03.07.14

WORRY WORRY WORRY TOO MUCH

i’ve always been a worrier. my personality is definitely type A. a splash of anxiety, a few drops of paranoia, and a heavy dose of worry. the remedy? TAKE A CHILL PILL, BRI.

spooning

there are definitely times when my worry becomes heightened. i noticed on our trip to thailand recently how many times my mind was spinning with worry. here, check out just SOME of my inner dialogue…and realize that my worry is real. this may sound crazy if you are a type B person…but type A’s, you can relate i think. right?!line

snorkeling instructor: “ok, so just jump off the boat. the water is beautiful! if you see a jellyfish, swim the other way. the coral is sharp, so be careful in this direction. and there are sea snakes sometimes, but don’t worry at all, they are harmless. have fun!”

bri’s dialogue with her own mind: “oh HEEEEEELLLLLL no. did that dude just say sea snakes? not harmful? HA! it’s harmful to my emotional state if i see one of those stupid things slithering by me. (pictures herself cutting her leg on coral, bleeding and attracting snakes, sharks and everything else terrible in the ocean who want to feed on her fresh blood.) bri, when else are you going to be able to snorkel in water like this! jump in, everyone else is doing it. ummm, did you hear he said there are SEA SNAKES IN THERE?! i need a drink.”
line

we get in a cab at the airport, and ask the guy to take us to our hotel…10 minutes go by. i sit back and start taking in the fact that we just got to THAILAND. this is awesome. cue the inner dialogue…

bri’s dialogue with her own mind: hmmmm. are you sure he is taking you to your hotel? i mean, he didn’t really seem confident when you showed him the address and i don’t see any signs on the road. do you think this guy has a machete? bri, he is a cab driver who is going to a hotel. don’t do this. (checks locks on the door to see if he was possibly inspired by the “bone collector” movie) ok, locks haven’t been removed. cool. let’s just enjoy this drive, we will be there soon. ok, but this road does kinda look like a back road. (looks over at arian with “do you think he’s taking us on a back road?” eyes) he’s not even worried. why are you? chill. ok, but if this guy has a machete i’m just gonna jump out of the car. but i should probably jump with my passport so i can get out of the country. right?!” (puts crossbody purse on in preparation for fast exit.)line

on a small boat that looks like a canoe, with our luggage…

bri’s dialogue with her own mind: “sinking would seriously suck right now. i wonder if luggage floats? probably not. do you think they accept water damaged passports at the airport. i really don’t want to lose my photos from the trip, my phone is going to get ruined. you should have backed those up on dropbox. ugh, stupid. this is fun, adventurous. smile!”

line

on plane during turbulence. my favorite.

bri’s dialogue with her own mind: “this is it. we’re goin down. that flight attendant TOLD you that accidents don’t really happen during turbulence. it’s fine. but remember that scene in LOST when the whole back of the plane flew off?! you better say your prayers, sister.”line

so it seems funny to me, looking back…but worrying is awful! my imagination builds up these insane movie-like scenarios and it can be really stressful. are you the worrying type? does it get better with age? (i feel like mine got worse!) how do you deal with it? be honest…is it xanax?

(spooning spoons gif by randi brookman harris)

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  • 1. Leonie  |  March 7th, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I have an anxiety disorder and OCD, so I totally feel you. I get in a spin about EVERYTHING. Seriously. It’s really hard to just enjoy life sometimes. I take dedicated OCD/depression medication because otherwise I can barely function and I’m going to try Mindfulness because I’ve heard it’s absolutely brilliant for anxiety. I really hope you find some peace.

  • 2. Alina  |  March 7th, 2014 at 11:53 am

    I have a lot of anxiety and insane inner dialogues and I do not take any medications. I definitely have a habit of ruminating over negative thoughts once they get in my head. A therapist once told me to recognize the thought and name it (what’s the root- fear? Comparison? Regret?). Hopefully by doing those two things you actually break yourself out of worry mode. I’ve also found what helps me is reading positive quotes about courage and overcoming fear, and remembering all the strong, amazing things I’ve done before- so I can totally do THIS (surf, snorkel, fly in plane, insert crazy anxiety-inducing activity here). All the best things in my life have 100% come from fear and stepping into the unknown, trying something new!

    Thanks for sharing! And I’m jealous of your Thailand trip, if that helps at all :)

  • 3. melodie  |  March 7th, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Life long worrier here….Just started ‘The Mindful Way through Anxiety’ by Susan M. Orsillo, PhD…There is Productive worry and unproductive worry. It’s teaching me to identify each and be mindful of what I can help and what I cannot. Hope this helps!

  • 4. Stacey  |  March 7th, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Ha, oh my goodness this is me to a T! My friends and husband think I’m nuts, but I can’t seem to stop the worry and anxiety sometimes. I also take public transportation in DC every morning and even though I do it every. flipping. day. I can’t seem to not have crazy thoughts “why does that person have a BACKPACK? it’s large…and this person seems really calm. Why are they THAT calm” Also House of Cards didn’t make me feel easy about standing close to the tracks.

    Um, wine usually helps a bit, but deep down I know it’s not a fix. Xanax is something I just hate the idea of getting on. I somehow want to feel like I can beat this on my own, if that makes sense. I’ve started to see a counselor a few months ago, and honestly it has helped. But I think us folk will always be a work in progress :)

  • 5. Megan @ Pink O'Clock  |  March 7th, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Oh man, Bri, I can TOTALLY relate to this. I am an insane worrier (it started when my mom had a serious health issue when I was young, which is understandable, but it hasn’t gotten any better and I’m 30 now!). My boyfriend is always telling me to calm down. Honestly, my therapist tells me that stopping and trying to breathe deeply from my belly (not my chest, since that exacerbates the anxiety) will help, and it does when I remember to do it, but I usually can’t because I’m totally in my head.

