anxiety: a public memoir

*TRIGGER WARNING*

the fact that LA reminds me of Tampa, Tampa, Trampa, grandpa, bay watch, Robert deniro, highschool musical, the fact that my sister really enjoys theater, the fact that my dad says that sex work in Trampa has been quasi decriminalized through the establishment of strip clubs, the fact that apparently street prostitution used to be a much bigger issue for the normy uptight judgmental hypocritical insecure people of Tampa, status, the fact that my dad also said that Van Jones was a conservative figurehead so how trustworthy of a source can he be? the fact that Van Jones gave the commencement speech at my graduation, prison abolition, judgment, love, “bipartisanship”, compromise, radical, power, the fact that protests are often just media shams, direct action, the fact that direct action can be exhausting and isn't glamorous, the fact that everyone wants to be an activist but no one wants to do activism, the fact that at least I'm honest with myself about my contributions and impact, or lack thereof, performative activism, you can talk the talk but can you walk the walk? Instagram, “impressions”, analytics, the fact that I microdosed on acid at the Not My President protest following Trump's election, the fact that I made a sign that said “Fuck Trump, Fuck Florida,” the fact that people seemed to really appreciate my sign, the fact that I'm from Florida, the fact that I voted in Florida with an absentee ballot, the fact that I felt pressured to go to that protest by Anya, the fact that it cost me at least $40 just to get there, the fact that tech companies provide food and beverages for their employees, the fact that that seems like a middle school boys dream of pampering and laziness, microwave frozen dinners, the fact that so many people my age don't know how to cook, the fact that who has time to cook, the fact that cooking can be so isolating, the fact that I want to cook with and for people, 9 to 5, commute, the fact that barely anyone has time or energy to share a meal during the work week, the fact that life can be so isolating but people can be so overwhelming, the fact that the norm core vibe of Los Angeles makes me feel more at home in my queer unsettledness, “I love van,”

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the fact that i think i've been feeling less physically anxious and panicky since trying Ketamine, special K, the Special K Breakfast Club, the fact that last night i was feeling anxious about not feeling as anxious because i was worried i wouldn't have anything to write about anymore, anxiety about my anxiety, the fact that sometimes i'm so tired in the mornings that i consider just pissing myself then and there because i'm too tired to get out of bed, the fact that i never actually do, laziness or sleep disorder? depression?,

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the fact that I had no idea how gentrified this area is, Mosswood, Oakland, the fact that people seem to try to obscure their whiteness with piercings and weird haircuts (to be clear, they look great, the femme mullet is my favorite), but the fact that often white women are wearing hoops, the fact that Juliet told me about a white girl at Pomona who was cancelled for wearing hoops earrings, the fact that she tried to defend herself by saying her favorite professor is Black or something like that, the fact that maybe Ryan told me that, no, Ryan wouldn't be caught up in that, identity politics, cultural appropriation, spirit guide, spirit animal, white hippies, ”'I am a citizen of the universe': Gloria Anzaldua's Spiritual Activism as a Catalyst for Social Change,”

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the fact that I use Amazon all the time, the fact that I look homeless people in the eye and talk to them like they're people, the fact that somehow people think that's a radical act, dehumanization, borders, cages, prisons, blame, fault, individual, status, motivation, humanistic psychology, transformative Justice, love with accountability, nonjudgment, reflection, Auschwitz, Buddhism, psychedelics, rich white hippies, meditation, Lightning in a Bottle,

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the fact that I tried ketamine tonight, the fact that I want to escape from my own head sometimes, the fact that taking care of myself can be so hard, the fact that I'm building my own home, rent, food, nutrition, exercise, sleep, love, exploration, creativity, did I drink enough water today? probably not, meditation , community, privilege, comfort, fashion, gender, sexuality, who am I? books, growth, education, role strain, treat others nice, treat yourself nice, self-love, anger, frustration, boredom, laundry, DMV, insurance, dentist, stomach problems, health insurance, the fact that no one will insure my van, the fact that I seek escape from all this, it's so hard to settle into instability, what if I'm homeless one day, what If I can't hold a job, can I hold a job? barely, the fact that the US still doesn't have universal healthcare, the fact that if psychedelics are legalized they'll likely replicate the present inequalities in our healthcare system,

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the fact that I don't think I have bipolar, but i do have mood swings, the fact that I have anxiety-euphoria disorder, the fact that my waking life – apart from spells of depression – is comprised of feeling anxious or feeling relief from that anxiety which is usually quite euphoric, the fact that relief often doesn't come from the source of my anxiety subsiding, but from me momentarily allowing myself to relax, or cultivating a more mindful headspace, or creating conditions in which I cannot address that which makes me anxious, psychedelics, incapacitation as relaxation, drug use,

