How I overcame a recent urge to ruin a perfectly good day by letting worry and fear creep in for no reason. If you are a worrier, you need to read this.
Those imaginary scenarios will mess you up. They got to me the other day, and I realized some important things that just might help you too.
My head had just hit the pillow after a long, but really fun day. It was a weekend, and Jason and I had spent time doing the Regular Responsibilities of our lives, and also having fun Working On Our Car.
Regular responsibilities – Throw load of laundry in the washer, start the dishwasher and set the automatic vacuum. Time required: 10 minutes maximum allowed.
Working on our car – Screw around in the shop. Light things on fire, do some burn outs, take photos, spray paint, mix epoxy, and laugh. Time required: unlimited.
It was one of those days in which you’re in sync with your partner. Jason is my best friend, and he’s also my boyfriend, and it felt like a long date day. I love those kind.
So, when my head hit the pillow at the end of the day, I was relaxed and happy. A couple of minutes later, it happened. My mind turned on. Worry, anxiousness, and fear crept in over stuff that was just not even real. Ever had that happen to you? Of course you have, we all do it.
I did what is the best remedy for worry, obviously. I let it get to me, and it grew. I fed on the worry and the scenarios started playing out in my head. As I laid there, I was further from sleep with each passing minute and my mind started spinning out of control. What if.….those at the ones that haunt me the most. They are also the least likely to happen, so why is it that we spend so much time in the What If land in our heads? I am very proficient in What If land, so if you need 46 scenarios of how something can go wrong, just ask me, I’ll map it out for you. The problem is, none of them are likely to play out.
It is the worst possible time to start worrying, when you go to bed, but in those quiet moments, that’s when it always strikes me. The grip of fear is nasty.
That night, Jason was already falling asleep, and in the dark, I said, ‘Hey, not to start a big conversation right now, but I’m worried.’ He talked with me, it helped, and then we went to sleep and I was worry free.
That is what happened on the surface, and speaking worry to a trusted person is always beneficial for me and helps it dissipate. My nature is to distance myself from others, isolate, and process things in my head, alone, but I’m working on that. So this time, it felt like a win that I spoke up. But it’s not that easy just to say, I was worried, I talked about it, and it was over. I learned a lot from this night.
What really struck me about this particular interaction is when Jason asked me why I was worried. He wasn’t asking what I was worried about, it was deeper than that. We did talk about what I was worried about but the real issue was something else.
The real question was why was I worried in the first place, at that particular time, about stuff that was simply fear based?
It wasn’t judgment, it was inquiry, concern, and love, that made Jason ask, which I appreciate. Especially since I interrupted him as he was at the edge of wakefulness. As I thought about his question as I laid in the dark, I realized it was because we had a really nice day. Individually, I had a day in which I was able to enjoy things that I love, with the person that I love. There was nothing to feel bad about or worried about at all, and the three idiots had crept in to my head.
I’m getting rid of doom speak.
I’m learning to allow myself the good times, and not overthink things when they are going well. I have the classic problem of waiting for the other shoe to drop – I doom speak over myself. Things are going too well, so there must be something bad right around the corner. I’m also learning to recognize when the fake scenarios start playing out, and to allow myself to have a good time. It’s a key to living a full life for me. Hard times will come, bad things will happen, but if I give over my thoughts to the bad times when they aren’t even happening, I miss out on enjoyment in the moment I am in.
I realized it as we laid there, and chose to re-focus my thinking on the positive and fun day we had. Live in the present, and relish in the memories we created, not the falsehood of things that will likely never happen anyway.
Having self compassion instead of self-hatred is so healthy. There’s no reason to feel bad about feeling bad.
I woke up the next day, feeling grateful for being able to recognize what was going on. I felt compassion for myself for being a human that struggles with emotion – we all do, whether we want to admit it or not. Self-hatred does no good in healing, in fact it keeps me stuck in that cycle, because I feel bad about feeling bad. Feeling love and compassion for myself in the struggle, is really a far better course, and one that I am learning to choose more often. It’s easy to do, but so difficult to apply consistently.
You are not bad or wrong for worrying or having doubt and neither am I. Every single person does. You have to understand that you can make it through anything life throws your way. You already have, and I already have. It makes us build character and a rich life history. We are not failures for having troubles, we are survivors.
So that said, I have a relaxing day planned today, and I’ll be spending it focused on what is actually in front of me, rather than the three idiots, or false doom-speaking.
Now that is: The End.