What? Me Worry?

Do people still read Mad Magazine? No, because it ceased publication in 2019. Everyone loved it when I was a kid, even into adulthood. It was intelligent satire, and you had to have some knowledge of current events. They made satire into a fine art. There is a certain finesse to it, and when it sticks the landing, it becomes a classic. The character Alfred E. Neuman had become the symbol of uninformed voters, baseball fans, a supporter of FDR, and many, many others. His catch phrase was “What, me worry?” If you repeat it to people of a certain age, they know immediately who you’re talking about. It’s quite humorous. I always think of good old Alfred when the word worry comes up. Alfred and my mother. And most all mothers worry. Except me.

Mothers can elevate worry to an Olympic sport. They can lie awake all night worrying about things created in their own imaginations. And the horror! They must watch scary movies a lot, because someone always puts an eye out, is dead in a ditch somewhere, and has no one to thank but themselves. They can elevate fear and worry like nobody’s business. Right after the sleepless nights and the crabbiness that goes with it, the guilt is layered up nicely, and placed on your shoulders.

One time in the 80s, I had the nerve to tell Mom, “I don’t lose sleep over my problems, why do you? However it works out is how it works out.” Needless to say, she wasn’t my greatest fan that day. I felt like it was the truth, why should she lose sleep over things she can’t control? Because in her era, good mothers worried themselves sick. Yes, sick. Or at least sleepless. Sad, isn’t it?

Mom’s do worry. I prefer to say, “I have a concern.” Sure, but I don’t lose sleep over whatever it is. That’s not love, it’s codependency. It’s not the sign of a good mom. Most worry is baseless, and a habit of the codependent person. I’ve thought of why people worry. Most don’t want the worst to happen to their loved one. No one does. When it reaches an unhealthy level it becomes trouble. Lots of trouble.

The Mom’s who meddle or intervene and try to solve problems which haven’t happened yet enable their child, regardless of their age. The child (or adult) who allows someone else to solve their issues will continue to have more issues. They will not be able to work out solutions to their own problems. They cannot cope because they haven’t developed their skills. More harm than good is done. It’s a shame, really.

I’ve been codependent; I think anyone who has any relationship with an alcoholic has a good chance of being codependent. It’s not a good place to be, but often the fixing is how a codependent person creates their “normal.” Watching someone you love fail is hard. The strength comes in walking away and letting them handle their own mess. Often we care more than our loved one. When that happens, you’ve lost too much of yourself. You’re only hurting yourself, and not helping your loved one. Take it from me. Walk away. They don’t want to get better yet. You’ll lose yourself before they care.

Learn to let go. Learn to care for yourself instead. First. It’s hard work, but it’s so worth it. Today, I’m going to do some errands. Thank you for reading. I’ll see you tomorrow. Hugs!

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