Last Night You Saved My Life – Or At Least My Sanity

“Life is a crisis – so what!”


[Malcolm Bradbury]





It’s tradition to start the new year with new years resolutions.

Yes, there are a couple of vices, I should kick to the curb, but I can’t really bring myself to resolve to that this year. I don’t know it just seems like a lot.

There’s one thing, however, I need to change;- desperately need to change:

“My panic-stricken worry attacks, when things don’t go exactly as planned or indeed go completely wrong.”

It really is an annoying – well for lack of better terms let’s call it – “habit” of mine.

I end up in this crazy downward spiral, that always ends with me living homeless under the bridge.

Let me give you a simple example:

“I forgot to buy the butter needed to bake a cake.”

This is what my mind does:

  • “Oh god. I forgot to buy the butter and now I can’t bake the cake. – What in the world am I going to do?!?”
  • “This is so typical! If I can’t even remember something as simple as buying butter for a cake, how will I ever be able to remember the important stuff?!?!”
  • “I won’t! That’s right! I’ll never be able to remember all the important things I need for my upcoming exam! And then I’ll flunk it and lose my job and never get the job I really want.”
  • “My father won’t love me anymore and my family will think, that I’m worthless. They will shun me and disown me.”
  • “Phil (yes, his name is Phil) will leave me for someone younger, smarter, skinnier, better organized with a better job, who doesn’t forget something simple like buying butter.”
  • “If I lose my job, my family and Phil, I will start drinking. I really will. I will become an alcoholic and then I won’t be able to find a new job and then I won’t be able to pay the rent and I’ll be evicted.”
  • “Oh and if I’m evicted and a homeless, jobless alcoholic, I will never find a new job and I will end up living under the bridge and I will never have babies.” (That to me is the ultimate threat – even worse than living under a bridge)
  • “Wow, gosh, I really have to calm down. Maybe I should bake something to calm my nerves. Oh wait, I can’t! I forgot the butter! I’m so stupid, stupid, stupid.”

The simple alternatives such as substituting butter for oil or just going back to the shop to buy some butter or asking a neighbour to borrow butter etc. just never enter my mind.

Instead of problem solving, I go into “catastrophizing-mode”. I’m not sure why, I just do.

It’s gotten to the point, where I can recognise what I’m doing but I can’t stop it.

Until last night.

Last night, I found out that you can stop me from catastrophizing.

How you wonder? Well let me show you:

My legs last night were not a pretty sight.

Not that I have gorgeous legs to start out with, but usually they are at least hairless and clean (oh yes and they are functional, but that really doesn’t have anything to do with the way they look).

Last night they were anything but hairless.

Okay, they probably haven’t been entirely hairless for the last couple of days or maybe weeks, but I didn’t look like a grizzly bear and I wasn’t wearing skirts or dresses, so in all honesty I just ignored it.

I did such a good job at ignoring it, that I completely forgot about it.

So last night I was somewhat surprised (and mildly disgusted) to see what shape my legs were in.

I should add, that I don’t do well with shaving my legs. I cut myself, I get razor burn and little bumps and my ingrown hair (yes, this is probably t.m.i. – sorry about that). In any case, what I mean is I usually get them sugared (which is basically like getting them waxed).

Last night, standing in the kitchen at 7 pm, looking at my legs, I realized there was no way I would get an appointment with any depilora in town.

Before I could start my downward-spiral of ending under the bridge and never having babies, I remembered I still had some cold wax strips in my bathroom cabinet. – Whew, safe for now!

At first everything went smoothly (no pun intended), but then, somehow, this one strip didn’t come off cleanly and left a patch of wax and hair on my right calf – Great?! No need to worry. I’ll finish the rest and take care of that later.

Well, the same thing happened with the next three strips, except it were larger patches of wax and a lot more hair. – Okay, now I’m getting slightly worried here. Am I going to have waxy, hairy legs forever?! Oh no, Phil is going to leave me for someone with smooth, wax-less, hairless legs and I am going to end up under the – Stop! Breath!

I ditched the waxing and rummaged through the bathroom cabinet until I found an old (but unused) one-way razor. – Fine. I’ll shave them this once. I’ll be extra careful. Plus everything beats hairy, waxy legs, right?!

Everything went fine (meaning only several insignificant slight cuts, totally coverable with make-up – yes, I put make-up on my legs – sometimes), until I got to the hairy, waxy patches. I know this going to sound really bad, but yes, I admit it, I tried to shave them off.

Obviously, this didn’t work. Instead, the razor got stuck to the hairy, waxy patches on my leg and I was really lucky I didn’t seriously injure myself getting it off. – “Oh now he’s definitely going to leave me! Honestly, which other woman has waxy, hairy legs with a razor stuck to them?! He can’t stay with me! He just won’t, he just won’t…”

Then something happened.

