I Am Anxious About My Anxiety

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Full disclosure: I have always been anxious. In the Before Times, I lived with the constant hum of nervousness, like a gnat buzzing around my ear. I’m terrified of cliffs, snakes, trees wider than two feet in diameter, and any medical procedure that is even remotely invasive, to name a few.

And then 2020 happened, and my anxiety gnat became a murder hornet buzzing like a jet engine. My list of fears grew to include my aging parents getting sick, overcrowded grocery stores, job loss, public transit, private helicopters, armed militias, wildfires, earthquakes, and the biblical flood that will likely decimate California (shoutout to my colleague, Tom Philpott, for that one). 

Now, after eight months of sheltering-in-place, I’ve managed to get anxious about my anxiety. My latest fear is that the world will go back to normal, and I just…won’t. I’ve adapted to life indoors, where things are safe, albeit a little stuffy. I imagine myself 30 years from now, writing articles from the tiny desk I panic-built in the early days of the pandemic and Zooming my loved ones during their IRL happy hours. If they ask why I won’t join them, I’ll mutter something about inadequate ventilation, then make an excuse to hang up so I can feed my sourdough starter and water 50 half-dead houseplants.

What if I never shake another person’s hand again? What if I never eat in another restaurant? What if I never go to another concert or wedding? What if I stay home until I die? And what if I don’t mind?—Laura Thompson

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate