Whatup psych math?! Could 1+1 be one and 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 a million? Make that 1+n  effort

This is one of those things you need to bear with me for a minute, or two, depending on your reading speed and how much reflection you do while at it. I was a smart ass as kid, who knew! Finding out math was a thing and that my dad taught math for a living lead me to a path of using math “wrong” to prove my dad wrong – solid, undeniable logic with loopholes I found funny. …My dad actually did enjoy it too.

One of my favourites, and what I still use in my work to demonstrate logic does not rule all, was the good old 1+1. My teachers told me the answer is 2, so did my dad. The economics books I got to know way later on my life, and strategy workshops and gurus too, tell it’s three, because “synergy” and whatever bullshit of “teamwork makes the dream work”; 1+1 makes more than 1. Here was my thinking as a kid; you rake a pile (1) of leaves and another pile (1) of leaves and you put them together, you have a pile (1) of leaves. 1+1=1

It was funny as a kid. Still find it useful in work settings. In my personal life? It has been an equation following my life; an equation I’ve actually used against myself. My now + a single effort = my now. Why bother? I have tried and failed, made way, and had hard as hell setbacks. But I’ve tried. I’ve tried and tried and tried. I’ve tried and found myself back where I started, maybe even worse. I’ve had momentarily wins, I’ve had the highs of running away and moving around. But. I’ve felt like I’m still where I was, not making any way forward, especially not with that single thing of action.

So. Childhood. I had a lot of reoccurring nightmares as a kid. One of them was of me walking down a street in my hometown and falling down because my legs could not carry me anymore. I would fall down. I could not get up. I would desperately try and stand but could not. I would see people passing by, ignoring me. No-one would stop and help. No one would acknowledge me. No one would help. I was alone. A kid. Alone.

Two weeks ago I started having those dreams again – just with a small but major a change. I would walk down a street, go to a coffee shop, cross a bridge, attend a show… I was once even a politician in my government, and once being able to fly around pirate ships to escape high jumping werewolves that looked like panthers – not sure that’s a good thing or a bad one, leave it up to the Freud enthusiasts…sorry no apparent long shapes in that dream you could interpret as penis…where was I? Right, walking. For the past couple of weeks I’ve had  these dreams where I’m somewhere, walking (or flying), and my legs start to wobble. I feel like I’m about to fall down. And instead of walking, instead of falling down? I grab a table, a chair, I might even walk faster towards a wall I see so that I can hug that wall and stay up. I know, I’m scared, I will fall down – but I don’t. I might, who knows. But I don’t. And then I wake up.  

I wake up and realize that was a dream. I wake and realize that unlike 30 years ago I now have coping strategies, resources, friends, medical help – and the will and understanding to ask for help, to get me going. I wake up realizing that all the work, the ones of adding to zero, have actually made a difference. That dream, is a fresh reminder of where I started. It is a nightly reminder of me making progress. It is a nightly reminder I am so much better off than where I started from. It is a nightly reminder I can, eventually, truly, stand on my feet.

Hard start – onwards! Fuck the goal for now, milestone your steps up!

I’ve been wallowing in sadness for a while (read; days, weeks, months, years). It has been a great excuse to have uber eats deliver my meals; salad? No. Pizza, yes. It has been a great reason to not move an arm or a leg to do anything. It has been a great excuse to ignore my friends, my work, my family. The excuse? Sadness, depression, anxiety; world of pain, a mountain of tears. Sure, it is valid. It is. But.

But. Maybe it’s time to take a step forward. We will have time to wallow. But. Maybe now we need to kick our leg in a leg and make it at least twitch.

We all know the concept of beach body. Here’s a July start for it. While the majority of my followers and likes are from my side of the world, we should not neglect the other half. And. Given that new years is always a shitty time for change; let’s aim for February 1st of change. February 1st of change to report on. That means, for the math people of you to fact check; 6-7 months of change!

And the rules?

  1. Milestone your achievements; I’m assuming your goal is to get/be better, let’s count the steps you take for it. Whether your goal is to just get out of your apartment by February, or run the marathon; taking a walk to the corner store will count.
  2. No step is too small; we have different goals, we all start from different places – no step is too small
    1. Want to lose weight (that’s me); skip a pizza order per week, walk 100 meters, make one push up to try it out
    1. Want to start dating; open a dating profile, say hi to a person of interest, asks a rock out to try it out
    1. Want to get ahead in your career; update your CV, start linking articles to your LinkedIN profile, send an application to a job and try it out
  3. No judgement; the steps we take might be small, and they might be counteracted with a bunch of other actions. The point is to make a step for the better.
  4. NO STEP IS TOO SMALL. Take that trash out, make that one squat, have a shower, leave your apartment, say hi to a rando, do your laundry. Be proud. Be MY PROUD
  5. You need to do one thing a week you can call as #myproud. One thing. ONE.

We deal with shit, we feel like it. But we need to, want to, move on. How do we do it? One step at a time. That step might not mean shit to others, they might even laugh at it – but for us? For us that one step is massive. Let’s make that step, let’s be proud of it.

Criss-crossing on that border of mind

“Just do it” fucking sucks as a statement. It is one of those things only I am allowed to tell myself, maybe the one or two people closest to me as well. Others; fuck off. …unless you actually know what I’m going through.

Here are the things I cannot “just do”:

-answer your message

-open a random door

-attend your whatever event

-meet you and your friend

-answer your call

-try a new meal

-clean my apartment

-go to the store

-care about my physical well-being

-make my bed

-have a shower

-take out my trash

-not have a drink

-not have sex with random strangers

-get my shit together

Want to know why? Here’s why:

-answer your message; my anxiety cannot deal with the potential requirements your message comes with; needing to call you, answer you, meet you. If I don’t answer you, will you hate me forever? I do not have the mental capacity for these questions

-open a random door; I have control issues, new doors with unknown things behind them freak me out; how and which way does this door open? What’s behind it? What happens next? People will laugh

-attend your whatever event; what should my social anxiety wear for it? The shirts of me cannot have these people looking at me like they hate me and judge me? They will laugh at me

-meet you and your friend; I might love you and trust you, but now you want to force another person on me? How could you do this to me? I thought we were friends…you having another person with you is you putting me on the “need to pretend I’m great” zone even if you know I’m not. Are you betraying my trust in you by having your “friend” see my mental breakdown you know will happen? Do you hate me?

-answer your call: fuck off. Let me have my peace and time to collect myself and my thoughts. Don’t force me to quick pretend to be happy

-try a new meal; you know I don’t like new things. If I try a new meal I know you will be looking at me, watching me as I taste it. You are looking at me to hate it so that you can laugh at me

-clean my apartment: Just clean my apartment? Yes it is a mess. There are pizza boxes, dirty underwear and dust all around. I have long hair so yes, my shower drain is full, you can see the bundles of hair on my floor. Have not done the dishes in a week or two, these disposable ones work fine. And the bottles of wine? Yup, all around. I’m sure your apartment is great.

-go to the store: There are days when I cannot even get out of my bed except to go to the bathroom and receive the take out I just ordered. There are days when all I want is to stay in my bed in the darkness. I might watch Netflix, I might order food in. Glad you can walk around as you want

-care about my physical well-being: Not. Not at the top of my list. My head is not right, the heart even less. My body? Would I give a shit? No. I can’t even get out of my bed.

-make my bed – I will sleep in it, now, and next day night and day. I can barely get to the bathroom. Why would i make my bed? Who is going to see it?

-have a shower – I think my best is around 8-9 days without shower. I will lie in my bed thinking I’m fine until I start thinking I smell, after a few days of that I will shower, if I really really smell

-take out my trash – The pizza boxes, or quick food, or anything really. They will pile up. As long as I can step over or around them I am fine.

-not have a drink – Should I not drink? I want to forget the world, I want to forget me. I will drink, I will drink now and I will drink tomorrow

-not have sex with random strangers – I go to bar and grab a stranger, or even better yet, use Tinder for it; sex delivered at home. Do I necessarily remember it the next day? No. I just needed to be close to someone, I needed the sex.

-get my shit together- On it. Dickhead.

Let’s get this straight. Living with mental illness is messy. It comes with concrete messy things of dirty underwear on the floor, messy actions of getting black out drunk at office events, and messy aftermath of messages on your phone you have no recollection of. It comes with days and weeks of disappearing, calling sick for work, not replying to your friends. It comes with being unable to complete the simplest of things of taking out the trash or making your bed.

I’ve been there, done that, living there. I have been diagnosed with clinical depression, general anxiety disorder and social anxiety – that I know of. I am in therapy and my therapist might have a diagnosis or two to add to this. I’m not new to this though, this has been years of me. I’m living with it, making progress I hope, while having my ups and the sure deep downs.

The more I have worked on my problems, the more I speak to others about them, I realize I am not alone. And if I’m not alone, it means you are not either.

Stop searching for neglect and hurt – accept the love or at least the ok

Our brains are fun, and with mental stress and illness even funner (no, I do not care about the correct spelling for that, thank you for asking that in your head).  While they see and hear and feel and observe pretty much everything, the amount of information they can bring to our conscious is very very limited. We are talking about 11 million bits of information per second processed by our brain with only 50 of it making to our conscious minds. As the google search of algorithms they are, they try and fill that 50 bits with the most relevant information; based on our previous searches and preferences.

Here’s how that works in real life; if you have been in a car accident, you will suddenly notice how ALL newspapers are reporting on ALL the car accidents that happened and think there are more of them than usual. If you broke your leg and are now walking with crutches you will notice ALL the other people with crutches; there must be dozens of them every second everywhere. Or, let’s take a less negative example; if you are planning for a kid, you will suddenly only see the new baby mommas around you, the strollers in the streets, and the crying toddlers ALL around. That means your brain looks for things, highlights things that it thinks you want to see. That means it ignores all the other things – pushes those things to page 2 and 7 of the google search; you can find them, but only if you really really want to.

.

And how’s that with living with mental health issues, with drama in our past? Well, we see things that fit our drama, we see things that match our previous experiences, we see things that we think we are supposed to see. Our brains, while yes, could mean good, might not be corrupt, are just looking for those best fit search results based on our previous experiences and expectations; neglect – people ignoring us and leaving us all alone, hurt – people wanting to harm us and being after us in harmful ways, praise – people only wanting to exploit us and use us to benefit themselves.

Eventually what that does is we ourselves look consciously for only the neglect, harm and hurt. No matter what someone does or whatever happens we look for the one thing that supports our worldview; our search parameters – the evil world, hurt to us.

Here’s an example of my past few weeks. I have been going through a bit of a downward time again in my life – this time due to burnout mostly. I have this friend who I’ve known for about 6 years now. She has been absolutely an amazing friend; being there for me when I cry, sending memes to cheer me up, having a laugh at and with me on good days, just being an absolute treasure of a human. She has a dog and during the past couple of years she has had the said dog, I have made numerous comments how I’d love one too…but can’t because my landlord doesn’t allow for one, how my work schedule would be a pain etc. And her dog is damn cute! So. Couple of weeks ago we were talking and she brought up me having her dog for a couple of days after I had made comments how great an emotional support dog that dog would be. I said I’d love that and as she brought the dog over couple of days later my mind went into harm-mode; “so you don’t want to walk your dog”, “you want your freedom and push this dog on me” “guess you are hoping for bad weather so that you are not the only one having to walk her in rain and guess now you can enjoy your coffee in your apartment with me walking your dog”.

And then there are these people who keep messaging me with “how are you?” “thinking of you”. They keep doing that month after month even when I’ve totally disappeared on them, made promises to meet them and then cancelled on them. I see their messages pop up on my phone and I get a rush of anxiety throughout my body – what do these people need now!?!? Can’t they just let me be!?!?! Why do they need to torment me?

These friends that have stuck by me, are sticking by me. Friends that understand my pain, or at least acknowledge I’m in pain. Their words, their actions, the hugs they pull me into; a whole new world of tears. As they pull me in, keep pulling me in, they force me to fight. My “I know you will hurt me” against their “no, you idiot, I like you and care for you”. I fight them with “no-one ever did in my life” and they counteract with “well, idiot, I’m not those people”. And this fight is only after a couple of hundred times they have shown me they care for me and are there for me, even as the idiot I am keep pushing them back.

My advice? The words I myself still try to get through my head; some people can be good, some actions just for the love, not all is evil – everything must not end in doom and betrayal.

Difficult I know, impossible as it seeems, give it a go, give it a chance.

Fuck “Still sad?” …– “I’m on it…dickhead…”

I cannot tell you how much it humbles me to get the views and comments on my blog. I get several likes, I have 19 followers (in addition to the millions of fictional ones in my head), and numerous comments on my blog. 70% of the comments want to increase my SEO; sure, prob need action on that front – will not get to it though with you, sorry. 20% want to show me the “nudes promised” …as a girl, I’m fairly certain I did not ask for dick pics – who the fuck does (no one, no one is the answer if you are wondering…sorry Jennifer, sure you have great boobs too) … 9% of comments come with generic terms of; “love how you are phrasing this topic” – which blog would that not fit you robot you… With my math, and I was really reeeeaaaallly good at it in elementary school, we are talking about 1 and less than 1% of a chance of real people commenting…well..  

So. Dick pics, requests for nudes, rando spam comments equalling to 99%. What’s left? There are few non-commercial, authentic sounding comments and questions. One especially asking why I’m still sad, shouldn’t I just get on with it.

I am and I should. And I will.

This one comment. Whether from a robot or a real person, or a real person copy-pasting comments, got me thinking. I guess I have been all sad and all. All pain. All suffering. Gloom. Sure. In my view I’m making progress. But…

WELL. Person making that comment; THAT’S DEPRESSION FOR YOU. …fucker… Guess what? As much as I would love to come up with a magical overnight solution for depression; take this, do this – 24 hours – depression be gone: It. Is. Not. Possible. ……on another note though; totally appreciate your comment…..but then again; WHAT THE HELL…dickhead?

And on a 37th note (the first 30 something were in my head with more swear words than actual message); yup. Still sad, still depressed, still working on it.

Still. Working on it.

Why post this? Here’s why: Depression, anxiety, mental illness is a journey, it’s not an overnight cold, it’s not a virus or an infection you can just easily treat. It creeps up on you, slowly takes you down. You can fight it, pretend it’s not there, put up a front – “I’m ok”.

“I’m ok” is what feeds it, gives it power. Getting yourself to admit “not ok” takes strength. That alone takes ages; acknowledging it even longer. Working on it. Working on it. It can be days, weeks, months, years. I myself am on years-side of “I’m ok”.

