Writer Molly Jong-Fast has health anxiety — and maybe you do, too [podcast + transcript]

Molly and I both write a lot about politics, but in this episode, we discuss mental health.

  
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Welcome to another episode of The Present Age podcast. I’m your host Parker Molloy.

Joining me on this week’s episode is writer and podcast host Molly Jong-Fast.


Parker Molloy: Oh, hello, Molly!

Molly Jong-Fast: Hi, Parker. It's so fun to get to meet you!

Yeah, I know! We followed each other on Twitter for, what? Four or five years or something?

I don't know. It feels my entire life, but I know it's not.

Yeah. Well, I mean, it's just the past several years have been a lot. So, but yeah, this is the first time we're actually talking and seeing each other.

That's right.

The people listening cannot see us, but…

No, but we exist. Yeah.

So thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me for this, for my fledgling little podcast.

Oh, I'm honored.

It is nothing compared to yours, I'm sure.

I mean, I would say, the thing with podcasts is you just, you do it. And then people, I mean, unless you have the suspension of disbelief, then you can't do ... you know what I mean? So just, why won't it be fabulously successful?

Yeah. It'll be great. It'll be great. Well, so basically with this, so I started, I made the decision to leave my old job and start writing a newsletter, which we'll see how that works out. And then-

Bari Weiss is making $8 million a year.

I am not making $8 million a year.

Honestly, how is she making ... She's not. She's making ... supposedly what the reporting was $800,000, but I was like, "It's possible."

It's possible. I do not doubt for a second that there are people making millions of dollars a year with Substacks. But I am not at that point.

Me neither, but yeah.

But yeah. So when doing that, I was just like, "What else can I do?" And one of the people at Substack who they run my website or not run it, but power it, they were like, "Well, we just added podcasts." And I was like, "That's cool. That's an interesting idea." It's my way of doing podcasts without having to dive too far into it. So here I am trying a podcast, but one thing I always tried to do is I tried to get a transcript of every episode made in full, which is either extremely time-consuming or very expensive, but I think it's worth it.

I mean, transcription services are my nemesis and you will see why when you transcribe me, because I have one vocal cord. So I sound very weird. And then I have all sorts of weird affectations that are not necessarily fancy. Some of them are just saying “like” or verbal ticks. And so I come off ... You'll see.

Okay, we'll see. I'll send this through the service and we'll see how it goes. But yeah. So when I invited you on, I was just like, "I'm sure she'll write something amazing that I will then be able to be like, 'Yes, let's talk about that.'" So luckily for me, you did, you did recently write something amazing.

Oh, thank you.

So I want to talk about your new piece for Vogue that's titled, “What our new age of pandemic anxiety looks like and how to deal with it.” Is that okay with you?

Yes.

Awesome.

I am like, this is a topic that I am so well-versed on, I hate how well versed I am.

Oh, same, same, which is the thing. So I really related to it, especially in this idea of health anxiety, which isn't actually a term that I've heard before, which you described as the conviction that even though you don't have any symptoms you know deep down that you're sick, and that is just me to a freaking T. Can you talk a bit about your experiences with that?

Please. So I had an interesting, I had ... a very anxious, I was very anxious always in my life. And my aunt told me once that my grandmother had said, "I am not religious. I am just profoundly superstitious," which I feel points to a family that has long suffered from anxiety. And I always think you don't get to be the Jews who left Europe in the 1800s without being very stressed. Because not only were you ... you were like, "We're out of here. They're going to murder us." And a lot of my ... on my grandmother's side, I had great grandfathers who had died in the pogroms, and so I do feel like really, the anxious people got out early and because they were like, "We're all going to get murdered." So in some ways it was a good adaptation, right? Anxiety. It saved all our lives. I see a kid here.

The kids have no ... they come in and come out. Teenagers. But so in some ways it was good. My grandmother was like, she had worry bagels. She had worry fish. She had when you got on an airplane, you got on with your right foot, you knocked on the side of the plane three times and you got ... right? So I am coming from a very crazy bunch of people. And growing up I traveled a lot with my mother. She would always be crossing herself. I mean, we're Jews, but crossing herself, we get on an airplane, praying, rosary beads, was raised by a Catholic nanny who had lots of rosaries. I had rosary beads on my bed. The craziest stuff in the world.

