Category Archives: Anxiety & Depression

Sorry, Not Sorry

A puppy appearing apologetic.

I feel the urge to apologize, ALL THE TIME, and I suspect many of you do as well. At times, I even feel the need to apologize out of fear that I’m inconveniencing something – and I haven’t done anything wrong. However, there are times when most definitely DO NOT need to apologize.

I was reminded of this today while reading A Dog Named Slugger, a memoir by Leigh Brill, a lady with cerebral palsy. At one point, she tells the story about a an attempted sexual assault – TRIGGER WARNING. Her date is a man named Joe, who also has a disability.

“Come on, baby,” he murmured, “you’re smart enough to know none of the guys out there want you. Of course they don’t; you’re a cripple. Thing is, that’s no problem for me. I mean I have those.”

He jerked his left arm up and out, gesturing toward his crutches … Joe’s eyes locked on mine. His tongue flicked out … I didn’t look at him. I dropped my gaze and curled my sweaty fingers into a ball. Uneasiness tightened my throat; it lifted the delicate hairs on my nape …

Suddenly he threw himself on top of me. I was pinned against the mattress. “Don’t you get it?” he said again. “You and me, we’re a match. It’s a cripple thing.”

“Cripple thing, my ass!” I shoved against him with all my strength. He rolled off me awkwardly, grunted. I was suddenly full of adrenaline and rage. “Get out! Now!”

Joe retrieved his crutches and stood up slowly. Crimson faced, he said, “… you can’t blame a guy for trying.”

“Screw you!” I hissed …

The door slammed. I crumpled onto my bed then and held my breath, listening to the steady clicking of retreating crutches.

Leigh’s reaction was spot-on and needless of an apology; however, I guarantee you that some of us would feel the need to apologize, perhaps even feel compelled to explain to him why his behavior was so egregious.

Most situations aren’t so dramatic, but the frequent urge to apologize – for anything or nothing at all – can be exhausting and demoralizing to the best of us.

3 Rules for Worry from Carnegie

Dale Carnegie offers the following three rules for dealing with worry in his book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. Content adapted.

Rule #1
If you want to avoid worry, then follow the example of Sir William Osler and live in ‘day-tight compartments.’ Don’t stew about the past or the future. Just live each day until bedtime.

Rule #2
The next time worry backs you into a corner, try the approach of Willis H. Carrier.

a) Ask yourself, “What is the worst that can possibly happen if I can’t solve my problem?”
b) Prepare yourself mentally to accept the worst, if necessary
c) Then calmly try to mitigate the worst that you have now mentally accepted as possible

Rule #3
Remind yourself of the great price your health pays for constant worry in your life. Be diligent to excise worry from your day-to-day life so as to avoid the wear and tear on the body.

Living in Day-Tight Compartments

Titantic

Adapted from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

What, then, was the secret of Sir William Osler’s success?

He stated that it was owing to what he called living in “day-tight compartments.”  What did he mean by that?

A few months before he spoke at Yale,  Sir William Osler had crossed the Atlantic on a great ocean liner where the captain, standing on the bridge, could press a button and –PRESTO– there was a clanging of machinery and various parts of the ship were immediately shut off from one another – shut off into watertight compartments.

Dr. Osler said to those Yale students, “Now each one of you is a much more marvelous organization than that great liner, and bound on a longer voyage. What I urge is that you so learn to control to machinery as to live with ‘day-tight compartments’ as the most certain way to ensure safety on the voyage.

Get on the bridge, and see that at least the great bulkheads are in working order. Touch a button and hear, at every level of your life, the  iron doors shutting out the Past — the dead yesterdays. Touch another and shut off, with a metal curtain, the Future — the unborn tomorrows. Then you are safe – safe for Today!

… Shut off the past! Let the dead past bury its dead … Shut out the yesterdays which have lighted fools the way to dusty death … the load of tomorrow, added to taht of yesterday, carried today, makes the strongest falter.  Shut off the future as tightly as the past … The future is today … There is no tomorrow. The day of man’s salvation is now.

Waste of energy, mental distress, nervous worries dog the steps of a man who is anxious about the future … Shut close, then, the great fore and after bulkheads, and prepare to cultivate the habit of a life of ‘day-tight compartments.'”

Photo Source: Wikipedia