If you asked me to tell you the story of The Sopranos, I’d say “A guy walks into a psychiatrist’s office, and the rest is history.” To be fair, it’s a bit more complicated, but The Sopranos does begin with a mobster going to therapy after fainting during a panic attack. (Ironically, if you’re like me, The Sopranos itself is a form of therapy). Maybe you’ve had similar experiences with anxiety yourself, though it affects every person differently. And as for me? Here’s the story of my anxiety, as illustrated through Sopranos memes.
"I'm afraid I'm gonna lose my family, like I lost the ducks."
That’s me when I can’t get in touch with family or friends.
"Don't expect happiness. You won't get it, people let you down, and I'm not naming any names, but in the end, you die in your own arms."
-Livia, S2, E7, “D-Girl”
That’s what my anxiety likes to tell me when I’m feeling extra vulnerable.
"Oh, I can't stay in this house, honeybunch. Not while that facia bruta's here."
-Livia, S1, E13, “I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano“
That’s me trying to escape anxiety’s ugly grip.
“What next does the man upstairs have in store for me?”
-Junior, S2, E3, “Toodle-F*cking-Oo”
Oh, that’s just me waiting for the other shoe to drop (or for the piano over your head to fall, if you’d prefer using Carmela’s example).
"See? You don't fool me, asshole. I know what you're planning!"
-Janice, S3, E5, “Another Toothpick”
I guess if you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop, perhaps it won’t be as shocking when it finally does. But always waiting in anticipation for it isn’t very fun, either.
-Janice, S4, E3, “Christopher“
That’s me yelling at my anxiety when it’s decided it wants to stay the night, and maybe even hang out the next day, too!
"Christopher here? Is he supposed to be?"
-Tony & Adriana, Season 4, Episode 5, “Pie-O-My“
That’s me when I’m convinced someone’s mad at me or upset with me over something when they’re acting a little different from usual.
"Who Am I? Where am I going?"
-Tony, S6, E2, “Join The Club“
Next, here I am talking to myself when anxiety leads me into an existential funk (this most often occurs at night).
“Can you believe this? After all this, she wants to go back on that ride. She cried for three nights after.”
-Janice, S6, E9, “The Ride“
Oh, that’s just the rational side of me talking about how I sometimes consciously or subconsciously revert back to old habits or unhealthy coping mechanisms despite knowing all about why I shouldn’t.
-Paulie Walnuts, S4, E1, “For All Debts Public & Private”
So, how does one cope with all that agita? Well, as alluded to, one of my favorite activities for coping with existential anxiety is watching The Sopranos. Even though there are thousands of shows and movies I have yet to see that are right at my fingertips, I think I’ll go for another Sopranos rewatch.
But it usually turns out okay in the end...right?
Finally, that’s Svetlana telling me to get over my first world problems.
Anyway, what are you gonna do? You’ve got to joyfully participate in the suffering of the world and take time to smell the gorilla sh*t. If that sounds like it has an Eastern flavor, it’s because Tony’s lived in New Jersey his whole life, remember?