So when I got to be about early thirties, so I had always been very neurotic and I went through a period where I didn't fly, which was complete ... people were like, "What are you in lunatic?" And I was like, "No way." I mean, yes and no. So, but then when I got to my early thirties, I had this best friend who, she was like all of us a complicated person, but she had ... and she had this terrible story where her mother had gotten murdered and then her husband had divorced her. And it just been this terrible story. And then she had gotten this brain tumor. And as soon as she got it, we sort of knew it was like ... I mean, brain tumors already, you don't want one. And this was like the worst one. And it just ... So for a year and a half, she fought and fought and fought and fought, and it was the worst thing I've ever seen.

She died right after she turned 40. She was on a walker. I mean, it just was, she couldn't talk. I mean, it was just awful. And basically, the minute she died, I was like, "I have one too." And it was because I just couldn't process that this could happen and that this is just the way life is sometimes, and so I became obsessed that I had one too. So I went down this road of health anxiety. It's funny because if you look at the statistics, it's 5% of all ... it's about half of all anxious people suffer from health anxiety. And if you think about it, so the statistics are 10% of the American public suffer from anxiety.

I can't imagine it's that low. I mean, if it is then everyone I know is in that 10%, you know what I mean? And so I went through a period of being convinced that I just needed one more scan. I just needed one more of this. I just needed one more of that. If we could just get through this. Also, during that time I got a melanoma on my back, and it was a zero stage. It was fine. They caught it very early, but that also triggered my ... I was in my mid-thirties, and I said to my dermatologist, I was like, "I can't believe this happened to me." And she was like, "You're totally pale. You grew up in that generation that never used sunblock. And you're 33. I can't believe you didn't have a 10 years ago."

But that was good for me because I get stuck in my own head in a very kind of ugly way, so to be able to get someone who says stuff, "Come on, man," to quote Joe Biden, is very helpful for me. So I got the melanoma taken out. I'm very careful about getting a check, but yeah. So it's interesting too, so that was how I got into it. I hope I answered the question.

Absolutely.

Okay, good.

Absolutely. It's just something that I really relate to. And just at the beginning of the pandemic, I used to joke around to myself that this was kind of my Bain in the Dark Knight Rises moment. By that point, I'd been working from home for several years. I was like, "Oh, you're worried about catching a deadly virus every single time you step outside? Welcome to the club." And part of why I kind of struggled so much with health anxiety is that deep down I know that there will come a day where my worries aren't unfounded, where I really am sick, where I really will get worse and where I really will die. And that sort of this idea that floats through my head constantly. You always get better until one time you don't.

But the thing that I learned a lot from a lot ... I stopped going to regular therapy and I got this behavioral as to really focuses just on anxiety. And most of his patients are either flying or health or agoraphobia or something. And the thing that he always says is, "With anxiety, it's the inability to live with uncertainty."

Ooh. Yeah. That's an interesting way to kind of think about it. And that is again, tragically relatable for me because it's this, I don't know. And I feel I have worked in the wrong industry to have this sort of feeling because I was ... a lot of that kind of carried over to fears of things like getting fired or being laid off and not being able to pay my bills. For instance, I used to sort of worry that I was constantly on the verge of losing my job and then I would convince myself, "Oh no, it's all just in my head. I need to overcome this, and watch, everything will be fine." And it usually is until one time it isn't fine. And one time I did get laid off at a job that was just downsizing.

And then I had another job where they laid off a bunch of people and I kept making the cut, and then finally one surge of layoffs I did not. And these things rather than see them as rare occurrences that we just sort of have to deal with and roll with, I kind of kept ... the negative things would reinforce all of my bad habits and all of my bad thoughts. And that was kind of something that sort of played into it with the pandemic, especially as a plays out.

Because when in early 2020, there was ... remember back when they were like, "Don't buy masks. You're fine. You don't need masks." And then I went in, decided, I was like, "Screw them. They're lying to us, I'm getting all the masks I can." Which I know that's not helpful. I know that only fuels the toilet paper shortage stuff that we had going on. But I also had a lot of toilet paper because I was "No, screw you guys. You're not telling us the truth." I'm very distrustful of the government generally.

Yeah. Well, the toilet paper was a good call because we couldn't get toilet paper. I mean, it was just ... but I would say the cycle ... so one of the things that was problematic for me was that I was in a cycle of reassurance seeking. So I wanted to know that everything was going to be okay and that we were going to be okay. And that you were going to ... that the turbulence didn't mean the plane would crash or ... and what I had to do for me, and I even got into it with my shrink and he was like, "Stop it. I'm not going to reassure you. I am not going to text you back," which is that I had to say it's not that ... even the question of, “Is it going to be okay?” is problematic.

