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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)

I'm new here...found you on 5minutesformom. I wanted to give you a virtual hug. I've been wading in and out of crap/depression for a few years now and I can relate. Things will get better but those words don't mean much when you're in the middle of the muck, I know.
Alice - I've been married to a man with depression for 8 years now and I can tell you without equivocation that you need help, you need medicine and you need to do it now. Life CAN be better than this and right now you need outside assistance to get there. I know you are incapable of explaining the pain and that just getting through the day is exhausting. The thought of facing one more seems ridiculous. Everything is dark. And your husband is desperate to help and can't and that is bothering him more than anything. HELP YOURSELF. Stop writing, stop working, stop mothering, whatever you need to do and go get the help you need. Taking care of YOU IS YOUR first priority. Please, please, please do it.
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
I see there are already 270+ comments, and I can't imagine what unique comment I could make here. So I'll just make a suggestion: if you don't feel up to the effort to generate a new post, how about just re-posting the "ones you like the best" , or even just a link to one of the oldie-but-goodies. We'll still be here, whenever you want to vent.Redhead
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarilyn Howton

There's nothing anyone can say right now, no words that will make it better, and that's hard for people so we still try... We do it because through your writing here we've come to feel that we know you just a little (or a lot) and the words you've given us have helped us all at one point or another... It's kind of reciprocity, you know? We hope to help you the way you've helped us.

The majority of your readers, from viewing your comments, don't come here for the giggles (although that's a great bonus) but because there's something in our lives that hurts or is off... Something that you help heal with the things you say, no matter *what* you say.

You help so many people that you'll never meet or see, so many people that you can't know exist. I realize that can't make things better for you right now, and that there's a lot of darkness in your world right now, but I hope it helps to hear that you aren't disappointing anyone.

Please feel better. Do whatever it takes for that to happen, okay? Sending love your way.

July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
"In the depths of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

what wonderfull readers you have!!

i am here for you today, and tomorrow, as you've been there for me so, so, so, SO many times, and in so many different ways. i don't simply read you bc you are funny and a talented writer, i read you bc you speak from your heart to mine.

pls remember that there are oasis, even in the driest deserts. i know so, and you will too.

July 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterla_chypriotte
I'm going through a miscarriage right now, after just 5 weeks. There are a lot of things that surprise me about it that I never would have considered. 1) never knew it would take so LONG, like it's not bad enough I lost a baby, I have to be tortured by doctors for 2 or 3 weeks? 2) I'm torn between being so thankful it happened so early - I can't even imagine having a miscarriage in the second trimester, the heartbreak would be overwhelming. But also angry with people (including my mother) who assume that since it was so early that I should be thankful or something. And comments like "at least now you know you can get pregnant" SERIOUSLY? 3) How many other people out there have gone through it -- you just don't hear about it until you're paying attention, people don't really talk about it.

So I just wanted to say to take the time you need. Grief is so different from one person to another. You have to take the time to heal your soul and come back. Thank you for sharing.
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLynn
I am so so sorry. Thank you for sharing this. Your readers only want the best for you and appreciate your honest writing, so don't let this blog cause you added anxiety. We understand if you don't post and we are not expecting anything from you other than whatever it is you feel like writing. Hang in there. I know you will get through this pain.
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrachel
I come here looking only for YOU, for a real woman who is so lovely and articulate and special, and it doesn't matter if she's going through a hard time or if she's cracking jokes or talking about shoes or G.I. Joe or whatever.

Just you.

July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAssertagirl
coming out of lurking out of concern. I've been where you are right now, albeit for different reasons. It sucks. A professional in the counseling or medical field can go great lengths to lessen your pain. Peace.
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdonnae63
Oh sweetie....I am so very sorry and know that there are a whole bunch of us out here sending you many cyber hugs. Take care.
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTara-Lynn
In my opinion, this blog is nothing for you if not an you bring your readers what they come here for even if it's not a joke...honesty is where it's at. I'll steer clear of all the cliche's that might obviously follow and say I hope you find what you're looking for.
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMamaCass
What you are describing sounds very much like the fog inside my head before I discovered that I was struggling with an actual big deal problem, an anxiety disorder. For the sake of being the mama I wanted to be, I went on some low level meds for anxiety- changed my life. Sometimes our bodies are just out of whack. I think it often happens to us artistic types. :) Different sensitivities...
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRae
May I suggest that the abbreviated life of the child you never got to hold had a very important purpose -- which is playing out as we 'speak', in front of the eyes of all of us here. Your Lost Child has linked together many of us who've walked thru that cold dark valley, wondering if we'd ever not be lost -- if we'd ever see the sun -- if we'd ever feel the light again. Or if we'd ever care again -- about anything.

