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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Sleep Is
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Chicago Review Press

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

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From Alice's physician

Dear Fansleepy readers:

I was asked to update you re: the status of Alice Bradley's attack of Acute Blogging Criticism Excessive Sensitivity Syndrome. I don't want to bring up what caused her ABCESS for fear of her reading this and suffering a relapse. I will say only that it was a medley of comments, emails, and happened-upon message board conversations, and that, between you and me, my patient is a teeny bit of a drama queen. Anyhoo, Alice felt that her rehabilitation protocol might be of some use to her readers, and asked me to share it with you. As if I am being paid to type. (Please note: I am not.)

The goal of ABCESS therapy is to guide the sufferer back to a positive relationship with the World Wide Web. Because a certain someone over here would throw up whenever she saw a computer, we began by taking the babiest of baby steps. Still, every step forward is a step closer to health, or whatever.

First I encouraged the patient to follow her own instincts toward recovery. Alice suggested that brownies might give her an emotional boost, which I doubted, but on the other hand I love a good brownie, so why not try? Her first batch was from a mix, and after we ate about twelve of them and she was more agitated than ever, I suggested that perhaps baking from scratch would be more therapeutic and also boost her confidence in her creative process. And let's use the good chocolate, because otherwise, why bother? After baking that batch, she claimed not to feel any better at all. I suggested that I take the brownies home, as seeing her failed creative output might cause her symptoms to increase in severity. She agreed with this. (Score!)

Next I had her stumble upon myself and her husband trash-talking her. "Between me and you, I never thought she was all that," I told Scott, as Alice hid behind the kitchen door.

"I'm not really comfortable with this," said her enabling husband.

"Her writing leaves me cold. And nauseated. And she calls herself a mother? "

"Are you a real doctor?" asked Scott. "Who sent you, again?"

"Did you see that thing she wrote about her kid? Who names their kid Henry, anyway?"

"Actually that was my idea," said her husband, who seemed to be suffering some ABCESS himself. He wasn't going to cooperate with the program, I could see that. No matter: I could hear Alice snuffling into a kitchen towel. But not throwing up. Progress!

Today we moved on to my assuming the identity of the Other: the all-seeing, all-judging Critic who finds every part of her life unimpressive and, frankly, pathetic. When she woke in the morning, I was standing at her bedside, shouting epithets. I followed her around all morning, declaring her scrambled eggs "trite" and her coffee-making skills "rudimentary at best." I scribbled comments in the margins of her grocery list: "Get a life!" and "Loser!" This day was the most fun I'd had so far. When her husband went out to buy the groceries I sat in the corner of the room as she played with her son, and I booed at her.

As I was going over my critique of her newspaper reading ("soooo boring") and her clothing choices ("you just can't accept that your jeans look like crap on you"), I noticed that she was hauling my luggage onto the sidewalk. The patient, it seems, no longer needs her doctor, having made a full recovery. I thought I could see a grateful tear rolling down her cheek as she dragged me by the feet out the door. God, I'm good.

Reader Comments (194)


Might you try positive reinforcement instead of exposure therapy? It's the kinder, gentler way.

If you won't, I will. Please tell Alice that there's an award for her over at my site. And, further, that people can be such a*shats.

Thank you.
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterslouching mom
Dear Alice,

If this doesn't boost your opinion of your own creative process nothing will.

Very funny.

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKizz
I realize this will won't make any difference but I felt it was my duty to share. I was admitted to the hospital 9 days ago because my water broke (I'm 29 weeks pregnant). I've been sentenced to at least a month of bedrest here without cable, junk food, the ones I love and worst of all internet. Today I found out I can get a signal if I sit on the window ledge. Knowing that I can now read your writing for the next month has made this situation acceptable. The internet may hate you but you just made my life so much better. Thank you.
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBecky
I'm glad to see you're back, don't let the assholes get you down.
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBri
get yr mojo back beautiful womani lerv ya
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteramy
Oh, Becky! That makes all the difference in the world.
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteralice

Who's been mean to you? Who? I will personally chastise them. I will lecture them in my best fourth-grade teacher voice. and take away recess. and make them eat boiled vegetables.

