The Four Horsemen Of Mypocalypse


Fear of failure.



The Four Horsemen of Mypocalypse.

The horsemen have been stampeding through the strange terrain of my brain.

I am asking myself, “What ever would possess a social anxiety ridden, menopausal woman to take on this band of thugs?” Why on earth would I think it is a good idea to drag my mental health through the ringer again on the heels of a near breakdown?

My first Listen To Your Mother rehearsal happened last night.

I went to work an hour early so I could leave early then drove over two hours to spend the next three hours in a room with 12 strangers.

You guys, these are some fascinating women telling stories that made me laugh and brought me tears more than once.

They had dinner catered in that was amazing. I saw a promotional poster with my name on it. Weird.

As I looked at the poster, I confided to the women sitting next to me that I was preoccupied with not spilling any food or drink on the table or on myself.

Then I took a bite of cake that turned out to be a ‘not bite’ of cake. The cake leaped off the fork, bounced off my right boob, and landed on the floor. The women to my left laughed her ass off. I love her.

This morning, Randy and I talked about the anxiety stampede going on in my brain.

Me: People will see this on YouTube. I’ll lose the anonymity. What if I suck? This feels like a job interview. What if I fail? People will lose faith in me. Or, for fuck’s sake, I’m being delusional thinking that people consider my writing at all.

Randy: Practice. Read your story a couple times a day. That’s what actors do.

Me: I’m not an actor.

Randy: We’re all actors. Everyone wears a persona. We show people a facets of ourselves. Or, we can show a total different person.

Me: What if people don’t laugh?

Randy: Many people have laughed. I read your comments. You’re road tested. And what you do on stage doesn’t negate what you’ve written.

Me: That makes me sound like a car. Oh god, I’m a K-car, aren’t I? I am a goddamn K-car.

Randy: Yeah, whatever, Gremlin. 

During our conversation, a fifth horseman, the A.D.D. asshole, galloped into my brain. I thought I heard music coming from somewhere. I bought a new alarm clock for the first time in 30 years. This one has a radio and actually keeps correct time. This is something I haven’t experienced in over a year. I’ve finally entered the 90s with my little cube clock radio.

I picked the clock up mid-sentence and held it to my ear. I didn’t hear anything so I put it down.

Me: You didn’t say anything when I held the alarm clock to my ear

Randy: You did what?

Me: Just now when we were talking, I picked up the alarm clock and held it to my head and you were looking right at me. You don’t remember that? From 37 seconds ago?

Randy: Nope.

Apparently, random acts of weirdness don’t even register anymore.

Listen To Your Mother isn’t the only thing that let the horses out of the barn. The anthology I am in, Jen Mann’s I Still Just Want To Pee Alone comes out in a little over a week. I still haven’t connected with seeing my name on this book. I am detached and still think it might have been a mistake. I’m sure I’ll feel a surge of excitement when I hold a copy in my hands. I’ll let you guys know how great that feeling is and how you can feel that excitement yourselves. Really, I’ll even have links.

The king of the anxiety inducement has been something else, though. I started working on a much bigger project. I planned on writing a book. Really. I planned to start writing it any day now. I mean, I was due, as that has been my plan for over three years now. That’s a lie, three years is grossly understated. 

Thanks to some extremely exciting encouragement, my plan is no longer a ‘hazy, just out of my reach in the future’ plan. My plan is now an active plan.

Wish me luck.

It occurs to me in contemplating my title, that the television shows that I like the most have apocalypse issues. Buffy, Doctor Who, Supernatural and The Walking Dead. 

While I realize, in the big scheme of things, this isn’t horrible, but I was going to see Norman Reedus on Saturday. Yes. I was going to see Norman Reedus and get my picture taken with him. Did I buy my ticket to Horrorhound before it sold out? No. No I did not. I am ridiculously pouty over this.

