I’ve had the opportunity lately to say the words “I have bigger fish to fry” and “I have bigger problems I need to deal with first, that make these problems seem like nothing at all” and to explain both of those phrases, tonight is a perfect example of what my bigger fish is.
So I feel like this is the best opportunity to both chill myself out through writing about it (because, that helps!) and to give a little insight into separating legit anxiety over “oh shit I’m freaking out over nothing” anxiety.
So Nat, what the EFF have you done now?
I’m currently freaking out, rubbing my eyebrows and scratching my skin like I’m itching all over. Serious, I’m having a moment. I’ve started about 5 unnecessary arguments in the last 8 hours and I’m attempting an early nights sleep just so the day can be over with because I’ve had enough. But why Nat?! What’s wrong?
Are you ready? Drum roll please…
I’m staying the night at my granddads, and my passport is in my quadruple locked apartment on the 6th floor in the centre of town (which is an hour and a half bus journey from where I am), and I’m nervous about spending the night away from it in case someone breaks in and steals it.
*Crowd begin to boo and throw empty sprite bottles at the stage*
I’d like to add, to break into my apartment, you’d need to be a strong burly man capable of not waking up my neighbours and barging in. You’d also probably need a drill, which my neighbours would also notice. You’d also have to somehow get into my apartment building without the key as well, which is full of CCTV. I’m also on the top floor so you’d have to get all the way to the top first, wasting a tonne of time. (all this worrying could come in handy one day if I decide to make a drastic career decision to become a high profile thief)
Ridiculous ennit. I mean most days my passport is at home and I’m out somewhere, and I never worry about it. So there you have it. I’ve been researching taxi prices, late night busses, asked all my family members if they can drive me home at way past ten at night. All because of the potential that someone well skilled with either a drill or axe is able to get into my apartment and steal the passport of a 20 something female with a useless debt ridden identity. I mean I do need a new passport photo anyway…
And I get these moments where I worry so much about these things, that I actually start panicking, maybe even crying. All for a situation that hasn’t even happened yet! This isn’t even a serious situation. It’s not even the end of the world. I mean, if that happens, it’ll be pretty crap and I’ll have to apply for a new passport. Woop de doo.
But in my head – this situation is currently bigger than most. I’m not worried about being technically unemployed. I’m not worried about my budgeting for living abroad in a foreign country. I’m not worried about relationships. I’m not worried about most “important” things, because my head, has moments where it worries about ridiculous scenarios that haven’t even happened to the same extent as an “important” scenario.
My biggest fish is sorting out my own head, so that I spend less time freaking out over rubbish, and more time enjoying my life to the fullest.
So in perspective, everything else isn’t so important. When my head is neither happy or healthy in moments of huge anxiety over nothing, that’s when it’s time to step out and look at the bigger picture. Why am I thinking like this? What have I been doing that has lead to my brain tripping balls over a securely locked flat and passport?
The answer is amongst many factors. Hormones. New start. New life. New flat. New job. New country. Old friends. Too much black coffee and alcohol (doesn’t help with palpitations, and hangover anxiety is a thing) Not enough to eat today. Hot weather.
Ultimately, a nervousness in general that builds up and up until it explodes in a crap made up problem, that hasn’t even happened.
Really, what I’m trying to say is. How many of your worries, are things that have already happened? And if they haven’t, why are you worried about them? Why waste that time and energy?
Something my CBT counsellor advised me a while ago was to have a “worry list”. I have a few hypothetical worry questions she gave me, printed out and stuck to my fridge door. So basically, whenever I worry about anything at all, it allows me to assess whether or not it is something I should be worrying about. My mashed up brain thinks that little things are just as much worth worrying about as the bigger things. Truthfully, everything is on a scale, and sometimes we devote too much of our time worrying about little or potential scenarios, that it either prevents us from fulfilling our own lives and enjoying feelings and situations no matter how terrifying they seem, or merely wasting time, diminishing our happiness as a result.
So with that ladies and gents, I’m off to attempt to shut my eyes and pray I’ll get back to an untouched flat tomorrow and passport. But you know. If I don’t, then I’ll panic.
If it ain’t happened, why worry about it?