Anxiety Chronicles is a series from The Lily that examines the journeys different women have with anxiety.
This week, we hear from Maria Bamford, star of the semi-autobiographical Netflix comedy series “Lady Dynamite.” She has two, hour-long comedy specials, “Old Baby” and “Maria Bamford: the special, special, special!” She is the creator and star of the web series “The Maria Bamford Show.” Bamford was the first female comic to have two, half-hour Comedy Central Presents specials and starred alongside Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis and Brian Posehn in the Comedy Central series “The Comedians of Comedy “and Netflix’s “Comedians of Comedy: The Movie.
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The most recent diagnosis for me in 2011 after being hospitalized is bipolar II disorder. I am hopeful the name will change to Bananapants on Third.
Because I’m on meds (Seroquel, Depakote and Prozac), I have considerably fewer physical manifestations than I once did. I used to stay up all night (mostly vacuuming) and exercise like a maniac (sprinting around a track while weeping).
Obsession with ethics, obsession with numbers (making sure we’re giving 11 percent of the business income to charity) and weighing myself every day.
It’s not as much of an issue anymore, but when I get to worrying, it’s the classics. Am I fat? (Boring.) Am I aging? (Yes.) Am I filthy? (Yes.) Am I dying? (Of course.) Am I a terrible person? (Huh. Hard to say, but lots to worry about.) Am I racist, homophobic, sexist, creepy, bad, inherently evil? (I’ll leave that up to a God I have no belief in.)
Exercise and reaching out to friends from my various 12-step groups.
They aren’t alone. If you talk to anyone for over 20 minutes, they will reveal some very odd anxiety or type of OCD or bizarre hidden belief system. I have been on a lot of Southwest Airlines flights. The most “together” looking people are also viscerally afraid of ice.