Category Archives: Happiness

Bruised bottoms…

There’s no fucking backup plan for falling in love. You fall. You stumble down some stairs, land flat on your ass and look up to someone who now appears as a giant before you. All other men, in comparison, ants. They lack the beautiful traits, the significant looks, and the commonalities the other man shares with you. They seem insignificant in comparison.

The thing is, you have to do it. You have to fall. You have to imagine that this man is better than all the rest, even if you know it’s an illusion. Because without that illusion, there are no butterflies. No tingles in your forearms. No longing so painful and so sweet a mere text messages makes you erupt in euphoria.

You want those feelings.

At the same time, of course, you need to be practical. This man, if any good, will end up your husband. He has to be able to express what he needs, while still thinking you’re some thinly veiled goddess. He has to be able to say the hard stuff and praise–generously–the good stuff. He needs to be able to build a reality with you where you are both happy. He will have to read the books you recommend about marriage, and go on a trip to Beijing even though he doesn’t want to. He has to get up at five on days you have a fever, to make sure you get breakfast in bed. And just like that, you have to do the same for him. You have to do things you’d never imagined just to learn to understand and aid this giant of a man. And that’s when it really helps to think he is a giant compared to other men. It helps to have butterflies in your belly. It helps to be seduced by his mind and body, heart and soul. It’s the fuel that will take you through.

But all of that can only last–the endorphin high–if the hard work is done.

And that’s why many people get off of the floor, dust their bottoms, and start climbing the stairs again. Because they aren’t willing to work. To learn. To compromise. Instead, the giant becomes a giant obstacle, hindering them on their path. Or the giant is uncompromising; unwilling to move.

Thankfully, for all of us, we’ve learned that falling and getting up isn’t too hard. Not when you’re on round twenty-five, or so. You’ve learned you can climb stairs, even in stilettos. You’ve learned you’re OK, even when you’re bruised.

And if nothing else, there’s coffee. Dark, divine, delicious coffee. Laden with just the right amount of honey to sweeten it and cream to tame the darkness. That coffee, served at an ungodly hour will kickstart you once more. Your internal engine humming.

There’s also tea. Drunk together with friends, who pat you on the back and give you another cookie. A sugar rush. Something to bring you back to the moment and forget your temporary insanity when you thought a mere man a giant.

Tea brings new adventures as souls set out on journeys together; discover new thoughts; decide to start up businesses; or go on spa weekends in the country. Tea is the glue that keeps souls together. And we all know when it’s time to put on the kettle and bake the scones.

Then, there’s wine and champagne when we are in need of a good giggle–bubbles bursting on our tongue and tickling our throat. Landing in our belly like butterflies. And as our mind ascends to a pink cloud, we look around and start seeing men. Maybe not giants, but men with potential at least. Men who wink at us and tell us we’re OK, even with our bruised bottoms. Men who’d be happy for us to fall for them–men who might even catch us as we stumble down the stairs on a giddy high. Men who would, potentially, consider doing the hard work. The push-ups that will give them the muscle that make us smile and lick our lips. The men willing to go the extra mile. If, of course, we do the same.

One day, you’ll meet a man who will remain a giant. Till that day, dust yourself up and brew some coffee–head to a friend for tea and go out for wine. Life. Feel it. Brewing inside of you until it bursts out in cascades of stars. Be a star. Glitter. Glimmer. Indulge in every moment. Drink the morning dew. Recognize it for the nectar that it is. Turn up the music and dance around the kitchen. Look out over the rooftops of Paris as many times as you need to get inspired. Run so fast you fall over and laugh uncontrollably with a runner’s high. Drive along the PCH till you feel freedom pump around your blood. Howl at a full moon. Set yourself free–scream with joy and jump in puddles–and discover the treasure right there at your doorstep. Especially if you’re in isolation–make sure that doorstep fucking shines.

At eight o’clock I call you

Waiting to hear your voice

Like a kid waiting for Santa 

Like a desperate woman pouring a glass of wine

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I escape the day’s harms

You’re no hero

No man in shining armor

A tad bruised 

A tad battered

Scarred enough to be a man 

Lost enough to be human

But with an inner compass

Looking for the light 

At eight o’clock I call you

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I escape the day’s harms

The truth is

I learned to walk long ago

Both in high heels and bare feet

Even with sneakers in obstacle courses

And even though I sometimes stumble 

I know that I’ll win the race

Celebrate another day ending

And the next’s beginning

And yet at eight o’clock I call you

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I escape the day’s harms

I can walk 

I can run 

I can pick myself up when I stumble 

I’m fine

I’m free

I’ll bleed and I’ll heal

I’ll laugh and I’ll move forward 

I’ll love and live and pirouette

Around the next corner

For yet another adventure

But at eight o’clock I call you

Oh even if you don’t pick up

And I’m sent to voice mail

I get to hear that dark grumble

That always makes me stumble

Right into your arms

Where I enjoy another 

Of life’s treasures

Yours truly,

Dizzy Blonde aka Maria Montgomery and yes, the copyright is all mine and all that.

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Filed under confessions, diary, Happiness, Insights, Inspiration, Inspirational, Love, Love-life, Motivation, Musings, Poem, poetry, Relationship, relationships

Turn it up and turn it on…

I wrote “turned on like a light switch” in a sentence today, which made me chuckle as I found the metaphor terribly cheesy. It got me thinking though.

We’re either turned on, or turned off. The lights are either on, or they’re off.

What’s the difference?

Your thoughts. Your thoughts are the difference between being turned on and turned off.

Taking that a bit further, you could say your focus determines whether you’re turned on, or turned off.

It is the same thing that determines if you’re happy, or not.

I’m not saying external factors don’t contribute, they do. But there’s still your choice where you put your focus. And that, in turn, will help determine external factors as it will determine what you create next.

The current pandemic is an interesting example of looking at how people choose to focus. I’m not talking about the people who’ve lost it all, but people who may have been affected, but haven’t suffered a blow from hell.

For example, I saw someone complain that the World Health Organization called for a lockdown first, then showed stats of how the economy has been affected badly and saying maybe to stop lockdowns due to increased poverty.

The thing is, no one had the answers up front. Did some people try to make money? Yes. They’d be stupid not to. Did some people do immoral things? No doubt. Should they have made money out of it? No. Are there big pharma and governments that are corrupt? Hell to the yes. Did the world try its best to come together to fight the pandemic? Did people step up and reach out to one another? Did health workers risk their lives? Yes.

I can’t personally understand why people protest against wearing a mask as it PROTECTS OTHERS. Protest the lockdowns all you like, but use common sense in preventing others from getting a virus you might carry without realizing it. You don’t have to wear a mask among friends, so you can still keep your immune system happy with fighting germs. But not wearing one in public where you don’t know who you interact with, might spread the virus to someone vulnerable and might spread the virus too fast for healthcare facilities to cope. If you don’t want a lockdown because the hospitals are overflowing–like in Italy where people were sitting outside hospitals unable to breathe–wear a mask and wash your fucking hands. Spray down your groceries. Do you part in stopping the spread of the virus. If you don’t, don’t complain when you sit outside a hospital and can’t get the help you need.

Sweden got lots of shit for not doing a lockdown, as lots of people died. Then other countries got lots of shit for doing a lockdown, as lots of people lost their jobs.

Forcing people to work during a pandemic seems wrong. Forcing them to stay home might be wrong too. Overflowing the hospitals so not everyone can get care, also seems wrong.

Many people feel helpless because it’s damn hard figuring out the right thing to do–should you isolate? Should you keep your children at home? Should you be angry with the government for lockdowns, or support them? Should you take a vaccine when they just come out, or will that make you sick instead?

Nobody knows all the answers. Nobody knows if a lab fucked up and spread the virus, or if China deliberately did so. For sure not all governments were in on this though, because people and governments are losing money like hell. Will big pharma milk the situation? Yes. Are all scientists and doctors bad? No.

The best we can do? Focus on what we can do. Create business opportunities, instead of bemoaning the ones that have been lost. Look after your health by eating well, sleeping well, exercising well, breathing well, spending time in nature and doing our part in socializing–even if it’s online or two meters apart (and yes, socializing and spending time in nature, as well as getting enough sleep on regular hours have all proven to improve our health). Likewise, take a multivitamin a couple of times a week, and take your herbal supplements, or drink your herbal teas, if you can afford it. Support yourself. Don’t wanna take the vaccine, don’t take it, but don’t bemoan the people who do and by doing so keep you safe.

Also, focus on what’s working. This is not the plague in the 1500s. Thank you modern medicine. Thank you for opportunities to stay safe. Thank you for people who get together in innovative ways to build community in times where you have to social distance. Thank you for those who create joy in times of upheaval. Thanks for still being alive. Thanks for still being able to eat. Thank you world wide web for giving us the opportunity to learn about health resources and enabling us to connect with others. Thank you nice dress that I can wear to feel sexy, even during a pandemic.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

You may not agree with me on all the above, but please do your best to think thoughts that serve you. Focus on what’s working and if something isn’t working, focus on the solution. Stop hating on people who see things differently, and instead work to create something that shows the benefits of what you believe in. Test your theories instead of hating those who have different ones. As the story goes, you don’t change someone’s behavior by telling them what’s wrong, but by showing them what’s right.

And remember, you can still laugh. Just focus on something funny.

Dizzy Blonde, over and out.

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Filed under COVID, Happiness, Inspiration, Inspirational, Joy, Personal Development, personal growth, Personal Journeys, self help

When shit hits the fan, buy toilet paper…and have a giggle…

This year’s trending words so far:

  • social distancing
  • masks
  • hand sanitizer
  • toilet paper
  • panic shopping

As a human, this doesn’t exactly make me smile. As a writer, I find it hilarious. It’s like living in a science fiction comedy where panic has turned humans into anti-bac spraying, mask wearing, toilet paper obsessed morons.

It is the year when toilet paper trumps roses as birthday gifts. Not that I ever found roses particularly interesting, unless they come delivered as a bush. You know, so you can plant them, grow them, harvest the petals and use them in cooking, baking and teas. Then, roses make sense.

Not that I object a beautiful bouquet of flowers–they’re a symbol. A beautiful symbol at that. It’s just, they don’t make my heart race, or my imagination take flight. For that, more innovative and thoughtful gifts are required.

