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Well, at least this time, I know why.

After everything that we have just gone through with hubby’s kids, it is now my family that is having problems.

My mother is a physical mess.  Somewhere in the ancestral line is a cesspool of genetics, and my mother got a heaping helping of it.  The amount of things that are wrong with her is long and intense, but there have been recent concerns about her heart.

My grandmother turns 97 in a couple weeks.  Poppop died a year ago, and Mommom has been kind of wasting away ever since.  They were married for 73 years when he passed and she doesn’t know how to be alone anymore.

My brother probably has brain damage.  When things are too difficult for him to deal with, he goes out and acts like he is in the x-games.  He’s crashed snowmobiles, cars, ATVs.  You name it, he’s probably driven it like an asshole and crashed it.  I suspect some bipolar in him, but I don’t know.

Yesterday, Dad passed out at an event at their local convention center.  Thankfully, he was there with his next door neighbor/friend who is a doctor.  He got him up and got him home.  Why he was taken home instead of the hospital is beyond me.  But he was taken home, put to bed, and his pulse and blood pressure were monitored.  The initial thought is that he will need a pacemaker (his mother, the 96 year old mentioned above, has had one for 20 years or so).

I wasn’t actually able to speak to anyone yesterday.  Mom instituted a “no call” policy while Dad was asleep and was talking to us (me and my brother) through text messages, which is not her strong suit.

I felt it in my stomach first.  The butterflies.  Little flutters that grew stronger quickly. Then, the tightness in my chest.  The feeling like I can’t get a deep breath.  That feeling like my skin just got extra sensitive.  If you touch me, I will freak out.

Most of my writing has to do with my bipolar disorder, but I’m also diagnosed with a couple panic disorders and generalized anxiety disorder.

Sometimes, the hard part is determining whether what I am feeling is because of a true problem that should make me anxious, depressed….whatever, or if what I’m feeling is because of the illnesses I have.

In this particular case, it’s the circumstances.  There is an actual problem here that deserves my concern and anxiety.  We forget my father is 70.  He takes care of Mom, he takes care of Mommom and to an extent he takes care of my brother.  And now, something is happening with him.  Nothing ever happens to him.  The worst I’ve ever seen him is when he got hit in the eye with a baseball.  But that wasn’t his body letting him down, that was an accident.  Now, his body has let him down.  And it’s terrifying to me.

The fact that I know why I’m so anxious is helpful.  I can pin it down and say ‘this is why’.  The hard part is keeping it under control and not letting it run away with me.  And that hasn’t been a big part of my strong qualities.  The other hard part is going to be getting my mother to tell me the truth.  She doesn’t tell me stuff to protect me against anxiety and panic.   This is a new version of my mother, only about a year old.  I think that she has realized her mortality and decided it would be better to accept us as we are, rather than criticizing all the time.  It’s a nice change, but I’m still quite wary.

The other trick here is to try to not let the anxiety and adrenaline that are currently present, lead me into a massive crash when the crisis is over.  Also, to try to not snap at MIL when she comes home from visiting friends.

So, today is a day of coping skills.  Blogging (yes, you may hear from me more than once today), coloring, tending to whatever might be growing in the greenhouse, playing games and if I’m super lucky…reading.  If my coping skills are unsuccessful, and sometimes they are…I’ll find something on netflix to watch.

Thank God I got laundry done yesterday and there are leftovers for hubby’s dinner.  *phew*