Monday, July 23, 2012

If I Don't Die of Anxiety, I will Die in a Fiery Plane Crash.

This blog is too long for you to even read. I highly recommend you skip it. Love, Johanna.

However. Should you choose to embark on this epic journey....let me just say a few hundred things.

My anxiety has been through the roof lately. Which is obnoxious, because I'm on a whole shitload of meds that are supposed to counteract my anxiety. But of course, my motherfucker of a superliver processes shit out before I can even swallow it and nothing affects me, nothing. Fuck you liver and the horse you rode in on and a curse on your children and your children's children. I hate you in the face. Liver, metabolism, toleraance to drugs, I want to ream you in the goat ass.

So this is approx how many meds I take a day. Give or take. And nothing's helping. Fuck it all.

The anxiety is killing me. I lay awake at night worrying so much that I cry while my husband sleeps soundly. What kinds of things am I worried about, you ask? I am so very deeply glad you asked. Let's see. Oh, and bear in mind that not many of my worries actually make sense. Some do, and some are so off the wall I can't even. I can't.

  • There's choking, which you know I obsess about constantly. Every minute of every day. And night. That goes without saying. I will cut blueberries in 8ths before I serve them to my children. Grapes? Forget it, I dice those fuckers until they are unrecognizable mush. Hot dogs are chopped into morsels the size of sunflower seeds. I will dice cheese into wafer-thin slivers. I will still mash banana rather than let her take big bits of a full banana. I can't get over the what-ifs. Right this minute I had a moment of insanity and I am ACTUALLY letting my child take bites of a whole apple and I want to snatch it from her hands and shout "YOU ARE GOING TO DIE TO DEATH OF APPLE."
This is about how finely I chop all foods:

If not smaller.

  • I worry that my daughter has some terrible illness like leukemia, because I spotted a bruise on her spine. Well, and bruises on her legs and arm. I can't stop imagining terrible scenarios in which I find out that something is truly wrong with her. And I bawl my eyes out. All because of some bruises. On a clumsy, klutzy four-year-old. On one hand, she's four. and wild. And did I mention accident-prone. On the other hand, bruises on her spine and other random places? Mama's radar is on high a-fucking-lert. It all goes back to the "It happens to someone" mentality. Why not me, why not my child? What is wrong with her that she bruises so easily? My mind races with the possibilities. I. Am. Neurotic.

  • This one a doozy of whatthefuckery. I'm embarrassed to talk about it. I worry about taking the kids on an airplane. Do you want to know the exceptionally hilarious part? We have no vacation or flights planned. We aren't going anywhere. But I lay there at night, unable to sleep, panicking over the potential dangers of a POTENTIAL FLIGHT THAT WE MIGHT POTENTIALLY SOMEDAY TAKE POTENTIALLY. My stomach knots up, my muscles tense, I play out terrible scenarios in my head, I just know, I KNOW, that we will all die a horrible death if we fly anywhere. I think to myself, "It happens to someone. Someone dies in a plane wreck. Why not us? How do we know it won't be us?" But I must emphasize: We have no vacation or flights planned. Yet I lie awake fretting over this completely hypothetical flight that we do not have planned. I don't care about statistics. My newest therapist Dr. C keeps telling me how it is outrageously unike that we all perish in a terrible, unspeakable demise on an airplane. But it happens to motherfucking someone. Mr. Sr. Dr. Joe John Abernathy McSampson-Bronhild boards a plane, maybe his usual 45-minute quick jaunt from SEA TO PDX, but today wasn't his lucky day. He expected to make it there fine and in one piece, maybe the worst that could happen was that his luggage was diverted to Texas. But instead he died a gruesome death, plummeting for his few last minutes on earth thinking, "This is how I die. Today I die. Right now I die. And how bad is this fucker gonna hurt? This shit's gonna hurt. I'm going to smash to smithereens, all because I took a business trip to Portland, OR. I die now. I'm dead." Why him, but not me? Yes I'm away of statistics and "You're more likely to die in a car wreck than a plane crash. But (1) that doesn't reassure me any about taking motherfucking car rides; and (2) I must go back to the fact that Someone Dies On A Plane Though They Least Expect it. Someone dies. And that, to me is an almost intolerable risk. Do I want to go to Hawaii again? Would I like to visit Fiji? Scotland? The Bahamas? Yes. I do. I want a vacation. But can I ever bring my beautiful tiny children on a horrifying dangerous airplane ever again? I do not know.

