Novacane

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Today (officially yesterday) was a bad anxiety day. Really bad. I’ve gotten better at handling the attacks with the years; meditation, deep breathing, mindfulness. Shit works actually. Because it’s either that or be sucked into a mind vortex. But despite it all, yesterday was a 8.5, maybe 9. I was going to go out and as I lay on my bed, breathing deeply, trying to stay centred as I feel I’m being torn apart, I consider staying in. Apathy kicks in. What’s the point? I’ll come back anyway. On any other day I would have caved in. But not today. Today I realized the insidiousness in the apathy; it’s a slippery slope. Today it’s let’s not go out, cuz it’s not so important and you’re not feeling well. Seems legit. But tomorrow it’s let’s not try, you’re going to fail anyway. And next thing you know, that lackadaisical attitude is running the gamut of thoughts from apathetic to suicidal. So I went out even though I had no motivation to do so. And as I was walking I realized that anxiety has been an omnipresent element in my life for the past decade. It hit me that I had mistakenly attributed my anxiety to external forces and worked hard to avoid those, but in hindsight I see that the smaller I made my world by avoiding stuff, the bigger the anxiety grew. I thought going out triggered it. So for years I suffered from really bad agoraphobia, not going out for 8 months at one point. I thought school triggered it, I thought x, y, z triggered it, and all this time I hadn’t looked long enough at my life to notice that hey, I’m being duped here! All of a sudden, I remembered all the chill days where I had my junk, where I was in my room doing nothing, that I was in the grips of anxiety. Why? Because anxiety can’t be reasoned with. Anxiety is a disorder in the brain. MY brain. It’s a malfunction. So normal events that shouldn’t trigger my fight-or-flight response, do. And it’s only so long when you’re running away from the proverbial monster that you break down and just freeze. Stick your head in the sand. Hold your breath.

It’s hard to explain anxiety to someone who has never experienced it. It’s like when you go on dodgy websites that re-route you to ad pages with a bunch of pop-ups proclaiming you the winner of an iPhone or whatever, and wherever you click to exit it only takes you deeper into malvertisement nightmare via click-through destinations. Add on to that a really slow computer processor that makes the whole thing like wading through quick-sand whilst carrying cement blocks in your backpack.

 

And people tell me to hurry up and fix my life. Maybe not so crudely put but that’s what the underlying message is. Why aren’t you doing anything? You got unpaid bills piling. You’re only growing older. You’re missing out on life.

I try to speed shit up, but my brain just lags. I try to focus on the blank screen with the blinking cursor in front of me but all these damn popups and video ads that auto play keep blocking the damn screen! So yeah, you might as well tell me to fly by flapping my arms!

 

Wet blanket & tea

My thoughts feel heavy in my head.It feels like my neurons are made of lead as they’re trudging along in my body. I’m 26 and I’m nowhere near having my life together. I’ve travelled far and wide and explored for the past ten years, but all I have is more questions spun from the answers I got. I thought I’d be done with depression by now. I thought that once I start going out, once I do this or that, I’ll be ok. I thought situations would rid me of my insidious shadow. No one ever told me it’d be this hard.
Most days I’m in denial, trying to bury my thoughts in books on the metaphysical and inspirational. I try to imagine a brighter future when  get my own place or finally learn how to drive so that I can cruise down the countryside. I’m avoiding the moment because I’ve been under the impression that pain only exists situationally.

I recently came back to Sweden after nearly 4 months in the UK. A month and half in, I ran out of my meds. So I went off the 200 mg Sertraline I’d been taking for 2.5 years, cold turkey. I thought, I’m going to prove to myself and the world that I’m strong enough now. I’ll do all the things I couldn’t do before. As if pain is weakness. I was hung up on a false image of perfection.
November and December were by far one of the worst months in my 10 years as depressed. I wouldn’t get out of bed. I’d sleep throughout the day just to avoid people. I’d drink tap water from the bathroom to avoid going downstairs. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. It felt like my jaw was wired shut. I had no energy or will to even do menial stuff like watch funny videos or tv shows! I became suicidal. I don’t like talking about these stuff with others because I’ve learnt that it’s too intense for others to understand. Telling someone usually makes me feel worse about myself, so. My best friend Sara got me through that month. Although she was all the way in the US, she was very close. Just knowing that I could text her whenever and that she’d understand quelled a lot of pain.

