10.22.2014

KEEP THIS FOR A RAINY DAY

a photo I found while looking around today that I really, really love.

Just remember: other people look at you and think you have it all together. 

This morning I had a meeting in the flatiron with my editor at Abrams. 

Do you know how silly that sentence was just now? I just read it to myself and even I'm like, oh give me a break.

We were finalizing some photo resolution issues for the book. This has surprisingly been the most time consuming part of this entire process. There I was on one end of a desk with my laptop and about five million portable hard drives (no, there were just three), plus my old phone full of photos that I couldn't figure out how to transfer efficiently, and there was Holly on the other end of the desk on her iMac with all the book things open, with a bag of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies between us (peace offering to the book gods), and together we were over-analyzing photos of my face. Saying dumb things like, "I mean, I feel like I look sort of French in this one? Except for the Empire State Building there in the background, which maybe sort of ruins the point of it."

We made all kinds of crazy progress. And afterward, the book now 99.999% finished (and looking flipping rad, if I'm allowed to say so), my editor took me out to lunch. 

And, so, avocado toast happened.

We air kissed on the way out like you do when you are fabulous, and then I ran over to a coffee shop two blocks north to meet up with the wife of the CEO of one of my very favorite companies, who also happens to be a long time reader, and who is also, I will just say it, really freaking pretty. 

Side note: Do you know how amazing it is that you people reading my blog are all so very awesome? It's true. I love how the people I meet who read this blog are always completely rad, every single time. Surely I must have the coolest readers in all of the Internet. 

So, Tara and I, we met and she is adorable and competent and beautiful and witty and we had such a good time talking. And she had gifts! Did you know gifts are my love language? And then I met everyone at the office. I saw possibly the tiniest chihuahua on the planet. This office is full of a bunch of really handsome men by the way, holy cow, and then, my head brimming with ideas and projects and future exciting things, I dashed across Fifth Avenue to make a size exchange and wouldn't you know it? It had gone on sale! Price adjustment! Size adjustment! Huzzah! 

At this point I stopped in at City Bakery to use their restroom. Because pro tip for when you're in Union Square and happen to be human needing human things: City Bakery has a bathroom. And pretzel croissants.

On my way out I decided to wander through the Union Square Greenmarket. Heaven! I bought myself an apple for the long train ride home. (Side note, it was a dollar sixty. FOR AN APPLE.) The R was there and waiting for me the second I stepped onto the platform, and not only did I get a seat right away, I got a cold seat right away! Cold seats on the subway are better than price adjustments and air kisses. A cute couple was canoodling across the way from me, someone's earbuds were playing Beyoncé. I had an apple and a Diet Coke and a book I was proud of having written and opportunities that excited me and a really cute, now-cheaper, now-fits-my-kid-right shirt in a shopping bag and all was right with the world!

And then I promptly had myself a massive anxiety attack. 

Do you get anxiety attacks? I get anxiety attacks. 

I haven't always been an anxious person . . . hahahahaha writing that just now was really entertaining, no I have always been an anxious person, but I haven't always been an anxious attack kind of person, and I feel like this warrants a distinction. Attacks are a fairly recent development in the Natalie's Neurotic Tendencies treasure chest. I've been having them occasionally for just under two years now, and they seem to morph into different manifestations depending on whether or not it is flu season and just how many cold mini Twix bars I've raided from the fridge that day. 

(Pro tip: keep your mini Twix bars in yo fridge.) 

My first anxiety attack I didn't know was an anxiety attack. I thought it was the stomach flu. It was Christmas Eve. We had just finished Christmas Eve dinner with a few friends from church. Most of these friends were new friends, some of these friends were old friends, and one of these friends was the kind of new friend who is friendly with all of your other friends, except not friendly with you. And I hadn't quite figured out the reason yet, so the night felt tense. The following day, after having Christmas Morning as just-us-three, we'd be flying to Utah. This was to be my first Christmas Eve and Morning in my own home, with my own budding traditions, a tiny victory I had won only after a lot of negotiating and cajoling, and there we were on our way out the door after saying goodbye and Happy Christmas and things and then stopping for one second longer for another small conversation, when I suddenly felt like I was going to be sick.

