You may have seen this piece in today’s The Age, wherein we discover that, unsurprisingly, a large percentage of the population either doesn’t understand what anxiety means, or actively denies its existence. Apparently, 50% of people think that anxiety is a personality trait. You’re a nervous person. You need to get it together. Miki Perkins has interviewed a person with anxiety and this person has said, “yes, I have anxiety”, and Beyond Blue has said, “yes, anxiety exists.” Job done! Now everyone knows about anxiety. If only it were as simple as stamping our feet and telling them it is real,…

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For a while, I was not a person. I passed the time with droll thoughts about how terrible everything had become. Sunsets? Rubbish. Seaside? Disgusting. Chocolate? Tolerable. I had stopped functioning, at a very basic level: I didn’t even go to the supermarket. (I started writing ‘I couldn’t even go to the supermarket’, but of course I could, I just didn’t. That’s how it feels. Sometimes I was so determinedly not going to the supermarket that I could see the obstacles in the road. I can’t. I can’t. I want to, but look at the size of those penguins at…

Late last week, I had something of an epiphany. Epiphanies for me are quite small. They are things like, “the supermarket is just like an indoors version of the outside, but with biscuits, which you love” and “you are probably not going to fly off the world and into space unless something drastic happens with poles and space-time”. My recent epiphany was just that I could probably drive to my kids’ other house without freaking out. I haven’t been there for months, due to craziness and unwillingness. And look, mostly unwillingness. But my ex-husband has broken his collarbone and can’t drive,…

The only time I’ve been to Sunshine, I nearly bought a 1983 pea-green Commodore. I didn’t even have my license, which is actually probably the best time to buy a pea-green Commodore, before you know what driving a car is supposed to feel like. My boyfriend (later, my husband; still later, my ex-husband) wanted me to buy it, so we would be matching. He had a maroon-and-silver-two-tone Commodore with red velour seats and a red velour ceiling. One day I poked holes through it with the end of my cigarette. If anything, that made it more like the set of…

Someone sent me this question on ask.fm: It’s interesting that Amanda Palmer is the kind of person of whom people ask this question. There’s a certain loadedness to it: you wouldn’t say “what do you think about Nelson Mandela?” or “what do you think about people who distribute food to the homeless?” Amanda Palmer demands the question because the way she behaves divides people. I won’t leave you hanging: I think a lot of what Palmer puts out there is pretty self-centred. She speaks widely about the importance of making connections, of being philanthropic with art and of being an…