When the suicidal thoughts came on stronger, I realized that I had to get back on the meds. So for 5 days now I’ve been back on Sertraline, 50 mg, and I feel much better. Relatively. Depression feels like being dragged on the tracks by the tail of a freight train. For years and years with only the briefest of stops. Antidepressants is like paracetamol that dulls the pain of bloody wounds, broken bones, and blue bruises.

Some days I’m ok. I can write, dream, imagine, hope even. But days like today, I look forward to nightfall when I can slip under the blanket and sleep for 10+ hours to avoid my anxiety.

I have to remind myself to breathe. To make myself a cup of Earl Grey, and wrap myself in my cocoon of mental anguish. Perchance tomorrow will be an easier day.

 

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

If you are chronically down, it is a lifelong fight to keep from sinking 
— Elizabeth Wurtzel

 

How to convince the world to save the world

Climate change, wars, incarcerations, animal abuse, diseases – we got our plates full with problems in this world. But have you noticed how the development of complex and acute crisis is directly proportional to the development of online social entertainment?

Example:

Melting ice glaciers ∝ cat videos

We live in a world where people need to have a number of reasons to even bother with helping others. Sure, the building is on fire but I can’t pause this game of World of Warcraft.

It’s a simple cost-benefit analysis only,playing on sympathy and suffering doesn’t work anymore. People are getting increasingly steeped in leisure to run away from the pain of reality and if you want people to join a cause and contribute, you need a solid sympathy pitch to sell them on. It’s a pity, but why should I do something? I won’t make a difference…

So I devised a three-step process:

1. Bespoke plea
Explain how it affects them directly and illustrate that not taking action will cause worse repercussions than the effort it takes to pitch in.

2. Simple action/ Incentivize 
People can’t be bothered to deal with complexity and figuring stuff out. If they got out of their ways to be willing to do something, they are expecting a cut-and-dried task, along with a cup of coffee and cake just for showing up.

3. Immediate gratification/ Extrinsic motivation
Complex problems are very daunting, even to the most hopeful activist. When taking on a new goal or experience, the most important thing is to create a positive feedback loop where one gains self-efficacy from having successfully followed through on tidbit actions towards a bigger goal. So, people need to see that their actions contributed to progress, however minute.

Bullshit-pacifier & other confessions

Yesterday it hit me hard; I’m a bullshit-pacifier. I recovered from perfectionism and landed in the comfy zones between laziness and apathy thinking this was the healthy ideal; this was the moderation that’d relax my worn out mind. I shot down the cognitive dissonance that urged me to get moving and plastered my wounds with self-pity. I’m not going to deny that a part of me was seared and perfectionism singed and I was very wary of going back to the insane mindset that was all I knew growing up, however in doing that I swung the pendulum too far to the other side; apathy.

For some time I’ve questioned my inertia and tried to find out some deep and complex psychological explanation to get me revved up. But yesterday I realized that what  I was looking for was a security blanket to hold onto in the confusion that is my life and let the storm sort itself out or sum’n.Yesterday I realized I was a bullshit-pacifier and it felt like being doused with ice-cold water in my sleep.

The bittersweet epiphany was followed by this realization; if you don’t do what you can do, you won’t become who you wish to be.

word.

Pandering laziness

1. I won’t order something online if my credit card is out of reach.

2.I’d call one of my siblings to close my bedroom door ( whaat?!they left it open!)

3.I’ll sleep to kill time.

4.If I can’t find my socks, I won’t go out.

5.I’ll stay hungry the entire day because I can’t be bothered to make myself something to eat.

6.I won’t read anything that isn’t amply paragraphed.

7. My honesty developed in my childhood because lying was too much of a bother to do.

8.If something takes more than 4 days to deliver, I won’t order it.

9.I only use make-up once in a blue moon because it’s too much of a bother to keep up. 

10. If it’s out of sight, I don’t need that shit.

11. My procrastination is advanced; I procrastinate in months and years. Others say they’d do something the next day or week; I tell myself there’s always another month or year.

12.I’m organized because I can’t be bothered looking for stuff.

13. 1 [major] accomplishment:2 weeks rest. For every huge thing I accomplish, I reward myself with weeks of basking in that shit. You know, stuff like calling someone back or taking a 5-minute walk.Huge stuff.

14. I write all my posts in one go without any prior planning. If I have to research or edit, I aint with that.At all.

15.I’ll call up my family members on their mobile phones just to tell them to come to my room ‘cuz I want to tell them something.Waah?The struggle is real yo

 

I got a ton more things to enumerate but I’m too lazy for that. Here, a picture.Look at it.or something.

layz

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