    Things that do help, though: Exercise (in general, but specifically barre class and yoga), long walks, voicing my anxiety (nine times out of 10 it goes away if I tell someone out loud that I’m worried about something–must be something about releasing it into the open?), lots of sleep.

    Looking forward to reading others’ tips!

  • 6. Raven  |  March 7th, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Sorry Bri, you’re doomed to a life of worry! But pretty soon you’ll be able to recognize that your track record shows you’re always wrong, so at least you know you won’t die from whatever crazy scenario you’re in this time. It just means you have a kiss ass imagination! Embrace it, girl.

  • 7. Emily  |  March 7th, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    This is me. I feel like it has gotten worse with age in some respects, better in others. I am much more aware of what is going on in the world – scary things and good things – but this leads to more worry. However, I am also much better at trying not to sweat the small things at work or at home. I AM still an absolute pro at coming up with ridiculous horror movie scenarios in similar situations like you discussed above :/ Anyone else walk around in a complete state of paranoia if they are by themselves at night? I can be found holding my house key between my pointer and middle fingers ready to act as a makeshift weapon (because I read this somewhere as a potential lifesaver were I ever to be attacked so obviously it is a necessity…)

  • 8. Alison Rebecca Martin  |  March 7th, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Haha! Your are in my head, girlfriend! I was talking out loud to my baby yesterday, just rambling to entertain him, and my husband laughed and goes, “is that really what your inner dialogue sounds like?” I had never considered that type B people wouldn’t have that same thought process. I try to fight it, but it’s just there so I try not to watch movies that make me worry more, and either ignore it and move on or let my crazy thoughts play out and figure that I’ll be more prepared than a normal person if anything ever does go the way I imagine. Ha! I mean, who really spends 5 minutes figuring out how they would escape their car and manage to save their passengers if a bridge broke under them? This girl, that’s who.

  • 9. Karen  |  March 7th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I’ve been like this my whole life! When I was maybe 8-10 years old, my dad would disappear in the middle of the night. My mind would immediately jump to worst case scenarios like ‘he slept-walked out of the house, got hit by a truck, and now he’s injured/dead somewhere without any ID that can point him back to us’. Pretty sad, extreme thoughts for a kid, huh? Turns out he was just on business trips.. or “business trips”. My everyday worries now are things like forgetting to lock the door even though I checked 4 times. Sometimes I just try to stop for a moment and remind myself that whatever frightening scenario I’m imagining is VERY unlikely to happen.

  • 10. elissa  |  March 7th, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Ahh haha this made me smile/laugh because I could absolutely relate (type A here as well). I think i got the worrying passed down to me from my mother. If we didn’t answer the phone or she didn’t know where we were, her first thought would be we were most likely dead in a ditch. As I grew older I realized that I often slip into uncontrollable worry too. It’s such a bummer and really doesn’t improve my life at all, so I’ve been working really hard at letting it go. I try and trust that the universe has it all under control and it’s not my job to foresee any and every bad thing that could happen. It’s a pretty big task, but I notice that when I can let go and concentrate on what is actually in my control, my life is a lot easier. Good luck to us all!! :)

  • 11. Bunny  |  March 7th, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I highly recommend xanax – it helps put things back into perspective. Why suffer? Just take it sparingly so you don’t get addicted.

  • 12. Emily  |  March 7th, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Totally understand where you’re coming from. I get overcome with worry and anxiety sometimes that it effects my appetite! Definitely not good…then I get worried that I’ll wither away and then it just spirals out of control. I’ve been really helped by seeing a therapist and really voicing my anxieties…he helps me find the root of what I’m so worried about, so in the moment when I can feel the anxiety start to overwhelm me, I just rationalize it out and that usually works to quell it. I sort of mimic what my therapist does in our sessions…why am I feeling this way? What triggers this? See? It’s just a trigger. You’re fine. Another good tool is when I recognize that what I’m worried about is ridiculous (what if my bus crashes and falls over this hill etc.) to just laugh at it. Not only does the laughter help you to be more at ease, but it starts to put in place a pattern that your worries can be funny and not as big a deal as you build them up to be. Good luck!! :)

  • 13. Jessica  |  March 7th, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    HA! How you got into my brain is a mystery to me. I feel like I have thought those EXACT thoughts in those situations. A beer in the evening always helps.

  • 14. Sunray  |  March 7th, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I used to be a big worrier too, but something happened and I had an epiphany. I used to worry about loosing my love ones. What if something happens to my husband, my mom or my son? How am I going to live? I would just die. My world would be crumbled. And I will forever be depressed and never be happy again. Then something happened. Last November, we lost our second child at 41 weeks. We found out that he had no heartbeats the day before our scheduled induction. Needless to say, it was devastating for our whole family but somehow I was holding up. I focused on delivering him the next day and I wanted to be strong for myself and my family. I wanted everyone know that although I was scared and sad, I knew I was going to be okay because I know they were all worried about me physically and emotionally. After I came home from the hospital, I knew I had to take everything day by day because once I start to worry too far out in the future, it felt too overwhelming. I came to a realization that what we were going through, although very devastating, came with so many life lessons. For one, I learned how strong I can be when I need to be…for myself and for my family. And two, there is no need to worry or put myself through different scenarios in my head over and over to “prepare” for the end of the world because when the time comes, I will know what to do and if I don’t, I will be able to figure it out. The help will come and no matter how hard I try to figure it out now, I won’t be able to because it is not the right time. You won’t ever be able to prepare yourself for everything that life will bring but you should be able to trust that you will be able to handle it. You can’t control everything in the future but at this moment you can choose to be happy and trust in your future self. Having been through one of my worse nightmares and still being able to call myself a “happy person” helps me trust my future self more and worry less. I hope this helps a little Bri. Be patient with yourself. :)

  • 15. Lois  |  March 7th, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    OMG Bri… I have been a follower for a while, but not sure if I have ever commented before – this post has compelled me to write something because I am exactly this kind of person. I worry SO MUCH about the stupidest things, and I know how pointless it all is – but can’t stop! I do that exact same thing where you imagine movie-like scenarios playing out – sometimes really awful and I ask myself all the time, why do I do it?? Over-active imagination paired with too much caffeine can be one answer. Something that has really helped and I can’t recommend highly enough is mindfulness meditation. Look into it – seriously. It helps.