I am doing better, I’m on the better side of ok, might even mean it on most of days now. I love to hear your comments (the real ones), but never ever ask why I’m still sad or couldn’t I just get on with it. Toxic comments like that need to acknowledge they are toxic. …phrase it differently and I’ll respond gladly.

My blog, this space, is about working shit out, working it through. It’s about the downs and ups and downs and downs and ups again. It is about making way – for the better.

So.

  • Comments from robots – cool – SEO rankings going up? – really do not care.
  • Comments from real people; thank you. I appreciate you and love you taking the moment to comment – let’s talk more
  • Comments from real people downplaying depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness – kindly fuck off ..unless you are realiazing you suck, then yes, hit me up, I’ll walk you through it

Mental health is like balancing in a bowl on a cone on wheels that’s on a ball that’s constantly turning

Take a wrong step and ooops, backwards you go. But. And here’s what many people don’t get, same works the other way round; make a small step forward and you will feel amazing; you can have the best day ever, cry because the color of the sky is light (not dark) blue again and you can actually take a breath and smell the flowers. You can feel the warmth, the love, the pride, the progress of the one step…and then realize you are balancing in a bowl on a cone on wheels that’s on a ball that’s constantly turning.

It’s. Not. Sustainable. You will not stay in one place, there is no mellow of a mental health problem, it’s not a chill place, it’s not like people are not doing anything to change it. People are, we are. Ever tried on balancing on anything? A board on a rock as a kid, a balancing board as a fitness freak adult, or the funny as balls as a hotshot on Total Wipeout? If you did, or if you want to try it out now (take a 2by4 and a round enough rock, I’ll wait), you will know it takes a shit ton of strength just to keep balanced, just to stay in that one place and not worse.

The energy it takes just to cope. The energy it takes to function. The energy it takes to maintain at least a bit of our social or job or economical or whatever bits of us…the energy is enormous… and if and when we try to change our position, ideally for the better, we are faced with the balancing act again. And! Let’s keep in mind that the world we live in is constantly turning, and not just in a  geographical sense…although I’m pretty sure that’s true as well…stars and whatnot, horoscopes and tectonic plates. K. What I mean is that our social worlds are changing, friends getting more kids and dogs and exes, family members getting more or less annoyed with us, jobs becoming harder and/or more filled with dickheads, tinder dates getting pissed off for…oh what a fun new post this will make! ..The world is not waiting for us to get our shit together. We are not on solid ground. Any move forward will make our legs wobbly, our hearth tremble, our brains panick…can we maintain this new position? Can we move forward? Will we fall backwards? And same with any fallback; we will take the extra panick, anxiety, shame, blame, energy, and first of all, feel like shit for the step backwards, and then for balancing us again, for again one day to move forwards; energy.

And, so, hence, furthermore, moreover, etc.; here’s the extra extra thing. While we feel like we are alone in our bowl we for damn sure also feel the entire world is watching and judging us. So. If you are yourself, or the whole damn other world, reading this you can help shift and keep the balance for you and/or someone for the better. Help, don’t hurt.

Help leave the past behind and move forward, support building the new way around for the better. Actions speak a millions words, but the rigth words will already be worth millions.

You are not alone!

Does losing my fears mean losing me?

Aren’t the fairy tales the worst (…this will make sense by the end of the blog post…maybe…). “Spend time with your fears”, “use your fears as a stepping stone”, “focus on your fears instead of your goals”. Who the fuck says stuff like that?? …for fucks sake…dumb as shit…….. Oh, right, that was my last blog post…the dimwit I was back then…I thought that was actually good advice…thought I’d solve aallll my problems thinking aaaaallllllll my problems were related to being too pretty few years ago… how great I thought this moment would have been where I could write my genius blog post with having solved it all!

Well..it did not quite go that way did it? DID IT? …no, no it did not… and also, get off your high horse you dimwit you…

I actually took my own advice…spent some time, long time with my fears. Sure, one of them is facing all the criticism that would follow if people would see me. I knew it existed. I wrote about it. I was also semi-aware of my fears of being just like my dad; overly sarcastic, charming person who eventually will hurt everyone around them by breaking their promises, cheating on anyone who can be cheated on, etc. etc.. An alchololic. I thought I’d take that on; a friend of mine was starting her annual lent journey; 40 days without alcohol or sweets. I’m in! I’ll prove I’m not an alcoholic!

40 days without any alcohol or any sweets – I did not think I could make it. And why? Here’s why: 1. The only thing I hate more than being told what to do is to be told what not to do 2. 40 days without any alcohol or any sugar; don’t think I’ve had that since I was 13…and that’s just for alcohol…with sugar we would prob have to go back to, I don’t know, when can toddlers have sugar? 3. My dad was an alcoholic and while that’s my mental image of pure hatred, how close am I actually of becoming him…?

Guess what happened? Guess! I made it. It was actually easy. I made it through 40 days without any alcohol and any sugar and I think it was harder on random waitresses than it was on me…

-Waiter: Should we start with a prosecco for everyone?

