As if I’m not stressed out enough, I made Scott Stossel’s My Age of Anxiety part of my springtime reading. Perfect for bringing up regrets and uncomfortable memories just before bedtime.
Stossel, an editor at the Atlantic, weaves history and science with an autobiography of constant terror. My Age of Anxiety made me thankful that my own anxiety hasn’t involved the physical symptoms that caused Stossel to spend trips to Europe running from bathroom to bathroom, to panic over a clogged toilet in the Kennedy Compound, and to spend a day writhing on a floor trying to cure his fear of vomiting.
I’m not so proud that my way of dealing with anxiety-provoking situations is to avoid them.
Stossel keeps taking plane trips even though they terrify him, he accepts public-speaking engagements even after the multiple times he’s bailed out mid-performance, and he’s gone after jobs that with stomach-churning levels of responsibility. Stossel is weak, sweaty, and “on the verge of convulsing” while standing at the altar at his wedding, but I marvel that he made it there at all.