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
  • 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………..

Bring it, 2022 – But first, lets’ take a look back, reflect, smile or sigh

‘Bout that time again to reflect on what happened last year, and to start forming those promises for the new year. I’m sure you know them, they’re phrased as inspirational BS, stuff about as believable as calling in sick on a Monday with a sudden weird stomach flu. Most importantly though with these ones, these ones your friends don’t call you up on – they can’t, they are full of shit too. What a wonderful time of the year! Case and point; I started my blog, my me month a year ago and I think we all know how well that turned out. …Although, that was before the new year …because the timing of it would surely have made a difference….. (rolls sparkling new year’s eye make up eyes). Sounds good, doesn’t work.

So. A week ago I met a friend of mine for a drink. Little did I know that before our drink she had already five other drinks. Love her tipsy ass. In addition to getting a very, very informational lecture on what different animal emojis mean in sexual innuendoes she got to reminiscing. Not about 2021, we all know how 2021 went, Co-fucking-vid. Instead, she asked; what has changed for you in the past 5 years. Now that, that got me thinking.

 Where was I five years ago. Start of 2017 I was just recovering from my first (prob not last though lol …not lol, get your act together woman!) burnout, and then, well, more chaos followed, in the good and the bad. Met the love of my life, lost the love of my life. Changed jobs and companies 3 times. Broke up with my mum. Got to my dream position, realized my dream position is anything but McDreamy. Dealt with not one but two potentially life threating illnesses. Met a bunch of amazing people. Saw some truly awesome places while travelling. Thoroughly enjoyed two years of Covid lockdowns and crap. Started a blog with billions of imaginary followers. Spent some time in a mental hospital and got diagnosed with depression, and general and social anxiety disorders. Started tindering again, and as of a week ago have spent my time under palm trees watching the waves hit the sandy beach as a very lovely bartender makes sure I drink enough of fluids by ensuring a constant supply of mimosas. And. And! Had dinner with a boy-band-pretty dude with a penis hat just few days ago (fun story, tell you later). Things are looking better and better (sure, that could also be the n amount of mimosas in my body talking).

So what has changed in 5 years. Iˋm still in the same country and same apartment, I’m still single. But. I’ve made leaps in my career, and leaps with my mental health – I know it might not seem so, but I sure did. And boy do I have weird as stories to tell! How fun!

So, 2022. Looking forward to meeting you. I’m sure you are going to bring waves of good and bad and weird at my way as I move forward on my path to healing. Sooooo looking forward to it! Bring it! I promise to write all about it.

Purely for the endorphins – oh hello Tinder

Dear diary, I haven’t had sex in over 2 and a half years. Two and a half! Two. And. A. Half. That’s a long as time without indoor adult sports. Sure, I’ve had some stuff to deal with, and gained a ton of weight. Lost my self. Lost my sense of self, my meaning, my energy, my power, my will to try. I did, after all, end up in a hospital for depression. I lost me.

Until. One day. One beautiful day. I got my Zalando clothes order; pants. Pants with an inspirational message on them.

So I pondered and wondered. Should I? Should I actually join life? Sure, corona-solitude has been great for an introvert like me; cancelling plans doesn’t require excuses and all places to go to have been closed anyways. But. The restrictions have, at least some of them, been lifted. People are vaccinated, myself included, and could therefore go somewhere, with others. So. Should I, in fact, join life, pants? I did order them because they fit the “smart casual” standard. Smart are they? Maybe they are.

I chose to listen to my pants. They did fit, and their message is clear. …also, as a completely irrelevant side note, I currently hate my workplace and could use a distraction…

So. I joined Tinder again, it gave me something interesting to do, and to much of my positive surprise, the creeps were now a minority. People who wanted to actually meet with people and discuss, not just jump right into sex existed again. Or was it because the pictures of me 2 years and 20 kilos ago were now replaced with the current me? I didn’t care of that too much, I still had plenty of matches, I’m still pretty. And yes, I’m 20 kilos heavier than the last time I had sex. Dammit.

But. I did still get plenty of matches. Here’s how I’d screen them, with a clear no:

  1. Men who don’t write first – I’ll never dot it. I’m traditional that way – men write first
  2. People with a “Hello” – mate, use your brain, come up with something interesting
  3. People with a wavy hands emoji – don’t know enough words to even say hello?
  4. People who write me in the wrong language – got my languages in my profile, idiot. You do need to at least be capable to read to ride this ride…idiot…

If they pass the first screening, there’s round 2 with three paths forward:

  1. You write something basic; I get bored and never reply
  2. You write something witty and I get flirty and continue with us
  3. Your write something basic; I’m tipsy and will meet with you

I have not yet met someone witty, met plenty of basic boring people, and some basic persistent ones. And I’m joining life, remember? So. Bring it on you basic boring men of you, I’m joining life! With you!