Toilet paper, unlike a bouquet of roses, you can use. And if someone writes cute poetry on it, you may even enjoy your visits to the bathroom a little bit more.

In fact, I’d totally get behind the idea of receiving loo roll with poetry on it.

The thing is, when something like COVID comes along that has the potential of flooding hospitals with patients and kill off a small percentage of the population, not least because hospitals are struggling with resources, it’s scary.

But just as when terrorism and immigration were seen as the scariest things in the world, it’s not the scariest thing in the world.

If you Google the stats, you’ll soon figure out that cancer is a lot more frightening. However, you can protect yourself from COVID in ways you can’t from cancer. Then again, certain cancers, are caused by toxins, HPV (a sexually transmitted disease), and lifestyle choices. And those cancers you can protect yourself from, but are you?

Are you living a healthy lifestyle devoid of toxins? Do you refrain from sex with a lot of different people? Are you building up your immune system?

Even with COVID, working on your immune system is a great idea. From what I’ve learned when penning health and wellness articles, that means good sleep, time in nature, exercise, healthy meals and a life with as little negative stress as possible. Certain herbs and spices may also help you build up your immune system.

What people believe to be the scariest thing in the world, often isn’t the scariest thing in the world. But that doesn’t mean it won’t kill some people. Take precaution. But also take precaution for things that aren’t perceived as immediate dangers. Such as having a heart attack due to poor lifestyle choices. I bet overdosing on fat and sugar doesn’t scare you half as much as COVID, but it should. Statistically speaking.

Personally, with COVID, I’d rather be safe than sorry. If I can socialize two meters apart, in nature and spray everything with anti-bac, I’m quite happy with that. For now.

That, however, does not mean I’ll focus on COVID. I don’t need to listen to COVID stories all day long. I don’t need to think about toilet paper. Hey, if we run out there are magazines and leafs and this thing called washing using water.

This year has been a rollercoaster for most of us. And some have lost near and dear ones to COVID. That’s horrible. But rollercoaster rides aren’t just horrible, they’re also a thrill and can give you the giggles. If nothing else, because everything’s upside down. So let’s focus on the good stuff, not on hand sanitizer.

You can choose your own trending words for the year. Such as art, creativity, nature, family, achievement, and happiness.

When things change, you have to find opportunities in things that present themselves in the now. Such as opening a bidet business, or manufacturing your own toilet paper. Or why not create a new exercise routine at home, launch the online business of your dreams, learn to grow your own vegetables, or finally meditate daily?

You’re your own boss. Now more so than ever.

No, you might not be able to travel to the other side of the world. But there is so much to be thankful for. This isn’t the plague and we aren’t living in the 1500s. That’s a starting point.

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Filed under diary, Happiness, Humor, Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, Musings

Let’s get naughty…

COVID. I haven’t blogged since COVID turned life upside down.

I’ve had a lot of good come out of COVID. I’m not ungrateful. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown. I’ve changed a lot of shit around and gotten rid of some shit, too.

I’ve even managed to create some epic experiences.

From time to time though, I get bored. I start climbing the walls and want to run around screaming. I feel confined. By four walls and some rather stunning mountains.

That’s when it’s time to get naughty. Indulge your imagination. Go on a tour of your mind. A mind blowing tour. Let yourself get excited again. Remember what you love. What stirs your soul. What makes your heart beat faster. What makes smiles appear as if out of nowhere and caress your lips.

Make yourself scream from excitement.

Remember. There is passion. Even if you’re currently staring at four walls.

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.se/pin/507780926738626169/

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Filed under diary, Happiness, Inspiration, Personal Development, personal growth, Personal Journeys, personal stories, Uncategorized

If I can’t have you, I’ll have chocolate instead…

Have you ever had chocolate instead of sex? Oh come on, who hasn’t?! Or are you a chocolate virgin? If so, congrats. You’re the first I’ve ever met… 

Yesterday, I talked about relieving tension when we feel something uncomfortable — the urge to replace the discomfort by something else and, in the process, doing more harm than good as we aren’t dealing with the discomfort. We are putting a bandaid on a wound that needs surgery. It temporarily feels better, but the wound is only getting worse. 

But we also usually seek to relieve tension when we desire something we don’t have. Be it sex, intimacy, love, intellectual stimulation, etc. These are natural urges. All good in their own right. But how we relieve the tension when those urges aren’t fulfilled, isn’t always great. For example, you’re bored at work (you desire intellectual stimulation), but as you can’t have it as you need to finish the darn Excel file (never let me touch an Excel file), you check your Facebook. Other times, we have sex with one person, when we desire to be with another. We may also eat ice cream instead of having sex, or go for a run. Anything to distract ourselves from that burning desire.

Sometimes it’s good to relieve tension. When you’re sexually frustrated, going for a run isn’t a bad idea. It will help you get fitter. It will release feel-good chemicals. You’ll get your high. Eating a ton of ice cream, on the other hand, may not be so helpful. A long run and then a piece of chocolate, or a little bit of ice cream, is a better idea. (That said: there are days when a whole pint of ice cream is totally justified, depending on the brand of ice cream. If you’re eating shit ice cream it just won’t work.)