I don't need to answer questions. I have thoughts that are going to come into my head that are going to be like, "Will I be laid off?" And I just say, "That is an anxious thought, this is part of my anxiety." You know what I mean? And just, but I don't fight it. I mean, because that's the problem is if you fight it, it gets worse. So I don't fight it. I just merely ... wait, hold on. I got a dog here. I just merely ... here we go. This is Leo.

Hello, Leo!

Let the record reflect that a very adorable rescue puppy has come into the chat. How is your guy?

Oh, he's great. He's currently at the dog park.

He's so cute.

Yeah. He's just the best. He's tiny and adorable. I feel like he'd be easy friends with Leo.

Oh yeah. No, they would love each other. But yeah. So yeah, so to not engage with the thoughts, but not to fight them, which is very hard because even now still a long time later, I want to fix my thoughts or I want to fight with them. I want to say, "That's not true." And the more I can just see the thought, not engage with it. Just be like, "This is the anxious thought." It's an unwinnable proposition because we don't know what the future is going to look like. We don't even know if they're going to be jobs. We could all be Substack millionaires.

Yeah. We could.

Yeah. Like Bari Weiss.

And maybe someday I will. Who knows.

Right. I mean, so yeah. So the idea that you can't win a thought.

Well, and that's a great point. I mean, because I ... so going into the ... right before the 2016 election I was working at Upworthy at the time, which was a very weird, weird fit for me, but it was fine. And there was someone, one of my coworkers was just, his whole thing was he set up a slack channel and was just like, "Go in here and I will reassure you about the election. I know everyone's worried that Trump's going to win, but let me reassure you. He won't, he won't. It's fine. It's fine. Don't worry. Look, here's what the odds show."

And he would even point at 538 or something, and then election night happened and it was like, "How could this happen? We've been reassured repeatedly." And that's the thing it's like we can't be sure of anything in the world. And I feel like this need to be reassured probably does contribute to it. And your piece really hit that point home in a way for me that I haven't been able to kind of ... I hadn't been able to kind of come up with on my own before reading it. So that's why I really enjoyed that.

Oh, thank you. And I spend a lot of time thinking about anxiety because it's such a root of my life and my mother's and my children. There's just a long ... So I really do find it ... I don't know. I relate to the struggle with it and I just think about it a lot. So the other thing I would say that I ... just about the 2016 election was I was at an election watching party and I was watching the needle go from blue to red. And I was like, it felt turbulence on an airplane. I had that same feeling of we're going through extreme turbulence, all flight attendants sit.

I was like, "Oh," I felt it in my chest. And I couldn't. And usually, I don't have that feeling unless I'm at a doctor's office and they're like, "We're going to want to biopsy this," or something. But and I couldn't ... it was the first time in my life where I thought, "Oh my God, this election." Because you know, Mitt Romney. I mean, no one likes Mitt Romney, but he wasn't going to arrest all Mexicans. And it was the first time in my life where I thought, "Oh, shit."

Yeah. I mean, I had kind of the same sort of idea. I was never one of those people who was very like, "Oh, Trump can't win. He won't win." I always think the worst possible thing that can happen will happen. So going into election night, I was like, "He's so going to win. It's going to be terrible." I was not one of those overcome people. I was sitting there just shaking on edge waiting to see how it worked out, and after the 2020 election when everyone was celebrating and streets and stuff, I'm like, "He's still in office. Give it time. He might try to find a way to stay in there."

I wrote a piece that went up at Media Matters the morning after the election, and it was basically, "Now watch, he's going to try to do something." And then they tried-

And he did.

So I was like, "This thing isn't over as much as we all want it to be," but…

Yeah, he never ever, I mean, they got him out, but he never, ever was like, "Okay, I lost."

Yeah, no. To this day he still talks about how he won. And I think he's going to run in 2024 and I think he might win, and if he wins after the past, after the four years of being out of power, he's going to be mad and it's not going to be-

It's going to be terrible.

It's not going to be okay.

It's not going to be okay. That's right.

I'm trying to take it day by day. And step-by-step and hoping that I'm not ... because there's nothing I can say or do that will change these outcomes. I mean, I may have my tiny little sphere of influence, but anyone who's listening to me is not a Trump voter. I've talked to people who have voted for Trump had constructive conversations because I think those things are important, but I don't think that those are people who take advice from me, which is kind of the challenge here. It kind of brings me to the one other thing I wanted to kind of talk to you about was that for a while you wrote some stuff at, was that The Dispatch or The Bulwark, or?

