I often get struck by thoughts of 'what if?'. What if I die suddenly? What if I get cancer?
These thoughts grip me by my throat and sit in my chest, they make my heart race. They tell me that one day I might die and leave my children motherless.
Just like me.
That they will go through life in pain, bereft and wondering all the time what it would be like if life were different.
Before I had the children I didn't have the fear. I drank too much, I smoked. When I was a teenager I put myself in a few situations which I now look back on and think 'how stupidly dangerous'. Every so often I would have freefall episodes where I would see how far I could push it. I was rebelling, taunting death 'come and get me'.
Before I had the children I didn't have the fear, now it is ever present. Most of the time I am able to ignore it, push it away. I am, in the main, a rational person and I know that life is for living, not for worrying, but in times of stress it's there and it won't go away.
The fear is that one day I will not be here for them, to kiss their heads goodnight and tell them I love them, and I never want them to know what that feels like.