Dear Mrs. Crabby,
I am afraid of everything. I’m afraid to try something new, because I’m afraid I’ll screw it up. I’m afraid to do something I know, because I’m afraid I won’t do as well as I did last time. I’m afraid to go out, because of terrorists, car hijackers and perfume sales people spritzing me willy nilly. I live on vegetable soup and crackers because food scares me nowadays with all the pesticides and such. I used to weigh 158 pounds and now weigh only 98. At 5’10”, this is not healthy. So I’m also afraid not to eat.
These are just a very few examples.
This is making me very very anxious and now I’m afraid I’m going to have a heart attack from all the stress. My family wants me to see a shrink, but I’m afraid they’ll make me take a pill that will turn me into someone else.
And I’m afraid not to be afraid, because who knows what might happen to me?
Please help me.
Frightened in Fort Worth
Goodness, hon, you poor, overwound nut! Everyone’s scared of at least a couple ridiculous things. Perhaps not nearly as many as you. But when you’re afraid, they’re not so ridiculous.
Most likely the basis of your fear is a serious lack of pleasure. If we all would just allow for and provide ourselves with a bit more pleasure in a day, there would be far less angst in the world.
You are currently wired to give yourself that dopamine ping of endorphin from making yourself crazy. Or crazier. This is not going to stop overnight.
Start small. Take a nice bubble bath once a day. Use a pleasing scented bath salt or bubbly. Light some incense and play lovely music as you soak. Just don’t hold the music player in the tub with you. Although that could potentially solve your problem permanently.
Remember a childhood pleasure and indulge in that once a week. Even if it’s coloring in a coloring book and staying inside the lines.
Go to a movie, or rent one in. Do some yoga at home. Buy a vibrator. Spend at least 30 minutes a day practicing hedonistic and sybaritic delights. Your tensions will ease. And your complexion will improve.
Don’t focus on all the nasty things. When you start winding up into a frenzy of wasted worrying woe, turn on some happy, skippy tunes and get some exercise.
We’re all gonna die someday. Some of us in slow, painful and horrifying ways. You just can’t predict it. But the good news is that however we go, it’ll be done in far less time than the universe will be around, so it really doesn’t matter after all. That alone should cheer you up no end.
Best of luck to you!