Thursday, March 22, 2012

protect us from all anxiety

I don't know where this post is going.  It may never see the light of day.  I have considered briefly about whether it is proper to post it, but I figure since I have about 3 regular readers (maybe fewer during Lent), and this is a fairly anonymous outlet for me, it would probably be alright.  I think by writing.  Writing helps me think.

For a long time, my dearly beloved has been very concerned about things in the world.  Too concerned.  Too worried, I thought.  I remember once many years ago, when he drove a truck at night and listened to all manner of late-night talk radio, he got home and woke me up to tell me something about an asteroid that was predicted to hit the earth sometime in the next year or so. 

Over time, but slowly, it has escalated into what I call "the-sky-is-falling" mentality.  Sometimes it is worse than others.  We have what my sons and I call "the food stash".  It's not a lot, and it's probably not a bad idea, but it's almost an obsessive thing. 

I think we have just kind of gone along with the flow, humoring as much as we could.  Just chalking it up to "you know how Dad is." 

I have started to notice how many of his sentences start with "I'm worried about...This really bothers me....I'm afraid...Things don't look good...." 

Lately, though, I notice things directed more and more at me.  Things that were never before a problem - me going places, having lunch with friends...are more and more a cause of contention.  It costs money...or the gas.  Excuses, I think, to cover the real issues.  I'm looking back to gatherings that I've left early, because I didn't want someone to be upset.  Things that I've skipped rather than dealing with the drama.

There have been accusations, and I have talked them over with my confessor in general terms, but in all honesty, just to make there wasnt' something I wasn't seeing.  He was encouraging and reassuring.

It doesn't make sense.  It wasn't always like this.  Besides work, and my kids' activities, mostly what I am involved in now deals with the church.  I go to Mass in the mornings, Bible Study once every week or two, decorating for Christmas and Easter, pray the Rosary with my SIL's group a couple of times a month, spend 15 or 20 minutes before school before the Tabernacle, and occassionally manage an uninterrupted hour at the chapel near my house. 

But those things - for whatever reason - are a problem.  It's as if when he's home, he expects me to be home.  And he's always home lately. 

Last night things just exploded.  So out of proportion for nothing  - because I off-handedly mentioned that I was going to Bible Study later in the evening, as I regularly do on Wednesday nights.  I have been going to Bible Studies for 5's never been an issue.  My kids and I just stood there not even believing what we were hearing or seeing.  One minute cooking supper and the next storming out of the house ranting.  If it wouldn't have been so real, it would have been comical. 

I went to Bible Study, but I half expected him to storm in and make a scene.  This is not the person I married.  When I got home, I gathered all of his medications and wrote down the names and researched side effects.  There were some possible explanations there. 

Then I went to webmd and typed in the word "anxiety".  The description that came up for Generalized Anxiety Disorder described him almost perfectly.  I read it to the kids, and they, too, were amazed at how well it described their dad.  When I read it to my husband, he remarked that it described nearly everyone in the world.  Then I googled "spouse with anxiety disorder" and came across this wonderful article.    It, too, was very reaffirming.  It IS Ok for me to have outside interests, friends, etc. 

So here I am...last night cyrstalized the "this isn't right" feeling that I've had for a long time.  Something is wrong.  But at least I now have a solid name for it. And so, any prayers that you can spare would be so appreciated.  Prayers that he will admit that there is a problem and will seek a solution. 

So not a very cheery post.  More like the first step on what is likely to be a long journey or no journey at all.  But this is life. Grant us peace in your day...


  1. Prayers to you. So many of us have been affected by mental illness or have close family friends who have been.

    Will he talk with professionals? Set limits with him - he is scared out of his mind and you need to treat him as you would a child - loving but FIRM. Been there, done that.

    Is your priest someone you can connect with over this? In my view, there are spiritual aspects, psychological aspects etc.

    And finally, do you know John Janaro? He has a wonderful blog and he is very open about his own struggles. Wrote a book about it - weaving the biological with the spiritual.
    And finally email me at

  2. Oh my goodness. You can certainly count on prayers from me. I am so sorry you all are going through this.

  3. Definitely prayers from me, too. I really hope it gets better for you.

  4. Hi Karen. I know your husband's world, although I don't lash out so much as withdraw into a prison of fear, depression, and paralysis. I've been helped a lot by the right medications, good Christian-based psychotherapy, and above all the mercy of God. I also have Chronic Lyme disease. I am a career college professor, now "retired" (i.e. disabled) but discovering new paths on the internet, in writing, and in raising my family. I have a book published by Servant: NEVER GIVE UP: MY LIFE AND GOD'S MERCY about all this stuff. I continue to write about my recovery and my struggles and joys at - and my wife and I tell our story in the Summer 2011 issue of FAITH & FAMILY magazine.

    I'll pray for your husband and you, and your family. You or your husband, please contact me if you want. I'm not a doctor, just a sufferer. I'm on all the social networks, and of course email: - God bless you and give you strength.