Anxiety Shitstorm: Sylvia Assbutt

How about no.

You have to read that like Doctor Evil. 

This is what I’m telling myself right this second, as I type this. No. Nope. We aren’t doing this today. Not today.

I’m trying very hard to ward off an anxiety shitstorm. All the elements are here. Bullshit happens. It just does. When unexpected stressful shit happens, all the other anxiety snaps to attention, commandeers my brain, and makes my nerve endings sizzle.

It’s just a matter of time, you know. 

What if he’s sick again?

Sure, it’s all cool now, but what about a year from now or three years from now?

You’re walking into a pile of shit tomorrow at work. What if you fail? Even if you don’t fail, it’s just a few steps to the next pile of shit. You’ve been doing this for going on 30 years now. Aren’t you tired?

We don’t have the money to get the house ready to sell. We’re boxing things up for no reason. 

I don’t want to do this right now. With all my heart and soul, I don’t want to do this right now. I actually do have a pile of shit that I’m walking into tomorrow. I can’t be this worked up. I know what needs to happen to fix the issue and I can fix it. This level of anxiety, however, distracts me. Like “mosquito whining in your ear” distraction. I can’t afford distractions.

Even more than work, though, I just don’t want to. I don’t want to feel the hopelessness and go through days feeling like my stomach is filled with rancid milk. anxiety storm

So fuck this.

I’m going to talk myself out of this. And if I can’t, (which, let’s face it…is the likely outcome. Decades of data tells me I won’t be able to talk myself out of it), I’m just going to keep on going like I can talk myself out of this anxiety storm.

Why shouldn’t I try? I mean, even if I haven’t been able to in the past, does that mean I shouldn’t try? I’ve kicked a lot of things in the ass. Who says I can’t kick this particular anxiety storm in the ass?

I named the last anxiety storm. I named it Muffy Thundercunt. I’m naming this one Sylvia Assbutt.

You know that inspirational shit that people post on Facebook? I almost always roll my eyes at it. Not because we shouldn’t be positive or see the good, of course not. I roll my eyes because I’m not good at emotions and I’m a little crabby.

I am taking a deep breath. I’m putting my crabbiness aside, and I’m going to try that whole positive thinking thing. I’m coming up with 10 things strong enough to kick the shit out of Sylvia Assbutt.

  1. Joel and Ethan Coen continue to make movies. I’m watching Hail, Caesar as I write this and Sylvia Assbutt isn’t invited to watch. Mountain Girl has been nagging me to watch this movie. She was right.
  2. Randy started packing shit up. We are going to be able to sell this house. We will move into something tiny, cozy, and filled with fairy dust.
  3. Melissa McCarthy. Sylvia Assbutt is no match for Melissa McCarthy.
  4. I have been running on my treadmill more nights than not for 3 weeks now. I am a motherfucking badass.
  5. Even though I still get really stressed out over work stuff, my current boss isn’t an asshole.
  6. Bacon.
  7. Both of my cars are running. I mean, not right this second. They’re parked, but they would both run right now if I wanted to drive them somewhere. Not at the same time. That’s just silly. You know what I’m not? I’m not superstitious. I do not believe, even a tiny bit, in anything superstitious. Yet, I still hesitated saying anything about the cars both running lest I jinx shit. 
  8. I was born in age where ice cubes are readily available.
  9. I have completed my time where cartoon watching isn’t part of my day. I never have to see Caillou, Ed, Edd ‘n’ Eddy or Pokemon ever, ever again. Given my list of cartoons, I am sure it is apparent that this has been true for a while. I have no idea what cartoons parents suffer through now. This doesn’t mean that I don’t still appreciate the shit out of not watching cartoons anymore. Except Fairly Oddparents. And Courage the Cowardly Dog. Maybe Dexter’s Laboratory. I also never minded the Teletubbies. I realize I am in a minority as they seem to bug the shit out of every other parent. I found them comforting. But fuck Barney. That was impossible to watch. Or Big Comfy Couch. Loonette annoyed the shit out of me. Probably, because her name was Loonette.
  10. I have enough. I truly do. Do I sweat bills? Fuck yes. Especially, this year. The medical bills are spectacular, but are being paid. I still have to get that central air fixed. A new roof is needed, but truly, I have enough. I am comfortable. I have calories available. I have clean drinking water. I have a family who loves me. I have enough.

