Monday, June 20, 2005

I am a Worrier

In the last year, I have been working hard to overcome anxiety and have succeeded in many ways. I have tools now, some which have become second nature. Like:
-thinking of solutions instead of dwelling on the problems. Sometimes I still persist in the anxiety for a couple of hours or even days but eventually I remember to be objective.
-doing a scheduled worry time.
-relaxing my body which becomes very tensed when I am anxious.
-praying which helps me to remember the toolchest.

I am glad that anxiety is not the normal state anymore. I have examined my core beliefs that lead me to worry. I have learned my body's signals that warn me of the worry zone. I know that I am able to deal with anything that may arise or if not, I have access to Someone that does.

The evening was pleasant as we watched television after a day of work. My husband even gave me a half hour foot massage. The children were happily getting along. We are healthy and safely at home together.
Yet there is an undercurrent of anxiety. I haven't felt it for several months now so the sensation is unfamiliar which makes it even more disturbing.
"What is the matter?" I know I have to face the worry.
Blogging caused part of the anxiety this evening. I felt that I had nothing to say and am not a good enough writer. Feelings of inadequacy reappear. I hate this feeling, but it is here regardless. I have to deal with who I am right now. This isn't going to go away quickly.
I feel a need for affirmation but I am learning that I am the one who has to give myself words of encouragement. This is a hard and long lesson.
My health is a common concern. Being in my forties has been difficult physically. My latest concern is of a heart attack. I am holding off visiting my doctor for fear that I will appear a hypochondriac even though I have symptoms that I would like further addressed.
I also have a sore foot, hence the foot massage. Sigh.
I am not socially skilled and sometimes I am bothered by that. I want people to like me but know I have to learn to risk and not be afraid of mistakes or of being rejected. This includes creatively as well.

There I feel better now. Those tools really do help.


cuz said...

Your writing is fine. You should never have to worry about that. I have feelings of inadequacy all the time. I never feel that I am good enough or can ever be good enough. When I was younger there was a certain person or persons that only affirmed every ill feeling I had about myself, so they never seemed to go away. And there are still people today that continue to affirm those feelings, though I'm not sure that they're aware of it. I'm getting better with my own social skills. I still feel anxious sometimes in public, but once I get going, I'm fine. Though I think a lot of people are freaked out by my eerie silence.

zeb said...

No! you not a good enough writer.
But wait, this is my opinion. Are you sure my opinion is better than yours.
How many books have I published.
But isn't the publishing industry more interested in making money from the undiscerning masses than publishing good literature, Steven King and Danille Steele for example, my apology for those of you who actually thought those authors were writing literature.
Remember the person who keeps silent will be counted as wise even if he/she is an idiot
Freaking people out is not such a bad thing, I may make it my career.

zeb said...

Your job is to be you as accurately as possible. If you do it right some people will hate you and some people will love you. The critical thing is to tell the difference between the two groups of people

Carol said...

Cuz, I know I am not alone but it means a lot to have someone say it along with me. You are a pal.

Zeb, I really appreciate your words of wisdom. I am feeling better today though.

It is difficult to remain silent on my blog though:)

zeb said...

what really is a good writer?
Someone approached George Benard Show and said "You really are not very good"
He replied "Yes I know,but what are we few against so many"
What really is the criterion for good writing?
financial sucess?
public acclaim?
or the feeling that comes with sharing yourself with others
Apparently from replies that I have recieved people have thought I was commenting on this bloggers ability.
Do I have to explain that this is not the case?
I was trying to say that every writer has struggled with self doubt.
The key is to keep writing, read books, learn from other authors, attend seminars, take courses, be honest, write about what you know, observe, keep a note book and keep a journal.
The most important thing is to enjoy writing and not to dwell too heavily (if at all) on the opinions of others. People said to Picasso
"but it doesn't look real"
Focus on what makes you different from everyone else.
I am considering retiring from writing
I watched the movie "roadkill" in which one character takes a vow of silence. On being asked why, he wrote "There is nothing more to say"

moira said...

I have found that avoiding the underlying issues makes things worse for me. Taking appropriate action has, so far, been the best remedy. But, well, you know how easy that can be sometimes.

A tool I use, culled from a book called "Mind Over Mood:" I identify the thoughts I am having and what they might imply about me or the future, and pick one or two that are giving me the greatest anxiety; I list evidence that does and does not support the thought(s); I revise the thought(s) to something a little more realistic and balanced. At this point, I find taking action to be much easier and better-directed. Your examining of your core beliefs sounds very similar.

No one tool works every time, for every thing. I am accruing quite a functional arsenal, lately. As an example, I've recently identified shame and guilt as big sources of anxiety for me, and have found some ways to work specifically with those feelings. If I can pass anything on that might be of use to you - tools, reading, the like - let me know; I'd love to share. You have my contact information.

Regarding health - see a doctor; there is nothing wrong or shameful in that, and it may ease some concern or, alternately, allow you to deal with any problems that might be present.

Carol said...

Zeb-It is easy to be misunderstood in all situations. I appreciate what you are saying and I hope you won't stop writing.

Moira-I too have found that facing the anxiety is the first important key. It is like talking to the child in me. I need to be able to listen attentively when she needs to be heard.
Also,I haven't heard of that book and will put it on my list.

trisha said...

You write beautifully.

I want to wrap myself in your words and take a nap.

And this:

"I am not socially skilled and sometimes I am bothered by that. I want people to like me but know I have to learn to risk and not be afraid of mistakes or of being rejected. This includes creatively as well."

this is true for me, too. But we can do it. We can.