I suddenly imagined myself writing this post. Or at least a post about Phil leaving me for a younger, smarter, skinnier woman with hairless, wax-less legs, who doesn’t have a razor stuck to her right calf.

I started laughing. It was too absurd.

Why in the world should my legs remain hairy and waxy with a razor attached to my calf for the rest of my life?! And even, if – maybe I could sue the razor company? I’m pretty sure, they didn’t explicitly warn consumers, that their razor couldn’t be used to shave off waxy hair patches from your legs. At this point, I was literally laughing out loud under the shower.

  • I imagined sweet Patrice would console me and tell me about a woman’s worth and how things in life happened for a reason.
  • I could just about read Paprikas comment saying – Ah good riddance?! What could be sexier than a woman with a razor stuck to her calf – That’s dangerously sexy!
  • Angie, might tell me about an 80’s show, where they had discussed the pro and cons about razor attired legs and would I mind if she used this in her little play about virginity?
  • Erik might even find a story of his own to relate – since we do seem to have a lot of the same stuff happening to one another.
  • Worrywarts would be way too nice to remind me of her blood-shot eye and her hearing disability, but still comment in some down to earth fashion, that would send the little drama-queen in me packing!

So I did the only thing I could do.

I got out of the shower. Dried off and stuck some strips of toilet paper to the sticky, waxy, hairy part of my legs.

I then woke Phil, who was taking a nap, and told him to get ready. I showed him my toilet paper covered, sticky, waxy, hairy leg and he laughed. He thought it was adorable.

Let me repeat that:

He thought my hairy, waxy, sticky, toilet paper leg was adorable!

He didn’t want to leave me! He didn’t think less of me! He thought I was adorable!

In the end, I did manage to remove the waxy, hairy parts from my calf (simply by pulling of the toilet paper wads b.t.w.), but that, to me, is beside the point.

The point is, I finally found a way to stop that little “catastrophizing” voice of mine.

I simply ask myself:

“What kind of post would that make and what would you say.”

So, thank you. Thank you for saving my life; -or well, at least my temporary sanity.

Happy New Year!

20 thoughts on “Last Night You Saved My Life – Or At Least My Sanity

  1. I’m glad channeling a potential comment from me was helpful in staving off wax related, hairy leg induced insanity. Glad I could be of service. You’ve totally absorbed the philosophy of being Good Humored.

    P.S. Phil sounds like a keeper.

    • Maybe that should become my Motto for 2012:

      “When in doubt, what would Paprika do/think/say/eat ?”

      And yes, he IS a keeper – we’ve been keeping each other for the past 6 – 7 years – although my grandmother would add, that that doesn’t count for anything since “we are living in sin and he doesn’t have to stay. He can leave you any minute, you know?!” (I really wonder why I worry as much as I do with so much encouragement from my family) 🙂

      • Yikes… with a grandmother making comments like that, it’s not a long walk to figure out why you “catastrophize” things. Glad to hear he’s a keeper and I’m sure you’ll be keeping each other for a long, long time.

    • Isn’t it funny how we always “end up living under the bridge” and not “contracting a terminal disease” or something like that?!

      Yes, please do think of my legs:
      – firstly, because I would love to be able to return the sanity conservation favour
      – secondly, because I don’t think a lot people (including myself) think about my legs and I think they’d truly appreciate some mental attention

      Glad this made you laugh – it made me laugh too 🙂

  2. I’m laughing and crying as I read this. The dog is sleeping next to me and I’m supposed to be making my sister a plate of leftover indian food, but I had to read this first. This is why you should blog…I’m always asking myself, why do I blog? Like every day. This is why we blog, so we won’t worry about what our life would be like under a bridge.

    • Yes, yes and yes again – you nailed – I blog (we blog?) so that we don’t worry about our lives being lived under a bridge – Blogging for me is really somewhat medicinal – I think they should prescribe blogging in some cases – Plus (and that’s a huge plus to me) it seems to be so much easier to “write things out loud” than to say them out loud – It’s that little half sentence from Erik’s “Hannah” post: “The things you admit to on a blog”

    • Thank you – same to you (just finished reading your post so I’ll add a “Bring it on” in there for the hell of it ) 🙂

      Ummm – not quite sure about them being adorable – believe it’s somewhat less adorable when you around me, when I’m heaving one – I really do get somewhat end-of-the-worldish if I can’t find my keys or my mascara bludges or other major life crisis – I so need to mellow 😉

      In any case I agree, it does sound more adorable and less annoying when reading through it

      That’s my problem right there: My cuteness get’s in the way of people hearing my message (and yes, if you are a TV – junkie, you just caught the cheap steal of mine) 😉

  3. So, if you were under the bridge, homeless, and alcoholic, with no chance of having children… as long as you still find a way to write about it, we’ll find a way to bring you home, walk you to a 12 step meeting, serve you stiff coffee while we help renew your prospects with Phil about children. We’d also bring you butter if we could through words. Therein lies the power and problem with blogging.