In the beginning of this year I met a friend of mine for coffee. I was upset. I felt like crying. I was mourning an acquaintance who’d committed suicide. A man I never got to know properly, because when he reached out to me, I was too scared to get to know him, even though I felt drawn to him. You see, in my mind various scenarios played out and I settled for the worst case scenario. 

He could be someone I’d get to know and nothing. No connection. 

He could be someone I’d get to know who’d become a friend. 

He could also be my soulmate. 

And he could be depressed and end up committing suicide, whether we have a connection or not. So it’s probably best I don’t go near him. Don’t explore him. I’ve created enough drama in my life as is. 

The week he committed suicide, I was planning to reach out to him about something. He died before I got around to doing it. And once again those scenarios were flashing through my mind. I felt a sense of regret I’ve never felt before. I felt sure God was making some sort of joke. That it was all wrong. That I’d wake up the next day and he’d still be alive and I’d talk to him to find out. Find out if we had a connection, or not. 

When I met with my friend in the coffee shop, feeling like an emotional wreck, he didn’t react at all like I’d expected. Simply, because I’d never expected him to say he was jealous of me. He was jealous that I felt something so strongly, because it’d been years since he’d done that. 

The other night, when I came home, I felt pain. This time about someone else. I didn’t want to feel that pain. I thought about speaking with one of my neighbors. I thought about talking to a friend. I thought about reading a book. I thought about doing an array of different things to distract myself from the pain. 

Then, as I was sitting on the toilet, because as we all know, that’s the perfect place to sit, I thought to myself: I’m feeling. This is what it means to be alive. And in that moment, the pain dispersed, because I allowed myself to feel it instead of holding onto it while fighting it. 

By that I don’t mean to say that all the sadness went away. It didn’t. I was told I looked like a wreck the next day. Always charming. But I was still ecstatic about life. I knew other experiences would follow. Good and bad. I knew I was alive, because I was feeling something. 

Life is a journey of ups and downs. Good and bad. Happy and sad. If we numb the bad stuff, we also numb the good stuff. And if we numb the bad stuff, it doesn’t go away. It just gets stuck somewhere and we have to keep numbing it. Keep fighting for it to stay away from the forefront of our mind. But by fighting we hold onto it.

Relieving tension can be good. The day after I was sad, I went to see a friend. Took in some rays. Sat by the beach, getting hugs. It was nice. It took my mind in different directions. Getting stuck reveling in something isn’t good. Be it sexual frustration, or the pain of losing a loved one. You need to purposefully focus your mind on things that move your life forward. 

In short, if you feel a strong desire, or pain, watch out what you do to relieve that tension. If you want to create a great love life, for example, it’s better joining an online dating site than fucking your neighbor. Fucking the neighbor will bring instant satisfaction, but you’ll wake up without a great love life the next morning. Joining a dating site may feel like a mission and bring no instant rewards, but in the end, it’s likely to take you closer to your goal. 

Lastly, sometimes it’s good to do nothing. Hang with the tension. The obvious path forward will reveal itself if you are just willing to wait for it. Stay with what you’re feeling until you find the obvious thing to do that will propel you in the direction of your dreams. That’s to say: the direction that will fulfill your desires and remove your pains. 

In short, if you can, hang with the tension without for that matter reveling in it. If you need to relieve the tension, think of good ways of doing so — ways that take you closer to your goals. If you can’t come up with any, put on a pair of jogging shoes and run for your life or do P90X till you want to kill Tony. Scrap that, you always want to kill Tony. Do it till Tony is killing your body. Then bliss out on chocolate. Or pasta. Or both. (And FYI it’s been scientifically proven that the ups and downs of love addiction, i.e. the highs and lows you have in a relationship, can be counteracted by exercise and carbs. And if it works for love, it must work for other things too.)

Yours truly,

Dizzy Blonde

No running shoes, no problem…

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Filed under addiction, Behavior, diary, emotions, empowerment, Happiness, Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, Musings, Thoughts

The logic of not giving a F…

Have you ever listened to someone’s logic and found it completely illogical? I have. Many times. Just enter my mind and you’ll have the most logically proven illogical ideas floating about. 

You see, as humans, we support our own logic based on anecdotal stories, beliefs, opinions, experience…you name it. What seems logical to us, is, in fact, completely and utterly illogical. 

Here, let’s do an example. 

I have two people in my life who don’t like seatbelts. Both claim it’s because they grew up in Africa and they love the freedom of driving without a seatbelt. Plus, they believe when your time is come, your time is come. So why bother with a seatbelt in the first place? 

Let’s imagine these two going bungee jumping. They have a choice between two companies offering bungee jumps. One has a sign reading: 

Bungee Jumps Offered Daily. 5 Out of 100 People Die as Ropes Sometimes Break. 10 Out of 100 Get Injured Due to Bad Quality Ropes.

Bungee Jumps Offered Daily. 100% Secure. No Deaths. No Injuries Caused by Equipment. 

Now, what company do you think they’d choose? 

It’s the same thing as wearing, or not wearing a seatbelt. Every day there are accidents on the road. Every day someone dies, or get injured. If you wear a seatbelt, chances of death and injury are less. If you’re in an accident wearing a seatbelt, you may end up with whiplash. Without it, you may end up with severe brain damage. Your choice. 

