Conversations With Anxiety: Late Night Worries


I find myself staring at my ceiling a lot at night these days. It’s less insomnia and more me wondering about what it means to be a grown-up and wishing terribly for the days when I was so scared of being on my own that I literally slept on the floor of my parents’ bedroom for weeks at a time. Those, those were the good old days.

She says, half kidding.

I’ve been seeing someone pretty regularly. She’s my therapist. And we have discussions about things I worry about, because, duh, and sometimes she points out that what I’m really doing is finding things to worry about because I don’t know what to do with myself when I’m not worrying. Which is totally not true. We all know that I’d just sit around eating ice cream all day if I wasn’t worried about sitting around eating ice cream all day.

The things I’ve been worrying about constantly lately are really the tropes of adulthood, and are, thus, incredibly annoying. What freaks me out is that they will not stop until I die. BECAUSE REALLY, LIFE, YOU CAN’T GET MORE STRESSFUL THAN THAT.

So, join me as I list the things I’ve been worried about/stressed about lately:

Grocery Shopping

Look, we all know I love food. I can’t get enough of it. I love shoving handfuls of the stuff from my grubby little paws into my slimy little maw and filling my cheek like a hamster preparing for the apocalypse. I LOVE IT. Especially kale.

The thing is, though, I have to, like, buy groceries often. Like once every two weeks or so. And every time I do, it’s like, wait, wasn’t I JUST here? Shouldn’t I have enough food to last me for, I don’t know, a year or something, before I have to mosey back to the store and sulk through the aisles like the gollum I am? Shouldn’t I get to enjoy not spending money for like a MONTH before I have to spend more money? Shouldn’t my supply of cereal, eggs, kale, apples, bananas, buckwheat, almonds, and yogurt last me until the leaves have finally emerged from their twig hyperbaric chambers? I MEAN, I SERIOUSLY BOUGHT YOGURT LIKE TWO DAYS AGO AND I’M ALREADY OUT AND JESUS CHRIST I AM HAVING A PANIC ATTACK ABOUT GREEK YOGURT.

And then going to the grocery store. It’s like Germ City and you have to touch the things you want to buy, and undoubtedly a zillion other people have touched them and who knows what they’ve been doing with their hands but I can guarantee you at least four of them have stuck their fingers up their nose or down their butt-crack in the last half hour and then decided that they didn’t want the avocado that you’re now holding in your hand. (Thankfully, with the tough skin of an avocado, the germs might not have permeated as deeply, I tell myself)

I just don’t understand how I keep filling up my pantry and it keeps getting empty again. I mean, logically, I get it. I know I’m being an idiot. But I’m so tired of grocery shopping and I just want to be able to plug myself into a wall and get all the nutrients I need. Hey, Apple, get on that, would you? (iFood–when it debuts, thank me. Or assassinate me.)

Laundry

Just like the grocery store, isn’t it? I mean, I JUST washed all those clothes like two weeks ago. It kind of freaks me out that I have these chores that will just never end as long as I live, and laundry is no exception. I mean, why bother putting my clothes away at all if I’m just going to wear them in two days and wash them in seven anyway? Why bother folding that t-shirt when I am going to throw it on tomorrow morning when I get dressed for work? Why put my superhero underwear away when I really just wish I could wear it all the time? Why get dressed at all, really? Why are clothes a thing? Why can’t I live in a nudist colony where everyone is attractive and it’s also not weird to be in a nudist colony? Why can’t a magical laundry fairy–Hi, mom!–take care of it for me? (That’s a joke; I’ve been doing my own laundry since I was 10 years old. That’s almost 14 years of laundry-doing, and only about… 60 more to go. Jesus) Nothing makes me confront my own mortality more than separating my darks from my lights.

Money

This is really the heart of the matter. Money keeps me up at night when I’d rather be kept up at night watching Game of Thrones. It gives me panic attacks about once a week because of bills when I’d rather have panic attacks about, I don’t know, anything else.