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the fact that dystopian movies seem a little far fetched like The Matrix or especially Mad Max, the fact that they're not really that far fetched, The Day After Tomorrow, “What if We Stopped Pretending the Climate Apocalypse Can Be Stopped?”, the fact that the statement “the world is ending” is both an exaggeration and fact, the world as we know it is ending, what is the world as we know it? who wants to live in THIS world? the fact we're witnessing global collapse, and many more people are experiencing it, the fact that people ignore it, business as usual, investment, returns, bank account, spending, savings, savings for what? retirement, the end of the world, the fact that Mad Max must make people think “oh, well at least it's not THAT bad,” the fact that dystopian fiction and artistic styles distract us from the dystopia of our world, r/ABoringDystopia, eco-feelings, eco-anxiety, the fact that Lizzie told me that “therapists aren't trained to treat the apocalypse,” the fact that many lifestyles, career paths, life paths are built upon socially accepted behaviors of destruction and consumption, Right to Repair, bikes, the fact that repairing things takes time, who has time? time, work-life balance, labor rights, unions, “Living, Not Just Surviving,” the fact that i feel anxiety not working 40 hours a week, the fact that when I work more I have less time to be more intentional about myself and my life and less energy, mostly less energy, non-binary energy person, the fact that energy can mean physical energy or more of a spiritual one or the energy of a room, the fact that I feel anxious when I DO work full-time because people are defined by their jobs, the fact that i've been diagnosed with narcolepsy but I think i have hypersomnia, the fact that it's hard to tell what's laziness vs. hypersomnia vs. poor sleep hygiene vs. depression, fatigue, excessive daytime sleepiness, (quote from depression a public feeling about fatigue) too many good things to choose from, paradox of choice, “The Humanistic and Economic Burden of Narcolepsy,”

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the fact that I still hold anxiety from things that happened years ago like when jessica grogan came to visit and I was so anxious speaking to her I kept asking her about my thesis but j should have asked more about her work, ego, inflated ego, or the time that all the woke white people met at vassar in an untitled group to talk about racial justice and groups of people took turns facilitating and I accidentally suggested we give ourselves a name even though the unofficial leaders explicitly didn't want to do that, performative activism, The Woke White People of Vassar College, the VC Elite,

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“I was once happy, content, sloshing around in my own private, primordial pool. Then one day, for reasons beyond my control, I was repeatedly crushed over and over by the cruel cervix of my mother, Leslie. I put up a good fight, but I lost, for the first time, but not the last”, Euphoria, anti-natalism, “The Case for Not Being Born,” the fact that no one asks to be born, consent, the 4 C's, the fact that people should ask consent in childcare like giving a hug or anything really but few people do, the fact that there's a word for that I think, fiddleheads, neurodivergent, the fact that I've meditated more minutes than I thought I have, the fact that I wish I meditated every day, the fact that j just went on a beautiful bike ride and was reminded of simple joy and calm, the fact that I love the ocean and the breeze, the fact that it's so calming, the fact that I did art therapy with incarcerated kids, the fact that those kids might still be incarcerated, “And then, without warning, a middle-class childhood in an American suburb”, suburbs, the glorification of substance use and mental health struggles, the fact that there's no phrase or term for either of those that I like, substance use disorder, addiction, mental illness, psychological disorder, critical disability studies, struggling-to-cope-with-the-endless-paradoxes-and-emptiness-and-cruelty-of-the-world-we-have-created-for-ourselves, a struggling to engage in self care but be a 'good person,' The Good Place, that quote from the good place, self serving excuses, ego, showing up, Showing Up for Racial Justice, comfort, escapism, Father John Misty, “Total Entertainment Forever”, Netflix, Bojack Horseman, “it's not like I was physically abused or had a shortage of clean water or was molested by a family member, so, explain this shit to me”, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, “Where Do The Children Play?”, ♫ I know we've come a long way, we're changing day to day, but tell me, where do the children play? ♫, is it different now? the human condition, ♫ you're hard on yourself, well you can't always be right, all those little things that keep you up at night, you should take some time to figure out your life, but you're stuck indoors and thinking poorly ♫,

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the fact that eileen said im great at making connections but in a way that i needed to tone it down, the fact that when i was planning for my thesis she said “you're not writing a graduate dissertation or a book,” the fact that isn't that the point? to connect ideas and see the bigger picture? liberal arts, or do they just want something digestible? manageable? will we ever get anywhere unless we see the bigger picture? how it all fits together? the fact that i think about this often living in 'progressive' areas, the fact that as we engage in critical conversations, people watch FOX News, polarization, specialization, is specialization polarizing? Hillbilly Elegy, (that map about polarization in US elections, we learned about it in sociology class),

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