July 24, 2018

"Don't Worry" Never Helps



I understand why people say, "Don't worry", I've done it myself ~ but it never helps. As I write this, my son is attempting to travel home from China. I say attempting because it's been an ordeal. Due to an airline mistake, he ended up missing his connecting flight to the States and had a twelve hour layover in the Shanghai airport.

ALONE.

He's seventeen and has never traveled out of the country by himself or even flown by himself before this. No, of course this isn't my worst nightmare and I didn't lose my mind. (yes, I lost my mind)

The last two days have been intense! I don't handle stress great. I often want to lose myself in a pile of sweets and come out on the other side with a migraine. Handling my anxiety is not something I've succeeded at but I'm trying to do better.

Instead of running for sweets today, I've given myself a poster project. I'm attempting to distract myself with new episodes of Anne with an E, The Bachelorette (yes, I'm ashamed of this one but I can't help myself) and tons of art supplies to make Welcome Home posters because I choose to believe he will make it home tonight.

Of course it was then that I learned at his next connection, my young son has to race through customs, re-check his bag and arrive at his gate to get on his next flight in about an hour and a half. Is this real life? Sigh. The worry monsters raise their ugly heads. I hope he finds a good person who can help him get to all the places but I know that's the stuff of fiction. For me, the overwhelming terror is that...

I can do nothing about it! Nothing. Nada.

So here I sit, knowing I have no way to help other than being moral support. What do I do? I usually just sit here worrying about all the things that could go wrong; running every scenario through my head making myself a terrified mess. 

BUT

I could accept that I have no control. I could hug it in like a long lost puppy and just sit with it. The obvious fact is that I can do nothing about the situation (believe me, we've made all the calls possible). So I can opt to keep my hands occupied, my mind busy and let it go. What happens happens. I have no way to change it.

Letting go is so desperately hard. Why is it so hard?! Is it the Mom part? the scared little girl part? the sky is falling part? I'd like to think it's the optimistic part that wants to believe there is STILL something I can DO.

But at some point, one has to either go crazy or stop.

So today, I'm choosing to stop. I'm going to believe that my son can survive, even if he has to wait for another twelve hours to get home. I'm going to watch the inventive, cheerful Anne of Green Gables to distract myself from obsessing while I drawing fancy hand-lettering on cheap poster-board.

(And I wouldn't be opposed to a box of chocolates or a plate of cookies!)




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