I used to be a worry wart.

It seemed that worry crept into my thoughts like a mouse through the tiniest of holes.

I was so hard on myself. If something went wrong, it had to be my fault. 

The weight of the world sat on my shoulders. 

For years I lived like that. I took blame. I took shame. 

And probably most unhealthy of all, I worried that I needed a man to make me relevant. 

I didn’t know what love was. I sought it, chased after it, grabbed every possibility of it. And yet relationships that seemed promising turned out to be unhealthy.

Then, out of absolute necessity, pressed firmly against an unforgiving wall, I had no choice but to pack myself up and drive away.

I had let the whole thing go on for too long. I had let it go on so long that there was scarcely anything left of me. 

So I swept up the pieces and moved on, scary as it was. 

In the face of grim reality, I chose survival. Because to stay where I was would have been a sort of death. 

I would have to go out into that great big scary world and wrestle my fears into submission.

As I put miles between that place and the highway, all I could think about was how terrifying it all was.

I settled into living alone. 

And before I knew it, I realized that I had not only survived, but I had begun to thrive.

The very thing I was so afraid of, being alone…turns out that was what I needed most of all. 

The world didn’t end. The lights didn’t go out. 

The sky didn’t fall. 

Lesson learned: Endless worrying is not only pointless, it can be debilitating as well. 

There will always be things to worry about. Just try to shift it into a lower gear so that it doesn’t affect your quality of life and steal your happiness.

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” 
                                            – Leo F. Buscaglia

 

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32 Comments

  1. There is a photo of my sister's first birthday party in which I have a very worried look. I was only three-and-a-half years old! Granted, it was a hot July day, and she had just burned her finger on the candle flame and she was crying, so it was a bit of a stressful situation. But no little kid should look so worried at a birthday party. It was already a habit of mine to be a worrier. Over 55 years later and I haven't shaken that bad habit yet!

  2. I'm still a worry wart. Like you, I stayed in a marriage for 16 years that I should have been out of long ago….and much of the reason was that I truly thought he would kill himself or drink himself to death if I left. I kept him safe for many years, but at the end of the day I had to take back MY life. I'm proud of you, Brenda – kudos to you….and me….and all the other women who are strong enough to take back their lives!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story so honestly. I totally relate – especially to your line "Because to stay where I was would have been a sort of death". Life is too short to worry it away and let fear control us. Good for you for having the courage to move on.

  4. Living alone is where a woman who has been in a conflicted relationship can find herself and learn to thrive. It's exhilerating and FUN too! Been there, done that… and would do so again if circumstances made it necessary. xo

  5. So very true and in this journey you've come out the other side smelling like a rose knowing what you have deep inside of you. That strength can never be taken away!

  6. Very inspiring post, Brenda! Someone once told me, "Don't worry until you have something to worry about." I've tried to remember that, and it has been helpful advice, although I can't say that it is always that easy. Left unchecked, I would be an endless worrier, for sure!

  7. It's so good that you've come so far since the days that were so difficult. You overcame something that was negative in your life and can now use it to help others. When I was young I worried about everything! Now, I try to decipher if it's worth worrying over before it consumes me. I think the only benefit of worrying is if it motivates you to change what is bothering you. However, I think it's human nature to worry about things beyond our control. I find prayer helps me during those times. After I realized that I didn't have control over everything in my life anyway, things eased up for me.

  8. Brenda, I've been with you a long time and was reading when the bad things happened. I'm so proud of you because you've really come out on the other side and you are leader for others.

  9. I do not know if I could have done what you have. You have such courage and strength, and are truly an amazing woman. And i must thank you, for your blog. It is one post, that I wait for, and that I love to read.

  10. I absolutely love this post. I can see a bit of myself in there and after six years, I can finally say I'm okay as well. Thanks for posting.

  11. Hugs Brenda and thank you for writing a post about overcoming fears (and I have read your blog since the very first before it got wiped) and from then on too and I thank you again for writing your blog.
    Joy

  12. A beautiful post from the heart! You have been such an inspiration to so many of us as you have open and honestly shared your life's journey with us… You have inspired me!! and I will print out this post to remind me not to worry, it robs of the joys to be found in each day….

    Debbi Saunders
    [email protected]

  13. A beautiful post from the heart! You have been such an inspiration to so many of us as you have open and honestly shared your life's journey with us… You have inspired me!! and I will print out this post to remind me not to worry, it robs of the joys to be found in each day….

    Debbi Saunders
    [email protected]

  14. I've already read this post several times, and I think I will read it again tomorrow and the next day! Thank you Brenda for reminding us not to worry in such a beautiful and meaningful way.

  15. You are right, Brenda – there will always be something to worry about. That's the way life goes. It's something I struggle with all the time. I've been reading a lot about meditation and how it helps being mindful and letting things go. I've only tried it here and there, but I'd like to get more into it and build it into my daily routine.

  16. If we could truly live the philosophy you present, we would be so much happier. We say the words but to live the words is much more difficult.

    You have overcome. Thanks for encouraging others to do the same.

  17. What a great post Brenda! I know I worry entirely too much about things over which I have absolutely no control. Thank you for the gentle reminder…and that quote! You have a lovely day too! 😉

  18. Well said Brenda! I too use to worry way too much, look for love in all the wrong places and seek happiness through others. Now I live alone, love my life and I am healthier then I've ever been!

  19. So true, Brenda. I have always been a worrier but have gotten much better as I have gotten older. I read once that 98% of the things we worry about never happen.

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