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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. → 

« Want to hear something funny? | Main | Here's the thing. »

Nor breath nor motion

Why, hello. And welcome! Welcome to my doldrums. I apologize for not fixing up the place, but there's been so much to do: sitting around, staring into space, muttering at the dog, attempting to nap. Making a sandwich and then halfway through forgetting about the sandwich and wondering why I'm standing there with a butter knife. Like that! So much.

Would you like some tea? I think I have some, somewhere over here. Of course making tea means heating up water and finding the tea bags and. What? Was I saying something?

Why are you jumping on the couch? No, no, that's not a ferret scurrying out from under the couch to attack you. That's a dust bunny composed of the intermingling of Charlie and Izzy's fur. Sorry about that. I would have vacuumed but the vacuum cleaner is so heavy, and who can figure out how to plug stuff in? It's like you need a science degree for that. With the larger prong and then the other one. Why not just one prong? I ask myself that more than you would imagine.

And yes, I was wearing these sweatpants the last time I saw you, thanks for asking. Stained, are they? Huh. None of my pants fit me, if you must know. This is frustrating. But then, at least I don't have a stupid ass face like you do.

Whoa! Where did that come from? I'm sorry. Your face is not even a little assy. Pants are a sensitive topic for me. As are shirts. Also, life. Can you just sit over there and avert your eyes?

I know the phone is ringing. It does that. It will stop, don't worry.

Also, just so you know, if you ask me how I'm feeling I may start screaming and not stop until you leave. I'm just getting a little weary of that question, is all. I feel like having a sandwich, is how I feel. If only I could work through how that's done, again.

Time for you to go? Lucky! I'm glad at least one of us can enter and depart as we please. If it's anyone, it should be you, and I mean that. Sorry about the, you know, dust bunnies, and the insults. Next time you come, we'll find some cups, and then we'll drink some water, maybe with ice cubes! Now if you don't mind, I'm kind of wiped out. You can open the door yourself, right? I thought so. Next time you're here, you'll have to show me how that's done.

Reader Comments (146)

I wish I could just come over and make you a big perfect sandwich and a big glass of iced tea (I'm Southern, it's what we do) and just put it in your hands so you wouldn't have to even get up. I'd wash the glass and plate and knife before I left quietly, too. I hope there's some light soon.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCyndi
I wish I could come up with something witty and/or lovely like the rest of the Intarweb angels, so I'll just say, well, it's probably weird that I really for reals hope that you feel better as soon as possible.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDory
Okay, no problem. We recognize the dark place. Can I get you some ice cream? A stiff drink? A pedi? Whatever you need...

Thanks for posting. It means a lot to us. We know you'll be back when you can be.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie
You're brave.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterColleen
You may be sick of hearing this but the way you are feeling is normal. Everyone who has lost a loved one has felt this way. My cousin's son died suddenly in 2003. He was 26. He called her from work to ask her to meet him at the hospital at around 5pm. At 11pm he was gone. Someone asked her how she was feeling and she said "I would run down the street screaming if I could find the door."
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterErika
I can bring sandwiches.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTasty
Oh my. It's hard to describe how a miscarriage can affect someone. I still think about my miscarriages and wonder what kind of people they would have been. The pain does pass, but there is always that ache. that wonder. (((hugs)))
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTrula
Oh my. It's hard to describe how a miscarriage can affect someone. I still think about my miscarriages and wonder what kind of people they would have been. The pain does pass, but there is always that ache. that wonder. (((hugs)))
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTrula
No words help, I imagine. Still sorry.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Milton
thank you for always being so honest & is very refreshing...just do what you need to do, there are no rules or instructions (sadly, sometimes i know)
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteremily ruth
I'm so sorry for your loss Alice. It's shitty and unfair! But please hang in there - things WILL get better - I promise.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie
Thank you so much for sharing your feelings about this, Alice. You are many wonderful things, and also brave.

There are no words I can share to make this better faster, but your Internet is here to pet your hair and hold your hand and hug you and understand when you're angry or sad.

Rest. Mend. Heal. Hope.

May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Goodrich
You know, you're awesome for taking the time to write something that made me laugh out loud in the midst of your pain. "But then, at least I don't have a stupid ass face like you do." HA! Indeed.