  • 16. Jessica Zimlich  |  March 7th, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Good god. This is me to a T! And I’m not even kidding, as soon as you started in on the cab story, the first thing that came to mind was the Bone Collector movie. Horrifying.

  • 17. Rebecca  |  March 7th, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Yep, been there. Today I saw my weirdo mailman and when I went back out to my car I had to check that he wasn’t in the back seat in wait to get me…ughh. For trying new things, I try to remind myself that I always regret it when I don’t do something so I just get a few seconds of courage up (and forced deep breathing) and go for it. But the plane thing, no I’m like that too and that one I don’t know how to overcome (except silently crying of course which isn’t overcoming it at all but you know, what are you going to do ;)

  • 18. jody  |  March 7th, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    This might sound trite–but it’s totally helped me get past my fears. I am totally the sort of person who needs to know everything and control my environment in order to not freak out about every little thing. Don’t get me wrong, I like to have fun and be impulsive, but I need to feel safe doing that. It’s best if I’m with someone who I know will have my back or if I have time to mentally prepare myself for end of the world scenarios, so that if the worst does happen I can act and not just succomb to my fate. The last year has been the worst. I was spiralling all the time and limiting myself because I needed more and more control in response to everything in my life I just couldn’t control. After dealing with loads of drama and stress and fear I’ve realized that the number one thing for me to do when I’m feeling scared and shutting out everything in an attempt to feel safe again is to leave off focussing on my fears and focus my worry on someone else around me that I care about. It’s a little thing, but caring about someone else seems to help me cope positively and always ends up making me feel awesome. Obviously I am lucky to not need medication–and I am definitely not trying to say that everything can be fixed with a little pollyanna action–but it definitely makes a night and day difference in my life, and sharing this with a few friends has made me believe in the power of turing outside of ourselves even more.

    Thanks for sharing!

    (PS I love Louis’s idea of mindfulness meditation–this is definitely something I also turn to. I love that it’s for you but also encourages positive thinking about others and helps me turn outward towards others)

  • 19. mekeesha  |  March 7th, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    i understand this more than i would like to. haha. i am almost 29 and mine is only getting worse. oy!

    i am glad you managed to have a fun trip though. :)

  • 20. elisha  |  March 7th, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I have panic disorder so I totally feel you on the worry. It can take over your life sometimes! Glad to know I’m not the only one who checks the locks in cabs, damn Bone Collector!

  • 21. kristi  |  March 7th, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    We are the same person. *haha oh my gosh. I’m the same way! I am TOTALLY on board (literally) with the jumping into the ocean piece! I’ve actually been stung badly by a jellyfish in Mexico so “swim away” isn’t always feasible!! it’s like a joke, and knowing me I’d totally step on coral and get some crazy rare infection…right?

    Needless to say, part 1 of your trip instantly made me realize that I NEED to go to Thailand! :) When that day comes, I’ll be doing the same thing as you! ;) I mean who am I kidding, I’m already like that all the time! Thanks for sharing!!

  • 22. gracie  |  March 7th, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I’m not sure about type A/B, you never hear someone say I’m definitely a type B person, I’m somewhere in the middle A-? B+? :) Unfortunately I drink when I’m anxious, which often makes it worse, then I drink some more, definitely a bad habit (worry about that too). Running works well. While reading everyone’s comments I felt my chin & a felt a little lump & thought oh that’s the beginning of mouth cancer!! Gah! Being a worrier is exhausting and sometimes so upsetting. Anxiety feels so physical sometimes, I’m tired of it. On the flipside I believe it makes me a thoughtful person and I am always thinking about what other people need and what I can do for them to make things better for them. I just care I suppose, about everything!!

  • 23. Sosyal Medya  |  March 7th, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    I understand this more than i would like to. Glad you managed to have a fun trip though. :)

  • 24. Brittany K  |  March 7th, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    I dealt with crazy anxiety (and seasonal depression) for several years and one fall, when things were especially bad, decided it needed to STOP. I went and spoke with a counselor for a month, then realized that they weren’t the right fit for me just because we have different personality types. I found a different counselor in the same building who turned out to be perfect for me. We spoke for several months once a week before I asked to be on medication – I went into it knowing I did not want to be dependent on medication for my peace and happiness, so it would be short term. I took anxiety and depression medication for 6 months, and during a 2 month trip to Italy I slowly worked myself off of the medication and used breathing techniques to stop my panic attacks. Four years later and I have NEVER had another panic attack and have not experienced depression or anxiety on that scale ever again! I’ve never again felt like I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It took many months of changing the way I thought and realizing that I needed to give myself more grace – and working through some family negativity – to be able to come out of it. But I am 100% a better person for it. I feel now that I have such a unique perspective on life and am able to enjoy and appreciate things so much more. Praying that you find a way to peacefully manage your worries, love! I know it’s possible!

  • 25. Brittany  |  March 7th, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I love looking back at my crazy thoughts and laughing about them. But they seem so real at the time and it is almost impossible to get rid of them. Over the past year I think my thoughts have spun out of control… I’m pretty sure I have anxiety at this point. I don’t know how to deal with it at all! So any tricks or tips you have would be great. Most of my thoughts spiral around one stupid fear that has almost taken over my life. But I’m trying to deal with it on my own, I definitely don’t want to use medication! I’m rambling. But I totally feel you, you are not alone!

  • 26. Sel  |  March 7th, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Ha! I am the same way. What has helped me is running every weekday morning. I start the day with a 5k and it puts me at so much ease that I don’t have the energy for the anxieties. I feel my decisions are not emotionally based and it takes a lot more to stress me out. When I started doing it I felt like working out in the morning was the biggest secret that nobody told me about hahhaha – it has really been life changing.