The Bulwark!

The Bulwark. I constantly confuse those. Yeah.

You can't confuse the two, because The Bulwark is anti-Trump right. And The Dispatch is anti-Trump right. They're the same. Yeah.

But at the same time, one thing that I found so interesting about your work there, your writing tended to have this very like someone who is to the left of their usual reader base, trying to kind of get in there and kind of explain where you're coming from and where a lot of people are coming from. And I think that that's extremely helpful stuff. It resulted in a lot of backlash from the pro-Trump folks.

Oh, they were mad. I mean, I have never made anyone madder than when I tweeted about this. What's interesting is I come from such a bubble because remember I live in New York, I've always lived in New York, so when I went to CPAC and I heard this anti-choice thing, I was like, "These people are loony." I couldn't even believe. I was like, "This isn't pseudoscience. This is pseudo insane. These people are insane." And people were so mad at me. They were like, "How dare you be pro-choice." I was like, "You guys were ..." I didn't even know.

I mean, I sort of knew this, but I don't have any friends who are anti-choice. I mean, it's a basic ... most of the population is pro-choice. I mean, with some caveats, but so when they were so upset about that, I was like, "You guys." And even, and what's interesting is at The Bulwark, and I love them. I'm friends with all of them to this day. I love them. And they're very, some of them are some of the smartest writers and thinkers, but a lot of them are pro-life or anti-choice. I mean, and a lot of them grew up Catholic and that's very something they learned when they were young and they're very attached to it.

To me, it strikes me as just ... and it's funny because it's like, I never had an abortion and I never, but I never had strong ... but I did have this one kid who had this ... who we thought I was going to have to abort. And I wrote about this for The Journal, which got people crazy too. But before the Wall Street Journal opinion page lost his mind, which is about four years ago.

But I talked about how I had this chance of having a baby that was going to die of this degenerative disease. And it was not even a question to me I would have an abortion. It's like, I'm not going to bring into the world a child that's going to die of a degenerative disease. Life is fucking hard enough. And they were like, "It's eugenics." And I mean, so it is you're dealing ... and I mean, I'm sure you have you think about this too. It's like you're dealing with a group of people who have no sense of how any of this works.

Yeah. I mean, that happens a lot, especially when it comes to trans issues, that's always fun when there are people who are like, "It should be illegal for trans people to get medication and stuff." And it's like, "Wait, why?"

Yeah. And I honestly think trans issues, they're so obsessed with it because they were just, they think they can get their people excited about it. Yeah.

Well, and that's ... I think it all kind of plays into that. And one of the things that ... I used to try to do more of this, which was just kind of be the like, "Hey, look, I'm the trans person, the big, scary trans person. I am not eagerly sneaking into locker rooms and whatever."

The locker room thing. It's so insane.

Yeah, well it's first off, locker rooms and bathrooms are disgusting. I mean, that is a problem in itself. But the obsession was always so weird and it's always so frustrating because there's nothing you can say that will change people's minds on a lot of this stuff, which is frustrating. And what always just gets me is that how the people who are weighing in often are the people who have no stakes, no skin in the game when it comes to, "Hey, should your trans kid be allowed to see a therapist, or should a trans adult be allowed to ... should Medicare cover surgeries?" And you know, stuff that.

And it's like the people who are very loud, inserting their opinions here, they don't have trans kids, they are not trans themselves. They are just like, "I don't this. It's icky to me. And so it should be illegal." And that's kind of the same sort of thing with abortion that comes up a lot where it's a lot of dudes or a lot of people who not only wouldn't want to have an abortion themselves, which is a very legitimate position. That's totally fine, but want to go out of their way to make it illegal for other people to access whatever.

Yeah. Well, the abortion issue is like, I am not radically and profoundly pro-choice for my daughter because I know that I can get her an abortion if she needs one. I am radically and profoundly pro-choice for the woman who lives in Leadville, Texas, or whatever. Wherever, Texas, who can't take a day off work and has to drive 48 miles to get an abortion. You know what I mean? Or really hundreds of miles to get an abortion. I mean, I'm pro-choice for her because those are the women who end up suffering. It's not the woman in the blue states. It's the women in the red states who are underrepresented, who can't ... and that I think is really the important thing. But just to get back to the debate for a second, I had someone come to me earnestly and say to me, "It's all about women's sports." And I was like, "What? When have you guys ever cared about women's sports?"

