FOREWORD: If you’re human, an encompassing demographic of my target-audience, you’re worrying about something, probably late at night in bed. Oops. I’ve just reminded you about that.
Here is my written apology:
Dear A. Worrier,
I am worrying too. At 18 years old I have recently finished my A-levels. Since then an imaginary piece of paper has been stealing my sleep. More specifically, my exam results, and my future thereafter – will I make it to university? Who knows? Well actually, the examiners who will have already marked our scripts, but I probably shouldn’t think about that…
Or maybe I should. It’s how we worry that counts. The healthiest way is out loud. Opening your mouth is a difficult thing to do. Not true. It is letting others peek into your “box of feelings” that is tough. The metaphor begins…
Firstly, there is the delicate matter of pride. You quietly think it’s beneath you, a sign of weakness, to mention that thing that’s bothering you to that person you know that you should tell… To that, I echo the phrase “pride comes before a fall”. And point out that falling on your arse while still trying to cradle a “box of feelings” all by yourself will result in them being spilt anyway.
But maybe it isn’t pride getting in the way. A more serious tendency is at work. Your motivation in keeping to yourself, subconscious or otherwise, might actually be a selfless one. You feel that to talk about your worries, open the box (this is getting tedious), will only offload and burden them on someone else. An admirable concern – but a flawed one, with consequences.
Keep the box closed and it will pile up into boxes of worry. And I am already regretting this metaphor so we don’t want that. Next thing, your friends and family will notice that you are troubled and suffering. When they do, the unwanted attention begins. And another side-effect of all this one-person box juggling is that you end up making others feel untrusted, for not confiding in them.
“Where am I going with this?” you ask. “What was my point?” I ask.
Open up your feelings – I mean that box – take a few things out, and it will get lighter.
Ps. it’s a double-barrelled surname.