This Saturday was a momentous occasion.
G went off to play in the (traitorous , murderous, I don’t give a crap who you are I will kill you with no mercy!) mountains. And I didn’t die.
I seem to have a bit of anxiety regarding this particular hobby of his. See https://youcandothis.blog/2019/10/30/i-had-my-first-ever-panic-attack-it-sucked/ for further reference.
It was weird that I was ok, but it was particularly weird because I had no idea why I was ok. Especially because the day I had planned out for myself to stay busy and happy backfired pretty significantly. But that’s another post.
I was able to reframe my thoughts about G leaving this time. I was able to go from a place of “He’s going to die in a car accident or an avalanche or a bad snowmobiling accident or…..” to ” He’s leaving early and he will be home late”, and that’s as far as I let myself go with thoughts of his day. I didn’t go to where he was or what he was doing. I’m not sure why I was able to do that this time, but it helped a lot.
I didn’t find much joy in my day, and I spent most of it slightly numb, although reasonably functional. However, by the time G got home I was done with any sense of niceness or positivity. I was now teary and grouchy from not worrying all day, which makes total sense..
Before the big day I laid down some ground rules:
“I don’t want to see your sled. I don’t want to hear your sled. I don’t want to see you pack your sledding gear. I don’t want to hear about your trip when you get home until I’m ready. I need you to let me know when you get there and when you get off the mountain. I need to be able to track your location.”
It worked. It seemed that keeping some of the visual and auditory triggers away helped me not to feel anxious. I think that the keeping busy and the ground rules and the tracking app were all good things.
But I think the main reason I handled the day the way I did is because I’m healing.
Three years ago when everything was going down, I would spiral into depression and anxiety just having to leave him at the end of a weekend. I remember how I felt like I was dying, even though he only lived half an hour away and I would most likely see him in the next two days. Some crazy co-dependency there.
It’s taken three long years of day-to-day work for me to be ok(ish) with him going sledding. I don’t know how I will handle future trips to the mountains, or his work trips to different countries. But I’m feeling proud of this day, and I’m going to remind myself of that when I start beating myself up again for my dependency issues and anxiety surrounding my husband.
We’re getting there.
Also, all of these.