I Feel Good: Something’s Wrong

Today, as I was going anxiously about my business, as per usual, I was struck by a momentary epiphany. I found I wasn’t going about my business anxiously but peacefully, actually. Puzzled, I examined what the fuck. The fuck I felt good, I found.

I instantly knew that something was wrong. I don’t feel good. That’s just not what I do. I’m not even sure any more what it is like to feel good. Provisionally, I imagine feeling good is what it is when one lacks any pain, discomfort and anguish, physical and mental. Damn. That’s one hell of a definition.

Am I alive or what?

So, yeah, I noticed straight away that I wasn’t in any pain at all, which manifested as a significant lack of something. I wasn’t even feeling anxious, which is my default setting, and for a while, I was meditating on whether or not I’m still alive. How the fuck am I supposed to tell when I don’t feel anything?

My feeling good freaked me out something fierce. Fortunately, this suspended condition didn’t last. As I proceeded to go about my business peacefully, I soon noticed I was in fact going about my business anxiously. Whew. That was close. I have no clue what people who feel good on the regular do about it but if it’s you, my sympathies to you, because this shit is scary as fuck.

Yeah, I like my expletives. *shrug*

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Back in the UK

I think it’s a song. “Back in the UK”. Most likely a shitty one. That’s why the name popped in my head for the title of what’s most likely to be a shitty post. As per usual.

I do shitty, I don’t do pretty.

As this time last year, I had the displeasure of accompanying a client on a business trip to the UK. Ostensibly to interpret from/to English. Actually to waste my time. Plus to get me some new scars in the mind and ruin the remainders of my nerves.

You know Dante’s Inferno? The guy clearly never was in the UK.

Yep. I postulate that the UK is worse than hell. Sorry, guys, if you’re British. If you’re British, you must be a rare exception. If you were the kind of British that I observed in their natural habitat during my trip, you’d be above and beyond reading my blog. So, yay, consider yourself exceptional! In a good way. Not in the way the word is abused to denote dumb kids.

Sorry, if you’re a dumb kid.

Actually. No. Not sorry. I’m so tired of being politically correct. That’s ultimately my main issue with my UK trip. Let’s give you the exposition. The dirty details, that is. Where I was dragged was a would-be-fancy London hotel for a convention of employees of a HR corporation. The horror, the horror.

Insert white space. The horror is unspeakable.

Fine. Unspeakable clearly doesn’t work for a blog post. Let me throw in some descriptive words then to capture the environment, the mood and the people, British and otherwise (the otherwise presumably attempted to assimilate, successfully):

  • Pretentious
  • Ostentatious
  • Inauthentic
  • Meaningless
  • Substanceless
  • Personalityless

What’s a roomfull of HR people? Zombie apocalypse.

I used to be a teacher and I live above a pub, so you can imagine I’ve heard my share of crap. Alas, I never heard so much crap crammed into such a small space and short time as at the HR convention.

On day one, I swore that if I hear the phrase driving our business forward once again, I shall scream. (I was reduced to hearing it a gazillion times more and I screamed inwardly and flinched outwardly.)

On day two, I swore that if someone asks me one more time if I’m OK, I shall scream MURDER!!! (I was asked many more times but I refrained from answering to prevent myself from screaming.) When I caught a glimpse of my face in one of the many useless decorative mirrors in opulent frames lining the hotel corridors, I had to admit I did look very unokay. Outright sick. Of course I was sick, what else should one be at a sickening corporate event? Sick.

On day three, the eve of the gala dinner, I wore an eveningish gownish, as instructed, and I didn’t breathe for three hours straight. Because the iron maiden is a pleasure tool when compared to a bra, tights, heels and evening dress. A fellow attendee attempted small talk in the lift, complimenting my dress. She should’ve known better. I rolled my eyes, tried to take a breath (unsuccessfully) and hissed breathlessly, I can’t fucking move in this piece of crap.

Moving, breathing and thinking strictly disallowed.

That was pretty much the catchphrase of the whole trip. I couldn’t move or breathe. I did suspect before that corporate environment was not a particularly healthy one but I didn’t appreciate the extent of the crippling effect it would have on me. I’m still recuperating. Not doing too well. Also, I’m quitting the client. Sheer survival instinct.

A “Shocking” Revelation of Why I’m MIA

Disclaimers

I’m not even Mia.

Mia is my dumb smartphone. But not even she is a Mia really. (Why, yes, of course I personalise and gender my phone.) My phone is a Xiaomi. That’s an actual brand. And since she’s called Xiaomi by the factory, I didn’t want to confuse her and so I called her Mia.

