How to Overcome Financial Worry and Work Related Depression

2012 has been a year full of worry, and at times it felt certain that I would stumble into a deep depression. The trigger for all this negativity was my work and financial situation. I’ve always managed to pay my bills and put food on the table, but it is the uncertainty about the future that keeps me awake at night. Three years ago I became a full time freelance writer, and this is a career that is inherently unstable – arguably not the best choice of work for a natural worrier.

2012 was a tough year, but it was also a time of great emotional and spiritual growth for me. I’ve learned so much, and I’ve been forced to develop tools for dealing with financial worry and work related depression. I’m certain that this type of event will never again have the same power to rock my world – so all in all, 2012 has been a great year!

Worry is Such a Useless Emotion

I once gave worry the benefit of the doubt. I reasoned that it could motivate me to take positive action. This is nonsense. The reality is that worry paralyses me and limits my ability to think straight. Worry is nasty and vile, and it has no redeeming features. It is a useless emotion that wants to drag me down and keep me down. It is my nemesis and we will never be friends.

This year I found out the hard way that ignoring worry just doesn’t work for me. I tried to force myself to be positive, but this turned out to be a form of denial. My attempt to hide from worry, by using positive thinking, was exactly the same as trying to hide from worry by drinking myself stupid with alcohol. The worry just remained there eating away at me while I turned a blind eye to it. I found that the secret to winning this battle was to face my fears. The real positive thinking is not about hiding from life but is about chasing monsters and slaying the fuckers. The secret to overcoming worry then is to learn how to love this chase and to get out of bed each morning with the attitude:

Cool, another exciting day of monster slaying – bring it on fuckers.

Re- Engineering the Fuck It Button

Those people who have never been addicted to alcohol or drugs will usually have trouble understanding how someone like me could remain caught in addiction for years and years. I can’t speak for anyone else, but the way I justified that life was that I had an in-built fuck it button. During my years of addiction I saw life as ultimately meaningless, so there didn’t seem much point in putting too much effort into it. With this type of negative attitude there was no reason not to spend my time drunk. This fuck it button almost killed me but now I’ve re-engineered it to help me overcome worry.

I could drop dead at any time – we all could. There are so many things that could go wrong on any given day that making it sane and intact to bedtime is a bit of an achievement. When I look at things this way it seems obvious that each new day is a bonus. Sure, things could go wrong, but there is also a great deal that could go right. There is lots that I can do to increase the chances of it being a good day, so why not just say “fuck it” and do the very best I can?

That’s all life it is – an adventure where I get up each morning to slay a few more monsters. To make things a bit more exciting I want juicy challenges – after all, where is the fun in chasing monsters that just roll over and die as soon as you get near them? If I make it to bedtime each day I’ve done my bit. There is no point in trying to slay tomorrow’s monsters today because they don’t exist yet. If I can become someone who happens to enjoy slaying monsters than I’ve got myself the perfect life right there.

My Tips for Overcoming Financial Worry and Work Related Depression

Here are my tips for overcoming financial worry and work related depression:

– All that is expected of us in life is that we try our best.

– It is the ups and downs of life that keep things interesting.

– Worry is a shit head, and it is also a crafty fucker that will destroy us even when we try to hide from it. The best way to defeat worry is to change our perspective on the things that act as fuel for this worry. This means facing our fears with enthusiasm and a “bring it on” attitude.

– Ups and downs are a fact of life and there is no getting away from them. The only way to be truly happy is to learn how to enjoy the ebb and flow.

– Choose to believe that life has meaning, and that things happen for a reason. The game is more fun when we believe that it is going somewhere. If we don’t believe in an ultimate purpose for life there seems little point in playing the game.

– Nobody is getting out of life alive, so it is probably best not to take the game (our ourselves) too seriously. If there is an afterlife it is likely to be a different game with new rules.

– Each day is another chance to play. Enjoy the journey – there is no reason not to.

– We are the heroes in our own story, and the more challenges we face the better the story we have to tell. It can be helpful to think of ourselves as dragon slayers fighting a noble cause – it works for me anyway.

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10 thoughts on “How to Overcome Financial Worry and Work Related Depression

  1. Hi Paul,

    Enjoyed your recent posts, although I didn’t have a specific comment to make. I wonder if you could add onto your blog(from your admin page)a button where we could click “like” or add stars for posts we like, even if we don’t have a comment?

    Also, I’m wondering if you could put up a post about how things went for you and your son in Ireland regarding his language abilities while you were back there for Christmas? I’m still looking forward to hearing about that.

    Best regards,

    1. Thanks Lynne, I’ve added a like button now – good idea.

      I do intend to write something along those lines, but it will probably be nearer the end of the trip or when we get back home.

      Have a great Christmas.

  2. Great stuff Paul. Though I can’t remember worrying about much of anything throughout my life – I do sympathize with people that do. I think my in-built fuck it button was constantly depressed for the first 43 years of my life, and it wasn’t possible for me to worry about anything. Sure shit rained down on my head sometimes, but that’s life… Not worrying about stuff made it quite a bit easier to get through life.

    Now that I’ve had a daughter, I do occasionally think about the future and what nastiness it will bring. It’s unsettling if I think about it – so I don’t. As soon as I notice some uneasiness settling in over my mind, I stop thinking about it completely and focus on doing something pro-active that puts the power, the confidence, back into my head. I love to fill my head with positive stuff I’m doing, so nothing else has the power to get in there and muck things up.

    I think that’s why I’m addicted to exercise… it definitely puts a positive spin to the day, no matter what was going on prior.

    Have a good Christmas – take some photos while you’re there!

    1. You are lucky Vern to not be a natural worrier. It really is a curse, and it is the reason why many of use fall into addiction and depression. I’m so much better than I once was, but at one stage of my life I was such a worrier, that I felt uncomfortable when there wasn’t something to worry about.

  3. Wonderful post, Paul. I’m into the “slaying” attitude too. It can be great stuff. We are enjoying a wonderful Christmas with my son, daughter-in-law and 3.5 year old grandaughter. It’s been a busy time and I had alot of stuff that needed to be done and tied up before the holidays. I chunked it into doable days and just went at it, waking up daily with that ” time to slay it” feeling rather than dread and the request each am that God would lend a hand and then some gratefulness at the end of each day for what I was able to accomplish. Good stuff. I have more “must get done” stuff to jump on after the holidays and am actually looking forward to it rather than dreading it. I do also think that if you can get your nutrition settled into a good place, this too, will be more helpful than you might think. It’s all really tied together – body, mind, emotions, spirit. Extremes take a toll.

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