I dig my thumbnail into my upper right thigh for distraction, feigning normalcy in the salon chair. I’m walking a mental tightrope above a staggering canyon of anxiety, which threatens to grip my ankles and drag me down whole. “Just a trim please,” I say through shallow breaths, maintaining a poker face despite inner chaos. Mid-haircut, I’m on the brink of having a panic attack—until I remember the banana I’ve stashed in my bag for whenever anxiety strikes.
That’s right: For well over a year, during one of the worst bouts of anxiety I’ve ever experienced, my defense was a tropical fruit. I started carrying a banana with me everywhere after a desperate Google search in mid-2021 revealed that the fruit could help alleviate anxiety. Yes, I’m well aware of how ridiculous that may sound, and at the time, I was skeptical, too. But I was also down to try anything to stop having panic attacks.
For well over a year, during one of the worst bouts of anxiety I’ve ever experienced, my defense was a tropical fruit.
For most of my life, anxiety has been like a little kid clinging to my lower leg—sometimes sleepy and tame, lying dormant; other times, roaring and disruptive, trying to drag me down hard in the middle of the room for all to see. Despite having more run-ins with anxiety than I care to recount, I’ve always been determined to move through it naturally, even if that’s meant trying weird things like keeping a banana in my bag 24/7. Admittedly, it wasn’t the most convenient thing to keep on hand. But much to my surprise, it worked wonders.