I used to love his personality; he used to be a very warm and affectionate guy.
But things changed with time. Everything human was entirely wiped off his face. The sincerity of his smile waned, the life in his eyes died, even his hair that used to be soft and pleasant to touch became stiff and brittle. His warmth gave way to numbness, sardonic grin, glassy look, and a ramrod back.
His mind was purely mathematical; he lived in the three-dimensional world, where everything was thoroughly measured, evidenced-based, and highly logical. Over the years, he kept constraining himself to viewing everything through the prism of numbers, calculations, and statistical significance. In the end, he found himself entirely buried in the conviction that the reality can be observed, touched, assessed, and explained.
He knew that everything has the beginning and the end, and nothing lasts forever. He lived in the world of material women and reasonably prudent men, of social stratification and power inequality, and of blue and white collars.
His mind got caught in the web of black and white, yes or no, true versus false, and conservative/liberal paradigm. He was totally enslaved by his brain and incapable of seeing beyond the acquired life knowledge and experience.
Locked in the matrix of sound judgement, rationality, and compulsory protein consumption, he became extremely rigid and painfully case-hardened. He denied feelings, savagely suppressing love, and proudly discussing the victory of facts over intuition.
The personality was completely gone, but I still loved his penis. It was big and hard, the only thing about him that seemed to function well while his mind was mercilessly imprisoned in mathematical reasoning, composed hypotheses, and evidence-based findings.
Being admitted to the psychiatric unit was a disaster. Pulled apart by endless assessments and thousand meaningless questions of the personnel added to the distress and confusion. “Who are you? What is the date today? Do you know where you are now? Why are you here?”
Fear and misunderstanding mixed with the bitterness of prescribed mediation gradually and surely forced to the orientation in person, place, and time.
Who are you? – I am a human, I am a female
Where are you? – I am in a mental health facility
What is the time? – Morning, 9 am, March the 2nd… um … 2020
First, all these sounded like abracadabra, weird, surreal, and merely stupid.
Self-Identification? – Female. (Whatever). Labeling self and others through I, You, He, She, We, They …. split the whole reality into ugly pieces.
But it was indispensable to remember I am a female, 33 years of age, since saying this with an idiotic smile got her out of the crisis stabilization unit. No more intense surveillance, the prescribed pills were flushed down the toilet, and she breathed a sigh of relief no longer suffering from the upset stomach, skin blemishes, and drowsiness.
Trapping the identified HERself in the matrix of time: the past, the present, and the future was another torture. The time orientation made no sense: none of the personnel could adequately explain why the past that everyone sees differently should have the only one version sloppily reflected in history textbooks and broadcasted through mass media. Why the future that is never known should come as the definitively hopeless scenario, and why the present must be the bridge that connects the past sufferings with the anticipated hysteria.
She learned that the past was always the time when everyone was poorly trained and ignorant; horrid mistakes were made due to lacking in advanced knowledge and modern technology. While the far future presented as promising; the near future was pictured as the dreadful prognosis of stock market crashes, gory conflicts, infectious diseases, and environmental disasters. The present was the drama, the panic, the sensation widely spread through TV and the Internet.
Today is Monday, March the 2nd, 2020 – she said that nonsense looking straight into the dirty eyeglasses of the psychiatric nurse. She did her best to look as serious as possible.
– You are doing really good my dear, – the nurse hurriedly made notes getting ready to sign out for the day.
They discharged her a month after. She slowly walked out of the hospital, leaned up against the dirty brick wall, and lit a cigarette. She closed her eyes letting go of the espoused person, time, and place orientation; smoking, smiling, and disappearing in the cold November air.
– I am an addict, an addict, an addict… – the words rang in her ears every time she had to leave the quiet household and merge with crowds.
Crowds talked in their own way; the hysterical I gotta win, I can’t lose, I am late, mingled with the desperate he is not calling me back, she won’t get laid, they will never promote me forming a never-ending buzz.
She used to pick out male and female voices from the hum; initially, she was curious what the buzzing was about.
