Epiphany moment: worrying about something is not the same as thinking about it.
I am not sure what I dreamt about last night. I don’t remember the details. I just had dreams that felt like an extension of the day, only with extended and slightly altered conversations. The kind that are a bit unnerving because you are always uneasy about where the dream and reality blurred.
What I do know is that I woke up with a very clear and precise thought in my head: Think, don’t worry.
This thought played over in my head like footsteps on autumn leaves; comforting, enjoyable and carefree. It wrapped itself around me, still drunk on sleep, like a fleecy blanket on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Think about things Helen, but don’t worry about them.
For most, this might seem obvious. For me it was something of an epiphany – a chink of clarity in an otherwise foggy landscape. It may not be profound. It may not be unique. But it may just be the thought that makes today a good day.
My whole body reacts to problems: raised heartbeat, dry mouth, sweating, physical and mental incapacity to think or concentrate. In some everyday situations I am bound by invisible ropes.It often leaves me feeling frustrated and miserable, cursing how inept and how incapable I am of having a difficult conversation, making a seemingly straightforward decision, or expressing an opinion.
And, I realised, as a result of this state, I don’t always think about things. The fog and mist close around rational and adult responses and worry takes over. Anxiety drives me, making me apologetic and allowing me to be overcome with a childish need to be in the ‘Good Books’ – without knowing whose Good Books I want to be in, or what the criteria is.
I don’t think about problems; I worry about them. I don’t use my intellect or instinct to deal with life’s trials. Instead, I allow my brain to work as fast possible, in panic mode, to smooth over the issue and make it go away. I work under the assumption that if I can get shut of this anxiety, everything’ll be okay. This morning, I realised the futility of this. I realised I don’t need to agree with everyone, and I felt happy. I have no idea how to do this in practice, but I already feel like some of the fog is clearing.
Let the thinking do the talking, not the worrying.
Note: this is a creative writing piece, but it does reflect how I sometimes feel. This might surprise people who know me, but it’s often impossible to tell what’s going on in the inside just from looking at the outside.