“I’m a Worrier Princess!” she proclaimed triumphantly.
She laughed, “Oh yeah, warrior, not worrier!”
It was good to clarify, because she does come from a long line of worriers. My cousin, Lynette, and I will sometimes joke about the fact that if we can’t readily think of something to worry about – it worries us.
“There must be something I’m forgetting to worry about! Oh God. Whatever it is, I bet it’s awful.”
When I get up there on my Queen Worrier throne, I try very hard to remember the best advice I ever heard about worrying:
Ask yourself one question – Is there something you can do about it whatever it is that is worrying you?
If the answer is yes, then do that thing that will help – do the project, fix the mistake, make the apology….whatever. If there’s something you can do about it – do it.
If the answer is no, then let it go. If there is literally nothing you can do about it, what’s the point of worrying?
Sometimes this exercise works really well.
Other times we are presented with such a constant stream of worries that worrying becomes our default setting. This manifests itself in anxiousness (racing heart, racing head…); we become stuck in the heightened state of “fight or flight” and then, we become exhausted.
A young poet by the name of Sabrina Benaim said about her depression,
“Sometimes my depression is a firefly in the palm of a bear.
Sometimes it is the bear.”
That’s how I feel about my anxiety. So I get it. I know that sometimes it isn’t as simple as asking yourself whether or not there is something you can do about it.
In fact, sometimes that advice feels really patronizing and trite. (Sorry about that).
Sometimes what you need to do is go to bed. Let the head and the heart rest, and hope that when you wake up in the morning you will find a firefly beside you on your pillow, and not a big hairy bear hogging the bed.