My brother was talking to me about his daughter, my niece. I am sure she gets fed up with the amount of people who tell her that she "looks just like your Auntie Jackie..." and hopefully the poor girl will grow out of it.
"She is just like you" my brother said .."she worries about everything...".
What a horrible characteristic to pass on, I thought....and immediately began to worry that it was in some way my fault.
I worried about everything.
I worried about dying, about my English homework, about spiders in my bedroom, about forgetting my best friend's birthday, about those new jeans - are they 'cool" enough?, about not having a boyfriend, about not being invited to the party next weekend, about breaking rules....
I longed to be someone who didn't care. I didn't belong to the A list, those beautiful girls with tanned legs, who knew instinctively how to put on makeup, and I didn't belong to the rebel bohemian girl gang, with their eyeliner and fuck you attitude. I was a neurotic ball of worry, bouncing around.....
Of course, when I grew up, I found the perfect antidote to the incessant monkey chatter in my head - booze! For awhile, the monkey shrieking was dulled down to white noise, drowned out by wine, until 3 am in the morning, when Radio Worry would kick in at full volume...now with a whole pile of peanuts for the mind monkeys to feed on.
I didn't worry about the Big Stuff. Because there wasn't any. No horrible tragedies, no intolerable circumstances, no reason at all, except the "what if..." scenarios that I concocted all by myself . How self absorbed!
After a while, drinking stopped helping. Because I worried about that too. And then I worried about giving up.
I worried more about giving up than I ever did about the actual drinking. I worried about people categorizing me with "actual alcoholics", I worried about the embarrassment of explaining that I had a "problem". I worried about how to behave at parties, what to say or do if I was offered a glass of wine, I worried about being boring.
And then, I stopped. I got tired of it. I got tired of second guessing myself. I got tired of navel gazing. I got tired of standing in my own way. I got tired of my own small bullshit. I spoke sternly to myself, the same way my mum did when I worried about people looking when I changed into my swimming costume on the beach.."just get on with it. Who cares who's looking?"
I've started a video blog. And of course I have worried about the way I talk, look, and what I say. if I sound stupid. And, bizarrely, if I'm sober enough yet to help anyone.
And then I thought..."just get on with it....."
I read a comment on my blog from Anne, who said "someone might see me and think, If Anne needed to quit, perhaps I do too"....and these wise words got me thinking....
Maybe, if someone sees me, they won't be looking at my hair....they'll think...."if she needed to quit, maybe I do too..." And maybe I can help someone not to worry as much as I did.
You can find my video blog at http://www.sobersassylife.com/video-blog/
And you can take a look around some other stuff I've been working on. I hope it helps. And please don't worry. I do enough for everyone.