  • 27. Ximena  |  March 7th, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Hey Bri! I hardly ever comment here (I think I’ve commented once before, even though I read your blog daily), but I thought I should leave my thoughts here.
    I live far away from you, and for me it is very curious to see how people from other places tend to overrate somethings and underrate others. This might sound strange, but I truly hope you don’t take it the wrong way. I totally identify with what you’re saying, but it’s kinda scary to see meds being discussed here, like they were so simple… I have depression cases in my (very close) family, and even myself had a period in my life where I took anti depressives. They are serious stuff, they (and other anti anxiety meds) should only be recommended, in my opinion, after long trials of other kinds of therapy… I know this is the part where you might get me wrong, because here’s where I meant some people overrate it. It’s not meant for “crazy people”, and where I come from, it is veeeery well accepted. Like really, I swear by my therapist and recommend it to all my friends. In fact, I have at least 6 girlfriends that go to her, just because she’s like that best friend, which you can tell everything to, but will give you actual honest advice and guide you through you thoughts to make you understand yourself better. Can’t tell you how many obstacles she helped me go through. This might seem veeery strange to hear from a total stranger, but really, if you want more of my opinion on this, I’m totally available if you want to chat! Don’t feel like you’re alone in this, just don’t go there taking xanax :/

  • 28. Jess  |  March 7th, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Finally! Someone else experiences this. When I was in college, I would often ruminate about terrible things on my 4.5 hours long drive to and from home. I would get myself so worked up, I would feel nauseous. Since then I’ve found that deep breathing helps that nauseous feeling to subside. You’re definitely not alone Bri!

  • 29. sarah  |  March 7th, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    You need to meditate! Really! Just for five minutes a day. It’s awesome that you can look back at your worries and realize that they’re pretty foolish, but it does kind of suck that you even have to deal with that in the first place. That’s why I suggested a little bit of meditation. I think it would give you some mental space so that next time instead of all that mind-chatter you can just sit back, relax and realize everything’s cool. There’s a quick intro here: http://liveseasoned.com/this-isnt-your-monks-meditation/ , but I’m sure you know the deal. Try it!

  • 30. johoida  |  March 7th, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    I would seek a therapist or counselor who practices cognitive behavioral therapy. You could even check out self-help books for anxiety based on the cognitive behavioral therapy approach. The basic premise of this approach is that situations effect your thoughts and emotions and thus your behaviors- The way you think effects the way you feel and the way you behave. A CBT therapist essentially teaches you to recognize maladaptive automatic thoughts that you are having (just like the inner dialogue you described) and challenge them in order to think more adaptively about situations and therefore feel better. This approach is very empirically supported, and, in my opinion, superior over medication as you learn techniques that you can utilize to help in maintaining symptom reduction. You don’t HAVE to feel this way! :)

  • 31. Sara  |  March 7th, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    I love this post because it’s so relatable! I’m always pushing myself to try not to let my inner worries stop me from doing what I want to do!

    - Sara from andalittlechaos.blogspot.com

  • 32. Kristin  |  March 7th, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    I can relate. I have that habit as well. I love this post, your a fantastic story teller and it was enjoyable to read about your vacation.

  • 33. Dylcia  |  March 7th, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    I’m the exact same way!!! I’m so glad I’m not the only one haha

  • 34. Amanda  |  March 7th, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    2 things:
    1. Thank god it’s not just me!
    2. Thank you for being so open about it!

  • 35. Molly  |  March 7th, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Oh, girl, I know exactly how you feel. I went on a trip with my boyfriend’s family last year. He has three brothers, so I’m often trying to feel like one of the boys when we’re all together, just being game for anything. (Well, these boys are like that anyway …) I decided I was going to snorkel because I love to swim and thought it sounded like something within my reach. As soon as I got underwater, I couldn’t get my breathing tube working correctly (because I was already fumbling) and had a full-blown panic attack partially underwater. I want to be adventurous, but it just isn’t me all the time.

  • 36. Yolonda J Washington  |  March 7th, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Bri,
    I am with you. I definitely suffer from worry. In fact, I call it my “Worry Wart” because I feel like I inherited from my mother. Reading this was definitely hilarious and said to me…you need to chill. Relax girl!

  • 37. Amanda  |  March 7th, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Bri, thanks for sharing. Safety in numbers, right? I share these same feelings. In fact, I’ve been seeing a therapist for the past few months for some unrelated things I’m growing through and thought the next session we may need to talk about my anxiety. I lay in bed at night lately worrying about a potential WWIII or my upcoming trip to Costa Rica (and mainly, flying there). I have traveled internationally a few times and all over the nation via airplane, my brother is actually a commercial pilot and while I never used to be a nervous flier, the past few years, I have been. I’m 32. I’m not sure what changed – why I’m suddenly afraid of flying, but I, too, can create very-movie-like (worst-case) scenarios at the slightest hint of turbulence. One thing that helped me the last time I flew was the reading about plane crashes before my trip. I learned that you have a better chance of winning the big lottery than getting in a plane crash. I learned that if 1 person survives in a plane crash, then you have an 87% chance of being a survivor yourself. I also learned that 95% of individuals involved in a plane crash, survive (that’s pretty darn high)! I also learned what you’re supposed to do if your plane goes down to increase your chances of survival. Anyway, I could go on, but knowing that my chances were SO SLIM … helped me think more rationally when my imagination started getting the best of me. I also agree with the person in the feed above that said she musters up enough courage for the few seconds it takes to try something new because it outweighs the disappointment of letting fear win. Start with the link below (there are some funny parts :) maybe it will help, then … talk to someone – I have SO enjoyed having an outside person to help me work through things that I didn’t have the tools to work through on my own. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my inner-dialogue since speaking with her. Good luck & remember, “Worry often gives a small thing, a big shadow”. http://www.cracked.com/article_19698_7-deadly-things-you-wont-believe-most-people-survive.html

