Moving towardHealthy Interdependence
As Anita walked back to her house from the mailbox, one envelopein particular caught her eye. It was addressed to her husband andcarried the return address of a medical lab. Immediately, Anita feltthe familiar sense of fear and anxiety begin to surge. The worriesthat used to be her constant companion cascaded:
didn’t tell me he’d had lab work. What is he hiding from me? What if he’s reallysick? What if he has cancer?
Recognizing that her anxiety was triggered, Anita reasonedwith herself as she headed straight to her home office for a brief time-out:
don’t have to get all bent out of shape over this. A lot of my fear just comes from my maximizing. I don’t have any real evidence tobelieve that Mike’s seriously ill right now. I just know that he had sometests—that’s it. What I really need to do right now is calm down. After my time-out, I’ll figure out how to approach this with Mike. But I can’tdo anything until I get myself calm first.
By the time Anita finished her time-out, her anxiety level hadeased. Able to engage her rational forebrain, she remembered thatshe needed to wait to have the difficult conversation until she and