For nearly a year my husband and I have been faced with a huge challenge. Our friends tell us they can not understand how we have not given up or broken down, it has been that difficult. There have been sleepless nights, tears of frustration and complaints joining us on this journey, but most commonly a lot of “what ifs?”.
A few days ago, over a few beers we starting talking about our situation. We were playing the “what if” game, looking at every way our situation may pan out. I reacted immediately with worry and stress. I started “what if-ing” all of the possible scenario’s we had previously discussed and was coming up with new ones on the spot. This game mixed with my structured and planned out nature left me spiraling downward by the second. Fortunately (or unfortunately) my husband is familiar with my behavior and got me to get a grip pretty quickly. He shared with me what works for him in times of challenge. He said he considers the worst case scenario, and usually, that scenario is not really that bad. In our case, the worst case scenario is not life-shattering and recoverable, equaling to be dealt with.
As I said before, he was able to get me to calm down, but that night in the midst of sleep I woke up frantic. Thinking of the worst case scenario was not working for me, the “what ifs” were on repeat. Eventually, I worried myself back into a deep sleep and woke up the next morning with a new state of mind. Within minutes of rising, I had a “lightbulb” moment. I recognized there is no reason to worry about what may happen. There are far too many options of the table and some may not have appeared yet, all or none of which could be the outcome. If I am going to worry (I am a natural worrier, so it is a hard thing to change), worry about it when it becomes reality. Why spend seconds, minutes, days, months, years worrying about the unknown? 99% of what I waste my energy worrying about will not even come true. Patience, hard work, time and a little faith will always tell, and eventually, this will be a case closed. For now, its time to let go of the “what ifs”.
Here are a few encouraging articles pertaining to worry and times faced with challenge:
How To Beat The Fear Of The Unknown (Pick The Brain)
Dealing With The Unknowns In Life (The Simply Luxurious Life)
How To Stop Worrying (Barking Up The Wrong Tree)
5 Dos and Don’ts for Surviving a Hard Time (Tiny Buddha)
How To Stop Worrying Now (The Change Blog)