Body standing still
Can’t get off
Tighten arms across chest
Replies become shorter
Can not concentrate on anything out there
Black holes split off
And begin to devour whole chunks of my universe
Into sink holes
Sit in the corner of the room
On the stairs
Breathe the night
Stare at the moon
Spiralling into a loop
Record of doom
Around and around and around
Bad luck looming
The lyrics of worry pounding harder and harder
I am grateful for this breath
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
I am grateful for …
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
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
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
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
She will sidle closer
Feel her warmth at your shoulder
Flowing into all those yawning holes
And when you are looking out
Through gratitudes eyes
You cannot worry
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