It dawns on me as I sit there, my left butt-cheek falling asleep, that I could be somewhere else eating a bagel. Like Paris. Or Detroit. Or learning the Swahili phrase for “pants are bullshit.” Or washing my car. Okay, maybe not washing my car. It was like -900 degrees out. Washing my car would be like that scene in the Terminator with the Nitrous Oxide and the robot.

I smile, imagining my car shattering in the car wash, until I remember I’m probably sitting on barf germs. I hate barf germs.

My iPhone isn’t getting any signal in here. Stupid AT&T. Should be named the iCAN’TPhone because I haven’t been able to make a phone call since I got the damn thing. Hm. I really could use some mindless interaction from The Twitter right about now. Or maybe a Vicodin-Chip cookie. Or some vodka. Because my heart feels like it’s going to pound right the fuck out of my chest.

When the hell did this HAPPEN?

When did I start feeling stretched as taut as an over-tuned violin string? Why did I feel like the pressure to do more; to be more, to constantly outdo myself was omnipresent? Like I couldn’t ever possibly manage to live up to my own unrealistic expectations? Like I had to somehow be everything to everyone. Like if I didn’t constantly prove myself, I would cease to matter. I would cease to exist.

When did this start? And moreover: how could I make this stop?

These anxious racing thoughts; this anxiety, this had to stop.

Admitting that I had a problem the first step, I know from Al-Anon, and doing something about it was important. Hence the bagel-craving and the barf-germ-coated chair in my doctor’s waiting room. And, of course, the urge to flee so that I could learn Portuguese or Mandarin or really anything but admit that I had a problem.

I’m so tired of problems. I’m so tired of having something wrong that I barely want to admit to myself that I have a problem. Between migraines and my lazy-ass missing-in-action thyroid and insomnia, I can hardly stand to be in the same room with myself anymore without wanting to punch myself in the teeth. Problems are bullshit. I hate problems. Maybe I can make a “Problems Are Bullshit” shirt. Because they are. Bullshit, that is.

Maybe this isn’t ACTUALLY a problem. Maybe I can just ignore it and it’ll get better on it’s own.

Except it hasn’t. Because that’s what I’ve been doing. And it’s not working. Clearly.

Before I could do anything, though, the nurse poked her head into the waiting room, “Becky?” she trilled calmly, clearly unaware of my churny guts.

I sighed, put my iDON’TWORKPhone back into my purse and followed her back.

“What seems to be the problem?” she asked kindly.

“Well,” I started, looking at my hands, ashamed to be admitting this to anyone but the people who live inside my computer. “It’s sorta like this…”

111 thoughts on “Anxious

  1. I adore you. Just you, being you, without anything to prove, because you are amazing and wonderful just as you are. And I know that hearing/reading that won’t be the one magic bullet (heh) that will make it all okay, but maybe it’ll help a little.

    Your Pranksters are pulling for you. Good luck!

  2. Good for you! I’m sorry you’re having a lousy time. I want to tell you, though, that your bravery is an awesome thing. Amazing.

    I hope you get some good help. xoxo

  3. i love your humor even as your writing your whole heart out onto the page. I’m thisclose to going in myself. Love to you.

  4. I have been there so many times. Still there in fact. Anxiety is the worst. HUGS. I am glad you are finally getting some help. There is nothing wrong with help.

    And problems ARE Bullshit, I would like to kick them in the teeth.

  5. Becky,

    Been there. Dunnit. And if you were to create it, I would have the damn T-shirt.

    I’m in a much better place now after decades of anxiety, depression and worry. There is no boiler plate fix. I hope you find your cure, whether it’s in your heart, your mind, your environment, or in a combination of these and other things.

    Good Luck!


  6. Anxiety is a motherf—er. All consuming and debilitating. I’m glad you’re getting help. I tried to reason with it, tried to will it away but like I said in my first sentence…
    I hope you find relief.

  7. I’ve been there, too (migraines, also; yayfun). It’s frustrating to know that your body isn’t working the way you think it should, but you’re doing the right thing in going to the doctor.

    I had such a hard time when I first sought treatment for my massive depression and anxiety attacks. I hated that I had to outsource an issue in my own body. I felt like a failure.

    But after finding the right treatment (for me, it was a tiny peach-colored pill combined with my normal yoga, dance, and lots of sleep–for you it might be completely different), I started to feel like myself again. It was like a horrible fog was lifting just enough for me to breathe clean air. My pills didn’t make me happy or carefree, but they did correct the chemical imbalance in my brain that was making me all fruitcake-y.

    Stay strong, and don’t judge yourself (which is such impossible advice–of course you’re going to judge yourself, it’s human nature–but try not to). You’re doing what’s best for your mental well-being and your family.