I must meet project deadlines, and I gotta pay the bills overlapped I am hungry, I am lonely, and I am horny. She moved on, I want her back, I’ll get drunk, I will smoke weed resonated with people are stupid, I should lose weight, I want shrimp scampi.
Eventually, the curiosity turned sour since different words generated the same old I want, I crave, I will die if I do not have it now. Words of distress and agony; words of anger and instant gratification, words of addiction.
The bigger was the crowd, the more addiction was emitted. Airports, stadiums, shopping malls were the worst particularly during the holiday season. Individual pain, fury, and anxiety fused into an avalanche of despair and hatred that moved fast enough to destroy serenity, love, and common sense.
The crowd annihilated human individuality, people turned into mere transmitters of cravings and impulsivity losing their mind, becoming numb, deaf, and blind. Loud music, bright pictures, and spicy smells blended with screaming sexuality amplified addiction and maximized craziness.
– I am an addict, I am an addict, I am an addict – the humming insanity of the crowd felt annoying to her ears. She was never a loner, she loved interacting with people, she was just bothered by crowds.
Loneliness feels like the joy of Colombian coffee and fresh baked cookies
Loneliness feels like watching comedy shows on the treadmill and breathing in the refreshing darkness of Friday nights after intense workouts
Loneliness is a quiet getaway from vain attempts to have a partner enjoy shopping malls, dinners with girlfriends, and in-laws’ visits
Loneliness can get you into spending Saturdays in a public library
Loneliness can mean home remodeling
Loneliness feels like orchids bathing
Loneliness looks like gardening
Loneliness comes with the time to review a monthly household budget and to plan a vacation
Loneliness allows the time to finally see a nutritionist and a fitness instructor and to start watching the diet and working on the beach body
Loneliness comes with taking care of sleep patterns and substituting sleeping pills with meditation and walking before bed
Loneliness feels like a cozy private room where you can have best one-on-one with yourself
Loneliness can smell like essential oils and taste like vanilla chocolate
Loneliness can get you into feeding flamingos and swimming with horses
Loneliness comes with a quiet mind and the tranquility of blue aquarium lights
Loneliness is the mirror where you see your true self, no mask, no make-up, no false bravado, nothing artificial
Loneliness will not allow you to fake confidence and pretend. Loneliness is the friend that never lies.
Every time loneliness knocks on the front door, I greet it with a smile. I feel at peace it is here, and it’s time to take a break from this busy life.
– How do you spoil yourself? – I was curious since my girlfriend was always tense: tight jaw, intense look, back spasms, and the ongoing fight-flight-and-freeze demeanor.
– What do you mean?
– You seem to live under too much stress all the time.
– Don’t you get that I gotta work? – She sounded awkwardly defensive and desperate trying to excuse her being in the worry box 24/7.
– How do you spoil yourself? – I repeated the question soaking a chamomile tea bag in the water.
– I have no idea, Vixen, never thought about it. What do you do for yourself?
– Everything that makes me happy.
– My job makes me happy.
– Good for you, – I finished my tea and went home, she focused on her financial reports.
When we met later that year, she looked different; no eye puffiness, no extra weight, no shortness of breath. She sounded sincere thanking me for the compliment on her appearance. Her response to my “what do you do to look beautiful?” was “I am dealing with anxiety”.
She learned to allow herself not to think too much, substituting excessive worries over performance. reviews and audits for daily treadmill running and fresh water.
She started practicing thoughts stopping focusing on breathing in and breathing out.
She overcame the fear of socializing and took several drum lessons from street musicians; rhythmic hand drumming helped relax almost getting her into trance.
She developed the habit to daily watch sunsets.
She de-stressed while coloring pages with fluorescent pencils.
She pampered herself with home foot-spa and stone massage.
She started her Mondays holding sea shells to her ears listening to the sound of waves.
She finished her busy days with sandalwood incense and meditation music in the headphones.
She stopped sacrificing the “me time” for Friday parties.
She quit drinking and totally replaced alcohol with purified water and tummy workouts.
She put valerian root in the bedroom to improve her sleep and discontinued watching action TV shows prior going to bed.
I did not respond much to her “I decided to prioritize myself, life is too short not to indulge” since she was perfectly right.