anxiety, crazy, happiness, health, life, mind, psychology

Dealing with Stress

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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.

 

crazy, life, love, mind, psychology, relationships

The Ideal Woman

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After my friend broke up with his recent date, he was plagued and desperate.

 – What was the deal breaker this same?  – I knew the answer but faked curiosity since he needed someone to be here for him, someone to talk to, he looked totally distressed and heart-broken.

 – She was a classic gold-digger.

 – Why?

 – She never gave me blowjobs unless I bought her gifts.

 – You look so damn sad.

 – Of course, I am, – he was crumpling up an empty plastic bottle, nervously dejected, breathlessly discouraged.

 – Sounds like your previous one. You kept saying she loved money more than yourself.

 – Correct, and she was a whore. She looked at other guys, and she was clearly not over her ex-husband.

 – The one who was before your ‘whore’, – I paused suppressing a giggle,  – you told me she was all over you like white on rice

 – Who, Maggie? She was freaking obsessive. She followed me with her ‘I love you’ bull 24/7.

 – Stephanie?

 – Lazy bitch

 – Jen?

 – Liar

 – Wait, – our conversation started giving me headaches, – wait, what about me?

 – What about you? – he quickly threw the crushed bottle in the bin and came very close.

His smell was painfully familiar and brought memories; him and I, mountains and water, sex and cold breakfasts. I slowly stepped back, pounding heart, dry lips, and shaky hands.

 – We were together, what was I?

 – You were one of the biggest disappointments in my life, – he took a step forward, I stepped backward again, unwilling to further feel his smell and recall the past, our past together.

 – How come?

 – You only care about sex and money. You are extremely worldly, and I need a godly woman, I need the princess not a greedy hooker.

– Thanks.

 – Wait! you are a great friend… you will always be my friend, Vixen. 

I know.

I had bad news for him, the news that he would never find what he had been looking for all these years.  Somehow, he fell for the fictional girl’s image blindly and obstinately chasing the illusion, feeling angry and disheartened every time the princess turned out to be an average female who expected gifts, loved money, choked on semen, and hid acne with her make-up. He wanted the goddess but met live human beings fearful and insecure with the unrealistic expectations to find the knight in shining armor so he would take care of the bills and practice monogamous sex under the blanket.

 – I am hopeful you will find your princess one day, – I did not mean it, I knew it would never happen. I was just lying straight to his face, smiling, and hoping that one day he will come back, pay my rent and care about my orgasms.        

     

crazy, happiness, life, love, mind, psychology, relationships

When no one owes you anything

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– I want to feel safe. Am I asking too much? – She was desperately crumpling the napkin, sickly dramatic and hysterically panicky.  – What should I do to feel safe?

Her mind mercilessly threw at her ample reasons for being scared, “I will get fired, my boyfriend will stop paying my bills, I will end up broke and in debt, I can’t do much about it, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.

Her stable job, the house in a walled community, annual vacations in Spain, and weekends in spa salons did not silence her fears and painful insecurity. Sleeping pills were only a short-term turn-off button, a temporary night relief. Her mornings started with swollen eyelids in the bathroom mirror and the loud cry for help running through her mind and echoing from the walls, the floors, and the ceiling, “I am insecure, please, please, please, help”.

 – Have you ever felt safe?

She slowly shook her head blinking excessively through the cigarette smoke.  – It must be my childhood, it was crappy, I never felt loved, no one really cared, I was abused; physically, mentally, sexually ….

She loved rationalizing her fears, it made her sound smart and romantically miserable.  Her helpless sex appeal attracted men and women, everyone wanted to help, she willingly accepted help; nevertheless, feeling insecure, immature, and lonely.

One day, I ran into her in a local grocery store. She looked so different, so glowing that I could hardly recognize her. We exchanged usual hugs, kisses, and compliments.

My polite “how have you been?” was answered with a brief and quiet smile, I got curious, I wanted to know that was going on.

 – Well, – she took a deep breath and reached out to tofu cheese. She was religiously vegan and crazily passionate about animal rights. She thought animals give unconditional love; she cared for them, and hated humans. – Well, – she repeated, carefully studying the package ingredients, – Rick dumped me.

