Things I’m actually referring to when I write ‘I’m afraid’ on a work email

  • I’m afraid that the ghost I think lives in the 23rd floor bathroom will tell my boss I believe in it
  • I’m afraid that this will result in a bad performance review, for some reason
  • I’m afraid that adding little flourishes like ‘I’m afraid’ onto my emails is the only way I can use any of the writing skills I have
  • I’m afraid nobody is impressed by this
  • I’m afraid I can no longer blame any potential incompetency on being a child, because I am 23 and no longer get ID’d when I buy a pint and people freak out when I cry rather than looking at me with sympathy Continue reading “Things I’m actually referring to when I write ‘I’m afraid’ on a work email”

Mental Illness, Ira Glass, and Me: A Love Letter to Podcasts

There’s nothing more narcissistic than anxiety. I was sixteen, and I had been to a birthday party. I had felt anxious and silly all night, a spare part, like me and everyone there were sharing this silent joke that I probably shouldn’t be there but, like, okay. Lying in bed afterwards, I was listening to Radio 4 as I tried to sleep. (Radio 4: home to The Archers, the shipping forecast, plays that feature the sound of footsteps more heavily than you’d expect.) It had been my lullaby for years – the Book at Bedtime into the news into whatever feature they had at 11pm, not boring, just reliable, polite.

So – Radio 4, me in bed, facing the wall but antsy and panicking, the kind of panic that can grow big and then fall in on itself. There was a poetry programme on. The presenter read out an email or something from a listener. He wanted, the presenter said, a certain poem to be read. It would make his day if they would read out this poem. Continue reading “Mental Illness, Ira Glass, and Me: A Love Letter to Podcasts”

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