Fucking Panic Attacks

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I tried everything I could think of to get my breathing under control. I used breathing techniques I learned from meditation apps (who claimed the techniques were the same ones SEALS operatives use when under fire.) I tried telling myself everything was OK. I imagined the doctor telling me everything was OK. I told myself, fuck it- worse thing that could happen is that you die, and you gotta die one day anyway. Somehow even that nihilistic reasoning did nothing to calm me. My husband couldn’t calm me. Doctor’s couldn’t calm me. Even the nurse telling me to think of cute puppies couldn’t calm me down.

And puppies are fucking adorable.

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When Your Spouse Becomes Your Co-Worker

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Like hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, I spruced up my “office,” aka the kitchen table, to make it feel a bit more…officey. I put a cup full of pens next to my computer, dug up some old, half-used notepads and moved all the plants in my house over to the two windows closest to the fold up table I started working on, giving the room a cozier feel.

Being locked in my house over the weekend, everything was clean. More than clean, sparkling. Surgery could be done in any room. Cleaning was a great way to kill time and anxiety about COVID-19. Okay, not just cleaning, but cleaning with wine was the ticket.

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Strangers with Candy

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After a four mile jog, I was only a few blocks from my home when I watched a blue van drive past me and unexpectedly slam on the breaks. The van stopped dead in the middle of the road, only a few feet in front of me.

My brain immediately told me that this was odd and that continuing to run past the van probably wasn’t a great idea. I slowed my jog down to a walk and stopped when I saw the van shift into reverse and began driving in my direction.

Of course it was coming my fucking direction.

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Accidentally Moving to the Ghetto

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Despite being chained to a mountain of debt, Jess and Lexi set out after college to escape their vapid Jersey hometown in an attempt to find the underbelly of a city where the people are provocative, the environment is stimulating, and the whiskey is cheap.

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Crazy Cat Cycling Club

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Lexi always got on Jess about leaving the house with damp hair, arguing that apparently “air-drying your hair by leaving your windows down on the drive to work” was not an acceptable form of hair drying.

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The Tardigrades

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It’d been two weeks and three days since Jess heard nothing but radio silence from her flame, Chris James: the same silence that haunted their meals together the last few weeks of their relationship.

But Jess didn’t know it was over, really over until now.

After neurotically analyzing every inch of his profile while twisting in the agony of her unrequited love, Jess finally got her answer. Not from a phone call or a response to her regrettably meek texts asking when she would see him again, but from an updated status confirming Jess’ worst fear.

And now Jess wasn’t preoccupied with his updates anymore- she was consumed with hers.

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Aim For The Ground, Not The Stars

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“Jesus, even in your fantasies you shoot for the floor,” Nick said, holding up the ragged sleeve of Jess’ costume.

Oh, the stars, that’s right, I’m supposed to aim for the stars,” Jess answered in the least mocking tone she could muster. After five years of marriage, Nick decided it was time to divulge his shameful secret- he loved Renaissance fairs. No, not loved, obsessed, he was obsessed with renaissance fairs. Nothing made him happier, he said, than dressing up in a historically accurate costume, eating a turkey leg in one hand and drinking beer from his chipped bull horn in the other. So that’s how Jess found herself here, dressed in a period-accurate costume as a wench. Something she never thought to put on her own bucket list.

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Global Dodge Ball

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Because that’s what it feels like, doesn’t it? A ginormous game of dodge ball.

The game was on. Jess mentally prepared herself. Physically prepared herself. Then it was time, the clock started when the virus hit her area. Just one case at first. Then two. But Jess was ready, so ready. She had a bottle of hand sanitizer, plenty of meds, a bottle of Wild Turkey, and cans upon cans of food that will probably follow her into retirement.

To say Jess was excited to play the game is an overstatement; but, prepared, resolved to beat this virus- yes.

And like every game of dodge ball that Jess ever played, she was out in round one.

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Nerd Farm

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Management Analysts are an unapologetic nerdy sort. Their love for plugging away on their spreadsheets and scrubbing endless data is pure and simple. Or at least that seemed to be the case in the nerd farm Jess was recently hired to work in.

Jess had no idea how she was selected for the analyst position. Had she successfully argued during her interview that her smorgasbord of past jobs actually entailed ‘analyzing data’? Even Jess was surprised when she saw the job offer in her inbox. But after unsuccessfully job hunting for six months, she wasn’t about to question the decision to hire her.

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