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  • Over-worrying is tearing me apart and I need you guys to tell me what I need to hear!

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    Old 04-07-2007, 10:14 AM   #1
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    MachOneMustang's Avatar
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    Unhappy Over-worrying is tearing me apart and I need you guys to tell me what I need to hear!

    Hello all,

    For years it seems I’ve noticed less resistance to anxiety and what I allow myself to worry about, though I can definitely say the following might break all previous records.

    This past week, I turned 21. After an eight-hour day at school on no more than three hours of sleep from studying the night before, I went out to a local bar to grab my first legal drink with a few friends, though did so reluctantly. Naturally, they encouraged me to drink till it came out my ears, but I refused. Why? Well, not only did I have work the next morning… I also drove. Aside from not wanting to become another DUI statistic, I consider myself to be very mature for my age and take pride in being VERY level-headed.

    Throughout the two-hour stay at the bar, I consumed two drinks: an Irish Car-bomb and a rum-and-coke, both of which were intentionally made weak as I made clear to the bartender I was driving home. I finished the second drink approximately an hour before leaving the bar a little past midnight.

    While driving home, I kept thinking that for as much as I drank (regardless of how diluted the drinks were) I did not feel even the slightest buzz. I was tired, that’s for darn sure, and I honestly cannot say whether or not some of that fatigue was alcohol-induced or not. Now of course, I was still very much alert as I assessed myself before making the decision to embark on the sub-speed limit driven 10-minute commute home (and asked my friends to do the same) but I was still a little perplexed as I am what many consider to be a “lightweight” (150-lbs). Perhaps my unusually large dinner right before going out that night was keeping me sober.

    At any rate, I made it home safe and sound.

    The following morning, I conversed with coworkers about my first night legal, and it was then that the worrying began. “You drove home?” one coworker asked, surprised. “One beer, one hour… anything stronger, wait longer” said another.

    Their comments felt like a freight train, sweeping me off my feet and throwing me into a whirlwind of denial, regret, and self-hate. A tidal wave of questions began to flood my mind; questions that I knew were justified: How could I be so negligent? Was I really as alert as I had thought? Did I fall asleep behind the wheel? Did I hit something or someone? Why didn’t I have someone follow me home if I was so tired? Why didn’t I simply object to driving home? How could I be so immature? How could I have risked my own life as well as that of others? Did I really drive under the influence?

    The next few days were spent in a catatonic state of emotional denial as I refused to believe I would do something so seemingly dangerous and immature; surely someone so level-headed as I would never even think about risking that drive within the allotted time, at least not alone. In my defense, I never heard (or at least recall) the “one beer, one hour” rule, otherwise I WOULD have waited longer. Honestly, I thought at the time I was very able to drive home.

    Granted, I went about my daily life of work and school with little (if any) visible distraught, and tried talking my overwhelming despair over with those close to me, but I highly doubt they understand. “You were fine, don’t worry,” one friend said who was with me that night. “Even if you were slightly tired from the alcohol, you were still very much alert and made it home safe,” said another. “How can you be so certain you didn’t wait long enough, I’m sure did,” said yet another. My girlfriend understands my disposition (this is not the first time I’ve gone to her for my over-worrying) and told me that she understands how I feel. She tried explaining to me that there is nothing I can do to change what I did, and that my drive home that night was a safe and pleasant one.

    But was it? Sure, I can remember nearly every turn, what I was thinking about, even what song I was listening to on the way home. I can even remember thinking “am I going to regret driving home tonight,” anticipating the onset of my worry-prone mind. But how can I be sure that ride was as safe as I remember? How can I know for sure that I didn’t doze off for just a second, enough time to strike an animal… or worse… a person? How can I be certain I wasn’t legally under the influence?

    The cold hard truth is that I can’t, and that is what my worrying mind preys on and loves: things I cannot disprove. No matter what anyone says, no matter how much I assert myself, I simply cannot know that something terrible did not happen on that now-regretful drive home. If I would have had someone follow me home that night (namely my girlfriend) I wouldn’t be worrying right now, as she could vouch for my safe driving. However, without a credible source to cross-reference with, I am left only with myself… and that isn’t good enough to quell my anxiety.

    But I sure tried. The following night I retraced my route home, looking for anything: skid marks, a broken mailbox, road kill. I briefly looked over my car for any obvious dents or scratches. In both cases, my search came up short; I found nothing out of the ordinary. Not surprisingly however, this did little to quiet my mind. I even considered calling the borough police to find out if any accidents or hit-and-runs were reported that night on my course… but thought that might not go over very well. Unfortunately, that might be the only thing that can put my mind at ease.

