Frankly, I’m anxious. (I’m also Rhona.)
I spent a good amount of time trying to think of a way to put it that involved less brutal honesty, perhaps some more word craft–a bit of extra verbiage that might distract from such an unpleasant truth.
But, ‘sometimes I worry’ was definitely a bit shy of the whole truth, ‘how I imagine certain things will turn out is a bit concerning’ didn’t really cover it, and ‘it’s happened that I think in advance about things in a non-positive way’ was fairly inelegant.
So okay, there you have it. I can be anxious. It’s not a crime.
But it seems like each time I turn around there’s some unpleasant truth I’m finding out about states of emotion. If it isn’t that the seriously mentally ill die an average of 25 years early (that is seriously unpleasant), then it’s that children who suffer emotional abuse at the hands of their parents respond less well to skin cancer treatments, or that even people with sub-clinicial levels of depression have higher rates of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
And sure enough, it just isn’t safe anymore to be anxious.
With the catchy title, “Chronic Anxiety Speeds Aging,” MedPage Today blithelely informed me that those with the most severe forms of anxiety present on the cellular level as 6 years older than their ‘devil-may-care’ counterparts.
Which is wonderful to for anxious people to know, since it gives them something else to about.
In fact, I’m off to dwell on the fact that a 2005 study in the journal Circulation found that (warning–if you, too, are anxious, there’s really no need to read on. Your heart will get you whether you worry about it for years ahead of time or not) women with, as quoted by Harvard Health Publications, “the highest levels of phobic anxiety were 59% more likely to have a heart attack, and 31% more likely to die from one, than women with the lowest anxiety levels.”
That ought to keep me busy for a while.
If you, too, are anxious, and fear you can’t find anything in the media to really put the fear of God into you at the moment–drop me a line. I’m anxious–and attuned. What a winning combination.