Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I worry.

I worry when someone doesn't answer my texts because I assume that they are angry or upset with me. I spend the next several hours rehashing our last conversation to pick it apart and pull out anything that may have upset them. I constantly check my phone until they respond.

If i am waiting for someone to come home or to meet me somewhere and they are late I worry that something terrible happened to them. My mind automatically jumps to the worst case scenario. I can't concentrate on anything else until I know that they are safe.

I hate being late because I don't want everyone staring at me when I walk in. So I either get to where I need to be early, or, I don't go at all. I have missed classes and important meetings because of this.

Any ache or pain I feel turns into fear of serious illness or disease, which esclates quickly because the more I worry about the symptoms, the more symptoms I suddenly develop. I have thought everything from gas leak to brain cancer.

I worry so much about letting you down that sometimes I tell you the things you want to hear rather than the truth. This is what I am most ashamed of. I am better, but not 100%.

I fear social interaction because I worry that I will say something wrong or do something stupid, so I avoid it. I make excuses, like being sick or being too busy or having family things to do. Anything to get out of a social situation.

I never once raised my hand in school in fear that I was wrong. To this day, when I have to speak in group meetings I rehearse what I am going to say several times to make sure I say it correctly.

I despise shopping because I am terrified of strangers talking to me and I don't want a sales associate to help me or to ask me too many questions. I also will never ask them a question. If I don't see my size, I simply leave.

When the phone rings, I panic. My mind automatically assumes it is bad news. Usually, by the time I get the courage to answer the phone, the other person has already hung up. And I won't call you back because I'm scared of what you will say.

Making a phone call should be easy, but for me, I have to give myself a 10-20 minute pep talk before I do it. For work related things, it is always last on my to do list. I do everything else first and e-mail when I can.

New things terrify me. I like routine and I don't want to be surprised or unprepared. When going to a new class or event I will keep my head down to avoid eye contact and keep to myself as much as I can.

These are just some of the things I worry about. Don't feel sorry for me. I used to feel sorry for myself, until I accepted that plain and simple, this is who I am. I can't change it. I have help and I get through each day, some are harder than others, and I survive. Like all of you. We are all just trying to survive.

Some will say I shouldn't have written this blog, and that these types of things should be kept private. Maybe so but this is my story, this is my life, and I am choosing to speak about it.


Shari said... Add Reply

Oh, I relate to so much of this. SO MUCH. When I worked at our ABC station and would have to make calls, I'd actually write down what I wanted to say. You should've seen me the time I had to call someone from Good Morning America ... it took me at least half an hour to work up the nerve! Oh my gosh, and the worrying -- about other people, about illness/disease ... I am horrible about that, and I hate it, but I think that's just how some people's brains are wired, you know?

I, for one, am glad you wrote this. It's always nice to know we aren't alone :) And in that vein -- if you ever need a listening ear, you know I'm here!

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said... Add Reply

I think you're brave for still doing things despite your worries. Keeping pushing forward!

Bish Denham said... Add Reply

I ran across your blog through the A to Z Challenge Bloghop that you signed up for and I had to respond to your post.

You are brave to write about these things. However, worry and worrying is a waste of precious time. Worrying is not hard-wired into our brains, it is a learned behavior that can be changed.

Corrie Ten Boom said: Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.

The Dalai Lama said: If there is no solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it.

When my husband and I first got married one of the things we decided to do was to eliminate a few words from our vocabularies: Never and always, because saying things like "you never" or "you always" is just not true and can trigger reactions that can escalate an argument. And the word worry, because the word worry is a little cancerous worm that eats away at resolve and more importantly eats away at the present, which is the only time we have. The past is already gone, so why "worry" about it? The future is an unknown so why, "worry" about it? We cannot "change" the past or the future. We can only change the present.

Instead of using the word worry, we use the word concerned. "I was concerned when you didn't call." "I'm concerned I'll say the wrong thing."

That little shift takes away a HUGE amount of needless, time-wasting anxiety. I hope you'll give it try. When you hear yourself say the word worry, correct yourself and use concerned instead. Give yourself a couple of months... and your brain will begin to be reprogrammed, rewired.

By the way, practicing what you want to say before you say it is nothing to be concerned about. It's a way of focusing the mind, of making sure you have your "talking points."

And be assured, there is no such thing as perfection. Crippling yourself with fear that you aren't perfect is a huge hindrance to living a joyful life.

I realize am a stranger, Megan. I am simply an older woman who has a wee bit of experience and who couldn't let this post of yours pass by.

Remember to breathe and to be thankful for that simple ability.