Handling change.

20 Feb 2015

One of the hardest things to handle or accept for a person with a mental health condition is change, even if the change is good.

My husband will be retiring in a matter of days. How wonderful, you might say. Of course, in the logical part of my mind, I am looking forward to the event. My emotions, however, have me in a tizzy.

What on Earth might one be anxious about at retirement, you might ask.

I worry that we won't have enough money each month. Have we planned well enough? What if the market crashes again and our investments aren't worth as much? What if one of us gets sick and we have enormous health care bills?

I worry that he will get tired of being with me all day; I'm not exactly good company most days. I drag myself from bed whenever I am able; many days it's almost noon. I take forever to perform the most menial of tasks. I change my plans minute by minute according to what I think I can handle. Some afternoons consist of my moping on the coach, grateful at least that no one can see how horrible I look and act.

The biggest worry I have is trying to perform our daily rituals while sharing the same space. For almost all of our 33 years together, we have had different times to prepare for the day, for our morning routines. He likes music and TV in the background to keep him company. He is cheerful (but not sickly so, thank goodness), and enjoys chatting and whistling a tune.

I, on the other hand, am quiet. Not surly or grouchy, but silence definitely reigns my morning schedule. I do not talk, play the radio, or listen to TV. I avoid my cell phone. I need to ease into my day. In fact, this routine has governed my morning behavior since I was in junior high school having nothing to do with the rest of my mental state.

How ever will we cope?

I suspect the coping will come from our mutual commitment to one another. It's how we've stayed together for over 30 years. He is so gentle and understanding about my mental and emotional state. I bet he'll offer to make changes to his routines. And we do live in a house big enough for each of us to have our own space in the mornings. I might even learn to benefit from exchanging morning pleasantries with the one I love.

Somehow, this change doesn't seem so ominous as it first did when I sat down to write. Now, maybe I can work on my distress over my beloved son moving away with his wonderful little wife so that I can share in their joy and anticipation.


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