Sunday, March 25, 2012

Simple Horrors

Here I am, minding my own business on this lovely Sunday morning; drinking my Tito’s Bloody Mary and flipping through the latest edition of Self, when I stumbled across this handy, little nugget of information:

“Neti pot lovers, beware.  It’s highly rare, but using the sinus-clearing devices with water straight from tap could let (wait for it) a brain-eating amoeba enter your skull and, um, kill you in days…”

I have a feeling the neti pot (or amoeba farm) sitting in my shower right now is not going to be there for long.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Hunger Games (Part I)

I’ve never had any apprehension about drinking the Kool-Aid (especially when mixed with vodka, or money), so it was no surprise that after a six-year stint working at a law firm that defended companies against claims of discrimination and harassment, I developed a deep-seeded belief that discrimination and harassment did not exist. 

I passionately carried this belief with me to a new job—the in-house legal department of an evil Power Company—and these beliefs took me far.  After only a year of working at the Company, I occupied an office coveted by lifers (never mind that it didn’t have a window).  The company was made up of 3,000 people and the CEO knew my name!  One Thursday morning, I received an email informing me that I’d been appointed “leader” of a company-wide process improvement team to manage the implementation of a new discipline tracking system—wait, this is where we cue the scary music. 

This “process improvement team” was to consist of me (feeble, little, 27 year-old, anxiety-ridden hypochondriac) and an assortment of eight seasoned, director-level participants.  In other words -- not going to fucking happen. 

Sitting in an office with the door closed hammering out work was something I could handle, but this “team” was to meet every week for two hours to discuss ideas -- I can barely eek out my name in a group that size.

So, I did what any rational person would do; I went home and bawled.  Then I bawled some more and lived for weeks in a state of sheer terror, until I decided to do what I avoid doing at all costs:  I would out myself.  I would inform my boss that I have severe social anxiety and, simply, could not lead the team. 

I mean, surely she would understand.  I had worked for her for almost ten years; I was a stellar employee; I carried her bags; I covered up her affairs, for Christ sake.  Who cares about a stupid process improvement team? 

So I popped two little, blue pills and stumbled into her office to break the news.  I plopped into the impersonal, beige chair as she sat stiffly at her throne looking gaunt.  Her piercing blue eyes remained fixed on the monitor in front of her as I heard the words falling out of my mouth.

“Janessa, I saw the email about the process improvement team and I-- uh-- I’m not comfortable being the leader.”

“Well, there are other process improvement teams being formed and no one wants to be the leader.  I’m not letting those people out of it, so I’m not letting you out of it either. Hisssssssssssss.”

“But Janessa, you don’t understand.  I have really bad social anxiety and I wouldn’t be able to speak in a group that size, let alone lead the team.”

I sat paralized as her eyes slowly lifted to callously meet the tears that had formed in mine.  In the back of my mind I heard a strange voice, “Let the ‘Games’ Begin...”

Monday, March 19, 2012

On the Road Again

Do not let my absenteeism lead you to believe that my hypochondria has been cured.  I, myself, fell into this trap (mistaking an unhealthy obsession with a horrible job and lack of time—read laziness—for the cure), but I, begrudgingly, must confess that I am as sick as ever (at least in my mind). 

The years spent away from the blog have been a whirlwind and as a testament to how crazy I still am; in my mind, I never left - I’ve actually been blogging this entire time. 

That terrifying midnight trip to the hospital prompted by violent spewing of deep red blood from my intestines (and the dude bumping the ‘80’s boom box in the waiting room) – blogged about it. 

The “flu” that caused me to throw up in a public bathroom and made me crap myself in my sleep – blogged about it.

My love affair with Xanax and Valium – blogged about it.

Oh, and Saturday’s St. Paddy’s Day sangria binge that ended in throat cancer – totally blogged about it.

In all honesty and the above incidents aside, I’m leaps and bounds from where I was in 2006, and to that I owe the blog and all the support I received from the hypo community.  But the reality is I’m still an anxiety-ridden hypochondriac and I still have a lot of work to do, so here I find myself – back at the blog I never left…

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Shit That Comes Out of His Mouth

While rambling on about the omnipresent blog revival, I informed Rey that I needed a new cartoon created for my profile (because, clearly, it’s that dated drawing over in the corner that’s impeding my ability to write).

I went on to inform him that I would not be meeting the artist in person because artists who draw caricatures for a living are cynical and judgmental. Instead, I asked that he find a good, skinny picture of me for the artist to work from. His response?

“We don’t have any.”

I love you too, honey.