Can grief be an antidote to anxiety?
What happens when you've spent your entire life in an epic state of panic, waiting for the horrible, terrible thing to happen? It's around the corner. You will not be fooled or surprised. Everything is risky. Germs, driving, date rapists, identity thieves, breast lumps, pandemics, stranger danger, ebola, ecoli, left arm pain, child abductions, odd bloating sensations, racing heart rate, lower back pain, radon, Y2K, weird rashes, killer bees.
You've been on it your whole life, checking under the metaphorical bed, kicking the tires, peeking behind every door, watching your back. Waiting. Getting your flu shots. Relentlessly checking your credit rating. Upping your flood insurance. Yearly freckle checks at the dermatologist. Pap smears. Mammograms. Colonic health. Flossing. Praying. Fasting. Being good. Doing good. Breathing out bad thoughts, in strength and peace. Wishing others well. Mostly.
But, nothing terrible happens.
Until it does.
The worst thing ever has happened. I lost my brother, the best person in my life, taken from me, out of nowhere. How did this one get past my supersonic, hypervigilant anxiety radar? I thought I had played out every possible loss, every scenario, all of the potential wolves and Nazis at the door. Never saw this one coming.