I keep pretty close track of my expenses. I know when I’m stepping out of bounds and being grandiose with cash I don’t have, so I’m good at reigning myself in. And each month I’m like, “oh, I had extraordinary expenses this month because of getting my car registered/tax preparation/vacation/plane tickets/doctor visit/exorcism and next month it won’t be so bad.” Then, inevitably, NEXT MONTH IT IS JUST AS BAD! I won’t go out to eat! I won’t go to the movies! I won’t buy any clothes! I won’t do anything fun! But yet, I had to drive to main campus more often and that’s a good 200 miles a week and Atreyu needs dog food and I need people food and my gym membership expired and I have to pay rent and I have to pay tuition AND JESUS CHRIST JUST STOP ALREADY.

Why is money a thing? Why can’t I just, like, hug someone whenever I need something? Why can’t we decide, as a society, that there are enough material goods in the world so we no longer need to pump out anything new and charge monies for them? Why can’t we just trade our other goods and some services (hugs, you PERVERTS) for the necessities? Why am I such a hippie?

Ugh, all this worrying is exhausting.

It’s bed time.

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Live A Little


Welcome back, friends!

Back where? you ask, confused. You didn’t go anywhere. I went somewhere.

You know, for a person who generally doesn’t like going out, meeting new people, trying adventure sports without an ambulance and a stretcher waiting nearby, spending money, or getting out of my comfort bubble, sometimes I really surprise myself. And then regret it a little.

On Sunday, March 16th, I woke up at 3:30 AM, drove two hours to the airport, hopped on a plane to Costa Rica, took a puddle jumper from San Jose to Tambor, rode in a taxi for an hour, and arrived at my destination: a women’s surf and yoga retreat in Santa Teresa.

And I went by myself. Let’s all do a little victory dance about that, shall we? First of all, I managed to wake up at three in the morning, because that’s disgusting and who does that? Oh, this girl. Secondly, I put my faith in people I had never met, and we all know that people are idiots. Thirdly–and this is probably most important–I tried a sport I had previously sworn I would never try because I used to be terrified of ghost sharks for crying out loud, and I would be setting myself up to look like a fat seal for some actual goddamned sharks.

Me, sunbathing nude in Costa Rica.

Surprisingly, I didn’t see a single fin following me. No teeth devoured a chunk of my leg or my board. I didn’t even see one dolphin, for chrissakes and dolphins are my favorite goddamned animal. I saw one fish off of our beach, and I think a romping doberman swallowed it hole.

So, as usual, my crazy fears were a bit unfounded. Though I will always be afraid of sharks when I surf, at least I know to punch them in the face, or, if they’re tiny, to grab them by their nose and turn them upside down, whereupon they promptly fall asleep. (I am nothing if not a wealth of disaster preparedness.)

But that’s when something you should be afraid of sneaks up and forcefully pulls your pants down in front of that cute guy you like (or is that just me?).

Towards the tail end of my trip (I really hope you’re picking up on all the clues I’m putting down), I became closely acquainted with Pépe, an outdoorsy chap. He is a close friend of another really great friend of mine, Frank.

Isn’t he WILD?!

Yes, friends. I had another close encounter of the bathroom kind. Or several of them. Pépe and I became intimate in a way that I had only ever done with one other Porcelain King.

See, I contracted some kind of super-powerful stomach parasite that decided that I didn’t need food to survive, and gut punches are perfectly adequate means of saying I love you. That’s kind of what I imagine pregnancy will be like.

I returned home and became reacquainted with a much older john, one that I lovingly refer to as PeePaw. He doesn’t work as well as the other johns I’ve known over the years, but he tries hard. Ugh, God, that’s disgusting. I’m so sorry for that.

Here, look at an image at a baby Howler Monkey, something that is not related at all to scatology, and is also adorable. I saw one in Costa Rica, but I didn’t take a picture of it because I’m lazy.

