Pete Davison: Don’t Worry

Posted on March 28, 2011 by

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Some people are perpetual worriers, concerned about every last detail of every little thing they (and others) do, utterly convinced that if appropriate preparation for every single possible disaster isn’t adhered to then something awful will absolutely, certainly and totally happen.

I’m not one of those people. But then neither am I their antithesis, the laid-back, breezy type who lets crisis after crisis wash over them in a totally infuriating manner, managing to stay calm amidst people’s heads exploding, zombies bursting through the windows and/or their dwindling finances. (Specific crises depend on the person, obviously.)

I’m somewhere in between. There are times when I panic about things. Like proper full-on panic attacks. (They’re not pleasant, if you’ve ever had one.) I haven’t had one for a while, but in the past, they’ve been caused by two things—working in education and money. I have dealt with one of those two issues by kicking it in the balls and telling it never to come back into my life ever again, at least until I get totally desperate, which hopefully I won’t have to. I’m working on the other one.

But then other times I find myself unconcerned with things, thinking them more trivial than they perhaps actually are. This is good for short-term mental well-being, but not great when you put things off until it’s too late and then they end up causing panic. Actually, saying “unconcerned” is perhaps misleading; it’s not that I don’t care. At times, though, things are difficult to contemplate and even harder to talk about, even amongst the people you trust the most. Some things are scary, and so putting them to one side is a way of facing them later, an attitude advocated by Final Fantasy XIII, of all things. It’s a good feeling when you get up the confidence to say something that’s been bothering you for ages and you feel like you can get the help or the support you need—but at the same time, you don’t always have people there to help you or just to listen, so those are the times when being able to compartmentalise your thoughts and set them aside for a little while becomes useful.

It is one of those things, I suspect, that there isn’t an easy answer to. The way I am may sound like something of a “happy medium” but in practice it’s not; it’s the two extremes and nothing in between. Everything negative is either a total disaster that keeps me lying awake at night, or unimportant bollocks that I don’t need to think about right now. If only there was a way of compressing everything in just a little bit so that the disastrous things became simple irritants that I actually felt motivated to deal with and the unimportant bollocks also became mild irritants that, while not exactly pressing, were just niggling enough to make me want to swat them away like flies.

Perhaps this is one of the things people deal with in therapeutic sessions.

 

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