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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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Let's hope it's a good one, without any fear...

"'We all want some figgy pudding' my arse..."

Guys! It's 2013! I've been lounging around, stuffing my face with Quality Street and sweaty cheeses (thank you Mr Gallbladder-Surgeon-Who-Gave-Me-Cake-And-Thus-My-Life-Back) and I have utterly failed in my blogging duties. So my last maudlin post has been languishing there, completely unrevised and depressing - not a good way to see in the new year! Sorry chaps!

How are you, beloved anxious peeps? Did you have banging festive frolics or big fat, figgy funks? Did you fend off Uncle Bill's crushing chest-to-breast hugs and Nana's racist outbursts? Did you panic over the possibility of undercooked-turkey poisonings and salmonella eggnog manslaughters? Did you fear you and your loved ones would die in the inevitable gnarly Christmas motorway deaths, because I know I certainly did!

Here are some things I learned over Christmas:

1. Kids are a good distraction from anxious self-obsession. I always thought having children would tip me over the edge into full-throttle nervous breakdown, but my niece-wrangling efforts this Christmas actually cheered me up (admittedly I disappeared swiftly every time one of them vomited/had explosive diarrhoea, so it wasn't an authentic parenting experience. But still...)

2. Stila's new liquid lipstick in 'Beso' (thanks, Santa) is a stunningly good matte 40's red. And it lasts (i.e. stood up to my rigorous, virtually lab-condition Christmas lunch testing).  If you're starring in an upcoming WWII biopic as a beautiful, ball-breaking SOE agent, this is the one I heartily recommend.

3. Shalom Auslander's memoir Foreskin's Lament  is a superb, brilliant, amazing, fanspectaculastic must-read for all anxious folk everywhere. The man is hugely traumatised as a result of his deeply misguided (and at times, abusive) Orthodox Jewish upbringing - and yet I related to every single, fucked-up, neurotic thought he puts to paper. BUY IT NOW. Makes Woody Allen look positively stable. And read his novel Hope - both books are the funniest things I've read all year. 

4. Don't play bingo if you're feeling a bit panicky. I lost my bingo virginity this Christmas (I know, I know, I'm prematurely aged) and almost had a heart-attack as a result. How the pensioners manage to not fall down dead in high-blood-pressured droves I have no idea. 21, 6, 14, 90...WAAAIT, ARGGGHHHHH! I went in a sort of smugly ironic, post-modern way, and ended up knee deep in screwed up tables of numbers and panting with genuine excitement. BINGO!  A v. good use for excess adrenaline.

5. We all now have an extra year's worth of intel about living with this malicious anxiety beast, so theoretically should be another 365 days cleverer at dealing with it. Go team! I've been thinking of my anxiety as a Boggart recently (HP again - please don't watch the films, they're bloody awful) - it changes shape and morphs so frequently (health anxiety to status anxiety to random phobia to depression anxiety and back again), but is the same old beast cowering underneath. It's the old Wizard of Oz behind the curtain trick - watch it and call it out!

I hope you all are feeling well and not too stressed about what 2013 holds. How about we make it the year we level a well-aimed kick at Mr Anxiety's cojones and get a bit of the upper hand back? And if we miss, let's just have some cake and gin and chat about it together. 

Happy new year!

V x

PS. You can't make me take the tree down.  How will I survive without its Prozac-y twinkly lights? Superstition is only magical thinking after all, and didn't my therapist say that was a no-no...?

Take Valium. I swear to God it's the only way you'll survive the night.


Sheryn said...

Loved your blog as usual.You are one funny chick. I have started a new job and I hate hate hate being the new girl.I am only casual so get to work all random shifts with random staff.Some are nice and some are impatient.Bloody hell its hard and Im skulling rescue remedy and valerian and passionflower capsules.Still I feel like voming before I go to work.I know it will get better but meanwhile anxious old me is anxious as fuck and hating it.

Pompom said...

You are SO right about twinkly Christmas lights....they are the stuff of happiness. I had a tree this year so had to take them down when the tree dried out and it's hard not to still have them to keep the winter at bay. Next year I'm getting extra fairy lights so they can stay up until the clocks spring forward.

At the best for battling the boggart this year. As you say, you are 365 days smarter & more I know you'll do well.

Vivre Sa Vie said...

Thanks Sheryn! You are too kind. Don't sweat the new girl stuff - remember EVERYONE was new at one point. The being a new girl phase will pass really quickly, and you will be the expert before you know it. I cried every evening when I was the new girl at my current job, and ended up loving it more than anything. So stick with it! Remember that anxiety is COMPLETELY NORMAL and natural, so don't fight it and just live with it until it passes - which it will. x

Vivre Sa Vie said...

I'm with you on the fairy lights Pompom - they are just Prozac on a string! Thanks so much for your good wishes - and all the same and more to you too. Down with Boggarts (etc)! x

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