Mia is also my cat. No, not really. My cat is a tabby by default and an Ella by name, but since she goes miaow, I call her Mia sometimes.

But I’m not a Mia in any way. Except for one. I’m MIA. As in Missing in Action. As in not blogging. Why would I do it? I wouldn’t know. Until today when I was struck by a striking epiphany. (Which is a dumb thing to say because an epiphany is always striking by definition.) But before I expose myself (I mean, before I reveal my revelation to you as well), more disclaimers.

The shocking revelation is not shocking.

Neither shocking, nor revealing, if you must know. It is arguable whether it is anything at all. That will largely depend on which school of philosophical thought you subscribe to. I subscribe to nothing, so my revelation is not a thing to me. Neither is it a thought, since it’s obviously thoughtless. It’s also mindless because I have nothing on my mind.

Enough.

Non-shocking Non-revelation

I don’t have fucking time!

You didn’t see that coming, right? Seriously though. Consider it, since I’m so inconsiderate that you have to do so on my behalf. My blogging started its downward spiral when I started my own downward spiral when I started freelancing when I finished my half-life-long studies when I divorced (shock) and moved (twice) and when etcetera. That’s all obviously quite time-consuming, no? (I’m not asking, I’m saying.)

About the same time, also WordPress started its downward spiral. Since WordPress abolished all community features and challenges, I have not only zero will to live (unrelated to WordPress, I assume, although… hmm) but also zero will to blog. Because there’s zero stimulus. No more getting a catchword in a photo challenge, whipping up a crappy phone pic in response and call it a post.

But mostly, I don’t have time. Fucking time. It never occurred to me until today. Like I really don’t have time. I’m obviously doing something wrong. Possibly everything. There’s also likely something wrong with me, which is somewhat corroborated by my psychiatric diagnoses.

The Idea, the Point and the Moral

You didn’t fall for it, right?

I mean, you didn’t actually expect there to be an idea, a point and a moral in a threesome? I’m clearly idea-less, possibly point-less (even moral-less, since you mention it). So the idea is that I’m out of ideas. I sort of depressed myself by this ridiculous excuse of a blog post. I guess the moral should then be that I should be working. Or something.

Dug Up from the Archives

I had an acute episode of feeling weird yesterday. I know, that’s not a very specific description of the condition. I don’t know what my bloody problem was, apart from lacking a will to do anything, including breathing.

I fixed it though when it occurred to me to pleasure my OCD (aka CDO) and dig around in my computer archives with the apparent purpose to organise them. It was really an emotional displacement because everything about me, including my archives, are well organised already. Except it’s not perfect, so here you go.

What I dug up was shocking. That is, boring to anyone but me, who was genuinely surprised and sometimes severely shocked at my own paraphernalia. I couldn’t even remember that I ever created some of the content I found, but unless my cat has a covert hobby, it must’ve been me.

Among other long-forgotten and hence basically non-existent stuff, I found: unexpectedly good poems in Czech (in a folder labelled creative writing, so I must’ve authored them); love letters (what the actual fuck?); something written in German (I do recall I studied German but no longer speak the language); and photos, a lot of photos.

The ones in the gallery were originally posted on Flickr, before I deleted my account after not using it for years. (You get the sequence of events here, right?) They were taken with my beloved red compact camera, which I no longer own and wonder whom I gave it to. Because I want it back.

I’m a Hoarder

What’s the biggest fear in your life? That you become like your parents, right? Well, I’m unhappy to announce that it happened. I became my mother. Not literally as in literally, but literally as in figuratively.

My mother is an old unpleasant lady—truth to be told—and she’s a hoarder. She’s been like this ever since I can remember. On her defence, the huge ugly multilevel cubical structure where we lived—and which we called somewhat inaccurately a family home—was a hoarder’s wet dream and ultimate temptation.

We had two garages—for one car—several cellars and multiple fucking pantries. Or cold rooms? What do you call the cool closet which is a room without windows primarily not intended for the storage of dead bodies but for the storage of food, though the usage is up to the user’s discretion? The cold room would be accurate.

So we had these cold rooms like we lived in a primitive agrarian society, grew our own food and had to store whole smoked pigs if we wanted to eat in winter. Actually, we did store cut-up pigs, in all seasons, in one of our multiple freezers.

The pantries were stashed with expired long-keeping food—but not long-keeping enough—pickled veggies, conserved fruits and jams. No one ate that shit, so it got periodically thrown out and replaced by freshly home-made batches.

