And Then I Started Watching The Walking Dead

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here…

I was busy with family in town over Christmas, and assumed that I’d be back to wish you a Happy New Year on January 1. Or at least by January 7.

What’s that? February is right around the corner? I noticed that too. And for the life of me, I don’t know why I’ve been so resistant to the idea of just writing something already.

Or actually – I do know why. I have been experiencing an unusually high level of anxiety lately. I say “unusually high” because while I admittedly always have one toe on the ledge, OHMYGOD who AM I and WHERE did my talent for dissociation go? Every morning I wake up feeling paralyzed – only propelling myself into motion because three small people require it of me. Luckily, it gets better as the day goes on and the beds get made and small tasks are accomplished. And exercise helps. And Prozac.

But it’s not normal. I haven’t had this deer caught in headlights perspective since my brush with PPD after Oliver was born. I remember that well. I also remember coming back to reality and thinking, “what the hell was that?” Unfortunately, knowing that I’m on the wrong side of the looking glass doesn’t make it feel any less dark.

This has been going on for well over a month. Or at least it was. Because a few days ago, I started watching a TV show about zombies.

If you know me well, you will think this is incredibly out of character. Because I LOATHE everything about the horror genre. Especially anything having to do with The Undead. I have never understood the appeal. Why is “scary” fun? What is it about grisly scenes of fictional carnage that make people shiver in delight?

You’re gathering a group of friends to order pizza and watch The Amityville Horror on Halloween night? Me? I’d rather give your grandpa a pedicure while watching back to back episodes of the Power Rangers.

So The Walking Dead isn’t a show that I would have expected to watch. Like – ever. I mean, post-apocalyptic terror CAN’T be good for my psyche on the best of days…

But the other night, when Chris and I sat down for some necessary escapism via Netflix streaming, the options were limited. Chris didn’t want to watch anything BBC or Sci-Fi (or Sci-Fi BBC) and I wasn’t up for action hero movies. Then we happened upon The Walking Dead, and in some weird combination of Chris’ friends telling him how good it is and my recollection that Tom and Lorenzo always write about it (I love their TV recaps), I lost my mind entirely and watched the first two episodes.

I’m surprised I survived.

But here’s the weird thing – as much as it kind of makes me want to light the television on fire and throw it out the window (don’t worry, this will never happen – I’m not crazy…and we only have one TV), this horror story that comes straight out of my worst nightmares has done wonders for my anxiety.

I mean HOW can you possibly see the current world as a bleak and depressing place when you hold it up alongside one where dead people roam the earth sniffing around for living flesh to devour? My life may have its challenges, but it’s not that bad.

So is that all I needed to snap out of my funk? A zombie intervention? Probably not. These things ebb and flow on their own. And as with anything else, there are other factors at play. I have a new project that has been incredibly motivating…I’m feeling so hopeful about the progress that Oliver has made this year in school and what that might mean for his future… More and more, I find myself spending less time worrying about what might happen and more time looking forward to all that is possible.

So I’m not giving The Walking Dead full credit. But I’m also not undermining the power of a reality check via bloodthirsty corpses. Either way – it makes me feela lot less anxious about the bad economy.

Happy New Year!


17 thoughts on “And Then I Started Watching The Walking Dead

  1. anna see

    Happy New Year to YOU! :) So sorry about today. Thanks for being so understanding. I am so excited about your involvement in LTYM. Can’t wait to get the scoop from you. Hope today is a brighter day. LOVE you.

  2. Cyndy

    Happy New Year…or Happier New Year! Sometimes when a person is going through something or other, watching stuff that is usually unappealing can be quite therapeutic. I remember after our fire that I was oddly attracted to disaster movies and post-apocalyptic things like “The Road.” They were strangely comforting and my amusement over the fact that I was suddenly interested in seeing things like that probably helped too. So I know where you’re coming from – it’s a mental health survival thing. Fortunately it sounds like you have plenty of other things in the works to get you back on the happy track!

  3. Jen

    First of all, thank you again for dinner last week! So yummy!

    Second of all, Peter got me hooked on the Walking Dead around this time last year. I am sort of a horror movie junkie, but hate all things zombies. However, this was right when I was post-surgery, trying to decide on radiation and hating my life in general. So, to watch something like that? Well, like with you, it sort of just plain cheered me up! Strange, isn’t it?

    I found myself chomping at the bit for October to roll around for season 2 and now can’t wait for February for it to start up again!

  4. Christy

    You’re right – I’m shocked you agreed to watch that in the first place! But glad you’re finding the zombies comforting. (what a weird sentence!)

    So sorry you’ve been going thru a rough time. Wish I could swing by with my delicious baby for you to hold and squish and then give right back.
    Hugs! xo

  5. Chrisy

    I get your funk. I’ve been in a strange place for the past few months, too. BUT, I’m so glad you’re feeling better…and CONGRATULATIONS on the new gig! I love Kim’s (Mosey’s) recent post. Her word for the year is “embrace”. Sounds like you’re embracing things—the easy and the challenging—with a fresh attitude. I’m going to try to do the same. Happy New Year and clapping for Oliver’s progress! xo

  6. Gwen

    JUST as an FYI – I am fully prepared for the Zombie apocalypse and regularly discuss the liklihoods and procedures of its details with Hubs, all because of this show. I too cannot fathom horror or gore, but something about this show DRAWS me in and I LOVE it. Agreed, can’t really complain about this world in comparison to that one.

    Glad to hear you’re starting 2012 off right! I look forward to supporting LTYM DC! Please let me know if I can help out on the back end.

  7. Loukia

    I can’t handle zombies, but I too have been at a maximum high for anxiety and worry and just generally feelng blah. I’ve been really removed from the blog world and I’m not inspired to really post anything and I think I just need winter to go away, already.

  8. Leslie

    I love Connie’s comment above, “Nothing says Happy Holidays like zombies!” That was as hilarious as your post! Well, I understand that not all of it was to be hilarious. But I do love your perspective – how can we deal with our little bouts of depression (it’s Monday, I’m having one) and financial worries when it could be that we had to start the day by bashing a zombie’s head in…

    My husband read the comics as they published, so I knew the story before the show, which is why I can’t watch the show. I’m a geek in all respects, but I couldn’t get past the first episode. If there is anything really true and constant about me, it is that I HATE ZOMBIES. Some people tell me this should mean I love watching them be destroyed. Nope, I just don’t want to watch them do anything.

    I’m impressed with your ability to stomach it! Now I feel weak, like I should try harder! Ha. Perhaps I am a BIT competitive. :)

    I wish you the very best with the LTYM project! You’re a shoe-in!!!

  9. K

    My husband is a zombie movie/show fanatic. I don’t like to watch TWD, but I have him tell me what happened. Hmmm…never thought of comparing my life to those who must survive amongst flesh-devouring zombies. The grass is definitely greener here:)

  10. foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog)

    We are just this second finishing the last episode of the first half of season two (gah…that’s a mouthful!). It’s taking us forever to watch TV these days, which explains why our DVR is loaded with junk we recorded ::cough:: two years ago…Ha! This makes it sound like our life is just so exciting that we don’t have time to watch TV. Ha. HAHAHAHAHAHA….


    What am I trying to say? I think maybe, given light to life right now, I’m going to approach the second half of season two of The Walking Dead as a means of aiding my anxiety of late….

    (Ok, we just watched the last moments of the last episode, and gah! Stomach ache AND still anxious. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens when it returns next month)

    (also, thanks for your notes. truly.)


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