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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. → 

« Cute at three = creepy at thirty. | Main | A few things while my brain slowly dies. »

On not getting anywhere.

I am in the throes of possibly the most insidious blogging block I have ever suffered. I could say it’s because my head is stuffed with packing tape and bubble wrap, which is true. But what little gray matter I have left is simmering with so much anxiety that nothing coherent or interesting can get through. I assume my increased anxiety level is because of the imminent move, although the specific fears and worries have little to do with the fact that we're leaving Brooklyn forever and ever OH GOD. Right now I’m pretty much afraid of whatever’s around. For instance, the other day I read an article about dog bites, and then tried not to imagine Henry getting bitten, and then failed at that because my imagination is really working at top efficiency these days. Like that. Except everything else, too.

So I’m not sure what to do. I could write about my anxiety, but it’s boring me to tears, so I can only imagine what it would do to you. It would be like someone writing about how they can’t stop running in a tight circle around their living room day in and day out, run run run run. “Hour 34: I continue to run. I’m still not getting anywhere.” This is pretty much what I’m doing these days. Aren’t you glad you came to check in?



Reader Comments (69)

As someone who began moving into her current home-in-exile three years ago to the day, I can assure you that that feeling of forever and ever is sometimes wrong, and sometimes means missing out on the good things about the move in the first place. Wrong, because at least in my case, I hope to close on a house that's back where I started years and years ago, in a town that represents the pinnacle of all things good in my pathetic, smalltown mind. Missing out on the good things, because in our "practice house" we have learned vast amounts about being homeowners vs. apartment dwellers, and are loaded with useful experience in all manner of skills. Also, we have come to love the home-in-exile, if not the neighborhood, such that there is quite a twinge of regret as we pack up all our assorted crap and move it to the storage space so that this place will show to advantage in the very near future.

Please keep in mind too, Alice, that as much as it can feel like the anxiety is a separate thing from the experience, sometimes it's part of a package everyone feels. As a very living-in-my-own-head person, I often forget that not everything is my own insanity playing out, but is considered by large parts of society to be par for the course. Somehow, that's reassuring. To me. And the other commenters bear it out in this case.
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEffective Nancy
Oh no. If it's any consolation, my husband practically divorced me the day we moved into our house. A combination of anxziety, hormones and living in a canyon of boxes did it to me.

It got better the day after that. A lot better. Take heart, my dear.
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke
my eye is twitching as we speak.

i sometimes use blogging to vent.

i sometimes use it to distract myself. tell us a story that makes you smile and smile every time you think about it.

hey. i can't send you booze so this is the best i got ...
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered Commenternita
I was just thinking about dog bites today.

I was thinking "If the neighbor's pitbull rushed me and my daughter on the way home from the bus stop, I think I could at least toss her on top of a car...."

And I'm not even moving. At least you have an excuse and an end in sight for your anxiety.

Deep breaths. It's all good.
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjozet
I? Love you. To tiny tiny bits.
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteramalah
that running around the living room in circles is EXACTLY how i've felt for the past 4 months. thank you for describing it so perfectly. as always! hang in there, alice.
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkristin
We love reading whatever you have to offer us Alice! I have the same problem with my off-line writing sometimes. I try to finish one notebook a month, then if I'm uninspired or just don't find time to do it, all I end up writing about is how frustrating it is to feel so uninspired and how I'm not going to meet my goal. Riviting!!! Any little musing from you is 8 million times better than cleaning my house or folding laundry, so I'll keep checking. Good luck with the move.
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKelsey
My advice is to wrap yourself in bubble wrap and packing tape and make the circles you run in wide enough that you might bump into some stuff. Y'know, make it interesting.
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTits McGee
I generally have a no reading policy during bouts of anxiety for just that reason. I say put down anything but a packing list until your mind is at ease.
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
Leaving Brooklyn forever?

1. Brooklyn will still be there2. I'm not from NY, but isn't that a HAPPY thing?

Exercise: square breathing. It will occupy your mind and calm you down. Four counts in, hold four, out four, hold four. Good luck.