  • 38. Julie  |  March 7th, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    ooooh maaannn it felt so good reading this!! now I know I know I am not the only one who is ‘insane’! I have banned myself from watching criminal tv shoes cos it just fuel my already wild imagination and my man can’t take it:’lock all doors I hear noises!!’ I wish I was more chilled too, life seems easier for people who are just laid back:)

  • 39. caroline [the diy nurse]  |  March 8th, 2014 at 4:55 am

    i’m dying. this is me all the time. Is it wrong to have back up plans? I’m an OR nurse and I have a very common fear that one day someone will come through with a gun. The way the rooms are set up, there’s really no way out. And then if I have a patient, even if I survived or escaped I would be wrong to do so. But I’d still try. I still don’t have a decent back up plan besides hiding in a place I could most likely be found.

    ohmygosh we’re ridiculous. all of us.

    I also think anytime outside at night that someone is watching me planning my rape/ murder but I’m so ready for them.

  • 40. Kirsten  |  March 8th, 2014 at 5:55 am

    I am a huge worrier too. I worry so much about my husband driving by himself because I am convinced something will happen. I hope it gets better with age but I seem to be getting worse with age. Anxiety is the worst :/

  • 41. Jenny Bailey  |  March 8th, 2014 at 6:52 am

    I have similar anxiety. It’s to the point where I don’t even tell my husband all of the details anymore because they are basically insane. When he sees a certain look on my face he just goes, “Scenarios?” and I nod and he kind of embraces me through it or does whatever he can think of to make the situation feel safer (which isn’t much when, for example, we are hiking on a trail and I’ve pulled my pepper spray out “in case any on-the-run-murderers” are lurking in the brush). I’ve thought about seeing someone to help with it but, honestly as crazy as this sounds, I kind of feel like the same part of my brain that gives me crazy-creative ideas is also fueling the crazy-crazy ones so I don’t actually want to shut it all the way down.

  • 42. Kasi  |  March 8th, 2014 at 8:36 am

    I’ve dealt with a lot of anxiety and guilt (my husband thinks it’s completely bonkers, but in the cab scenario I would have been first worrying about the safety of the situation and second feeling guilty about dragging him into it). Meditation is completely the key. I started meditating for 10-20 minutes a day and it completely changed everything, no shit. I have minimal to no anxiety now. Try it!

  • 43. Kristi  |  March 8th, 2014 at 9:09 am

    I used to do the same thing A LOT but did not want to be on medication permanently for it. I went to a therapist who taught me how to train my brain to stop going down the obsessive thought process. He taught me to pick something or things in my environment that were alming or pretty to think about instead of whatever I knew was going to cause me anxiety. For example, when you know the thoughts are going to start look at a flower and start thinking thoughts like what a beautiful flower. I wonder what the name of it is and keep continuing thinking things about the flower instead of letting the stressful thoughts creep in. If you are in your car you can do the same thing with trees, cars, and people you pass by. If you are at a desk, keep a photo of a peaceful or happy place to look at. I kept a photo on my phone to look at. Keep forcing your mind to think about the other thing or things until the obsessive thoughts go away. It took some hard work and time but it got easier over time and eventually I stopped having the thoughts all together.

  • 44. Christa Mae  |  March 8th, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I absolutely hear what you’re saying! If my husband says he’ll be home soon and 20 minutes have passed, my mind immediately jumps to worst-case scenarios. Instead of logically thinking “oh, maybe he just got hung up talking to someone” I instantly think “oh God, he was in a car accident. You should call the hospitals if you haven’t heard from him in the next 10 minutes”. It’s just part of the package being a creative type A personality. You crave control over all situations & your imagination is so active that it creates all these fantastical possible outcomes for the most mundane situations.
    People who are suggesting medication & therapy don’t understand that, while uncomfortable & slightly disturbing, worrying is perfectly normal for certain personalities – so long as your worry doesn’t cripple you from living your life… which yours clearly isn’t!! Having a healthy dose of worry & overcoming those moments is empowering & leaves you feeling more accomplished in the end. At least that’s my experience!

  • 45. Ashley  |  March 8th, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Bri, this is only funny (ESPECIALLY the cab driver bit) because boy can I relate!! Every single time I’m in a large area or on a plane I fixate on one person that I’m sure is after me or is at least “looking at me funny”. The way I deal with it sounds a little ridiculous… I picture myself as a stunt woman and think how I could fight back and play kick ass theme music in my head. My favorite is “Hair of the Dog” by Nazareth; “now you’re messing with a son if a bitch!!!!”. This would also apply to dealing with dangerous jelly fish. I know it sounds like a joke but just try it! You’ll have some real pep in your step next time you feel worry coming on!

  • 46. Julia  |  March 8th, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Bri, I can absolutely relate to this! I’m also a creative, and working an ever-changing schedule, which adds to the worry, stress, and anxieties. Aside from breathing from your stomach, relaxation, meditation, and exercise, all physical/mental exercises, I’ve been trying to focus on the idea that I can handle anything that comes at me. Worry is anticipation, hypotheticals, and while many are founded and real, many are just a waste of energy. I know it sounds harsh and a little easier said than done, but I try to embrace the idea that what will happen, will happen whether I worried about it or not. I’m not saying don’t take caution, but just try to stay in the moment. You are strong. You CAN handle whatever horrible scenario your brain dreams up. Not that it will all be sunshine and rainbows, but no matter what, you will pull through. I hope you can find the solution that helps you quell your worries!! It’s different for everyone, but one thing is certain, worrying about your worries won’t help, and you’re definitely not alone in your search for a happy equilibrium!

  • 47. Jess  |  March 8th, 2014 at 10:57 am

    This is so me! All the time I have thoughts like this running through my head.

