My piece published by Another Chicago Magazine, on the death of my Oma, and how I was unable to attend her funeral due to COVID-19. It’s free to read online, part of a collection of many people’s experiences during these strange times.
Sisters can be scary. Mine is probably scarier than most. She is an accountant. This means she is enraged by things I wouldn’t normally think about. This cartoon is a good example.
What I’ve been seeing; what I’ve been hearing.
Another Lynda Barry ‘Syllabus’ inspired cartoon: a record of one day.
(Obviously I am not very good at shaving.)
Meet Cray-Cray – if you haven’t already.
His main function in life is to make you anxious.
But it’s not his fault. Really. He feels it’s his duty to protect you from danger. Problem is, his version of danger includes a whole range of things:
EXAMS-DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS-SNAKES-CORDS THAT RESEMBLE SNAKES-POSSIBLY RUNNING LATE-SPIDERS-FAST CARS-ANGRY DOGS-EATING EXPIRED FOOD-STAYING OUT PAST YOUR BEDTIME-MEETING NEW PEOPLE-MEETING ANY PEOPLE-MINOR COLDS-MINOR COLDS BECOMING PNEUMONIA-PUBLIC TRANSPORT-ALL TRANSPORT-CHANGING MOISTURISERS-NEW JOBS-CURRENT JOBS-BURGLARS-BLACK CATS-DEVELOPING CANCER-EVEN NUMBERS-CLEANING THE HOUSE-LEAVING THE HOUSE-MOVING HOUSE-CANCER-GETTING EATEN BY SHARKS…
Before you know it, he’s waking you in the night.
And What Feeds Cray-Cray?
Other Cray-Cray. You think you’ve shaken one worry, only for it to have really been consumed by another. And when that worry has dissipated, you’re right back at the beginning.
Everyone thinks their Cray-Cray is unique.
But there are millions out there…
…they share the same basic qualities; we just wear them differently.
Sometimes you feel they take over your world. Sometimes you feel like they are your world. This makes your world feel awfully small.
But there’s a lot more to us than this one trait. It’s just that Cray-Cray got tangled up in our big fishing net of qualities. And he’s so bright, he tends to stand out.
Sometimes we are told to ‘get over it’. But they are not so easy to get over.
We try to ignore it, but actually, the best thing to do, is notice it. Cray-Cray craves acknowledgement.
– Hi Cray-Cray. I see you’re here again today.
– Yup. That sandwich is going to make you ill with its old mayonnaise and you’re also going to mess up your meeting.
– That’s nice.
– I’m serious.
– I hear your fear, Cray-Cray. But this sandwich is not very likely to make me ill. And as you’ve pointed out, I’ve got a meeting to get to. So it’s deep belly-filling breaths for me. And if I screw up, I screw up. It’s not going to kill me.
– That sandwich might.
– No it won’t.
– Er, ok. I guess I’ll see you tomorrow then, before your dance audition.
Introducing your Cray-Cray to other Cray-Crays can be helpful…
…as well as talking to professionals.
And eventually, with time and help, it will backpedal. Because crayfish can swim backwards.
The more you notice it, the more its power is deflated. Until you even become a little bored of it. Because it is boring. And tiring. So then you can find something else to occupy your mind. Something that pleases you. Something that involves all your positive attributes and capabilities. (Cray-Cray really hates that.)
(And breathing is good too.)
That’s not to say managing Cray-Cray is easy.
So here’s your own Cray-Cray template. Download it, dress it up, and show me how it gets you.
World Mental Health Day: 10th of October
Queensland Mental Health Week: 9-15 October