Day 2048: What drives you nuts

Yesterday, both of my therapy groups wanted to discuss people and situations that drive them nuts.


If idioms you don’t understand drive you nuts, here’s an explanation of “driving me nuts” from :


To be greatly frustrated or annoyed. The word “nuts” is sometimes replaced by the words crazy, bonkers, bananas, insane, or up the wall. However, the meaning remains unchanged.

When people are annoyed to the point where they can no longer tolerate anymore, they might use this common idiom to describe their frustrations.


According to the website Word-Detective, by the mid to late-1800s, the word ‘nut’ was slang to mean a person’s head. Not long after, it looks like it also acquired the meaning of someone who was not acting right in the head, e.g., a person acting strange or crazy might be described as “nuts” or being “off their nut.”

The earliest example I could find of this phrase in writing comes from the newspaper The Bilioxi Daily Herald, printed in the year 1884. The idiom is written under an advice column, where people could write in asking a woman named Ann Landers for advice:

“DEAR ANN LANDERS: I am a boy, 18 years old, a high school senior, and my dad is driving me nuts! He has read a lot about drugs and is scared to death I might be trying something.”

Example Sentence(s)

* My neighbor is blaring loud music and it’s really driving me nuts. Maybe I should go tell them to stop.

* Emily is driving herself nuts over the job interview she has tomorrow, and she’s having trouble sleeping from the anxiety.

Ann is driving herself nuts over (1) the plane trip she is taking tomorrow and (2) how painful her shoulder is, and she’s having trouble sleeping from the anxiety.

When people in my groups kept  focusing on what drives them nuts  (which included rude people and politicians), I eventually drove the discussion towards coping strategies. I asked people to focus on what helps when things drive them nuts, and they were able to identify many things , including:

  • taking a breath,
  • taking a shower,
  • nature,
  • patting a cat,
  • phoning a friend,
  • reading,
  • writing,
  • good food,
  • cleaning,
  • being in the moment, and
  • getting something done they were procrastinating.

It’s driving me nuts that I can’t remember any more of the many coping strategies people discussed yesterday.

Do any of these photos drive you nuts?










It drives me nuts what happened to Whitney Houston, whose birthday was yesterday. Here and here are some of her amazing live vocal moments:

Feel free to comment about what drives you nuts and what helps you cope.

I hope gratitude doesn’t drive you nuts, because I have a lot of it for all who helped me create this post and — of course! — for YOU.






Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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24 thoughts on “Day 2048: What drives you nuts

  1. good post – but I HATE this topic – and we were sitting at dinner and a lady brought it up and it really felt all negative as people shared pet peeves and “things that drover them nuts”
    I was turned off at the time and later as we looked back.
    I can see the humor part but it is not my favorite topic – and she is in therapy (or has been)and I wonder if this topic is making some sort of circuit
    and your post was well done but I feel like this topic pulls and does not edify
    just my view

    • Venting has its place but I agree with you that just venting does not edify. That’s why I steered the conversations towards discussing coping strategies, which I believe did edify.

      • yes – the coping does – and you know ) i guess there can also be some edification in venting about what drives you nuts –
        because in that sharing and venting we connect and life does not always have to be about the rosy –
        so I think I was too harsh – and you did present this with your smoothness and nice depth! you do that well.
        I think my issue is the lady that we were with who brought this up. She was realy catty that night and her stink and heavy competitive and unhealthy current stance left some residue –
        sorry if my comment came out wrong

      • No need to apologize! I appreciate all your comments.

      • ✌️

  2. >be me in traffic

    • It drives me nuts when I don’t see you here for YEARS. Thanks for commenting.

      • life gets hectic sometimes, it’s crazy how time flies sometimes without me touching the wordpress app. it’s always a pleasure to see ya! 😄

  3. Here’s what helps me cope, Ann. ‘It’s not just me.’

  4. My 62 year old brother who still leaves his knife on the kitchen counter after buttering his toast in the morning. I’m serious! Mother, sister, wife and daughter have not broken this habit.
    Safe travels my friend. Its just a hop to Iceland and another hop to Edinburgh! Sending you a hug 🤗

  5. So a pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel shoved down the front of his trousers. The bartender asks, “What’s with that?” The pirate says, “It drives me nuts!”
    I collect bar jokes and have sometimes driven people nuts with how many I can rattle off, although it’s always a real joy when someone can tell me one I haven’t heard before. I really do believe in the therapeutic value of laughter and I hope the length of this comment isn’t driving you nuts.

    • I’ve heard the same joke, slight variation on the punchline – bartender asks, “Is that a steering wheel in your pants?” To which the pirate replies, “Aye! ‘Tis driving me nuts!”

      Which was the comment I had planned on making. Drives me nuts when someone beats me to the punch.

    • Your comments never drive me nuts, but it drives me nuts when an online definition gets things wrong — “The earliest example I could find of this phrase in writing comes from the newspaper The Bilioxi Daily Herald, printed in the year 1884. The idiom is written under an advice column, where people could write in asking a woman named Ann Landers for advice:” (see above)

      As the pirate says, “Arrrrghhh!” And I hope the length of this reply drives no one nuts.

  6. I’ll focus on the coping instead of the nuts piece of the this post…exercise.!

  7. Ann, I am very sorry that your shoulder is so painful. I hope some treatment can be found for it.

    Good luck with your plane trip. At least that is time-limited.


    • Your kindness and empathy help me cope, Maureen, and so does an optimistic diagnosis from my orthopedic doctor yesterday.

  8. What drives me nuts is someone eating my peanut butter chocolates !

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