Worries Are Lies
Yesterday I was talking to a four year old about her worries. Four year old worries are very interesting if you know what I mean.
Her worries just began a month ago. And while many children who grow up in unsafe situations often get worries; her worries were introduced to her in a way worries are often introduced to safe little girls–purely by accident.
And she did not know if she could do this. How would she know? This upset her tremendously and one by one she stopped doing things worried that she might have to go poo away from home. Because, "This might not be OK." (Anxiety is so evasive!)
She also was worried about if she could wipe OK and if her hands would be dirty since she didn't like to wash them.
Last week we had a lovely conversation about how everyone goes poo at school, in restaurants, at Target, and the good part is that nobody even knows it! We handled the fear of wiping by having her practice with mom all week. And all agreed that you have to wash your hands no matter what after you use the bathroom.
Well, these fears assuaged, her worries began to morph into something new. Now she was afraid to go anywhere without her mother. The worries stuck pictures in her head that she would be at, let's say, her grandmother's, or a birthday party and feel sad, and be alone with no one to help her. She also worried her dad would not come home from work.
Worries Are Lies
It was time to write a book. I have been writing therapeutic books with children for about 20 years and I have loved every minute of it. When fears come, children need their skills and knowledge repeated many times. (So do adults.) While writing the book, I repeat it many times.
See, fear makes us forget what we know. And having our skills and knowledge repeated, helps it stay in our mind even when the anxiety comes knocking. And this is a surefire way to get rid of the anxiety.
For older kids we make posters and for adults we make lists or documents. But little kids learn best through stories especially when it features them as the hero.
We wrote a book called Sara* Learns That Her Worries Are Lies. In our conversation we found out that, she is never alone. (Remember, she is four.) She is either with mom, dad, her grandmother or a teacher. All whom she likes and trusts. The worries cannot be true if they show her that she will be alone and crying with no one to help her.
Also while talking we found out that dad comes home from work everyday. He never misses! What a surprise!
We made a story about all of this and more and her parents are to read it to her every day. (For older kids and adults, I suggest they read their document 1-3 times a day- especially when they are feeling good. So that when the worry comes they will be well versed in their own skills. If you wait until to you are worried to read it, it might be too late.)
So its repeated over and over in the telling, then again in the writing, then again in the reading.
I will let you know next week what happens! Stay tuned!
How do you know when worries are lying to you?
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Lobozzo, J. (2013, June 5). Worries Are Lies, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, February 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2013/06/worries-are-lies
Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R
[...] heads about how awful something will be or how disastrous we will be at handling it when it comes. These are not real, they are just a tactic of anxiety to scare [...]
Interesting and useful suggestion on anxiety disorder and its overcoming! As it is known, worries indicates the main symptom of anxiety disorder as common psychiatric entity. Nevertheless, worries embrace the positive side of global life functioning. Thus, we become conscious on daily danger moments that may ruin our psycho-social integrity, even they could be only in our fantasy. By worries we are vigilant and ready to confront in satisfying way with many predict and unpredictable life hardness. However, worries and fears often damage seriously our global life index of performances, which ones ought to soften in appropriate level. Otherwise, we shall to face with difficult consequences of anxiety as invisible health disorder. Current psychiatric treatment of anxiety provides a comprehensive way to overcome the problems with anxiety. In this spectrum of treatment partakes also your genuine recommendation in order to confront successfully with worries as big tax of modern life.
I worry all the time, but I also get stuck worrying because I don't trust my instincts. Then it's like a 2 for 1 special of worrying. I worry about whether or not to trust what my gut is telling me (lack of confidence in myself) & I also worry about whatever the problem is. Right now my instincts are telling me that a man I'm close to, who is in his 50's is bulimic. This is a very strange situation. Can a 50 year old man develop an eating disorder? Well, it is very rare, but the answer is yes. So I am worried about this person being bulimic and needing help. My gut instincts are rarely wrong. If I suspect something, I'm usually right. I know the signs of this disorder. My instincts are telling me that I am right, but I still worry back & forth about trusting & having confidence in my instincts. I am also worried about the person & the harm they may be doing to themselves. I know that I am right in this situation, but admitting that opens the door for fear to rush in. (I also have a special relationship with fear, we are best friends). Fear that I am right. So for this one particular problem in my life right now (I have many more, I could write a book). I am dealing with a 2 for 1 worry special, sprinkled heavily with fear.
I wish I was 4.
I am glad you notice the layers of the worries, it seems like judgment creeping in on that second layer. Do you want fear to be your best friend? Maybe it is time for a good bye letter and to move on to greener pasture with better friends!
At her age, I worried I would fall into the toilet and disappear and no one would notice to look for me :)
I still worry a lot, in a different way, but maybe for the same reasons. I worry I will be alone, unloved, and that the love I have felt was an illusion. It's by reading messages (I already know by heart) that I can ease those worries. I guess that when worried, I still feel "invisible", so I try to prove myself wrong.
Invisible is an illusion I know well. It is just thinking that we are separate, when that is the furthest thing from the truth. How can you be unloved when you are love? This is the question.
Thank you for saying that.
It's a very beautiful concept. Feeling connected to everyone and everything, accepting the little things as part of the big plan, believing that everyone is Love and has a "mission" to accomplish, all these are great but can still be confusing since a rapist, an abuser, a criminal, etc. are all still part of Love? They are Love, but their actions are not, they are part of me as I am part of them, but I can't help them, so I will never be good or clean if a part of me is "sick"? I don't know if that makes sense?