Tag Archives: anxiety

Surviving in a War Zone v.s. Calling Comcast/Xfinity

I recently came back from visiting my mother who just checked herself into a “home.” Overwhelmed by taking over all her financial responsibilities and seeing her short term memory fading, I tried to tackle a task beyond my abilities at the end of a 16 hour day of errands, and a day of facing the fact I would have to one day clear out the house of a – I want to say borderline, but I don’t think I really need to say borderline – hoarder. I called Comcast/Xfinity to move and change her service.

Maybe I had absorbed some of mom’s good old fashioned paranoia that everyone is trying to flim flam her, but at one point I thought I’d given her social security number to an identity theft ring, this after two hours and four customer service reps saying they had no record of my confirmation number. I spiraled quickly, as I do, into – why am I living? I really don’t want to be. (It turned out fine after a few more phone calls, just always ask for the “moving/transfers” department if you call. They won’t jack with you.)

This morning, I started listening to Trevor Noah’s autobiography, Born a Crime…, and thought, I need to marry someone like that, who’s had actual problems, like getting thrown out of a moving car at age 5 by his mom and with his mom and baby brother to avoid his mom getting brutally raped. Someone like that as a spouse might help me get some perspective on my life and the actual size of my problems.

Of course my therapist would say by feelings are justified. And she’s a smart cookie, so who knows.

Also listening to the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the flight to and from the visit, I have been trying to find a place for the information that children who have been cared for and protected have fewer survival skills and tend to be the first to die in concentration camps. Not great for the species, I understand, to be OK with death over suffering, but as a pampered white child that seems to be my go to response to discomfort. Take me now God, take me now. Not that He does.

I think of Trevor Noah’s mother driving sternly and commandingly through war zones to get to three churches on Sundays. That’s style. That’s some serious style. I wish I could find my style.

Wait – I, Me, Mine are words that make you more likely to have a heart attack. Scratch that last sentence. May we all find our style. Our serious style.

I think this would be mine.


What’s yours?


In Spite of

In spite of a hellish week of over work. Tasks I abhor. Unreasonable requests. I feel fine. I have been feeling fine for 4 weeks. Exactly 4 weeks. After …somewhere between 10 and 40 years of moderate to sever depression and anxiety.

I keep thinking of that therapy model I read somewhere, that once you chip away at enough of the crap trees in the crap forrest, the rest just start falling.

Don’t honestly know if it’s a temporary reprieve or a new chapter that doesn’t suck as much, may even holds good things. Just know the trees are falling of their own accord now. OK, sometimes I have to give them a little nudge. But they’re falling.


Honing my act – MFA program in Creative Writing – Week 4

First upheaval of the 10 day extremely intense residency for the NILA MFA program in creative writing – after introductions I begin to waffle about whether to stick with fiction and the professor that gets my sense of humor and likes my style, or switch to nonfiction where I might get to do my thesis as a performable memoir and also they have better parties. Introduction session included saying my name and home town, I got through that, but third thing to share was my writing goals. I opened my mouth and said, “well to be honest, I’d like to write more screenplays and a performance piece to be also published as a book.” 

I picture the performance as one person show style storytelling that feels like standup, and Mike Birbiglia has already set the precedent, that’s a thing. A doable thing. So that’s my model. – Slight problem, I am currently suffering from paralyzing stage fright. Not cute self-deprecating I need to throw up stage fright. Not just get over it stage fright, but I want to die right now, throw myself in front of a bus I’m not kidding rather than get on a stage, stage fright. So, I am attending an MFA program, and within the first day, I realize I am using it as a vehicle to write my one person show and workshop it with editors, rather than a live audience. But editors think like editors and not like a comedy club audience. I don’t know where the laughs are.

Plus, in the fiction workshop people are responding to a stream of consciousness piece I wrote for NanoWrimo with the connection and emotion I wanted to get from the performance piece, and the more I read the fiction piece, Marshmallow Man, the more I love it too. The more I realize I am saying things with it I could never say in stand up.

I feel lucky to have options, but stressed to have to make the call – fiction or nonfiction – in just a few weeks before registration for fall comes around.

Opinion? Please vote below. Fiction or Nonfiction