Also, my mother grew up in the post-WWII austerity years. So let’s say that her food hoarding is an understandable deviation. Tell me this, though. Why do I hoard food? For fuck’s sake? Huh?

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Irrelevant picture—I hoard these too

I realised I had a problem when I brought in groceries the other day and realised there were too much groceries in the cabinet—I downscaled and own no pantry, thanks god—for it to fit more groceries. Okay, what is happening here? Why hoard food?? Am I insane???

Well, I am insane, officially certified insane, but I never knew it was so bad. What am I stocking up for like it’s a cold war? Though it is cold and there’s always war somewhere, so by a certain logic—if flawed—this is indeed a cold war era.

Am I stashing food in case I die, or what? The last time I checked, dead people didn’t eat. Except when they were undead, in which case they would eat live people. An eventuality I’m pitifully unprepared for.

But seriously. It’s not like I live in the middle of nowhere—well, I do, but there is a Tesco even. It’s not like I don’t have a car—well, I don’t, but the Tesco is within a walking distance, you know, when you set out with sunrise and are lucky, you’re back by midnight. Kidding. Also, it’s not like I have kids to feed.

I assume that my food hoarding is a pathological personality trait which reflects my obsessive urge to be in control, be prepared for any scenario and always expect that an unspecified disaster and gloom and doom—and no food—are impending. What do you make out of it?

I Got High and Talked to People

Okay, I admit, this post’s title is a plain clickbait. It worked though, right?

In fact, I didn’t get that high. Neither did I talk to people that much. But baby steps, you know.

So how it occurred, and what the heck even occurred?

It started pretty much when I treated myself to half a Lexaurin today for my shoulder pain. Why, sure, I take tranquillisers in lieu of pain pills. Trust me, I’ve lived with my broken brain for long enough to know what’s what. By trial and error, I discovered that pain killers fail to kill psychosomatic pain, which where the Lexaurin comes in. It works.

Painfree and high on the fact, I put myself out there and went grocery shopping. In high spirits. When I’m on Lexaurin, I talk to people. Any people. On random. That’s the opposite of what I do when I’m unmedicated, which is when I hide from people. All people. Also, the voices of people. Meaning I don’t pick up phone calls. I just can’t even.

Mightily enjoying myself, I was sweeping round the supermarket cheerfully, smiling at people, bumping into them and apologising and having them bump into me and apologising some more. It’s a bank holiday tomorrow, hence the shop will be closed for one day, hence the whole village gathered in the shop to collect supplies. Logic.

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One kind of high

All cash desks were blocked by queues winding across to the opposite wall of the shop. I’ve never seen so many locals uniting as one for their pre-holiday shopping. I had to purchase bottled water for the wait. And I entertained myself by entertaining innocent bystanders.

When the guy in the queue after me bumped into me yet again, I groaned mockingly: O, father, why hast thou forsaken us?! The guy gave me a WTF-look. I winked at him to indicate I’m not hostile. Much to his loss, he didn’t quite get my exquisite sense of humour.

I didn’t have more luck with the cashier. When it was my turn, which was about ten years later, I greeted her with my crooked-teeth smile and yelled over the noise of the crowded shop: Good evening to ya, may it be so! It makes slightly more sense in my mother tongue, btw.

The cashier awoke from her zombie mode and appeared amused, which encouraged me to add a goodbye greeting as well. So I say, Thanks a lot, ma’m, and may sanity be with you in this maddening crowd! Okay, I’m kidding, my speech wasn’t quite as flourished but nearly so. Alas, the woman was back to her sleep mode and remained unresponsive.

And that’s the end of the story. Where’s the story, you ask? Oh well. If a story is what is told, then this was totally a story. Don’t try to fuck with me. I’ve had my half a Lexaurin today and I’m unfuckwithable.

I Just Had a Hilarious Anxiety/Panic Attack

Hilarious is probably not the first word that comes in mind in connection with mental episodes. Especially if you’re the sufferer. But when you look at it with the eyes of the observer, it is really the best word to describe it. Hilarious.

I just had an acute mental episode over nothing. What happened? Like I say, nothing. All I did was walking over to sit at the computer and get some work done. And whoosh. Out of the blue I can’t breathe and feel a pressing urge to peel my skin off in one piece like a snake because there’s a weird sensation all over it.

I totally get that some of my fellow nutcases bang their heads against the wall or cut themselves. Clear-cut physical discomfort is a breeze. Weird mental discomfort is—weird. Also, maddening; though I’m not sure how it applies when you are already mad.