There’s still a chance, though. I bitched about it on Facebook and a guy I used to work with posted that he has two weekend passes that he can’t use. I messaged him to let him know I would take them and as of this moment, haven’t heard back from him. I need all your collected good thoughts to force the universe to give me those passes. It’s Daryl, y’all.




Add your comments below. Profanity is encouraged, but not required. ;)
  1. trillie says:

    I am rooting for you like a maniac. And not just on the Norman Reedus thing. Though I suspect rooting for that would technically be considered mild shipping 😉
    PS Hi Randy. You seem great in the same way my boyfriend is great, which is a very special, under-appreciated kind of great and since you apparently read this, I want to say hi. Hi!

  2. Reta Jayne says:

    If there are two comments from me, I do apologize. After I clicked “submit,” I was taken to a site that said I had the wrong URL. LOL. Oh well. I appear to be in the right place now! 😉

    I have to admit, though, that I feel the same way sometimes. I’d feel overwhelmed & anxious if I were in your shoes too! BUT, at the same time, if you can laugh about cake bouncing off your boob onto the floor — & if you are so convincing as to get Randy to also hold the clock up to his ear to see if he can hear the music — well, you must be doing something right, eh?

    Smile! (& enjoy the ride!) 😉

  3. Sheri says:

    You GO. Do your thing. Listen to no one but your inner gut thingy. I want to also say be careful about trusting and I don’t know how you can tell who to trust, but just be careful. I learned that lesson the hard way last year. I was already pretty cynical, so that’s really saying something.

    • Michelle says:

      I am cynical as well, and I am trusting. It’s difficult being me. Haha.

      I hear you. I think I’m good here, I’m dealing with a reputable person..I just don’t want to say any more about it until it’s more real. I’m not a superstitious person AT ALL..but all of a sudden, I’m terrified of jinxing this.

  4. Best of luck! Just pretend like you’re writing to all of us….only out loud….with your mouth. 🙂

  5. Ann says:

    I hope this helps Michelle. You can write, you make me laugh, think and want to reply to every post you put up. I don’t follow any other blogs, only this one. I’m picky about who I read, and I’m not inclined to indulge people for the sake of it. You are funny, insightful, beautifully irreverent and very much appreciated and respected. I’m pretty sure that everyone who reads your blog and knows you is cheerleading all your achievements.
    But I am familiar with those four assholes. If they aren’t bugging you, they are bugging me. I’ve just signed a publishing contract for two novels, from a big publisher, and I am bricking myself because any minute now they are going to call and say that they have made a terrible mistake, my stuff is shite and they mean’t to send me a rejection but got their email’s confused. Its going to happen, those four assholes keep telling me it will. In the meantime I’m working on the second book just in case 😉
    Hope you get the tickets to see Norman.

  6. In my neck of the woods (the one that’s filled with boogie monsters around every corner), we call that imposter syndrome. Mix it with some fear of inadequacy and you’ve got a pretty potent mix. But here’s the thing – it isn’t true. Not one teeny tiny thought of it.

    • Michelle says:

      I know this. I do.

      But then my brain pipes up with..well,sure…it’s not true nearly always…but there are exceptions to every rule and we know where YOU fall..don’t we? My brain is a dick.

  7. You’ve gone public with your ambitions. That’s a big deal because now you’ve created expectations in our minds. I have another friend who’s writing a book. Every once in a while I’ll ask him, “How’s the book going?” I’m gonna do the same thing to you.

    And looking at the picture above I first thought there were only three horses, but on the right I can see an ear poking up over the back of the third horse. I don’t know who the fourth horseman of your Mypocalypse is, but he’s a sneaky son of a bitch.

    • Michelle says:

      That’s the horse you have to watch out for.

      And thank you..I hope you do ask. I’m working very hard and have set strict goals every day. I’ve met them so far. yay me.

