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A Lifetime of Embarrassing Events

Controlling the Crazy

By Lizz ChambersPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 3 min read
Top Story - April 2024
A Lifetime of Embarrassing Events
Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

Embarrassment or awkwardness is an emotional state associated with mild to severe discomfort. It usually happens when someone commits a socially unacceptable or frowned upon act witnessed by or revealed to others.

Looking back on my life, I realize I've had many embarrassing events. If I write my memoir one day, it will be called "I Didn't Think It Through." That's how embarrassing events usually happen. Someone acts, speaks, or engages before consciously thinking about the results of those actions. Welcome to my world.

One of my earliest memories was when I was a dancer and a member of the "Senior Line" in Little Rock, Arkansas's version of the Rockettes. My red velvet costume was covered in mirrors designed to reflect light as we high-kicked our way across the stage. The material around the bottom of my costume came loose, and "not thinking it through," I grabbed a straight pin, pulled the material to the costume's crotch, and pinned it as a temporary fix before going on stage. The first kick and up the pin came, and the pain was immediate.

My mother later described the scene from the audience as lights flashing and high kicks being performed in time with the music. However, there was a noticeable sag in the middle of the line as the dance team struggled to drag one poor dancer with them through the routine and finally off the stage. My mother said she knew instinctively that the sag had to be her daughter. She said the only saving grace was that no one could see who the culprit was due to the light reflected from the mirrors on the costumes. But the team knew and never let me forget it.

When I was in high school, my teachers reached out to my mother, not because I was not a good student but because, as they put it, 'Lizzie is a precious young lady, but we have never seen anyone more scatterbrained.' I could not keep up with anything. I lost everything and would even forget what time my classes started.

From my parents to my teachers, I hated it because I was just dizzy Lizzie or "scatter-brained." But no matter how hard I tried, I could not slow down enough to stop the behavior I hated so much. Sadly, not much has changed over the years.

I ask myself, is it undiagnosed ADHD, or is there something missing in my DNA that makes me the way I am? Some find it endearing, while others find it highly irritating. People who know me well at work and socially call it “pulling a Lizz.” I used to take offense to the phrase but learned to accept it over the years. The term 'pulling a Lizz' could mean anything from losing your driver’s license and talking your way through TSA with a Sam’s Club Card to hopping on a shuttle to the rental car parking lot and remembering you forgot to grab your luggage at the airport. Well, I think you get the picture. To those who find my actions irritating, imagine what it is like to be me. It is more than frustrating. It is maddening.

At 72, I finally decided to seek the help of a professional and went to a psychologist. She spoke with me and said, "Sorry, I can't help you." What? Was I that bad off? She said that my 'brain was on fire.' What in the world did that mean? I knew that drugs like Percocet and Vicodin put most people to sleep but made me want to clean the house or run a marathon, which people found odd. But 'brain on fire'?

I was referred to a psychiatrist, and after a couple of sessions, she recommended an antipsychotic! Okay, now I am psychotic. She explained to me that it would serve to slow me down just a bit. And to tell you the truth. It did! I am a different person.

I rarely forget things, can sleep, and no longer push my coworkers to the breaking point. I think if I were ever unable to afford the drugs, my entire office would pitch in and get them for me.

I am still a tad quirky. I speak many times before I think and occasionally forget things, but it is not debilitating anymore.

I have worked at the same company for 30 years, so the phrase 'pulling a Lizz' may always be used when a coworker does something out of character. But I know I am a better version of myself.

Why am I telling you this? Because no one should wait until they are 72 years old to seek help if needed. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or anything unique to you, reach out. The stigma for seeking mental health care needs to end. I only wish I had reached out 50 years ago.


About the Creator

Lizz Chambers

I began writing business articles as the Vice President of a hotel management company and found that I was good at it. I want to grow as a fiction writer, and Vocal can help me in that pursuit.

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Comments (9)

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  • Esala Gunathilake13 days ago

    Well written and congratulations.

  • Andrea Corwin 29 days ago

    Oh my, Lizz, so sorry it took so long. I am astounded the one said she couldn’t help you. What an ass! Congratulations on TS and keep on keeping on. 🎉👏

  • Anna 29 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • TheSpinstressabout a month ago

    Wow, thanks for sharing your story! It was entertaining and educational - and congratulations on Top Story!

  • Caroline Cravenabout a month ago

    Good on you for speaking up and seeking help. I thought your story was really entertaining though and totally deserved to be top story.

  • D. D. Leeabout a month ago

    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s encouraging for so many who might struggle with any form of mental health issues. Glad things are better for you. Congrats on Top Story!

  • Rachel Deemingabout a month ago

    Lizz, this was an entertaining read but with a serious message. Hope all is good with you and thanks for writing something so honestly.

  • Shirley Belkabout a month ago

    Excellent story! Bravo

  • M.B Hesperia about a month ago

    Being a single mother , and feeling jobless all the time is a state of depression everyday I wake up. Well-written story and I wish you have all the happiness you wish for.

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