Your Lost Child nudges our memory of our own descent into hell and the long, slow climb back out. Which, for many of us, is the single most courageous act of our lifetime. Nudges us to remember that we did eventually fix our broken selves. Learned that we really can make ourselves whole again -- even when it takes a long time.

For this, I am sincerely grateful to him/her. That little life that flickered out too soon reverberated out into the universe and into the heart of every person who's responded here and, no doubt, hundreds more who haven't. Thank you for hosting his/her presence, brief as it was. Your Lost Child's life truly mattered. Maybe moreso than a 'normal' lifetime?

So we will sit with you quiet and knowing -- our old memories joined to your current grief. You are not alone. It doesn't matter how long it takes -- we won't let go of you.

July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie
Alice - delurking to offer you anonymous support in the hopes that it helps bring some brightness to your day. All the many people who come here to read your thoughts, hilarious or heartbreaking, are with you every step of the way. Please know you are surrounded by Internet love, and you should feel free to write whatever you need to write. Good thoughts coming to you!!
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
I like you just the way you are. And I like people who like me just the way I am. Depression, melting-down, grief and confusion are part of who I am at times. I'll keep coming here no matter what you share or don't share, and no matter how deep the muck may feel for you. The day when things will feel a little brighter is coming; it always does. Sometimes it's just effing sloooow. Lots of support from Minneapolis!
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMegan
Oh Alice, I wish there were some magical cure for what ails you. Are you seeing anyone? A counselor? Therapist? You don't need to suffer through this stoically, they won't hand you a medal at the end (unfortunately, although they should!) My heart just breaks for you.
July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPMint
It is the journey through our ugly times, our downward turns, and the sharing of that rawness that deepens our connection to one another. As with all relationships, the strength comes from the struggles.

Wishing you a warm cup of tea and a soft blanket to wrap around yourself during this time. Keep breathing.
July 27, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercalifmom
Bossy wishes she would have known - would have made for an excellent airport conversation as Bossy is in similar dumps -- but then again more popcorn would have had to been purchased and planes would have been missed.

Would have been just fine by Bossy.
July 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBOSSY
big sweaty juicy full-of-nurturing Mom hug to you sweet Alice.

Then I will duck and run cause I know you only want to hit something, or someone, really hard and make your pain go away. I know.

Instead of running, I may just stand there and take it, if it makes you feel better.

You ROCK Sunshine!
July 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRobin
so, i've read your words for quite a while, and always kept silent, because, well what can i, a complete stranger, say to comfort you? but i realize, oh well, sometimes it's just the knowing that there are people who care. and i do. hoping you all the best....
July 27, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjen
I am being completely truthful when I say that every time I go to Bloglines, if I only have a few minutes, your blog is one of the four that I make sure to read when there's a new post. I come here because you have such a unique way with words, and no matter what you are writing about, I'm going to keep coming back.

You had a big smile on your face when I saw you in the BlogHer bookstore, I'm sorry you were hurting inside. I hope it helps to know that there are so many people here in the blogging community that support you and are here to help in any way we can.
July 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
Dear Alice

We love you. It's going to be OK.
July 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElle
Alice, I'm sure this will be reduntant, but I don't have time to read the other 296 comments to see just HOW uncreative it is. Please take your time getting better and we will keep reading. I love reading your Henry stories and funny observations about daily life, but I'm not disappointed if I come to your blog and get "something else." I admire your writing style and your openness, so I'll continue to visit regardless of how "entertained" I am.
July 27, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertara
You're not a performing bear. And even the godawful internets would feel for a sad performing bear, anyway.

How much more do real people care about a real person? Lots more.

Very large hugs to you, and hopes for fewer clouds tomorrow.
July 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Morgan
You'll be in my feed reader forever. When you post it, we will come. (And we'll even bring cookies.)

I'm so sorry for your pain.

July 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSue

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