What Sucks About Anxiety

Anxiety sucks. It wears me out so that I’m tired all the time. Which makes me drink a lot of coffee.

Drinking a lot of coffee sucks too. Because a lot of the natural effects of caffeine look just like anxiety symptoms. Which either makes me more anxious or makes me think I’m more anxious. The difference between these two experiences is inconsequential. Because in the end, I end up being anxious. Which makes me drink a lot of booze.

Which works for a little while. Makes me feel both calmer and happier. But eventually wears me out, so that I’m tired all the time. And, as my doctor says, lowers the bar for future anxiety and panic attacks, making me more susceptible to anxiety.

But, what rules about anxiety is that it makes me uncomfortable and edgy and sometimes a little bit desperate. And that place, if I can get the chemistry part of it right ;), is a helluva great place to write from.




  1. Christopher Peter · June 3, 2014

    I drink too much coffee too. I wish it made me write faster, but it doesn’t.

    • Juan Zung · June 3, 2014

      Oddly enough liquor seems to work best for me. Beer next. Then wine third…

  2. Heather M. · June 3, 2014

    I so agree!! I write my best stuff when I am having a panic attack or just in a dark moment. I actually had to stop drinking almost everything with caffeine in it because of my panic/anxiety attacks. It was putting too much stress on my poor little heart. It would flutter all the time and take my breath away.

    Now the only thing I have to deal with the panic attacks is writing or walking until I am calm again. I have an addictive personality so I never got into drinking out of fear of becoming an alcoholic. And I also kind of hate the taste of alcohol.

    • Juan Zung · June 4, 2014

      Strange how powerful a tool suffering is for the writer! It was a revelation for me when I realized that if I lean in to my pain/anxiety/fear, I can write effectively from that place.

      I have to admit, in moments of clarity, alcohol is a fair weather friend at best. Even though I try to exude this casual, fun-loving attitude about booze, in my ever anxious mind I’m constantly ruminating between two thoughts: “am I drinking too much?” and “God, I need a drink right now.” Both of which would seem to indicate a problem.

      There was a recent hubbub with Canning Tatum (heartthrob moviestar) who said in an interview that he’s a “high functioning alcoholic.” This brought the ire of some advocacy groups, concerned that he was making light of a very serious condition. But I can see where he’s coming from. There are many levels on the alcoholism spectrum: from “habit” to “crutch” to “dependence” to “hitting rock bottom…”

  3. Andrew Meadows · June 4, 2014

    Anxiety causes me to shut down. When I’m confronted with all my fears, nervousness, and just…everything, I reach a point where the only safe path is to do nothing, and I default to it. It’s really terrible, and is the biggest reason I haven’t posted on here in a couple of weeks.

    • Juan Zung · June 4, 2014

      I’ve missed your posts, Andrew. I find them thought provoking and I appreciate your vision to add the conversation.

      I think everybody’s different, so I try not to presume to give unsolicited “advice” on how to deal with anxiety (**set up for unsolicited advice**). Speaking just for myself, I don’t know if I’ll ever be free from anxiety and panic attacks. But I do think that embracing the reality of it has helped. A part of that meant finally seeking medical help for the panic.

      Take care and I’m looking forward to seeing you back on WP whenever you’re ready!

  4. hessianwithteeth · June 5, 2014

    I drink too much pop for the same reason. I find that anxiety makes it easier for me to meet deadlines. It doesn’t seem to make me write better though.

    • Juan Zung · June 5, 2014

      Makes me wonder if anxiety helps my writing or writing helps my anxiety.

  5. samk987 · June 11, 2014

    Finding and reading this post the other day really helped me to chuckle and lighten up a bit (from my own anxiety) !

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