    And for the record, this is not the first time a negligible worry (to anyone else that is) has manifested itself into a demon in me, though I would have to say this is probably one of the more powerful ones. I know I shouldn’t let my worries overrun me so much, and I know most others would not let them. Believe me, I don’t enjoy letting my worries get the best of me and can even spot the inconsistencies and lack of reality in many of them, but unfortunately this never makes them any less real. Usually I get over the worries in a couple weeks and forget about them, sometimes it takes longer. Something tells me however, given the circumstances and possible consequences of my actions, this worry will linger for quite some time.

    But I must gain control over them. I have noticed subtle chest pains in the past couple days, the undoubted result of an over-stressed heart or improper breathing (also a byproduct of stress). Add to this a family history of heart disease, and the message is clear: if I don’t get a hold of my worrying now, I’m going to send myself to a very early grave.

    All things considered, I do believe everything happens for a reason and that there are little coincidences (if any) in life, not to mention everything is a learning experience. That considered, perhaps this is all one big lesson life is trying to teach me. Perhaps if I hadn’t learned this lesson right away, I would have ignorantly driven under the influence at a later date and caused a serious accident. Perhaps not. However, just as I can’t be “sure” that nothing terrible happened on the way home, I cannot be sure as to why it happened either. We have to make the best decisions we can with the knowledge we had at the time, which I think I most certainly did. Unfortunately, this does not prevent me from regretting it, given the circumstances. Consider someone who causes a fatal accident (yet survives) while driving under the influence. Can they chalk what happened up to fate and one of “life’s little lessons”? Try explaining that to the victim’s family. My point is (and I know I’m contradicting myself here) that although there are lessons to be learned in life, some things you only get one chance at and can never be undone. I believe much of my denial, self-hatred, and emotional shock stemmed from the notion that I may have flirted with one of those very situations.

    Though I do not think medication is necessary, I would like some emotional support to make me realize what we all know (or at least hope) is the truth: my commute home was very pleasantly an uneventful one. Positive-thinking and meditation strategies are also welcomed. Please, bring my worries into perspective: are they normal? Are they justified? Any input would be greatly appreciated, and I thank you in advance. Sorry for the short novel.

    Last edited by MachOneMustang; 04-07-2007 at 10:16 AM.

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    Old 04-07-2007, 10:36 AM   #2
    VICKI3232's Avatar
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    Re: Over-worrying is tearing me apart and I need you guys to tell me what I need to h

    Woah!! Slow Down! Worry Is An Exaggerated Sense Of Your Self Responsibility!! I'm Impressed With Your Way Of Thinking At Such A Young Age But You Take It Way To Far!! We Have To Make Mistakes To Learn And Grow. Be Thankful If You Learn It After The First Mistake! Most Of Us Repeat Our Errors Over And Over Before We Finally Get It!! Pray More And Stress Less. Ya Heard The Saying Let Go And Let God? It Works. Patience Comes Through Trials. Joy Comes After Sorrow. Healing Comes After Suffering. Give Yourself A Break And Let That Little Voice From Above Teach And Guide You. And When You Goof, As We All Do And Will Continue Doing, You Learn From It And Move On. Life Here Is Short It's Just A Blip On The Screen. Make Up Your Mind How You Want To Spend It. Do You Want More Peace? If You Do Then You Have To Pursue It. Jesus Said Peace I Leave With You. That Doesn't Mean We Just Have It. We Constantly Have To Seek It Through Prayer And Surrendering Ourself. Just Talk To God And He'll Give You The Strength And Inner Peace. And Be Thankful You Have A Spirit Of Concern Like You Do. Here's A Perfect Prayer For You. God, Grant Me The Serenity To Accept The Things I Cannot Change, The Courage To Change The Things I Can And The Wisdom To Know The Difference!!!

    Old 04-07-2007, 03:24 PM   #3
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    Re: Over-worrying is tearing me apart and I need you guys to tell me what I need to h

    Try not to worry. It's bad to drive under the influence and that's all there is to it. The other thing is that 2 weak drinks hardly make you a disgrace. Don't dwell on what could have been. Look at this as an experience and think of the loved ones you speak of next time. We learn from our mistakes. We are human, don't feel bad about it! Jx

    Last edited by jeanienothappy; 04-07-2007 at 03:26 PM.

    Old 04-07-2007, 03:50 PM   #4
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    Re: Over-worrying is tearing me apart and I need you guys to tell me what I need to h

    All I can offer you is that back when i was in college i had hte same kind of event. I went out drinking, thought i was fine and drove myself home. Thankfully no one got hurt, but I remember it all the time. It helped show me that i needed to take it back a notch and it is a constant reminder every time i drink or friends do. I will always have someone drive me if i have any drinks now and i will gladly drive for others that want to drink.

    Look at as a event that you learned from. Yes lots could have happened, but thank God they didn't. Nothing you can do now can make that event not happen in the past, but you can change from here for the future. Learn from it and make your life and others better for it.

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