CAMDEN By TAMMY FRAZIER
Have you ever found yourself in an “emotional crazy 8” - that is, when you worry about something you, or someone else, said and/or did that caused you to worry?
Just look at the number 8: Stand it straight up and it is simply a couple of zeros stacked one on top of the other.
But, as the old “Multiplication Rock” song about the number 8 states:
“Turn it on its side and it’s a symbol meaning infinity.”
(That educational cartoon series was great, wasn’t it?)
A little research into the ‘eight on its side’ shows that its origin can be traced back to India and Arabia, and even early Christianity, with the meaning of ‘infinity’ and ‘eternity.’
So an emotional ‘crazy 8’ is when a person worries almost incessantly - constantly - about something; whether it’s something that can be changed, or something out of their control.
They’re most commonly called ‘worrywarts.’
But sometimes it goes deeper than that, especially if the person is offended by a loved one or good friend.
What makes this different?
It’s because it’s someone that the person trusts, someone they think will ‘have their backs’ and defend them from others. The problem is, the friend/family member usually has the most ‘poisonous darts’ to use because they know us so well and know exactly how to ‘push our buttons.’
Have you ever heard someone say - after a person took an exceptionally-harsh insulting shot at a person: ‘Wow. They went there’?
‘Going there’ means the person throwing the insult said something that was so mean, so cruel that it takes the listener aback causing the listener to gasp, in effect meaning: ‘He (or she) actually said that?! I can’t believe it!’
As I heard someone on a TV show say: “Well, there’s no putting that genie back in the bottle.”
What we say can sometimes have a damaging, lasting effect. (And how many times were we the ones doing the damaging talk?)
Or it might be that a person makes an honest mistake and is criticized by others, and/or is hyper-critical of himself (or herself.)
Dwelling on something that cannot be changed will rot at a person emotionally. If it’s something that can’t be changed - let it go.
If an apology is needed, make the apology, then let it go.
But, again, if something can be done to rectify whatever it is, do it. (Easier said than done, right?)
Try to find a way to let it go: Prayer, taking deep breaths before reacting to a situation, talking to an advisor, another trusted friend/confidant.
I love this quote I found at wellnessandwellbeing.org:
“Never ruin a good day by thinking about a bad yesterday. Let it go.”
Regarding a person ‘going there’: Usually the person who ‘went there’ has said what he or she said, then ‘left the building.’ And there we are - still ‘there’ and brooding over it. Not only are we still ‘there,’ but we’ve staked out a location, bought land, and built a house in the ‘place.’ LOL!
We’re stuck, and the offender has usually moved on.
Not to say that things should never hurt us deeply - we’re human. But getting stuck in an emotional ‘crazy 8’ - sometimes also known as ‘spinning out’ - doesn’t help the situation.
And if there’s some truth to what the person said, it hurts even deeper.
There’s a quote by Mary Oliver that states:
“Someone I love once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.”
Maybe what was said ‘hit close to home’ and is something we need to work on. Their words highlighted our weakness but, if we work on it, we may end up being a better person.
Might be a good thing - a veiled gift.
And for those of us, like me, who are perfectionists, tend to replay things over and over, then turn to food for comfort, remember:
Several Twinkies in one sitting are not your friend! LOL!
Find another outlet - such as taking a walk, picking up a hobby - to ‘relax your mind.’
I promise, I’m working on taking my own advice.