So, doing my best to perform the breathing exercise designed for panic/anxiety attacks, I hop (limp shakily) on the yoga mat and go for a classic guided breathing meditation that I have bookmarked on my phone. Now I not only want to peel my skin off but also want to rip the headphones off my head and toss the shit out of the window because it feels crazy weird against the ears too.

As the meditation progresses, so does my panic because the exercise isn’t working. However, successfully overcoming the temptation to grab the phone and toss it the same way as the headphones, I complete the meditation, put the stuff out of the reach of crazy people, remove my shorts because they feel weird and move on to administer a Lexaurin pill.

Ten minutes later, I can breathe normally. Well, not really, I could breathe normally but I can’t at the moment because I’m having a fit of hysterical laughter at myself. As I’m putting my shorts back on because they are perfectly legit, totally comfortable and don’t feel weird at all, I’m wondering what the fuck that was.

Apparently, I had a panic attack over absolutely nothing.

Well, okay, so maybe there is a workload I’m freaking about, which might have triggered the reaction. But come on, tell me something that’s new or, even better, tell me one rational reason why I should be entitled to panic over work. It’s not like my life depends on it.

Well, okay, so maybe my life does depend on my ability to work my workload. But, so what, let’s not try to reinvent the wheel here. Same old, same old: I’m a means of production owned by the capitalist society blah blah; also, exploitation, inequity, overwork, underpay blah blah, so everything is as it should be.

Well, okay, so maybe everything isn’t as it should be. However, who is to say what should be? Not me. Not anyone, as far as I’m concerned. (I wonder if that makes me an anarchist? And is that a bad thing? — I’m glad I don’t subscribe to the good/bad dichotomy, looks like it’s complicated as fuck.) My point is: what is there to panic about when there is no point anyway? I wish my panicky brain finally got it. Duh.

What You Should(n’t) Do to Sleep

I’ve decided to explore a new blogging niche. That of writing anti-blogs. Is anyone even doing it yet or have I finally stumbled upon something original? What I have in mind are specifically anti-manuals, anti-instructions and anti-advice. Since I suck at pretty much everything, particularly life, I thought I’d share my wisdom for the benefit of those whom I might serve as a cautionary story.

I quite enjoy the irony of this idea: I can’t save myself, yet I’m proposing to save the world. Okay, not to save the world, I’m more modest than that, hence I only seek to make the world a better place. Do you believe me? You shouldn’t! For fuck’s sake, you’re reading an anti-blog! Also, do I give the impression that I give a shit? I hope not. Scratch that. I don’t have hopes.

I’ve been sleep-deprived for quite a while now. Which may explain the preceding and the following. A bar recently opened right under my flat and I think my sleeplessness might be related to this fact. It’s not just a bar. It’s a rock music bar. A non-stop music bar, to be absolutely precise. I have their fucking jukebox right under my bed. No kidding. Let’s just say that the constant noise of varying quality and quantity doesn’t exactly facilitate sleep.

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Screw this shit

Which is where I’m getting down to my anti-advice. Aka, what you shouldn’t do when you’re trying to sleep. All the methods detailed below have been tested on myself and have been found inefficient, cumbersome and likely unsafe. While not recommended for human use, these methods seem to be safe for cats. Mine is not only not insomniac but appears perfectly at peace, especially in contrast to yours truly. My truly. Me.

The first method I tried consisted in listening to a meditation for sleep on the phone. This trick was actually nice and is comparatively safe. At least so I thought, until I talked to a friend, who happens to be a firefighter and who is obsessed with the idea that unattended phones in beds may spontaneously combust. Even when they are not Samsung. Do Samsung phones still explode? Just asking. I have a low-end phone and what it does is to freeze, so I assume no fireworks are happening here, literally or figuratively.

The second method I tried was purchasing a set of earplugs. I was very pleased with them because they looked cute and came in a pretty pod. They didn’t come with a manual, which displeased me, since I’m obsessed with manuals. So I googled. I was terrified, applying earplugs is basically nuclear science. However, apply them I did. Semi-successfully. They even worked, sort of, except my ears are still hurting from that foam shit. I must’ve misread the manual or something.

The third method I tried was to block the noise with even more noise. I was hoping one noise would cancel the other noise. Well, it doesn’t work like this. I selected an ambient ocean sound and played it in endless loop on the laptop. The roaring ocean was terrifying rather than relaxing. Though it did balance the noise nicely: there were drum beats coming from below and ocean screams coming from the left, where my laptop was sitting on the table. I didn’t dare to put it in the bed in case my firefighter friend would disapprove.