This was to be the anxiety attack that I would experience, over and over, pretty much every day, for the following 6 months. Over all sorts of things. Anything could set it off. All night long, that first attack, any time I'd try to get up to accomplish anything--make the aebelskivers, stuff the stockings, set out Huck's Christmas gifts, I'd be so overcome by nausea that I'd have to lay back down and only breathe. The only relief I could get was from listening to the clock go Tick. Tick. Tick. And counting my breaths. Tick. Tick. Exhale. Weeeeeeird kind of stomach flu, amiright? 

That was a really sad Christmas and I still feel irritated when I think about it.

You all know the rest of the story. To sum up: 
1. I resolved the major personal issues that were causing me stress, as best I could. (You can never really resolve all the personal issues that cause you stress, can you?)
2. I noticed a pattern and saw a doctor, got diagnosed with PMDD, tried all different kinds of medications and treatments and diets and supplements, lost a lot of weight in the process and then gained most of it back, and thankfully now only have one rough cycle maybe every few months (hooray!) 
3. I got really into Buddhism for a minute there? Let's talk about that later.
4. I made peace with the fact that I was Writing A Book, which would be Read By People, a lot of whom like to Hate Me For Sport, who would soon get to Hate Me Even Harder for all sorts of New And Improved Reasons that I was, more or less, willingly handing over. I tell you I made peace with this!!!!!! (This required mucho therapy.) (Ladies, and you know who you are, what you are doing is sick and wrong. Just FYI.) (1% of the time I still feel really hurt when I think of that whole . . . thing . . . but it's a very slim 1%, and seriously. KUDOS TO ME.)

Here I am now, I am sitting on my couch, it is late October, and I can count on just one hand the number of anxiety attacks I have had since the summer. This is a huge accomplishment for me, especially given the last two years and things. I feel more or less back to normal. Rough menstrual cycles are the exception now, not the norm. But they do still sneak up on me, and today was a reminder that illogical feelings can sneak up on you even in the best of times. When things are going really well, and precisely nothing is wrong, I can still create this sudden dread for myself, like I am going to Screw It All Up, that They Are All Wrong, that I Am Not Enough, and Holy Holy Shit.

Sometimes, my throat still closes up, sometimes my stomach still ties itself in knots. Sometimes I can't swallow. My breathing gets shallow and I feel completely awful about myself, like I'm the worst person alive. Even if I'm not trapped under the East River when this happens it still feels like I'm trapped under the East River when this happens. How rude is that? Usually I check my period tracker and I'm like, "Oh yeah. Hi, Day 20." But this is what I've learned to do, it's a trick that never fails me, and maybe it'll help another sister out in a similar situation sometime:

I remind myself that the only thing I need to do in this life is love

That is it. Love.

(I know, cheeseballs, stick with me here.)

I pick somebody around me. I imagine the love that other people must feel for that person, the love that it took to make that person, the love that that person must feel for others. (Sometimes I picture that person as a newborn? Weird thing but newborns to me are the most powerful anti-anxiety drug ever.) If I can just find that place inside me where I feel Love for something, if I can grasp onto it, I can pull that love out and push it outside of me until that is all that I am. Just love. Love for myself, love for that stranger, love for that subway pole that is probably covered in other people's urine but that some metal worker somewhere installed and put all this effort into . . . 

As long as I feel Love, nothing can hurt me. 

So that's all, I just felt compelled to write that down today, for whatever reason. 

Hang in there. 

Somebody out there loves you. A whole whole lot.

81 comments :

  1. I needed this. So many of us need this. I am so grateful for your beautiful words. You have a gift. I am so glad that you share it. Haters gonna hate, girl. Keep on.

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  2. Fuck the evil internet bitches who try to take ya down, girl! You're a talented writer, lovin' mama and wonderful human being. Please keep populating my blog feed for the rest of eternity :*

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  3. I too have had my experience with anxiety attacks..it can be a slippery slope! Love and Gratitude get me through! Thanks for your story...and mostly... your courage! You ROCK!

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  4. Natalie, this post really touched my heart. As a fellow anxiety struggler, it made me feel a little less alone in the "What if They're All Wrong" fears. I think I'll try thinking of love next time things get tight.

