What, me worry?

I’ve always been something of a professional worrier.

When I was little I was always worried about dying. All it would take was having a simple stomache and I would ask my parents, “Am I going to die?” “Am I going to be ok?” As I got older I graduated to more common worries that I suppose most people have like school, relationships, jobs, etc.

When my wife and I first got married, I actually wasn’t that worried about being a husband. It didn’t seem like rocket science to me. I knew it would take work, but I also knew that by doing the things that made us such a great couple before we were married (communication, prayer, etc.) that we would have an awesome marriage. And we have all these years.

But the thought of being a parent was definitely something that gave me cause for worry. I could wrap my head around being married, but being a parent? Now that was something I just couldn’t comprehend or even imagine that I’d be very good at.

When we found out my wife was pregnant, I was naturally thrilled…and also racked with worry! I had what I guess would be the typical first-time father worries, but also the nagging suspicion that somehow things wouldn’t work out for me like they do for most people.

In addition to the lifetime battle with worry, I’ve also had my share of esteem issues all these years. Where this comes from I haven’t a clue. I’ve always had an incredibly supportive family, teachers, friends, etc. and for the most part I’ve avoided any colossal failures throughout my life. But for some reason I always am convinced that I won’t be able to live the life that I imagine other people do.

This way of thinking has affected me throughout college, jobs, etc. I even remember being convinced that I would be one of the only people in the world who wouldn’t be able to figure out how to drive a car.

Anyway…back to the point I was trying to make. I was so worried and convinced that I would be a horrible parent or that something would be wrong with my child. So it was a great relief to me the day our son was born. I didn’t pass out in the delivery room. I was actually somewhat helpful and supportive in there too if I do say so myself. (This should have come as a surprise. During one of our pre-birth classes, we watched a video of a birth and when the baby’s head starting coming out, I leaned over to my wife and said, “What the heck is that?!”)

I was so relieved to see that my son had 10 fingers and 10 toes and that he didn’t seem to have any kind of birth defects. This doesn’t mean I still wasn’t a total wreck (I almost barfed/crapped my pants when it came time to leave the hospital) but I was gaining a little confidence.

In the weeks/months that followed, I still had my share of worries/anxieties about everything in life, but I felt like I was learning this Dad job pretty well. I was changing poopy diapers, getting him to eat, having a blast playing with him, etc.

For some reason, I did have this nagging suspicion that something wasn’t quite right, but everyone always told me that boys developed slower so I tried not to dwell on it too much. But of course, the good times didn’t last and we soon learned of our son’s autism diagnosis. While it seemed to me that everyone else I know gets to have this awesome parenting experience, my path suddenly would be much different.

So what’s the point of my rambling today? Well, if you’re a worrier/hypochondriac like me, then having to deal with autism really is not fun. Now on top of the autism, we’re dealing with all the toxic buildup my son has. It’s starting to really wear me down. In the past on a good day, I felt lucky to make it through without having a nervous breakdown. Now, this worrier gets to think about all things autism, toxins, getting toxins out of the house, getting my son to eat, etc.

This is probably the worst possible scenario I can imagine for the perpetual worrier/hypochondriac. Everywhere I look now I’m convinced something is poisoning my son. Even if we’re able to do the chelation effectively and get this crap out of his body, who knows how much junk is floating around out there that can still get in.

Fortunately for the world, I’m not a person with very destructive tendencies. When dealing with something like this, I can see where some people go off the deep end and do things to try to escape. I guess my only real vice for me so far has been a bit of eating stuff I probably shouldn’t. But unless I gain 200 pounds, I guess there could be worse things.

Sorry for writing a mini-novel today. You may be thinking that I shouldn’t ‘worry my pretty little head off.’ That might be sound advice, but unfortunately I’m bald.

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One Response to “What, me worry?”

  1. Lori Says:

    Oh, Joe! Dear, Joe! You have my laughing and wanting to cry at the same time. Not sure when a good time to call would be, so call me tonight so we can chat, k?

    Hugs & Kisses,
    Lori

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