  • 48. Jackie Beale  |  March 8th, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Reading this made me laugh a little because you totally sound like what’s going on in my head at most times throughout any new and exciting aka terrifying to me.It also made me smile reading about the dynamic between your man and you, that’s exactly how my husband and I are and it drives me crazy sometimes. Like- “hey I’m freaking out over here, please join me!”. We actually were talking about stress levels and he informed me that he never actually knew what stress was until he started working corporately in advertising which just blew my mind. I can’t even comprehend not knowing what stress is since I feel like I’m always somewhat stressed at all times, even if it’s low, it’s still there. We started doing this thing throughout the day where we report stress levels to each other and at it’s lowest, mine is at a 2-3. His is non existent of course. I recently had to start driving since we moved to LA (hi neighbor!) from London and the doses of stress every morning and evening… thanks LA traffic, I genuinely think it may be cutting my life short by a few years. A few weekends ago we drove to Joshua Tree but ended leaving way to late which caused me to drive up and down mountains and through winding roads in pitch black and I just wanted to cry! I kept envisioning myself driving into or off the mountain and wishing I had a huge sign in the back of my car apologizing- “sorry I’m from Florida” as I drove below 20mph and held up traffic, meanwhile car are zipping insanely past me in the opposite direction. The good news is, being out there in the desert, I think that’s the first time in a very, very long time that I reported a stress level of 0!!!! I didn’t even think it was possible for me anymore. You think we need people like them to push us out of our comfort zones maybe or we’d end up hermit like under a pile of blankets? Maybe… I know my husband is the cause of a lot of stress when it comes to these adventures and all that, but I always end up happy afterwards that he insisted on doing crazy stuff… like spur of the moment trips to Mexico because I had to get him out and back into the country so his visa could be activated (he’s British). He’s definitely cutting my life span short (is that weird that I think about stuff like that?) but making it that much more exciting and fulfilling… but don’t tell him I said that! Anyways, seems like you’ve got yourself a good egg over there too that will always keep you safe while pushing past your comfort zone which is a good thing. But girl, I can relate! I think if we met, we’d definitely be friends. If you ever need a freak out buddy, get in touch! -jb.

  • 49. Brianne  |  March 8th, 2014 at 11:55 am

    I do the SAME thing. I’ve thought about going to a counselor for it because sometimes it’s just ridiculous. I KNOW that what I’m thinking is so unrealistic but I can’t stop. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t watch any TV shows or movies that are intense in any way because those images and scenarios stick in my brain! It helps a little bit to not watch anything that isn’t stupidly funny. I’m still not sure how to handle it but if it doesn’t get better on its own in the next year I will probably go see someone about it because I can’t imagine how it will be once I have kids and am responsible for someone else’s life! Just know that you’re not alone, but if it starts to be crippling go see someone. Opening up to a professional about it might be weird at first but it will be worth it if they can help you figure it out! Best of luck.

  • 50. Tina Ramchandani  |  March 8th, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Xanax and alcohol. I have the cab driver conversation in my head whenever I go anywhere, even here in the US. We’re not crazy, we are careful.

  • 51. gloria  |  March 8th, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    i totally don’t know, alcohol sure helps but if every situation that i make up in my head calls for a margarita, i would become a huge drunk. i have the same problem and i’m 21, i worry about where i am going to move next when i am only 6 months in to my year lease, i worry about getting fired when my bosses repeatedly remind me how much they appreciate me. i worry about everything that hasn’t happened or will NEVER happen and it’s SO annoying. and then my grandmother, at 78, is the same… so i really don’t know if it ever goes away to be honest. i guess we just need to learn how to deal with it.

  • 52. stacy  |  March 8th, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    i definitely have a sense of paranoia, not quite to your extent, but it’s so silly. every time i’m home alone (or even when people are around but fall asleep before me), i’m convinced someone is going to break into the apartment! i have such a hard time sleeping when i get like this. most of the time, i’m so chill, but the late night paranoia is so frustrating!

  • 53. Lisa | Happy By  |  March 8th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Man, I just thought I had a very developed imagination for “the worst” scenarios and a mind attracted to negative thoughts, but now I read all these frightening names for it in the comments…I never did anything about it, but I wish I had the power to control it!

  • 54. Becca  |  March 8th, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I totally have these sorts of internal monologues going a lot of the time, too. My doctor had me start taking these lavender essential oil capsules called Lavella, and they have actually been really helpful! I still get anxious from time to time, but it’s been way better recently. I hope you can find something to help! Anxiety is the worst :(

    XOXO
    Becca | Ladyface Blog

  • 55. Marina  |  March 8th, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Have you tried yoga? I used to feel quite anxious when the plane was about to take off and I feel much calmer now. If you travel a lot, there are some options online such as yogaglo.com but i recommend you to start with a teacher before going solo.

  • 56. blog.cbeckleydesign.net  |  March 8th, 2014 at 7:19 pm

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  • 57. Matthew Pike  |  March 9th, 2014 at 1:10 am

    it’s hard not to worry on planes, it’s always running through my head. that’s it, we’re going down, what will i say to my partner when we’re going nose first, will anyone be bothered if it did happen, if we did survive i’d die anyway cos i can’t swim….turbulence is a bitch.

    my only relaxing time is when i go to the gym, running or yoga.

    Buckets & Spades

  • 58. Deniz  |  March 9th, 2014 at 3:46 am

    Haha:) I had smiled when reading them but to be honest I’m totally “A person” like you! I have always something to worry about. And even I always think the worst scenario in all cases!!
    I think that most part of my worries come from my mother and the way how she raised me. Sometimes talking to yourself is helpful. I figured out that you were not in a safe place cause it was culturally, sociologically different from the place you live, grow etc. So it was normal somehow, but if you have always this kind of worries, (for example I have worries when I’m not sure about my decisiouns) you are definitely worrying type of person.

    Good luck dear.

    Hugs from Istanbul.

