After a lot of work, I've managed to get my anxiety under control, and now it's almost like it's not there. I try new shows all the time, I no longer rewatch that one episode of It's Always Sunny to relax, and I go to the movies as often as I can. But I tend to sit in the back rows, near the exits. Just in case. Unfortunately, getting rid of anxiety is a lot like wrestling a knife away from an excitable toddler -- it's doable, but you're getting some scars in the process.
I first saw The Martian after I thought I had gotten better, but it still relaxed me to no end. Then there was the time I saw Trailer Park Boys Out Of The Park: Europe, a Netflix special about three Canadians winning a trip to Europe, where they have to perform ridiculous tasks in order to earn money for food. In one episode, a character is FINALLY able to afford a meal, but before he can taste it, his two asshole friends keep distracting him and taking bites from his grub. I got through it just fine, but I probably wouldn't have been able to if I still had anxiety. I think my heart would be racing, and I'd be screaming at the screen for those assholes to let their buddy eat his food before just rage-quitting. Then I realized I got lost in thought and had to rewind the scene to catch up. So ... have I really gotten better?
Honestly, I don't know. Before my gray matter got cast in the lead role of The Brain That Cried Wolf, I really enjoyed the show Monk, but after coming down with anxiety, I just couldn't handle it. The show is based entirely on the premise that the main character is everything-phobic but no one ever explains it to the people around him, resulting in him constantly being humiliated. I still haven't gone back and rewatched the show. I guess I'm just afraid that I might feel anxious during it, which would mean I'm not really better. But as long as I keep away from it, I can tell myself that everything is fine, while the truth is that I might not have actually fixed my "Check Brain" light. Maybe I just put a piece of tape over it.
Hopefully not, though, because they recently cast the insane count from Da Vinci's Demons as Brainiac and I kind of want to see that. You hear that, anxiety, you little bitch? If I'm not able to enjoy Syfy's Krypton, it will be because of the horrible, horrible writing and not you.
Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a Cracked columnist, interviewer, and editor. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter.
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