-Friends:  Yes, yes, yes, yes….

– Me; no, can’t drink alcohol right now

– Waiter: no problem, we have great mocktails

– Me: Sure, but I can’t have any sugar either

-Waiter: oh…let me ask our chef… *questioning all his best service pledges

-Waiter; so here’s a drink with cucumber, lemon and basil

– Me; It’s great *putting on a fake smile and a thumbs up

– Friend who shows up to dinner right after; oh that looks like the best mojito ever!

– Me: ….it’s water… *turning my fake smile into a sigh of deep disappointment

My learnings? Well. Damn right, previous blog post you (me?), I am my biggest challenge. And what this time of proper self-reflection showed me; the fucking fears I knew I need to, and will, deal with are only part of it. I can be without alcohol, I sure need to lose weight. But. Here’s the real shit: I’m afraid of moving on from me. I’m afraid of moving on from what I need to be to survive my past. I’m afraid of letting that me go.

I guess this might not make sense to a lot of people, but maybe it will make sense to some. In a very messed up way of putting it; I knew my life was not a Disney movie, but I needed it to be one. I had to deal with a lot, I went through a lot. I thought I needed to keep to it so that I could be “saved”. I thought I needed to have it, so that I could have my happy ending. And without it? No happy ending. Without it, I’d be one of the normies. They surely don’t get a happy ending, surely not as great as mine. I mean, if you are normal and happy and healthy and not completely fucked up; can you get a knight in a shiny armour to save you, can you save yourself? Is your story worth telling? No, not according to fairy tales. You need to suffer for it.

And oh my…does that not lead you to fucked-up-ville? You need to be properly fucked up so that next you can be happy? You need to stay fucked up so that others see your worth? So that others can look at you with “she went through a lot, it’s a miracle she’s still alive”. AND. If she’s not fucked up, she’s just one of “us”, a normal person trying to make it through life. And want to hear the most random fucked up thing? I’m afraid to give blood because I think my purpose and will to fight is tied to my blood and by giving it away I would give a part of me away! It doesn’t make sense!

What’s my fucked up biggest fear? Losing part of my fuckedupedness. I actually fear that getting better would mean losing part of me. And I do get that, I had to fight to get here, and I fought, and I will fight. But come on….I need to fucking let that fucking fucked up shit go. I for sure need to, and can, use that as a stepping stone to level the fuck up. …damn…

They hate you. They judge you. They feel sorry for you – Do they, do they though? Let’s bully our internal bully

Let’s continue on our internal conversations with our internal counterparts. How great is it to have your internal non-cheerleader; someone to hope you fail, someone to set you up for failure, someone to be there for you when you do fail, to bring you down; “I told you so”. Your forever companion of negativity. So sad they are not on the guest list for 2022.

We’ve taken that as a fact, a given, that the voice exists, and that they know what’s up. Our world, life so far has been a series of actions from us and internal commentary from them. It goes a bit like this:

Voice: Ha ha. People judge you, they laugh at you

Me: You’re right *feeling ashamed*

We might have tried to fight them as an intermediate step, but ended with:

Voice: Ha ha. People judge you, they laugh at you

Me: I’m sure they don’t

Voice: They do though. How sad/bad is it that you just….

Me: You’re right *feeling ashamed*

Bring on the 2022 move! Let’s turn that commentary into a real debate and not let them push us around:

Voice: Ha ha. People judge you, they laugh at you

Me: Do they? For what?

Voice: Well you just… and it’s sad/bad because it is.

Me: It is what? Sad/bad because of?

Voice: It is. It just is. People will judge.

Me: Why would they even care though? If someone did that with me around, I wouldn’t care, wouldn’t think much of it

Voice: But. Sad/bad. Feel. You. Bad.

Me: Nah, bro. Fuck off. How sad/bad is it that you thought this would work on me. Ha ha.

Voice: *feeling ashamed*

Here’s what we’ll do. Internal voice making you feel bad; stop; ask it why? Stay with it, don’t accept just bad because. Make it explain itself. Stay, discuss, reflect; is it now bad, or was it pre-2022 bad. Is it actually bad at all? Does it now make sense to feel bad?

Don’t just go with the “what would others think” -scam. Think for yourself. Think about what others would actually think: do you think they would actually think what the voice claims they would? What would you think if it was you in their shoes and you in theirs? Would you think they should feel bad/sad/embarrassed? Would you care? Would you go to your friends and laugh about it? Would you make them feel bad about it? Would you remember it tomorrow, or two weeks from now, or a year from now, will it make it to your memoir?

And. How about taking a coffee shop view on that? You sitting there, having a coffee, and this happens to random people next to you? Would that matter to you? Would you care? Maybe for the moment, but after? Would that change something?

Let me give you some examples from my life. I even created an excel table for them, that always helps; I mean, who doesn’t love a good excel table. Makes it all sound scientific and shit.