  • I worry that I somehow blinded the kids. The other day, I filled up a kiddie swimming pool with water and, thinking I was being hygienically smart, I tossed in some chlorine (which naturally we have on hand, doesn't everyone?). Turns out after talking to my husband that I used approximately 40 times too much chlorine. Seriously. I threw that shit in like it was no big thang. Like, let me just give you a for-example: When it comes to cooking? I am a whiz kid. I know just how much salt & pepper, just how much cilantro, just how much honey mustard, just how much flour, just how much cayenne, just how much basil, ad especially just how much garlic to add. I toss it in, without measuring, and it comes out spot-on. It's intuitive, it's instinctual, it's innate, it's a skill. And my meals ROCK. So I looked at that wading pool and, thinking I knew what the fuck I was doing, decided to add yay-much  powdered chlorine, 

Er, make that, yay-much:

And like I said, turns out that I added a fuck-ton too much. At one point, before I knew this, my daughter got some water in her eyes and started shrieking. I had her dry her eyes on a towel and after a bit she eventually said was OK, and she has had no apparent complications since, but now that I know that the water was basically straight mothershitting bleach, I'm freaking the fuck out that I caused lasting damage. Oh, and Maya splashed the baby in her eyes, too. So I lay there crying at night thinking I blinded both my children or that they will go blind at age 11 because I used a fuck-ton too much chlorine in the wading pool. Seriously. a FUCK-TON TOO MUCH. You have no idea how much I used. I am riddled with guilt.
  • I worry about putting my daughter back in school (she's been on, er, um, "hiatus" since Christmas). I worry about all the germs she'll encounter, how every kid is sick every day at all times with something horrendous, how sick Maya will get, and how sick she'll then make the baby. The baby will then get super congested and phlegmy and chokey, and will get double ear infections, as is the pattern. And then I will have to take her to the doctor. Where she will surely catch some other dreaded infectious disease. All of which makes me panic. 

  • And I worry about something happening to Maya at school, or someone kidnapping her. I worry about her escaping out the back yard gate at the playgound, which because of fire codes has to remain unlocked. So anyone could get in, anyone could get out. There are so many things to worry about when my child is under my supervision, but when she's not? When I have to trust strangers with my most beloved creatures on earth for 5 or 6 hours a day? My anxiety skyrockets.

  • I worry that the back door is unlocked (you know this) and I check it up to ten times a night. Several times at once, too--I yank it like five times in a row to make sure it's locked, or I will it once and keep pulling for like 20 seconds to make sure it's closed. But I also lay in bed worrying that the garage door is wide open. I'm afraid someone left it opened up and that an intruder will enter and steal my children. This is absurd because about 98% of the time, no one opens the garage door all day or at night, and my husband comes home from work and would notice if it was left open, and he often goes out to the garage fridge for a Coke and would also notice if it were left open. See, it's never left open. But I lie awake at night worrying that it is. I ask my husband, "But how do you know it's not open?" because I am unfamiliar with this thing called "knowing something's already been done." For me, I never know. OCD means never knowing something has been completed to satisfaction or peace of mind. I always worry.

