I’m Going To Worry Anyway

I used to say those words.
“Don’t worry about me.”
I said them all the time.
Until just a few months ago.
When I finally realized
That people will worry
Even though
I don’t want them to.

So instead of saying,
“Don’t worry about me,”
I’ve started saying
Something much more sensible.

“I know you’re going to worry.
So, I’m going to do
All the things I need to do
To make sure
You worry less
About me
Than you would
If I didn’t do those things.”

I’ve found that my friends,
The people that I trust,
Worry about me,
And the things I’m going through
Right now.

They worry that I’m unemployed.
That I’m looking for a job.
They worry about me
Because of the problems that I had
In the past year.
They worry about me
Because I’ve been diagnosed
As having an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

They worry about me
For so very many reasons.

I like to think
That by talking with them.
And sharing how I’m doing,
And keeping them informed.
That I’m giving them
A lot of reasons
To worry less
About me.

But it’s become
Very interesting to me
How many of my friends
Keep saying to me,
“Don’t worry about me.”

Now just wait a minute here.
What the heck is going on?
How come it’s OK for them
To worry about me,
When it’s not OK for me
To worry about them?

Fair is fair, right?

To tell the truth,
This is one of the things
That led me to the problems
That I’ve had
In the past year.

See.
I had a friend
That became very ill.
And I worried
About her.
Even though everyone
Told me not to.

That just flat bothered me.
And it bothers me now.
Because my heart tells me
That it’s flat wrong.
That I am not alive,
And my heart does not beat,
If I can’t be worried
About a friend.

Being worried is OK.
It’s something we
Were meant to do.
I find that when I’m worried
About a friend,
That just proves to me
That I care for them.

Caring, I believe,
Takes so much more
Than telling someone,
“If you need something,
Just ask.”
Because I’ve learned
They damn near
Never ask.

It’s a pride thing
I believe.
And pride makes us do
Really stupid things.

But the worry that I feel
For my friends
From time to time
Is just a feeling.

It’s just a feeling.
And that’s all it is.
And feelings
Come and go.
They’re transient.
Not permanent.
And with time,
What I’m feeling
Changes.

So I know
That the worry
That I feel
For a friend
From time to time
Isn’t permanent.

But I’ve found something
Far more lasting
Than my worry
For a friend.

I’ve learned
How to show my friend
That they are important
To me.
And that I care
For them.

And I’ve learned
That doing things
So that friends can see
That I really care
Actually helps them deal
With what they’re going through.

Think about that one
For a little while.

I’ve also learned
That doing things
That show my friends
I care for them
Helps me
To worry less.
Because instead of sitting there,
Feeling helpless,
I’m doing something
That I can plainly see
Is helping
A friend in need.

And that’s how things
Are supposed to be
Isn’t it?

So you should know
That even though
You tell me
Not to worry.

I’ll worry anyway.

And if there’s something
I can do
To show you
That I care.

Then I’m going to.

I’m tired of running
From the things I feel.
I’m tired
Of burying
My feelings
Deep inside.
So that even I
Don’t know what they are
Any more.

So if I’m worried
For a friend.
I’ll do exactly
What I’ve learned to do
In the past year.

I’ll show my friend
That I care for them.
And know that when I do.
Both my friend
And I
Will worry less.

That’s what I’ve learned to do.

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