What happened (facts)What I felt (feelings)What others could have thought and I should have (alternatives)My today’s take on that
2016: I was with my mum having a drink, waved at a waiter to get the bill, he understood that as a new drink order, he brought a drink, I had to correct him, he brought the billI felt ok, at first. But my mom was telling me, and for the next few months at least everyone she talked to “…even I knew she signalled new drink, how embarrassing”. So I felt like crap, with continuing reinforcement of feeling crap.The waiter? Doesn’t care. It happens.   I highly doubt the waiter went home and called up all his buddies with; “guess what happened at work today! Some stupid girl didn’t get the “can we pay” hand signal right. Let’s all laugh at her.”F you mom. That’s the story you tell from me paying for your trip to visit me? F you, you’re the one who should feel embarrassed.   And now that I think of it, the waiter didn’t even complain, certainly didn’t laugh, they turned away, took the drink back and brought the bill. It was not a big thing for them – my mom made it a big thing for me.
2018: Walked to the wrong meeting room interrupting a senior leaderThey must think I’m the dumbest of all, complete embarrassment, never to be spoken again, they will laugh at me my entire career – probably telling my manager I was a horrible hire and should be fired.The senior leader? Probably doesn’t care.

People make mistakes, and it’s not like no one else in the world has ever opened a wrong door. Who cares. I’ve been in meeting rooms where people have accidentally opened the door. They apologized, closed the door, we continued our meeting. Life went on. I certainly did not think much of it. It happens.
That manager was one of my biggest supporters. Guess one day of opening the wrong door did not outweigh 2 years of awesome work. Who would have known?
2020: Bought 2 bottles of wine from the same store on two different days during the same weekI can’t go to this store again (actually went to a different store for the next couple of weeks). The cashier must think I’m an alcoholic. They must feel so sorry for me. I bet when they see me coming they just go “oh no, this one again, how sad” and they talk about me with all their cashier colleagues.The cashier? Well, guess they could have just gone with “another customer”.  Or “can’t wait for my shift to be over”. Or “what will I have for dinner”. Or “really hope the cute new cashier smiles at me”. Or a million other things.  

While I guess this cashier could remember every single customer and their purchases, and keep track of them, maybe it’s not that realistic. They might be more interested in their own life than mine. Also, even if that cashier would remember me and me buying wine twice a week and judge me for it, should I care? Why would I care what a random person thinks of me. How would that change my life?
I for damn sure will go to that store again and buy whatever I like how many times a week I like and not feel bad about it.  
2021: Drunk texted a dude on tinder, ended up meeting him at a bar for drinks, then went to a club with him to dance, and then took him homeOn that night I felt awesome, it was a great night! But then the next few weeks came and everyday I had to deal with: “it’s so sad that you did that, getting drunk, sleeping with a stranger, I bet people from work saw you in the bar, what would they think, you’re supposed to be a senior leader and you’re there drinking and dancing, so embarrassing, everyone’s talking about it at work, they are laughing at you, they might even tell the news, it’s going to be in the local news, you’re so getting fired…”It was a Friday – people go to bars on Fridays. And what do people do in bars; they drink.  

I’m single. I danced with a single guy, I had drinks with a single guy, I hade a one night stand with a single guy.  

Who actually cares? Maybe super conservative people, but would those people be in a bar on a Friday? And how’s that actually related to my work? And what would this news article read as? “Single 30 something woman had drinks in a bar and left with a man”? Scandalous!  

Ffs.
Enough with this internal shaming! And putting additional spins on things! I’m done, so done. Kindly fuck off.    

Let’s make that our change in 2022; if and when these voices appear, make a conscious change. Have a chat with the voice, don’t just accept what comes out of its imaginary mouth, make it justify itself, watch it mumble and fail, bully it to death like it has bullied you. Tell it to fuck off.

We all have our cringe worthy moments, it’s normal. We might facepalm, feel bad and embarrassed. But what it should not do is stay with us, we should not take 50 times the damage because something internally is making it 50 times worse than it is. It should not stay with us for years and years and should definitely not have us second guess our worth or every move. Let’s not let those voices in in our 2022. Let’s stop them.

And to keep up with the scientific and shit nature of this post, neuroscience agrees; there’s a nifty trick for behavioral change, the if…then approach. IF something happens, THEN you will do x. It’s not just about saying we won’t let the voices bother us, it’s about having a clear counter-action for when they do. IF a voice is unreasonably making me feel like shit, THEN I will have a chat with them about it; so what? Should I actually care? Why? Would others think what? Why? Is that a bad thing? Do I care? What happens next? Will the world end? Oh nooooo, idiot voice, fuck off.

It won’t be easy, and it will take time. Keep on it. Here’s another scientific fact; it takes 18 to 254 days to form a new habit, to get rid of the old and form a new. So it might well be a full 2022 thing, but be patient, keep on it. I certainly will.

My 2022 carry on  – Cutting down on the negative voices in my head

We’ve agreed, only 10kg of “necessary” baggage allowed to carry on to 2022. Sure, it wasn’t a democratic decision, didn’t actually ask you…don’t actually even remember saying this is a democracy…but I’m sure you agree; we need to make some hard decisions on our old shit; time for that yes/no/hmmm/ hell no sorting!

