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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

Home - Middle Row

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)

I was just in a meeting that was incredibly frustrating and boring so I tuned out and thought of you for a good twenty minutes or so. (Stop reading here if you are creeped out.) I was thinking how you seem to be doing well all things considered and I was happy for you and I wondered how you did it, a little jealous of your ability to cope when I am such a mess over little things all the time.

I'm sorry to hear you aren't doing so great after all, but know all this stuff takes time- I'm sure you've heard it over and over- and things will be okay eventually.

We are here for you, your "real" friends and family are there with you, and we will be here when you decide that things are back to some sort of normal.

Big love from all of us.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlora
I have been there myself and I wish I could give you some words of wisdom or a magic potion to get you out of "there." But I can't. But you will get there, with help from those friends and family (and meds??? worked for me!). And if you need to talk it out, even if it sounds rambling and self-indulgent, we'll be here to "listen."

Big hugs!
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJill (CDJ)
I don't have any words that will suddenly make you feel awesome (dammit) but I am really, really sorry you're going through this. I hope you make it out soon.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBertha
We pinky-swear promise we don't come here to be entertained (although you're very entertaining). We come her for The Alice, in whatever way shape or form we can get her.

I know what it's like to write on your blog, or not write, because you think no one wants to read your kvetching, but honestly we'd be glad to hear you kvetch, if you need to.

I'm so sorry you've had such a difficult time these past few months.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSheryl
"getting through" doesn't mean "getting over"...sometimes it just means going through the valley at whatever pace you need to. And sometimes friends and family and faith help, and sometimes you just need to "sit" in it.

When the man I was engaged to died unexpectedly, I was shocked by the number of people who wanted me to "get through" it by 1) working, 2) dating (oh the horror), or 3) just by "acting as if" it were ok.

Grieve as much as you need to. And listen to those who love and support you. There is all kinds of help out there! And it takes just as much time as it takes.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly
Hah! You didn't think you could get rid of us that easily, did you? No, no, you're stuck with us now: post, don't post, post your grocery list....we're still going to check in on you. Most people can tell a joke or two; almost nobody can write like you. That's probably not much consolation right now, but it might turn out to be a useful tool. I sincerely wish I could do some of the hard, hard work of grieving for you. This is the toughest part: when the grieving is over for everyone else, but it isn't over for you. The way you feel is not a fault, just a very heavy burden. I'm so sorry you have to carry it.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMR
OH, honey, if you haven't called your doctor, you need to call them right now. I am far from an expert but it sounds like (as if you don't already know) you are suffering from severe depression and need help of some kind. Please keep us updated - many of us truly care about you, even though we have never met!
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Who
I'm sorry, Alice. Good thoughts, your way coming.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOperation Pink Herring
I don't have the words - not even sure if they exist. Just wanted you to know that people are out here praying for you.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
Oh Alice.

I love you for you and that's it.

Inappropriate, internet stranger love, to be sure, but it's 2008 and that's how it's done nowadays...I think. Given all the comments that precede mine, I think maybe not so inappropriate. ;-)

((((((Hugs)))))) to you from a delurker.

Wishing you love and chocolate and patience with yourself as you wade.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLorrian
I'm really sorry you're going through this. My first baby was due a week from today, and we found out at the first appointment that his or her heart wasn't beating anymore. Losing a baby really sucks. I'm so sorry.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
I'm really sorry you're going through this. My first baby was due a week from today, and we found out at the first appointment that his or her heart wasn't beating anymore. Losing a baby really sucks. I'm so sorry.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
I've been reading your blog for ages, and I so appreciate that you let me into your mind and your world with such honesty. Grief is an intensely personal thing, and I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to write about it as you do. There certainly is no timeline for grieving, but I understand the frustration of not feeling like it's getting better, of feeling so weak and broken-down, of desperately wanting to get back to being you. It can be maddening. I sincerely hope you're getting help, though - whatever "help" means to you - because no one should feel she has to handle such despair on her own.

You know you will get better, and I think that's the most important thought to hold.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKate
It's not indulgent or selfish at all to engage in a little self exploration and honesty with your readers. It's refreshing, it's sad, it's hard, but it's not indulgent.

Take it from one who knows, it's better to "talk" about it than to let it get bigger and worse.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKia
Hi, I'm just a lowly lurker, but I read you regularly and I just wanted to say: be patient with yourself and remember that it's okay to feel how you're feeling. I lost my mom three years ago and it took me almost a year to get through that fog of grief. You're healing. You will heal. It will suck. You will make progress. You will go backwards. It will take longer than you'd like. But you will Be Okay again.

Hang in there. :)
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermelissa
Oh, Alice. I had been hoping to hear that you were doing better. I am sorry to hear that you're not. But you have to feel better in your own time frame, not mine. I know you have it in you to make it through this. Meanwhile I wish you well.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteraimee
Alice, how you feel is probably normal, considering the tragedy you went through. Putting yourself in the middle of a huge social/networking situation like this conference was probably overwhelming. A couple of years ago, I had a situational bout of depression and I used to RUN conferences. I remember being especially depressed and overwhelmed when I was thrown into the middle of several hundred happy people, long hours, etc. We will still love you and your blog ... you are being open and honest, and I hope you find the solace you need soon. Sending good thoughts your way.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKim

I'm so sorry that the conference was not the experience you wanted it to be, and that you have to go through this dark time. Sending all love and healing thoughts your way, and hoping that you're doing everything you can to take care of yourself. Write as much or as little as you want, and about whatever you want - don't trouble yourself with reader expectations - we just want what is best for you.

Love, Lisa

July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
hang in there. don't be too hard on yourself. just take it one day at a time and you will come out on the other side. I know that there really aren't any words to ease what you're feeling, but know that we are all thinking of you and pulling for you.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline
I am so sorry you are going through this. Most unfortunately, grief is not short, clean, or merciful. It is a big lesson in powerlessness. I hope you can allow your feelings and find a way not to compound your pain with fear of abandonment and high expectations for and criticism of yourself. Please be gentle with yourself. I say this to myself as much as to you. I never say this, but, Hugs.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterShannon
Oh, Alice...I am so sorry that these past several months have been so painfully difficult. Know that we are all thinking of you and hoping that something will ease your pain.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLora
*Hug* Ok, *Big Hug* I don't have 'deep words'. So, I'll sit and listen.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJachel
Another lurker -- My prayers are with you.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

Please be gentle with your self!Sending prayers of strength and peace your way.

BTW, I learned the hard way once that hitting the pillow when the anger comes has far fewer ramifications then hitting the wall.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFiona
Alice, I'm sorry. Truly. I'm sorry for the depression, I'm sorry for the baby, and I'm sorry there isn't some magic spell someone can cast on you to help you out of these feelings.

And honestly, no one expects happy horseshit from you if you aren't up to it. There are a lot of us who will just listen or rather read, no matter what.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa V

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