Mercury Needs to Calm the Eff Down

Friday, October 10, 2014

Hi, my name is Alison and I have totally failed at blogging every day in October. I meant to blog more this week, but my brain is all over the place and school is insane and I spent Wednesday in the living hell of a panic attack for most of the day, so..... yes, here we are. I've gotten my head above water for the time being and I can breathe and feel like most of the time, I'm not going to vomit and burst into tears at any moment.

Anxiety is FUN, you guys.

And I know it's not just me. I walked into the restroom this morning during lecture and there was a classmate having an anxiety attack. I stayed with her for a bit and talked with her, because clearly I couldn't just leave her there. This med school thing, man. It's no joke.

I don't usually put stock in any astrology whatsoever, although I do enjoy reading my horoscope and laughing about it with Pam. However, I am a firm believer that when Mercury is retrograde, shit goes sideways. And guess what? Mercury turned retrograde on October 4th and will stay there until October 25th, which is just rude because I am taking a gigantic exam on the 24th and really need life to work out that day. Anyway, if you're having a rough time, blame Mercury. That's got to be part of it, right?

So! The last three days of post prompts from Helene and Taylor were:

- A letter to myself in 10 years
- My best/worst Halloween memory
- I never thought blogging would...

The latter two? Easy.

Halloween - I am going to become very unpopular. I hate Halloween. #sorrynotsorry I've never liked it, not even as a kid. I didn't really like dressing up, make-up made my face itch, and the annual Halloween parade at school gave me anxiety. I've never had a terribly good or terribly bad Halloween. Now I just leave the house on the afternoon of Halloween and try to stay away until well into the evening to avoid the incessantly ringing doorbell. Tiny kids in costumes are pretty cute, though.

Blogging - I never thought I'd consider myself a blogger. That's pretty weird. But there it is.

A letter to myself in 10 years? That's more difficult. Let's give it a shot.

Dear 38 Year Old Alison,

Well, am I glad to see you. This means you made it through most of your thirties without killing yourself, either accidentally or on purpose. Good job. Yes, this was a legitimate concern for 28-year-old-Alison.

At this point, you've been a doctor for 6 years! You graduated from med school in 2018, finished your resident in 2021, and are finishing your fellowship in pediatric oncology. So what if you're starting your career as an independent physician when you're almost 40. You finally did it.

Your kids are pretty cute, by the way. Yes, you finally got pregnant, and no, your autoimmune disease didn't kill you. It wasn't super fun, but it was totally worth it. And Ken is an amazing dad, just like you thought he'd be.

You have fabulously successful friends; great politicians, physicians, professors, and creatives. You're so lucky to be surrounded by such smart and passionate people. Remind them how much they mean to you. And yeah, you were right to cut those few people out of your life back in the day. You don't even know what they're doing anymore, which probably means it's nothing important or useful. And I see that you and Sarah are still as silly as ever. Good, never lose that.

Also, I'm so glad that people finally started vaccinating their kids again. Jenny McCarthy is a hot mess still, but at least measles outbreaks are no longer a problem. And I'm glad that Ebola never became a real problem in the US, although I'm not surprised. Did the conspiracy theorists ever shut up about that?

I see that you're still pretty intolerant of the blatant stupidity of the masses... I guess some things never change. But, I'm glad that you're better at suppressing the rage at that stupidity. Being a felon was never part of the plan, so good job there. Just continue to surround yourself with those intelligent, passionate friends of yours. They'll keep you sane.

Are Scandal and American Horror Story still on TV? Those were your favorites in 2014. What's your favorite show now?  Have you met Neil Gaiman? Has he written anything as amazing as American Gods? Have you finally given in a written that book you always secretly thought you might write? You totally should do it. And nice job playing in the pit for those shows in Philly... it's good money and you have a great time.

I hope that by now, you've realized that life isn't going to end every time something negative happens. I hope that your health is better than it was ten years ago, but if it's not, I hope that your team of doctors is still as great as they were in 2014. I hope that you read, knit, and sleep more. I hope that you remember that med students you may encounter on a daily basis aren't being stupid on purpose; they're just sleep-deprived and don't know anything yet. Buy one a cup of coffee and chat for a few minutes; you might save a life.

I'm glad that you seem happy. You spent so long being unhappy, with yourself and with your life, that you deserve to be happy. You worked hard to get where you are, so enjoy it. And pay it forward. You didn't get here alone; none of us do.

Keep doing you; you're doing fine.

Your Slightly More Neurotic, 28 Year Old Self

PS: Do you still have that sweater you've had since 6th grade? GET RID OF IT.


Annnnd since it's Friday, here's your #1down1up with Chrystina!

One Down | Definitely the panic attack I had on Wednesday. I forgot how terrible those were. Blergh.

One Up | The little things. The chocolate milkshake I had on Wednesday night at the diner to combat the panic attack. Snuggling the kitten. Snuggling the husband. Brownies. Chatting with Emily.

I hope your weekend is as great as this milkshake. Have a good one, all.

- A


  1. Yes, panic attacks are awful. And you're right, every time I have one I forget how bad they are. And it's amazing how anxiety is alright and then all of a sudden it all builds and you get thrown overboard and you're in full-fledge can't breathe can't think straight overheating what is happening in the world chaos. A milkshake sounds like a pretty good cure though. Thanks for linking up! And also. I'm not sure that I could write a letter to myself in 10 years, but I think it's interesting that you took a completely different spin than I would have - I guess that makes it a good prompt.

  2. Luchessa GrossmannOctober 10, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Oh boy poor you. Let' take a moment together & just breath through. It's all going to be ok. (Yes sounds silly for the most part, BUT it's true)

    No one expects you to be blogging every day, if your other important tasks come first.

    I hope those panic attacks leave you alone & don't come back. Just try to have a great weekend with some major self-pampering.


    Luchessa @


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