No One Asked for This: Essays

With dry wit, a brave openness and unfiltered honesty, No One Asked for This by Cazzie David (creator and star of Eighty-Sixed) cracks open the reality of living with anxiety.

David rarely leaves her house because of her "five anxiety disorders." Even alone, she acts as though she's "being filmed," humiliated even while showering. When she does go out, she struggles to enjoy herself, worrying instead about logistics or if she'll eat too much before sex. "People sage their homes after I leave," she says, aware of her overzealous self-loathing, particularly after breakups. Yet David has fun exposing her psyche. She shares a chart so readers can tell if they're pretty or, like her, "almost pretty"; lists the "condom excuses" she's heard (they "cut off the circulation"); drafts imaginary tweets ("Placing my cat around my neck hoping she digs her claws into my throat"); and recommends against getting a cat for anxiety as she did.

David offers the reassurance that no one is okay all the time. David's self-awareness and catastrophizing make her comfortingly familiar. She builds rapport with readers by divulging insecurities (how she holds her neck when she walks), embarrassments (abusing her privilege while working for her dad, comedian Larry David), phobias (her dad dying, vomiting, almonds) and misfortunes (being diagnosed with a parasite). While she pinpoints her phone as one of her underlying problems, she also considers it society's "collective addiction" maintained in tandem with "our universal depression." No One Asked for This is encouraging proof that no one is alone in their mental health problems. --Samantha Zaboski, freelance editor and reviewer

Powered by: Xtenit