If you are like me (if you are not, this is your time to go “oh my god, I’m so happy I don’t have to deal with that, but please tell me more), you have voices in your head, just not in a way that would get you locked up in a mental institute (trust me, they have a test for that, my voices are not institute voices…they’re bad, but not as bad). These voices, they are from our past, our past conditioning. They come from our early upbringing, school, hobbies, years and years of authority figures or other people telling us something – something that has stayed with us for all these years. Something as in they are not universal, they tend to be negative in nature, but they are individual. And they show up all the time, especially in our weakest moments, and when we are trying to break some habits, or, well, do anything really.

Let’s start with this “fun” voice in my head. It sounds a lot like my mother. It even has the same phrases as my mother has. These are phrases my mom has told me, over and over again throughout my life…yup, took me a good couple of years of therapy to realize it was my dear mom inside my head. In hindsight, I could have and maybe should have realized that earlier…you know, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck…But. Yours, phrases and voices, might be different; they might be your mom, or whoever else fucked you up…or loved you and supported you and you hear the warmth in your head voice…guess that could be happening to some of you too. Anyways, here’s what I hear in my mind:

  • You are not as smart as you think you are
  • You are not as pretty as you think you are
  • You don’t need anyone
  • People will only disappoint you
  • Your “friends” will forget about you in a couple of years
  • What would others think
  • I know what you did (oooooh the judgement on this…I still don’t know what it refers to…but damn she loves throwing that around…and especially after drunken nights, this one is fun to wake up to)
  • To others; how funny that she messed this up, even I realized that……
  • Men with us (my mom, my grandma  = our blood line) will always leave us, you can’t trust them
  • Men don’t like what you do
  • He is too pretty for you
  • Even I knew what they meant (loooooove this one…such a great way to damage me and lift herself up)
  • You have destroyed my confidence (I can’t be assertive, can’t talk about myself in good terms, just because I’m worried it might hurt someone else’s confidence…need to make eeeeeveryone else feel great just so that I don’t feel bad….)

What that does, is spring another voice…not that the first one wouldn’t be enough…but; here’s the groupie voice with its chants;

  • That’s embarrassing
  • People hate you
  • You suck
  • People don’t accept you
  • Everyone judges you
  • You failed
  • Everyone hates you
  • You are a disgrace
  • So sad
  • Don’t even try. Don’t. Even. Try.

I know this/these voice though, it’s a strong one. It’s not going to be as easy as asking it to kindly fuck off. It’ll try, it’ll raise its ugly head when it sees that I’m vulnerable, it’s waiting for the right time to hit. But man, voice, you need to seriously fuck off. Seriously. Fuck. Off.

I don’t want to live with this voice anymore. Here’s a concrete example why:

On my holiday, one night, I got quite drunk, wobbled to my hotel room with the help of a random man and could not meet the random people by the pool that I met just 8 hours before because I was too embarrassed. TOO EMBARRASSED. I woke up in the morning and in addition to the headache I was coupled with the voice “you fucked up, what would those people think of you, they hate you, you’re an embarrassment, they can’t stand you, they hate you, they will laugh at you, they feel sorry for you, what a shitshow, you can’t show your face” —- I did not see those people that day. I was convinced they would hate me as the voice in my head said. I spent the day alone. And the next day, I felt the same, alone time it is; I went to the beach, sat down on the sun chair, read my book, until – until one of the random people came to me “My husband told me they saw you here, I was so worried that you might have been sold to the sex trade and that’s why you didn’t join us, I was hoping you would have had a hot one night stand instead. X told me you are single and we should let you have your fun and not worry. But I worry. I’ve saved a sun chair for you for two days now, you should join”. She liked me even with just spending a few hours with me, she wanted to spend more time with me, she was worried about me, and me getting too drunk – she was hoping I’d not get killed but get laid, and she wanted to spend more time with me. She was awesome. So I joined them. The group; the group welcomed me with no judgement, no hate, but acceptance, acknowledgement; I am single, I can do whatever the fuck I want (to a limit, of course), I can enjoy my holiday.

But wait, there’s more. I was also afraid to tell them my real job, title, and country. Just so that I wouldn’t sound too good, just so that they could feel better. And it’s not because I think I’m better, it’s because the voice in my head is telling me I’m not good enough, I should not try and be better than others or even as good, and definitely should not destroy other’s confidence, as if my job could…especially with the people I was hanging out with…what a fun voice companion I have….

So what’s my point? Fuck the voice(s). If they are negative, if they cannot support you – fuck them. Fuck. Them. !.

Let’s make that the first to go on our moving to 2022 baggage check; the harmful pre 2022 voices.

The next time we do something, good, normal, strange, fun, cringy, anything, and a shitty bitchy ass voice tries to bring us down, let’s tell them otherwise.

