Here’s the advantage of having crippling anxiety: who needs alarm clocks when the alarm is provided by my own soul?!
I was trying to meditate while I was in bed this morning – I begin by counting my breaths – here’s how it went:
One… two… three… [I go on an imaginary rant, blaming everyone else around me, proceed to feel guilty, tell myself it’s all my fault, feel my heart palpitations, wonder if I have a heart problem, get out of bed, rock back and forth, watch the beginning of Chapelle’s comedy special, get jealous of Chapelle’s success, try to go back to bed, get up, watch a ten-minute video about how they did Jack Nicholson’s make-up in Batman].
So, long story short, my meditation skills leave something to be desired.
When things get really bad, I watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. I don’t like watching new shows when I’m mentally unwell because it’s such a huge risk. What if the show is bad, or depressing, or too much like the kind of show I’d want to make. I’d end up being bored/depressed/really depressed.
Here’s the other fun thing about this process: when I’m lying in bed, I’m wide awake. When I’m going through my day, I’m exhausted.
“You should exercise,” say the people who are just as stressed as I am but who manage it differently. They are, however, correct. I should exercise more. That would help. It’s a shame I hate exercising. Other than taking long ponderous walks in which I contemplate the universal injustice that permeates the ether of this realm, I can’t stand working out.
“You should take a vacation,” say the people who make more money than I do.
If I take a vacation, I will go through a heightened version of what I call the “Sunday night downward spiral.” In other words, when the weekend rolls along, the best part of it is Friday night when I go to bed. Because I have the whole weekend ahead of me. Saturday night is neutral. I have one more day left, and then it’s back to hell. And then there’s Sunday night. The worst night of the week for me. The night when I envision all of the ways the next week could go wrong, and go through the conversations about it in my head in which I am indignant and justified in my ire. All a vacation really is to me is an extended weekend with an even worse Sunday night.
Wherever I go, there I am. That’s ultimately why I’d rather save my money than blow two grand to worry in a different latitude and longitude.
“But traveling gives you such a different perspective,” say the people who don’t have the same neuroses as I do and can only speak for themselves. It probably does give me a different perspective. When I went to London, the perspective I got was that I am an even bigger idiot than I thought. (That was actually a great trip. The trip helped me recover from the trauma of Star Trek: Nemesis).
Look, I’m not saying that all this advice is wrong. People are smarter than I give them credit for, except when they’re not, which is 75% of the time. (You can quote me on that).