Our subjective realities constantly blind us to logic. 

Another favorite of mine: I drive better when I’m drunk. The proof? I’ve only had accidents when sober.

If we drive better when drunk, then science would long ago have proven that our ability to react is much better when drunk. On the contrary, it’s proven the opposite. 

It’s like saying: I have only had accidents after eating peanut butter sandwiches, therefore, peanut butter sandwiches cause accidents. Sure enough, if you believe it, you may start driving more erratically after eating them… But it isn’t the truth. It only become true if you let your mind act on the belief. 

The real truth is, we all have these things we believe to be true because we have stories and beliefs backing them up. And as is the case with drunk driving, some examples are pretty extreme. You’re willing to risk your own and other people’s lives because you believe in your own story. 

Similarly, look at the story about “who you are.” Look at me. As a kid my mom died and I felt she rejected me before she died. Then I had to move classes a few years later due to circumstance and I was put in a class where I got picked on. I went from popular to nerd over night. Then I got a step-mom who emotionally abused me. 

Now, that added up to me thinking there was something wrong with me. I thought that was a logical conclusion. I was rejected, therefore there was something wrong with me. Logical, right?! Is that the truth though? No. It’s not the truth. But I believed it, so I acted on it and my way of dealing with it was hiding away. I became shy. Very shy. Wouldn’t speak unless spoken to. 

Being shy was a protection mechanism. I literally remember thinking I wasn’t going to let them see my real self, therefore they couldn’t reject the real me. If I just disappeared, they couldn’t judge me. And moving forward, I became the person who didn’t speak. Therefore, I became rejected. That meant that I could hold onto the belief that there was something wrong with me.

In short, I was the person believing peanut butter sandwiches cause accidents and therefore driving erratically.  

I also had coping mechanisms. Like reading stories and escaping into another world and I practiced my skills to receive praise, so even if I couldn’t be loved, I could be admired. Fleeing into imaginary worlds and receiving admiration became my drugs. That then fell apart when I didn’t go onto becoming a world famous director straight out of school, but had to work odd jobs. I ended up depressed as hell, reached rock bottom and learned that actually, I didn’t have to achieve anything to love and accept myself, or be loved and accepted. All I had to do was open up. 

That was the first time in years I started to feel like I didn’t have a gaping hole inside myself. The first time since my mother died, I suppose. 

The thing is, not everyone change their story. They just keep doing things to back it up. Keep proving to themselves they’re right. 

I was having an argument with an addict recently. My argument? Get help. Their argument? “I’m not ready, I’m waiting for “my moment,” plus right now I prefer being an addict. It makes me feel good for now. But it’s OK. I’ll be OK in the end. Because I wasn’t born an addict so I won’t die an addict.”

If you have ever been around addicts or read literature on it, you know that addicts use stories to support their addiction. And those stories are controlled by the addiction, not their real selves. Just like my actions used to be controlled by a story I made up about myself, not my real self. I was shy, because I believed in that story. I became rejected because I was shy, which proved my story to be true. I sought to achieve massive things in life to relieve the pain of that story. That was my addiction. And I sacrificed a ton of things for that addiction. 

Usually addicts sacrifice a lot. They give up on doing everything they love or do significantly less of it, they’re neglecting relationships, they stop caring for their own health, they no longer hold themselves to the same moral standards they used to and they either isolate themselves, or surround themselves with people who enable their habit. In short, they’re slowly ruining all areas of their life (sometimes they manage to keep one area decently clean, depending on importance, such as a job that enables them to buy drugs is far more important than friends, for example) and putting the drug of choice in center stage. The drug slowly becomes more important than anything else.

I’ve spoken to people in recovery about this. How the drug is always right. If getting the drug means not seeing your child, then you don’t see your child. If getting the drug means stealing, then you steal. If getting the drug means lying, then you lie. Whatever it takes to get the drug/get high, is justified. It becomes the new logic. Because it’s the only thing that makes them feel good. 

From the outside, it’s lunacy. For them, it’s totally logical. They feel good. They’re fine. Their bodies are shutting down. They’re living in squalor. They’re fine. Because they have their drug. 

Of course, they have moments of clarity, but it’s fine. It’s all fine, because they’re in control. When they want to get well again they will. They can handle it. 

Their logic is completely fucked. And they can’t see it. Because there’s always an excuse, or an argument backing up their story. 

Hopefully, one day they break a hard limit. They do something that make them wake the fuck up. Like you know, the religious person stealing from a church to buy drugs. Or, like me, they hit rock bottom emotionally. The turning point. The place where they know they’ve sunk so low the only way is up. But some people, sadly, never stumble across such a thing.

The thing is, we all have addictions, or if you so like, do things because they’re supported by stories we tell ourselves. Like me hiding away in a corner, which was supported by the story that I had something wrong with me and couldn’t be liked/loved. And by hiding away in a corner, I got reject, which provided my story to be true. But I also had a story that I could be admired for my skills and hard work and, to some degree, my acquired personality. That was my drug — I used work as a coping mechanism. To me achievement was my drug. 