  • 59. Katia  |  March 9th, 2014 at 5:12 am

    This is so entirely ME! Especially/mostly whilst travelling too, to be honest. I’m far less melodramatic in my mind when I’m just going about my day to day business. But travel has a tendency to make me extra paranoid :P

    xo

  • 60. Tori  |  March 9th, 2014 at 8:09 am

    I’ve really enjoyed the book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. It’s all around really great, but it’s especially helped me with worrying – both understanding why I worry and how to get past it.

  • 61. Addie  |  March 9th, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Like the last commenter I’d recommend Brene Brown, but I’d say listen to her “The Power of Vulnerability” audio lectures. I love them! There are whole sections on what you’re talking about as well as a lot of other fascinating and helpful thoughts/insight. I’ve also gotten better at dealing with thoughts like that through meditation. Especially the times I’m up in the middle of the night worrying. I think “not sleeping will not serve this issue” and I meditate until I fall asleep again. Game changer. Good luck!

  • 62. Fe  |  March 9th, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I have recently read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and I felt it has been uplifting, powerful and freeing, I think it can really help with the type of feelings you talked about. Also, I think somehow the simple fact of sharing such feelings on the blog is the beginning of the ‘healing’ from your fears, as you proved you are already able to see that life is much more beautiful than how anguish makes it look like. Good luck! xx

  • 63. Jessie  |  March 9th, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    This actually made me roar with laughter, especially the Bone Collector scene as this is what I think everytime i’m in a ‘dodgy’ cab scenario. Our minds are so funny. Thanks for the laughs x

  • 64. susan  |  March 9th, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you for the laugh-I need it, as I am already hardcore stressing about my international flight tomorrow!! Your inner dialogue sounds freakishly similar to mine-but you know what? We power through our anxiety and fear and don’t let it hinder us in life–high fives for us! And I reserve my valium for flights…no joke. Valium. Old school but works for me. ;)

  • 65. Laura  |  March 9th, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Your inner dialogues made me smile, but as someone who has also always had an overactive imagination (I totally always keep an eye on taxi doors to see if they are locked or not!) I can relate.

    The thing with anxiety is there is no one ‘right’ way to manage it. It’s all about finding a recipe that will work for you. I personally like to deal with worry like fear. Facing worry is like facing a fear — once you face it, like going snorkeling or getting on a plane despite worrisome thoughts, you feel fantastic and reaffirm confidence over worry…if that makes sense? In a way it’s always a matter of letting go and trusting yourself to deal with whatever situation ‘may’ arise.

    There is a great quote that says “Don’t worry less. Worry smarter.” I find it very comforting. There is nothing wrong with worrying, so long as you can identify when you’re having genuine concerns and when your imagination is taking over — and of course, that you don’t let worry stop you from living life to its fullest. Bravo to you for having all these scenarios run through your mind and still enjoying Thailand!

    And believe me, you’re not alone in coping with this sort of thing.

    Warmest wishes from,
    A girl who has just watched Criminal Minds and now has to take the dog for a walk, convinced there are serial killers hiding in every bush!

  • 66. Marthe  |  March 10th, 2014 at 1:54 am

    Mindfulness meditation and practices has really helped me to relieve anxiety. It has also helped to get to the root of why I am afraid. What is it all about? What are you afraid of? Ask yourself a series of why’s and you might get to the bottom of it. If not, therapy can be helpful – maybe you could learn some techniques in just a few sessions. :)

  • 67. Courtney Shelton  |  March 10th, 2014 at 7:00 am

    I love these, they just made my morning! Its good to know someone else feels these ways sometimes too. I try to look at it as a way for being prepared for any situation that could occur!

  • 68. amanda  |  March 10th, 2014 at 9:49 am

    The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety (Vintage) Paperback
    by Alan W. Watts (Author)

  • 69. marlene  |  March 10th, 2014 at 10:47 am

    oh God I know. I’m the same now. With the recent disappearance of this Malaysia Airlines flight, my worst fears are feeling validated. I have a few upcoming international trips to forward to, and now all I’m thinking about is how it’s possible you can get on a massive jet and just…disappear. No warning. F***!

  • 70. Michelle Perenchio  |  March 10th, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    COMPLETELY guilty of being a worrier over here! And it is sadly getting worse as I get “older”! Totally agree with the wonderful people above: save the medicine for the airplanes only! The rest of it (train station bombing, driving off the cliff, etc) I try to accept as my imagination running wild and not let the fear set in! Thank you so much for your post and all of the comments. This definitely makes me feel more sane! xxo

  • 71. Aga @ Passion shake  |  March 10th, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Xanax! :D

  • 72. Laura  |  March 10th, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Hi Bri,
    As a fellow A type who’s been to the edge and back with anxiety, I very much relate to this post and what you’re going through! I just want to tell you that I have tried everyyyyything to relieve my anxious state of mind (daily yoga and meditation, exercising to the point of exhaustion, counselling, hypnosis, medication, more medication, etc etc) over the years, and I’m so grateful to say that I finally found something that works. I found CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) didn’t just work, it kicked my anxiety’s butt! It’s important to find a psychologist who specializes in CBT and doesn’t use it in combination with other modalities (was for me anyway) as it seems to deal the most directly with anxiety. I’d really recommend trying it. You don’t have to talk about your past and it doesn’t feel like you’re being analyzed- it’s very straightforward training for your thought patterns. Kind of like exercise, but instead of training your body, you’re training your mind. I was honestly shocked at how effective it was and how much it’s helped me over time. It wasn’t challenging either, which was a relief. The process of it’s treatment worked so well with my A-type too. I wish you all the best, and please feel free to get in touch if you want more details on my experience with CBT. It’s been 4 years and my anxiety has only resurfaced after a minor accident (but I was able to use the tools I learned in CBT to deal with it). I wish you all the best, and thank you so much for creating this juicy blog full of happiness!
    Cheers,
    Laura :)

  • 73. amanda  |  March 11th, 2014 at 7:21 am

    not sure if someone already said this but sometimes i think it is as simple as changing your inner dialouge, what you tell yourself you are, “i’m high-strug” “i cant relax” “i’m a work-aholic”. (all of which we might want to tell ourselves as young aspiring professionals out of college) If we change those thoughts to something of what we’d rather be, “I’m calm” “I’m present in this moment” “I’m strong” “I’m smart” “I’m confident” the positives start to manifest instead of the negatives.

