Dear Diary, I Am #Fearless, Mental Illness
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Dear Diary: Hakuna Matata

keep-calm-and-hakuna-matataHakuna Matata.
What a wonderful phrase. 

Hakuna Matata, ain’t no passing craze.
It means no worries for the rest of your days.
It’s our problem free philosophy,
Hakuna Matata.

It’s interesting, but when you look up “hakuna matata meaning” on Google, you find out the following:

Hakuna Matata is Swahili, which is formed by the words hakuna, which translates to ‘there is not here’, and matata, the plural form of problem. Combined, that translates to there is not problems here, or, as we’ve come to know it, no worries.

Despite me assuming that the wonderful song had to have been a true translation, let’s be honest: I was skeptical. Of course, now I know the truth and can dispel the myth – it is in fact “no worries”.

Myth busted, worries shattered, life is better.

I guess that means we can all go about our day now, right?

Well, not quite.

The idea that a simple phrase such as hakuna matata could ease our worries is, well, exciting but far fetched. Wouldn’t it be amazing if chanting that little problem free philosophy over and over again would cure our worries, stress and panic?

I guess Disney made it look simple. Chant the word, cross a log bridge, and not only do you simultaneously age by 10 years but you also become laid back and zen. All your worries are gone in a perfectly crafted self discovery video montage.

Now that’s the dream.

Of course, people with anxiety and panic know that if it were that simple to shut off the insanity in our brain we would have done it years ago, or never let it happen to begin with.

Worry, anxiety and panic act simultaneously. With anxiety and panic comes worry, and with worry comes anxiety and panic. One does not usually exist without the other, and that’s why it’s hard to stop.

But what if I told you that there might actually be some truth to the Disney created mantra?

I know, I know. I literally just got finished telling you that chanting hakuna matata won’t work, but hear me out. Just chanting the phrase won’t unlock a magical curative feeling that suddenly makes you zen; that’s why they make Xanax and Zoloft.

However, living your life as worry free as possible might actually work. Hakuna matata, in my personal opinion, was never meant to be taken at face value as just an inspirational, calming phrase. To me, hakuna matata is a lifestyle choice.

Worry manifests itself in many ways, and for some emetophobics, myself included, it rears it’s head in the form of the uncontrolled. I used to worry constantly about things I could not control. Worse yet, these things were so far out of my realm of control, it seemed silly it was every an issue, but they were.

Do you know how exhausting that is? To literally worry every second, of every day, about things you cannot see, cannot control, cannot even begin to prevent? I’ll give you a hint: it’s physically and mentally a burden I would not wish on anyone.

There came a time in my life that I decided I literally could not live that way anymore. It might have been probed by a wonderful counselor who guided me back to the path I longed to be on, but it was a decision I made none the less. I made a conscious, difficult choice to basically stop worrying about what I could not control. I wanted to live life worry free, so I made that happen.

It’s still something I’m struggling with every day, but not worrying about things that we cannot control is a choice. It’s something that without a conscious effort and consistent regimen of perfectly timed coping techniques will not be effective.

So, to sum it up, hakuna matata is a lifestyle. It’s a way of life that is marked by recognizing that life is constantly changing, constantly evolving, faster than we could even begin to comprehend. At any given moment, our lives could change, drastically, for the better or worse, and we literally have little to no control over that.

Sure, our decisions can impact our future in some way, but sometimes there are things that happen, for no justifiable reason. Call it fate, divine intervention or karma, but sometimes life just happens. Plain and simple.

It’s an extremely large and complex concept, and one that I highly recommend you not dwell on too much. There’s no need to induce an existential crisis today. I’d recommend saving it for a moment you need it most, like a terrible blind date, or an awkward Thanksgiving dinner with very drunk relatives questioning you on why you’re still single… or when you’ll hear back from that high paying corporate job you’ve already been turned down for.

Why spend everyday struggling to control what is virtually uncontrollable? It’s so hard to sit and anguish over the what if’s, the would be’s, the could be’s… why not make the decision to live your life the worry free?

What do you truly have to lose? Your worries?

Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me.

Until next time, Internet.

If you would like to email me, you can send any questions, concerns, comments or suggestions to I will do my best to respond to you within 48 hours, but if for some reason I cannot get back to you in that time frame, I promise I will always respond as soon as possible. You can also find me on  FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram

Lastly, I run an Emetophobia Support Group on Facebook. Emetophobia is the intense and irrational fear of throwing up, and it is one struggle I am passionately engaged in. The group is a closed, by request only group to help facilitate sharing and support by all members. It is also private, meaning that the posts you and others make will not show up publicly in your newsfeed.

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