  • I worry that our giant treadmill, when left in its full upright and locked position:

...will come loose and fall on the fragile skulls of my children playing innocently in its vicinity. It's kind of jury-rigged with a bolt to stay locked, so maybe this fear is more "founded" than my other fears, but still. How likely is it that it will spontaneously fall down just as the baby is 'neath it? V. unlikely. Yet I toss and turn and sweat, thinking of the what-ifs. I finally had to get up one night at 3:30 am and unbolt the fucker and lay it down in its, well, its "down" position just so I could go back to sleep knowing that it wouldn't crush my kids.
  • I worry that I leave the tub filled with water after the kids' bath. I imagine my dearest husband having a momentary lapse in sanity and letting the kids go unsupervised (an unfounded fear? I'll let you decide), and then my top-heavy baby topples into the full tub that I accidentally forgot to drain, and she and meets her demise without anyone noticing. Again, I wonder, "Did I really drain the tub after I bathed them?" You people without OCD or intrusive thoughts will not understand. You will think, "If you drained the tub, you fucking drained the tub. And you know it." But I don't know it. I wonder, and I worry. Did I drain it? Did I really? WHAT IF I DIDN'T? Did I? Can I be sure? How? How can I be sure? How many times should I check, and can I go to be really knowig?? Because what if?

It's such a sickness.

  • I worry that I'm an absolute failure as a mother. I lie there thinking about how little I did with my kids today. How maybe I shoved some Play-Doh in Maya's direction and said "Have at it" while I watched Snooki & JWoww or the Bachelorette on TiVo. How maybe I set Naomi up in front of Sesame Street while I played shitty games on Facebook. How we stayed indoors even though it's beautiful out. How I can't remember the last time my kids SAW OTHER KIDS. How we don't go to parks or kids' museums. How I fed them toast, crackers, and cheese all day and nothing good for them. How I never got down on the floor and played with them, all day. Every night I think back on the day and call it a total failure. Every night I think to myself, "Did I succeed or fail today?" And every single night of my life, my answer is, "Fail." Every night it's Fail. Every night I vow to be better the next day. But I never am.

  • I worry about potentially getting my deviated septum fixed. I lie there and get sick to my stomach over the fact that they'd have to surgically take a chisel and re-break my nose (which I first broke back in 2004) and then I'd have to deal with all the swelling and black eyes and the intense pain (and as you know I am completely immune to painkillers so I would have no relief). Then there's the fact that my child head-butts me in the face on the regular and would probably smash it right back up. And that I'm not supposed to bend over or pick anything heavy up for ages. How do I keep my house clean and pick up my daughter?? I lay there agonizing over the decision to fix my nose or not. My fucked-up schnoz has caused me endless pain and distress in the past, breathing problems, swollen nasal passages, I can only sleep on one side because I can't breathe if I sleep on the other side. Not to mention, if I'm going in to have my septum straightened, I'd like then to do a little summat-summat with this gigantic crooked long ugly nose of mine, cosmetically speaking. I mean, while they're in there, they could at least straighten it and shorten my ugly hooknose. But while insurance would cover the entire cost of a medically necessary septoplasty, any rhinoplasty cosmetic work would not be covered and would be like $10,000 more. What do I do? What do I do? I agonize over the thought of going through another broken nose, the horrible pain, the healing time, the absolute gross-out factor (I want to barf when I think of nose jobs), possible complications like a messed up ugly botched surgery leaving my nose uglier than before:

 ...and oh yeah, the prohibitive cost. But I also agonize over having an ugly, long, crooked, troublesome, fucked-up nose for the rest of my life. And I only have a couple of months to decide because our super outstanding insurance runs out this year.

Yours truly, in great pain, after the first surgery to re-set my broken bones, which did not end up healing well at all.

