You Try, But You Can’t (So You Take Care of What You Can)

Do as you must, try as you might, you can’t solve all the world’s problems.

I’m forever reminding myself that I can’t solve all the world’s problems, that what upsets others are not mine to internalize. Yet, I get this overwhelming need to help others.  Call it a weakness, call it human, call it what you do for others, but I’m always trying to help, and when something is beyond my help, I get frustrated and upset.

Today just felt like one of those days where I couldn’t get out of my own head.  I couldn’t get out of the way of my thoughts and sadness.  It’s hard when you’re trapped in your mind, angry with yourself about why you can’t get past how you feel.  I’m not one to keep to myself, but I did, shutting myself off and numbing myself to everything.  I cried, seemingly for no reason.  I also tried to argue and reason with myself about how I don’t have a valid reason to be so upset.  I kept saying “I should be happy, I have everything I’ve ever wanted, and it all came of its own accord, on its own time, and after I watched everyone else be happy.”  And yet…I felt like I was being ungrateful.  I shouldn’t be so selfish and angry with myself.  But there I was, angry with myself.  And selfish.  Very selfish.

I know where some (but not all) of my worries and upset come from – I’ve been having asthma attacks, very much unprovoked and sudden.  When I used to have them in the past, I would just grab my albuterol inhaler, take two puffs (and two more in six hours if it was necessary, but usually more as a proactive measure), but the attacks were infrequent, and actually improved after sinus surgery and after I got my most severe environmental allergies under control. So when you begin having unwarranted attacks that come out of nowhere, you start worrying, but not enough where you can’t get yourself under control enough to grab the inhaler and get the medicine in you system.  But the medicine doesn’t work fast enough – 3 hours before relief happens with an albuterol inhaler just seems far too long for a “rescue” inhaler.  And then there are the severe attacks – I wake up feeling like someone punched me in the chest so I’ll wake up.  And don’t get me started on the ones that come when I’m sitting at my work desk, entering numbers into a spreadsheet.  Pretty freaky stuff.  I can exercise for an hour and not feel anything, but apparently, entering formulas is crazy stress-inducing.

So add up the internal stress I’ve been feeling, coupled with the external stress I allowed myself to have (but didn’t need to feel), and yeah, that’s my current emotional state.  I’m trying to work through the mire of my sadness, reminding myself that yes, I should be happy, and yes, I am happy, but I just have to work through what I can control, and trust that what I can’t control will eventually work itself out.  Always does.

And no, I can’t solve all the world’s problems.  And I can’t internalize them either – just hope for the best and believe that everything is going to be ok.

2 thoughts on “You Try, But You Can’t (So You Take Care of What You Can)

  1. I’m sorry. Those feeling are rotten. I also struggle with the things I can’t control – animals that suffer needlessly, people who are cruel to others for no apparent reason, etc. Plus, I struggle a lot with the things I can control but procrastinate endlessly on. Its’ the latter that really gets me bummed. But I know that I feel better when I make the changes that I can. Hope you’re feeling better soon.


    1. I wrote this when I was feeling really down. I was stressing out over nothing, but things are much better, and have been for a few days. 🙂 Thank you, and hope you feel better. Thanks for reading!


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