It has been a fun two weeks …and in my defence, I did go for almost three years without having sex so I’m just catching up, technically. In just two weeks I’ve had tinder dates with 5 different people, met seven different people, and had sex with five of them. Let me explain;

  • One guy I met for drinks, ended up having more drinks, then even more at an Irish bar close by, we danced the night away, and then did some indoor sports at his place. Was great, I left before he woke up.
  • One dude and two dates, no sex; nice guy, but sends about 5 to 10 pics of himself travelling each day without any questions about me or my life – clearly someone to let go
  • 2 dudes I’ve just straight up asked to come to my place; they brought wine – like I needed more alcohol to sleep with them. I basically did send them a “you up” -message. Lol.
  • 1 dude I was supposed to meet at a bar, but who didn’t show up, so hooked up with another guy… sure, apparently I went to a wrong place, but hey! Communicate better!
  • 1 dude I met with, turned out to be so boring I ended up making friends with a waiter of the bar, went with her to another bar after her shift and took home a random stranger             

I’m glad to share my sexapedes with you. And you might wonder why. Here’s why. Endorphins. Sex is a great way to increase the happy hormones in your brain! And. While I do believe in finding my soul mate and living happily ever after, I do like sex, and I do believe people should have it, a lot.

Here’s the funny thing tho. I would not reply to anyone on tinder saying they’re only looking for sex. I want something more. And yet, for the past two weeks I’ve been purely after sex. Funny, yes. Even funnier; am I looking for just sex? Hell no. I want a real connection. But. No. I’m a girl with “you up” texts. Fuck. I’m one of the creeps. Is it wrong? Is it?  Let me answer that one for you. It’s not. Because endorphins. And. Sex and intimacy is great. And. We’re adults. You want sex, someone else wants sex. It’s not that difficult! Have sex! Why wouldn’t you? Match supply and demand. Sex is great.  Go for it.

I’ve also felt the shame in my head, the imaginary scenarios anxiety brings. “She had sex with a random person”. “She is on tinder”. “She was only looking for meaningless sex”. Somehow. SOMEHOW. All these imaginary scenarios in my head turn into me getting fired. Me getting sat down at a manager’s office and told that I’m not fit for my position. And my anxiety loves it. I did drink a lot. I did send that “you up? Want to come over” text. I did go to a bar and grind with a stranger. Does it mean I’m not fit to work? Does it mean I’m a horrible person?

Fuck that!

No. Fuck you anxiety. Fuck you anyone who thinks I did something wrong (myself included). I am a single woman. I like sex. Sex is a natural thing. If you’re not getting any – get some. Endorphins – do it for your health. I like it, they like it. Who is getting hurt? No one. The only thing getting hurt is a stone aged image of women and sex (my head being one infected of this thing). People! Have sex! You want sex? Find someone who also wants sex with you. Have sex. Get your naked time on. Enjoy.

Arts and crafts  – not only just for the mental breaks in the movies

So I’m on my way to recovery…been on that way for a while, years, decades even, you know this, I don’t have to repeat this. I’ve been looking to enhance my well-being through a series of ways – like alcohol and memes, which my therapist seems to disagree on. …oh the eye-rolls and looks of disapproval… But! I’ve also seen enough of shows and movies where people have their mental breaks and end up in mental institutes. And. What do they do? Arts and crafts! So. I thought there  must be something to it. Sure, my therapist goes on and on about talking and crying, and weird stuff like exercising. But. Netflix shows and movies, they have millions of views. How many views does my therapist have on her stuff? One view, mine. And was I convinced, no. So. Arts and crafts.

Painting. Painting will be my thing. I went online and bought some brushes, paints, and canvas. I also googled “abstract art”. Abstract because I do know I have no artistic talent so abstract will have to do, and googling because; I am a perfectionist, and do want to be rich. So thought I’d just google what others do, kinda sorta do the same thing, paint stuff, sell stuff, become a millionaire. I thought it was a great plan.