April 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSue
Well, the only thing could touch my anxiety is Prozac so I am in no position to offer you any life coping skills. I can just tell you that you are wonderful and when I was pre-Prozac, near frozen with panic, clenched by a mind that would not shut up, your web site gave me comfort and laughter when it was in short supply, just as it continues to do today (when comfort and laughter are happily more abundant).

April 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterToni
I have also thought about the dog-bite thing and my son, strange. Checking in is good, but take time to relax and don't let your blog be another thing to worry about. You obviously have a pretty loyal fan base!
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Clearly you are in need of a care package. I shall start assembling it immediately.

Pedometer? Check.Wine? Check.Chocolate? Check.Hand sanitizer? Check.

Just hang in there until I can get to the post office. ;)
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMir
I found a song that helps me when I get looped down into my anxiety: Fischerspooner's "Just Let Go." I'm not entirely certain what the song is really about... I can't understand every single word of it, but what I can understand is the "just let go" part over and over again.

I don't pretend to have all the answers and I know anxiety isn't so easily dismissed. What I have learned in dealing with mine is that the most useful technique for subverting it... is practice. I think ultimately this is the kind of advice you'd probably get from a therapist and it's cheaper and less prone to nasty withdrawals than the drugs.
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTitanKT
I am glad I came to check in. What a great post. Even when you think you have nothing to say, your words totally hit a chord. I gets the anxiety, especially with our upcoming move. As Dave spoke of realtors and moving furniture tonight at dinner, my eyes completely glazed over, because for the life of me, I could not compute what he was REALLY saying to me. Good luck with it all.
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCrazyUs
I am always glad I checked in. Moving does suck, oh how mightily, but OH! Would it make you feel better to know that I find myself humming the Underwater Batman song? And it makes me smile. Henry is so cool.
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersamantha
Hey, watch it Stapler Sue! Some of us still have to live here in 11201, ya know...
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
Ugh. Moving really sucks.

But how is Henry handling the changes? I've been wondering about that little guy; he reminds me so much of my oldest.
April 3, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
But Alice, don't you write this blog for ::you::, not us? - we're just peeking in... :)If you need to write that you've run around in circles for the last 34 hours, then do so - judging by the comments so far, lots of people have been there, are there, have the chocolate to prove it....Although, if you are bored with it all then I suggest you demand that all commenters leave you a joke or a funny story in their comment - that might seriously distract you ;)Anxiety is crap - I always write about my anxiety - it's my blog and I can bore my readers if I want to! ;)
April 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEm
Yes, I am glad I stopped by. Take care and stay away from the dogs.
April 4, 2006 | Unregistered Commentervictoria
I grew up in Brooklyn and Staten Island. When I first moved to NJ it was supposed to be just temporary and the plan was always to move back to NY. Well, 20+ years later I'm still living in NJ and loving it -- and wouldn't even consider leaving. We bought a house 3 years ago and I experienced all the anxiety you're experiencing and then some. You will get through it. Hang in there!

We are all looking forward to the pictures you will post of your new house once you are moved in and start decorating.
April 4, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersusan @ yow
Hmmmm... Yes, being bitten by a dog is much more logical - instead, I woke up this morning imagining that my son was being eaten by a lion. The whole thing played out in my head - the lions had escaped from the zoo and just happened to make their way to our house. WTF?!
April 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSara
At one point in my life, I moved nine times in eleven years, so I FEEL your pain.

I usually find it helpful to micro-focus when I get so wound up that I can't think. Like, on your to-do list for the day, you should include all your usual daily tasks: Brush teeth? Check! Do dishes? Check! Eat lunch? Check! See? Look how much you've accomplished already!
April 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterVelma
You write about nothing and are still entertaining. Bravo!
April 4, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjes
Make sure you don't pack the liquor until last.

Hang in there - once you are in your house and settled, I have a feeling the waters will calm for you.
April 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

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