My brains have calmed down quite a bit. It was touch and go for a while there. I kept pacing the apartment and gnawing on my knuckles and informing Scott in a hoarse whisper that I was going mad. It’s times like these that I wish I had an ivory floor-length nightgown. My wandering from room to room seems less haunting and eerie when I’m wearing polka-dotted flannel jammie-jams.

My ace team of mental-health professionals, whom I love and cherish and never want to let go, are, sadly, all in New Jersey (NEW JERSEY! I shake my fist at thee!) so I’ve been consulting with them by phone. During one of our phone consults, after she listened to me natter on about my inability to sleep and tendency to jump out of my skin whenever anyone slammed a door and also how I kept checking my pulse and it wasn’t high high but, I mean, high for me, my head-drugs-doctor suggested a drug I thought was only used on honest-to-God psychotics, and nothing against those guys but I really didn’t want the drugs that would turn me soft and glassy-eyed and stroking my chenille throw all day long. I mean, I may have been jumping to some uninformed conclusions, sure. So after I informed my doctor that I was not about to ingest metal salts that Kurt Cobain wrote songs about, thankyouverymuch, and maybe after I hung up on her, she called back and suggested we try beta blockers for now. Which I thought was hilarious because my blood pressure is 90/70 when I’m at my most stressed, so I thought beta blockers would kill me dead. I pictured my blood pooling in my ankles every time I stood up. But at that point I was willing to try anything, and she’s the expert, am I right? so I agreed.

And oh my word! These beta blockers have taken the edge off in an amazing and awesome way. I use “awesome” a lot, now that I’m on beta blockers. I’ve lost all use of my critical faculties, sure, but on the other hand I’m feeling smooth and groovy. Which is super. What was I talking about? I was just staring at the letter G on the keyboard. Is it not the best letter? It’s like, you think it’s a C, and then WHOA! That little curvy jag there changes things in a big and awesome way!

Oh, but I kid. I didn’t even take one today, is how much better I’m feeling. (Full disclosure: I will probably take one right now. Because the neighbors, they do love to slam the doors, and there’s a lot of door-slamming going on tonight, and already I can feel my heart rate increasing.) I have gone at least 48 hours without any intrusive thoughts or hyperventilating at all! I am also eating real food (kind of a lot of real food, in fact) and my stomach feels fine! It’s a Christmas miracle!

I tried to respond to all the emails I received, but there were over 700, and my doctors seemed especially concerned for me when I mentioned how I was trying to write back to everyone. So thank you, if you didn’t hear from me. I read them all—some of them more than once—and saved them in a special folder, and I intend to read them again, if and when I need to. Thank you. Thank you, thank you.