I laid the canvas on the floor, took out my brushes and paints and started thinking of stuff to paint. What a wonderful journey it started. I painted my first thoughts, then other ones, then other ones, then… It tooks a good couple of weeks to finish. Or maybe I’m still not finished…but here’s where I’m now.

Version 1. Organized, structured. I selected the paints carefully, I measured the canvas, marked it with 10cm intervals. I drew a sketch on an excel sheet before to check the measurements and lines. I had it all planned out.

It’s funny because; that’s how I was thinking when I was a kid. Everything, everything! Needed to be planned out. My future, school assignments. I’d write down my school speeches from word to word and get anxiety pre, during, and post speeches if I missed a word. My life was planned out; married by 20, kids by 23, divorced by 30….. so structured.

But then life happened

Suddenly my pre-planned life didn’t make sense. Other things came up. But I remained calm, kept my structure. These new things, events, realizations, I’ll just box them up. They don’t matter.

They did matter. They expanded. The chaos, darkness expanded, it took over. My beautiful, boxed, structed life and plans, ruined. Ruined.

The years I spend coping with it, dealing with it. Ruined. Destroyed.

Getting help. Finally, after decades. Getting help. I felt guilty painting over it. It felt like denial; am I only painting over things pretending they didn’t happen. Should I keep them, to show I suffered? And then I realized. I’ve kept my hurt. I’ve kept it for me to see, not others, for me to see. I’ve lived my life thinking I need to suffer. I need to have my pain. I need my pain. I need to keep it.

There’s a difference between remembering your pain and letting it drive you and denying you have it. I’ve denied it, ended badly. I’ve let it drive me; ended badly. What I haven’t tried is moving on. Moving on. Remembering the pain, accepting it exists, but moving on. That’s what I need to do. Paint over it, not in denial, but in building new, building something new. Paint over it, keep it, remember it, but move on.

You paint it, you let it paint. You take your brushes, your paints, and you paint – not in denial but in remembrance. That’s what I did. I painted over. I changed it, I changed my life. I painted.

I’m proud of what came out. It’s certainly prettier than the squares I started with.

But here’s the thing. The thing I painted. It’s part of my childhood. It’s a view of my childhood and youngster escape. I used to walk to the strand from my place. 2 kilometeres and I’d be next to the sea, and this is the view I saw. This is the view, 30 years later, that’s what I painted. It was a place of hope, a place of relief for me. So, for my unconscious mind; is this a trip to the pain, or a start for something new – a new start, based on the pain and hurt, but driven by my safe haven?

I think it’s great example of life – we start with a clear view of our future, just to have it meddled with, completely destroyed and thrown over. And then we build a new. Then we build, having our past as a base, we build something new. We build. We should not forget our past, we build over it, we build. And we respect where we came from. For me, forever for me, my happy place will be by the sea looking at the world beyond. As a kid I wondered what possibilities it might bring. As an adult I want to make sure I’ve visited those possibilities. I want to make sure I can visit it all.

Rome wasn’t built in a day – Give yourself time

I’m a perfectionist, an overachiever. Or. I was a perfectionist and an overachiever. At everything. I’d compete over anything humanly possible. Best and brightest at school and work. Prettiest in my class, hottest of all my friends. Any game you mention; I’d learn it just to beat you in it. Settler of Catan? My village beats your village. Bowling? Yea I’ll throw this ball better than you. Watch me score. Sudokus, mate you got no chance. Lifting weights? If you’re a strong man, can’t win, but can still lift enough to have you make that face – that, did not think you could do that face. Getting ahead in my career? Damn straight. At my age, to be in my position, fuck yeah. And dating? I once dated a guy whose picture made my mum say “he’s too pretty for you”. Dude was boy-band-pretty for sure, and to my mum’s comments – mommy issues, but we’ll leave that for now. I was perfect in all external measures. Superhuman even. That’s what some people called me. Super human.

What that did is. Well, it fed my ego, obvs. But it also prevented me from talking about things that were wrong. Things that were really, really wrong. Things I was in denial for – this doesn’t impact me, I’m doing great. Things I knew were getting to me but could not talk about – to not mess with the image. When I started to realize, to admit I was not in fact doing great, I was on a too high of a pedestal. In others, and in my eyes. I knew I was standing on a wobbling pile of boxes – a pile that could fall apart at any minute. Instead of focusing on my feelings on top of it, or on the strength of the boxes, I was focusing on the perception of me potentially falling. I spent my entire energy on balancing on those boxes. All my strengths on trying to stand up on them. All my energy on smiling through – I got this all under control – no problem here.