Finslippy is one of the highlights of my week. My partner and I are trying to conceive, and sometimes the only thing that keeps me from declaring myself unfit to be a mother, is the wonderful humor with which you approach parenting in general and your own in particular.

Oh dear. That sounded back-handed. What I mean to say is, U RAWK.



January 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermiep
Alice. I've commented a few times on you blog, but basically I am a nobody. I love coming here...I have a son who is six and I can relate to everything you say. I say, be who you are...people who talk about others are not worth getting upset over.
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJust Beachy
I am a nobody in the blogosphere, but I think you rawk and will personally step up to smack anyone upside the head that was evil to you.

And so will my cat who is currently licking the laptop.
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
Alice,Was that Dr. Innervoice? I swear, sometimes he shows up over here, too... I'm so glad you kicked him to the curb, as nothing good comes from that kind of "treatment".

In all seriousness, your creativity in a time of implosive frustration is more than impressive. You're the best.JulesHouse of Jules

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjules
I am a first time reader (via Lizardek) I read some of your past postings and I was laughing (out-loud, by myself) so hard that I had to get a tissue for the tears rolling down my husband asked me why I was crying, but I was laughing too hard to tell him. It was the best "nap time" I had all week. Thought you needed a dose of the truth...thanks for the laughs! I am looking forward to your next post.
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMeg Hatton
I think you're fabulous. You have my laughing my a*s off with every post, and someday, I hope to be as wonderful a mother as you!
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSmee
We love you, Finslippy. I hope that my disagreeing with you (civilly, I thought) over at Wonderland on a subject-that-shall-not-be-named (for fear of loosing the floodgates again) was not at fault for your attack. I do enjoy your writing!
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSuburbanCorrespondent
The haters can't stop the rainbows from flying out of my computer and all over the room every time I click over here.
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTammy
Alice, Don't let the poopheads get you down. I've realized lately that I don't laugh much anymore. The notable exception is when I read your blogs. My husband is always running in to say, "What? What? What's so funny?" and see his wife laughing for a change. Keep on writing. Keep on posting. I hates the haters and I loves the finslippy.
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkate
Not particularly original on my part, but:Mean people suck.

January 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternate
Glad you got some perspective back. And what is it with all the jerks? If you don't like it, DON'T READ IT. Idiots.

anyways. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline
You are teh hawesome, finslippy! Glad you are back.
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLanna Lee Maheux-Quinn
Is ABCESS contagious? I've had the same sort of thing going on at my place. I was calling mine "The Dumb."

Glad you're back. The internet is happier with you in it. Or on it. Whatever.
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie
Alice, as someone whose inner critic speaks at jet-engine decibels, I can relate.

That said: please believe me when I say you are so freakin' funny and brilliant. I get a thrill whenever I see you have a new post, knowing I will get at least one genuine LOL. I'm not a mom, yet I love hearing your tales of parenting. I've forwarded your "Open Letter to Five-Year-Olds" to at least five parents I know, and they all think you're a genius.

Ignore the haters, whoever they are. We know the truth.
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSooz
Well here's some love over here. I missed you!Hugs to you and I hope that Dr. didn't sneak out ALL the brownies. :)
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertulip
Alice, have you considered doing what Dooce does and posting the best of your hate mail so that everybody can mock them?

Trust your old Auntie Cobwebs; there are far more readers who love you than dislike you. Don't let the trolls get you down.
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCobwebs
If it helps, my nephew was named "Harry." :)
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersaucygrrl
I too am a blogosphere nobody, but I love reading you. Your honest, and your writting is intelligent, thats more than I can say of some other people that write! and I too can relate to you, I have a 6 year old, and a 9 year old, a lot what you say i laugh out loud too, I want to cry with you, and sometimes scream out loud as well, because I know, just.what.your.going.through! keep on rockin the blog! your good at it, and you love it! there will always be people out there that dont like you, thats their problem to deal with, not yours. if they have a problem with what they are reading, they are the ones that have the option to quit, dont quit writting, which is something you love, over a few losers!
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjenn
Glad the doctor cured you love. I don't know what I would do without my regular finslippy fix.
January 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRee

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