1. What happens if my son doesn't graduate High School?
Your son is ultimately responsible for his own actions. If he does not graduate, he can get his GED. Once he finds out (in the workforce) how important a high school diploma is, he will find his own motivation.
This is not your problem. Do your best to guide him, but give him enough freedom to learn from his mistakes.
2. What if I screw up my new job?
You might lose your job, and that will hurt and possibly trigger an episode. But you will live through it. And you will learn something to make your next try more successful.
But this fear has great power to motivate you to stay well. I know you will do your best!
3. What if I have a nervous breakdown during the Holidays?
You might end up feeling embarassed. But you'll be alive on the other side of the breakdown. You will survive.
You can take steps now to make the holidays easier. Make your gift shopping list. Limit it to $25 per person. Limit it to children. Buy one gift each pay period, and wrap them ahead of time. Limit your obligations. Give yourself freedon to NOT be the model host or the perfect parent. Your family loves you exactly the way that you ARE - nervous breakdown included!
4. How will I get to my Mom's for Christmas when I'm working a retail job and she lives across the country?
You might get a Christmas miracle and find a way. But even at home, Christmas is what you make it. Start your own little tradition - no matter how small or silly. Call your family and tell them that you love them. Send your gifts to them in a box. Send a card.
Feeling lonely? Imagine how lonely it must be to spend Christmas alone in a nursing home!!! Go visit a few people and ask them to tell you a story about Christmas when they were young. You will leave with a smile and a tear and I guarantee you will not feel lonely anymore!
5. What if anyone in my family gets in a wreck and dies or gets an awful disease?
You would grieve, it might trigger an episode, but ultimately, you will be alive on the other side of the crisis.
Treasure each person and each day. Each could be theirs, or your last one. Enjoy every moment as best you can.
6. What if we go bankrupt?
Your credit score would be hurting for 7 years, and you will feel shamed. But you would survive. It could trigger an episode, but that is what your meds are for!
You can set aside 10% of your paycheck towards outstanding bills that stress you. Start with the smallest bill to build your confidence that you CAN pay it off. Then begin making payments on the highest-interest debt. Don't avoid a debt collector. When you feel strong enough, tell them that you are on a fixed income (even if you aren't), that you will make payments, that you are paying off another bill right now, but you'll be able to pay after that bill is paid. they will note your account and it will stop the letters and phone calls.
I was OVERWHELMED with debt that carried a lot of emotional baggage. It was from my divorce and each debt carried a shame or anger from a time my ex-husband hurt me. It took 2 years to pay off 15 accounts and over $8,000 debt. Now I only have "good" debts that improve my credit score - mortgage, car, and student loans.
You CAN do this, and if you can't... you will survive.
7. How will we pay for Christmas?
See above. :) My family never had money. I remember one year getting a $0.10 cent fish eraser as a gift. I was disappointed then, but it makes me smile today. There is no shame in downsizing your Christmas.
My fiance's family does the HUGE Christmas gift theing and they're not cheap gifts! But this year I'm going to give my future-mother-in-law a meaningful gift that will probably make her cry. I took apart a quilt that her mother made. It was COMPLETELY ruined in shreds, and smelling like a dog. I make a quilted wallhanging with the pieces I could salvage. I spent $5 to buy the quilt batting. But the gift will be priceless.
It doesn't matter your talent, skill or lack thereof. Creativity and love is all you need to give memorable gifts.
You're going to be OK. Good for you for identifying what stresses you!!! Now you can DO things to make it better.