I don’t know if this fixed anything or not. I feel better right this second. I’m calling it a win.

Photo courtesy of Alessandro Pellacini Benassi.


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  • *high five*
    Helluva list, Blog Crush… helluva list.
    And you just got your $300 a session therapization by combining ALL the shit you’ve paid for, listened to, rejected, and brutally faced by writing that shit down so we could see how far you’ve come and print that list for our own fridge… or work computer…whichever. (Bathroom mirror, anyone?)
    I spent my time crying from 8:14 Friday morning til Sunday around 4. I got a delightfully fucked up mean mixed message email from my boss on Friday morning, a ‘here’s some flowers, sorry I pushed you, tell everybody you fell’ email on Saturday that took an entire Sunday (with a little residual facial leakage on Monday… drying all that shit up is HARD!) to complete the cycle.
    I hear you.
    I feel for you.
    I wish I could fix yours as badly as I wish I could fix mine.
    Tim hides my bullets and his whiskey.
    Safety first.


      • You can do that?
        You are a BADASS!!
        Yes, Please! (Excellent book by Amy Poehler! )
        I put the book, “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero on the counter so she could see it when she walked by and know I’m not taking her shit without doing my research first… Subliminal messaging like the whiskey companies could only dream of.
        Yeah, I’m a little bit of a Muffy Thundercunt myself…
        I used to leave books like, “Hey Dummy” and “Mean Girls at Work” for my old boss. When she finally resigned, I left the book, “Nothing to do but Stay” on my counter for her to see.
        It was DIVINE.
        I’m leaving the ‘Badass’ book on your counter so you can see it every time you walk by to remind you that YOU ARE A BADASS!
        (I also like, “You is kind. You is smart. You is Important.” 😉 … here, I’ll just tape it to your bathroom mirror for the next few days!)
        *waves blue balloon at Rage-M*
        Now breathe our nice blue balloon air…

  • My problem with focused meetings, focused on me, are filled with rising anxiety consummating in my inability to shut the fuck up. Attack me and it’s on and it won’t be over when the meeting is. Character defect.

    Sonsabitches were fucked up into not letting me finish me sentences and similar. Damn near challenged one boss to get it on during the meeting but it never happened. What people remember is that I almost took him on. Bad for my reputation. 😀 Fuck it.

    AS far as I know I’v never been contrite because of a meeting. Hell, I didn’t like working there anyway. FIRE ME!

    I feel for you having to enter a ‘hostile’ meeting. I suppose it’s too late to get anti-anxiety pills.

  • I’m sorry that Sylvia showed up at a highly inconvenient time (really, when is anxiety ever convenient)? All my best to you as you arm yourself with ice cubes and DVDs and tackle the challenge with your treadmill-trained bad self.

  • You will kick Sylvia Assbutt to the curb. You put the smackdown on Molly Thundercunt, you can do this, too! Anxiety is bitch. I know you won’t let her get the best of you.

  • Must be going around. Have been feeling pretty shitty for the past week.
    Read to the part Bacon and got all emotional and shit. What’s up with that. I guess bacon will get us through it.
    Hail Bacon

  • Yes the distraction of Anxiety. When that happens to me I start various listicles in my head of all the shit that needs to get done on an endless tape loop, but can’t get done because…Anxiety! So will try and replace shit that needs to get done listicle with shit that’s good in my life right now.
    As a side note Courage the Cowardly Dog in my opinion is one of the BEST cartoons ever. I could also still watch Angry Beavers and Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends, never want to see another Sponge Bob, EVER, and Teletubbies is one of the most Zen shows I have ever seen.

  • I totally get you, and I wish you weren’t suffering with this right now. Or ever.

    I was reading something just last night, about how we can control our minds and just LET GO of whatever is making us anxious.
    Yeah, I can’t do that. My brain is a captive audience when I’m freaking out. It dissipates, eventually.
    But until it does, there’s Xanax. Better living through chemicals.
    I’m always around, if you need to talk. xoxoxo

  • Well look at you all braggy about having an ass who’s not an asshole.

    (Just kidding. I’m really happy for you. And a little jealous. I wish my boss wasn’t an asshole.)