 – What??? – I felt shocked. Rick was one of her dates, a wealthy guy who gave her descent monthly arrangements and took care of all her bills. – I am so sorry, who is providing for you now?

 – No one.  – she put the tofu back on the shelf and slowly turned around, – I am by myself, and I lost my job.

There was no regret in her voice, she sounded surprisingly calm.

 – How are you feeling?

 – Crappy, and freaking unsafe, – again, her voice was amazingly nonchalant. I sensed no panic, no sorrow, nothing.

 – You do not seem to look that …. that stressed, please… do not think I am saying it to make you feel bad, I am just saying that I am observing…. I… I … -am so sorry…. – I knew my words sounded pretty awful, the more I spoke, the more stupid I felt.

 – No, no, please do not apologize, – she giggled, briefly tucking her hair behind the ears; at that moment, she reminded me of a Disney chipmunk, huge eyes, cartoon smile, animal quickness, and nonchalance, damn nonchalance. – Rick told me he got tired of being treated like a wallet. He said he found a woman, and… and fell in love. And my job… I never actually liked it, I resigned the day before he left, so … I finally got what I was always afraid of: no money, no stability, nothing.

 – What are you going to do?

 – I do not know, – her voice changed, she got more serious, – After all these years of running away from poverty, hunger, and … and from everything that I call unsafety, I ran into it. And it feels different from what I expected. It feels bad, it feels ugly, but it still feels alive. I am still alive, not dead, does it make sense?

I nodded, she continued – Yes, more alive than when I was with Rick, I used him for money and… and for his cock. Craving for safety, I kept taking but never gave anything back. Now, I am unsafe, but I am not craving, I am no longer a safety addict.

 – What are you going to do?

 – I wanna get my hair braided, and then, then I do not know.

 – How are you going to live?

She suddenly broke out in laughter, – like I lived before, my dear, panicky and unsafe. But here is the thing.  – She stopped laughing and gave me a long and expressive look, – No one owes me nothing. No one will spend sleepless nights thinking how to make me feel safe and happy. It makes no sense to use anyone, and to expect anything. Now I get it, it is a relief. It is a f*cking RELIEF!

She proceeded to a check-out, looking nonchalant, skinny, insecure, and happy, crazily happy.      

crazy, happiness, health, life, mind, psychology

Coping with Depression

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Hey depression. Here you are again, take your time since you are back. I can’t be present for you now since I gotta run errands.

It took some time for me to get to this point, to the point where I realized that fighting with myself makes no sense, so I started taking the depressive mood with a grain of salt.

First, I felt desperate opening my eyes in the morning feeling stuck in the stinky mud of hopelessness, worthlessness, and the entire loss of energy. My days would start with the gloomy “No, no, no, I can’t live like this, this crap will never end”. Here I was, unable to get out of bed, wanting nothing but to hide all day in the bedroom behind the drawn curtains. Daylight with people’ voices and kids’ laughter outside got me irritable, triggering the pain that everyone is happy, while I am doomed to live in the inescapable pit of despair and view the reality through the filthy lens of my messed-up mind.

Then I became resistant. I started a long fight with my helplessness, believing that I can beat the gloom and doom and change. My family got happy seeing me getting out of bed, eating, exercising, putting my make up on, and going to a psychiatrist for a scheduled visit. The guy kept putting me on something that was supposed to fix me. “It will normalize your chemical balance and improve the daily functioning, honey.”

I would nod, I would smile, I was very polite and always paid the bills they sent me from that clinic – I liked him calling me “honey”, or “dear”, or “sweetheart”. I kept picking up the prescribed medications from a local pharmacy and flushing the pills down the toilet. Being drugged was never a way-out, but I would come back for his sweet-talks and brief hugs until this started draining my wallet.

The next step was therapy. A young lady was sincere in her efforts to help. She was fresh from her grad school and eager to make a difference in this world. I liked her, I tried to give tips after our sessions; she always refused referring to her code of ethics, boundaries, and other nonsense. I knew she was struggling financially as a single mom, overworked and underpaid. After two months of our therapy sessions, I cancelled all subsequent appointments and mailed to her home address a check with a thank you note and a request to spend the money on a newer vehicle. The check was never cashed, she was very descent and honest, I liked her even more after that.

