Published on August 14th, 2023 | by Caite McNeil0
Motherhood has made me into a bit of a hypochondriac. The stoicism instilled in me by my parents—Shake it off, Caite—has given way to near constant anxiety. I’m reminded of something Rivka Galchen wrote in her brilliant book Little Labors:
New variety of depression
It’s true what they say, that a baby gives you a reason to live. But also, a baby is a reason that it is not permissible to die. There are days when this does not feel good.
It is this, the most intense kind of pressure to stay alive and healthy for my child, that drives my anxiety. And it’s the reason that I’m such a frequent flier at my doctor’s office. Hemorrhoids happen to a lot of women in labor, and I was no exception. They’re a pretty normal phenomenon, but if I’m in the right headspace, I can convince myself they’re rectal tumors. Writing comics about my hypochondria helps me better understand it, helps me laugh about it, makes me feel like it’s not winning.