THE STORY BEHIND
THE WORRY CHEST
My name is Howie Abraham. Like many others, I lived years of my life under heavy, self-induced stress and worry. I was constantly told when I was younger that I “always seem to find something to worry about.” Then a miracle changed my life.
I remember the day my son was born like it was yesterday. I don't remember joy, just stress from the question of “How am I going to support this child?” I was not enjoying one of the greatest moments of my life—I was even on the phone with clients while in the birthing room! My mind was on the future, filled with negative scenarios and “what-if” thinking. What if my business fails? What if I lose my biggest client? How will I financially support my family? I appeared happy, but inside I was a wreck.
As the next year and a half came and went, I noticed my son wasn’t hitting typical milestones. My wife and I learned that Ian has autism. I bounced between coping and denial, but eventually I realized that his diagnosis was real and here to stay.
I have always had the attitude that we can improve ourselves, so I immersed myself in self-empowerment books and audio CDs. I spoke with many parents of special-needs children, and I committed myself to doing anything possible for my son. But after some time went by, I realized that I wasn’t enjoying him—I was still immersed in worry; about him and almost everything else in my life. I had to find a solution to stop the stress and anxiety, and nothing I tried helped. Applying what I read and listened to was only temporary, and the boost of happiness I felt from the materials never lasted longer than a few days.
I decided to try something new and keep track of my worries. Even after only a few days, I realized that most of them never happened. And when a worry did manifest, it almost always cleared up, and I noted that I was stronger for the experience. As I began to consciously separate myself from negative mental patterns, I learned to accept my life’s most difficult challenge—to embrace Ian for who he is rather than who he isn’t. It didn’t take me long to view my son’s situation as a wonderful experience, not as a problem as I had been. He’s not broken, and I don’t need to fix him. I just lovingly accept him. I also acquired incredible self-confidence and inner peace through the process of accepting my son’s disability.
One day while walking in the special needs wing of my son’s school, I noticed a boy who, with the assistance of a walking device, was able to reach the end of the hallway for the first time. The teachers were cheering. I remember feeling a surge of gratitude in that moment and realizing that so many of us take the little things in life for granted. Gratitude is now one of the main sources of happiness in my life. I you think about it, it’s nearly impossible to feel worried or depressed when you feel grateful.
I created the Worry Chest System by analyzing my real-life experiences of how I switched gears and changed my negativity into positive, productive, and happy thinking (even in the midst of extremely difficult circumstances).
Looking back, it’s easy to see all of the good that came out of the challenges I’ve faced. As an adult, what I now call The Worry Chest System has changed my life. I’m not just existing ... I’m living.
I wish you and your family only the best :)