Now I’m on some heavy-duty antibiotic and if I’m not better by tomorrow…well, let’s just say I’ll probably be on a heavier-duty antibiotic, and maybe I’ll invest my money into a company that supplies adult diapers. Hopefully they make some cheekini ones. A girl can dream, right?

The point is, sometimes you have to live big without being afraid of everything. Sometimes you have to fly by yourself, go on a trip by yourself, meet some great people, eat some contaminated food, and shit your brains out for a week. Don’t worry that it might happen, because that will prevent you from having the kind of adventure you should have. Know that it will happen, and steel yourself (and your intestines) for some whole new experiences.

Like surfing. (Photo taken courtesy of Chica Surf Adventures)

Like surfing. (Photo taken courtesy of Chica Surf Adventures)

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OkCupid Diaries, Part 3: Gullible is Written on the Ceiling


Apparently, sarcasm and gentle redirection are not things this person understands. Also, we are a 10% match. That means I would literally probably hate him and want to do nothing but give him wedgies until he went away or was in too much pain to walk and instead had to roll away.

Are manners too difficult? Is using a question mark too foreign a concept? Is any type of friendly address too strenuous to type (because I can see you’re really muscly and maybe your fingers are disproportionately weak)? Are you blind and unable to read my tattoo in the picture? Oh my God,  ARE YOU ILLITERATE? If you’re illiterate, how did you manage to message me? Did a friend do it for you?? Do you have a friend send all your messages on OkCupid?! Can I meet this person and lecture them on punctuation? Interrobang?!

I have so many questions for you.

Jesus

And none of them are “want to hang out some time?”

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OkCupid Diaries: Really, Men Of the World?


Open letter to the men of OkCupid:

Dear Sirs,

Please note that the reason I keep my OkCupid account around is because I find it  incredibly entertaining. You have shown to me that your inability to read is only exceeded by your desire to stick your thing into my thing. On my profile, I specifically state that I like people who are articulate, that I don’t want you to say something you’d say to me at a bar, and I ONLY WANT FRIENDS.

So, please, do yourselves a favor and stop messaging me things like, “heyyy.” I don’t know why it always has to be three Y’s. Why can’t it be four? Why can’t it be one, with a sentence following it, something that isn’t “how are u?”? Why can’t it be like, “heyyy, I would really love to grab some coffee and discuss the mythology of Lord of the Rings with you while simultaneously bashing Peter Jackson’s disastrous adaptation of The Hobbit” ? Why can’t you message me something like, “HURRY DEAR GOD THE T-REX IS DESTROYING MY BEGONIAS AND I NEED YOUR HELP!” instead of, “heyy, I found ur profile really interesting if u want 2 get to kno me message me bak ur really sexy” ?

I challenge you, men of OkCupid, to read through the profiles of the women you want to put your thing into. I challenge you to start a conversation with something that isn’t perverted, asinine, or mind-blowingly boring. In return, I will stop ignoring your messages and being snarky when I get something like this:

 

1939560_10202367309598823_2130109351_nBut really, what do you expect?

 

Yours Never,

Whit

PS–Never change, OkCupid.

 

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Hold On a Second, My Allergies are Acting Up


Guys, I’m about to lay a sloppy truth kiss all over your faces. There will be tongue involved, and it will be wet:

Are you ready?

 

Are you sure you’re ready?

 

Okay, but this is your last chance to get out before things get real.

 

 

 

Life can be hard.

 

Pick your jaw up off the floor.

Now wipe my lip gloss off your face while I explain something about anxiety to you.

 

Anxiety is a bit like allergies. New fears come and go with tree pollen (sometimes you’re afraid of tree pollen) or the barometric pressure level, or because our bodies hate us and are programmed to get allergies literally whenever they feel like. What I’m saying is, you go to bed one day not being afraid of something, and wake up the next day scared out of your wits by toothpaste.

MINTY SLUGS OF DEATH

I’m not actually afraid of toothpaste. Thankfully.

