Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

{I apologise for the amount of text in this post!}

Seeing as I posted a quote from this book earlier, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the title of the book. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…. it makes sense, granted. But what exactly is “small stuff”? My “small stuff” and your “small stuff” might be worlds apart – so how are we able to tell ourselves not to worry about them?

A few weeks ago I was physically sick over money. I wasn’t able to pay bills that needed to be paid. I sat and shook and sweated while worry literally consumed me. As I’ve mentioned in at least one post, I have an anxiety disorder and only in the last year or so have I managed to take control of it. For me, the slightest little thing caused immense grief. Everything I did was wrong. I was convinced that I always annoyed the people I knew. There wasn’t a day went by when I wasn’t worried about, or petrified of,  life.

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Ask anyone who suffers from anxiety and I guarantee you that you will hear of how someone literally lives in fear. We manage to find things to worry about when there is nothing there. You can lie awake all night fully convinced that something awful is going to happen. You get attacks… where your heart tries to break free from your chest and no matter how hard you try you are unable to breathe. Your hands turn cold and you start to shake, to hyperventilate. The people with you are either embarrassed or scared, and no matter how much someone tries to convince you that everything is ok, to you it never is. This is what my life was like for ten years. Fear consumed me for ten years. I don’t know how I did it.

The reason I’m writing about this today is because I’m not having the greatest of days today. Anxiety is kicking in and I’m scared. I don’t like knowing that my body still has some form of control over me. My stomach is in knots and my heart is beating too heavily, too quickly. And while I am immensely proud of the fact that I haven’t had a fully blown panic attack, a part of me is still disappointed that after working so hard, learning new behaviours such as letting go and positive thinking, that my mind is still susceptible to the fear. Today I’m afraid of fighting with my Mom. I’m 24 and my mother still terrifies me. I acknowledge that this should not really be the case. She was married with a kid at my age and here I am afraid of her giving out to me when I didn’t exactly do anything out of line… My stomach is churning even writing this…!

Anyways, I guess my point is that people’s small stuff is very very different. Yours might be having the money to put food on the table, afford things for your children, to pay the bills…. it could be where you’re going to sleep tonight, when you’re going to see your children again, or whether you’re going to pass your exams…. Your molehill could be someone else’s mountain…

Take some time today and think about how lucky you are. Consider how lucky you are to have someone to turn to – even if the thing you turn to is writing a post for people you don’t know. I feel bad writing such a negative post on what’s meant to be such a happy page, but I want people to know why we practice happiness and gratitude… to make sure that we don’t feel this way too often. Because, trust me, if you feel this way too often, as often as I used to anyway, you’ll have a struggle at ever wanting to make it through another day.

CR, thank you for helping me make it through, for showing me what it means to be excited about life again.
Love you always,
CB xxx
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