I have step throat, and I’ve decided when my body is sick, my mind goes a little mental, so bear with me. As most of you know, I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. What does this mean? Well, it means I did not attend Phoenix ComicCon this past weekend, because HELL NO, I WON’T GO.
Several people asked if I would be attending, to which I responded, calmly, “Are you <censored> nuts?”
See, I have a two-hour maximum. Even with friends, it’s difficult for me to spend more than two hours outside my house, talking to people. Movie theaters are fine, because they’re dark, so I don’t feel like everyone is staring at me and waiting for me to say something completely inappropriate, as is my wont to do.
Also, crowds. I don’t do crowds. Makes me feel all itchy. Like fire ants are crawling up my nose.
Instead of leaving the house this weekend, I watched A Fantastic Fear of Everything with Simon Pegg: a movie about a writer who researches serial killers and, in turn, becomes convinced everyone is trying to kill him. Of course, I related.
1) As writers, we live outside our actual lives and in stories. Sometimes, waking up from stories can be jarring to the point of sudden screaming and/or asking the nearest person (usually my dog) what day it is.
2) The older I get, the weirder I get, which means my agoraphobia is getting worse.
Agoraphobia: “a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless, or embarrassed.”
Common places to avoid:
Neil Gaiman book signings
Doctors’ offices … which is why I refused to make a doctor’s appointment until I was rolling, sobbing on the floor in two-day-old pajamas, and Jake said, “But really, dear.”
In an effort to recover (from strep throat), I sleep or write. I read Sherlock fan fiction. I call my family and tell them boring, useless things. I drink watered-down Gatorade and eat eggs.
In an effort to stop the Howard Hughes process … well, I haven’t figured that out yet.
I’ve heard of other writers worse than me. Children’s book writer/illustrator Adam Rex once said he’s been known to spend days in his office without noticing the passage of time. The fact that his wife is also a writer doesn’t aid in this, as she does the same thing, and suddenly, they’re both like, “Hey. Should we bathe?” as they run blindly into each other in the darkened hall.
I guess it helps to have a husband and friends who understand The Way I Am. Jake doesn’t push, and when my friends see that look in my eye (akin to a serial killer twitch), they usually just shuffle me toward the nearest exit.
Maybe it has to do with living in a big city. Everything’s just too … big. Or maybe it’s just being a weird writer person.
Whatever the reason, I have built a “nest” in my office composed of a heavy, winter comforter; two pillows; and the teddy bear from my childhood, know as “Bearenheart.” Plus some Halloween-colored twinkle lights. I go there and huddle after most business meetings, public speaking events, and walks to the mailbox.
Okay, I’m not that bad, but, no, I didn’t go to Phoenix ComicCon.