It's all me, me, me...

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Vivre Sa Vie
London, United Kingdom
Well hello there. My name is Viv (well, it's not really), and, like a lot of people, I'm ever so slightly neurotic... I have panic attacks and anxiety (ranging from mild to pretty intense), on and off. I also have an amazing and quite high-profile job, so I'm choosing to remain anonymous on here. Not because I'm ashamed of the aforementioned neuroses, but because I don't want to be googled and for my colleagues to read bizarre posts about me breathing into a paper bag and popping lorazepam. I've worked for bookshops, mixed arts festivals and charities, and have met (and still meet!) a lot of famous, fetching and fantabulous people for my job. (See, anxiety doesn't need to stop you being AWESOME and doing what you want to do) Here's hoping you'll find some helpful hints and tips on here which will help you tackle the evil panic heebiejeebs... PS. I'm an Australian, but I live in the UK, and have adopted tea-drinking, pubs, Wodehouse, and a Welsh man.
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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Anxiety hero trading card #6

#6 Samuel Beckett

'You're on earth. There's no cure for that.'

Vital anxiety statistics: Monsieur Beckett regularly suffered from palipations and strange feelings of suffocation, and had nocturnal panic attacks so severe that his elder brother had to sleep in the same bed to calm him.

Career highlights: I can't choose! Molloy perhaps. Watt. Murphy. Goddamn it, just read them all!

Why he's an AWESOME anxiety hero: I cannot uberemphasise this enough. Samuel Beckett is a genius and a maverick and a hero in all senses of the word. He hung out with Joyce. He wrote some of the best literature of the 20th century. He slept with Peggy Guggenheim. He was a courier with the French Resistance and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. He risked his life for his Jewish friends, and smuggled his rations in to them when they were interred. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature and gave all the prize money away.

What you can learn from him: Fear, terror and existential anxiety can give rise to exceptional intelligence, humour and creativity. Panic attacks don't stop people from doing truly terrifying, brave, selfless things. Panic attacks don't make people gurning, pissy-panted scaredy-cats. Courage and fear can co-exist (I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating).

Best anxiety quote: Beckett described his attacks as 'sweats & shudders & panics & rages & rigors & heart burstings'. He also said... 'nothing is funnier than is the most comical thing in the world'. 

Further reading: Everything he wrote. And you can read my final year dissertation too, if you'd like. It's truly FASCINATING and insightful and enthralling and will help you with your anxiety-related insomnia.

I own this poster. Beckett + letterpress = literary nerdgasm.


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