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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)

When you said you were going mad, did you say it in an English accent? I hope you did.

Anyway. Glad to see you're doing better.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTracy
It's great to have you back, you are so smart and funny. I didn't email because I didn't want to overwhelm you, but I have been sending positive thoughts your way. Take care of yourself x
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatrina
Lol - your doctors are right (probably about a lot of things, but especially about trying to write back to all 700 people!!!). We are just glad you are back!
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commentererika
I'm so glad to hear that you're doing better. And finding help can be as hard as the trauma itself, so I'm glad that it's going well. I hope that soon you'll be able to move and truly feel that this experience is behind you.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKendra
Oh yay! Thank goodness for good doctors who listen.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
The "G" IS an awesome number although I save my awe for the Q.

So glad you've found something to make you feel better but still keep you feeling like "you".
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFairly Odd Mother
Yay!! So glad you're better! I was checking every day to see if you'd written anything. Hope you continue on the good path.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDarra
Totally agree about needing a floor-length ivory gown (preferably with a sheer, flimsy, belted-with-a-sash robe) to pace with.

Glad you're feeling groovy.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristin
Oh, good. I can put this hair dryer down now.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRita Arens
You are insanely funny. I laughed out loud at "chenille throw." You sound great, and I hope it keeps getting better and better. And, obviously, I'm wishing you a jazzy new apartment real soon. ;)

Sarah from Neergard's (our special place)
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
So glad you're feeling better! Isn't it fun to EAT after being too anxious to have eaten for a while? Bon appetit~
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
Good to see your face on twitter. Glad you are doing better and hope you continue on that path. There are a lot of people pulling for you my dear.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine
Yay for propranolol! I'm so happy to hear that you are feeling more like yourself. Now you can focus on getting out of that crazy apartment building - you might need the propranolol for that too...
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison
So glad to hear you are feeling better. :)

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAimee Greeblemonkey
beta blockers are da bomb. So is Klonpine:) I am so glad you are doing better. I am one of your many lurkers who doesn't comment much. But you and I have a lot in common with the PTSD thing. I am actually in treatment for it now.

Hang in there!:)
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjwoap
A nice yellow wallpaper would compliment the nightgown...

You are awesome. I'm glad you are feeling better.
April 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
You're back! Excellent!!! Who needs to look at the typewriter keys and discern stuff anyway, as long as the mind can proofread. Or---not. Whatever! You're back and feeling good and that means a qot to a got of gus.
Yay, you're back. I was worried about you too. But I had a feeling you'd be back. I think we're all much, much stronger than we believe we are, even in our darkest moments.

So, you'll be sure to remind me of that, next time I'm having one of those darkest moments. Right?
April 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWendyPinNJ
So so glad you are feeling better!!! Really, great news to hear!
April 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
Writing 700 thank yous sounds like a good punishment for a worthy recipient.
April 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
I'm so happy you've found something that works. It's such a relief to start feeling like yourself again. I'm so sorry for everything you've been going through. You're doing an amazing job. Take care of yourself! xo
April 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterangelynn
So glad you are feeling better!!

Sadie at heyMamas
April 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSadie at heyMamas
I'm so proud of you and also admire your honesty. May I be so honest when my time comes.
April 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter365beautifullife
Beta blockers, eh? Who knew? Glad to hear you and your tummy are happy again. And yes, G IS the coolest letter. :)
April 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWombat G. Central
Love you Alice, even though I never write.<3Continue being well.
April 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjust_to_saay

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