    And P.S.: I think you’re an amazing, hilarious writer, and I want to be just like you when I grow up (I’m 30 now, so this may never happen… but I can hope.)

  8. Becky you are a warrior. I love reading your thoughts and you always make me smile. Please know my thoughts are with you and I know you’ll beat the bastards down!!!

  9. The hardest part is stopping expecting so much of yourself.
    I have had increasing anxieties for the past few months. Finally went to Dr about a month ago and was given SSRI’s, they have just started to work, and life seems, just, calmer. The problems I had before are still there but not so huge. So its baby steps I think.

    have a virtual hug (even though I know you don’t really like hugs from strangers!)

  10. Never, ever, ever is it a bad thing to ask for help. NEVER! Nike yourself- just do it! And, if you’re lucky enough to get some of those Vicodin-chip cookies, I’ll take some!

  11. Anxiety sucks balls! I’ve had it FOREVER, and it really is the worst. This is why I love lexapro and avoid anything with Nutrasweet (Aspartame) like the plague. Oh, and Xanax. Yes please!!

    Feel better soon!

  12. Oh, anxiety, you wiley bastard. But you’ll get him yet, Aunt Becky, you’re doing the right thing, and an awesome thing. Standing ovation for you, and throwing some vicodin chip cookies your way.

  13. OMG when you’re all happy again and stuff, COME TO DETROIT! or the burbs, whatever. There is a Bagel Place near me that I have to PURPOSEFULLY drive around so i don’t stop. Their salt sticks are TO DIE FOR. When I was preggo with #2, I wanted salt bagels, but couldn’t find the *right* one. usually too salty…ech…this one has salt and cornmeal and poppy seed…salty but not too salty, slightly browner to give it that good crunch but the inside like a gooey-starchy marshmallow. mmmm…

  14. Problem are bullshit! BTW, I’d totally wear that shirt. I also suffer from anxiety, migraines, and other wonderful bullshit. You have to keep your head up, remember you are not alone, and have an
    endless supply of xanax. Your blog and the other pranksters remind me daily that I’m not alone! YAY!

  15. I just clawed my way out of a huge black hole and am, quite frankly, still clawing and grasping. If I can get through that, you can get through this.

    Oh, and? Sign me up for a Problems are Bullshit shirt.

  16. I’m glad you’re getting help. Anxiety is bullshit. And don’t give up if the first thing you try doesn’t work. I finally went in to get my fourth change in medication after I started getting migraines. Migraines are also bullshit. However getting help is definitely not.

  17. Head up, shoulders back, titts at attention…keep on trucking Aunt Becky.

    My favorite phrase…Por favor ki ta te los pantalonos & deja meh abusarte (if my weak little mind remembers 11th grade spanish right, if not, Im sure you get the jist

  18. Yes! We hate problems! I wish I could live for one month without some sort of problem. problems are bullshit, and so are most of the “fixes” for the problems. I hope your MD visit was a fruitful one.

  19. so much for writing about it helping to get over it. sorry ur having rough go of it. but i gotta tell you vicodin chip cookies tooooooo funny!!!

  20. Anxiety is horrible! I often think that it’s not fair that I have to work so hard at just staying calm and balanced.

    So proud of you for taking care of yourself.

    I think on the back of your Problems Are Bullshit it should say And Anxiety Can Suck It!

  21. Anxiety is horrible! I often think that it’s not fair that I have to work so hard at just staying calm and balanced.

    So proud of you for taking care of yourself.

    I think on the back of your Problems Are Bullshit it should say And Anxiety Can Suck It!

  22. Fuck. Yeah. I have no idea when Anxiety took over like weird Austrians in Die Hard and my sanity is trying to be all Bruce Willis and hiding in the air vents and trying to get OUT. But it’s a bitch. God willing, you’ll be able to ride it out and fix what needs fixing. My personal battle rages on, but hey, at least I have good company!

  23. And the back of that tshirt should read: So, where are my vicodin-chip cookies?

    I’m with you; I’d wear that every day!!

    1. Bwahahahaha! I was JUST talking to my T-Shirt guy about making a new shirt. (also: must choose and announce winner. TOTALLY forgot and didn’t exactly gel with this post)(now I feel like a dickwad).

  24. I’m so sick of problems. They are bullshit.

    Mostly, just sick of crapass people in the world that just like to shit on others.

    That is all.

  25. Yay for getting help! Last week I was finally motivated by a friend to schedule my celiac’s screening appointment so maybe things will start feeling better in my digestive regions. So know that we’re all here for you with our bullshit pompoms a-waving!

  26. I am sorry that you have got this to add to your plate. Courage (said with rousing French accent) Aunt B. The first step is the toughest and you are over that now.

  27. I am sorry that you have got this to add to your plate. Courage (said with rousing French accent) Aunt B. The first step is the toughest and you are over that now.