  • Anxiety is a killer, I know that from my own experience. Love your list of positives. Perspective is changeable, as you so rightly point out. Keep an eye on my posts because I’ll be starting a business in a few months to help with anxiety like this (among other things). You might find it interesting.

  • We just finished a move from a house that we had been in for 19 years and believe me it’s never too early to start packing. It doesn’t really matter what and the fool that says you can control your mind has never had to deal with any phobia that makes no sense to the rest of the world.
    Keep your head up, your doing fine and getting better all of the time. Take it from someone that’s been there and back. And keep up the great work. I look forward to your posts.

    • Thank you so much! And yes..we are packing. I want this to be as smooth as possible.

      Yeah, it gets frustrating when people say…well..just don’t FEEL that way. Hahahahah…why didn’t I think of that??

  • It seems like you come back from each anxiety shitstorm a little bit stronger. With the last one you decided to start naming them and even if you only did it after the fact…damn. That should be read as a deeply Southern “dayum”, by the way.
    I hope this one will go around you, sort of like when you’re watching the weather radar and there’s a huge blob of red and purple that looks like it’s moving your way and then it pushes off to the east or north. And then the weather person does that clever computer tracking thing and you learn that off in that direction there’s a cluster of small towns with weird names like Spurls, Elkshit, and Blowton.
    Okay maybe there’s no Doppler radar tracking for anxiety storms and I’ve really lost the thread here anyway. I’m just saying I hope this storm blows by you.

    • I’m doing pretty good today. I actually wrote that a few days ago. I got through work…then I had a MAJOR meltdown the next day (I’ll tell you about it next week)..but today is good. Better at least.

      I love the idea of a Doppler radar for anxiety storms. Except I want to see glitter in the colors.

  • I truly enjoy your blog (okay, okay, your fucking kick ass blog) and even though I’m living well and wonderfully NOW I remember those anxiety filled days and nights. After being downsized from a corporate job and not finding anything in my field after two years I started working in retail and barely squeaking by each month. Bottom line is I had to quick sell my house to avoid foreclosure and at age 55 move me and my three cats (cliché) into a one bedroom third floor walk up. But, I was happy. Down sizing is amazingly liberating and once I felt “free” my life took a wonderful change for the better. I reconnected with an old love and we are now married 5 years and living in our idea of paradise (rural Florida). Hang in there kiddo. Keep kicking Sylvia’s ass.

  • We have a pair of wild canaries building a nest under the eaves, and I’m finding their singing to be soothing, so if I could send you a whole tub of wild canary song, I would. I don’t know if it would help your anxiety, but you might like it anyway…

  • Anxiety kills enjoyment! I’ve lived with it my whole life and am starting to discover ways to get past it. It’s all a mind game. I write lists of things that are making me anxious then tackle each one, one by one, by breaking the “fear” down, getting to the root my angst (what am I really scared of?). I “fix” it by taking care of business, then moving on. Every time I do that I feel stronger.
    Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
    Welcome humor…A good laugh goes a long way. Reading your blog helps me. I am not alone…you are not alone.

  • Maybe, think of it this way. If Sylvia was a person, who lived in your head, and held on to all that shit all the time, you could say, “Damn, girl, you need a beer!” Sylvia has a lot on her mind.

  • Way to go !!! That’s definitely a win !!!
    I’m soooooooooooo glad I never did the cartoon thing – I just couldn’t !!!!
    I haven’t exercised more than not but I have done more than I’ve done in a long while so I’m calling that a win for me !!
    And yes, we too are comfortable, comfortable enough to help those less fortunate than ourselves in small ways so I’m definitely calling that a win.
    Actually – days when I can get out of bed, get my job done to a reasonably high standard, go home, exercise, get a decent dinner in me and get a reasonable nights sleep – those are definitely win days. Last night I had an apple lattice for dinner and didn’t exercise BUT I did get an ace fire going so I’m calling that a win !!!
    Have the best weekend when it gets to you xox

  • You should turn the music up very loud while you’re reading, and maybe leave the TV on but on mute.

    That always works for me. The worries can’t get through all of that nonsense.

    Granted, I am probably not facing my problems the way a healthy person would. But still…

    • I think it’s brilliant. And I do that, in a way. I listen to very loud music in headphones when I’m writing code at work. It’s the only way I can concentrate, it occupies that part of my brain that just won’t shut the fuck up.

