Anxiety 1, me 0

Today I thought my heart was breaking.

It started off well enough. He called on his way to work, as always but our conversation ended early as he offered to give a colleague a lift. I said goodbye and instead, text my love and best wishes for the day.

I was surprised then, when he called as he arrived in work. Like he hadn’t forgotten me, that he needed that chat – however brief – as much as I did.

I wait for his next call.

We are about routine, him and I. So I know approximately what time he will call and my eyes glare at the clock greedily, willing for the beginning of the time when he may call.

When he calls, my stomach turns and a bolt of excitement – lightening – jarrs my body. We talk, we laugh. I drink in his every feature, hang off his every word. I smile, just because he is there.

After lunch I get a surprise call albeit brief. Then we go about our day, a Saturday. And that’s ok – I know he will call in a few hours. He always does.

I occupy myself, get things done, but my mind is with him.

It doesn’t fail to surprise me – every time that I have to check the last time he called, my heart not able to take the wait anymore, the same amount of time has always passed.

I wait a little longer but when he doesn’t call, as sometimes he doesn’t, I call first. And that’s ok.

Except, the call does not connect.

I change rooms, conscious of my deficient WiFi and try again. It still won’t connect.

This has happened before, now and again. Usually when he is at work or out in the car. Neither of those things could be the reason though. Maybe he’s having is dinner? So I wait, knowing that within half an hour or so, he will call.

But he doesn’t. And the calls remain unnoticed and undelivered.

I call my sister, panic setting in. It’s been four hours now, and nothing. My sister laughs – “it’s not four days” – and I know that. But this is unusual. He always calls, he always returns my call.

As we video chat, her trying to calm me as despair eats away at any hope I had left, I eye the app. For a brief moment, the messages and calls flicker – they’ve been delivered. Hope springs again and I wait, barely a smile, but feeling sure that any second he will call.

He doesn’t.

After ten minutes he hasn’t read my messages. So this time, I call his land number. I’m scared. Is he ghosting me? Is he hurt?

The phone rings out but he doesn’t answer. I send one last message, asking him to call and sharing my worry.

By six hours, I can barely breathe. I try to occupy my body but my mind screams.

I’m no longer picturing him with another girl, Internet off to hide the truth.

No, now I picture him injured. Or sat at the side of a hospital bed, a family member ill. I move, zombie like round the room, my mind dwelling on those images.

And then the phone rings, finally, and he’s there. And I don’t know whether to cry or shout or laugh.

He asks me what’s wrong but I ask if he is OK.

He’s been asleep. He turned the wifi off as the box was hot. That was it. That was all.

I try to explain. Explain that he didn’t call as usual, but that was OK. But then there was no connection and that was OK. Because he’d ring. But then he didn’t and he didn’t and he didn’t.

He doesn’t understand. I change the subject but he can see the fear leeching out of me and asks me to explain again. But he still doesn’t understand.

And now? Now I am just glad he called.

But I really need to sort this anxiety out.

4 thoughts on “Anxiety 1, me 0

  1. I totally get that type of anxiety. I usually give myself a generous time frame – say next day xx am – before I allow myself to start acting on the worry. The very real worry that there may have been an accident, or something else truly horrible may have happened. Can’t you talk to him about that? Can’t you arrange that in the case of that kind of thing ever happening, one of his family members will get in touch with you? Or is there somebody you could reach out to if you haven’t heard anything and x hours have gone by without a sound (and it’s not one of those situations when he’s just being silly)?

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    1. I’ve spoken to him about his family being able to get in contact a few weeks ago. He was really sick for a few days and I realised that if his phone broke or he was ill I would have no way of knowing – probably what prompted yesterday’s overreaction. He suggested that on offer my number to his mother – no idea why I need to ask her?? Is it a respect thing? – needless to say, I haven’t yet. Catastrophising has always been part of my anxiety and I do need to learn a better way of dealing with it. I think I freaked him out a little yesterday. 😕

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      1. I reached out to the person I knew to be “best friend” in such a situation. Can’t get much worse than that. I think you reaching out to his mum is a good thing actually… It lets you build the relationship with her without him being involved, and ties you firmly into the family network. I’d go for it 🙂

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