  28. as someone who has struggled with GAD for years, I want to give you a great big ol’ cyber hug, anxiety is BULLSHIT…. and I get all weepy and embarrassing when I have to go tell a new doc about it, which really pisses me off, because what the hell…..I should NOT be ashamed of anxiety!

  29. Oh AB, I wish I could say something awesome and profound and like, helpful. I wish I could sit with you for a bit and just you know, listen, and commiserate, because I happen to know pretty much exactly how you feel.

    Chin up girl, you have a crapload of people who think/know you are amazing. It takes a ton of guts to bring yourself to a Dr and put it all out there, and you did it.

    You. Did. It.

  30. Don’t worry. You’re not the one with the problem. You’re perfectly normal. It’s THEM that have the problem! ALL OF THEM!

    Good luck. Breathe, and take life one step at a time. The best way to get through a rough situation is to keep pressing forward and to make it your bitch.

  31. I’m so glad you’ve gone to get help. I hate that you don’t feel as awesome a you should. I hope they have some ideas for you.

  32. I get this more than I could possibly say in a comment, but I get it. It sux big time ass that the only advice I have is for you is: more therapy. But it does work.

    Also, they make vicodin chips??? What are those and how badly do I need to get injured to get me some o’them. Kidding. Mostly.

  33. oh aunt becky. this so sucks. i burst into tears at the dr.’s office last month too. it was so scary to say that i’m not okay most of the time and that i’d rather just go back to bed than deal with my mounds of anxiety-causing-shit. hugs and love via internet.

    and i’d totally buy a t-shirt in swahili. “suruali ni ya bullshit!” [i’m such a nerd…]
    and here’s my fav swahili link:

    thank you for sharing. really. xx

  34. Vicodin-chip cookies… ummmmmmmmmmmm!

    Chin up, Becky, if comments were karma you’d be the dalai lama by now! Lots of us pulling for you to come back to just semi-stressed so we can read the stories again!

  35. Problems ARE bullshit. Admitting them is also bullshit. When I went to the doctor (time the first) about The Sads, I *knew* deep down it was depression, but I was in complete and utter denial (cue weeping as soon as she said the D-word). I seem to finally be getting a handle on that, but now the anxiety seems to be rearing its ugly little head more and more often – I don’t LIKE random anxiety attacks, oh no siree Bob.

    A round of Vicodin chip cookies on me!

  36. Aunt Becky, how can I make you understand that it WILL get better? I wish I knew the magic words to say that would at least give you a glimpse of the future where you feel good and normal again.
    You’re getting the help you need and that’s the perfect start.

  37. You always have a monstrous amount of comments, so even if you don’t get to this one, I hope you realize that each comment represents someone who has gone from just reading your blog to caring about you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Even though you haven’t met most of us in person, you are in our thoughts. You bring me smiles, laughter, and the feeling of not being the only one – and that’s a huge deal! So how can you be anything but invincible with a freakin’ army of bloggers and fans pulling for you? ๐Ÿ˜€ Tell anxiety to suck it. 2011 is so your bitch. <3

  38. I’d give you a leg up if I could. When you make your way back up there,tpss a rope down, wouldja?

    I never had a migraine, but insomnia and I are on a first-name basis and depression kicks my ass up one side of the street and down the other on a regular basis.


    Shade abd Sweetwater,

  39. Anxiety is bullshit, Xanax is my friend. Strangely admit to a lot of shit but I had a hard time and was really embarrassed about finely coming clean and admitting I was always scared shitless and had no idea why. Just taking the first step is huge.

  40. Anxiety is my conjoined twin too… I wish she’d shut her whore mouth and shrivel up and fall off. Three different meds (sometimes at once) and the bitch still won’t fuck off and leave me alone sometimes. But I am finally able to wake up every day determined to kick her ass as needed. You can do it too, I know – you’re AB for fuck’s sake!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good job getting some support, you deserve to be well by whatever means necessary. There is no shame in it. Surround yourself with people who “get it” (myself included, don’t hesitate to email if you need a friend) and give yourself the time it takes. You will conquer, we all will, and we will march across the land wearing “I Kicked Anxiety’s Ass” t-shirts in celebration! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hugs and strength to you!

