Wednesday, September 26, 2012

When the "what ifs" attack

I have this weird thing going on with my eye at the moment. It's like a mix of allergy and conjunctivitis symptoms. It's pretty uncomfortable, but hardly life threatening.

Yesterday I managed to have a little panic attack over it.

Yep- I was sitting in the car with Hubby driving us, and all of a sudden I was overwhelmed with the worry that I had an infection in my brain that was so bad it was starting to seep out my eye and that I would die within days and Hubby would be left alone with the kids and he wouldn't know everything he needed to know to look after them.

Now, none of my children has "severe" Autism. I don't have to worry about where they will live when I am gone, or who will look after them like some parents do. I thought that I was immune to these sort of panic attacks, to be honest. Apparently not.

For the record, I have quite a good system for keeping records of all the important things Hubby would need if he suddenly had to become the primary care giver and organiser the way I am at the moment. Aside from the fact that he pretty much knows what is going on and attends as many meetings and therapy sessions as his work schedule allows, there is also a paper record of everything. Each of the kids has a file, in the filing drawers, that contains all their relevant health information, school records and for our ASD kids information about all the therapists who know them, recent reports..... everything. Hubby knows where these are, and could easily access everything he'd need to know. The rest of my filing is in all sorts of disarray, but this section is kept in immaculate order (I call it prioritising).

So- what's the deal with this silly panic attack? I don't know! Maybe I'm not as "together" with the whole Autism thing as I like to think. Maybe it's just a normal parenting moment that everyone experiences from time to time. Maybe it's a symptom of an underlying brain infection.....

I decided to take it as a prompt to think through the things I have in place for my kids to get their needs met, and to take a moment to evaluate my record keeping. I think my records are OK, and I am very fortunate to have family and friends that I know would be here for my Hubby and kids in less than a heartbeat if the need should arise. There is even a plan for if something happened to Hubby and I together.

So I don't need to worry. And I won't. Because indulging in the endless cycle of "what ifs" is a time waster, an emotion waster, and an energy waster. And if  really get started, I'll never stop ( I have a great imagination)! There are so many things to worry about, if you set your mind to it, and that is not what life should be about!

Life should be about enjoying the little things, making time for laughs and contentment, celebrating what is good.

Focusing on the attacks of the "what ifs" robs us of that, no matter who we are and what our challenges are.

What are you going to do when the "what ifs" attack next?


  1. Great post Michelle - something we all need reminding of from time to time.

  2. I think we're all entitled to slip into that 'not-so-together' phase from time to time - hell, some people who have less to deal with than us spend a lot more time in that phase!!! think the key thing is to remember you need looking after to, so take a rest and recharge however you can. And really, once you've covered the worst 'what if' (i.e. you not being around any more!) then everything else is like a walk in the park, huh?!


You can read my comment policy by clicking on the link at the top right of the page.