  8. Charlotte Revely says:

    Those bloody horses chase me around too and I’ve never learned to ride! So pleased you are getting the recognition you deserve – the cake thing is funny, it would be more stressful if you were pitching up there as a serious academic or an expert on cake eating etiquette, but really it would just be even funnier. I read three blogs including yours and one of the others is my sister – I found yours from a link by Meg Rosoff on Facebook and so glad I did.

  9. OK, so all that negative self-talk? That’s what my #1000Speak post was all about this month. Don’t let those negative voices get to you. Do your thing. Connect with the success you’re having. As for the anonymity thing? Yeah, I was going to be anonymous on my blog forever. Then my online buddies dragged me kicking and screaming into the land of Facebook hell. Then I started to get opportunities here and there to share my words other places. Suddenly, bye bye anonymity. My husband pointed out (why are these men so wise where insecure wives are concerned?) that if I’m going to call myself a writer and brand myself with my own name, then I kind of have to get over it and just get to it. He’s right, of course. So is yours.
    You’re going to be great and I want to see your LTYM video!

  10. Good luck.

    I used the power of the force on that guy; he will give you those passes.

  11. Sue says:

    See, the thing about Buffy, Doctor Who, Supernatural and The Walking Dead isn’t that they are apocalyptic. It’s that these are normal people forced into extraordinary circumstances and rising above it.
    Well, okay Buffy and the Doctor aren’t ordinary, but Buffy’s friends started out as ordinary people. The Companions are ordinary people.
    They rise to the occasion. They become better versions of themselves. I find that inspiring.
    You will rise to the occasion, all of the occasions, and do great.

  12. Paula Greene says:

    You can do this. Every person out there is you. They go through the same things you do. Confidence is a matter of projection. If you act confident others will think you are, even if you are falling down inside. Or as Xena (or Lucy Lawless) would say “Fuck em All”. Oh wait no that was me that said that Xena wanted to “Kill them All”.

  13. KK says:

    Randy is right
    and no you won’t suck. I rooting for you as so many others are too.
    If it helps at all to know this the four horsemen are also my constant companions in varying degrees. I also couldn’t get my head round seeing my name on the first release, or the first play on radio and now it’s just normal for me, though I still get a special kind of buzz from new releases and first airplays.
    I also used to get terrible stage fright when I was young but the imagining them all naked thing seemed to do the trick for me.
    Someone very wise also said to me that all these people out there can’t do what you do and I remember that every single time I get up there, even when I know there are other musicians out there. I am me and what I do is unique to me, the same goes for you. Some people will love you, some won’t but we don’t care about those do we? xxx

  14. Lorien says:

    This is so exciting! I kinda regret not sending in a submission to that Pee Alone anthology… I have a kid who used to literally scream and pound his head against the bathroom door every time I left to go pee.

    I procrastinate A LOT too. I hate change – notice I’m STILL in the same job I’ve been bitch-blogging about for over a year. Today my stomach hurts again and I’m not sure if I’m still sick from the other day or if I’m just nervous about going to a group outing with a bunch of ladies from work since the organizer of said outing was annoying the living SHIT out of me yesterday with her stupidity and lack of communication skills (because she’s too good to give me details I asked for, apparently).

    You on the other hand, despite the 4 fuckwads of yourpocalypse, sound like you’re doing way better than me! Good luck and be happy for your accomplishments! 🙂

  15. Leslie says:

    You are being very brave! Good for you!

  16. Eleanor says:


    That’s what the inner asshole says to me when I do something brave. It’s important to ignore the inner asshole.

    But, if you wanted to give an answer, I would say, “I am a funny as hell writer who people are paying to see read her stuff.”

    Including me.

  17. I understand this fear more than you will ever know! I don’t know what makes us not believe in ourselves like other people see us. You are an amazing writer and I know you will rock this thing when the time comes. Hopefully one day your confidence with catch up with your talent!

  18. mary-anne says:

    That Randy is one smart guy – I love his comment that we are all actors.

    And hey, he married you, so that is another point in his corner.

    I hope the horses go back into the barn soon.

