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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

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Sleep Is
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Chicago Review Press

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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. → 

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Doctor's orders

I took one of those depression-quiz thingies online today, and out of 45, my score was 42. I win at depression! Which I guess means I lose at life right now.

Right now. I'm stressing that. This day is not so good. Yesterday was bad. Today is even so much worse, like you would not believe. And yet I'm hanging on. No choice in the  matter, after all.

My doctor has prescribed, in addition to an increase in the medication that I am not 100% sure is working in the first place, a complete work stoppage for the next two weeks. No work. That means no blogging, which I argued was not "work," per se, but he argued back that it does in fact tax my already limited mental/emotional reserves, which I can't argue with. It is staggeringly hard to think right now. Plus it's like the keyboard designers TRIED to make it harder for us to type. I have to put so much muscle into it!

In addition to not working, I have been commanded to entertain myself like it's my job, until (please yes soon?) the meds are working. I just finished watching "Eat Pray Love" on Netflix. Julia Roberts has such a veiny face! I found the movie smug (not surprising) but diverting.

So while I won't be updating with much of anything for the next two (2!) weeks, I will be checking in. And if you have any ideas for non-challenging, soothing diversions, I am all eyes. And appreciative (if mis-firing) brain. I love you guys. I kind of mean that, like a lot.

Reader Comments (178)

NOT Arrested Development, which requires amused, ironic distance on effed-up situations. Too hard!
Try Psych.
Also good: baking scones. 4:00 is teatime, and don't stint on the cream.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSlim

Hang in there! You are not alone. Watch movies-- at the theater even! And do whatever you want. It's dr's orders!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I hate depression. What a scumbag.

I have found that reading the archive of "Ask a Dude" and "Ask a Lady" on will make me giddily happy. You may find similar enjoyment. If not, watch lots of Rob Lowe movies, try to walk around some (motion helps me, as long as it's not performance-based), and go stare at pretty things.

x to the o.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Sending lots of virtual love. Take care & be kind to yourself, lady. The Internet wishes you well.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

Ah, I've been there, or somewhere very like it. Sometimes a short break can really help, if only to get some rest and let the meds kick in. I hope it works for you.

I had a terrible day yesterday and went to bed and watched A Piece of Work, the Joan Rivers documentary. Love it or hate it, it's diversion central (apart from the bit where her husband dies, but then that becomes a movie, so it's back to diverting again!) (I loved it.)

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

It could be worse: The Bloggess photoshopped her cat's head on a baby's body today.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAli

Ugh, I'm sorry. The messy brain stuff sucks when it won't just f'ing work right damnit!

Relaxing and diverting, mindless mind candy, if you will. All seasons, if you haven't seen them: weeds, mad men, house (god, I love that horrible horrible broken man)

Also, the outdoors, even just sitting on your front step or next to an open window, just breath it in. Mother nature is a rockstar, she'll be there for you.

Good luck

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

The Anne of Green Gables miniseries. I used to watch it when I was home from school sick. Excellent and makes me think of childhood.

I'll be thinking about you. :)

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHereWeGoAJen

I'm so sorry. I'm also so glad that you are taking this time for yourself. I hope that it helps and that you begin feeling well soon.

I agree with a lot of the suggestions here- Gilmore Girls, West Wing, Veronica Mars, almost any BBC miniseries- YES. I would stay away from the Hunger Games if you haven't already read it- it's a little violent and I know that I'm much more affected by violence when I'm feeling depressed.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarb @ getupandplay

Hugs, hugs, and lots of diverting thoughts. I have been on both sides of depression (having it, and being with someone who has had a *really* bad case) and it is no picnic. Take the doctor's advice and take super good care of yourself. Hugs again.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdaphne

Hope you feel better soon, Alice! I recommend "Shaun the Sheep" on Netflix and mass quantities of chocolate.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

You'll pull through. Sounds like your doc is a good one. And know you have lots of people on the other side of the Internet rooting for you.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

Have you read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series? Because, if I remember correctly, the meaning of life is 42, but nobody can remember the exact question. So, you're really halfway there. :)

For diversions, I recommend Fawlty Towers and Absolutely Fabulous for watching. For reading, maybe Christopher Moore (fiction) or Mary Roach (non-fiction). For indulgence that feels like you're learning something while watching an animated children's movie: The Secret of Kells.

Hope your new job works out really, really well.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentera

I have been there. It's breath-stealingly awful, isn't it? Love to you.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLori

I would stock up on high-quality bubble bath soap and turn the water heater on high.
Please get well soon.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSheila

The best, best thing of all to watch is Slings and Arrows. Also (for me, at least) to read Patrick O'Brian novels, which are so very far away. Perhaps also (movie-wise) The Zero Effect?
And best of all, to get a different friend for each day of your two weeks, so there is someone to watch it with and be quiet with.

Teen angst cures all ills. Lucky for you, "My So-Called Life" is available for streaming now through Netflix. I highly recommend spending many hours with a very young and very awkward Claire Danes and a very-hot, before he got crazy, Jared Leto.

Sending good thoughts to you.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMindy

Stay away from all things Julia Roberts. Oh, why do I even have to say that?!

I hope you're better and kicking soon. Like a Rockette.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarinka

Sometimes I need to mute the world while my brain sorts things out. Something that helps me is to play with Play Doh. I know it seems very silly but the smell, the feel and the act of just making something with your hands is very calming. No pressure to make something artistic, it's Play Doh for crying out loud. Treat yourself right by getting your own pack. It's even better when you know no grubby kid hands have touched it. Best of luck to you.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBeckakaye

No suggestions, just sending hugs. Be well.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMiriam

Well, this just sucks. But with the power of the Internet, I send you hugs and love and healing juju. You could go rollerskating. Oh, I also found that one of the most entertaining things I did while in your city, was watch people in the park. That was the most fun.

Please take care of yourself.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

The IT Crowd (totally silly British Series about the tech support help at a big company) on netflix -- they're streaming seasons 1-4

QI Find it on Youtube (usually they're split into three parts, but the next one will pop up for you as the next thing most of the time). British talk/game show (sort of) with Stephen Fry as the host and all sorts of funny people. Learn odd facts that no one will ever believe. Enjoy odd accents and British humor and randomness.

Never Mind the Buzzcocks (also found on Youtube) British music game'ish show with all sorts of random guests and mildly insulting hosts (the one with Amy Winehouse is a good one to start with), wait, here's Wikipedia's description "a comedy panel game show with a pop music theme." I like Simon Amstell as the host, so start with those.

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Oh, I hardly comment but just had to after reading this post. I've dealt with depression before and it sucks. Also, I just recently went through the baby blues...not quite depression but surely hormonal roller coaster, made worse by painful nursing (turns out baby was tongue-tied, got that snipped). My ways of dealing with the black dog are (very me specific but may help you too):

- stop thinking/ not make decisions or think about anything deep now, just focus on getting through

- exercise

- sunshine, preferably from a hammock

- OK Go's This Too Shall Pass on youtube

- bookstores/Starbucks

- funny tv...Parks and Recreation and Modern Family on netflix make me laugh out loud for reals

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

PS those shows were all found by my lovely teenage sons while I was still working at a hellish job. Looking forward to spending a little time watching them with the teen boys and the husband guy got me through another day. I bequeath their healing powers to you!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Ditto on the honey badger because "honey badger don't give a shit".

Go to breezy outdoor cafes and read some of the books you've had on your list that you meant to read "when you had time", which is usually NEVER.

Just take care of you. We'll be here when you get back, dear Alice!

May 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdie Frau

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