Daughter. Sister. Friend. Believer. Warrior. Writer. Voracious reader. Shoe Lover. Car Accident Survivor. Quasi philosopher. Prone to circumlocution. Beyonce stan. Retired cynic. On a quest to make a dent in the universe. Impossible to summarise in a few words.
I never understood those who lived their lives plagued by worrisome thoughts. I concluded they didn’t have anything better to do with their time. Why would anyone willingly feed their irrational fears with negative visions that are unlikely to come to pass? Yet in the past few months I've finally come to understand how worry can strangle your existence.
You see my car accident turned me into a worrier. The incident showed me that being a ‘good person’ doesn’t protect against the caprice of the universe. I began to worry about what was around the corner. I didn’t worry about my injuries regressing or whether I would ever recover. Instead I worried about my family and all those I loved. What if they were in a plane crash? Or worse another car accident? What if someone I loved got cancer? Or malaria? (pretty impossible when we live in London!). And on those really bleak days I found myself crying about things that hadn’t even occurred.
The most humbling aspect of my journey to overcome worry, is finally grasping that many people carry burdens in silence. These burdens, commonly known as ‘issues’, hang around our necks, weighing us down. They affect every aspect of our life, yet we’ve become so skilled in concealing them, they’re invisible to the world. Their invisibility means on the good days we fool ourselves into believing they’re no longer there. But they are.
On the surface we seem happy. "How are you?" they ask. "Great!" we answer. When in fact we're far from great. We’ve simply buried and bottled things that need to be dealt with and released. We’re being handicapped by things we don’t have the courage to share with anyone. So we limp through life perpetually misunderstood. Some of us have been called a ‘bitch’, ‘prick’, ‘asshole’, ‘idiot’, labels the world places on people whose spirits are poisoned by the puss that festers within invisible wounds.
If we live with an issue long enough, eventually we begin to suffer from a type of Stockholm Syndrome. In a tragic irony, our worst enemy becomes our best friend and the issue that enslaves us becomes the thing keeping us alive. We conclude the constant shadow of negativity over our existence proves at least there’s still light. Sadly, the ‘light’ is rarely alluring enough for us to breakaway from our current state.
Imagine…Just for a moment…. You decided to Quit holding on to the issues that make you less than you really are. Imaging you let it all go. The baggage, diffidence, eating disorder, boyfriend that treats you like crap, daddy issues, addiction, anger, self-hatred, insecurity, malice, resentment, deep dark secrets of childhood abuse, worry….. whatever it is. What if one day we all just Quit.
I’m aware quitting is contrary to everything we’re fed in a society obsessed with success. Many of us have made "Never Quit" and “Don’t Give Up’ our mantras. We courageously finish every expedition we embark on because quitting is the mark of weakness. However, has it ever crossed your mind that quitting is a sign of great strength?It takes a certain boldness to decide that the path you're walking down isn’t working, so you turn around, not caring what others say or think of you.
When we eventually turn around, we discover that most people don't care that much about what we do. Sure a few will gossip for a while, but for the most part whether we choose to live mediocre lives or great ones, people are too self-obsessed to notice. That’s why I think we should Quit living with our issues. However big or small, whatever it is, let it go. If you're scared of what people will think, don't worry. They don't care that much!
In a moment we can resolve to take the crucial first step. Quit. Let it go.
Deciding to ‘Quit’ isn’t an end in itself; it’s simply a means to an end. And the end is a place where we’re free from the things that used to bind us. Yet if we don’t take that powerful first step defeating our demons is all but a distant dream.
If/when you decide to quit, confide in someone who loves you about what you’ve been carrying and how you’ve decided to abandon it. Accountability is key in the journey to overcome our issues. When we're accountable to no one, the temptation to return to our old domicile is often impossible to fight. So tell someone who cares.
There is another option, a safer route. We can decide to stay where we’ve always been and let our issues suffocate us, leaving us with just enough air to survive. Until we exist in a space where we’re alive but not truly living, surviving, rather than thriving.
The choice is ours.
We can remain where we are or take the steps towards being where we should be. Which will you choose?