There’s this quote that goes, “Worry never robs tomorrow of Its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
Less than a week ago, I riddled our possible next pregnancy post-miscarriage with worry. I worried about whether we will be able to conceive again; whether I will make it past first trimester safely; whether I will get through second trimester without complication or infection this time. I thought that I could prepare myself for the worst by worrying, and that it was just me protecting my heart.
Florian, in the last few months, has responded to my fears with optimism. He tells me repeatedly that our next pregnancy will go well. He assures me that it will not happen again. And yet, there are women who have gone through late miscarriages multiple times. Why not me?!
And so, I looked towards our future with a sense of foreboding. I believed that by being prepared, I was guarding myself from pain and sorrow IF we miscarry again.
At my last therapy session, I shared with A about how I was feeling. I shared with her that the closer we are to trying again, the more real the fears were becoming. I speak now of my worries in the past tense. It doesn’t mean that they no longer have a grasp on me. Rather, it means that I consciously choose not to allow them to sap my today of its joy.
A asked how my anxiety would aid in the outcome of things, aside from the feeling of preparedness. I thought about it and I realised that nerves will not be able to prevent events that I fear from occurring. If I say that I want to be present and celebrate our future baby while it is in my womb, then worry will eclipse that flood of light waiting to fill our souls. Worry, in itself, will be an oxymoron to the feelings of gladness I want to feel in our next pregnancy.
The inability to control future situations crushes me and leaves me worried and fearful. But will worrying negate the absence of control? What good will worrying do? If all goes smoothly, will the worry not be for nothing? If things go awry, will worrying have prevented it?
At the end of the day, worry is, perhaps, a wasted emotion.
The Relationship Between Worry and Preparedness
A brought up the inverse relationship between worry and preparedness: The more prepared we are, the less we worry – like in an exam. And the less prepared, the more we worry.
Looking back at the events leading up to our loss, it is true that Florian and I made decisions together. We had time to think through some while others were made in a snap. Ultimately, when the crunch came, we managed to deal with them together. We were prepared without realising it. So if we have to go through a similar situation again, we are prepared. As such, I really shouldn’t need to bear the burden of worry.
Worry, along with fear, depression and anxiety, consumes. It makes for joyless living, without the guarantee of bright tomorrows. My fears are founded on the past – a past that bears no indication for the future that is to come. I can allow it to blight my present, or I can let it go and live unburdened. The answer is an obvious one.
Worry Never Robs Tomorrow of Its Sorrow
I guess Worry holds hands with Fear even when time has shown that we are prepared for what is to come. We fear the pain of heartache; we fear the heartbreak of loss. The intensity of such heavy emotions make me such that we fear having to live through them again. Hence, we worry. And I know now, that the saying is true: Worry never robs tomorrow of Its sorrow.
Coming out of my session with A, I was reminded to leave my worries at God’s feet. I find it difficult to accept not being in the driver’s seat. This is also why I dread flying. The truth is though, we can never be in full control of any situation for the very fact that there are so many other external factors to consider.
Similarly, I am not in control of our future – whether we will conceive again, miscarry again, or become parents in the here and now for the first time. What I can control is how I choose to makes sense of the past, and how I choose to look forward. I choose to experience the joy of being alive, of nesting in the love of family and friends, of allowing life to be.
Let’s not allow Worry to sap today of all the brightness it holds. Let it not rob us of time that can be used to appreciate what we have, to be grateful for those we love, to be thankful for those who love us. Let it not steal our ability to bask in our here and now.