Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I've Been Away Needlessly Worrying



I've not posted in almost a week.  I’ve feeling rather glum and so not too inspired to write.  There is no one thing exactly.  It’s more like a series of things that have left me feeling anxious and uncertain.  A dispute with the man who installed my gutters (and learning my roof was “improperly installed” as a result), my camera breaking, a book which left me contemplative about the good and evil in humans and the great uncertainty of this life, the political campaigns and election and the animosity therein, pricing tickets to travel to my sister's in Seattle which is so blasted expensive it hurts me a little, wishing I could see more of the world—even just my beautiful Montana part of it—and feeling like there is never the time, preparing for the biggest show at which we’ve ever been a vendor, catching a cold, and so on.  

 This is part of the problem right here.  When I start being worried about one thing my mind comes up with a seemingly endless list of all of the rest of the things I could worry about—little and big.  It’s such a bad loop.  It’s a bad habit.  Its a mean game my mind plays on me.  I check it.  It seems back in.  I check it again.  And still the nagging dread in my stomach keeps returning.  No matter how many times I try to bring to mind "...grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...."  I can have a tendency to live in the past with my coulda-woulda-shouldas when I get into one of these loops replaying what I could have said or should have done.

And it’s affecting my body and making me all out of sorts no matter how I try to calm myself.  I’ve got little appetite and when I wake in the night my mind immediately starts racing with my concerns (mostly the gutter thing) that I just cannot seem to quiet in order to fall asleep again.  So I lie awake, trying to force myself to listen to Matt’s regular, slow breath and go back to sleep.  My stomach hurts, all tangled up in nervous knots, and I am so very tired.  I just want to crawl into bed and sleep all day long.  Thank heavens for Matt, oh poor Matt who must put up with me and my moods, who is always the sounding-board and comfort that I need to nudge me back up when I get low.

I keep reminding myself that life is good.  Life is good.  Life is good!  It is.  I know it is.  It really, really is.  These worries and fears are temporary, just like everything else.  In The Big Picture they are nothing to be so concerned about as to make myself feel sick, to lose sleep.  It is silly.  Money is not worth losing sleep over.  The fact that in the end I am not really in control (think:  earthquakes, floods, illness, political unrest, etc) no matter how I plan my future is not something to lose sleep over because it is really out of my hands.  

I’ve got a roof over my head and food in my belly.  Family and friends that love me.  A body, which though certainly imperfect, is  able enough to do what I want with it.  Eyes for watching sunsets and ears for hearing music.  A patch of land to turn up and plant seeds in.  A guitar to play and a voice to sing along with.  Too many good books to read.  This is the loop I need to get stuck in.  Why is it so much easier to get stuck in the bad one? 

But, today is a new day. 

6 comments:

  1. You are depressed and anxious, a very bad combo. I wish I could help in some substantive way, but all I can do is type these words and assure you that it will pass, and if it doesn't there are treatments.

    I battle depression and I've learned through the years how to cope with it, treat it, or just wait it out. As we like to say down here just keep on keepin on.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and close to my heart. Please know I admire you for having the courage to even put this post out there and from the source of that strength your spirit will rise again.

    (hug)
    Mary

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  2. Thanks, Mary. I almost didn't post, but just getting it off me in words made me feel a little better. And now your words do, too. Thanks. It will all pass. It always does.

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  3. When I was younger I would lie awake at night worrying about all kinds of things, my husband would always be sound asleep next to me. I would make myself feel physically ill with worry. One night I decided to change my behavior because lying in bed for hours being restless and worrying about everything under the sun wasn't really working for me. SO the next time I awoke in the night and started to worry I got up out of bed and addressed the worry head on. For example money worries, I would get up and write a budget and examine the facts of the situation, AND you know what the reality was always much less worrisome then my tossing and turning in bed imaginings of the situation were.
    Whatever the worry I have always found it best to simply get up, no matter what the time, fix a hot drink, and do something, perhaps fold laundry, put in a movie, read a book, do some sewing or knitting, clean the floor (I would have to be wide awake to do this), but you get the idea, do something to distract yourself and you will be amazed how well it works. Now obviously I would be tired the next day, but so it goes, the upside of this is that I would make myself stay awake all day (no nap) and go to bed at my usual time the next evening and almost always slept soundly the whole night through. Other things that work well for me, a long walk, like five miles or more, this gives time to churn things over, set things right, come up with a plan, and the exercise does wonderful things to calm an agitated mind.

    We all have seasons of blues, I believe it is part of being a woman, we see how our natural cycle effects our energy levels and mood levels, and we need to accept that it is part of the way we are designed. Of course sometimes things get out of control and feeling down becomes a day in and day out struggle, not just a temporary thing, then it is time to seek some outside help.

    As an outsider looking in, I agree with your statement "life is good", as it appears that you have a good and satisfying life, sprinkled with a zest for new experiences and lots of good friends and family.

    Hope you are feeling better,

    Bean

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    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to offer your kind words on my worries. Its nice to be reassured that we all have these season of blues, as you say. It is harder I think when you know life is good. It makes it harder to understand why you feel so blue. But I am feeling better--I slept good the last two nights without waking and sending my mind churning. Life is good. But, its so nice to have supportive folks when it is maybe a little bit less good than usual.

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  4. Oh Beth, I am a worrier in just the same way! It's a terrible loop to get into, and one that, for me anyway, takes some time to work through. I've been in a "funk" too, lately. I don't watch TV, but even so, it was hard to escape all the negativity and animosity around the election, and somehow I feel it affected me. (Kind of in the same way that seeing something disturbing or violent affects me for much longer than I want to let it). My best therapy is just getting outdoors as much as possible, and trying to direct my mind to pleasant things. I tend to clean or knit when I'm anxious - it makes me feel like I'm doing something, and even if it's just a temporary distraction, at least it helps me focus on something else for awhile. (I've been knitting A LOT lately ;) Hope your worries pass over you very soon and you're back to your cheerful self!
    -Jaime

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    1. Thanks, Jamie, for your words. Knitting! I should have been knitting! That would have been a grand distraction...why didn't I think of it?

      I've been feeling a lot more jolly the last couple days--the bluegrass on Sunday really helped--and time. Time always makes things better.

      I hope you've been able to escape the "funk," too.

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!