I’m Learning That Huntington’s Anxiety Doesn’t Need to Be Contagious
One way to better control anxiety is by letting some things go
I was leaving work 20 minutes later than planned, which meant I would be late to pick up my wife, Jill, at home. We had dinner plans that evening with friends, and I knew she would be a nervous wreck by the time I arrived.
As I got into my car to drive home, I called to tell her I was leaving. She is not the type to complain, but I always know when she feels anxious. When she answered, she sounded a little worried. I started to apologize for leaving later than expected because I was held up by a meeting.
“It’s not the end of the world,” she said, sounding relieved that I was OK. “All that matters is that you get home safely.”
As I drove, I noticed my muscles were tense. I’d been bracing for her anxious reaction, but now that I knew she wasn’t anxious, I took a deep breath and relaxed.
When I picked her up, I apologized, and she told me again it was OK and that she felt bad I was feeling anxious. I told her I was more concerned about her anxiety.
She told me that being late happens sometimes, and she’d texted our friends to let them know we were running late. Her calm when faced with running behind was new to me, so I asked her about it.
“I’m working on controlling my anxiety and the things I can’t control,” she said. “I’m working on just letting go and increasing my patience.”
I was impressed by her self-awareness and ability to work on aspects of herself that she knows could be healthier. She admitted it wasn’t easy, but knows it’s important for her to conquer as many issues as she can while she still has the ability to do so.
As we arrived at the restaurant, Jill grabbed my face and looked at me with her beautiful brown eyes and said she loves that I don’t want to do anything to upset her, but that I would need to learn to avoid letting her anxiety become mine.
As her Huntington’s progresses, she knows she will have less control over her emotions, so she’ll need me to keep calm and carry on no matter what she’s feeling.
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