Dealing with the mind cancer of worry

Mind cancer



Gut churning

Body standing still

Muscles locked




Can’t get off

Tighten arms across chest

Replies become shorter



Can not concentrate on anything out there

As inside

Black holes split off

And begin to devour whole chunks of my universe


Into sink holes

Drift off

Sit in the corner of the room

On the stairs

Breathe the night

Stare at the moon


Spiralling into a loop

Record of doom

Needle stuck

Around and around and around

Bad luck looming



The lyrics of worry pounding harder and harder

Start counting

I am grateful for this breath

This day

My loved ones who are healthy

I am grateful for my own health

I am grateful to be born in a truly lucky country

Just being birthed into this nation

I feel I’ve won the lottery

I’m grateful for this house

My life

My writing

I am grateful for …

This worry

This fretful refrain

It comes again

But I can handle it now

Pour it out of my head

Into my hands

Slide across a keyboard



Just the worrying kind

That sort of mind

But it’s all about how you use it


I was sent to board at a hostel when I was five.

My much older siblings were there too but all the kids were separated – boys (my brother) from girls and then older girls (my sister) from younger ones (me)

During the week we boarded. On Friday afternoon Mum would pick us up and we would spend the week-end at home 2 hours west of town on our sheep and cattle station.

Many bush kids did the same thing – later moving to boarding schools in far away cities to complete our education.

This separation had a huge effect on me. It’s where I first caught mind cancer.

Worry is a habit. Once learned it is a difficult one to shake.

The earlier you learn it

The more difficult it becomes to rid yourself of its damaging

Hemorrhagic loops

Have you ever noticed the voice in your head doesn’t change?

The conversations go on day after day.

My Dad before he died got me thinking about it – he said the voice (his inner voice) had never changed, he didn’t feel old – physically yes, but not mentally – because the internal dialogue is always contemporary.

I think everyone is the same.

Except when I worry I’m not a grown up, adult medal wearing human

When I worry, I become a little kid again with shorn short hair my guts churning, mind looping with a sense of foreboding and worry so strong it fills my stomach with air instead of my lungs

And I sit bloated – unable to eat, staring into nothing, mind and guts eating themselves. With nothing but my own thoughts to soothe me – which of course – they are unable to do.

So worry creates big bitten out chunks instead

Which I try and fill as an adult even as I create new ones.

Because the disease goes on…

So that is the history of my habit of worry.

Once you have it – it is a reoccurring thing – looping back to haunt you whenever there is something to worry about.

And there’s always something to worry about – just different degrees of emotional fallout

When I gave up drinking alcohol – that was probably the first step towards getting rid of this childlike reaction to worry,

Having to deal with excruciating emotions, stay anchored instead of getting carried off

It’s difficult

Which is why a lot of people become hooked on addictions in the first place

To find a numb place to pour discomfort into

Somewhere that feels outside of yourself

Because keeping it all in here

Is not very nice

And I would really love to write about how to deal with happiness and bliss

But the thing is

Nobody cares about dealing with positive emotion

They cling to those

Just the negative ones that make the news


Here it goes

The chemo therapy to mind cancer

The open door to boot worry through

Is gratitude

If it works on me it will work on you

And it’s a whole lot more satisfying then dealing with an ephemeral entity like “God”

Where you’re never quite sure – is he/she really listening …

Gratitude listens – she is based in reality and the more you chant her name

The closer she comes

Sitting by your side

Concentrate hard

She will sidle closer

And closer

Feel her warmth at your shoulder

Moving inside

Flowing into all those yawning holes

Filling them

And when you are looking out

Through gratitudes eyes

You cannot worry


Sounds simple

It is

And it works

Practice makes, well not perfect

But it does make it better

This is nothing new of course – there are whole books written on this sort of thing and I have read many

The thing is with books (and at times I have had a stack of self help books beside me – devouring them yet still wandering back into the same destructive patterns) they don’t work

Books don’t work – they are very good for propping up a wonky table

But they don’t work

They’re just tomes full of words

You do the work

Then it works

Also this:


41 thoughts on “Dealing with the mind cancer of worry

  1. This is amazing!!! So telling. So honest. The quote is priceless! I have a hat that I wear to keep people away when they overwhelm me with anxiety. The hat says, “The antisocial social club”. Works every time.

  2. I learned worry at a young age as well growing up in an alcoholic, neglectful home. You have a way of stringing words together that reach the deepest parts. Time literally stands still and I have no choice but to pause after reading your posts. They are otherworldly yet speak to reality.

    • That is just the loveliest thing to say Mare. Thanks – I guess I write to explain things to myself and then (because we are all human) it explains it to others as well. If our parents hadn’t just torn into the damn box and lost the instructions it would be fine – I feel I’m missing quite a few accessories as well and the ones that I have made up to suit my problems don’t always work as well as they should. Our parents come with their own sets of problems – if we’re lucky we complete their arc and then keep working on our own. We must be here to learn – only thing that makes sense.

    • Hi Rosaliene lovely to see you (literally – love your little avatar – Being from a hot climate I appreciate a hat 🎩) counting blessings is the only thing that seems to block the relentless wheel and if I’m lucky turn it back the other way. ❤️

  3. Listing the things one is grateful for really does help turn around a gray mood. When my mind goes gray it’s as if I feel nothing, no joy, no sadness. Nothing. I hate that dead feeling. A few years back, I started actively being grateful for the good things I have. It really helps.
    You did so well in describing how you feel. 💕

  4. Pretty hawt lines – This is a really cool poem!

    “Have you ever noticed the voice in your head doesn’t change?

    The conversations go on day after day.”

    Everyone human on Earth has multiple personalities; We all talk to ourselves.

    • I’m so pleased you found it a little helpful – in the end it is a very personal journey in how we overcome this affliction – mine went like this – I still get worried and anxious but now I have tools 🛠🌱

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