  41. So proud of you for taking the steps to take care of YOU! Anxiety is bullshit, problems are bullshit, and if anyone can kick them in the nads and move forward, it’s you. Sending love and strength your way…

  42. When I first read your blog about anxiety I wondered what the underlying cause was. Then I saw what you wrote about Al-anon. Hello twin sister. I didn’t know there were that many of us with double alcoholics. There’s so much shit they pile on you (unbeknownst to them or you) and it can stick with us for YEARS! I started having panic attacks and issues with anxiety (like you said-waiting for the other shoe to drop) so I went to a counselor and read a shit load of self help books such as Perfect Daughters, What’s Normal for Adult Children, Toxic Parents, etc. etc.
    I still have my moments but it’s not all consuming like it was and most times I’m able to talk myself out of it. Still annoying as hell but now I know where it comes from.
    When we grow up in the environment we did our awareness level goes up to a 9 and 10 and unfortunately (for me at least) it got stuck on a 9. So I was frantically looking around and waiting and every thing that would happen to someone else I thought would happen to me (boundary issues from my parents, thanks a lot) then the panic would set in!
    Loooooong story short: with work you can get through it. We are better then the drink of choice that our parents couldn’t put down and we’re creating our own family. YOU CAN DO IT!!!! It will take a lot of work and more time than you think but stick with it, it’s completely worth it in the end!

    1. YES. Exactly. It’s almost like you can’t NOT be aware of what’s going on at all points in time. I spent YEARS wondering when the next shoe would drop. When it didn’t, I knew it was only a matter of time.

      Doesn’t help that my life has been chaos for a long time. So there were constant messes to be cleaned up, you know?

      I need to pick up Perfect Daughters. It’s the second time I’ve heard someone mention it. Thanks for the nudge. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  43. Amazing post. I’m sorry you have to be in that place to write it, but that’s sort of how it works, right?

    Problems totally blow, possibly another t-shirt option? Unfortunately it’s life for a lot of us and I think it’s the brave ones, the ones that are tough, that are stand up sort of people that fight the hardest to work them out….unfortuantely going through a whole heap of bullshit in the process.

    It’s great you are working on you, I can’t think of a better project….well, other than you writing about it because you really do a fantastic job.

    Pop on over to Austin and we’ll chat dysfunction, it’s rampant.

  44. Ah, anxiety, it is a horrible thing. I have been on Lexapro for years and it WORKS! I hate that I have to take pills and stuff, but I was born this way, and it makes it better. Good luck to you. I hope the Dr was kind and helpful!

  45. Yes!!! Problems *ARE* bullshit!!!

    UGH, sorry about this suffocating anxiety you are dealing with…I get it too and it sucks. I hope you find some help for it, because that is a crappy way to feel.

    Love ya Bex!

  46. “My iPhone isnโ€™t getting any signal in here. Stupid AT&T. Should be named the iCANโ€™TPhone because I havenโ€™t been able to make a phone call since I got the damn thing.”


  47. I understand this and what you are going through. I went through a horrible time with anxiety and panic attacks. After everything I have learned from it and read about it here is one fun fact:

    Dumb people don’t get anxiety ๐Ÿ™‚

    Seriously! They just don’t care.

    You are smart and have amazing ideas and are always thinking and you are too hard on yourself – WAY harder than you should be.

    It will turn out good in the end. Just another thing that is going to make you a stronger person – even if you have had it with character building experiences ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. I’m all too familiar with the bullshit that is anxiety. I’m glad you went for help–sounds like you’re in good hands. Holler if you ever want to chat. ((hugs))

  49. You WILL make anxiety your bitch! I just know you will. Problems are bullshit–stomp ’em out like a cigarette.

  50. You WILL make anxiety your bitch, Becky. I just know you will. And yeah, problems are bullshit—stomp ’em out like a cigarette.

  51. I have had migraines for about 17 years and am so damned tired of them. Today I have my usual day after migraine hangover. I too suffer from anxiety but after having a hysterectomy feel so much less depressed and bitchy. Sadly, my doctor doesn’t believe in Xanax.

    I hope you find the miracle I have been searching for so long.

  52. If you literally want to say “pants are bullshit” in Swahili, it’s “suruali ni mavi ya ng’ombe”. And if I ever see that on a shirt, I might die laughing.

  53. I suffer from anxiety too. When things first started to get out of control, I wondered if I’d be able to continue living my life — just working, going grocery shopping. But I found ways to cope. I did CBT & learned some deep breathing, relaxation techniques that I use to help talk myself down when I start to freak. Making lists helps and purging like you are (when I can make myself do it). I take a low dose of Paxil, which keeps me functioning at work and as a mom, but doesn’t turn me into a zombie. Exercise helps too (again, when I can make myself do it). One thing that helped me is that my brother developed anxiety before I did, so I had someone to talk to. (My mom has it too, we’re just a bundle of crazy laughs!) It sounds like you trust your doctor and that you’re working towards finding a solution that works for you.

    I agree with Erika a bit — I see anxiety as a part of the way my brain is wired. I’m smart and creative & it’s all wound together. Yeah, I’m a little nuts and I do too much and generate piles of chaos, but I’ve come to see it as part of my charm (*cough*). Good luck finding your balance. There’s lots of us out here with you trying to walk the fine line between genius and insanity.

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