My life fell apart when I thought I couldn’t be admired. When my drug of choice was removed as I was outside the school system, where I’d always been admired. That’s when I faced my truth. That’s when I realized I could be happy without achievement. 

The thing with any kind of addiction, or coping mechanism, is that it’s us acting on our emotions. Like I feel unloved and believe I can’t be loved which hurts, let’s do something to get admired which feels good. Temporarily. Once the high is over, you’ll end up feeling empty again. Same thing if you use sex as a coping mechanism (a drug) when wanting love. And by doing it, you only prove to yourself that you can’t be loved. That you can only be admired, or only get sex, so you feel even worse. But as you still hold onto the idea you can’t be loved, what are you going to do? Have more of your drug, of course! 

When the emotional brain takes over, we fuck up. We become illogical. We rationalize behavior that’s completely and utterly illogical. 

When we act on our feelings we end up fucking ourselves over five ways to Friday.

If you’re feeling unloved, the logical thing is to deal with the root cause of it and realize it isn’t true, instead of chasing an Oscar (that would be me). That’s why people who win Oscars become depressed — they realize they still don’t feel loved. They’re still empty. All they did was relieve their tension by getting admiration. The real problem is still there. 

If you’re feeling stressed, the logical thing is to deal with the cause of the stress (such as a heavy workload), not watch Netflix (and the next day have an even heavier workload). 

If you’re feeling sad, the logical thing to do is to deal with the cause of your sadness and fill your life with happiness and genuine connection, not have a drink and the next day still have the sadness, plus the reality of having wasted a night drinking. 

When you feel things — impulses to do certain things — it’s a good idea to ask yourself a) is this part of a pattern of mine and if so, has that pattern led to me achieving great things? b) will this really lead to the end result I desire? c) what place am I acting from? Principle or feeling? If it’s principle, you’re acting from a place of integrity — doing the right thing. If it’s feeling, you’re likely trying to resolve your tension, unless the feeling is coming from your heart. If you can’t hear your heart, act from principle. Your heart would tell you to do right by yourself and others. So does principle. 

Another test is this: will this lead to genuine happiness? Will this serve my health? Will this serve my soul? Will this serve other people? Coping mechanisms will make you feel good while destroying your life. Genuinely good things will make you feel good while making your life better.

Will you be held hostage by your own emotions, or will you create the life you’d truly love to live?

In short, sometimes, not giving a fuck about your own emotions is a very good idea. 

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I saved a life today…

I saved a life today. It was maybe not the way you’d imagine a person saving a life. It wasn’t an act of great glory with pompous trumpets playing in the background.

No, as I was walking from the V&A along the multitude of docks, I saw a crab. On the ground. How he/she got there I don’t know. The docks are far up and she/he was far from the dock. Anyway, I used to fish for crabs as a kid, so I know how to hold a crab without getting pinched. Hence, I lifted it and carried it back to the water. 

The crab isn’t going to send me a thank you note. Nor is it going to become my friend and check in on how I’m doing from time to time. Make sure I’m alright. It’s not going to lighten up my evenings with great conversation and moonlit walks. Nor is it going to send me gifts, or pat me on the shoulder when I’m crying. No, the crab isn’t going to give me a thing. 

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately: how to remove your ego from the equation. How to be of service without expecting something in return. 

A friend of mine, this weekend, was telling me about a friend of hers who just won’t show up for coffees. This friend has a history of alcoholism and depression (the two tend to go together). My friend is aware that nothing stands between addicts and their next fix. And we got talking about this and I told her it’s basically an opportunity to give up on your own ego when being friends with someone like that.

Imagine an athlete being in a car accident. Let’s say a female runner who loses her legs. Her whole life she’s taken great pride in her body. Her looks. Her physicality. And her main achievement has been her running career. 

She loses her legs and is put in a wheelchair. Not only has she lost her career, she’s also lost the body she was so proud of. She has no purpose anymore, as she can’t run. Things that used to seem important, like friends, being out in nature and experiencing things like travel and performances, no longer seem to not matter. She feels like her soul, not her legs, has been removed. 

She’s given painkillers and an option to have therapy. She takes the painkillers but doesn’t see the point in therapy. After all, has the therapist lost their legs? Is the therapist a celebrated athlete? No. So why talk to them? They wouldn’t understand her. 

People tell her she can restructure her life. Become an athlete in a wheelchair. She thinks they’re stupid. She was famous for her lower body strength, not her upper body strength. She’d be a lousy wheelchair athlete. Besides, she loved to run. She doesn’t love basketball, or whatever. 

The woman doesn’t feel much joy anymore. Sure she laughs at Trevor Noah and smiles when a child is smiling, but at the same time she feels pain. Because they seem to have something she doesn’t: happiness. 

You’re this woman’s friend. You call her one day and suggest you come by for coffee, she says sure. As you speak to her you realize you’ve missed her. Missed your friend. You also realize she’s sad. So you decide to make an effort. An effort to show up for her. 

In the coming weeks you call your friend, text her, and try to meet up with her. While she answers your calls and texts, she often cancels coffees and never asks you to come for coffee. She doesn’t have a will to do anything, so it doesn’t occur to her to do so. She’s disgusted by her own body, because it doesn’t do what it used to. Disgusted by her own habits that seem so foreign to an athlete — now she’s just sitting on her ass. She’s lost respect for herself. 

