Try not to worry

I’m a worrywart. I don’t know how or why I became that way, but I am. I worry about everything. I’m gloomy, too. I see the worst things happening, never want to try anything because it’ll be hard or tricky, and never like going places without TO THE DOOR directions.

Worrying never put a cent in anyone’s bank account, never made anyone grow an inch, never stopped a single negative thing from happening. Worry never stopped tragedy befalling anyone, never prevented a car accident, never stopped a murder, rape or robbery. Worrying never did anything but cause me to worry, to suffer through things which might have been fun, and to miss out, but inaction most of the time, on things which might have been blessings.

Worry won’t stop the rain from falling, won’t keep the ice off the road, won’t keep the children safe from predators. Worry won’t change the circumstances in anyway, only my perception of things. It doesn’t alter any reality but mine.

Fear and worry go hand in hand. I wouldn’t worry if I weren’t afraid, and when I stop and think about it, I’m afraid of a lot of stuff. Fear never stopped a single thing from happening either. Just like worry, fear only freezes the scared one, and changes their course. The rest of the world, of course, goes on as it will, as it would. I had friends who shrugged at my fears, my worry, my paralysis and went on with their lives unimpeded, wondering why I didn’t. They were right, and I shouldn’t have.

With eyes clouded by worry I’ve watched my life swish by, with nothing to show for it but more years – and unfortunately more pounds – under my belt. I’ve worried about one thing or another in almost every circumstance I can recall, and when I didn’t worry something came along and knocked me for a loop. When that loop-knocking event occurred, it left me with one more thing to worry about the next time I did anything out of the ordinary path of my life, the ruts of my daily road.

The list grows and shrinks. New things to worry about are added every day, other things are scratched off. Give, take, retract and expand. The list never goes away, it just changes from time to time. What worried or scared me as a young man doesn’t bother me as a middle-aged man, but things I wasn’t afraid of then seem terrifying and looming now, towering in their menace.

My fears don’t alleviate but they don’t contribute or change things either. They are and they sit and they drown me. And no matter how much I hear the words, it’s never possible. “Try not to worry.”

I don’t even know what that means, I don’t think.

It’s just part of who and what I am, and I wonder if I’ll ever get over it. If I haven’t by now, when will I?


Copyright 2011 DarcKnyt, All rights reserved

10 thoughts on “Try not to worry

  1. It still won’t let me leave a comment, so here I am.

    Yes, here you are… commenting. 😉

    You know what you should do? You should audition for a play. Theatre’s a great confidence booster. I really think it would help, but I seem to be having a really hard time articulating why. O_o I’ve erased my comment three times now, and I can’t seem to put into words how awesome the atmosphere of a theatre show is and how much it helps. (I worry about everything too, but I’ve discovered that once you get on stage, or once someone else gets on stage and you’re shining a spotlight down on them or waiting to hand off props, if something’s gonna go wrong, it’ll either bomb or be fixed very quickly. Then, you move on and don’t look back or else it will affect the rest of the play.) In fact, you should try out for a play with your whole family. That would be so much fun! =D Right?

    Oy, a theater company?! I wouldn’t know when or HOW to do that. No way. I thank you for the suggestion, Emmsy, but that’s beyond me. I didn’t do theater when I could sing and was relatively good-looking. Ain’t gonna happen now.

    Holy huge comment, Batman!

    Pff! Nonsense. 🙂

  2. What have you got to worry about? You got a wife who let you touch her at least twice. Still got a job, right? And from all accounts, you’re drought and famine resistant. You got the life, man.

    It IS a sweet life. I think the main thing I worry about are the people, not the “life” — which hasn’t always been sweet.

  3. Oh jeez. Do NOT tell me you’re worrying about being worried all the time… 🙂

    Heh. Something like that.

    Worry and fear are actually very useful states of mind. I mean, they (can) help us anticipate and avoid unpleasant or dangerous situations in the first place. And the act of planning fallback actions, “just in case,” is a form of systematic worrying. Which is also a good thing.

    Yeah, but beyond the fight-or-flight thing, it’s really an inhibitor to living a full life, don’t you think?

    But like everything else, it’s possible to take this good thing too far. I don’t have any specific suggestions (I never would have thought of theater, for one – but what an interesting idea!). But I do hope that now that you’re conscious of it, you’ll come up with something to give you some relief!

    Thanks, JES. Much appreciated. 🙂

  4. As a fellow worrywart, I can say, it’s almost a disease. I definitely have moments of more worry than others, and you’re right, worrying never solved a damn thing. I actually have that on a sticky note on my desk. You just have to fight the good fight and keep reminding yourself that all worrying is doing is making you older faster. You’ll never not worry, but there are definitely ways to make it more manageable. Good luck!

