Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's not my problem and it's not my fault

You know how you're skating along, thinking things are fine, thinking things are going the way they are supposed to be, and then BAM, one thing happens and everything crumbles to dust. Or at least it feels that way for awhile. Like a sudden illness, a lump, a layoff, or a change in a relationship. I hate that!

It doesn't take much for me to suddenly feel like nothing is what it seems and that big mistakes have been made. Today, it was an email. I have that oh, so familiar knot in my stomach, my heart is beating faster, and I feel a keen sense of dread for what is coming. I've been through it all so very many times before, and the feeling is NOT a new one, but it is a very unpleasant one.

So, I ask myself, SELF? What are you going to do about this feeling? Over the years, I have developed a mantra for such situations..."It's not my problem and it's not my fault." Usually saying that out loud a few times makes me feel better, but I hate feeling this way. I spent 10 years feeling this way almost every single day.

What's funny about me is that no matter the thousands of times I have felt this way, the situation has NEVER (ok, well, almost never) been as bad as I think it will be. It always gets resolved, it is always smoothed over and the world as I know it has never actually ended. But THIS time...I'm sure it will be fine as well. It's just working through it. It's spending the day (and maybe even tomorrow, I fear) with my old nemesis, the knot in my stomach. My problem is that I horrible-ize. I love to go over and over situations and think of the very worst things that can happen because of the situation, and then make that even worse. Maybe it's because of the sense of relief when the horrible thing DOESN'T happen? Not sure. But, I am good at it, man. I can come up with the very worst scenario, get through it, and start imagining how I'll pick up the pieces, if I even can. All before anything even happens! Makes my stomach hurt even more, but I do it every time. I'm already doing it this morning, and all because of a stupid, thoughtless, ridiculous email.

So, it's not my problem and it's not my fault. I feel better already. Thanks for listening, and if the world as we know it does indeed end, I'll let ya know.


Kate said...

When Tom was little, he used to get really worried about every little thing that could possibly go wrong (like making an error in little league or failing a test). So his mom started asking him, "Tom, what is the very worst that could happen?" They'd come up with the worst-case scenario together, and then talk about what they would do in that case. And once that was out of the way, whatever DID happen was inevitably better and Tom could deal with it on his own. I thought that was a pretty creative way to deal with a little worrier.

Hope you make it through your e-mail and any aftermath without major damage...

Miz C (and Burton) said...

Boy, there is no doubt whatsoever that we are related!!!! I do exactly the same thing!!!!!! I'll be saying lots and lots of prayers that all will resolve quickly and easily..and that your knot will untie soon.