I don’t know if it has happened to you, but sometimes I get a case of what I like to call mirror anxiety.
I do not suffer from an anxiety disorder, but my husband does. And even though part of my daily life is helping him cope and finding ways to stay calm I sometimes get caught up in anxiety myself.
Take this coronavirus problem. I was kind of raised to have the better-safe-than-sorry mindset. Simply put, if there is anything I could do to reduce the odds of bad things happening I will just do it. I don’t do panic shopping, I buy only what’s needed to make sure we have my husband’s diet requirements for a week or two, I wash my hands constantly and avoid going out as much as possible. But still… I’m worried!
A pandemic is certainly something worth worrying about as long as it doesn’t become panic. But the reason I worry goes beyond the possibility of running out of food or even getting the virus. What I truly worry about is how this could affect my husband.
I know how much he hates doctors. I just picture him needing to go to the hospital and I freak out.
I know part of his therapy is exposing himself to some of the situations that trigger his anxiety such as dealing with people at a store or even just getting out of the house. But this quarentine is putting all of that in jeopardy too.
I worry about the potential harmful effects this whole thing could have on him, on me, on our relationship.
Most people think I’m panicking because I’m too afraid to catch it or to die. I actually started being extra careful and stoped kissing and hugging people before the virus was officially here (I live in Mexico, hence all the hugging and kissing).
I’m not lying, people at church stared at me like I was overreacting. It’s hard, you know? When people think certain things about you because they don’t know or understand what is really going on. Of course nobody wants their loved ones to get this virus, but in my case it is also about how getting it could play out in his (and my) mental health.
But I have to listen to my own advices. I can’t control any of this. All I can do is be careful and use this time wisely.
I will use this time to focus on my spiritual growth. I will be thankful of the good things in my life and I will practice being more dependent on God.
I hope you’re worrying less than me, but more than anything I hope you’re safe! Stay home.
I leave you with one of my favorite Bible verses:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
-Psalm 46: 1-3; 7
By the way, I just read an amazing post by Somekindof50 with very helpful tips on how to manage anxiety during this pandemic.