I was dying inside, my energy was running out. Instead of asking for help from others, admitting I could use someone or something to strengthen my base or that I’m not doing as great as I pretend to be, I took on more. My problems, others’ problems, work, personal. All piled on me. Try and balance that if all you do is focus on smiling. You can’t. You will fall, you will break you, you will break your world, and you will break your smile. And that will be the best thing that ever happens to you.

I fell in pieces. The height of the boxes, the superiority of other I had built – mainly in my head. Sure, some people called me a superhuman. But my friends had seen my fall way before I had. They knew I was full of shit, struggling, battling, and barely coping. My fall was not just about admitting the flaws in my structural holdings, but for me to admit it to my self. To be fully honest, with my self. I’m a mess, but I’m dealing with it. I’m admitting I’m weak, and damaged. I’ve gained soooooooo much weigh, I spend a lot of my time crying or hiding from the world, my drinking habbits are adding litres and litres to the national average. I’m not great. But I’m getting help.

I’m on antidepressants and I’m seeing a psychologist. I’m starting to feel better, I’m starting to recognize me again – not from the mirror, that chick is still 20kg overweight but maybe hiding somewhere behind all the fat. I’m getting smarter, faster, better at work. I’m getting better. And what does my brain do? It wakens the perfectionist and overachiever. I have these voices in my head telling me I should have already lost 10kg, I should be able to run a marathon, why haven’t I solved all the problems at my company yet? The voices are demanding, and they are disappointed that my reality, my reality, is that. Some day I sleep till noon. I still order junk food on uber eats. I still drink too much wine on weekdays. Some days I just spend 8 hours watching Netflix and moving the mouse on my work laptop so that the bubble on Teams doesn’t turn yellow. I don’t see my friends, I cancel on them. But. And here’s the thing. There is a change. This morning I put my couch pillows coverings to the washing machine as they were dirty, I cleaned my bathroom, and instead of the grocery store 2 minutes from me walked to the one 10 minutes away. I even took my empty wine bottles to recycling. And I did them without having to convince myself to do them. I just did them. This might seem tiny to you but they are massive to me. Even just a couple of months ago these things would have required days and days of internal discussions, of debates of voices of how “could you please just do this” voice going against “who the fuck cares” voice.

I care, that’s who. I care. And I realize this is not an overnight trip. My overachiever side will get her turn but for now we are not aiming for perfect overnight. And it’s going to take a while. We are making progress. And for us (me and all the voices in my head, and, maybe you too?) it means taking small steps at a time. We will have setbacks, we will not be perfect. We are making progress. It takes time. But we will make it. We might take some steps back, we might take side steps. But. We are making steps. We are trying. We are taking steps. It will take time. But we will make it. We will.

Fuck other’s perfect – If you want to benchmark someone’s life, benchmark yours.

Feeling like you or your life is not matching up? Like it’s missing something? Like you are not as good as others? Not as fit? Not as pretty? Not as funny? Not as smart? Not as wealthy? Not as put together? Like your life is not as good as others’?

Fuck them.

People posting pretty pics on insta. Sharing stories on snapchat. Being all perky and perfect on tiktok. Being smart on twitter.

Fuck that.

It’s not them. It’s not their life. It’s a million times edited, tried out, planned version of them. It’s perfected. Or. Maybe it is their authentic self, just a lucky shot, a thought or video clip. Maybe. Maybe they are the 1 in a million who have their shit together, whose life is perfect. Maybe. The odds are they are not. There’s photoshop, apps,, and empty storytelling. There’s the image and there’s the reality behind it.

So. Focus on your bubble, your reality, your life, you. Think about you and your mind in your bubble. Do you.  You do you. You be you. Your reality, your possibilities, your challenges. You set your self to be better. Better you. Not others, don’t better others, better you. Others don’t know where you are coming from, what you are battling, what you want and why. Others don’t know. Others don’t matter.

You do you. You.

You do you. You.

Make a minute your reality

There’s a lot to the saying depression is your past, anxiety is your future. Depression is the darkness, sadness brought on by what happened to you. Anxiety is about the chaos, fears of what might happen. I’m all too familiar with this. My fucked up parents, stuff that happened, mental models I learned and built, they are all contributing to my depression. I’m sad and powerless of not what is going on now, but what happened before. My social anxiety and general anxiety disorder make me think people will judge me, laugh at me, for just going outside or making a minor mistake a while back (a while meaning minutes, or decades ago) – people will laugh at me if I do something – they will laugh at me in my minutes, days to come – in my future. They will laugh, judge.

