Photo: Madeline Masarik
I worry. A LOT. It’s a constant internal monologue in my head, telling me I’m rubbish, that everyone hates me and worrying about things that haven’t even happened (God, I’m a catch). So, in a (bizarre, admittedly) attempt to use reverse psychology on myself, I’ve been making a note of all the things I’ve worried about recently. By capturing them here, I’m hoping I’ll be able to see a) how idiotic my thought processes are but I’ll also b) be able to use this as a sort of therapy; to ‘release’ my worries into the wild where they belong.
And yes; I am doing mediation – not as regularly as I probably should – but even the experts agree, it’s not about dismissing your thoughts or trying not to have any negative ones AT ALL; it’s more about acknowledging them and then moving on, which is what I’m aiming to do here (as well as share them for your amusement)…
1. Whether I’ve shut the windows in my flat or locked the front door. This is a tad obvious and OCD-ish, and does involve me checking several times, JUST TO BE SURE.
2. Being out without any tissues on me. Yes, I’ve turned into my nan and this is the kind of rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle I lead now. You can guarantee the ONE TIME I’m sans Kleenex, that’s when all my allergies/hay fever/nosebleeds will kick in at once.
3. What my constant headache means. Googling symptoms only exacerbates this.
4. See also: stomach pain. AM I GOING TO DIE?!
5. Falling down the stairs. Always think I’m going to go arse-over-tit whenever descending any flight of stairs, no matter how cautiously (or sober-y).
6. Whether I should jack it all in and go travelling around the world.
7. That my stomach will rumble – LOUDLY – in Shavasana during my yoga class.
8. Having to leave a voicemail message for someone and in trying so hard not to sound like a twat, forgetting MY ENTIRE VOCABULARY.
9. Whether or not my Oyster card will have enough credit to get me through the barrier… even though I’ve got an annual season ticket.
10. That I might accidentally plough into the central reservation while driving on the motorway and cause a terrible accident.
11. My fertility. As in, how old is TOO OLD to have a baby? And, when, IF!, I do decide to have one, will my ovaries have shrivelled up and died?!
12. The Fear that I’ll get zero likes on the selfie I posted to Instagram and thus look like a fugly LOSER with no friends. WHAT? IT’S TRUE.
13. That people I love are going to die. Cheery, non? I know everyone dies but the older my parents get the more I worry about them dying (hello mum, if you’re reading btw). Seriously, I can’t even watch Bambi without bawling, so…
14. Money. In general. That I don’t have enough, but also that I hate being such a slave to it. S’ruining my karma, man.
15. That I’m going to be sacked from my job. Even if I was CEO, or self-employed, I’d worry about this.
16. Overly complex recycling systems. I end up just panicking and throwing my rubbish in the nearest bin and then worry that I will cause immense damage to the planet and/or waste disposal unit with my stupidity.
17. Whether or not I should have worn an ‘extra layer’ as I seem to be seasonally challenged right now and have lost the inability to dress myself of a morning.
18. Getting an ‘official looking’ brown envelope in the post, fearing that last year’s tax rebate was a TERRIBLE MISTAKE.
19. Spots on my skin. My skin was better as a teen. But also, simultaneously…
20. …getting wrinkles. Fuck you, Mother Nature, FUCK YOU.
21. That I’m late. Both menstrually and punctually speaking.
22. Being unable to eat crisps in public without worrying that my mouth sounds like a pneumatic drill.
23. Walking through shop security systems terrified that I’ll set off the alarm with something I’ve accidentally stolen, especially if I haven’t actually made a purchase.
24. Whether or not I’ve got lipstick on my teeth. Or the remnants of my delicious lunch. Or worse still, BOTH.
25. Getting enough sleep. Particularly, going to bed late and knowing I’m not going to get a full eight hours (and wasting away another precious hour with worrying about this/checking every single social media platform on my iPhone).
26. Which granola to buy at the supermarket. Yes, I know this is also a First World Problem, but sometimes I get so overwhelmed by all the choice! They have, like, 755 different varieties!
27. Suggesting an idea in a ‘brainstorming’ meeting and being greeted by stony silence because everyone is astounded at how shit it is.
28. Booking a lovely exotic holiday but refreshing the long term weather forecast ERRRRR DAY, worrying that there’ll be a freak rain storm the week I’m there. “You should have been here last week,” the locals will say – “it was SO SUNNY!”
29. Realising I’ve forgotten to put on my ‘signature’ jewellery while on the train to work and feeling practically NAKED for the rest of the day.
30. That my headphones aren’t properly inserted into my iPhone and the entire train carriage have heard me play Go Your Own Way on repeat for the duration of the journey.
31. Wanting to favourite someone’s tweet but not wanting to look like an over-enthusiastic stalker.
32. That I’ve developed some sort of speech impediment when I have to introduce myself/listen to a recording of my voice.
33. Worrying that the cleaner will think my house is some kind of shit tip (and so doing a quick tidy-up before she comes round).
34. Meeting someone new, being introduced and worrying I’ve misheard their name and am now calling them something entirely different.
35. Worrying that everyone in the Post Office thinks I’m queue-jumping, when I’m merely in the (shorter, faster) line for the Foreign Exchange desk. Honest.
36. When an ‘unknown’ number calls and assuming it’s bailiffs/I’m going to be arrested.
37. Accidentally swallowing a bit of mouthwash and worrying that I’m going to die a slow and painful death.
38. See also accidentally OD’ing on hay fever tablets.
39. That it’s going to rain. Usually accompanied by the realisation it’s the ONE DAY I’ve forgotten to bring my umbrella. FFS.
40. Worrying that the lovely toilet attendant in the over-priced bar will think I’m a rude, tight COW if I don’t tip her every time I go for a wee.
41. When my boss asks if I’ve “got a minute” and thinking I’ve done something very, VERY bad and am going to be fired.
42. That I’m not successful enough, pretty enough, popular enough or DOING ENOUGH. I blame this on stupid social bloody media and constant exposure to edited highlights of other people’s so-called perfect lives… ¯\(°_o)/¯
43. And that one day people will work out I haven’t got a CLUE what the bloody hell I’m in doing. Sssshhhh…