  • I worry about the state of my marriage. Enough said.
  • I worry about the End of Times. I worry about 12/21/2012. I worry about super-flu and plagues and famine and the pale horse and stock market crashes and EMPs and asteroids and aliens and the antichrist because I am a super religious Jesus Freak.
  • I lie there and thing of the gruesome ways I could die. Chances seem one in a trillion that I will die peacefully old of age in my sleep without even knowing it. Go to sleep, wake up in heaven, win-win-win. But in all likelihood something far more gruesome will happen. Odds are good I won't die peacefully in my sleep at age 101. I will choke to death while I am home alone with me helpless children; I will run out for a quick Starbucks and cocoa for the tots and we will be smashed to smithereens on the two-minute drive home by a drunk semi-truck driver. I will die of a suden brain aneurysm. I will get a rear, incurable, and painful cancer. I will get Alzheimers at age 45 and die a slow miserable death. I take a shitload of my prescription medication and I get worried every night that somehow I will overdose or that it will be too much for my body to handle. Every day I wake up thinking, "Well I survived another night and did not fall into a coma from my Prozac, Lamictal, Buspar, Klonopin, and so on and so forth. But how long until I fall too deeply asleep and don't wake up?"

Sick in the head? Why yes, yes I am. I am exhausted. I am a constantly high-strung ball of intense nerves and I just feel ready to explode all the time. I've said it a thousand time, I cannot live like this. I cannot live like this. But what else can I do? I take enough medication to kill a horse. I see two or three different therapists. I just feel like there's no hope for me. Every day it's get worse. Every I have something else to worry about on top of all the other things that already consume me. It all started off with anxiety and OCD. Now it's full-blown depression to where I can barely function or want to live. If only something would work for me. If only medication could help ease my symptoms. If only I didn't have so many problems that I bring upon myself (so much is my own bullshit fault). If only I weren't such a waste of a person who does nothing with her life and never will. If only, only, only I were a better mother. But it's not so simple as wanting it or deciding to do it or just bucking up and getting my butt in gear. It's a fucking sickness and I'm consumed by it. I feel lost. I feel worthless. I feel a failure.


This post has been pure depressing. Here, have a motherfucking baby squirrel. Goddammit all.


  1. so much sadness. so much anxiety.
    i'm sorry, jo. =( i wish there were magical words to make it better. if there were, i'd say them to you or for you.

    1. Thank you baby. I know you'd help me if you could. Just know that you are a sweet gem in my life and I lurve you.

  2. I am so sorry that you have to go through this everyday. I mean really do you think you might need to go see another therapist it seems to me that the massive cocktail of pills you take are not helping. I have had bouts of anxiety but never depression when my mom passed away. I wish their was something I could do for you. I know this sounds la di da {California here}but have your tried to go the holistic route to see if that helps? When I first started experiencing anxiety I went to a holistic therapist and with the help of certain color/number games I have gotten through my anxiety. I also take liquid vitamins, completely changed my diet and try and exercise everyday which has helped immensely. I do not take medication everyday the only time I take medication is when I feel a big panic attack coming on and I take 1/2 of a Xanax and I am good to go. at this point I think it is more psychological. I know it sound hokey but hey their is no harm trying something new.

    1. You're right, there's got to be something I'm missing or something else I need to try or something, SOMETHING. Love you girl.

  3. Oh, Jojo. This makes me so sad. I worry about almost all of these things (plus my own extra special worries like freeways and driving off of a bridge) and yet I'm sure my anxiety doesn't even come close to rivaling yours. I can only imagine how exhausting that must be for you.
    I'm wishing you some relief from your anxieties, my friend.
    You know where to find me if you ever want to talk <3

    1. My anxiety consumes every minute of every day. So yes, exhausting. But all mothers have their own panics, phobias, worries, fears. I'm sure you struggle too. Like anyone else.

      Love you lots, Kirbz the Lizard Queen.

  4. I don't have much to offer in relief, so I'll simply do this:
    *lathers virtual self with virtual hand sani & gives you a virtual hug*

    1. *puts self in a Snooki-Suit (full on epidemic-outbreak gear) and virtually hugs you back. Just kidding, I would totally hug you anyway, and I'd eat food you made me, because I trust and love you. :) <3

  5. I'm so sorry you're going through this. If I could trade livers with you I would in a heartbeat. :)

    I don't have much to say that I haven't said already. You are amazing and I wish you could see how wonderful you really are. I know depression makes that impossible, though.