Though I did wake up a few weeks ago with a new fear waiting in the wings, much like Mckayla Maroney at the Olympics. (I just made a fitting cultural reference, right guys? Because the Olympics start today? That works, right?)

No, Whitney. Just… .No. (This meme hasn’t been relevant in two years. Good job.)

I found myself in a situation I normally love: attending a concert in the front three rows. And as I was rocking out to the musical stylings of a friend-of-a-friend, I suddenly knew I had to leave right at that moment or I was going to freak out. And I couldn’t leave, because this guy was in the middle of his set, and he was rocking itAlso, I was sitting in the second row behind some people, and I didn’t have easy access to the aisle. So I sat there and tried to meditate.

You’re safe, I told myself. His music is awesome. Why are you being an insane person right now?

And then my Anxiety Voice kicked in:
Because what if there’s a fire? What if the person behind you is secretly a 200 year-old vampire assassin sent to kill you because you’re annoying? What if this music venue is about to be attacked by cannibals? WHAT IF YOU REALLY HAVE TO PEE?

And the second it was intermission, I stood up, climbed over the seat in front of me, ran down the hall, ran outside, sat down, and started sobbing. It was all quite melodramatic and, in retrospect, I wish it had been filmed. With some Death Cab for Cutie playing in the background. Replayed in slow-motion with soft blue lighting, and Ryan Gosling chasing after me to ask what’s wrong and give me a Great Dane puppy named Francis. (In reality, it was my friend Emily, and I’m very grateful that she did check on me.)

The lesson I learned from this whole experience, besides the fact that life is hard, is that I can still manage to laugh at myself even–and especially–when I’m at my most vulnerable.

Because that’s when I’m the most hilarious, and if I lose my ability to do that, they’ve won.*

 

 

*I don’t know who this “they” is that would win. But I don’t like them.

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Hot Tamales


 The other night I made chili. Delicious decision, you say, with a bubble pipe hanging out of the corner of your mouth.

Because nothing says “cold weather” like being gassy and leaking from all your face holes.

And indeed it was. The recipe called for roasted peppers, and I roasted those suckers over the open flame of my gas stove like I was born to do it; and maybe I was. The problem was – is, I should say – that I have the tendency to be a complete idiot. Thus, when the chilis were roasted and cooled, I scraped off the skin with my fingers because it was fun and I’m three years old.

Poblanos are not particularly spicy; however, they do pack a punch because of capsaicin. Everything was fine and dandy until I tried to go to bed that night, and my fingers began to burn.

It was basically like picking the nose of the Wicked Witch of the West, and her boogers are FIRE and proved a worthy adversary for our hero.

Holy shit. The flesh is melting off my fingers. I’m going to have blisters everywhere. The tips of my fingers will have to be amputated and I’ll be left with a stubby paw of a hand that can no longer grip things like delicate boogers from my nostrils.

I went and examined my fingers in the light of the bathroom. Nothing. The flesh wasn’t peeling off my skin like the skin off the peppers; in fact, there were no outward signs that my fingers were burning with the Flame of Udûn (hello, fellow LOTR nerds!).

YOU SHALL NOT — Oh, whatever. Go on by.

I washed my hands in warm water. OH MY GOD I AM DYING. I washed my hands in cold water and felt sweet, sweet relief, that lasted for probably ten seconds. I tried to man up and go to sleep with the tips of my fingers spouting flames like Selma Blair in the Hellboy movies.

I didn’t last long. So instead I googled solutions. Most places suggested washing with Olive Oil, but I am extremely lazy and did not feel like walking the thirty steps to the kitchen. I googled some more, until I found that, apparently, putting white toothpaste on the affected area will soak up the capsaicin. Yes, my toothpaste is WHITE! I fist-pumped in self-adulation and gleefully made toothpaste casts of each of my fingers.

I fell asleep with my hands in prayer, and dreamt about having stubby paws for hands.

Could you please stop asking me to “shake” on it? That’s very insensitive.