For an athlete, being unfit and sitting in a wheelchair feels so far away from who they want to be, she may as well just give up. Death would be a pleasant alternative to thinking about who she has become. Yet, she can’t stop thinking about who she has become. How she doesn’t know what to do, or how she doesn’t feel any joy anymore. It’s too painful thinking about how much she’d need to do to become the person she’d like to be that she’d rather not — she just takes another painkiller, or watches another movie to try to forget. Because if she decides to take action, decides to do something about the situation, she needs to face the fact that she’s an athlete without legs, who’s unfit and desperately confused and unhappy as she has no purpose anymore. She’d need to face the gap between where she is and where she’d want to be and the long journey of getting there.

You keep showing up for your friend and sometimes you get a smile, but you know your friend still isn’t really present with you. If your ego gets involved, you’re going to get angry with your friend. You’re going to expect them to get happy, because you’re trying so damn hard to make them happy. You’re going to want them to make you feel good, by feeling good. You’re going to expect them to ask you how you’re doing and actually want an answer. You’re going to expect them to ask you round for coffee. You’re going to expect them to be there when you’re feeling down and need a hug, or an encouraging word. You’re going to expect them to care. But they can’t. Because they don’t feel anything, or they feel too much like shit. Imagine feeling nauseous and puking — it’s not like you’ll pick up the phone and call someone telling them you love them in that moment.

The thing with depression though, is that you have to pick up the phone and call someone and tell them they’re amazing, even if you’re on the ground feeling like puking. You need to make the other person more important than your nausea. You need to make being a decent person, or winning a race (working a job, getting fit, traveling around the world on a motorbike to raise funds for a good cause…whatever it may be), more important than your own pain, or discomfort. Make it more important than your own feelings of disgust, self-pity and helplessness. Sometimes you have to start with small things. Like spending time with friends, or going for a run. You have to make that run more important than your own feelings. 

Once you’ve mastered the run, you can master something else. You have to master doing things that are good for you, even if you don’t immediately feel great doing them (you probably won’t feel a thing at first), or think you deserve them. Because by doing them, you’ll feel like a better person. And when you feel like a better person, you start feeling like you deserve having a life again.  

Maybe this friend will, so to speak, see the light. Maybe they’ll decide that an uphill road to becoming who they want to be/getting to where they want to be and therefore facing where they are, is better than feeling the way they do for the next ten years. Maybe the thought of the next ten years will finally make them realize that it’s better to start now, than pity themselves for the time they’ve already lost. Or maybe they’ll see a child sleeping in the street and decide to care for them and in the process of doing so forget about themselves, thus forgetting their own pain. Maybe they’ll stumble across a purpose. 

The only way for a person to change is to do everything they can to do so. If one thing doesn’t work, they’ll have to try the next. If you’ve told yourself for three weeks you aren’t going to have another hamburger, or a milkshake, for breakfast and you’re still having hamburgers and milkshakes, you need to try something else. And if you can’t figure it out, ask someone else to give you ideas about how to do it. We all think we’re unique, but it turns out we’re uniquely human. We act like 99% of the rest of the population when put in certain situations. We follow the same patterns. Other people sometimes know better than you do how you work, even if they aren’t an athlete without legs. They know human patterns. And they’re able to see the things you can’t, because they’re not stuck in your head. Plus, believe it or not, they can see you. Can feel you.

Maybe your friend will call you one day and ask you how you’re doing. Say sorry for the times they cancelled on you. Tell you that you’re part of the light of their universe because they can once again see the light. And maybe they won’t. 

I don’t know how many friends I have in my life who have gone gaga because someone in their life is going through depression and are either avoiding them, being needy with them (the example above is clearly not someone being needy), or driving them insane in some other way. All I can say is that it gives you an opportunity to:

  1. give without receiving 
  2. know that nothing you do is likely to have any effect whatsoever beyond maybe giving the other person a bit of joy, or the satisfaction of knowing someone cares — maybe you’ll give them a glimmer of life, maybe you won’t
  3. focus on encouraging them when they do something good, rather than losing your shit when you feel neglected — they’re already feeling bad, making them feel worse isn’t going to help. That said, calling them on their bullshit and telling them that maybe it’s about time they cared about someone else isn’t always a bad thing
  4. know that you’ll be rejected time and time again because you’re an obstactle to them being alone with their misery
  5. not let their sorrow weigh you down — emphatize with them as you know we all face difficulties and it hurts like hell, but know they are in charge of their life and if they want to feel better, it’s possible, they just have to take action and/or seek help
  6. know that people like to take pride in their difficulties, or fuckedupness as it’s a way of coping with it, by pretending to not care and being ever so cool, or pretending it’s a joke
  7. be fully aware that you may lose a person you care about and come to terms with that
  8. know that you have to focus all your energy on your own life, as you’ll get nowhere by focusing on theirs — you have the responsibility to create a life you’re happy with and that may mean limiting the time you spend with them and also deciding to not walk around worrying about them; it’s out of your control and the best you can do is have faith in them and pray for them beside being there for them
  9. know that from time to time you’ll get both angry and sad, you’ll pity them and yourself and be petrified of losing them to a dark pit and have a complete hissy fit about it, but also know you have the power to step out of that state of mind
  10. there’s a time and a place for forced hospitalization

In short, to be around depressed people, you have to give up on your own ego; your own self-importance, while simultaneously taking control over your own emotions. And to me that’s been a great learning. 

