My neurosis is no shock to anyone who has ever had to spend a decent amount of time with me. At some point over the course of every 72 hours I will have a mild to severe freak out about something ludicrous. However, anyone who has ever experienced a full-blown debilitating anxiety attack knows what I mean when I say IT IS NOT LUDICROUS. You see, in moments of extreme panic, there is no one in the world that can tell you what you are worrying about isn’t actually worth worrying about. The best you can do is do is to try and talk yourself out of it, remember to breathe, and wait for it to run its course. A miserable fate.
This past week has marked itself – by diagnosis – as the sickest that I have ever been in well, a good long time. Sure, I’ve felt worse, but when a doctor tells a neurotic person they have “walking pneumonia”, it’s bound to turn into a disaster – the first disaster being: GOOGLE.
If there is one thing I hate more than anything in the world when I’m sick, it’s Google. I mean yes, cat videos, sure, but I can memorize those URL’s. I need search engines to be blocked. Because the first thing a neurotic person sees when they Google any illness is this:
Death. DEATH. death. death. DEATH. death. DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So that’s always a great start to the recovery process. Needless to say, these past few days have been a roller coaster ride filled with “I feel great!” – “Oh Lord, I’m dying!” – “No, no I’m not, because I feel fine!” – “No wait, that rattling in my chest is back, I’m definitely dying. Shit.” In fact, the later of which just happened like an hour ago. And one of my “you’re having a melt down Andria, calm down” tricks is to distract myself, and so here I am, blogging.
Now, if all of this tells you anything, it should be that I am absolutely qualified to give you tricks for snapping yourself out of it (and also that I really need to find a good therapist.) For the record, I’m not going to list things like have a bath with lavender essential oils and make a cup of tea and snuggle a hot water bottle. Because those things are stupid and anyone who deals with anxiety on a regular basis does those things constantly anyway. I guess if you don’t deal with panic frequently though, they’re helpful to note. So that’s why I bolded them for you.
1. Call someone you can cry to
I call my mom. One, because she’s mildly neurotic too and gets it, but two, because I don’t need to worry about her judging me for crying about rattling in my lungs or parasites or burglars in the night. She also says really encouraging British things like Andria, stop it. Andria, calm down. Take a breath. Shut up. Have a glass of wine.
2. Speaking of wine…
Have some. I mean, if you’re on antibiotics, check to make sure it doesn’t explicitly say anywhere not to, but otherwise I say go for it. I’m 99% sure this will work for most people. Unless at that very moment you’re worrying about dying the same death as Jack Kerouac. If you don’t know how Jack Kerouac died and you enjoy drinking a lot, don’t Google it. Just drink. It’s fine.
3. Text someone you have a crush on
This little jolt of adrenaline really does the trick sometimes. Unless of course your crush never responds, in which case… you might have to have another glass of wine.
4. Fluffy socks
I can’t really mention these enough. I would not survive without fluffy socks. There’s just something about walking on a cloud that makes all your problems go away. And if you’re weird and having your tootsies wrapped in wooly delightful-ness does nothing for you, then at least you can distract yourself by risky business-ing.
5. Re-arrange the furniture
Unless you’re like me and not allowed to do anything physically strenuous (I know, right? You’d think this pneumonia thing was my dream diagnosis!) a little blood pumping activity could do you good. Plus, when you’re interior designing you don’t have time to worry about death and burglars and terrorist attacks and sharks.
6. Rub one out
I can’t believe I just typed those words. Gross. How unladylike of me.
7. Talk to yourself in an accent
I don’t know… there’s something about saying “Now listen here, chap, you’ll be alright” in a stuffy english accent that makes the whole thing seem rather ridiculous. Better yet, talk to yourself in pig latin… oullyay ebay rightalay
8. Watch stand up comedy
Netflix has Moshe Kasher’s Oakland show up and I could not stop laughing. In fact, it put me to sleep. Which isn’t actually as insulting as it sounds, because I had been trying to get to sleep for 6 hours and couldn’t relax enough to do it. For the record, I watched it again the next day in full alertness. It was still funny.
9. Try to tweeze your armpits
LOL. So hard. Ow.
10. Be gentle with yourself
The reason you have these fears is because someone, somewhere, was the worst case scenario. So no matter what people say, you’re not really being that irrational. You’re just evaluating things on a different scale than they are. This is the moment where the internet will tell you to have a bath with lavender essential oils and make a cup of tea and snuggle a hot water bottle.
If you haven’t already done so, you should probably go ahead and do those things.
Last resort? The fact that I have these ten things at my disposal means I’m pretty much more neurotic than any of you, so you can just rest assured that somebody somewhere (me) is worse off than you. Or you can email me and be like I’m freaking out! And none of your stupid tricks work! & then it will be like you’ve passed your neurosis on, because I’ll start panicking about your level of emotional perturbation and psychologically trick myself into thinking that none of these things will work for me anymore. So, you know, there’s always that option. I’m willing to do that for you. Because we’re friends.
xo & yw