    To add my own thoughts on one of your fears - I'm never worried when I'm on a plane with my whole family (meaning husband and kid and myself). If it goes down than at least we're all together...

    1. I've thought about that too. If we're all going down, we're going down together.

      Love you so much Ches.

  6. Anxiety + depression sucks so hard. SO HARD. Add the OCD and you're fighting against a hell of a brain chemistry. It is a sickness, and you don't need to feel guilty about it any more than you would feel guilty about having epilepsy or something. It's just something that's happened to your body that you have to heal and manage.

    But I think you can come out the other side of this, at least to the point where you're in a much better place. And I think/hope you're already starting the journey, just by being able to talk about how rough your brain has been making your life lately. I think that anxiety disorders don't go away, but I know that they can be beaten into submission and dealt with. You can do it! And we're all here to help you do it. I will send you all the baby pictures you need. :)

    You're not a waste. You're super fun and you've brought a lot of joy to my life and I honest to goodness care about you! Have you thought a bit about going back to work, or doing some volunteer work? That might do a bit to distract your brain and give you something to focus on so you can heal. It's probably hard to think about leaping into something like that right now, but in the near future you might be able to head in that direction.

    Randomly, have you ever watched QI? I find it to be wonderfully distracting and good for a laugh when my brain is not being very nice to me. And it's educational as well! Here are some clips.


    1. You are a GREAT. GIRL. Love you babe.

      I've been trying to express myself lately, here in my Poop blog and also on the the Journal That Shall Not Be Named. But there's so very much more to the story, so much more I don't talk about. Maybe somehow I will sometime.

      Going back to work makes my stomach twist in knots. While I am the boredest housewife that ever bored, I still can't imagine going back to WORK. Maybe you're right, though, some volunteer work might do me good.

      And nope, never watched QI. :)

  7. Aw Chick, I am so sorry that you are in a deep pile of depressing doo-doo (did that visual put you over the edge?) I was reading it and wondered if you had ever thought about doing an intensive therapy program somewhere. like OCD rehab. I would think it would be easier to confront the issue when it is not staring you in the face every three seconds. Being removed from it and having time just to work on that one thing instead of having to take care of kids, the house, etc. I am sure there are many obstacles to do something like that but it seems like maybe it could be worth it if it would truly help. Maybe at least something to check into.

    If it makes you feel any better I totally parked my child in front of the TV this morning so I could hump pinterest for about 2 hours. They will survive that. One day you will realize that you are the best mom you can be right now at this moment and that your kids are fine and happy and loved and healthy. And that counts for a whole lot.


    1. My docs have recommended both intensive inpatient therapy, and intensice outpatient therapy. Basically, my choice. But the thought of finding time to do either one just makes me want to curl up into a ball. Plus, it's so much hard work. I wish things were just easy.

      BRB, gonna go hump Pinterest.

      Also, love you to bits.

    2. OMG isn't pinterest the most humpable thing on the interwebs right this second besides funny pics of cats? srlsy. and whats more...they have pics of cats on pinterest. my head just blew off.

      I wish things were easy too. unfortunately they are not and in the reals we gotta worry about dolla bills and time and making everyone else happy. booooooooo.

  8. I feel so sad for you. What you described was my daily life in high school and it was, hands down, the darkest four years of my life. I can only imagine how much worse a terrible case of OCD must be with adult responsibilities added in the mix. Shit tons of prozac and talk therapy with a touch of cognitive therapy worked for me. I pray you'll find something that works for you. Don't give up. The world is better with you in it.

    1. Thank you girl. It's so hard being a mom with OCD, who feels not only the panic of going anywhere or doing anything or touching anything, but the added guilt that I am just RUINING my children because of my disorder. Thank you so much for your comment though. Lots of love. <3

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