  • 74. Kaelyn  |  March 11th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Just wanted to let you know this is one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read, on any blog. As a fellow worrier I can relate to your words, especially the turbulence voice!

    I just wish there weren’t so many comments on here that are trying to fix you…I think it’s natural to worry a little and it keeps you safe sometimes too!

  • 75. Claire Kat Erickson  |  March 11th, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I’m the same way Bri :( I hope you can get through it. I HOPE xanax isn’t the only thing that helps!

  • 76. Robina  |  March 11th, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    I HATE to fly. Didn’t for years. Missed out on stuff. Finally gave in and flew from SFO to Las Vegas for a wedding and a woman DIED RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME on the floor of the plane. Seriously. I was sitting in the first row of seats. It was tragic and broke my heart. I held her husband’s hand because I didn’t know what else to do. That event has recalibrated just about every fear and anxiety I have.Lesson learned = You just don’t know. And what is stopping you? A nice woman got on a plane to Vegas and died in a few minutes’ time. Don’t let the fear stop you, Robina!! In fact, I’ve flown since and am not going to miss out on stuff anymore…like my long distance sweetheart who lives in Vermont. Xanax helps, too, BTW. You are so brave and amazing for posting this, Bri. You rock, girl.

  • 77. Maria  |  March 12th, 2014 at 12:43 am

    I do the exact same thing all the time especially when flying. Flying is the worst for me so I finally swallowed my pride, told her my fear of turbulence and asked for Xanax. Now I just sleep through it. However, in the past 6 months, I’ve done a complete evaluation of everything that causes me anxiety or nervousness and am working on eliminating those things or people out of my life. This will be hard to hear for some people, but alcohol and caffeine were two big ones for me. I now drink a ton of water, lots of healthy food – I recommend It’s All Good cookbook – and drink herbal tea at night to help me wind down. My anxiety actually got worse as I got older so I had reevaluate. Exercise is huge too, but it has to be on a regular basis. I hope you find what works for you!

  • 78. Geri  |  March 13th, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Hey bri, I’m 58 and have always been wound too tight! I’ve tried yoga , meditation, breathing techniques, tons of self hep books, but nothing has ever worked. I have three grown children and I never stop worrying about them either. It can get pretty overwhelming to say the least!i’m sure you can relate! I have just excepted the fact that I will be on Zoloft for the rest of my life. It really does help! Good luck;)

  • 79. Liz  |  March 13th, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    I just started seeing a therapist for anxiety and these types of thoughts! I never thought it was something I needed to fix, but have felt so much peace in recognizing what triggers my anxiety and how put it behind me. I would recommend reading “the mindful path to self-compassion” by Christopher k germer. It’s all about recognizing things as they are happenin rather than lingering on future/past worry, as well as being compassionate toward yourself when you don’t meet your type a expectations for yourself.

    I’m so thankful that you are so open and transparent with your readers! You’re such an inspiration, and I hope you can find rest from your anxious thoughts.

  • 80. Susan  |  March 14th, 2014 at 9:48 am

    I am definitely a worrier, and this post made me smile, because I love that there’s a sense of humor behind it. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen that meme called “anxiety cat”, but I came across it a little while ago, probably on pinterest. It made me laugh, but also made me realize how often I’m freaking out.

    However, there are times when I think worry/caution are normal. People always say “don’t worry!” but honestly? there are times I’ve been cautious and was so glad I was. This is a big world, and it’s good to be on your guard at times. However, if it’s a constant thing, and getting in the way of you enjoying who are, even in pretty basic scenarios it’s probably time to find some coping strategies.

  • 81. Bailey  |  March 15th, 2014 at 8:37 am

    I struggle with these same anxious thoughts. Sometimes it seems like everyone on earth is carefree except for me!!

  • 82. Louise Jacobs  |  March 17th, 2014 at 4:55 am

    This post was the first post that I have read on your Blog and let me tell you I was laughing so hard at your inner dialogue that tears ran down my face and my stomach hurts. Because I can seriously relate, I would have thought the exact same things. I am a self confessed worrier as well.
    PS: I think I am going to really enjoy reading your blog :-)

  • 83. Silkie  |  March 17th, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    i worry much more when i”m pre menstrual..watch out for this..I think vitamin B helps ..and wine is good except then I drink too much and worry about that..can’t win! Oh and too much caffiene is a no no and too much work!!. Just been talking to one of my kids about worry and told him it’s best to say it out loud and then it becomes less of a worry..so you are doing good Bri!

  • 84. Barbara  |  March 25th, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Getting ready to leave a job for a better position. Third to last day at the old place. Should be immensely excited, instead find myself on the verge of a complete meltdown. Thank you so much for this post.

  • 85. reyanna  |  March 28th, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    This is me. This is *sooooo* me. I’m pretty sure I’ve had every single one of those inner-dialogues. Xanax? Nah. Maybe Zoloft. *sigh* Okay, I was on Prozac before my babies. But I’ve been pregnant and/or nursing for nearly 3.5 years now, so that’s a no-go. I hear Zoloft is safe. Well, I *hear* that it’s safe. You never know with pharmaceuticals these days. *sigh* Yes, I plan to go to my doctor to ask about Zoloft. Soon. Very soon. Good luck. LOL. :-)

  • 86. ali  |  April 1st, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    omg. yes. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I related to this. mucho love! thanks for sharing, Bri!

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