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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. → 

« Thank you. | Main | I leave for one week, and my son turns into a twelve-year-old. »

What's going on.

Readers have asked me to write about Blogher, but I can't. I didn't have the BlogHer experience I wanted to have, and I can't pretend I did, and if I tried to relay my experience I don't think anyone would believe I was at the same conference as all those other amazing people who had such a great time. Because my experience had nothing to do with the conference, it had to do with me. There's something not right in here, and I don't know what the problem is.

What I know is that I'm filled with grief all the time, that I have tried the patience of my friends and family, that I have been less of a mother and wife than I want to be, that I'm terrified that I'm driving away the people I love, that I've barely eaten since I returned. I am sure anyone who saw me at BlogHer will be baffled by this post, because I do an excellent job of hiding in plain sight. But since then something has broken open, and I can't hide. Right now I wish more than anything I could take back the decision to go to this conference, take back the last few months, start over and give you whatever you're here looking for, the anecdote or joke or relief from your day that you probably expect, instead of this sopping mess who's struggling to compose these crappy paragraphs. Even writing this seems awful and self-indulgent, but if I can't be honest here and get this out I will never write here again. I'm barely hanging on, and I'm trying to make sense of what happened to me. Of what's still happening to me.

Please be patient with me as I try to get to the other side of this. I know I will, but getting there means wading through a stunning level of pain and I don't like it one bit.

Reader Comments (324)

Hang in there Alice! We are all pulling for you! I have always appreciated your honesty on this blog. I think you are so brave for writing so frankly about something so devasting. Its always darkest before dawn, which I believe to be utterly true.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMary
We come here for you, period. And I'm thinking of you.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterShe Likes Purple
Oh Alice, my dear,

Trust me when I tell youthat there are those of uswho know the feelings you are talking about:

Feeling disconnected,like concrete,heavy but impervious.

I once tried to tell my husbandthat it felt as though I was wrapped in Saran Wrap.That I could see people and communicate with thembut that nothing could reach through and touch me.

I felt separate, wooden.Broken.

I can promise you that there isthe other sideand you will find it,in your own way and your own time.

There are people who will sit by youin your aloneness,hold your hand,and wait.

July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeeann
Thinking of you and wishing there was something better I could say. Take care of yourself and take all the time you need.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAshley
I am so sorry things are so hard right now.So sorry.I would rather read your honest words, a million times over, than anything you felt you had to fake to make other people feel better.This is your space to use to make yourself better, if you can. You get to use it however you need to.I am thinking of you and so hoping things get better.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
DeLurking to add my heartfelt support to you and your family. Grief is a process. You are loved and respected by people you'll never meet and there isn't a one of us who has read anything you've ever written who wouldn't stand by you no matter what. Keep your sense of humor - it's critical. (with apologies to Mr. Mom)
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercj
We come here for you, the real you, not some whiskey-swilling 1960s comedy writer who's afraid of getting canned if he can't come up with the funny while his life is falling apart.And you underestimate the effort it would take to drive away the people who love you. Sadness in all its twisted forms won't do it, so there.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSlim
Oh, girl. You're just fine. It's not only going to be okay. It is okay and soon enough you'll notice. Meanwhile you'll be tiring and whining and sad and not so funny probably. And that's okay. If only we could get through life's sadnesses very linearly and gracefully.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertea tree
You will find your way in your own time. Be gentle with yourself.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersizzle
I've not commented here before, but have been reading for quite some time. I had a very early miscarriage back in 1996. I said then, and can still say now, it was the saddest thing I have ever experienced in my life. I've had many other crises in life, but that was simply the most wracked with grief I have ever been.

It took months for that deep sadness/depression to lift, so please be gentle with yourself.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFesti
Worrying about us - your readers - is the last thing you should be doing. What you should be doing is taking care of yourself. If that includes writing something good, bad or indifferent, then bring it on.