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  5. Not usually one to comment, but the way you wrapped this up about love made me feel all warm and good, and just at peace with the world. (you know that feeling?) Keep on doing you girl, (and sharing!) because you're moving mountains. so much xo.

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  6. You can't stop the love.

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  7. Ugh, you're the best. I can't wait for your book.

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  8. Sending good vibes your way. Thanks for sharing in such a raw and real way - you make people feel better about what they're going through.

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  9. Hey, hi! Anxiety issues over heeere too! We make it sound funny but it is a draaag. I don't suffer from panic attacks, I don't do sick but I still suffer my level of anxiety, which is high. The kind only I suffer, the rest of the people has no idea, it's not that you are a bit anxious and hurrying everyone up to go to dinner. Nope. It's a process that goes inside you, slowly, and suddenly, boom!, you are all fucked up. If I would have had a day like the one you had today, filled with important meetings, new people and rushing from one place to another, I would have been rushing... to the toilet now and again, with stomach aches and all sorts of physical discomforts. Hours before, during the day and hours later.
    That's how my anxiety works. BAD.
    I haven't found a solution yet but I'm glad to read that at least someone, you! have found a way to fight it. Gives me hope!
    kiss kiss!

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  10. Thank you for this. So glad you wrote it out. Love your words and can't wait to read your book and see all the fabulous photos!

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  11. You are amazing. You are loved. You are far more than enough! This post came at a good time for me too...day by day and focus on the positive!

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  12. And a lot of people put there love you a whole, whole lot. Seriously, thanks for putting yourself out there and being a true original and just yourself. Flaws and all. I have the feeling that it makes so many of us that read here that little bit braver.

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  13. Beautiful! Inspiring! Truth! I can't wait to read your book! Thank you for baring your soul.

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  14. I'm always surprised at how much authenticity and truth garners spite. I am so happy for you and your accomplishments, and I hope you ease out of your panic attacks. I got them really badly in high school, but I haven't had one in a few years. They can be completely debilitating, so I'm glad you're making progress and not letting them rule your life. Proud of you, girl. Scarf a black and white cookie for me xx

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  15. who the heck takes time to hate on people via internet?
    anyway. my heart was moved by your honesty and transparency. also, check out the melissaambrosini blog. following her stuff has helped a lot for my anxiety. that and God and prayer. blessings.

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  16. yes. i feel as though if i, personally, were a super-blogger like you, and subject to all kinds of unholy criticisms and judgements, i'd probably end up disintegrating into a thousand tiny pieces. i think putting yourself out there to inspire others is a wonderfully, terribly brave thing to do. you've got guts, and i admire you for it.

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  17. you are the greatest - can't wait for your book.

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  18. this is everything. thank you thank you thank you.

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  19. thanks. this was needed.

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  20. My favorite post ever. Thank you!

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  21. It's posts like this that keep me coming back. There is real life going on here and it puts mine in perspective. I like the theme of "everyone is working through something" because so often forget that. Thanks for keeping it real. Truly looking forward to your book. I can't wait to geek out on it.

    p.s. I think I posted this comment twice? sorry bout it.

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  22. shoooot, I needed this. thank you thank you thank you.
    please tell me there is going to be a book tour.

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  23. Loved this! But I disagree completely. Mini twix in the freezer. One bite and you get the caramel off, and then enjoy that cookie part. I would buy boxes and boxes and boxes of the cookie part of twix if they made it.

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  24. Thank you for being so authentic...

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  25. Oh Natalie, how I love your heart felt essays. Isn't it always the way that our hard wiring is so fickle that we can't allow ourselves to feel total happiness and contentment without that sudden rush of fear that somehow it's too good to be true and it's all going to be pulled from under us any minute. But you know what, I think that feeling is just a form of appreciation and humbleness and I think the day you stop feeling it, that's when you've got to worry. And with regard to "those ladies" I don't know how you do it but I just hope that one day they wake up and realise how effing sick it is that they have poured so much time and energy into ripping a total stranger to shreds, a stranger who has never done anything to them personally. They're the ones who need help now, you're great and just need to hold your head high and be proud of everything you've achieved and all the hard times you've overcome. Big womanly love to you pretty lady x


    Katie@ http://whatyoudoingkatie.blogspot.co.uk

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  26. I'm gobsmacked that anyone could be hating on you! Truly!
    Xoxox

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  27. Gosh - words really don't describe how much I love your writing. And that thing about love up there? Ugh, I'm crying. You have such a beautiful heart and I'm grateful you share bits of it with us, even though this world has ugly people who treat beautiful things like they do. Sharp rocks and shiny windows and all that.

