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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Be Here Now: Worry Time



I am writing this blog post as I am waiting for my husband to get home from work, so we can jump in the car and drive to the San Fernando Valley to visit my sister Cyndie in the hospital. He is late, so the traffic must be heavy. I am worried about Cyndie and I am worried about my husband getting home soon and safely. Worry is becoming a most unwelcomed shadow following me.
I have just been worried more than usual over these past few days.

It's a bit funny because I contemplated writing about worry a few days ago when I got the news that the thyroid nodule my doctors have been monitoring over the past four years has grown bigger on the last ultrasound in October. This means I need to go back and see the endocrinologist and he will most probably talk to me about having the nodule taken out. There were so many aspects of this that worried me: the possibility that this was becoming a bigger problem, the possibility of now needing to have the nodule removed, the possibility of surgery and all the ways in which surgery would likely flare up my fibromyalgia.

Those worries pale in comparison to how worried I am about my sister Cyndie. Yes, she is doing better today and even has been moved out of the ICU and into a regular room. Yes, she sounded better on the phone today and is looking forward to my visit this evening. Yes, the medical team helping her are doing a great job taking care of her. But we still are waiting for some lab tests to come back and they haven't started her eating food yet, so she is probably going to be in the hospital for several more days.

“Worry About It Later” coverImage via Wikipedia


I don't think it is realistic to try and not worry, so what I am doing is attempting to contain my worry and limit it to small sessions during the day. I set aside 5 minutes a few times a day and all I do is worry. To make sure I really get it all out of my system, I allow myself to think all the horrible thoughts that are being fueled by it; I allow myself just a few minutes to think worst case scenario. I just allowed my train wreck of thoughts to speed down the tracks, which inevitably leads to a big crash.

It's not that I want the worst to happen, and I know that for the most part, it's the not knowing what is going to happen that causes all these worries. Using this method, I can feel the worry, feel the dread, think the nihilist thoughts and then just leave them behind when worry time is over.
It seems counterintuitive, but worry time helps me feel better. Perhaps the poisonous part about worry is that it fills your mind with so many crazy thoughts and your heart with so many strong feelings.

I've found that once the feelings are felt and the thoughts acknowledged, worry doesn't have such a strong hold over me anymore.


As if on cue, I am done writing this post just as Robert walks in the door. It is time to go visit Cyndie and alleviate some of my worries by going to see my friend in the hospital. It's time to see my friend, a friend who is just like a sister to me.


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