Me? Who am I? I’m Kate Ritchie. I can’t give too much away as I’m not ready to expose myself in that way but here’s a summary for now…….
Age: Forty +
Size: 10 (OK – 14). Reasonably ‘fit’ according to my other half – Thanks Honey! (PS; other half usually referred to as Hubby even though we are not married!)
Hair: Fair and fine (and by ‘fine’ I don’t mean ‘great’; I mean thin and incapable of growing past shoulder length – a curse which is borne by many of the females in my family!).
Skin: Combination/oily (a bugger when you’re in your teens but a blessing when you get past forty; apparently this skin type keeps you looking younger for longer – thanks for that!)
Teeth: All my own, still straight and unstained as long as I go easy on red wine and attend my ‘scale and polish’ appointments.
Ex Boyfriends: Two – One lovely (5 years service) and one not so lovely (one year service)
Present Boyfriends – One lovely other half (OH) ( 7 years and counting).
Ex Husbands – One lovely man…..albeit for someone else now (12 years but we’re still in touch because, well, he’s very lovely and why wouldn’t we stay in touch). I like everything and everybody to be nice remember?
Family & Friends
Children – none (wasn’t meant to be – but that’s another story)
Step children – Hmmm, I’m not sure – it depends on how they see it!
Brothers – None (but I kinda wish I had one or five)
Sisters – One (love, love, love my sis) – she has brought a brother in law, niece and two nephews into my life – thanks Sis – wish I could have done the same for you 😨)
Mums – One (still young since she had me at 17!) By day a psychologist; by night a spiritual being who always knows what phase of the moon we are in. I consider Mum to be one of my best buddies.
Dads – One (much older than Mum and now suffering from severe dementia and limited mobility). A terrible affliction but he gets lots of time and love. And I get great exercise pushing him through the streets in his wheelchair!
Friends – a blessed assortment of fine folks ranging from old school friends, work buddies and other souls that have crossed my path over the years.
Education & Employment
Education: Managed a cheeky little Degree
Ex-employment – Local/Central Government (21 years)
Present employment – Owner of online shop (4 years)
Number of worries and panicky thoughts that cross my mind per day
– Zillions –
Proportion of life spent dealing with worry and anxiety
– All of it –
Number of people who know the full extent of my anxiety
– None –
So yes – I am lots of things but primarily I’m a born worrier; a professional worrier I might argue. Not because I get paid for worrying but because I am so damn good at it! I’ve been fretting about everything and anything since I was two years old – possibly even earlier (I only say two because I remember my Sister being born then and I was terrified something might happen to her).
I was a happy child – yes truly I was – but I was terrified of everything from the crocodile under the bed, the hand that might pull me down the toilet; the dripping tap that would flood the house while we slept and the terrible accidents that might befall my family whenever they left the house. And OMG! – who remembers the horrific “Keep Rabies Out of Britain”poster? Guaranteed to have every child running scared from their neighbours perfectly healthy Spaniel.
And as I grew up, my more localised fears went global! Literally! I spent most of my teens preparing myself for the four minute warning and worrying that the sofa (which I planned to hide under) would not withstand the blast.
Even when international relations were in their more peaceful phases I shifted my terror to the prospect of meteorites, earthquakes and plagues. I even had a spell of fretting that the earths gravity might fail some day soon causing everyone to simply fall off the surface and disappear into space.
Leaving school finally allowed me to escape my childhood fears – and embrace some adult ones instead! Man, the world was my Oyster – there was soooooooo much to worry about! This was the late eighties and, like everyone I balked at the prospect of global warming and ecological disaster. “Face your fears!” we have always been told. So I did – by studying Environmental Science at University; but too much knowledge is not always good and I quaked all the way to graduation.
Life has since been good to me (and I do worry that I have spoiled my blessed existence with all my worrying). I have always enjoyed lovely family, great friends, good health, interesting jobs…… but I can’t STAND the uncertainty of it all! Knowing that the world can change in a minute. Literally in a MINUTE!! Knowing that there is just so much shit that is out of our control!!
Here I am in my forties. With age has come even more fears about loss of loved ones, war, terrorism, global instability and diminishing resources. On the plus side, my advancing age has also enabled me to get my fears into perspective. As a result I only have to deal with a few anxieties these days; namely death, destruction and the collapse of civilisation.
For me, the best defence against uncontrolled anxiety has always been humour. A good old fashioned laugh at myself and my attempts to feel better about the world. Of course, there’s nothing funny about terrible events but anxiety brings black humour aplenty if we allow ourselves to laugh about it.
And so…..now the menopause is approaching and I am told that my anxiety may increase as a result. What?!!? There’s no way I am going through this by myself!
I AM NOT ALONE. And nor are you! If you feel Worried Sick you’ve come to the right place! Hang out with me and lets laugh in the face of fear!