Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Spotlight: The Worrier

So this may sound a little cheesy to some, but I have been thinking a lot lately about doing a spotlight on each of the Sub personalities that people with anxiety suffer from to an overwhelming degree (the Worrier, the Perfectionist, the Victim, the Critic). They may appear different to you in your head when you think about each of them but I am going to describe how I see them in me.

Today I want to focus on the Worrier since that is the strongest sub personality that I struggle with.

My worrier is small and weak but very persuasive. She has dark circles because she hardly sleeps and wide bulging bloodshot eyes that skitter back and forth as if they are fueled with electricity. Her hair is frazzled and unkempt and she has a large wart on the end of her nose (Worry Wart, get it?). She can’t sit still for very long. Paranoia consumes her. She lives in a corner where she can keep her back to a wall and she has built a thick concrete wall in front of her that is hard if not impossible to break through because the world is a very scary place to her and she can’t trust anyone. Her heart is overworked, tirelessly pumping adrenaline through her system. She’s constantly rambling nonsense about the future, things that haven’t even happened yet, and fully believes in her own prophecies.

As I think about her I think, what a nutcase! I don’t want to be anything like that! But sadly she creeps into my day to day routine whispering her prophecies in my ear and persuading me that they are somehow true. I know that there are some instances where we should worry as a survival instinct, maybe walking home in the dark or if we hear a noise at night to worry it could be someone breaking in. If we aren’t cautious in these real threatening situations than our survival can obviously be temporary. But it shouldn’t overpower or engulf us everyday to where we create phobias and avoidance. I hope I can somehow cage my Worrier parasite and only call on her when there is a good reason. The more I learn about her the more I can easily point her out when she comes around and the easier it is to tell her to go away.

This was a really fun exercise. I’d be interested in hearing about what anyone else’s Worrier looks or acts like.


Anonymous said...

Hi Aimee, I got the link to your blog from Debaser.. He is really cool.. I found him on healingwell.com.. A great site for anxiety.. My name is Linda I am 43 and I have IBS/anxiety/agorophobia.. I know what a mess.. I used to be normal until about 8 years ago when I had alot of fertility and gyne issues.. I had a hysterectomy at age 35 thinking that was the cure all.. Well it was not.. I am still sick.. I have gone to the Cleveland Clinic and they tell me IBS.. I had my gallbladder and appendix out in novemeber of last year.. I am still sick.. My issue is when I leave the house I freak that I am going to have a stomach attack in public and not make it to a bathroom.. It is ruining my life.. I have 2 adopted girls age 3 and 8.. I wish I could do more for them.. I am so outgoing and used to be the life of the party.. By talking to me you would never know my issue.. But I hardly ever leave my house.. My husband bought a moterhome so I could travel.. You have a great blog I love it.. You have done so great.. I wish you great sucess in your life.. Take Care.. Linda

Molly said...

Oh my goodness - I KNOW that lady!

Early on, ene of my therapy "homework" activities was to write down all the things I worry about. I think I truly shocked my therapist when I came back with four (type written, mind you, had to be neat) pages of things I worry about!

This has been my biggest challenge since going off the meds..keeping those thoughts in control. I try really hard to keep my mind busy..reading, running, knitting, cooking, listening to music, watching TV, but I still have bad moments and bad hours and occasionaly bad days.

Take Care

Aimée said...


I remember you from an earlier post and I am glad you came back! I will definitely check out healingwell.com. I have a question for you. What would be the worst thing that would happen to you if you had a stomach attack in public? It sometimes helps me to think about that and tell myself, if the worst happened then I would still be okay and I would eventually get over it. Its not true I would never live it down, etc. Have you ever tried writing out your thoughts and then asking "What is the evidence for this? Is this Always true? Has this been true in the past? What are the odds of this really happening? What is the very worst that could happen? What is so bad about that? What would I do if the worst happened? Am I looking at the whole picture? Am I going soley by my feelings?"

Sometimes answering these questions help me to realize that I won't always have a panic attack if I leave the house and it gives me courage to try it.

Even more than that, for me coming up with positive affirmations and reading them on a daily basis has been the BIGGEST help to me. Have you ever tried any of these methods?

I guess its important to find what works best for you and I am sad to see you in so much pain. I wish I could help in some way. Let me know if you want more info on any of this or if I am overstepping my bounds to you can tell me to shut up :)

I hope you find peace today :)

Aimée said...


You've done such an awesome job with keeping yourself busy thats for sure! I wish I had as much drive as you do- I can't even get my lazy but off the couch to do yoga! lol. I am sorry my scary worrier lady bothers you too :) I imagine my book of worries would be similar in length to yours if I wrote them all out. Thats an interesting idea. What did she have you do after you wrote them all out?

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