Monday, May 23, 2016


Who me? Worry?

      With whom do you share your deepest worries? Your spouse? your child? your parent? your friend? If the latter,, which friend? Worries are stupid, I know, as many concerns are not really worry-worthy, but that never seems to stop us worriers. You certainly don’t want to dump a load of personal stuff on someone, and then find out the worry was for nothing. Now that person has “something on you,” and every time you see him or her, you are reminded of not just the embarrassment, but the worry itself. If the worry is rather frivolous, like will my stomach stick out in my cocktail dress at the party? That’s one thing. If it’s “Do I have a serious disease?” That’s another. 

     If you are a grown adult (not necessarily mature, mind you) like me, you don’t want to “worry” your spouse, your children or even your closest friend. You certainly aren’t going to run to a shrink every time you’re upset about something. So assuming you eliminate the family option, which friend do you choose? There are friends you really trust who would never divulge a secret but who might be judgmental. Then there are friends who are very compassionate, but who you fear might leak a clue given a glass of wine or two. Then there are friends who live far away who you don’t have to face regularly. Maybe they are the “safest?” I am obviously very proud, a bit judgmental myself, and certainly modest about many issues, so choosing the right person to confide in is always a dilemma. 

      Some are lucky enough to have a sibling who is also a BFF. Those are the luckiest, in my opinion. I don’t have that luxury. I do have a wonderful step-mom, though, to whom I could tell anything, but  she’s 95, and I don’t want to worry her either.

      The majority of my worries today are minuscule, but there is one that seems to be stirring me up, and I’m wishing I could talk to someone about it. I’ve learned from experience that there were a few times in my life when a friend confided in me and then was very sorry for any of the above reasons. Those few friends quickly abandoned me, not because they didn’t care about me, but because my having that information made them extremely uncomfortable. I never saw them again. You may say, “Then they weren’t your friends to begin with.” Maybe, maybe not. I get it, and that's part of my hesitation.

      The other thing I have learned about myself is to “walk around with the worry” for a few days. Sometimes it just needs to simmer in my psyche as I go through all the worry stages of “Oh, my God, what if.. . . ,” “I’m blowing this out of proportion,” “This is just a blip. . . “ or “I’m borrowing trouble.” I find that often the worry dissipates, and the problem resolves itself with time. The worries that are genuinely worry-worthy will only be resolved if I get the information I need. Usually when I do, even if it’s serious, the anxiety disappears as I take action. 

     This is hour 2 of the worry, so stay tuned. I’ll give you the skinny in a few days. Are you a worrier? With whom you do share your worries? Does that person give you comfort? Some people, even close friends, don’t know how to console us; they make it worse. Some friends are not worthy of our confidences. If you have any of those, they are not your friends—put them on another list. If the anxiety persists before you can resolve the problem, it’s time to get out the “resilience” list, and go at it. Excuse me, I’m heading to the list, and I know I’ll feel better in no time:)