Ask Andrew W.K.: Any Tips For Coping With Post-Traumatic Stress?

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[Editor's note: Every Wednesday New York City's own Andrew W.K. takes your life questions, and sets you safely down the right path to a solution, a purpose or -- no surprise here -- a party. Need his help? Just ask:]

Hey, Andrew!

My name is Charlie. I'm a car salesman. Back in November I was involved in a car wreck during a test drive with a customer. No fatalities, thank goodness, but I did break some vertebrae in my neck. I had to take a leave of absence to recover. Good news is, I still have mobility and will make a full recovery. My problem is, the thought of going back to work scares me. I'm worried I won't be a good car salesman anymore, and that I won't keep my composure during test drives. What should I do?

-- Nervous

See also: Ask Andrew W.K.: Should I Experiment With the Same Sex?

Dear Nervous,

It's entirely OK to feel exactly as you're feeling. Of course you're going to feel nervous about getting into a car again. That's more than understandable. Don't be too hard on yourself. All your emotions and reactions to this intense experience are OK.

Say that to yourself: "It's OK." Never feel bad about having feelings of fear, nervousness, or worry. Feelings and sensations make life come alive. Without them, we're just numb and not really living. You're allowed to feel any way you want. Embrace those feelings and fully feel them--that's how to get in touch with your inner self and instincts.

I think allowing yourself to feel how you feel will take a lot of the extra unnecessary pressure off your shoulders. It's going to take time to fully understand and absorb what happened to you. So give yourself a break. Even if other people you work with don't understand, screw 'em. Allow yourself to go back into work and the test drives and let the feelings come as they will. Putting it off for too long will only build more fear and painful anticipation.It's going to be intense, but it's going to be OK.

The ideal situation is to harness the best that your feelings have to offer, and use those feelings directly to better yourself. Transform the feeling of fear into a physical energy that moves you ahead. Intense events will happen in life. But you're strong enough to keep going and absorb whatever good they have to offer. Stay strong and allow yourself to feel how you feel. You're going to make it through this and be stronger and braver as a result.

Your friend,
Andrew W.K.

See also: Ask Andrew W.K.: How Do I Keep the Demons in My Mind at Bay?

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what didn't kill us makes us stronger i know its over used but i truly believe it. there is nothing more life affirming than nearly dieing and we shouldn't be scared of death we should just make sure that our life is so fun and exciting that death would be to interested in what we were currently doing to take us away.


This is the best advice that I have ever read from anyone. Any other person would tell me that I'm not supposed to be scared of anything. I have had to hide my fears from certain people because they want to label me as fearless. Though Death is not one of my worries, I always worry about telling the truth about who I really am. The truth is, I am bisexual. Okay guys, I'm out of the closet.

And I don't care what people think anymore. I've moved passed it. Andrew, you are awesome and helped me conquer this fear of mine. Keep up the good work with your music and everything else.


@villagevoice I fully expected ‘Party!’ and instead was pleasantly surprised. @AndrewWK - you rock, in more ways than one. <3

John Ned
John Ned

Andrew W.K. truly is your friend :)

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