Therapy got me into watching my thoughts, questioning my hopelessness, and disputing negativity. I did mood charts, took warm baths with sea-salt and lavender oil, and meditated with incense prior going to bed. The following morning would start with the same depressive crap, but I would know how to make it through the day.

Finally, I got bored, simply bored of following or resisting the mind farts, knowing that the mind will always be there, telling me whatever, and there is no possible way of turning it off. The realization got me shocked, then sad, then blah. Finally, I got entirely unconcerned, I had the life to live and things to do even with a broken tape-recorder in the head.

The alarm-clock rang to start the day, I opened my eyes and yawned, the gloom combined with exhaustion and nagging irritation was there. I got up and went into the bathroom. I wanted to get ready, I had things on my agenda: to drink water, to clean my fish tanks, to get roses for my girlfriend’s birthday party, to drive to the airport, to finally see the mountains. The depression was there, I shrugged my shoulders, letting the mind do whatever, I did not care, I really wanted to start my day with drinking some water.

crazy, health, life, love, mind, psychology, relationships

Falling for an Addict

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 – Wrong guys are after me, they keep breaking my heart, I do not know what to do.

 – No honey, you fall for messed up people.

 – You can’t say that, Vixen. You are my friend. – My girlfriend had that enticingly-vulnerable look; huge deer eyes, pale skin, and alluring gestures.

 – You love suffering my dear. Attracting alcoholics, drug addicts, liars, and other mentally sick dudes and losers is your passion. – I had no time for her tearful helplessness that morning. I was busy and ready to go.

 – What shall I do?

 – Go back to work, unless you want to get fired and share the misery of your unemployed dates.

 – I was hoping for your support

 – I love you dear. But I am not supporting your love for freaks and losers.

 – You are cruel, Vixen.

 – Go back to work, honey.

Her mannerism was hypnotic, her appearance was anorexically sex-appealing. She was the magnet for troubled guys, and she enjoyed them. Her classically messed up boyfriends knew how to hug, how to kiss, how to fuck, and how to empathize. Each relationship started with expensive presents, mind-blowing sex, and endless horrid stories of their heart-breaking childhood experiences. Her each date had a perfect excuse for being miserable, misunderstood, discriminated against, unaccepted by the society, and exceptionally vulnerable. She kept being dragged into the bullshit of her boyfriends’ uniqueness, swamped by myriads of reasons for losing money and for their inability to stop mixing anti-depressants with liquor and get their lazy asses back to work.

She loved the feeling of euphoria coming home and seeing her partner sober on the couch watching old French movies or analyzing stock markets. All her dates were intelligent and highly educated. Adding lofty attitudes, alcohol, and psych medications to their ivy-league diplomas and family possessions was very charming to her. She felt mesmerized and ready to fall in love ardently defending the guys’ instability and furiously denying any attempts to get her to common sense.

Her pain of discovering her dates passed out due to overdosing on benzos or alcohol blackouts was very real. She would call 911 and spend sleepless nights in a local emergency room blaming herself for everything. Deep in her heart she would crave for the moment of their hospital discharge. She knew they would come back with buckets of roses, diamond necklaces, and heart-warming words of gratitude: “you are exceptional honey, I feel so lucky I have you, I would have died without you, you have saved my life again”. She loved that, enabling their addiction and the unwillingness to seek professional help.

She suffered a lot blaming them for being unable to keep the job, to maintain sobriety, and to stabilize their manic and depressive episodes. But the pleasures from the “I neither do drugs nor drink, I am way too spiritual/educated/intelligent, blah-blah-blah” lies were much more gratifying than the reality check. Their pretended empathy and awesome sex kept her around adding spice to the toxicity of the relationships.

Once one dude passed away, the other one would show up with a big cock, fake promises, claimed bankruptcies, and fancy gifts.

Being up and down was her way of living. I did not have much patience or compassion for it.

 – Have a good day, honey, – I gave her a hug and left the diner feeling the sadness of her almond-shaped eyes on my back.