Last week I sucessfully managed to worry myself sick.
I worried myself so badly that I had to take to my bed and sleep for 15 hours. To add insult to injury, sleeping that long made me feel like a useless sack which then brought on a case of self-loathing grilled on burning hot coals of depression. Last week I wasn’t in very good shape mentally. Actually, I haven’t been in good shape for the last two weeks. I’ve discovered in quite a heinous fashion that I’m a worry wart. I’m a worry wart growing nasty long facial hair out of myself.
That’s a disgusting mental image.
You’re probably wondering what I worried myself sick over and the answer is foolishly simple and stupid (stupid on my part, not yours. I love you for reading my blog): Grad school. I worried myself sick over grad school. There are people in the world who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, but I worry about higher education. My priorities are certainly in line with reality, are they not? Huh, apparently I stored some of my left over self-loathing. Still fresh.
Two weeks ago, I called FAU to make sure all of my grad school materials had been received. They had. My letters of recommendation, my GRE scores, my writing sample, my transcripts, and my application had been received and processed. All that was left was for the committee to review them and make a decision. Finally, after months of prep and agonizing over each step of the graduate school process, the matter was entirely out of my hands. Now it’s up to God and the FAU grad school committee. I officially have no control over whether or not I get in. This terrifies me more than taking the GRE and forgetting to put on pants before the exam.
As I was lying in bed trying to sleep last night, I kept thinking about the madness of worrying myself sick. So sick that I moped like an emo kid being driven to school by his mom in a minivan. So sick that those lovely endorphines you get from running couldn’t cheer me up. So sick that even cookies lost their appeal. In my case, that’s quite sick. What helped me to get over this? I can’t say I had some great revelation. Revelation is not the word I would use in this scenario. It was closer to God flicking me with his forefinger and saying, “Snap out of it!” Strangely enough with Cher’s voice, but that’s a story for another day.
The thing that helped me get over this, my God flick, if you will, was realizing that this is just another Boogie Man.
One of the things they fail to tell you when you grow up is that Boogie Men never go away. Just like your limbs get gangly and awkward and then your face smooths out and you start to look like an adult human being, Boogie Men grow up too. They go through puberty and eventually manifest themselves as your fears and doubts. Perhaps they also go to college and learn how to be professional Boogie Men; that could explain why my personal Boogie Man is so good at scaring the fakaka out of me. He’s a first class Boogie.
Recently my Boogie Man has been taking on the shape of every negative scenario that could happen while I await the decision from FAU. For example, there’s a typo in my writing sample that I missed. Due to this, the committee thinks I’m the dumbest freakin’ person on the face of the earth and they deny me admission into the grad program. I’m completely crushed and unable to feel happy for months. Everyone who believed in me no longer does because, Pah! She can’t even get into a decent grad program! All of my friends and family desert me and I die alone in an apartment. Nobody notices I’ve died until two weeks later when the smell of my decaying flesh creeps out into the hallway.
My Boogie Man graduated Summa Cum Laude at Boogie University.
He’s got a Ph.D in Boogie.
Thankfully, in addition to snapping me out of it, my God flick also managed to open the door to my sanity and reveal my Boogie Man for what he really is: a sweater. You never really need to worry about a Boogie Man because he’s never actually there. He’s just something you’re projecting onto. I could go over and over every negative possibility in my head until I’m paralyzed with fear, but what good would that do me? Will it help me get into grad school? No. Will it make the committee think I’m brilliant? Probably not. Will God hear my complaining and groaning and flip the entire world around to suit my needs and wants? I doubt it. He’s gonna do what he’s gonna do and that’s ok with me.
So, I’m kicking my Boogie Man out of my head space and renting the area to Optimism instead.