I’m sorry, dumb ass voice;

  • The tribe has spoken, you’ve been voted off the island
  • You didn’t receive a rose tonight
  • You’ve been eliminated from the race
  • You are not in the running for the most dominant voice in my mind
  • YOU’RE FIRED
  • And that means you’re out. Auf Wiedersehen.

Fuck off, voice. It’s our year now.

If your message/phrase is based on stuff pre 2021, then, well, you’re not valid, you’re a “hell no” for me. You will not be part of our 2022. We start new.

Let’s go with airplane rules this year – you’re only allowed to carry on 10kg of baggage

Airlines are great with setting their limits – carry on 10kg, luggage 20kg. Pack what you need, or pay an extra fee. How can we learn from this? What can we learn from this? Don’t we all have 20kg of shit we wish someone else would carry, isn’t that the shit we’d be fine if someone lost? – Got the insurance for it, pay me so I can replace it. The 20kg is stuff we want but don’t necessarily need, but we keep dragging it with us. Worse if you want to take on more, the cost of it…unbearable.. And what about the 10kg? Our carry on. The stuff we actually carry on with us because we think we really really need it. Is it wort it?

I just spent an amazing 10 days in the sun, in a magical place where people were happy, the water in the pool was nice, drinks kept coming up, and the people around me were awesome. I felt so great! Maybe it’s due to the vitamin D from the sun and vitamin C from the mimosas. Or maybe it’s the swims I took in the pool, and jumps in ocean, and the exercise my abs got from laughing with the other people I met that raised my serotonin and dopamine levels. Who knows. I even felt my depression and anxiety disorders were on break; or maybe I just forgot to pack them with me?

I keep thinking about this. Currently, sure, my work could be better. I could be dating Robert Downey Jr. My apartment definitely needs a proper cleaning. I’ve run out of good shows and movies on Netflix. I really need to lose weight. I don’t have a sense of purpose in my life. So I went to the store, bought a bottle of bubbles, opened it, poured a glass and thought to myself “it’s only Tuesday but man am I stressed out. I need this.”. Then another voice popped up in my head with a super judgy voice and body language. Oh yes, you could see its body language from the tone of its voice. “Are you stressed? Are you really? …and then I’m like “yes, duh, life”…and the annoying eye-rolling voice goes on with “YOU WOKE UP AT 10, HAD ONE CALL, ATE QUESIDALLES FOR LUNCH, HAD ANOTHER CALL, AND THEN MOVED ON TO WATHING REALITY SHOWS ON NETFLIX WHILE OCCASSIONALLY TOUCHING THE MOUSEPAD ON YOUR LAPTOP SO THAT YOU WOULD STAY ON GREEN AND PEOPLE WOULD THINK YOU’RE WORKING. YOU ARE NOT STRESSED”. I was shocked. I mean, the audacity, who does this voice think they are? And how are they not on my side? Pfft.

Let’s have a play by play on this one:

  • Am I stressed at work?  – hell no. Work is super chill right now. Sure I have my frustrations, but nothing to justify a 17 litre a week wine consumption (don’t worry, I’m exaggerating for dramatic effect… I’m only at 5 now, and climbing…)
  • Am I dating Robert Downey Jr? – again no. Buuuuut. Do I live in the same city, country, continent as he does? Also no. So kinda sorta feel like dropping him a “u up?” message on Instagram would also not get me anywhere. So, I guess. Just in my dreams then Robert…
  • Cleaning my apartment – definitely. Definitely need to clean it, although… I am spending an y amount of calories every day with my clothes-pile-slalom, jumping-over-cardboard-boxes -cardio, and reaching-for-things-I-cannot-get-to- yoga…
  • Netflix? – I got HBO, and Prime video, I’m actually good on this
  • Losing weight? – yup, yup. Should could focus on this…if only I knew how…I feel like there’s a mathematic solution to this with I don’t know, maybe -1 quesadillas per week? But we also need to take into consideration the need for extra exercise if I clean my apartment…so if x=losing weight, quesadillas z, and dirty-apartment-fun-run y, we’ll get to x = z-1 + y, at minimum (let’s not factor in the wine consumption)
  • Sense of purpose – now this is a difficult one. Although I don’t think I can find it from the bottom of the bottles I destroy…maybe I should spend some of napping and Netflix time on this……….

But! …damn…what was my point again? Right! Today grabbing that glass (read: bottle) of wine was not because I was actually stressed out. That was because it was a reaction to my past experiences, my past situations, my past feelings and triggers. In this moment, I’m not stressed out. Sure, I’ve had my glass (read: bottle) of sparkling wine, but what I’m also taking out from this is that there is a lot of shit I need to seriously let go. Seriously. I’m currently fine. I’ve had years and years of not being fine, years and years where that glass or few (read: …I’m sure you know it by now…) helped me get through the night. But now? I’m not there, I’ve moved on…but my triggers haven’t…so maybe it’s time for that airplane clean up? What do I actually need in 2022+ and what do I need to let go? What’s the stuff I don’t want to carry on anymore with me………..