I used to have a short bio in my sidebar that read “anxious about not being anxious enough about the things that make me anxious, since 1992.” It was funny, and articulated by a friend (Hi Sham!) and, sadly, true. I had me some anxiety problems for a long time, to the point where I would, in fact, get anxious if I stopped feeling anxiety. How’s that for holy shitballs crazy?

But I’ve come a long way with my anxiety problems! It’s been a long time since I’ve had an actual panic attack and I don’t even have a script for Xanax anymore (note to self: score a Xanax script) (I didn’t say I no longer have sleep problems).

They are fewer, but there are still moments where my body floods unnecessarily with adrenaline and cortisol. But the moments when it’s the worst, I mean really bad, is when I’m driving. In particular: driving to an unfamiliar place.

My stomach just cramped typing it.

There are countless stories that I could tell but I might as well default to this morning, because that is the most recent, although not the most intense. And if you know me, and especially if you know this area, then you can go ahead and shake your head in disgust (loving disgust?) as you try to imagine the clusterfuck that is me driving to a VERY SCARY new place. IN THE CITY. WITH SCARY CITY TRAFFIC.

Today I’m sitting in a workshop, observing in the back, and I had to drive to Rosslyn. SCARY ROSSLYN. So I left an hour and a half early, even though the GPS indicated it would only take 20 minutes, and I started on my way with no problems until I saw that my exit was the same exit as THE PENTAGON. THAT SOUNDS LIKE SCARY DRIVING. So as I merged onto the ramp for the exit my mouth started watering and my stomach flipped.

I continued on and the navigation told me to exit right and stay to the left and I looked ahead and had no clue where I was and HOLY SHIT IS THIS THE LEFT IT MEANT? And it was and so everything was fine and I moderately loosened my grip. A little.

I obediently took the next right (THIS EXIT? IS THAT THE RIGHT?) and circled around and it all seemed ok until I dumped out right there, a block from my destination and HOLY SHIT CITY CITY CITY LOOK AT ALL THESE FUCKING CARS!!!! And I could see what I thought was the building and I maneuvered through traffic and THAT’S THE BUILDING I THINK  and then OMFG WHERE THE FUCK DO I PARK????  Then I spied a garage sign but it was blocked off “Full” and there were cars behind me so I passed the garage but there’s no street parking and WHERE THE FUCK DO I GO and then guess what?

I was back on the freeway, almost the same distance away as when I started from home and in a different direction.

Now my heart is pounding and my eyes are stinging and I start in with my standard irrational thoughts “I’ll just go home. Fuck this! I don’t need to do this! This is too much stress! Why the fuck did I say I’d do this?” but I reset the GPS to take me back to where I just was and this time there’s a lot of rush hour traffic and now you know why I leave an hour and a half early.

The drive was more of the same except this time I had to take a left lane exit and I won’t bore you with that horror, but I ultimately made it here, of course. And I pulled into that “Full” parking garage and the attendant said “it’s full” and I said “THEN WHERE THE FUCK DO I PARK ASSHOLE BECAUSE I AM NOT DRIVING HERE A THIRD TIME” except it came out like this “Can you please tell me if there’s another garage around here?” and he pointed directly across the street to the sign that read “Public Parking”.

Just for safe measure, I’ll leave an hour and half early again tomorrow morning. You never know.


2 Responses to “Anxious”

  1. 2 sydneybristow2009 January 20, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    You make it such an adventure ! So romantic !!

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Amyella (pronounced Amy-ella) is a pseudonym for Amy Levitt, a fitness and health food fanatic and a beach girl at heart. She has been sharing her sometimes nonsensical thoughts and self-amusing stories online since 2002 and currently spends a good deal of her time wrangling her 90 pound Rottweiler and 60 pound Boxer. Which is quite a show.
The origin of the name Amyella.

Here's my deal. It's wicked exciting!


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