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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

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

Home - Middle Row

Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

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. → 

« Thank you. | Main | I leave for one week, and my son turns into a twelve-year-old. »

What's going on.

Readers have asked me to write about Blogher, but I can't. I didn't have the BlogHer experience I wanted to have, and I can't pretend I did, and if I tried to relay my experience I don't think anyone would believe I was at the same conference as all those other amazing people who had such a great time. Because my experience had nothing to do with the conference, it had to do with me. There's something not right in here, and I don't know what the problem is.

What I know is that I'm filled with grief all the time, that I have tried the patience of my friends and family, that I have been less of a mother and wife than I want to be, that I'm terrified that I'm driving away the people I love, that I've barely eaten since I returned. I am sure anyone who saw me at BlogHer will be baffled by this post, because I do an excellent job of hiding in plain sight. But since then something has broken open, and I can't hide. Right now I wish more than anything I could take back the decision to go to this conference, take back the last few months, start over and give you whatever you're here looking for, the anecdote or joke or relief from your day that you probably expect, instead of this sopping mess who's struggling to compose these crappy paragraphs. Even writing this seems awful and self-indulgent, but if I can't be honest here and get this out I will never write here again. I'm barely hanging on, and I'm trying to make sense of what happened to me. Of what's still happening to me.

Please be patient with me as I try to get to the other side of this. I know I will, but getting there means wading through a stunning level of pain and I don't like it one bit.

Reader Comments (324)

WHoops, I have no idea how that #5 got in there. Please ignore it. ;)
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristieNY
Sending lots of love and prayers your way. The internet loves you to pieces, you know.
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterboomama
Alice, i just come here to read your words. I'll take them how I find them.

Hang in there. It's got to get better, right?
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSinda
Please know that you are not alone! Being "real" is what makes this blogging thing worth it because it's in the darkest of times that we see just how much we are loved and needed! Praying for your strength!
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Butterfly Catcher
I'm often amazed by how often I find other mommy bloggers who have suffered through depression or are still fighting it. It's as if it's part of our genetic makeup—that when we become mothers there is this profound sadness that we can reach that just wasn't there before. You have suffered a loss that is at the core of every mother's fear. Your mind, body, and soul are dealing with that loss the best they can. It will take time, medication, rest, exercise, closeness, and distance to heal. There will be peace one day.
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
My own grief felt like I was walking through a tunnel of way back, no way out, except to walk through it and pray there was light at the end that I couldn't yet see. I literally cried (sobbing) every day for a year. But it did get better. The only thing I clung to was my friends believing for me that it would, eventually, get better. I hope it does for you too. I believe it will.
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMallory
Actually, this made me feel less alone in my own grief, so thank you for posting it. And really, I don't come here expecting anything other than how you are right now, however that is. Whatever you write, I always appreciate your honesty.

Hugs and sympathy.
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterhosie
You know, it's not like they give you any medals for muscling through agony like this alone.

There are experts out there, really cool people (although you may have to wade through some duffases to find one) who can lead you through. Try and find one, okay?

Do not go it alone.

July 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie
Take your time, Alice - we'll be here when you get back - and you WILL get to the other side and be back better than ever.

July 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngie
Another lurker, another stranger's words, but I am nevertheless compelled to tell you that even your silence is touching and real and raw.

I hope that, in the darkest of times, you are able to take some small comfort in the fact that a bunch of people who haven't met you personally nevertheless feel like they kind of know you and are keeping you in their thoughts. Because of your words and your talent at expressing thoughts and ideas and feelings that often are indescribable for others. Even through silence, you can do that.

I wish for you peace, Alice. I know it will come.
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKari
I really appreciate your honesty.

I'm not dealing with the grief and loss you are, but I am in a season of depression and I can relate to fearing the healing process, and feeling like I am not the person everyone needs me to be.

