anxiety: a public memoir

*TRIGGER WARNING*

unboundaried, therapist, codependent, the fact that I've had many complicated relationships with therapists, the fact that I feel like I need validation from therapists even though I'm very critical of the model of individual pathology at the heart of clinical psychology, do I have anxiety? validation, the fact that I expressed doubt about my anxiety to Sarah and she said that I “definitely have anxiety”, mental health, productive anxiety, the fact that David believes that therapists are only effective when you have a concrete goal to work on, the fact that David believes anxiety medication should work like a volume knob, medication, the fact that David thinks you should be able to work with your anxiety not eliminate it, suppression, masculinity, minimal side effects, sleepiness, weight gain,

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the fact that Tika said she thinks it's really sweet that I take notes all the time, the fact that she said that I “treat life like a class,” neuroticism, Unequal Childhoods, free time, structure, play,

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the fact that grocery stores stress me out, the fact that there are so many aisles, the fact that I love cooking but hate shopping for food, the fact that they're so brightly lit, the fact that they're so loud, the fact that there are so many options, the fact that there are so many people I don't know, the fact that I often don't know what I want, nuts, fruits, seasonal fruits, vegetables, fresh produce, organic, dried fruits, added sugar or no added sugar, preservatives, dairy, lactase, lactaid, cheese, which kind of cheese, deli meets for sandwiches, the fact that sandwiches can be quick and easy to make, the fact that there are so many different kinds of deli meats, deli cheeses, spreads, mustard, mayo, hummus, dressings, canned foods, canned fruits, canned vegetables, rice, Jasmine rice, orzo, black beans, red beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, gorbonzo beans, pickles, grape leaves, the fact that there are way too many options and brands for each item, the fact that nutritional labels are stressful to read, the fact that they're certainly not formatted in a way that is calming to digest, the fact that I already start stressing out when I get there and I can't find a basket and I'm getting in people's way, the fact that I wear big bulky headphones to reduce the stimulation, the fact that I feel anxious that they're nice headphones and I don't like flaunting nice things, the fact that I wear a tie dye shirt that I say has “built in ventilation” because there are holes at both the armpits, drinks, milk, beer, the fact that budgeting stresses me out, 50/30/20, food, pleasure, entertainment, rent, car insurance, gas, repairs, travel, eating out, BART, cocktails, books, subscriptions, Netflix, escape, binging shows, carrots, hummus, bell peppers, chips, salsa, asparagus, grape tomatoes, lemons, bread, deli meats, fruit, oranges, berries, goat cheese, eggs, butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, the fact that avocado oil and coconut oil have high smoking points, arugula, kale, oat milk, white rice, black beans, chickpeas, canned tomatoes, nuts, the fact that the nuts were too expensive but I had already gone back to replace them and then those were too expensive too, the fact that the prices were mislabeled, labelling theory, paradox of choice, The American Dream, plenty, abundance, anxiety, classic American breakfast, the fact that Tash and I went to a grocery store together when we both lived in New York and she said that she didn't like grocery stores because they exemplified our disconnection from our food and the land, colonialism, displacement, ecopsychology, “Embedment in the environment: A new paradigm for wellbeing?” (Stevens 2010), “Towards an Ecosociology” (Stevens 2012), food deserts, Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma, We Are All Very Bad Materialists, the fact that I think that Michael Pollan is a very bad materialist, Towards an Ethos of Equity and Inclusion in the Psychedelic Movement,

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the fact that a good support network is better than a therapist, the fact that it's hard to make friends, the fact that it's hard to find or create community, the fact that sometimes I want more of a career or life coach than a therapist, the fact that I'm not sure how to spend my time or my life, the fact that I've had many bad experiences with therapists that make me feel even more anxious,

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the fact that I'm at a free concert, the fact that I'm drunk, the fact that I microdosed on shrooms, the fact that I didn't have my scale, the fact that I had to use a quarter teaspoon to eyeball it, eyeball, pupil, mentor, Randy, the fact that Randy just left me a voicemail, the fact that the voicemail transcription ends in “love you suck”, love you, you suck, the fact that Jay rock's lyric “you're either with me or against me” reminded me of [insert friend's name] talking about [insert other friend's name] and how they demanded an all or nothing commitment to their friendship without recognizing their own flaws and hypocrisy, the fact that people waving their hands in their air made me think about the nazi salute, The Man In The High Castle, the fact that I think too much, the fact that meditation isn't supposed to be just or even predominantly sitting meditation but is supposed to be incorporated into daily life like going to a concert, the utopia of daily life, the fact that there are kids at this concert like little little kids, the fact that that seems like child abuse or at least detrimental to their health, the fact that I don't at all blame the parents, the fact that labelling it child abuse designates a kind of individual responsibility and fault that I disagree with, the fact that I just think it can't be good for them, the fact that at least on a physiological level the sound must be bad,

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the fact that I think I have garlic poisoning, the fact that Tika and David convinced me that 7 cloves a day is too much garlic, the fact that Tika asked me if I smell like garlic all the time, the fact that I do, the fact that David calls it ass breath, Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers, the fact that my stomach is killing me, the fact that my host mom from my homestay in the Netherlands said that I was an amateur cook because I relied too much on garlic for flavor, the Gilroy Garlic Festival, gun shows, NRA, “it's not like being drunk, being drunk is a different kind of euphoria, and being stoned is a different kind of euphoria, garlic euphoria is kind of like grounded, you feel like you've got both feet planted on the ground, you're a part of the world, you're not, ya know, apart from it, AND YET, you definitely do feel real good,” “Feel Good Inc.”, “Against Happiness,” ♫ “love forever, love is free” ♫ , Mad Men: The Best Things in Life Are Free – Bert Cooper, “love can come to everyone, the best things in life are free”, scarcity vs. abundance mindset, polyamory, The Ethical Slut,

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the fact that I'm white and masc but I'm often scared of my safety, the fact that I'm perceived as queer and people have yelled homophobic slurs at me, the fact that a homeless man tried to punch me in the face, the fact that it felt difficult to explore my gender at vassar, the fact that it's easier to know your place than to explore uncertainty, taking up space, gatekeeping, genderqueer, the fact that some queer people can make me feel insecure and not queer and cis and straight and cis norm straight people make me feel so queer,

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the fact that there are palm trees and evergreens next to each other in Echo Lake, the fact that the juxtaposition of these two trees is extremely disorienting to me, the fact that we saw a man living in a van but we could only see his feet hanging out of the van, wobbling about, the fact that I don't know how used book stores stay in business, the fact that I love reading but feel overwhelmed by bookstores, the fact that there are too many books in the world, the fact that the amount of books in the world discourages me from writing, do we really need more books? the fact that used books feel like vintage clothes, thrift stores, used bookstores, individualism, California, fashion, capitalism,

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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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