    Fingers crossed.

  19. I could have written this very piece myself. Sending you lots of love and good vibes. You are already awesome, and you’re going to keep getting more amazing. xoxo

  20. Gretchen Kelly says:

    Oh my god you have to see Daryl. I mean Norman. Oh my god you have to see Daryl/Norman. I’m sending positive “respond to her dammit and give her the freakin’ tickets” vibes out into the universe!

    Everything else is so exciting. It is all going to be amazing because you’re amazing. Everyone has self doubt and anxiety and feels like they suck. Even Norman Reedus. (But not Daryl.)

    • Michelle says:

      I got the tickets!!!

      And thank you so much. I am very excited..when I can actually feel it. That’s not always easy for me. Shutting down? THAT is easy for me. Haha.

  21. stef says:

    Oh, yes–sending good thoughts for the horsemen to ride on through and be-gone.

    3 hours in a room with 12 strangers sounds like my version of hell, so you’re already WAY ahead. AND you made them laugh!

    You got this. You’re awesome-er than you think!

  22. Doug in Oakland says:

    Good luck with those tickets, and leaving aside the cake-boob incident, I think you are going to stomp them into the dirt. And again, I mean that in the nicest possible way…
    So is this the “Symptoms of Sharkbite” book we’re talking about, or something different?

  23. The “Listen To Your Mother” thing is exciting! I know this probably won’t stop you from worrying, but you know most things we worry about do not turn out to be nearly as bad as we worried they’d be, right? Even if the worst-case scenario you can think of did happen, it would still probably not be as awful as you worry it will be. And soon you’ll have a really great memory to look back on!

  24. I am so fucking in awe of you. Keep listening to Randy, and believe everyone on your comments when we tell you you’re amazing. You rock!

  25. I think you have hit on the key to successful marriage: Random acts of weirdness no longer register. AH ahah aha haahaha.. I still note everything weird my twin sister does. It’s my duty. Your duty is to get your voice out into the world. The worst that can happen is you flick cake off your left boob. We call that “Balance.”

  26. bodynsoil says:

    Give that boob some cake, and other great stories by Rubber shoes in Hell. You will do great, you’re a great writer with a wonderful sense for hilarity. Relax, breathe deep, and go knock their socks off. I love your spouse saying we are all actors with our own persona…

  27. Carolann says:

    It’s so wonderful to have a cheerleader like you have in Randy. My hubby is like that too, and I’m very thankful for it. Thanks for the early morning chuckle when you said, “I’ve finally entered the 90s with my little cube clock radio.” So funny. Let us know how it went and the link to the video!

  28. Haralee says:

    You Go! I am waiting for the next post on the details!

  29. OOh, i hope you get to go see the Reedus.

    Also: “Apparently, random acts of weirdness don’t even register anymore.”

    Yup. I’ve kind of reached that point as well. Or rather, my fiancé will comment, if only to trigger my laughing about it for the next ten minutes while I try to explain. And then he’ll marvel at my explanation not making sense to mere mortals. It’s tough.

  30. Everybody else has spilled something on themselves, or fear spilling something on themselves, so with one little bite of cake you proved to everyone in that room that you’re a total bad ass who isn’t fazed by a little spillage. Just remember, those are your horses, and those horsemen are on your payroll. Don’t them lead the cattle drive. Those are your cows, too. ‘

  31. you’ll be awesome, Michelle! Tell those Horsemen to get lost 😉 Hey I’ve missed Rubber Shoes as I haven’t been getting post update emails to my inbox. Weird. I thought maybe you were on hiatus. Sorry I’ve missed your last number of posts…

  32. Jana says:

    The organizers of my show suggested that we watch the YouTube videos of performers from past shows to “get a feel” for how it’s supposed to be. Don’t do it! They are all SO good, it makes me feel like I’ll never be able to compete. I know it’s NOT a competition and everything, but damn – those women are like…professional or something.