W is for Worry, Worst Case and What Else ~ April 26, 2018

Worry – One of my first memories is standing on the front porch of D’s house with a wrapped gift in my hands.  My brother is to my right, our mom behind us.  I see the screened door and potted plants.  I hear laughter.  I swear I can even smell honeysuckle in the air.

Me: Don’t knock yet!!!!

Brother: Why not? Everyone is already in there.

Me (shaking): I feel sick, my stomach is prickling again.

Mom: That’s butterflies, you’ll be fine.

Me: You’re staying right?

Mom: Yes, I’ll stay for a while.

When mom left, I did too.  Later we went back to get brother.  I’ve always been a worrier.  No idea why.  Maybe worry is how I am hard-wired?  I blame no one.  I hate when people blame.  Humans try to give reasons for every fucking thing.  Sometimes stuff simply is.

Worst Case – Long before Beth and Randall played worst case scenario on the TV show This is Us! Little Jill did the same.  The mind is powerful folks.  This coping mechanism was my savior.  Saved me from a life of drugs.

While I always assume the worst, what I imagine NEVER happens.  Whew! Sighs of relief as each imagined tragedy passes. Then I gear up for the next big drama.

I need to be more chill.  Like the explosives expert asked if he worries on the job “Naw man, I’m successful or I die.  If I die, no longer my problem.  I mean really whatcha gonna do?  When your time comes, Kabluhy! Assuming the worst is no way to live.”

I’m working to end the cycle of thinking this way.  I mean if I keep this up, I may never get out of bed.  Life is wicked and beautiful in one fell swoop. Duck and cover people.  Or vivir la vida al máximo!

What else can it be? This nifty technique from CBT is a new tool in my mental health tool box.  The worry and worst case scenario thinking has got me frazzled.  I’m in a continuous state of churn.  To combat the anxiety associated with this flawed logic, my therapist said when I feel that I’m spinning out, I should ask myself what else can it be? Here’s an example:

Me: I am dying of bone cancer.

Me What else can it be?

Me: You did find out you have osteoporosis. Maybe that is it NOT bone cancer?

Me continued: Oh ya but by the time cancer hurts it is too late.  I have been feeling better and the pain has lessened lately ergo I have bone cancer.

Me: What else can it be?

As you can see folks, I still have work to do.  But I am making progress. Wish me luck. 🍀

As always, more to come.

This post was written as part of Blogging From A to Z April (2018) Challenge.

Número Veintitres.