    I'm looking forward to that book, and I second the notion of a tour (come to Dallas, yo!)

    all the very best.

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  28. I've been a long-time reader of yours and it all started after the birth of my son 10-16-10. I had a lot of time to kill on the internet with nursing and whatnot and i stumbled across your blog. You were a new mother just like me and you seemed SO together. I suffered from ppd and during that time your blog was this little light reminding me that i could still focus on the sweet moments that occur everyday when we're learning how to be someone's mother. I, to this day, still credit your writting for helping me realize i could steal little moments of happiness even when i felt like i was crazy and miserable. Just know that even when you feel like you're falling apart you really helped at least one person keep it together. And i mean that as sincerly as possible. I can not even describe how much this little spot of the internet helped me. It still brings me a lot of joy to check in on your life and see your little Huck go through the same stages as my Noah (arn't pre-schoolers the best!). I'm crying at work typing this because we all kind of help hold each other up, even those of us who only know each other in very small ways. You helped me get through such a rough time and be a better mom for my family. I hope my little comment can help you feel the same way. Thanks natalie
    -Jessica

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    1. ^Yes, yes, yes to what Jessica said. I found your blog while I was working on my dissertation and it was such a great spot of light, for lack of a better word, on the internet. But it was after I had my second son, when I was in a really bad place, that your blog really helped me. I felt like I was in someone else's head, the baby blues were so strong. I would cry at the drop of a hat, for seemingly no reason. I trawled back into the archives of your blog, to the time when Huck was the same age as my then-infant. And I read. And read. And read. And reading those posts made me feel better, they helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Without sounding too cheesy, they gave me hope and helped me through those days. So thank you. Never forget how loved you are.

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  29. This was a *really* great post! As a mom who also struggles with anxiety and depression, it really hit home. Congratulations on your book--I can't wait to read it!
    Sarah

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  30. I have to say I find your frankness so refreshing. You mention that you dipped into Buddhism, I would love to hear more about that... When I was going through a very bad moment in my life 8 years ago I happened to be working for a Buddhist magazine so everyday I would flood my mind with quotes and practices and teachings. This is one of my favorites from Pema Chodron's "The Wisdom of No Escape" which is really what anxiety feels like... being trapped on a roller coaster with a precarious seatbelt:

    "There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs, and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly.


    Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life, it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life. "

    PS: I SO feel you on the R train.

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    1. this is amazing. thank you for sharing it! strawberries! i mean, that's it, isn't it?

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  31. so good. that book can't come soon enough.

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  32. You're doing great in how you're living your life in spite of all that you have been through in the past year or so....Anxiety attacks are the worst, and I'm glad that you found out what was causing it, and how you can control it. Life is hard, and it is up to us to make it easy by finding, and doing things that make us happy. I have learned to let go of all the little things that keep us from progressing into a loving human being. Continue to stay strong in finding solutions to what makes you happy. Stress is an awful thing, and can cause so much heartache in our life. We can only do so much for ourselves but can't fully function if we don't have it together. Remember, no one is perfect. This is why we write...to let others in on our personal, and daily experiences in hopes that we can not only help ourselves, but to be a voice to the world just in case there is someone out there who needs words of comfort, and girl...you are reaching out to so many more than you know!

    Keep it up!

    You're a good mama!

    Stay strong!

    XO

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  33. Anxiety is the darnedest thing...I truly began struggling with it when my, now husband, and I were working on plans to get engaged and it's just tied itself to so many other areas of my life in different ways. Basically all the times I knew I was supposed to be a competent adult, but felt completely incapable of being so...those were the worst times. "Sometimes, my throat still closes up, sometimes my stomach still ties itself in knots. Sometimes I can't swallow. My breathing gets shallow and I feel completely awful about myself, like I'm the worst person alive." Completely understand this. Anxiety is one of the hardest things to describe to someone, but that sentence is perfect. I just know your book is going to be fabulous :) I'm going to start saving my pennies now to be able to get it when it comes out!