That much to my anti-manual so far. Excuse typos and general shit, I haven’t slept well. Like forever. Also, I’m writing this with my headphones on, listening to the roaring ocean. It sounds apocalyptic. I think it goes well with my life.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Prolific

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Prolific.

The prompt prolific can be interpreted as pro-life. It’s in there: pro-lific and pro-life. Looks like these two might have something in common, right?

I’m not speaking of pro-life in the sense of anti-abortion—let’s not even look in that direction. It’s pro-life more in the sense of obsessively bringing things to life. Regardless of whether said things wish to be alive in the first place or would rather choose not to.

Spring is a quintessentially prolific season, hence my tulip photo. I never post tulips while omitting to quote my pet poet Sylvia Plath. I think I get her, or she gets me, whichever way you put it. She wasn’t particularly pro-life, which we have in common, as manifested by her choice to quit and put her head in the oven. And since we live in an age when you can’t say anything without offending someone, please let it be recorded that I’m not pro-suicide. Which is quite a feat, for a suicidal person.

But now, rest your eyes on the tulips and consider how they feel. That’s how tulips feel to Plath:

The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me.
Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds.
They are subtle: they seem to float, though they weigh me down,
Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color,
A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck.
18-04-18-prolific

I’m on the Beach and My Mind Is a Scary Place

Don’t be alarmed. I’m not really on the beach. Global warming didn’t escalate so quickly as to bring the ocean to Europe’s centre. Though I’d very much like it. I mean, apart from the fact that a bunch of countries would literally drown, I’d get to live on an island, and it would be the end of the world.

My mind is a scary place. That’s probably alright, since the world is a scary place. In an attempt to counter this, I am mindful as fuck. My mind is full of it. Full of crap, that is. My crappy mindfulness (or mindful crappiness) manifests itself at its best (worse) when I meditate. Again, don’t be alarmed. I don’t really meditate.

I practise an approximation of meditation. I’d like to say that it leads nowhere, but that’s not entirely true. It leads to scary places. Such as the beach. Let me explain (finally). I was trying this meditation with visualisation when you imagine yourself on the beach. It was awful. No, I don’t mean awesome. It was the worst, as you can see for yourself in said video below.

Imagine yourself alone on a secluded beach, it starts. Not with these exact words, I don’t remember how it starts, but that’s how I now imagine it starts. Obviously, this is the perfect scenario for a horror movie. Or a dystopian movie. Or a perfectly normal average movie as seen by my dystopian horror mind.

This meditation setting raises a number of disturbing questions. How am I on a beach? I’m not on holiday, I don’t do holidays because holidays are for losers (and rich people). Where is everyone? Has there been the end of the world (finally) and did I miss it because I don’t watch the news? Where’s the murderer (or, even worse, the mugger)? I say, murder me anytime (as long as it doesn’t hurt—too much) but don’t you dare to mug me (because priorities).

Imagine yourself walking on the beach blah blah blah. Okay. It’s getting weirder and weirder. Why would I walk on a beach? It doesn’t look like I’m going to get my groceries or anything. I’m certainly not taking a walk because come on, I don’t walk purposelessly, I’m not a stray kitten. Speaking of which, where the fuck is my cat? Seriously. This is terrifying. Not knowing where I am is one thing but not knowing where my cat is is another. And much worse.

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A random model beach

It’s not like I’m not trying to play along. I imagine myself walking on the beach, as per request. But, did I apply sunblock? Am I wearing my prescription glasses or sunglasses? If the former, it’s pretty hazardous because I’m light-sensitive, and if the latter, it’s pretty hazardous because I’m semi-blind. Also, where’s my purse? The guiding voice doesn’t mention a purse. How is aimless wandering without your keys and wallet (and your cat) supposed to be a relaxing visual?

I’m stumped. Wait. I’m told I’m carrying a beach towel under my arm. What is this shit, the hitchhiker’s guide to galaxy? I shouldn’t be carrying a beach towel because I don’t own a beach towel. I’m sure I wouldn’t buy it, duh, so did I steal it or what? I’m trying to imagine the incriminating evidence away but the big brother voice tells me to spread the towel on the sand and sit on it. Sigh.

Great. So I’m sitting on a dubious towel on the ground in the middle of nowhere. Now what? This is extremely unproductive. I’m being bored to the brink of my early demise. The video was supposed to be ten minutes but it’s been like ten hours already. Hey, guys, move on, I got stuff to do and bills to pay. I can’t be doing nothing. It’s killing me. I can’t even. I think I suck at this shit. The voice finally says I’m free to go and threatens that I can return to here anytime I need. Anytime I need to get more anxious? Okay, thanks.