The Anatomy Of Acute Anxiety

You know how sometimes your Monday has extra Monday in it? Like you have Monday juice smeared all over your Monday?

Well, that was my Monday.

Most of the day was a typical Monday, you know, filled with lethargy and denial about being back in a cubicle and feeling the weight of all the other weekdays on your shoulders.

But the day ended as they always do and I walked to my car ready to put it behind me.

This is the car that sat dead in the driveway for nearly a year.

I got in my car and turned the key.

Nothing. Not even a click.

I went through the five stages of grief:

Denial: Nope. The car isn’t dead. It’s not dead. I will just turn the key a zillion more times and it will start and then I will go home. 

Annoyance: Are you fucking kidding me?

Absurdity: Well, I guess I just live here in the car now. I guess I’m never fucking going home. 

Bargaining: Fuck. The only person still here is the boss. I don’t want to ask him for help. If a mechanic would just wander by, I promise to be nice to all the other humans for at least two and half weeks.

Extreme Annoyance: Fuckity fuck fucking shit. I’ll go ask the boss. 

It’s possible those aren’t the actual stages of grief.

As I came to the conclusion that my best bet was to ask the boss for help, it started raining. Perfect.

The boss came out to the parking lot with me, I got in the car and it started right up. This should have been a quick and happy end to my tale of woe.

He asked me to pop the hood so he could take a quick look, so I did. He pointed at the connector thingies on the battery, one of them had worked loose and was barely touching the knob. He took his shoe off and whacked it back into place. Fucking problem solved.

I turned to open my car door to drive home.

It was locked.

The car was still running.

My stress level went into hyperactive overdrive and I broke out in a sweat. I mean I sweated like a goddamn horse.

The door wasn’t completely closed, just latched, so we got a hanger and forced it in the door and attempted to push the lock. It was kind of like trying to push the lock down with a piece of cooked spaghetti. We got a second hanger and wound them together and after much hunting and pecking, got the goddamn door unlocked.

I had to be gracious, y’all. To my BOSS.

One would think the tale of woe ends there. But no…the universe wasn’t quite done fucking with me.

I called Randy to tell him what happened and was greeted with a perky automated voice telling me my phone service was suspended.

I forgot to pay my cell phone bill.

I was quiet for a moment. I’m not sure exactly what I said, but I know me and it was probably along the lines of  Are you fucking kidding me..what…fuck…stupid fucking fuck..GAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH. 

If you live in the tri-state area of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana and heard a string of profanities drifting by around 6:00 pm yesterday, that was me.

I was connected to the phone company because at least they were kind enough to allow that call. I paid my bill over the phone and got my service reinstated.

I decompress by listening to loud music. I really needed some loud music.

I turned up my radio and of course since my battery disconnected, I LOST ALL MY PRESETS.

Okay, I will agree that in the big scheme of things, that isn’t so much an issue, but at the was the goddamn end of the world. At that point, I might have had a few salty tears mix with the salty sweat already on my face.

When I pulled in my driveway, I decided that I was going to stuff my face with the first thing I found in the fridge, then lay in bed and watch Doctor Who until I passed out in a carb coma.

Then I remembered what I saw when I was driving into work on Monday morning. I saw this guy:

truck fire (1)

Instead of the carb coma, I watched Doctor Who while working my anxiety out on my treadmill.

It helped.

Today is a new day. Here’s to hoping it only includes normal anxiety and not acute anxiety and that my car doesn’t end up on the side of the expressway in a fiery inferno.



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  • I’ve had my car on fire at the side of I-65 north. It’s embarrassing as hell. Like I planned it to happen.
    Almost the worst day of my life.
    Until The Men in Uniforms showed up. Firemen AND cops. And they were all so nice.
    But enough about me.
    Mondays sure can suck.

  • That sounds like a pretty good Monday the Universe had in store for you….. Mine wasn’t great either. My wife called me on her way to work saying her transmission blew. Luckily she was close to the babysitters and was able to walk there. Her boss is cool too and let her work from there. But this car is such a piece of shit I don’t want to put $1,000 into it! I rather just leave it in the street and claim someone stole it. Thank God it’s fucking Tuesday today…

  • From now on I will always consider the stages of grief to be Denial, Annoyance, Absurdity,
    Bargaining, and Extreme Annoyance. That seems so much more accurate.

    Although I am glad your Monday had a happy ending. Maybe there should be an additional stage: Doctor Who. Because the Doctor makes everything better. Maybe that’s because he doesn’t have to ask his boss for help when the TARDIS breaks down, because he is his own boss.

    Nah, it’s gotta be the sonic screwdriver.

  • Some days start so badly that I’m convinced it’s a message from God to say “Fuck this shit” and go back to bed. But when the message comes that late in the day, I think it’s safe to assume that he’s just screwing with us.

    Good for you for picking the treadmill over the ice cream, though! I’m not sure I have enough character to have made that choice.

    • I just knew I’d feel better in the long run. And I kind of cancelled out the treadmill by eating an embarrassingly huge bowl of rice krispies after 10 last night.

  • Mondays are simply the worst. I’ve had similar situations, where I’ve locked myself out of a car in the rain; and once with my then toddler strapped in his carseat… also both on Mondays. Glad yours had a happy ending!

  • By the time you read this it will be Tuesday – and here’s to a less sucky day than yesterday – that truly should get an award !!
    Big hugs !

  • well hot damn, that is one fucked up Monday! I’d cry some tears, too. I love that you ended it with perspective. It could (almost) ALWAYS be worse! And you’re pretty lucky your bosses shoe was able to get your car started haha!

  • As soon as you wrote that the car wouldn’t start, I moved right past denial and into annoyance on your behalf (Oh my GOD! Those CRAPPY mechanics screwed her over!) But, as usually happens when I lash out at someone without knowing the facts, then I had to apologize to those phantom mechanics in my head…UNLESS…. THEY were responsible for the battery cables not being properly attached (then I can continue to be outraged on your behalf).

    Seriously though, I love the fact that you were able to count your blessings and steer away from the carb overdose and onto the treadmill. I was just sitting here at work, ready to go into the kitchen and grab about a half dozen of the delicious sugar cookies someone brought and you inspired me to have a drink of water and go for a walk during my lunch hour.

    • YAY!!! That makes me so happy! I got back on the treadmill tonite. I might not be able to control many things, but I can get strong again.

      Nah, it wasn’t the mechanic’s fault. They fixed it so it runs, but it needs a LOT of work still.

    • THanks, Steph..In looking back, none of the things were that huge..but my reaction was ENORMOUS. I think it’s because I just got that damn car back AND I don’t deal well with car issues.

      I’m the more rational one in the family (scary, right?) I’m the one who is pointing out that everything is fine and it will work out because it always does..unless it’s a car issue. Then it’s the end of the world.

  • Definitely not a good day but not as bad as the poor guy with the car on fire. You are a better woman than me, I have to admit, because I don’t think even seeing the car on fire would have stopped me from the carb induced coma! Good for you and I sure hope the rest of your week is going much better 🙂

  • I thought of you this morning at 5:30 when I went out to my car to go to the gym and the battery was dead as a doornail. So I got out another car, and drove it two and a half miles to the gym WITH THE EMERGENCY BREAK ON. The thing was smoking by the time I pulled into the parking lot. My husband’s supportive and compassionate response about the emergency break? “Pay. Attention.” Fucker.

  • I’m sorry you had to be gracious to your boss. That’s gotta hurt. That was a sucky day.

    I’m always in favor of normal anxiety over acute anxiety. I mean I have anxiety all the time, do we really have to add to it?

By Michelle


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