A title meant to draw you into a very confusing experience that I haven’t yet sorted out completely. It is possible other people that have experienced this can relate but I have a hunch it might not be the afterthoughts we agree on.

The Incident

A few weeks ago we were mid-recording of the HugLife Podcast, talking about happiness or toots or cute animals and hope. About 15 minutes in my legs started to go numb. Thinking it was just the way I was sitting I stood up and started trying to shake them out, which made Mike (my co-host) very uncomfortable. I did some stand up podcast for awhile and thinking they had gotten better I sat back down. Probably 10 minutes later in episode 117 (listen here) you will here me go “um, I think we need to take a break for a second.” Although the break really does take 1 second in the episode don’t be confused, it was actually 5 hours. Some real Hollywood trickery.

The reason I decided to take a break was because I had started feeling very faint and dizzy and Mike immediately noticed that my pupils were fully dilated. The only other time I had felt like this was when I was on some sort of drug. Which is pretty easy to talk yourself out of because you know it is an effect of whatever drug you have taken. This however came at a time where I had eaten earlier in the day, thought I was hydrated, hadn’t taken anything or drank any alcohol for days before that. Which scared me more than anything.

Since, I couldn’t pinpoint the cause, I just tried anything that might make me feel better. I laid down and put an ice-pack on my head and tried to relax. Nothing was making it better which is when I went to the bathroom and started throwing up. Even though there was no stomach pain I thought maybe I had gotten food poisoning from what I had eaten earlier in the day. The only thing that did was now make me shaky as well. I felt like my whole body was passing out in increments. The top of my head, then my face, then my arms and chest, down to my legs.

I began to not be able to feel my hands or face. This clicked a little bit for me as one other time I had to go the emergency room months after a car accident with an elk because I was having these symptoms. Maybe it was my neck again! Well they weren’t able to help me with that before but this needed to stop.

Cut to me on my hands and knees kind of rocking back and forth like a child that can’t sit still during story-time. That’s when I decided we should call 911. As I scoot myself to the living area, I could only think about my current lack of health insurance and how if it was possible to not actually go to the hospital that would be great, because America.

The Paramedics

Three gentleman, that could be more accurately described as dudes, arrived to the apartment. The kids next door were jacked about it! One fireman started asking me questions while the other ones just sort of looked at our stuff. I explained how I was feeling and they took my heart rate, which was obviously very high just based on my concern for the way I was feeling. He asked what we were doing before this started and when I said podcasting all three of them noticed the microphones and said “you are not still recording are you?” No sir, I was not really interested in having my death on audio.

He took the rest of my vitals which were all fine. So they said it didn’t seem to be an emergency and if I could just lay down and relax that would be good but that I should see a doctor when I could. The least helpful of the fire fighters was across the room looking at our white board that has my other roommate Mitch and I’s ‘to-do’ lists on it. Mitch had happened to write ‘stop jerking off so much’ on his side. The fire fighter chimed in “oh man, I am like really dyslexic and I read Mitch’s as yours and thought, well how much are you doing that?”

Not really wanting to deal with creepy questions at the time, I laughed and then promptly responded “I think I do that an appropriate amount… but… would that make me feel like this?” They laughed and there was a moment where I thought I was going to be okay.

The Afterthoughts

As I laid on the couch and tried to relax and let the Xanax set in, there was only one thought that came to my very frustrated and fatigued mind. That I wanted to go to a strip club.

In the weeks since then, full of doctors visits and new medication for a crippling anxiety disorder – as I did have multiple more episodes of what is seemingly terrible panic attacks, some in my sleep – I have been trying to figure out why this was my first thought. I have some theories but none can really hold all the way up.

The 4 Theories For Why Monica Wanted To Go To The Strip Club

  1. I was feeling so alone, panicked and broken I would gladly pay a lady to pretend to love me? My thoughts had not been that I wanted a naked person to sit on my lap but that I just wanted someone to rub my back or something. Just a solid alternative to having health insurance.
  2. I was feeling so alone, panicked and broken that I wanted to watch people who we view as those things, so I could find a little solace in the fact I am not the only one who is struggling? Maybe I was hoping it would be obvious they were doing worse than I was and I would be distracted by trying to save them with my amazing stripper advice.
  3. I was so deeply in need of some version of strength I wanted to be around strong women and that’s where I knew they were? Both from an emotional stand point and the impressive limber physical strength. Regardless of if you have ever been or not you know that it takes an Olympic level upper body, lower body and core strength to do some of that pole work. I’m damn sure our Olympic ‘deal with bullshit and do whatever it takes to keep pushing’ team would be led by strippers. Apparently, subliminally I wish our country was run by them.
  4. I wanted so badly to think about anything else and I was well aware that naked people are literally the most distracting thing to other humans, in the world. Maybe I would have forgotten about the muscle I pulled in my neck throwing up or the general feel of doom if there were boobs out? We’ll never know.

I am now on some sweet new medication that seems to be helping a bit. Whether it is just that nothing at all leads to me having debilitating panic attacks or that I let my stress level get way too high, the result has been a horrendous 3 weeks. I’m doing fine, I’ll make it. My shows have been great, in fact the only time I feel completely normal is when I am on stage, maybe another connection to the strippers. Thank you to everyone who has come out to shows!

I have heard that before you think you are going to die your life flashes before your eyes. Well I have almost died, or thought I was going to die, upwards of 4 times and I have only ever seen a stripper flash me before my eyes. This is to all the other beat up people that are frustrated with anything that’s going on, we’ll all collectively take a deep breath and remember that it has been worse.

I love you.


P.S. New meditation will be up this week! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

Also, get your tickets now for the Night Before the Night Before, the show I am producing at Carco Theatre in Renton, Wa on Dec. 23rd. It will greatly decrease my stress level if you buy them now. (Here)