Wishing you the best.
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFern
We don't really know each other, unless you count the fact that we're both in 'Sleep is for the Weak' and I come by here from time to time. But I read your post and though I'm not currently grieving (I miscarried many years ago) and I didn't go to Blogher, I understand how you're feeling and wrote a similar post about my own questionable mental well-being just today. I don't mean to imply that misery loves company. I just want you to know that someone out here understands every word of this post. Every. Word. And though I know you'll probably never take me up on it, my proverbial door is open and I'm a really good listener. If nothing else, please know that you have a lot of people out here pulling for you.
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIzzy
I don't think you should apologize. It's your blog, it's your real emotions. Please don't add guilt to the mix of what you're already dealing with. Every woman experiences this painful situation differently ... you are entitled, and you will get through it when you can and in your way. Meanwhile, you are not letting the blogosphere down. LEAST OF your concerns. Take care of yourself and go EASY on yourself
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
My prayers are with you and I wish and pray that you will travel this path with the support you need and come out the other side.
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Everyone has said what I'd say, but I will add that your blog, which I started reading about two years ago in the midst of what I now think must have been post-partum depression (even though my baby was nearly two), was so honest that it really made me feel like I wasn't alone as a mother. It's meant a tremendous amount to me to read your blog and share the funny things--your birth story, or funny anecdotes about Henry, or your letters to the cat--and the sad things--losing Minty Bear, a post you wrote right around the time my daughter's lovey was lost at the zoo. I'm so, so sorry you're having such a rough time. I'm thinking of you and your family.
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjenalda
I'm so sorry that you are going through a hard time. I don't know what's wrong, but I don't need to, because whatever it is, you've got the support and love of the Blogosphere behind you. "We've got your back" might not mean much, but I hope you can feel the hugs and good wishes, even across a great geographical distance. Remember, though, that when we sit at our computers and blog, we're in each other's kitchens, conversing about this and that, and sometimes the "thats" need some support from others who might understand.
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMamacita
You don't have to be anything but yourself--we read you because you are articulate and a good writer, no matter your emotional state. I'm so sorry that you are going through this. Do whatever you have to for yourself now, and don't worry about us--we'll be fine!
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteredj
Feel free to cry on our collective shoulders as often as need be. So many of us have been there, done that, and can empathize with your sorrow.
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpogonip
I am so sorry to hear you are suffering so terribly right now. Wow - you sure were good at hiding it. At BlogHer I thought you were in perfect form. I had no idea you were in pain. I am so sorry!

I have been in that horrible place of agony on a few occasions. I wish I could say something profound or helpful. But I can't. It will end. Eventually. {{{HUG}}}
Oh, honey. Hang in there. I am so sorry that you have to go through this sadness and pain. I hope knowing you have many, many friends you have never met who are wishing you well and sending good thoughts your way make things even a little better for you.
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersusan
It's not self indulgent. It's honest and brave. I have had issues with Depression for what seems like forever. I hope you can find your way out in whatever way works for you. For me it had to be medically treated. I would not be here otherwise.

I'm praying for you.<3 Patti
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatti
OK. Although itt doesn't take patience for most people reading this, I don't think. What we have to do is very easy. Many of us have been to that place.

I hope it gets easier for you.

July 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterozma
I hope that all of these comments that people have left for you remind you that you are not alone, that it is not hopeless, and that people care about you. Do what you need to do in order to help yourself heal--even if that means telling a friendly stranger that you've done all that you can do and that's still not enough. Just don't fool yourself into thinking that it's hopeless and that no one cares. We do care, even those of us who will never meet you, and you are not alone. You are not alone.
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDr. S
Delurking here to say that I'd be more worried about you if you weren't acknowledging your grief. Not only have you loved greatly and lost greatly, you're willing to share it. You are a gutsy, wonderful woman, mama, and wife and we're all standing by you.
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commentererin
"...Right now I wish more than anything I could ... give you whatever you're here looking for..."

We're just here looking for you and your wonderful writing. Happy, sad, being human. Being quiet when you need to be. We'll wait.

A lot of us have walked this path before you. Hiding in plain sight is exhausting. Things will be okay again, but it will take time.

Take care.
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

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