Screw losers who say you need to change your pants daily, or even weekly.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjana
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermkn
You sound so sad. I'm so, so sorry.

I've miscarried twice, and both times fell into an awful, deep depression. I remember telling my sister -- who suffers from clinical depression, and who I thought would be sympathetic -- that I was very depressed. She told me that my depression wasn't the "real" kind. I love my sister, but two years later I still hate her a little for saying that.

Time helps, blah blah blah. This is probably true. Unfortunately, being told "Time helps" does sweet fuck all.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTammy
Don't know what I could say that hasn't already been said. Instead, here's a well known song that may lift your spirits, if only a little.

"Smile, though your heart is aching.Smile, even though it's breaking.Though there are clouds in the sky,You get by...

If you smile through your fears and sorrows.Smile and maybe tomorrowYou'll see the sun come shining through.

If you just light up your face with gladness,Hide every trace of sadness.Although a tear may be ever, ever so near.

That's the time you must keep on trying.Smile, what's the use of crying?You'll find life is worthwhileIf you'll just smile, come on and smile.

If you just smile."

You're in our prayers.

May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha
Yes. See... I was also going to offer a fully made sandwich and a cup of tea along with an afghan for cozy napping comfort. And, here, let me vacuum for you.

Grief does make it hard to focus even during moments it's not overwhelming you. A friend of mine died from breast cancer at the beginning of the year and I had that same problem. I couldn't concentrate or focus but I felt this weird restless emptiness that would sometimes wind itself up into an almost frantic feeling of having misplaced something VERY important. It's no fun and there's nothing to do but live it.

Bless your sweet heart, Alice. We're all out here for you, caring about you and wishing we could somehow make it easier.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTitanKT
I just want to hug you real hard right now. Please consider the stuffing hugged right out of you.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMissusB
Okay, this is going to seem random, but stay with me.

So a week after my mom died I drove out to her place with my oldest sister, my aunt and my nephew. He was 6, I guess. We were going to clean the place out, right? Pack up her stuff like she hadn't existed. Divy it up. And I couldn't. I started crying and I couldn't feel my legs, and everyone got out of the truck (My mom's truck, did I mention that? We were in her truck.) and left me there.

All of a sudden, I hear this tiny voice from behind me, and I swear to god he said these exact words, "She's not in there, Manda. It's all okay now, and it's okay you're sad." And as I sobbed, that perfect boy asked, "Do you want to hold my hand?" And I did. He went with me into that place I couldn't go into on my own.

Honey... We'll hold your hand. We can't go with you because you're the only one that knows the way, but we'll stay with you as much as we can, as long as you want us to. I'm so sorry... I'm so, so damn sorry.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Hang tight, AB, we've got your back.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjenny
Through all this pain you have, somehow, maintained the ability to laugh at yourself? Amazing. You are doing amazingly well, is how you are doing.

Once again, I am so sorry for your loss.

Brilliant post about your grief, by the way. Your emotions are palpable.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMeegan
It's been five years since my son died and I am still rather effed up a lot of the time. I'm still sad. I'm still bitter. I'm still angry.

Just do what you need to do.

I wish I had more magical advice, but even after such a long time, that's all I've got.


I am truly sorry.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLoralee
When her house got really dirty, my mom used to call them "dust buffaloes". She'd say she was having a round-up.

Peace to you, Alice.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
I'm so sorry. I wish I didn't have such an ass face. I hope you don't mind too much. I will wear my stinky sweats too and we can drink water (I'll get it) and watch crap tv, and read shit magazines, and in about a year you'll feel better.I know there's nothing worse than having to put one foot in front of the other now, I really do. Maybe some chocolate ice cream would help.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEileen
I'm a total virgin at this posting thing so please be gentle. First..there are no words that can come from my lips (or in this case my fingers) that I feel would come close to describing the sorrow I have for your family's loss.I have read your blog from afar laughing, smiling, even crying at various posts. I love how you write...let's just say I'm a fan. What inspired me to comment was the coincidence that I also read (and am a fan of) sarcastic mom (blog). I wasn't sure if you had ever read her very talented women all seem to know one another, but she seems to be residing in your neighborhood of pain and sorrow right now. I just hope both of you talented gals feel better really soon.
May 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersdb

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