I’ve always been stuck in my ego, you see. I’ve cared about what people think about me. Wanted proof they care about me. Wanted to feel good thanks to the people around me. But as with the crab, some people won’t tell you your awesome, or send you thank you notes. And sometimes, I’ve been that person. In the past six months when my home life was a disaster due to the child I help raise with PDA, I got panicked if someone so much as asked for a coffee with me. I had no time or energy. The only thing I cared about was paying the bills and having people to help me manage the kids. That was it. 

But I got through those months, because other people didn’t give up on me. When I was practically catatonic one morning, my neighbor looked at me with worry and spoke to me. When I called people in desperation, needing help with the kids, they answered. Some of these people told me I was inspiring. An incredible person. I still don’t understand why. I guess because I kept going. Kept thinking I’d find a solution. Because sure as hell I wasn’t pleasant to be around, apart from those brief moments, hiding away in some coffeeshop and feeling like myself for a while. And I despised myself a fair amount. Despised myself for not being nicer. Despised myself for not finding solutions for my child. But I had to make a decision to every day aim to be the person I wanted to be no matter what I was facing. I failed continuously, but I tried again the next day.  

I’ve been much deeper in the depths of despair in the past. Times when I felt nothing, or was petrified of myself, because I feared my own feelings. But time and time again, I overcame those feelings. So I know it’s possible. Even if it doesn’t feel that way. It’s about deciding you don’t have a clue. Surrendering to not knowing shit. If you did, you wouldn’t be where you are. Then deciding you can do it, even if you don’t know how. Deciding you will find a solution. And you’ll stop at nothing.

Maybe I can sum up my learnings with both being depressed and being around depression with some of my coach’s favorite terms (which it took me a while to get my head around): 

  • don’t get caught up in your own or other people’s hairy bullshit (i.e. don’t let the stories someone else is telling themselves, or the stories you’re telling yourself affect you — change the stories going round in your head and when someone say they keep thinking they’re a disaster and therefore acting like one, challenge them on it — tell them to start thinking something else and therefore acting differently instead of allowing them to wallow in self-pity or disgust)
  • decide who you are going to be in the face of it (i.e. don’t let circumstance dictate your reactions — rather take charge of how you want to think and act)
  • become aware your own patterns — what are you creating and what will the payoff be (negative or positive)? (if you’re depressed, or unhappy with circumstance, you’re doing something to continuously create that — change the pattern, change your life. This is harder than it seems as it often means going against your own desires)
  • the person with the biggest hard on wins (i.e. the highest vibrational energy wins — no person or event can affect your mood for long if you have the biggest hard on)
  • when you’re happy you can be of service to others because you don’t expect them to make you happy and by being of service you stop thinking about your ego and therefore feel better
  • structure has integrity — by changing the structure of your life (thinking patterns and real life habits) you change your overall life (sometimes this is a bit-by-but process rather than an overnight overhaul of your life. Such as being a sugar addict, but deciding to have a run before each cake you eat, or being so used to beating yourself up about life you can’t stop, but you’ll write down one thing you like about yourself every day. Other times, it’s best to do a 180. Depends on the situation)
  • focus creates reality — what you focus on (i.e. what you think about) is your reality and determines what you create in your life. Change your focus, change your life (this also means that when someone depressed has aired about their issues enough, it’s time to change the topic and move towards the good things in their life, what they’re grateful for and what they are passionate about, as well as the things you love)

We all need our emotional needs met. Just after saving the crab, a woman walked past me and complimented my dress. She didn’t want anything in return. She just kept walking. It made me happy. It helped me meet my emotional needs.

Just minutes earlier, I had profusely thanked some semi-lousy service people for their service. Not because they made me want to do it, but because I knew who I wanted to be in the face of it. And because I hoped that maybe one day, by seeing other people’s gratitude, they’d start doing something people felt grateful for. 

We all have emotional needs. We just have to be clear where we get them met. Don’t expect to have them met by people who don’t know how to meet them. But also don’t become a bitch because of it. Decide who you are going to be in the face of it. And decide on taking responsibility for your own life. If you expect to have your emotional needs met by the wrong people, that’s your bad. Going to that coffee shop with poor service and expecting to be pampered and leave feeling great is just setting yourself up for disappointment. So you have to ensure you feel great no matter what they do. Maybe, over time, if you keep smiling at them and thanking them, they’ll change. Maybe they won’t. Give up on your self-importance. And get your emotional needs met elsewhere. 

The moral of the stories in this blog? Whether you’re depressed or around someone who is either depressed, or otherwise not meeting your emotional needs, the power is in your hands. You are in charge of your life and your emotions. No matter how much it doesn’t feel like that. Because oh, life happened to you. It will keep happening to you. Until you happen to it. 

Dizzy blonde, over and out. 

Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/838795499332072484/?nic=1

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Filed under depression, diary, Happiness, Hope, Inspiration, Motivation, Uncategorized