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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« The night before last | Main | While I'm hiding under this pile of blankets... »


My brains have calmed down quite a bit. It was touch and go for a while there. I kept pacing the apartment and gnawing on my knuckles and informing Scott in a hoarse whisper that I was going mad. It’s times like these that I wish I had an ivory floor-length nightgown. My wandering from room to room seems less haunting and eerie when I’m wearing polka-dotted flannel jammie-jams.

My ace team of mental-health professionals, whom I love and cherish and never want to let go, are, sadly, all in New Jersey (NEW JERSEY! I shake my fist at thee!) so I’ve been consulting with them by phone. During one of our phone consults, after she listened to me natter on about my inability to sleep and tendency to jump out of my skin whenever anyone slammed a door and also how I kept checking my pulse and it wasn’t high high but, I mean, high for me, my head-drugs-doctor suggested a drug I thought was only used on honest-to-God psychotics, and nothing against those guys but I really didn’t want the drugs that would turn me soft and glassy-eyed and stroking my chenille throw all day long. I mean, I may have been jumping to some uninformed conclusions, sure. So after I informed my doctor that I was not about to ingest metal salts that Kurt Cobain wrote songs about, thankyouverymuch, and maybe after I hung up on her, she called back and suggested we try beta blockers for now. Which I thought was hilarious because my blood pressure is 90/70 when I’m at my most stressed, so I thought beta blockers would kill me dead. I pictured my blood pooling in my ankles every time I stood up. But at that point I was willing to try anything, and she’s the expert, am I right? so I agreed.

And oh my word! These beta blockers have taken the edge off in an amazing and awesome way. I use “awesome” a lot, now that I’m on beta blockers. I’ve lost all use of my critical faculties, sure, but on the other hand I’m feeling smooth and groovy. Which is super. What was I talking about? I was just staring at the letter G on the keyboard. Is it not the best letter? It’s like, you think it’s a C, and then WHOA! That little curvy jag there changes things in a big and awesome way!

Oh, but I kid. I didn’t even take one today, is how much better I’m feeling. (Full disclosure: I will probably take one right now. Because the neighbors, they do love to slam the doors, and there’s a lot of door-slamming going on tonight, and already I can feel my heart rate increasing.) I have gone at least 48 hours without any intrusive thoughts or hyperventilating at all! I am also eating real food (kind of a lot of real food, in fact) and my stomach feels fine! It’s a Christmas miracle!

I tried to respond to all the emails I received, but there were over 700, and my doctors seemed especially concerned for me when I mentioned how I was trying to write back to everyone. So thank you, if you didn’t hear from me. I read them all—some of them more than once—and saved them in a special folder, and I intend to read them again, if and when I need to. Thank you. Thank you, thank you.

Reader Comments (77)

I am very glad that you are on your way to feeling better. Awesome is a good word to overuse. Much better than overusing "doom" or "I pity the fool."
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda
Glad the beta blockers are working - now for banishing anxiety completely! Let me know if you figure that one out.

I agree with the above commenter...Q is far more interesting than G.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commentera
Listen, I think we can ALL AGREE that Q is superior, but I was making a joke about being on DRUGS, and what do you see when you look down at your keyboard? What letter is right there in the middle?  

Next post I will tackle banishing anxiety completely. 
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlice Bradley
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHouseofJules
Glad to hear that you're on the mend!

As one of the 700 (wow!), please know that the e-mails were sent purely as good wishes. No response is necessary. Your taking care of yourself and your family is more than enough response. A new perfectly-crafted post is icing on the cake!
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbec
So glad you're back!
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMissy
I started taking beta blockers for anxiety about two months ago--only 10mg a day. And, boy howdy, it does take the edge off without turning me into a zombie. So glad that these are working for you, too!
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLee Anne
Hooray Alice! Yippeee! So glad!

700 e-mails! Well, I think just knowing that number should have helped. You didn't even need to read them, you super special snowflake you.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaterina
Oh it's good to have you back. Anyone who can make people laugh out loud about beta blockers and the letter G should get at least 700 letters from relative strangers telling her she's missed - I'm so happy to know you're feeling better. x
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne Edmundson
I think those 700 wrote specifically to send you good vibes and make you feel better, not to put more pressure on you. ERGO: DO NOT ANSWER. Or pick 5 (ONLY 5) to answer, simply because they inspire that. Have fun with aswering or do not do it at all.

The End

PS: I wrote, and I say (dramatically) DO NOT ANSWER.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDiana
You make beta blockers sound like what I imagine quaaludes are like. You know, downers? Greenies? Flop-junk? Dopesters?

I have no idea what I'm talking about. Glad you are feeling better, however.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie W.
At least you weren't crawling around the edges of the room, tearing large strips off of the wallpaper!

Glad to hear you're doing better...
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErika
Oh, good.

Whatever, Q-people. G is the clear winner.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermadge
I'm glad you're back and feeling better. I've been worried about you - my husband has similar anxiety issues. No matter how puzzling, frightening, and I'll admit exasperating, it is to watch someone you love be so miserable - I always think how terrifying it must be when it's happening to YOU.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie
Glad to hear you're feeling better! And, I'm always shaking my fist at New Jersey (it probably has something to do with the fact that I live there).
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
This made me laugh and cry. I am thrilled that you're getting good help, even if it is in New Jersey.

(My best friend, who grew up in Maryland, believed when she was a child that New Jersey was where people went when they died. No heaven or hell; just New Jersey.)
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
So happy to hear you're feeling better :)
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-Marie
I'm so glad you are feeling better. I was just about to stop being a lame-o lurker (but a very appreciative one) and give you some heartfelt words of support and encouragement, when lo and behold, there is a feeling better post. I hope the feeling better continues and you find a lovely, mellow new place to live before long.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaude
So good to hear you are feeling a better. I have been thinking of you all this time and hoping that things were working out.It's been kind of a rough time here and I find that it makes me feel so much better when I hear of someone else who is better. I think I should say better again. hee.Anyway, good on ya mate. xoxo
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertulip
Yay, Alice! So happy to hear that you've emerged from the undertow. You sound ecstatic to back. I'm ecstatic that you're back.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJackie
So glad the beta-blockers are working! It's good to have you back!
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuzRocks
good to hear it Alice! I will never look at the letter G the same way again...
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterm
DUDE! Awesome post!
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
Glad to hear you're feeling better - whatever it takes is my motto.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermom, interrupted
I am glad you are doing better. I kept checking back and am relieved that you are posting again!

Take care and take it easy, I mean as easy as you can. I totally understand how easy that is to say and how hard it is to actually do!

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBernadette Smith

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