Sunday, February 01, 2009

Mr. W. Wart

I fretted the whole morning. We had booked a trip, on the WheelTrans bus, up to Yorkdale mall. I wanted to see how I made it with the chair on the bus. All morning I kept picturing the narrow ramp up into the bus and by the time we went down I had become convinced that the wheelchair was too wide and I'd not be able to go. Well the wheelchair is wide but the ramp is slightly wider and I rolled up and onto the bus, we got to Yorkdale in time for a movie, for lunch and for a roll around.

On the way back, after the first drop off wherein the side ramp broke, I worried the whole way because I knew I was going to have to back off the bus. By the time we got home I knew, just knew, that I was going to fall off the ramp, break the chair and do serious injury to myself. I'd seen the image over and over and over again. Instead, I put the chair on low power and drove straight back and down the ramp. Joe said, 'And you worried all the way home didn't you?' I admitted that I did.

We just went down to Butler PA to take part in a meeting discussing the creation of safe agencies for people with disabilities to live within. For two days before I worried about the meeting, how it would go, what I would say, who would be there, what the weather would be like. I'm fretful about these things anyways but when I've gone a few weeks without lecturing as I typically do in January, it gets worse. I worried all the way down there, I worried in the morning when we got up, I worried right through to when we finished.

When I got up a few minutes ago I began thinking about my lecture here in Toronto in March. I haven't lectured in Toronto for quite some time and within a few minutes I imagined two pictures, in one no one shows up and in the other everyone I know shows up and I completely embarrass myself.

Oooooh, what fun it is to live within my head.

I have super powers, I am 'Worry Man'.

I can derail joy at 50 paces.

I can bring down hope with a single glance.

I can conjure up a huge worry to replace a small concern in an instant.

Somehow I have lost trust with the future, I expect bad things even though (for the most part) good things keep coming. When it's sunny, I wait for rain. When it's raining, I wait for wind. When it's windy and raining, I wait for the end of the world.

I am setting myself a task this week. I am going to try to spend a week with worry banished. I am going to try and let things just happen without anticipating the worst. I am going to be hopeful without cringing.

And of course I begin to worry that I won't be able to give up worrying.


FridaWrites said...

I'm a worrier too, from a long family line of worriers. The positive side is that we think ahead and see potential problems that need to be addressed in advance. The negative side is that we can make ourselves miserable. And yes, I've been known to worry about access and ramps during entire rides as well. With your bus, can you enter backwards and then exit so you approach the ramp from the front? That might give more control over what's happening.

I've been in the habit of asking myself what's the worst that could happen when I face a fear. Even with absolute worst case scenario, things would generally turn out fine and would work out somehow.

rickismom said...

I am, thank G-d, not a worrier... a gift from my mother who also wasn't.

My husband is one. I don't know how one can stand it. Doesn't help, does it?

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I used to be a horrible worrier, about everything! Until one day I realized that life is a trip and even though bad things can happen along the way, why spoil the rest of the trip worrying about them? That a little bit of prozac have done wonders. :)


RusW said...

Worry leads me to avoidance.
Avoidance leads me to being unprepared for the unexpected.
Being unprepared makes me wory.
I worry a lot.
Goto line 1

Anonymous said...

I worried in Disney World when I had to drive an electric scooter (twice a day for 5 days) off and on a bus. I worried on a special tour of the vatican when I had to go forward and backwards on a very narrow ramp that led to an ancient lift. (Be still my heart.) I won't go to Venice because I am afraid I won't be able to step in and out of a gondola. (Plus, I might sink it.) I won't use the offered wheel chair in airports, because I worry that I am too wide to fit and too heavy to push.
You get the picture, and it isn't pretty.

Anonymous said...

I too am a chronic worrier -- I think a lot of it comes from a stressful childhood. Parents were worriers, fear-mongers, and generally depressed much of the time. So I ask myself, is this hereditary, this senseless worrying? On the up-side, as FridaWrites said, I am rather proactive and my children have good proactive, problem-solving skills. But my one daughter is a worrier too, and I worry about that!! I think in a way it's an obsessive compulsive pattern ingrained in childhood that we have to try to work on improving. Identifying the useless worried thoughts and telling them to go away :) MB.

Tamara said...

I find that a certain amount of anxiety is helpful - I tend to prepare better and actually did better on tests in school when I was somewhat anxious.

But, too much worry can be debilitating. I just try to think of something totally unrelated and not stressful when I go to worry world.

And I also try to use this mantra:

"I am not my mother. I am not my mother!" For me, I'm sure it is a learned behavior ...

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate. A friend of mine, some years ago, made up some business cards for herself: "Xena, Worrier Princess".

Sigh. I don't know about you, Dave, but I'm not sure I'd even recognize myself (nor would anyone else who knows me) if I wasn't worrying.

Like I always tell people, "if there's something to be worried about, I want to be first in line."

Good luck on your worry-free quest. Failing that, embrace your worry to the absolute fullest and at least take some pleasure in it.

Reformed Anon. Girl in Pain said...

"25 e “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his i span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For l the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
Matthew 6:25-34, ESV study bible

This helps me when I am worrying Dave. :)

Soli Deo Gloria

Belinda said...

I think that half the world does the worrying for the other half that doesn't. At least that's the way it seems to me. I've noticed that non-worriers seem to be paired with worriers. I think that Paul is convinced that I just don't realize what the true state of affairs is most of the time. :)
I think we even each other out.

Suelle said...

Sometimes I worry that I worry too much...

Anonymous said...

This is a good post!
I too am a worrier. Inherrited that gene from my father I'm afraid. I read somewhere that Winston Churchill relied when asked about worry.....I confine my worrying to 3pm - 5pm on a Friday afternoon. I love that idea. Do all the worrying in a block of time and then you're FREE from it for the rest of the week.

I'm married to an eternal optimist! It's hell some times! LOL!
My worries are usually around money, and lack and scarcity!
I have such constant mental battles to not allow the worries to dominate my life. Sometime I win, sometimes not.
Right now with the current econonic climate I am battling.
Thanks for reminding me I am not alone!