O.P.P. (Other People’s Problems)

It seems several of us are having rough times at the moment. I’ve been sitting around wondering why people seem to all lose their proverbial shit at the same time. Then, last night, my mother let it slip that she took a Xanax to sleep the night before because she couldn’t sleep worrying about me. In addition to feeling like an asshole for that, I had a realization: we’re bumming each other out by making each other worry. You’d think I’d have grasped this by now, having been kept up a couple nights by other people’s problems. Being kept awake by someone else’s problems. Is that human, or just stupid and co-dependent? Does it matter? We’re all going to do it anyway. Those of us who aren’t robots.

One person has trouble, the person next to that person gets worried and does something to kill the worry. The person next to THAT person then gets worried about the second person. Then, a fourth person gets worried about the third person. What this means is that someone somewhere is sitting around being worried about my mom. By my math, there are at least two. Sis and I have been worried about mom losing her shit ever since dad died.

It’s this weird, swirling eddy of suck and you just have to wait for it to die down. Slowly, things fall back in line, everything calms down little by little and everybody can go back to worrying about stupid things like bugs on their tomato plants and who put that dent in the car door.

For my part, I’d like to take a second to thank my friends. 90% of you have had to talk me down at some point in the last couple of weeks. I know that I’m wearing you out, and I’m sorry. I have been even more exhausting and self-centered than usual. If nothing else, my mom will be here in a week and you’ll all get a vacation. Moms are somehow contractually obligated to not screen out their kids’ calls.

It’s been a collection of days when my boss doled out to me just ONE more uncontrollable situation than I can handle gracefully. I yelled at her on the phone. It wasn’t completely undeserved, but it wasn’t really a Jackie O. move either. In my defense, this frustration has been going on for over year and there’s nothing I can do about it. Frustrated cat has been…frustrated.

This week, I have also been introduced to a completely new phenomenon where I have anxiety about being in my own house. My house is usually where I go to hide from the people who are fucking with me; this week, the house itself is fucking with me. “Amy, I’m a prison! Check out this bed! This is where you don’t sleep! Wheeeeeee!”

I paraphrase.
My house doesn’t really talk to me.
I’m not hearing voices.

As I drove back from Florida and felt the teeth start to grind and the elephant climb onto my chest, I thought “I don’t want to go back to my life. Everyone there is mean and wants to fuck with me.” OK, not everyone. The non-mean people far outnumber the mean people. It’s just that the mean people are so damn mean. Everybody has some kind of weird hidden agenda. Everything is a press release. Everybody wants something from you. Everybody is just waiting for you to fuck up and say the wrong thing. I spend all day telling myself what not to say. I’m doing it right now.

Anyway, thanks and props to everybody who’s had to babysit my lame ass in the last couple of weeks. Thanks and props to the countless friends who have known when to not ever, ever repeat what I say. Thanks and props to people who know me well enough to know that “hey, what’s up?” at a certain time of day really means, “please, for the love of God, talk me down off the ceiling.”

I owe you guys big time.
My phone’s always on…
for when you need to be talked down.


4 thoughts on “O.P.P. (Other People’s Problems)

  1. Wee! I’ve never commented here before!!!

    YES-everyone has been losing their collective shit. What’s up with that?! I think you hit the nail on the head right here, too:

    “Everybody has some kind of weird hidden agenda. Everything is a press release. Everybody wants something from you. Everybody is just waiting for you to fuck up and say the wrong thing. I spend all day telling myself what not to say. I’m doing it right now.”

    THAT stresses me out IMMEASURABLY. That is probably 80% of my daily cortisol right there. Especially at work. I spend 8 hours a day checking and re-checking my mouth filters and it’s wearing me out. I remember a time when I did not give such a fuck, and I’m spending the rest of my time designing a time machine so I can recapture whatever it was I’ve lost so I feel free to say what I like and not have all this worry.

    These are our times, no? Sales sales sales. I’m thinking about subletting the floor of the apartment and just taking up residence on the ceiling.

  2. Don’t tell yourself what not to say. Especially here. This is the place where you can say literally anything… and we like it. A lot.

  3. Welcome to Thursday Poets Rally Week 24:

    First, please read the questions and respond:


    Then, Post an original poem in your own blog, and place your link in under the following post to participate:

    Now, visit and comment for a minimum 18 poets from week 24 participants list, after you are done, comment to let Jingle know, you are in perfect shape then…

    Awards are given by Jingle via notifications….

    Make sure that you: return favors to poets who have visited your blog
    Have visited 18 poets NEW to you.

    Thank You for the attention.
    Happy Thursday!
    Happy Poetry Reading and writing!

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