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18 Hours in of Worry and Counting

by Anthony

I am doing everything I think I need to be doing, Im changing my negative thoughts to positive, Im accepting anxiety and it floats away. But what can I do with painful worry that seems to have no origin? It usually comes around when I desperately need to be productive. Im not quite sure if there was a thought or not, but I just keep worrying and worrying, looking for that original worry so I can meet it with truth but there's nothing there and the wheel keeps spinning out of control until Im in so much pain I cant take it anymore and start to panic. Maybe a thought came that I was not aware of and searching for it is driving me insane, Im not quite sure. Or Im looking for a way to avoid the much needed studying that needs to be done. For example the day started wonderful, I actually woke up feeling good and with positive thought knowing I needed to study alot. I started studying later than I would have liked knowing I really needed to comprehend tons of biology that Im very worried about, and blam! I was worrying while trying to study. I figured doing the anxious, worry provoking task would ease my concerns however that wasnt the case. I worried myself til I could hardly comprehend, the very thing I was worried about happening, happened. Maybe that was my original worry, not being able to comprehend and learn it all, I dont know, this struggle to find and get my life back is incredibly hard, I dont know if doing one thing is screwing up the other, it gets terribly confusing and all my shrink can say is, "thats just how you're wired." Well Im sorry but that just doesnt help. What am I doing wrong? These painful obsessive worries are torturing me, and when I cant seem to find what Im worried about its ten fold.

Reply from Sound-Mind.org

Hi Anthony,

Breaking the habit of obsessive worry takes a lot of effort on your part. You must be persistent, more persistent than your obsessive thoughts. I know you must be thinking, how is this possible, but I assure you that it is. This is about switching the channel in your brain to catch your obsessions and then working hard to reprogram your mind to think on those things that are truthful, positive, optimistic, etc. I know it's frustrating when you are working hard and you still find those old habits of thinking winning the battle. Listen to this truth: Anxiety and worry cannot win as long as you persist. Your job is to continue doing what you need to do to get better. This means, even when you are working hard and you find your worry taking over, you encourage yourself and you keep doing what's necessary regardless. You may not see it yet, but in doing what's necessary, you are making more progress than you know. I am going to be honest here, it takes thousands of times of reprogramming your mind with truth for it to finally begin to stick and actually stay around. The more you do this, the more permanent your new thoughts will become and if you keep it up, you will begin to see the effects of your effort. Even with little effort, you see results...imagine what results you could see if you kept pressing on over a long period of time. Worry can become a habit so strong that you can easily lose track of how it originated, but the truth remains that worry always originates from somewhere and then gradually attaches itself to more and more things in your life. It really doesn't matter so much how it all started, so please do not obsess over it's origin. This is something that will present itself in due time. In the meantime, you need to keep pressing on, speaking truth into your mind and rejecting those things that are self-defeating and self-limiting. You said that your obsessions/worries seem to come around times when you need to be productive. It's easy to see that perhaps you are so afraid of not being productive and not living up to those things that you want to do that you are actually sabotaging your own success. You might be wondering why anyone would sabotage their own success and I think you'd be suprised to know that this is very common. Some people have deep routed fears of failure and this fear keeps them from even putting forth genuine effort. I mean, think about it, why work so hard if your going to fail anyways?? This is the mind of someone who is afraid to fail. Fear of letting themselves down or someone else. Some also have the fear of success and because of this they sabotage their efforts, for some it may be because of the fear of living up to the expectations that come with success and others for different reasons. For whatever reason you are sabotaging yourself when you need to be productive really isn't all that important, what matters more than anything is that you ignore those ugly thoughts and keep pressing on. I know it's difficult, and through practice it will get easier with time. If you continue to struggle with these things, I would highly recommend that you get involved in group therapy that teaches cognitive-behavioral therapy. Recovery Inc. is a non-profit cognitive-behavioral program that teaches in a group setting how to change thoughts through spotting and retraining the mind. It is through habit that you can literally reprogram your mind to overcome this but you must be dedicated 100%. To find a meeting nearest you, please visit Find a Recovery Meeting I am happy to say that even if you cannot find a meeting withing driving distance, they offer online meetings as well. Whatever you do, keep pressing on Anthony. No matter how long you've been obsessing or anxious, you can break this
cycle. Be patient with yourself and work on this one day at a time. There is no pressure to be perfect here & no time limit. Let the pressure off yourself and accept yourself each day. Give yourself credit for every effort you put forth. You may not be happy with how well you've done on certain days but still give yourself credit for EVERY good thing and encourage yourself along the way.
Keep pressing on and don't give up!
~Susan

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