Yep. That happens so much. Well, so the funny thing is, so back in the 70s, there was a tennis player named Renée Richards, she was trans and she wanted to compete in the US Open. And she did, and she won a court case in New York and that was the whole thing. And so she competed in the US Open and the big concern was, "Oh, this person's going to dominate because blah blah blah. Grew up testosterone this, that whatever." And then she lost. And then she was a mediocre tennis player, which there are certain situations where sure, yeah. A trans athlete might have an advantage, but the response is always ... which is my response, which is always super unsatisfying to everyone, is it depends.

Oh, do trans athletes have an advantage? Sometimes. Depends on what the sport is, how long they've been on hormones, what their age is. All of these things factor in there, but the people who are arguing the other side of this pretend to care so much about women's sports. They're like, "No, no, we need to make sure that eight-year-old trans kids who haven't gone through puberty," so they very clearly do not have ... puberty is the moment when you start to see it [inaudible 00:27:50] one way or the other. And it's like, if someone hasn't gone through puberty and you're still blocking them, you don't care about fairness. You're just being a jerk. You just want to exclude these people or to force them into a gender box that doesn't quite work for them.

And I think that, I don't know, just again, it's something that, I mean, I love sports. I am not very good at sports, and I have no intention of trying to go on to the Olympics or whatever. But I care about this issue because I know a lot of people who do want to compete in sports, and especially when it comes to high school or even college, just people who want to find something that they can make friends, where they can make friends. That's what the point of school sports generally is. Most people don't go on to become pro athletes. And in this most recent Olympics, there was a-

Right, I was just thinking about that.

Yeah. There was a trans woman who from ... I think she was from New Zealand. She was a weightlifter, and I saw that she qualified. My initial thought, which I felt horrible about was, "Oh God, I hope she loses."

Yeah, and she did.

And she did, but I couldn't stop thinking about just sort of chaos it would be if she won a gold medal and instead she just didn't even finish. She was not ... but still it was something that there was this anxiety within me and I was like, "Oh God, am I rooting against this person?" And so then I just made a point of not watching her thing, because I didn't want to feel any attachment to the results in that. And then of course in the end, it didn't matter that she lost, they still said, "Well, it's still proof. She took a spot from someone who would have deserved it." And it's just like, "You can never win. They just move those goalposts right along."

Right, but the obsession is, I mean, it is proof that a lot of these conservatives are bad-faith actors.

Yeah, and it's so frustrating to try to have actual substantive conversations with people where it's, "Okay, let's find that middle ground." I'm always happy to talk with someone who's like, "I have concerns about trans issues. Can you kind of talk me through them?" And it's always like, when I do have conversations with people who maybe aren't on board with all everything in the world or whatever, but I will kind of have it and hopefully we will have a conversation [inaudible] come away thinking, "Okay, I may not agree, but I understand this a little bit better," which is all I asked for when I-

I still think you're asking for too little, I mean, fuck them. I mean, like you don't agree with what I want to do with my body? Fuck you. I mean, it's like gay marriage. If it offends you, don't go to the wedding. I mean, I don't know. This is like, they're the party of personal responsibility and limited government, and yet they want to make sure that you use the bathroom they like.

Yeah, which is always interesting when it's like, "Okay, how would you enforce this?" And they're like, "Oh, we haven't thought that through." Right. Because the only way you can enforce that is if you're looking down people's pants as they're going into the bathrooms, which is extremely weird and definitely not small government.

Right. I mean, it's funny because it's the people who rail against the nanny state are the nanny state. I mean, great example is DeSantis fighting with the cruise ships and the schools because he doesn't want schools to be able to make a decision for themselves.

Yeah. I think that there's just something in politics that really ... there are so many blind spots there that I don't think are necessarily intentional, but they exist where people go, "Oh, cancel culture's gone too far." And then it'll be, "Oh, okay. Well also we are going to boycott to this channel for airing a show," or whatever. That's one of those issues that's kind of just made me just think, "What universe are some people living in, where they're like, 'Oh, the left cancels everything.'"

Well, I just read a story about some church Pastor who got fired for talking about the vaccines being safe, or Tomi Lahren got fired from her show on Glenn Beck's The Blaze channel because she went on The View and talked about how she was pro-choice and they were like, "That is inconsistent with our values. Goodbye." And so hypocrisy, just in the sort of, in terms of politics, it's everywhere. I mean, but I think, given the I'm on the left, I notice it on the right a lot more. But it's something that I don't know if it's intentional, but I also know that pointing out the hypocrisy doesn't seem to do much, which is frustrating, which is something that I want to try to ...

