Confessions of a Chronic Worrier

I worry a lot. I worry about big things like where I am going in life, if I’m taking the right steps to reach my goals, and if I am being the best person I can be. I worry about little things, too, like if the tone of the text I just sent could be misinterpreted, if my boyfriend will think the date I’m planning is lame, and if my friends will like the outfit I’m wearing out that night.

As one those who is constantly worrying, I would like to shed some light on to the inner workings of the chronic worrier.

My speech patterns

Sometimes when I talk I stutter or lose track of my thoughts. Of course I notice when I do these things, so I worry that others do as well. Maybe they did notice that I just used the word “like” about four times, but does it really matter that much? Are they going to think I’m an uneducated person because I don’t speak with the fluidity and grace of a politician? Of course not, but because I am a worrier, I’ll spend the rest of the conversation making sure I don’t say “um” or ”like” again.

Am I being annoying?

Even though I have no shame in my double-texting habits, if I send you five texts over the span of a day and you haven’t answered any of them, I worry that constantly texting you has made made me become a clingy, overbearing, and annoying person. If I have asked you several times in the past week to get dinner, and each time you have a reason not to accompany me, I will stop asking to get dinner if fear that I was too annoying and now you hate me.

You didn’t invite me out last weekend

I saw the pictures you posted, but I wasn’t invited. The worrier inside me brews with a million and one thoughts. Some are extreme like, “Well, I guess she doesn’t want to be friends anymore,” and then I think back to last week to find something that I could have done wrong. You could ask me to lunch the same day that I saw the pictures, and I’ll still be convinced that this is you trying to cover your secret hatred for me.

I heard police go by...

This goes out to the extreme worriers--maybe someone who has either been in a car accident or has had someone close to them involved in one. Anytime I hear a police car zoom by or the sirens of an ambulance, I worry that I might get a call telling me that someone I know and love was involved in that same emergency. Bad things happen in this world, however, that doesn't mean you have to walk around constantly in fear.

You’re late

Obviously, if you said you would pick me up at 4:00 and it is 4:01, that means that you forgot about me. Even though I have never been in a situation where a person has left me behind, it's a constant worry.

Am I being suspicious?

When I go into a store and walk out without buying anything, a sudden veil of worry overcomes me. I didn’t steal anything, but what if it looks like I did, or the alarm goes off? The same goes for police cars; I can drive by one and be doing nothing wrong, yet still worry that I'll get pulled over.

My friends, family, significant other, etc.

If I’m not worrying about myself or things going on in my life, then I’m worrying about the people I care about. Are they happy and healthy? Are they stressed? And if so, how can I help? I want everyone to be happy, and I am willing to put others' needs in front of mine to make sure of that. If they recently told me about a hardship they're facing, I could spend my entire day coming up with possible solutions in order to help them.

Am I enough?

Will you wake up tomorrow and realize that I am not the person you need in your life? Feelings change and sometime people are hard to figure out. How do I know that even if you told me you loved me today, that you won't break up with me tomorrow? I strive to be the best because if I’m not, my friends or significant other will realize they can do better. As a chronic worrier, you often become self-conscious. It is not a healthy habit, and one that we struggle with every day.  

Worry about worrying

I look at my to-do lists and start to worry: so much to do, so-little time. Then I realize that I’m worrying too much, and the cycle begins. I will start to worry about how I am too busy worrying instead of getting my homework done, but then I’m just worrying about worrying and there is no easy way to get out of the loop of worry.

The worrying can easily consume you. And as much as you want to be a constant happy ray of sunshine, it's hard to convince yourself that it's actually okay to let go and accept that whatever happens is meant to be.


Photos: Header, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5