jeanine fritz

One morning over the long weekend, I woke up and then went back to sleep four separate times. Yes, I was tired, and yes, getting over a flu, but the real reason I kept shutting my eyes was good, old-fashioned fear. And like most mornings, I woke up with a song in my head. (If I wasn't such a salty crabcake in the morning, and if squirrels laid out my outfits, and birds did my dishes, and the songs in my heart were unilaterally "nice," I'd be a Disney princess.)

I didn't want to get up because I knew the second I did, I'd have to start doing stuff. Looking back, I know it was silly to worry so much, but as I lay there in bed with one eye creaking open, and despite having Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" in my brain, it didn't yet feel like a day I could rally for. I spun in a circle in bed, twisting the buffalo plaid sheets around me and went back to sleep.

I had to write something and it needed to be better than good. It needed to be bone-crushingly awesome. Naturally, I hadn't started, I hadn't figured out a theme to cling to, and I couldn't even think of something funny to write as a distraction while I figured it out. "Fuuuuuuu," I muttered to the cowboys on my pillow case. Forty-five minutes later, I woke up with "Caribbean Queen" in my head.

It was also opening weekend of Boulder Outdoor Cinema, and after several months of planning and putting stuff together for it, I woke up wondering if I'd forgotten something crucial and would end up having invited hundreds of people to come watch a movie and then forgotten, I dunno, the fuggin movie maybe.

I have General Anxiety Disorder.


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People who have it worry about stuff more than necessary. Sometimes we know what we're worried about, sometimes not, and it can be debilitating. It's not so bad for me and I'm thankful for that. Mostly I just do things like lie in bed a little longer trying to work out how I'm going to address whatever it is that lies ahead. I don't let it freeze me up for long. I hit deadlines, I show up for work, I don't skip out on social activities -- I just take longer to warm up and my friends know to just let me sit quietly for a few minutes and I'll be fine.

On this particular morning, I was feeling the need to warm up longer than usual, and because I really know how to have a good time, I began to worry about that too, about the amount of daylight I was losing to worry when I could be taking care of business, about whether or not this was a sign I was going to be more anxiety-prone than normal for a while, about whether the little, semi-adorable worry was growing and mutating into something far worse, like a Gremlin soaked in water.

And then the brain clouds parted and I decided it was boring to worry about worrying and went back to sleep again. Twenty minutes later, the piano strain of the Stones' "She's a Rainbow" tiptoed into my brain and I woke up a fourth time.

"This is insane," I told the stuffed honey badger on the floor. "I'm getting up."

I put my feet on the floor and decided everything would work out -- right after I had a shower, a gigantic coffee, and a quiet minute in the Colorado sunshine.

I'd like to think we all can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and rally at any time, drawing upon an inner strength greater than whatever hurdles lay before us, but I know full well there are times in life when things are far bleaker than worrying over a stupid deadline, and getting out of bed seems impossible. A shower, a cuppa, and a hit of sunshine doesn't solve everything. I know there are folks out there feeling that way right now, and I guess I just wanted to acknowledge you. And maybe suggest you listen to "She's a Rainbow."