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  34. Your instagram really helped me yesterday! Thank you for writing this post, too. Do you know Tina Fey's quote-ask yourself if this person keeps you from your goal, if not, move on. I know that's way easier, and you didn't ask for advice, but that thought helps me. Im the type of person that needs everyone to get along and be nice and I let a lot of people treat me badly as result. Maybe we're similar in some ways...I also had a therapist say once, "you don't have to tell yourself x,y,z right now." That helps me too, not always/not for everyone, but helps me remember to be nice to myself.

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    1. love that tina fey. thank you hannah!

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  35. Thank you for being authentic, for being you. I absolutely cannot wait for your book to come out.
    Stay strong Natalie!

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  36. I've been reading our blog for a while now and have seen you TWICE in the neighborhood.

    Each time I want to say "Hey I love your blog" but don't want to be a creeper? But the next time I see you I'm going to say "Hey girl, hey. Your blog is rad".

    ALSO as one anxious person to another, have you tried crocheting? In addition to other things, I kid you not I think it saved my sanity. I crochet for charity and it helps in so many ways. Also, you get an excuse to buy beautiful yarn...its a win win all around, I say!

    xx,
    Kate at ummmnowwhat.blogspot.com and fellow Park Slope resident :)

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    1. say hi next time!!!!

      oh gosh, crochet, knitting, weaving, cross word puzzles, online shopping . . . hahaha. all helpful! i got really into pet rescue for a while there. perfect "turn your brain off" material right there. thank you for the note, fellow park sloper :)

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  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  38. Hi Natalie,

    I love this post.

    I am sorry there are haters to hurt others for sport and that you are often a target.

    I read this book recently and have devoured everything I can about the concept of mindfulness.

    "Mind Sight: The New Science of Personal Transformation" by Daniel Siegel

    It has helped me understand more about how my brain works, the relationship between behavior and physiology. I understand neural pathways better and how to create healthier ones. I'm learning how to acknowledge my thoughts and feelings and reactions without letting them define me.

    Its a really really good book.

    Love to you from the Palouse, We are moving away from here in T-minus 4 days. I know you know what it's like to leave this place.

    B.

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    1. i'm going to look into this book, thanks for the recc, sister. leaving the palouse is tragic, it's like leaving mars. best of luck to you guys. xoxoxo

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  39. long time reader--first time commenter. Thanks for this post.

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  40. OOh very pretty pic !
    kisses
    www.normcoregirl.com

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  41. Fantastic post! Like most commenters on here, cannot wait to read your book!!! Love.

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  42. Great post, Natalie! Thanks.

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  43. YOU ARE AMAZING! Always have been. I have always thought so. I wrote you an email. When I was almost finished, somehow, stupidly I am sure, I accidently deleted it. I keep meaning to write another one but my life keeps getting in the way. Your Huck is beautiful. Your family is beautiful. You are beautiful. I love your blog. And I love you. Keep smiling. Be happy. XOXOXO

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  44. Your anxiety attacks sound terrible. I'm sorry you have to experience them, and I'm happy you've found something that lets you cope with them.

    Also, on a completely random note, I'm really glad you're using capitol letters, it makes things so much easier to read. Or something...

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  45. i really needed to hear this. just wanted you to know i appreciate your words so much! you really threw yourself out there and being brave is shitty-feeling and hard.

    also, i needed to hear this post. the end lines? you made me cry in the best way possible!

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  46. This hit home. As a fellow "anxiety creeped up on my in my 30s during weird life shifts" lady, I have a little weird thing I do. I sit with the anxiety, and thank it for telling me to focus on here, focus on now, and breathe. By feeling grateful for it, I try to counteract the dread and sadness that can accompany it. That sounds so hippie-dippie of me, and I am TOTALLY not that way, but that is my trick. And yours is love. Rock on, sister.

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    1. i absolutely adore this. thank you for sharing!

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  47. Just don't ever look at GOMI even if you're tempted. Not now; not ever. It's not worth your time. Keep you're head up, and your haters far far away.