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Let’s Kick Off the Year with Some Insecurity


1. I have approximately 18 million zits on my face. That entirely depends on how many pores my face has, as I’m pretty sure each pore right now constitutes a zit. My face is, without a doubt, I giant talking, walking, whining, crying, puking, zit.

 

You’re welcome for that image.

2. Also, I’m not popular. No one likes my blog. I know that seems ridiculous, but after obsessively stalking the blogs of my peers and contemporaries and mentors, I’ve realized that I’m just not up to snuff. My writing isn’t funny enough. My punch lines don’t knock you out. My boobs aren’t big enough. I’ll never reach 50 likes on a post just because, let alone 70, or 80, or 100. WHY DO I CARE ABOUT NUMBERS, I CAN’T EVEN COUNT! Whatever. I can’t keep up with how funny everyone else is. I WILL NEVER BE SO FUNNY. JUST KILL ME NOW AND SCATTER MY ASHES IN FRANK.

In all honesty, it’s probably my Youngest Child Syndrome coming through. I NEED MOAR ATTENTION. This is where my internet siblings come and give me a noogie and put me in my place.

3. I’m about 95% sure my right butt cheek is bigger than my left. I know for a FACT that my left chesticle is bigger–I’ve decided that’s because it protects my heart. What the hell does my right butt cheek protect? Maybe a secret pocket of poo that hasn’t come out yet? A large, atomic bomb-sized fart? Is it insulating my sacroiliac joint to make it more difficult to throw out my back? Is it because that’s the cheek that get’s goosed more often, so it has built up a resistance? DO I HAVE A BUTT TUMOR? Oh, god. I’m going to die from a butt tumor in my right cheek. What is happening to me. Someone pet my hair while I vomit into Frank.

4. I make up dumb excuses for everything. I’ve been sitting on my phone (on the left cheek) with the number of someone who interned at The Colbert Report, whose family has connections at the show, and I’m too much of a chicken to call him. Why? Because WHAT IF IT TURNS OUT WELL?! WHAT IF I GET IT?! WHAT IF I DON’T?! WHAT IF I CAN’T SAY ANYTHING INTERESTING?! WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS WHILE I AM ON THE PHONE?! Oh my god, I’m having a panic attack. Someone pet my hair while I vomit into Frank.

5. I am a Fall Back Girl. I’m reading a book about dating unavailable people and how doing so means I’m unavailable, and what I’ve realized is I’m an awful person to date, and I’m going to die alone surrounded by sixty dogs and sixty empty Franks littering the garden, waiting for me to hug them while I vomit into each one at a different time of day. I do this to feed the sixty dogs. I must also be eating a LOT of chocolate chips and mangoes to make this happen. Wait, I can’t even do that. It would kill the dogs. Oh, man. Not only am I a terrible person to date, I’m a terrible future-sixty-dog-owner. I CAN’T DO ANYTHING RIGHT.

6. I have a perpetual wedgie. I blame my butt tumor. Or the fact that I seemingly only wear underwear that is meant to lodge itself firmly against all of my privates and leave the cheeks exposed. I should probably buy new underwear. I would like to own more superhero ones, those fully cover my deranged butt (because, you know, if my butt is exposed whilst fighting crime, everyone will immediately know who I am). But the perpetual wedgie gives Frank easier access to the body part he loves most… And who am I to deny my true love the gratification he so desperately seeks? Frank is an ass-man. It was love at first dump.

 

These are just today’s insecurities. The more I write about them, the more I realize they are ridiculous, but also true. It’s like I’m staring into the face of the person I love only to realize I’m really only staring into the eyes of a Furby. And I’m terrified of furbies, but also strangely attracted to them. I know they are ridiculous, yet I am also aware that they are occasionally causing my heart rate to rise and my blood pressure to spike. But when I write about them, when I dissect them for my faithful readers, it helps me realize just how obnoxious my brain is, and that, in fact, I’m not as terrible a person as I think I am.

Frank is a lucky, lucky man. I’ve got the runs gotta run.

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