I don't know, but the general theme of this newsletter and podcast is communication, and I want to understand communication better. I want to understand how to come back to a single shared reality, at least. We don't have to agree on things, but can we at least agree on the facts of existence [inaudible]. Not tell ourselves these sort of stories that make our side look great and their side look bad. [crosstalk] exhausting.

Molly Jong-Fast:
I agree. I mean, that is really important. I mean, the idea of a shared reality, and we see because of the media is so siloed and there's this conservative media that is operating in its own, as you know, I mean, you have worked for the sort of pros of this. So you really know what this is about, but I agree. I mean, it's really, it's so ... it's just distressing, and you wonder ... I'm shocked at how bad it's gotten.

Yeah. It seems to be getting worse too, which is-

Yeah, I'm shocked. Yeah.

It's grim, and that's something that hopefully it gets better, but I don't know. I try not to let the anxiety that fuels every part of my life also fueled this part, but it's hard.

It's true. That's a good point. And I do think it's like we can only do ... I mean, that's the thing with my anxiety sometimes. I suffer from really bad anticipatory anxiety. So the night before a plane ride, I'll be checking the weather and feeling sick and not wanting to ... And one of the things I'll do is I'll be like, "Where am I right now? Am I in an airplane right now? No. I'm in my house. Am I okay? What number am I in anxiety right now?" I mean, I've literally had to do every basic anxiety trick in the book, which has helped me with the pandemic. I mean, I also think being sober has helped me because I can go to AA meetings and I can talk about my anxiety, but that is really helping. All the mental health stuff has really ... I've had to really use it.

Yeah. Same. It's the same way with me if I get ... back before the pandemic if I get a speaking gig scheduled. In the days leading up to, like my flight, I'm like, "Oh no, I think I'm getting the flu. Maybe I should cancel." Then I get there and I get on the plane the whole time I'm going there I feel sick to my stomach and all of the physical manifestations of anxiety just kind of build up, build up.

And then I go and do the thing. I give the speech and then it's fine. It's over. It's like, "Oh wait, no, I was fine. Oh, it turns out I wasn't sick. This was all in my head." But being in my head can become real, which is why I think a lot of the distinctions between, "Oh, this is just in your head," and, "Oh, this is just on the internet." Those sorts of things are kind of cop outs from acknowledging that things like your mental health affects your physical health. The internet is part of real life. It might not be all of real life, but it's still there.

The internet, there are two things that really get me agitated. The idea that the internet is not real life, and the idea that Twitter is bad. You are lucky. You get to interact with people. It is a privilege. If you don't Twitter, then don't go on it. But there is incredible ... you get to read a book and then find the author and tell them their book is great. It's amazing.

It's so cool.

Yeah. I mean, I'm 43 now. So when I was ... 20 years ago, you couldn't do stuff that. You'd write a letter to the New York Times and maybe someone would see it and probably they wouldn't. And so this is so cool. This is the coolest thing ever. So if you don't like it, don't go. That thing where people say how much they hate Twitter and also how the internet isn't real, like, "Okay, it doesn't have to be real for you."

Yeah. You can step back from it. And I think that part of what gets built into that, then they complain about, "Oh, the internet makes me sad and makes me angry." Which, I mean, that happens to me definitely a lot.

True. Yeah, yeah.

But they'll at the same time, don't want to log off because there's this sort of fear of being ... if you don't exist online, do you exist? That sort of thing where it's this hyper-realism of the internet that kind of sticks around. But, Molly, just thank you for doing this.

Thank you.

Please come back sometime. You were amazing.

Yes, are you kidding? Anytime. And I'm excited to get this out there too. I'm sure people will really enjoy this crossover.

Yeah. This'll be fun.

Yeah, and I'm glad, I love ... getting to talk about mental health stuff, especially right now is, I'm thrilled. Thank you.

Then I was excited to be able to chat with you about this, because it's just, you know, I think lot of the time people who tend to write about politics a lot, whether it's me or you, we both do that, that there's this feeling that our lives center around this and that there aren't other factors, but I mean, this is a nice, human, surreal conversation and things that we're all kind of dealing with. Maybe that is the key to getting people on the same page, is just to find these weird, little, tiny commonalities cling to, or not. I don't know. Anyway, thank you.

Well, have me back. Thank you.

Absolutely. All right.