    It’s cerebral and begins and ends in our minds. So in the case of a spiraling panic attack (which can be completely exhausting!) it can help bring some sanity back in, but when you actually need butter? well even if we had a P.O. box to send it to, it wouldn’t help get it there in time.

    As for a story that relates? Sure! My beard, has been neglected for so long that it has grown a beard for itself. Normally I’m too lazy to shave what nature gave me but it’s gotten to the point where it’s taken on a life of it’s own, it’s threatened to start a blog called “the chronicles of the face mitten”. Mostly it thwarts attempts of mine to find sharp objects with which to cut it off, and mostly I’m too tired obsessing about the implications of self image so the beard wins, and I resign myself to living under a bridge if it comes to it. At least I’ll be in good company. 🙂

  4. Erik it’s good have you back 🙂 And if you’ll send me butter, I’ll help you with that beard of yours – as you can tell I’m an expert at eliminating annoying hairy patches 😉

    Although I must say, I do prefer men with beards (weird, huh? non of my friends do) – so maybe keep the caveman attire a bit longer and call it style or life style?

    Plus, if we do end up under that bridge all together, your beard would make for great facial isolation 😉

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  6. I too often think I’ll be living under a bridge and have even looked at the supports (when walking by) deciding where would be the best place to stay out of the rain. I think there’s something to be said for these low expectations because I’m pleasantly surprised they’ve never come true..and the thankfulness that follows give mes a whole new singing-like-a-bird perspective. It’s nice to have a community to smile and poke fun of ourselves with. I’m glad to be part of yours. You definitely make me laugh.

    • Ah this made me smile, thank you 🙂

      I obviously mean the “you make me laugh part” and not the “I see myself under the bridge part” (I don’t know why I felt the need to clarify that, but I did) 🙂

      I like your perspective, it’s interesting. I’ve never had a feeling of relief, when things go better than I thought they would. It was more a feeling of “but it could have gone wrong”. Strange. I’ve never thought about that perspective. Will have to do some soul searching on that one. 😉

      Thank you for scouting out the premises before hand. If I ever do end up under the bridge, I hope it will be the one you’ve preinvestigated, so I can turn to you for some advice. I think it might be nice to know which are the best places to keep dry at my new abode 😉

  7. I agree with Phil — that is adorable! And I agree with you — I think I saw this on an episode of Facts of Life so you’re fine (phew). I’m so with you on the fretting and such. My husband tells me I operate ten years ahead of where we are in any situation. (i.e. “Oh no, he crapped his pants! Now he’ll be that kid in junior high someday who craps his pants!”) Thanks for the shout out too by the way 😉

    • I agree that being the only kid crapping his pants in junior high would not go over to well for your sons reputation (well not unless he’s trying to establish a very special reputation for himself, in which case this would be epic – but I don’t think you should limit your choices early on in life, so yes, that’s probably cause for some parental intervention right there).

      Also, sullying one’s underoos probably leaves you with a less than superhero feeling (is there a verb form for sullied? I immagined there must be, because after all how are things going to get sullied without someone there to sully them in the first place?!).

      (Did I mention, I am seriously considering purchasing the wonder woman underoo for myself from this place ? There are some things at an office, that seemingly only wonderwoman undies can fix. Also I’m guessing that should be a great confidence booster in court) 😉

      On the other hand, I really wouldn’t know, since the only retrospectively questionable bathroom choices I made in my life (well the one’s I can recall), involved pee (which I wouldn’t recommend for junior high either, I guess).

      As for the fretting, well I think being a mom that comes with the job discription. Babies and Toddlers are little people, granted, but they are little people without the common sense on what could possibly be lethal for them or not (also when they first arrive, they come with a self destruct button on top of their heads – now that would make me fret for sure!). 😉

      The shout out – ah well: Getting me to speak up when I think people or products are fantastic isn’t the hard part (the hard part would be getting me to shut up). Anytime – no I mean it anytime! 😉

  8. Some much goes through a brain in relation to one thing. If we worriers could learn to harness our thoughts, we could probably achieve world peace. Really enjoyed your post.

    • Thank you 🙂

      Interesting though! I’m not sure, I agree 100% though (although I really like the idea). I have found that worrying also means thinking in broader spectrums, trying to take every eventuality into account. I’m thinking that might be helpfull when trying to implement world peace in this humanity 😉

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I sincerly appreciate it!

      Especially, since I now have found a new way to blame Phil (I can tell him: If it weren’t for me worrying about you leaving me for someone younger/better/smarter/sexier/whatnot, we’d have world peace. You see, this is all your fault! 😉 )

  9. Pingback: Everyone’s A Winner! | Thirty Years Of Growing Pain(s)

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