Monday, December 16, 2013



So, I was feeling really really strong after feeling not so strong. And then I got a stomach bug. And after a week of being stuck at home, semi-helpless, I felt my anxiety creep back in.

I don't get a little bug and just think "Oh, I'll be fine. It's just a bug," I think "I might be just a little sick, or...I might be very sick and will have to go through the illness and possibly my death without my partner with me."

This thought always sends me back to a place of powerlessness, even though I logically understand that I'm making up stories that have no basis in reality. Except, actually, my reality has been all about illness and death.

From the age of 5, illness has stolen my main caregivers and loved ones away one, by one. So, my fears might be seen as based in reality. My reality.

I go from feeling strong, capable and hopeful, to filled with fear and doubt with one small illness. That's all it takes. But the trick here, I think, is to keep feeling the fear and doubts and learn to tolerate them and live with them. They'll probably always be there. They're a part of me. But they're not me.

I'm bigger than them and I can exist with them without letting them guide my every action and thought.

And I can survive what life throws my way. Even if it's scary. 


  1. I hope you’re feeling better quickly Cassie.
    Being sick and alone just sucks.

    For some reason your post reminded me of a issue that continually makes me want to cry whenever it comes up.
    After 3 1/2 years, what I still find distressing is filling out forms that require an ‘Emergency Contact Person’.
    After being together for 28 years before he died, I never even thought about that. I had somebody that had my back in all situations and would drop everything for me in an emergency. If I were to become unconscious, anybody could just pickup my cell phone, call ‘Home’, and my guy would likely be at the other end and know exactly what to do in an emergency.

    But we’re just alone now and it sucks.

    My parents are both still alive but they’re elderly and are the last people I’d wanted contacted in an emergency.
    And I have 5 siblings but most of them live very far away.
    I have a sister & brother still living nearby, but my sister works out of town and wouldn’t be available in an emergency.
    And my brother would likely wonder why the hell I’ve listed him as an emergency contact.
    My 20something son, is not much of a contender either as he struggles to get his life and act together since his father died. I can rarely reach him by phone myself so I don’t think anybody else could either. And he likely wouldn’t know what to do anyway.
    And friends? I simply don’t see them as emergency contacts.
    So, when I have to fill out that info it’s just a crap shoot who I choose.

    I hate it.

    Anyway, I really do hope you’re feeling better soon Cassie.

    1. Oh, god, those damn emergency contacts! I always end up writing down my girlfriends' info. Thank god for girlfriends.

  2. I can totally relate. My husband died and we didn't have any children. I have health issues and he always took care of me. Then both of my parents have died since he did. Now, I am 60 and totally alone. I only have one brother left as blood relative. When I am sick, sometimes I just want to not wake up so that feeling of helplessness will be over.

  3. Ugh, the emergency contact info. Yes, I hate that as well. For 28 years it was my wife. Now I have my mother in law listed. She is in good health, but lives 300 miles away and is turning 80 this year. I also have my oldest sister listed, but she is 2000 miles away.

  4. Cassie, I understand this completely and agree with the responses. Being sick without your main support person absolutely sucks and intensifies the illness. Like Valerie, I have an anxiety attack when being forced to list an emergency contact. The only person I know who would drop everything and come to take care of me, besides my kids who live out of state, if my husband and he is 6 feet under the ground. Ugh!!!!

    Thank you for sharing and caring and do feel better soon, Cassie!

  5. ugh! So understand this. Was sick last week with a horrible flu, while I climbed into a tub, chills and fever going< I lay in the water and thought maybe this is what it will be like if I die - alone, trying to take care of myself, sick. I couldn't even cry because I felt so horrible. The next day I phoned someone and said "I'm sick. I need help." I got it, then three days later I left the house, filled a grocery cart with pantry food and freezer food, updated my phone list and made a couple of apts for health - dentist, massage and doctor. I realized - I have to reach out, I have to take control and I have to make sure that I have what I need just in case. It doesn't make me feel better but it does give me a sense of what I need to do. I hope you are feeling so much better.

  6. Yes! That's a really impressive way of handling it. Instead of letting the fear and worry paralyze you, reach out and build up your resources! I love it. Good work. Makes me think about ways I could do the same.
    I am feeling better. Thank you.

  7. I am reading this today as a first time visitor to the site. I lost my husband on the 20th of this past december. So its only been 22 days. I hit that emergency contact thing days after he died and had to take my 10 year old to the doctor. I sat in the office and wept. We were separate people but for me there were a few things he always did for me, change the light bulbs, ran errands when he was no longer able to work and he was ALWAYS my emergency contact number.... I am sure you are feeling better by now but I wanted to thank you for taking the time to write this.....