Knock on wood

I'm not generally a superstitious person. Except when it comes to the power of jinx and when it reinforces my deepest, most paranoid theories of impending doom. I bring this up only because I think I'm sort of in the throes of it right now. I should explain that I've always been a pretty fearful person. I spent much of my childhood, most of my adolescent and a grand chunk of my adulthood with my stomach in a knot, constantly afraid of horrible things happening to me and those around me. I had actually made good progress on my fear and anxiety (sobriety helped not a little) when my mother died in 2003. That seemed to spark my fear and anxiety a thousand-fold. I reeled with the sense of being completely out of control, being unable to stop tragedy. I became absolutely terrified that more of my loved ones were going to die, especially my husband Chris. To the point that I would lie awake at night, watching him, unable to sleep for trying to stem this giant tide of panic that wasn't constantly threatening to undo my world.

I know. Maybe not so healthy.

I don't live in that place of intense, uncontrollable fear anymore, but I get wind of it every once in a while. It pokes at me occasionally, trying to get my attention. Reminding me that all is not safe and stable. Clearly, I'm sort of there now, tonight, which explains this post after a long absence, written late at night.

I wrote here not too long ago about an old friend of mine who died entirely too young and entirely too tragically. I'm not ready for dying friends, just as I wasn't nearly ready for my mother's death. It unsettled me and I've been unable to shake entirely that feeling of insecurity.

A few weeks ago, I learned that my uncle in Scotland has cancer. And today, I discovered that another much-loved friend of mine has also been diagnosed with cancer.  The good news (we hope) is that it has been diagnosed early in each case. The rest is up in the air and I don't know what it will mean for either of them in the scheme of things. I do know that it's scary and it has me very uneasy right now.

A more superstitious person might note that these things tend to come in threes, sending her mind racing, worrying about who's next. A more superstitious person might knock on wood to try to stave off that possibility. A person like me might do it anyway. Just in case.