My mother is driving me crazy. She’s a worrier. She checks in with me a minimum of five times a day. Did the kids come home from school? Did they eat enough? If, God forbid, someone has a cold, it’s like the world has come to an end. A trip turns into a nightmare if the plane is delayed. She goes into a frenzy and sometimes when I land there can be 50 missed calls on my cell. I love her dearly but as she gets older this problem is getting worse. I find myself avoiding her calls and lying to her all the time. Any suggestions?
Can’t Handle the Concern
Dear Can’t Handle the Concern,
Most people worry a little or when there is a real reason, like the illness of a loved one, or even something as simple as an exam or doctor’s appointment. But sometimes this behaviour can escalate to the point that it affects not only the worrier’s life, but everyone around them as well. That’s when normal worrying becomes a chronic disorder.
It sounds like your mom’s worrying has crossed that line. You are correct. As she ages, if she is not given coping strategies or ways to deal, it will only get worse and you will be the natural recipient.
First, is she aware? Have you had the discussion that her worrying is past the point of normal and it is affecting your life and especially her life? She has to be open to getting help if any of the following suggestions are going to work.
Some people are just predisposed to being more anxious and have to work harder at letting things go and learning how to enjoy life. You can start off by trying simple things, like getting your mom into some kind of meditation group, yoga or exercise program. Staying active, and learning to breath and relax along with eating right are a good start.
If her anxiety disorder is full blown though, you will need to get medical intervention. This step will be especially important if you can’t get her to see that there is a problem. Perhaps if she hears the truth from a medical professional she will take it more seriously.
With your input, and after speaking with your mom directly, a trained professional can diagnose if this is something that can be controlled with lifestyle changes or if medication is needed. A combination of both may help.
One thing you know for sure, is for your own sanity, you can’t let this go on. This behaviour affects day-to-day living for all who love and care about her. Everyone has a breaking point and you need to get your mom help, before you reach yours.
My boyfriend has no passion. He is smart, handsome and very good to me, but he never gets passionate about anything. He’s the ultimate fence-sitter, never takes a side in a political discussion, doesn’t feel passionate about music, cars, books, hobbies, food or any other pastime. He can pretty much take or leave anything. It’s like he has a pre-programmed robotic mind to never show emotion. What is that?
Feel Like Shaking Him
Dear Feel Like Shaking Him,
It would be interesting to know what your boyfriend does for a living? My guess is he’s a numbers guy dealing with logic. That’s not to say that all logical financial people lack emotion, but they are more concrete-sequential thinkers.
Your description is different though. He sounds like he is apathetic, perhaps lacks motivation, maybe has a fear of losing control or is possibly depressed. A lack of passion may be a warning sign. First he needs to rule out any physiological reasons. If there is nothing physically wrong, then you can move on, if he is willing to talk with a therapist who specializes in this type of behaviour.
It’s hard to say what’s “normal” as everyone is different, but it’s a little sad to have no passion about anything and that can’t make for a great relationship or life. The sooner he gets to the bottom of why he doesn’t seem to care about anything, the sooner he can move on and see life in full colour instead of grey.