  • Once again, I feel like we’ve been sharing custody of Sylvia Assbutt. Welcome to my life, whatever there is of it. For a while I’ll feel like I’m handling shit and I’m confident, feeling better about myself. Then, I’ll wake up one morning and my reality slams me upside the fucking head and it’s the equivalent of being hit head on by a Mack truck doing 110 MPH. My badass-ness turns to quivering jello. I’m not sure if my recent return to having to deal with my brother-in-law is playing a role in all this, but I’m sure it has at least little to do with it. I suspect that apology he gave was less than sincere. It’s still a constant power struggle, with me having to remind him repeatedly that I “own the company” and he’s helping me in an “advisory capacity” ONLY. But, he thinks he’s always right and anyone who disagrees with him is automatically wrong (he admitted this), so I pointed out that he should be prepared to always be disappointed in people, since humans aren’t perfect, including him, and they will never meet his expectations. What’s a good male version of Muffy Thundercunt or Sylvia Assbutt? Petey Prick-Drip? I just made myself laugh out loud! 😀

    You know what? I have not had bacon in almost a YEAR! Can you believe that??? I would kill for a BLT right now! HAHA!! And I saw that the movie—Hail, Caesar—was on my Pay Per View thing. It’s a must-see?

    • I just sent my most withering sneer (it’s a good one, ask Randy) to your stupid brother in law. And yes, Hail, Caesar is good. It’s not my favorite Coen brothers movie, but it would take a lot to knock Raising Arizona and Fargo out of the top two spots.

      • Thank you for sending that sneer to back me up! I love those Coen brothers movies, too, but have to say my favorite is O Brother, Where Art Thou. Paul and I used to play that soundtrack all the time, too. I can’t believe that movie came out 16 years ago. Where the hell does the time go?

  • I wrote a whole response to this — but as usual, I made it all about me — my anxiety and my angst. I have a nasty habit of hijacking comments. I’m trying to work on that. I’m also trying to focus more on the positive, but my God, sometimes it’s hard to 1) find something to feel positive about and 2) keep from backsliding into negativity.

    See? I’m doing it again! Just wanted to let you know I get you.

    • I adore you and I wouldn’t mind at all hearing about what you’re dealing with. Shared experiences, sister…that is what connects us. I think you’re being too hard on yourself. XOXOX.

  • I’m in the same boat as you right now. I am stressed the fuck out. We have lived in our house for 4 years and we love it. Our landlord called me on Sunday to say he was sorry but that he needed to put the house up for sale. The realtor came on Monday and the house sold on Saturday. Now, I have 28 days to find us a new house comparable to this one and it’s slim pickings down here. I just want to curl up and suck my thumb in the corner, but I can’t. If I found a Genie in a bottle right now I wouldn’t know whether to ask for a house or ask to move in lol! To bad we can’t stress together I could use a good drunk!

    • OH NO! That sucks so hard. I am so sorry, sister. I know everything will work out, it always does..but until it does, then shit is going to suck. Hang on, sugar pop..just hang and do what you have to do. Then we will raise a glass from hundreds of miles away and toast each other. xoxoxo

  • I remember that my grandmother (think 1920s) called anxiety “nerves” and would sneak a mentholated cigarette to calm herself. I’m not suggesting you start smoking, but deep breathing does help. I guess that’s what I wanted to say…keep breathing because we love you. We really do.

  • Big love from across the pond. That’s all I’ve got right now as I’m in anxiety hell too.
    Anyone taking political refugees from the UK?

  • So much yes. Er, no. I don’t know what I am saying because it is 3 am and I am in a dizzy trying to finish laundry because I will have no water for 3 days and I have not shower right now. I could have written this post. Maybe not as eloquently as you did, but I can totally relate. And I am sorry, for both of us. Anxiety sucks. (hugs)
    P.S. I ended up here from a post on Facebook commenting about the readers you lost of the use of “assbutt” and I knew I wanted to be your friend. lol

  • “I’m not on fire.”
    Some days, that is the only thing on my list.

    My anxiety is an unnamed, angry, small, black-nosed Pekinese, who likes to bite when agitated. She can be temporarily subdued with long walks and bike rides.

    Harder to deal with than my own anxiety: the anxiety of my (adult) children, which is sometimes though the roof and about which I can do Zip. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. Zero.
    However, neither of them is on fire.

By Michelle


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