Good evening, friends!
When I became a new mother, I experienced emotions I didn’t even know were possible. In my exhausted state, all I could think about was that I had no clue what I was doing, and how I hoped my new little lovebug was warm and felt loved. I knew that I loved him very much, but sometimes that love was overshadowed by an emotion sometimes more powerful than love itself. Fear. And, its ugly sister, Worry. I became completely suffocated by feelings of worry; worry that I was not feeding him enough, worry that he was cold, worry that he would get sick or die in his sleep… I’m telling ya, they don’t lie when they tell you becoming a new parent does some strange things to you and awaken new feelings you didn’t know you could have!
I’m here to also tell you that I have not stopped worrying or being afraid, though it is not all the time. It does not seem to be a side effect of parenting that goes away or calms with time. In fact, each day it seems there are MORE things to be worried about, and I can just imagine the way parents of teenagers feel! Eeek.
However, I’m not here to talk about worry or fear associated with parenting. I wanted to write it all out so that other parents like me know that there is someone else out there dealing with the same struggles and I get it. I understand. And it sucks.
In my mind, I separate fear and worry as such: FEAR to me is being afraid of something that will happen with all certainty. I am afraid of loved ones passing away, because someday they will. I am afraid of the day Mason goes to school, because someday he will. I am afraid of getting older, because of course, I will. WORRY on the other hand is all of the nonsensical bullshit that I conjure up in my head. WORRY comes from media, it comes from a vivid imagination, and it comes from negativity. Worry is what I do when I think about all of the things in my life that could possibly go terribly, horribly wrong. Entire days have been ruined for me due to unnecessary worrying.
And that is what this post is about. Worry is an ongoing struggle for me, and I am sure there are many others dealing with the same battle. If not controlled, worry can completely take over your life. There have been days where I have been so dragged down by worry that all I have wanted to do is to curl up on a couch and stare at a wall. Not good.
Whether a legitimate fear or a worry of a made-up scenario I have put together on my own, I first and foremost need to trust in God. I have also learned to:
- Keep busy. I find that on weekends, when I have more time to think, I am more likely to feel down and defeated.
- Talk to someone. For a long time, I kept things to myself, and more often than not, when I talk to someone they have a story to share illustrating how they can relate. It always puts my mind at ease.
- Play with Mason. How could I possibly worry when I am so distracted with keeping up with that little boy?!
- Blog! Even just writing my feelings down is therapeutic and has helped tremendously in the past.
To anyone struggling with intense feelings of fear or worry: you are not alone! I think we could all benefit in the knowledge that everything that will be, will be. xo
“Worry is a misuse of the imagination” – Dan Zandra