Apr 29 2011

Anxiety By A Length

I’ve broken bones
Had kidney stones
And thrown up from the pain
Been badly burned
And so, I learned
The hurt, in time, will wane

A migraine’s curse
And even worse—
A devilish variety
All these, and more
I’d try, before
Revisiting anxiety.

I’ve seen several reports on this story, and find it tremendously moving. Tom Durkin, for over a decade the voice of the Kentucky Derby (some 30 Triple Crown races to his credit), has made an extraordinarily difficult business decision, and (I hope and expect) a very rewarding personal one. He has retired from calling the Derby, due to utterly debilitating anxiety. Read the link–if you are unfamiliar with anxiety, this story is an eye-opener. If you are familiar, you’ll recognize the tune.

I’ve been there, to some extent–enough to wish him well, and to understand how a job you love can simultaneously be a job that overwhelms. Compared to Durkin, though, I’ve been lucky. Only a few serious episodes, and (eventually) a pharmaceutical that helped. But, damn. Anxiety absolutely can be worse than broken bones. I’ve had both. To me, there is no question that he made the right call.


  1. 1
    One Brow

    You have4 my sympathies there. My wife gets beset with anxieties of an OCD variety, at times they nearly cripple her abiblityto do anything.

  2. 2

    I've been there. I'm on medicine for it. It helps, along with various activities. I'd much rather have the flu or a broken bone than deal with an anxiety attack.As much as I used to love bartending, bad anxiety days could turn that job into a nightmare.

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