Yesterday I went out to grab the mail on my way to run some errands and found this:
It's one thing to get pulled over and have the black hole form in your gut, but it's a totally different feeling when it shows up in your mailbox. Completely unexpected. Well, I didn't expect it. But it wasn't my ticket. When I opened it and saw the three pictures of my husband blowing the red light, it was no wonder that *I* had no clue. He wasn't surprised. His reaction? "I figured it got me." I'm not mad. Why should I be? It's a ticket. It could have easily been me. And I've been on the receiving end of getting reamed for getting a ticket before. It's not fun. So I laughed it off with him. We'll send them the $100 and go about our lives. Knowing better. Those cameras do work, by golly!
I've got this issue....okay, I have several issues, I know. But there is a BIG issue that always comes this time of year. I talked to Richie about it again this past weekend on our way home from the Lion King and he just makes jokes and laughs at me about it. I guess he truly doesn't understand how serious it is to me. He doesn't understand how deep it is and how real it is. He doesn't understand that some days I feel paralyzed. Some moments seem completely insane. He doesn't get it. But I guess someone who doesn't have the same "issue" wouldn't understand. How can you explain something that the other person totally doesn't "get?" It's like when you first feel your baby move in your belly...you just can't explain that feeling to anyone that hasn't felt it.
My mom has an extensive background in mental health (on the professional side of it, not the personal side) and I asked her while she was here this past weekend. What can you do for hypochondriasis? She just laughed at the question. Why does everyone laugh and make jokes when I ask or try to talk about it? It just makes me want to keep it locked inside and try to deal alone. It really does. But I'm learning that I can't fix it on my own. It just comes in waves. Some days are worse than others. Now that I have Kinley, it's worse. Because not only am I completely afraid for myself but I'm terrified for her. I can't use antibacterial hand wipes enough. I can't sanitize enough. I can't wash our hands enough. I am almost to the point of not wanting to leave the house. And it's mostly because we're in the height of flu season. I mean, I can't get onto FB without seeing at least 2 or 3 statuses (is that spelled right, it looks wrong) about someone with the flu.
The minute I see it, I am thrown into panic mode and I have to get up and wash my hands. It doesn't matter that the person posting the status is five hours away, or in another state for that matter. It gets in my head and makes me crazy. After seeing the Lion King, we were walking out of the theater and into the lobby when we came upon the cleaning staff dealing with a vomit situation all over the floor. Zap. Right into my head, I began to panic. I was reminded that I was just in a theater with thousands of people, breathing their air, inhaling their germs. I'm now infested and bringing all of this home to my baby. I freak.
I want to live in a bubble. I want to protect myself and my family from being sick.
This morning, I see this on my status update:
Kinley's pediatrician posted this overnight.
It's primarily the stomach flu that scares the heck outta me. I have a phobia, I think. For years I have tried working through it to even figure out why and the only thing I can blame it on is the years of my dad being so sick when we were young kids. But it's scarred me and I'm just warped now. So the issues are in their prime during flu season.
What can I do? There has to be something that can help me deal. Something that will help me be "normal" about germs. I know that come January when I'm back in school, Kinley will be in child care and exposed to so many things. And I know that they aren't going to be as crazy about the hand washing that I am.... how can I protect her? To be honest, this is why I want to breastfeed longer. At least I know I'm giving her that much.
I just wish I could be "normal" and not worry so much about it. It truly is exhausting to have this fear over my head every day. It's there. Every. Day. I'm thinking about educating myself on the hypochondriasis, because maybe that's not the problem at all. Maybe I'm just a germaphobe? Is that the same thing? But educating yourself is the key to overcoming and conquering. Why not start there?