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  48. Excuse my French, but FUCK YEAH, GIRL! Thanks for calling those sick-and-wrongers out, because you're great. And all they are is insecure. I am behind you and I'm sure a billion others are as well. You are brave and wonderful.

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  49. You are brave and lovely and it's gonna be ok. Hugs.

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  50. I confess out of boredom I read GOMI, but I have to say at this moment I feel pretty bad for being an audience to such hate. I apologize. P.S. Yorks cool down my anxiety.

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  51. Thanks for sharing. For some reason I feel like this approach may sit well with you (http://www.anxietyhappens.com/AcceptanceCommitment/), have a read if you like x

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  52. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes I'm like, why can't people just be nice? Also, I had my first anxiety attack a week after I weaned my daughter and I thought the world was going to end. Everything piling on top of me, I can't breathe and I can't pull myself out of it. Craziest most awful feeling ever!

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  53. Those people on GOMI are sad losers. A very wise woman recently said "Haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate".
    More people like you than dislike you by quite a lot it seems so majority rules:)
    You're doing great, your blog is awesome and so are you.

    PMDD. That a-hole.

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  54. Yes! Forget about the haters! I used to have really bad anxiety, but I found that meditating really helps me out. My mantra is, "let go of things that do not serve you!" I still have a little anxiety (who doesn't?!), but it's really not as bad anymore. :)

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  55. (Sorry if this post shows up twice I can't seem to find the first one I wrote)
    Hey Natalie! I have a semi (maybe more than semi) personal question for you! It's about your rough menstraul cycles, I too have a terrible horrible no good period. Ha (I know that's nothing to laugh about but, hey). I'm kinda I between insurance right now so I haven't been able to get myself checked, lol. But my first days are usually the worst. I get flu like symptoms, extreme nauseous, uber terrible rolling on the floor cramps where you just wish you could fall back asleep and not feel the pain. After the first day it's not super terrible but I'm REALLY heavy for a few days after that. I'm young (20) so the idea that this could cause fertility problems really scares me. I didn't know if you could share some of what you go through with me? Or if you thinj I'm just a paranoid skitz. If it's too personal to answer on a public blog then please feel free to email me (hanna.harmon@gmail.com) I've never met anybody or know of anybody that shares my cycle pains. Hehe. I hope you read this! I love you're blog and I relate to you in more ways than you could imagine.
    Love, one of your Natalie Jeaners, Hanna :)

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    1. I seriosuly butchered my email address lol harmon.hanna17@gmail.com

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  56. This was for me, thank YOU. 20 is great, but also a very scary, little part of my life. I was driving home yesterday, very anxoiusly, and Pandora serenaded me with I Like Giants by quirky Kimya Dawson. It was comforting in a moment of feeling like a BIG GIANT being of depression and anxiety. Take a listen, you'll feel better. XO from UTAH.

    erika wynn
    www.walkingwithteal. com

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  57. I've read this quite a few times now and I just adore this. I have anxiety and I've never been able to write about it as beautifully as you have here. You're just gorgeous.

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  58. Hey, Natalie, 'long time listener, first time caller'. Your blog is a beloved lunch work staple of mine, congratulations on your upcoming book, and here are my two cents of love and support. Your influence on my life is in consistently lovely, little things: a lipstick, a basket fetish, the momentum to clean out a closet, the grace to drink diet coke even though I get flack for it. Mom moments. The little and the big thoughts, the profound and the specifics, all smushed together in a way that tickles the fancy--might be what I would write for your jacket copy. I find myself referencing your blog all the time in my conversations, like you are a friend of mine no one sees. Sometimes I feel silly when I mention you in passing, because no one I know seems to read blogs? Beyond hunting for a couch recommendation, recipe, or DIY instructions, that is. However, while your blog encompasses some of these elements, it also transcends them, for the perpetual reader at least, into something more akin to reading a favorite newspaper columnist (who might share your opinions on movies, or matters of the heart), but better, because it accumulates over time into a personal alignment a bit deeper than a newspaper article's format can afford; a voice you've read long enough, who has enough honesty, to become an ally. A real ally, who boosts you up and helps you out with their articulation of the world. Such strange literary animals, blogs! I haven't found another one I like as well as this one; I think yours is pretty special ('yours is the only show I do watch'). So when you're feeling blue about any negativity you encounter, remember that even Ed Templeton had a haters club, and he is basically the coolest person ever? As are you. <3 Much love from Toronto.

