I don't like to think about the big picture. Allow me to explain. I have these amorphous ideas of my children going through school, attending college, becoming functional adults of American society. I have these images of the Ty-man and I taking the kids to Yellowstone on an insane family vacation, playing at the beach, helping kids with homework, bouncing grandchildren on our knees.
But, overall, I keep the big picture at bay. Because for me, that big picture always leads to death. Mine, Ty's, kids, my mom, my friends, everyone. Going there opens the door wide for my panic attacks.
I pretty much deal with this anxiety every day. Even though investigating the paranormal has cut down on the attacks quite a bit, I still find myself going down the forbidden path. Now, though, instead of wondering how I will die, my mind grabs hold of Will the kids be OK when I'm gone? or I couldn't live if my children died before me. or How would I take care of the kids without Ty? I think about the what-ifs and the could-bes and I get so overwhelmed.
To combat this, I think about the little things. I need to wash these four dishes and these three cups. There are two shirts that must be ironed. I have a section of blackwork I want to work on. Should take me 15 minutes. Tomorrow, I'll go to the grocery store. This weekend, I'll get the kids set up with a craft project. I can only mentally plan a week in advance. Oh, sure, I make dentist appointments six months out and we register the kids for school in February each year. We even have a college fund set up. Woo hoo!
But me? Personally? I can't think that far ahead. I have to look at the little tiny details of my day. If I focus on the tiny stitches of life's enormous tapestry, then I'm OK, I can deal. If I start to back up and take in the entire embroidery of my life, I get overwhelmed and panicky because there's so much I've done and so much I still have yet to do. I have no idea when the project will end and if people will admire it when it's all over.
It's too much.
So I just keep crouching over my stitches, counting as I go, hoping I won't have to pull out any knots.