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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)

you are amazing and wonderful. and i've always thought so no matter whether you are telling the slappy joke or hilarious story or revealing the pain felt during a particularly rough patch.

i rarely comment but i, for one, wanted you to know (as do ALL of your readers, it seems) that you don't need to clean it up and put a smiley face on it. you can be just where you are and say or not say, write or not write, we will all be sending your our thoughts and love and support no matter what.

July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkyra
In the past year I have come to understand that grief doesn't have a time limit, because grief is all encompassing. It's not just the moment of loss, it's everything that connects you to that loss, every thought, memory, action, and dream that is connected to it. I have a hard time forgiving myself for the days I spend unhinged by my trauma and my loss. I hope you can be more lenient with yourself than I am with mine and allow yourself the and the space to move through the process, however slowly. There is no reward for grieving and recovering quickly.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterYolanda

I am so sincerely sorry that you are suffering right now. Janice and I actually both battle depression and terrible anxiety. It is amazing how we women often hide our inner torment from the world.

You're right that likely nobody would have guessed that you were anything but happy during BlogHer... and somehow that can make it harder.

Thank you for sharing the truth with us. We send you our love and prayers. Take your time, we'll all be here.

Just a lurker here who wanted to wish you well. Do your best to hang in there. It has to get better soon. (Or at least thats what I have been telling myself lately...) There are lots of us there who feel/have felt like you are now, not that it makes you feel any better! But we understand, anyhow.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterW M
This honest post is why I come here. Grieve as long as you need.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChrista
I'm a lurker, but I feel a great responsibility to write to you because you had the courage to be so honest. I love what you write about, whether it's funny and happy or sad and all so real...because you are extraordinarily articulate and sincere. And I haven't experienced anything like what you have recently gone through, but I do know that sometimes I feel shaken to the core by my inability to pick myself up and shake off the stuff that has worn me down. And I talk and talk and talk about those feelings, and eventually it helps a little. I don't know if writing about it will help move you along or merely sustain you as you work through it in other ways, but we're here to listen, emphathize, and not judge. We're NEVER judging. We are just here crying with you. So you don't need to worry about our reactions. You've lost someone you love. You'll be deeply sad and in pain, and it's always okay to tell us about that.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennie
Alice, it's okay.

We understand.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdaysgoby
Oh Alice, I am sorry. I feel like I have been patching that dam for a long time, and some days, the patches just won't hold.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdawn
I have nothing to say that doesn't sounds trite or hasn't already been said, but I'm going to say I'm sorry anyhow. I'm sorry you are in pain, and I'm sorry you can't figure out what you ned to help. I've been in that spot. it sucks more than a 5-dollar dock whore on half price night. I hope you are able to pull through this. I hope you start to feel like the you that you'd like to be again soon.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjessica
What amazing readers you have. I don't think we're going anywhere, and will welcome you back wholeheartedly when you are able.

July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLynn in Tucson
Alice, please do whatever you need to do to get well. You are going through an unspeakably difficult time and taking care of others will just have to wait. It will wait because it *has* to wait.

I send my warmest, most genuine, least fake-internet-person wishes. Be well and know that we are all thinking of you.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMer
Oh, your description sounds so familiar. Depression hurts. I have felt exactly like what you just described, but I didn't have the courage to admit it, even to myself, for so long. Once I admitted it to myself, then to my husband, I was able to get the help i needed. You will get better! And please know that you're not alone with these feelings.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterraerae
Never give up.Just said a prayer for you.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersunny
I never got to meet you at BH this year - although I wanted to... Now I'm glad I didn't - one more person to "make happy" while you're in such pain, and I would never ever want to do that. It takes time. I know that sounds cliche, and that you want to be done with it already. But eventually over time, the pieces seem to fall together again, and the glue slips into all the chinks again, and your heart will be whole. Bruised, but whole. But Goddamn it hurts in the meantime, and I'm so sorry you have to go through it.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichele
Please don't ever feel that you need to give your readers something. You write for the reasons that make you happy - nothing more. And if writing doesn't make you happy for the time being, don't do it. But if it provides an outlet that helps you go through the loss you are feeling, then use it as such. We read because whatever you write about, no matter the topic, is beautiful and reminds of us moments that should be important. I hope you feel better eventually, but I'm thinking of you in the meantime.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTUWABVB
Alice, I want to let you know that despite the feeling of isolation you're so not alone. Depression & despair creep into everyone's life at one point or another. Some of us just have a harder time shaking it than others. Please don't beat yourself up for feeling the way you do. You didn't ask for it or bring it upon yourself, and it's certainly not your fault you aren't simply "getting over it". As you said, you will get through it, and your family & readers will be by your side as you do.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDewshane
We're still here. Use this blog or don't use it however you wish, we will still be here. We care about you.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMel
I had my own hard time. And I work at a place surrounded by grief. And the thing is, it never seems to follow the schedule that we wish it would.

Worse still, we don't just wake up ok. There are good days and bad days and the balance between the two just slowly shifts.

Finally, much much after we feel like it should be gone, the grief is. There are still moments of sadness, and you are changed forever, but that's not necessarily bad.

After reading your post; I cried. Not so much for you, though I dearly sent what comfort I have to you, but for me, and in the memory of feeling exactly like that. For me, I spent half the time fearing I was driving my loved ones away and half wishing they would go-bloody-away.

So be whoever you think you need to be at a conference or at lunch. But just be honest on your blog, so the rest of us can indulge in doing the same.

July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElla
Alice,My aunt recently said to me, "Since you don't have any hope right now for yourself, I'll carry it for you."

And I'll carry it foryou.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMegan
I am joining the other voices here to say that I am also sorry for your pain and loss. I had never been to your blog prior to today, but figured since I stopped in at a time you need encouragement ... I would try to offer some.

Whether we are at high mountain top places or in deep, deep valleys ... it is good to feel cared for ... it seems that you have a ton of people who are willing to support you -- no matter what you feel.

Wishing you comfort.

tara in haiti
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTara L.
Oh, man. I hate to hear that you are suffering so badly. I wish there were some magic words I could say that would make you feel better, but, of course, there aren't.Sending you my best wishes and my hopes that you get through this sooner rather than later.(And it's your blog, you aren't required to only entertain people; write what you want. Of course.)
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelanieinOrygun
Hi Alice - I'm a new reader of your blog. I favorited it *because* you are real. I look forward to more of your reality.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Horror Diet
As I read this, I am not baffled, although when I met you, you were absolutely lovely. I am sad and wish I could make it better, but I know I can't.

All the best,Aimee
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAimee Greeblemonkey

I just want to echo everyone who has already said that we read because you're a great writer -- when you're happy, funny, sad, struggling -- you always brilliantly convey whatever you're going through, and that's what matters.

If it helps at all, I went through a horrible depression that lasted for seven years. The only way I can describe it is it's as if I was trying to scream under water: the emotions were there, somewhere, and they were bad. But I couldn't even fully feel them, because I was suffocating. The good news is that it did end.

I wish I could beam myself over to your neighborhood to do something to help you.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer (Et Tu?)
It's going to be okay. I wish I had something more to offer, but all I got is faith that you'll get there. Take the time you need to take care of you.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

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