But please do take care of yourself. Talk to someone - a girlfriend, a medical professional, a counselor - anyone who can help you through this dark place. Anything to get back to the "you" you want to be.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichele
You just voiced what so many of us feel. You're fabulous when you are funny, and you are fabulous when you are real. I wish you didn't feel this way, but it's a comfort for those of us who also feel this way to know we're not alone.I'm sure that doesn't make you feel any better either, come to think of it, but the shock of recognition as I read today's post brought tears to my eyes for us both.Pain sucks. Do what you have to in order to deal. Your readers will be here, whether you're posting frequently or not.Hang in there.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteranonymous lurker
After my miscarriage it took me a long time to give myself permission to stop grieving. I was still grieving when I was pregnant with twins. I felt like I would be a horrible mother if I stopped grieving. So I held onto it, like a badge of honor, it was the only thing left of the baby I would never have. I was taking a meditation class with my mom, and the instructor, who was chinese, said something that changed my life. He said that people in the "west" feel that they can't stop grieving. Like it is their duty to carry the torch forever. ( This is exactly how I felt ) Then he said that these people who won't let go of the pain focus all their energy on the pain, and things that need their energy go without it. I took this to mean my pregnancy, and my not yet two year old. Like I said, it changed my life. I gave myself permission to laugh, and enjoy my guilt about being pregnant...and enjoy my daughter...and my life.

I am not presumptuous enough to think that this is exactly what you need to hear, or that it will change your life at all, but just in case it is what you need, I thought I would share it.

If it is not what you need, I hope it did no harm. Everyone grieves differently. You need to go through it your own way and know that we all will support you through good thoughts and prayers. We just visit here to visit you, no matter what "you" shows up.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermeg Hatton
Taking care of yourself and doing what's best for you takes so much more precedence than entertaining us. No need to apologize.

I had a pretty rough time after my son was born, and I vented a lot on my blog. I worried some about alienating people and scaring them away, but instead found incredible support through them. I hope we can provide something of the same for you. I sincerely hope you find what you need and feel better soon.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarcy
Love and good thoughts in your direction.

Do what you need to do to get healthy. It's okay not to have a good time, and it's okay not to be funny. Take care of you.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBether
I am just so sorry. I had a very similar experience to yours about two weeks later. I thought of your post as I sat in the OB's office looking in vain for that little heartbeat I'd seen only two weeks before. I am still so sad about it. There were a few weeks in there when I felt okay, and then I suddenly realized that underneath it all--no, I wasn't anywhere close. In the meantime I have re-read the posts you made right around that time and they have so perfectly articulated how I felt/how I feel. So I for one am so thankful for your honesty and that you are telling us what's really going on. Take care of yourself; you and your family are in my thoughts.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermary
Please take your time. You need to take care of yourself right now. Don't worry about us--we'll still be here when you get back. We support you, and are grateful for all you share with us.

Peace be with you.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
Alice, I have never miscarried but I suffered tremendous post partum depression after my daughter that rendered me almost non-functional. I hate to think of anybody in pain emotionally and I will be thinking of you. Lean on your loved ones and friends and, if need be, find a good doctor to help you with the depression. I'm sorry you are suffering. I have been there and there is sunshine waiting for you. I know there is.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPaige
I am so sorry you are having such a hard time. I hope things get better for you soon.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
What a touching post. I don't know you or anything, but I have the urge to take your hand and tell you it's going to be all right. Hope that's not too creepy. Or pollyannaish. It's gonna be OK.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSandra
Oh Alice. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this, but I am glad to hear that you ARE dealing with it. We'll be here whenever you need us. We're not going anywhere.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
Yes, I remember that feeling. I called it "trying to run through a vat of molasses." I'm so sorry you're going through it. My molasses got thinner so slowly that I didn't notice. I don't remember it going away completely until my second pregnancy actually went all the way and I was watching my husband's face rearrange itself into that astonished daddy love thing. I hope yours goes away faster. And thank you for sharing.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkim
hi alice, i've been reading your blog for a while now but haven't commented before (i think?). just wanted to write and say i'm thinking of you, and sending good thoughts your way.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commentervalerie
I agree with She Likes Purple - we come here for you, no matter what. I hope that you find the support and help you need to make it through what you're going through right now. (Hugs)
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRachael
Aaagh - you are too articulate! You're reminding me of times I've felt similarly hopeless. You're not alone, and it is a tough road. Loss is loss is loss. You are allowed to grieve!
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSuburbanCorrespondent

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