DEAR ABBY: The mother of a friend of mine died recently. I offered my condolences, and since then I haven't been the same.
I am nine months pregnant, and even though I should be excited and celebrating the anticipated arrival of our baby, all I can think about is that my mother is going to die one day. She's 52, healthy and happy, but I can't get it out of my mind.
I have become a different person, crying at the most trivial things and often panicking that Mom's OK. I don't think I could make it through if anything happened to her.
Dwelling on this is affecting my relationship with my husband and my friends. How do I stop obsessing over this?
- Anxious in Albuquerque
DEAR ANXIOUS: A discussion with your OB-GYN would be helpful. By the last months of pregnancy, a woman's body is swimming in hormones. Those increased hormone levels have been known to have a profound effect on a woman's emotions.
The solution to your problem may be as simple as understanding that once your baby arrives and your hormones return to normal, you will be back on a more even keel. If that doesn't happen, you may have to talk with a mental-health professional - although I doubt that that will be necessary.
In the meantime, your mother is healthy, happy and about to be a grandmother, so dwell on the positive.
DEAR READERS: A thought for the day: The best exercise in the world is to bend down and help someone up.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.