But at least I knew why. I sat and admitted that I am worried about him, and I am just a bit anxious about myself as well, and the pain is gone again. And as I'm writing this, I'm thinking it might not hurt to talk to my sister or my best friend about how I do feel anxious when he's gone, instead of presenting the tough face I usually do. When I first read about 'repressed emotions', I wasn't sure that applied to me - I am not shy about letting out anger or expressing sadness. But I just realized that I do hide anxiety from others - from everyone, even my closest confidants. Even when I read over what I just wrote, I realize I was trying to excuse the anxiety. And maybe I need to let that out just a bit and not try so hard to make everyone see me as tough.

    This has been so helpful. Just writing this has helped me gain some insight. It's good to know there are people who will read this and not see me as a big cry-baby. Not that anyone currently in my life would, either - but people in my past would have big time. Wow - more insight!
    Gigalos likes this.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, debbi. You needn't worry about your husband when he's away on a bike trip or for anything else.
    If he wakes you at 5 am to say goodbye before leaving on a bike trip for a few days it means he truly loves
    you and there's no way he would abandon you. It's just your worry personality.

    Sure, talk about it to your sister or best friend. I'm sure they will give you the same reassurance.

    Don't worry about us thinking you're a cry baby. In fact, go ahead and cry. It's very therapeutic.

    Don't watch the tv weather news while your husband is away. They love to scare us with bad news.

    People on bike trips know how to look after each other and find shelter if needed.

    Keep telling yourself you're feeling fine. Positive mantras are very helpful.
    debbi1955 likes this.
  3. debbi1955

    debbi1955 Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the support. I want to say that my worries are not that my husband will abandon me - he's been the most supportive person in my life, and he's been here for 36 years. He's seen all the worst of me, and he's still here. I can't help a little concern for his safety, but he is a very experienced cyclist and you are right - he does have friends with him who are looking out for him as well. I think identifying that concern helped me work through the pain today. Staying away from the tv weather, though, is a great idea!

    I'm also not worrying about anyone here thinking I'm a cry baby, but I surprised myself when I realized if I thought anyone here would accuse me of being a cry-baby, I wouldn't have posted what I wrote. I did cry when I realized that - I had a memory of being told what a wicked child I was for crying, and I realized that I put a lot of pressure on myself to not let anyone know when I'm anxious so that I won't be seen as that wicked child. No one in my current life would do that - it's the voices in my head from the distant past.

    Until I wrote that post, I wasn't aware of any repressed emotions. The ones usually mentioned - anger and sadness - I'm pretty good at expressing. I didn't think about the fact that repressing anxiety might be my big issue until I was writing that post today. Not only is anxiety a big issue for me, but I absolutely do not let it show. I'm always cool, always toughing it out, no big deal. I'm grateful to have this outlet to express myself - today just writing here in a safe place brought things to the surface that I wasn't at all aware of. Since I posted it, the voices in my head have been saying 'why did you do that? Why did you let anyone know you have these worries? Why did you not just suck it up and keep it to yourself?' It's going to be a lot harder to reveal my 'softer side' to others, face-to-face, but I feel like that is going to be a very important part of my journey.

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