    Thanks, V. R. Here’s to the good fight, if any fight can be good.

  5. I suffer from the same ailment. Let me know if you find the cure! I’m just going to keep trying to do things that scare me a little until I hear a solution from you. 😉

    Sorry, Jaymie, when I find a cure I’ll bottle it through one of the big-name pharmaceutical companies and make a billion dollars. 😉

  6. There are the worry-wart people (like me) and then there are annoyingly happy “the-glass-is-half-full”, “isn’t-it-a-lovely-day” people (who I detest) that never, ever worry about much of anything. I just vow to take worrying to new levels. ;-}

    Ha! Excellent attitude, Delaney!

  7. You may think I’m making this up, but I recently read about a study that worrying helps you live longer. JES is right. It also helps anticipate problems. And really, what isn’t there to worry about? And it isn’t like you worry so much that you can’t leave your house. THAT is too much.

    Embrace the worry! It makes you you. 😉

    Ha! Thanks Marta. I guess it is at that. 🙂

  8. I think most people worry more than they are willing to let on. It is helpful to avoid situations, but I feel that’s more of an “intuition/gut” thing as opposed to a “worry/fear” thing.

    I’d agree with that. I think worry CAN help, but it’s more paralyzing than aiding for the most part.

    I think worry is something to overcome, and it can be worked at. It’s something you need to acknowledge about yourself, and want to actively change. Start making note of your triggers. I was a severely worrisome child growing up. I don’t know why, I’ve tried to figure out what in my childhood pushed me in that direction, but for as long as I can remember, I remember worrying – about everything.

    Mom bought new brand of shampoo once, and I was only eight, but this shampoo was a bright purpley-blue colour. The first time I used it, it took forever to finally put the stuff in my hair, I thought for sure it would change the colour of my hair, and I would be made fun of at school for having purpley-blue hair. And it took months of cautiously using this shampoo before I FINALLY felt assured that it wouldn’t happen. Each time I used it, I was sure that would be time.

    I remember worrying about my parents finances when I was little. And then silly things, too. I cut myself on a rusty nail, and thought for sure I would die in a few weeks. I worried what people thought of me. I worried about what I thought of myself. I worried about not impressing my teachers. And I worried about getting less than a 90% on a test.

    I am by no means the worrier I once was though. In high school, I began making steps to be worry free. I wasn’t successful though. People thought I was confident because I dressed differently, and did things differently, but I still cried and worried about everything, I just pretended it was okay, and still tore myself apart worrying about it all.

    But Sept. 6th, 2005 I had enough. I remember the date because it was the first day of college, and I was petrified. If it had not been for my friend carpooling with me, I think I would have turned around and gone home and crawled into bed. I worried the whole way there, I didn’t sleep the night before, because I was up all night worrying, but on the drive there, my friend and I tried to convince ourselves it would be okay. When we got out of the car, and took off to find where we needed to be, I told myself I wasn’t going to worry anymore, I wasn’t going to be the pathetic girl trying to convince people I was together, but not. I was going to be what I feared being. So I took a deep breath, and the first person I saw, I walked right over and said “Hey, my name’s Courtney, what’s yours?”. I was worried, and scared, yes, for sure. But every day, I did the same thing, I kept speaking to new people, and forcing myself into the fear and worry, and gradually, the worry seemed to dissipate.

    I have good times and bad times. I never want to become so complacent I don’t see myself being set up. But I don’t want to spend my WHOLE LIFE worrying, either.

    Naturally, there was still worry about men, and dating, and bills, and working, and getting assignments done, but it never felt overwhelming, and like I couldn’t handle it anymore. And likewise, I have worries now, obviously. I worry about bills, and the baby coming, and if I’ll be good enough for them to call me Mama, and how Matt and I will handle all the changes, but I know at the end of the day, it will be okay, because it always has been okay.

    When I feel myself worrying now, I ask myself:

    Will this matter in 10 minutes?
    Well then, what about 10 days? 10 months?
    Will I look back at myself in 10 years and laugh at how ridiculous I am?

    And it helps me calm the worry, because it won’t matter. If it did matter, than I would probably still have a fear of purpley-blue shampoo.

    That’s cute. Myself, I pray, and that calms me. 🙂 Thanks!

  9. I don’t worry much, but I hate change and I am afraid of almost everything. I don’t see where it has made my life better, but well, I’m afraid to change it. Okay. That was bad.

    Yes. Yes it was.

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