For some one who lives each day with generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and agoraphobia, life almost never gives me a good reason to have anxiety, panic, or the fear of large crowds. I have spent the past few decades trying to understand what triggers these things, how to separate one from the other, and how to avoid disaster. But, that’s what makes it so tricky: no disaster needed. It just manifests that way. For no good reason at all.
I started a new job on Monday. I was really excited, but I was also sick with anxiety. It’s a job I’ve wanted for a really long time. I’ve sent my resume to this company half a dozen times. The hiring manager said she had never seen any one so dedicated to a job that they hadn’t gotten, until now. Leave it to me to pine after whatever it is I can’t actually have. BUT! When the position finally opened up, they contacted me. It was one of those life moments when you look around the room and think to yourself, is this really happening? I was overcome with joy, and then, within minutes, overwrought with panic.
I waited weeks for my start date, which was the 23rd of this month. When the morning finally came, it was like Christmas…I just knew that drum kit was waiting for me under the tree. But, anxiety doesn’t like Christmas, or drum kits, or new jobs, or anything good that ever happens. Ever.
My incredible wife drove me to work that morning, because she is amazing. When she dropped me off, I nearly skipped through the door to get my badge, which proudly displays the name of the company I’ve applied to over and over and over. It felt great. Then I finally made my way inside.
Perhaps my expectations were too high. I don’t know. But, a nice lady dropped me off at my desk and then no one knew what I needed to do next. It only got worse from there. No need for details, it was just a disorganized “orientation”, meaning, there was no orientation at all. The computers hadn’t even been setup for me yet. I stared at the wall for a while, introduced myself to every one I could find, and doodled in a composition book until lunch time finally came.
Throughout the morning, the anxiety became so unbearable, I didn’t think I would be able to eat. So, I took a walk around the campus until the sun came out. Then, I lied in the grass like a starfish…right outside of their main facility, because I always have great ideas. That’s when people started pouring out of the front entrance to check on me. They thought I was dead. Anxiety one, Kristina zero.
Today is day four of my new job, and I’m on track and ready to go. I’m already working on a wiring diagram and user manual for their new cooler system, which is all very exciting to me. Once the anxiety dissipated, I started to adjust, and now I love it here. But, that doesn’t mean that the anxiety doesn’t return with a vengeance. It’s like a fucking vigilante, and I’m the joker.
So, I decided to make a list of the magical powers anxiety holds over me—a list of all the irrational and ridiculous nouns and verbs that induce random vomiting, shivering, teeth grinding, and racing thoughts, along with all of those things that SHOULD give me anxiety but do not (today—it’s always changing).
Here goes nothing! (P.S. I only used two pictures in the anxiety section, because I try not to take photos of shit that gives me anxiety. But the non-anxiety section, well, see for your damn self!)
- Donald Trump for president…actually, it’s the people who are going to vote for DT who give me anxiety. I can’t believe God hates me enough to put these people in my life.
- Fan-less rooms…the heat keeps me awake, and then the insomnia keeps me insane
- Medicine bottles…I keep every one I’ve ever gotten and every time I open the medicine cabinet I feel sick. Why do I torture myself?
- This street
- Power lines running through tree branches…it’s like a forest fire waiting to happen
- Old water towers…we climbed one in Jamaica and I almost died. From anxiety.
- Ex-girlfriends (the mean, vindictive ones, that is)
- Cars without music…if the stereo is broken, conversation is NOT a good substitute
- Misused semi-colons…see below
- Mistaking a hyphen for an em-dash/ en-dash…GOOGLE IT
- PC’s…MAC’S ARE FAR SUPERIOR. Get over it.
- People who see the Virgin Mary in their toast and then broadcast it on FOX news…great story Megan Kelly, great story.
- Euphemisms…clichés are a terrible thing, but we all use them sometimes. I just can’t ever remember them. I say things like “she made like a tree and left”, which really doesn’t work at all.
- Directions…I’d rather just know where I’m going or not go at all
- Protestant churches…not because I don’t like protestants; I just don’t like their churches
- Puppy-mills…see below
- The Amish and their horses…they tie them to dumpsters and shop at Victoria secret. I swear, I’ve seen it.
