Sometimes, when I think of what it would take to unravel my life, I get this immediate and heavy boulder in my gut. I can see my husband spinning out and crashing on black ice—and then what? What do I do with the monthly mortgage that is 20% of my annual salary? What do I do with the medical practices he owns and operates? What do I do with his patients and the house? The properties we own with aspirations to build someday?

Obviously, we have plans in place. But really. What would I do?

What would I do if I got a terminal prognosis, or worse, if either of my perfect, beautiful, innocent children did?

We just have so little control. It’s terrifying. When my mind spirals like that, I feel the same shortness of breath, the tightening of throat, the rising of shoulders, pinching of scalp, as when I was a kid and trapped while my parents fought. What could I do then? I had no recourse.

I know that I’m a grown woman with a terminal degree and tenure. We have insurance of all imaginable varieties. We have lists with names and account numbers. We have set out what we can.

But still. The dread is always right there, threatening with every prediction of ice, every doctor’s visit. Day 52.

Published by Quitter

I’m a college professor, wife, and mother of 2 small kids. I’m on a recovery journey 20 years in the making.

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