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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Trying Not to Worry and Failing


My sister used to have a t-shirt, well, she had lots of t-shirts, but this particular one was from a trip to Disney World with our Dad, which I later came to think of as his last hooray with us before going away for a spell. The shirt had a character, I'm pretty sure it was Eeyore, and read, "Why worry? If you've done the very best you can, worrying won't make it any better". As a nine year old who already worried more than most forty year olds, well, that shirt struck a chord with me. I would borrow it any chance I got, but mostly I would just think about it and hope the constant repetition of that single quote would somehow help me to stop worrying, stop trying to fix things, and allow me to begin realizing it was all beyond my control.

Well, there's that word, control. The constant struggle for a sense of control is what has brought me down the curviest of roads I have traveled. Control and worry have been constant companions. While I logically know that over-thinking an interaction, a phrase uttered, or an action taken will not alter how things went down or change things for the better, it sure is a fine one to busy my mind with that old wrinkly pal named Worry. And control? Well, counting calories, creating strict schedules, having never-ending to-do lists, those things won't really give me any control where I really wish for it, but they have definitely stepped in as distractions at different points along the way. 

So why talk about worry now? Why focus on something that has already stolen so much of my brain space and caused me to waste away my days? Why? Because it's back that worry and I don't believe it has ever really gone away. I cling to these quotes and phrases, like the one in the shared image, "Worrying will never change the outcome" and I know they are true, but with a baby due in a matter of months, no job in my clutches, and new bills coming in from insurance and student loans, well, how can one not worry? I became a worrier by necessity, as a mode of survival, and when things get tough I can't help but backtrack. Do I know that it will all work out and that we will do what we need to do to make things okay? Yes, but after a lifetime of struggle I can't help but to worry. The only difference now is that I do have some control. For once, I can help direct the outcome if I can only find a way. So, what do I do now? I make phone calls where phone calls are needed. I cut corners or take short-cuts where I can find them in order to whittle our expenses. I focus on the things I love and hope for some answers as to how they can help us. 

This is not all to say that we are in trouble or a cry of desperation in hopes that an answer will magically appear. It is just to say that worry is not such an easy friend to break-up with and that sometimes things get harder before they get better. And the hardness isn't so much financial. Yes, things are a little too tight to fit into the mold we currently possess, but like I said, I know we will figure it out. The hardness more comes in the pressures I put on myself. Being home with endless hours before me and without a baby yet to care for, well, that may be many people's dream come true, but for me, for right now, it's hard. Wanting to contribute more and being unable has taken a blow to my self-worth. My partner in crime is nothing but supportive, but I can't help but hear those voices echoing from my past, causing me to feel like a failure. For a gal like me all of these open hours only leaves room for an idle brain that when idle begins to dig up the less pleasant of memories and thoughts and invites those old ghosts back to play. Without much interests in being a host for these ghosts, the only thing I can do is place them into stories and trap them down on paper, hoping those actions will give me some control and perhaps a bit more perspective on where to go from here.

Sara

4 comments:

  1. Boy can I relate to this!  Yes that constant struggle between what you know logically and then what your stuborn brain insists on doing!  I can also relate to that feeling of idleness, it really can bring on worry.  I think blogging might be the first step in the right direction.  I've really loved reading your blog over these past few months, and it seems like a joy for you (I doubt I would enjoy reading it if it wasn't).  Put your energy there- keep writing!  I'm know I'm not the only one relating to you.  Thanks for opeing up here.

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  2. Hakuna Matata.  

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  3. Thank you for this. It can be hard at times to allow myself to open up and to share what is really going on in this noggin rather than pushing it back into the cobwebs, but knowing someone can relate and knowing there are others out there battling the same things, that helps. I've decided that this extra idle time will be filled with as much writing and drawing as I can muster and while I don't know what it will do for me or where it will take me, I do know that it can only help. 

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