- Mainstream music…I wish I could kill the radio star
- Kanye West…every word that comes out of his mouth makes me physically ill…rapped or not
- The irrational fear that my teeth are falling out
- The irrational fear of waking up blind or having my eyes torn out
- My family…they’re anxious too, so…
- The GOP…this one should make EVERY ONE anxious
- Dead, dismembered bunnies in the toilet…it happened once, when our cat and our dog conspired to kill me
- QVC…nuff said
- That crazy religious TV station that sells bible verses and makes tons of money
- Cats in the road…please don’t hit the kitty
- New York City…honking for no fucking good reason makes me want to rip out my own throat and throw it at you
- Mean teachers…see below
- Broken seashells…my mean 1st grade teacher gave me the ugly broken seashell to embarrass me in front of the other kids in my class. Then, she did the same shit to my little brother. I will cut a bitch. DO NOT fuck with my brother. OR my seashells.
- People who hate Hillary Clinton…yea, what a monster. She’s only the MOST experienced candidate in the history of the fucking free world. And, 90 percent of you don’t even know why you don’t like her…trust me, I’ve asked. “Emails, Benghazi” hmmm what happened with Benghazi? That’s what I thought; total fucking silence. You know why? BECAUSE YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED, AND YOU SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED TO VOTE
- Mail in my name
- People who don’t “condone” curse words…FUCK OFF. I don’t condone your hateful rhetoric about refuges and not being politically correct! Isn’t asking someone not to curse PC, anyway??? Morons
- Wal-Mart and the Hobby Lobby
- The bible belt…you people scare me, I’m sorry
- Deer heads
- Eating vegetarian but craving a 24-ounce Rib Eye
- Not living within two hours from a coast line
- People who yell at me for saying “I’m sorry” too much; So, fuck you; I’m not sorry that I’m sorry. GET OVER IT.
- David Duke…I think he’s actually a vampire
- Rush Limbaugh…I know he’s a vampire, if by being a vampire you mean snorting Oxycontin off your illegal maid. Is that PC?
- The mall…if teenage girls are hell, consumers are even worse
- Sharing the music in my own damn car…um, my car mother fucker, my music.
- Gated communities and the HOA
- Reading (and of course, writing) instructional manuals
- Very, very loud music
- Our new house spider: fluffy the mosquito slayer
- Topless cars
- Whittling Harry Potter wands for absolutely no reason
- And more dogs!
- All of my cousins—even the ones who don’t much like me.
- My beautiful nieces and nephews
- Winning over the mean secretary at work… her sign actually says Beware of Attack Secretary…and she seriously scares me. But I WILL win her over. Oh, yes…she will be mine!
- Sharks, big shark teeth, alligators, and crocodiles…. many, many, many years ago, about two, I fed an alligator and almost lost my middle finger. It was invigorating.
- Waffles and a bucket of bait fish on her head…also many, many, many, years ago, about two.
- The wonderful Kara Zoolakis!
- Movies about DEMONS
- Falling asleep to the TV show Snapped
- Mom’s cooking
- The parent’s boat, especially when mom drives it in her marijuana hat!
- Watching Casper swim down river like Michael Phelps chasing a blunt
- The look on sweet Blanco’s face when he sees me walk through the door
- Showing off Eddie the border collie, and subtly hinting to bystanders that, yes, my dog is WAAAAAY smarter than yours.
- Sam’s missing coonskin hat…I totally DID NOT steal that shit and hide it from you; I liked it, dude!
- Sitting down at my drum kit and rocking my ass off like the BAD ASS drummer every one knows I am.
- Bow-Tie Tuesday!
- Pirates & Vikings
- The new band we’re putting together!!! Just you wait and see..the name is AWESOME.
- The love of my life. Patty Keen. Hahaha…just kidding baby. You are my Xanax.
- Patty Keen for real, though.
- My In-LAWS!!! And, my out-laws, too! (AKA JON!!!)
- My best friend, Rebecca (Photo not shown, because she will kill me)
- My best family friend(s): The Lokey’s and mom and dad Jones
- Pools with water slides and wave diving in the ocean, hun!
- Gardening in the sun, with Lee-C’s help, of course
- Blogging about my absolutely ridiculous, dog-infested, anxiety inducing, amazing life.
In the end, I have a lot to be happy about, including this photo of three border collies holding each other.