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  59. I started getting anxiety attacks after I got married (mostly cause my in-laws were a little looney), but I literally thought I was going to die in my sleep. It is the worst feeling EVER. The closing of my throat, the stomach knots, the feeling that you just want to curl up and hide in a blanket for days. What has helped me is my loving husband (aren't those the best?) and realizing that I need to take one thing at a time instead of trying to take care of the whole picture at once. Props to you for not having one in a while!! It's the best feeling! <3

    www.breezydaysblog.com

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  60. thank you so much for this-you are as I say all the time the best. the bees knees i tell you lady

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  61. mannn you are gooood! I had never experienced anxiety (i actually naively thought it was a myth) until 2.5 years ago and it came over me in a lesser version of what you describe here, but still really intense. it carried on for a month or so until i went to the doctor and found i had a hyperactive thyroid....little did i know that one of the symptoms was anxiety!! now my thyroid has been removed, i am back to normal and it feels goooooood but im weirdly glad I experienced anxiety (even if it was a mild form) just so I can slightly relate when I hear your story or stories from my friends who might go through the same thing. anxiety is supperrrrr weird to be honest haha. xxx

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  62. Just so you'll know…..a lot of people really love you. I'm a 66 year old Irish Catholic grandmother and your blog is the first thing I read every…..single……morning. You always cheer me up. I remember so vividly being a young mom and being seized by anxiety always at the worst possible moments. You're doing such a great job on all fronts and you never stop trying…..totally good example for the rest of us! Can't wait to read the book! Have a fab fab fab weekend!

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  63. love really does fix all, doesn't it? I am so sorry that you had such a hard time there for a bit, but I'm also glad you were able to overcome and that those pesky attacks are a rarity these days. I can definitely relate to feeling anxious and not necessarily knowing the root of it, but I don't think I can relate to the attack part of it. so good for you, natalie, for overcoming the hard stuff! your life is seriously beautiful! thanks for sharing it with all of us.

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

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  64. It was so wonderful meeting you, Natalie. Chatting with you absolutely made my day. I’m so sorry that you got hit with a panic attack afterward (I’m also prone to them, and I know how frustrating they can be — therapy all the way). I hope you know how brave and wonderful you are. You’re doing amazing things on the daily, and we’re just lucky to be invited to watch it all unfold. xoxo Tara (P.S. I am totally on a cold Twix kick right now. How are they so good?!?!)

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  65. Thank you for writing this. I appreciate the relatable transparency :) And also, I'm such a sucker for believing in human goodness -- I read this and thought "those haters HAVE to stop after this! what human could read that they are causing another human's anxiety attacks and not stop doing their hating? what human could possibly do that?" ....and i know i'll be proven wrong, but....maybe someday the humans will be as good as they are in my head, right?

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  66. So happy for you that your book is working out! -Hanna Lei

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  67. Hey thanks, I needed that.

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  68. I may be a few days late to this party, but let me just throw in my two cents of support as well. I feel a great deal of kinship to you and your voice as a writer. Mostly I attribute these fake feelings of friendship to the depth of the honesty and compassion in your writing. I am a pre-service (kindergarten!!) teacher dealing with my own (sometimes) overwhelming feelings of anxiety and inadequacy. This post like so many of your others was spot on and spoke to me in a very authentic way. Keep it up dear, you're an inspiration to so many.

    Also can we just take a minute to imagine what Anne Shirley would say? "One can't stay sad very long in such an interesting world."
    XO

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  69. You remind me of this:
    "Practice love until you remember that you are love"- swami sai premandanda

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  70. I recently started to have these fun"attacks" every so often. Just wanted you to know that when I do, I pop over and read a post or two of yours and it makes me feel like I'm not the only one. Just wanted to finally comment since I never do! Thank goodness for your authenticity xox

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  71. Totally needed this one today. Thank you for the reminder and for the inspiration of coming out on top vs. PMDD! :-/

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