The past and future negatives impact my today. They impact my now. My today is = negative yesterday + negative tomorrow. It’s negative. Giving power, living with depression and anxiety is equalling to always living in a negative space. You deal with that with therapy and meds, absolutely. That’s what I’m doing. But even if you are not doing that. If you are with me, or just mildly feeling depressed, or overly depressed not knowing what to do – how to move forward. Here’s what you do. You put things down. You breathe. You take a minute, ideally more, but a minute will do.

You take a minute. You grab a drink. You take a walk. You look at funny memes. You take a minute. One minute. You enjoy that minute. For that minute. You focus on being fine. You are alive. You don’t let the things that went wrong haunt you or the worries of the future get you. You celebrate what’s good in your life. For one minute. Maybe it’s just that minute. Maybe it’s more. Maybe it’s that drink you can afford, a movie to watch, a game to play, friends you have or relationships or family or random people you interacted with, a job you have, and education you are working towards, a token a word an artifact you have to remind you of something good. You take a minute. You stay in that minute. You enjoy that minute. Anxiety, depression, worries will hit you later, you know they will. But you have that minute. That minute. That minute will ground you.

For me. For me it’s this minute. This moment in time. I’m a few glasses of prosecco down. I’m sitting on my balcony and the sun in shining. I have a drink in my hand. I know this week was tough in terms of work but it’s Friday. I will work tomorrow or Sunday. I will worry about the deadlines that exist next week. I have my worries and fears; rational and irrational. I have my anxiety. But now, at this moment; I have a drink, warm weather, and no deliverables for tomorrow. In this time, at this minute. I’m fine.

Take a minute. Forget the past. Don’t worry about the future. Take a minute. Think about yourself. Celebrate that minute. Celebrate what you are. What came before, what was before. What comes next, will be. But now, in this moment; you exist, you survive, you thrive. You can make a change. Take a minute, make a change. What will hit you, will hit you. But take a minute. Take a break. Take. A break. And then – make a change.

Aren’t we all one break away from getting better or worse?

What to do when all you want to do is forget. To take a break. You take a break. That’s what you do. You take a break. I haven’t written a post in awhile. I’ve been taking a break from. Everything. I’ve faced again the fun part of being mentally ill – you don’t know when it’ll hit you or how, but it might, it might hit you. It hit me. It. Hit. Me. 

I thought I was doing fine. I was not. I was drinking more and more, excluding my friends more and more, crying. More. And More. I was hoping I was on my journey of becoming better, healthier. And I still am, I hope. But for the moment I was not. I checked into a mental hospital, spent a few days there. I hated it. I hated being in a place where I had to admit I can’t cope. Hated being “lowered” to the ranks of people who need help with their lives. Where they need nurses and doctors to bring them meds throughout the day and have chats about “how to cope with reality”. I hated it. But I needed it. I was not dealing with reality. I was indeed one of those people. I am one of those people. I was crying hysterically for about an hour or two a day. And if you’re into stats, go through the DSM-V manual. Won that bingo. Easily. While you’re at it. Googling. Google “smiling depression” or “high functioning depression”. Got all that nailed down.

I was lying to others and myself. And I hate lying. But I’m really good at it. I try to pride myself in speaking the truth. I will voice my opinion. I will stand for what’s right. I don’t bow down to anyone. I’m proud of telling my truth. I will protect whoever needs protecting. I will fight for them. I will be true. Except for one thing. When people ask me “How are you?”. I will lie. 99% of the time I will lie. I will say “I’m fine” or “Doing great” or “Not too bad” or “Kind of ok for a Monday” or “Happy it’s Friday”. I say I’m fine so people won’t ask follow up questions. I say I’m fine. I lie.

I was “fine” – all the “fine”. I needed a break. A reset. A time in a place where things don’t move a hundred miles an hour in my head. A place in a time where I don’t have to pretend. I place where the rest of the world doesn’t exist. A place where I can make a decision. A place where you’re shown options for next steps. A place where you, and you alone, can and need to choose your path; better or worse, start or end, heal or consume, fight or flight. You choose.

I fight. I choose to fight. I am mentally ill. I am not well. But I am functioning. I am now getting help. I am fighting. I will have my stops, my breaks. I will allow myself the breaks; of drinking and/or crying. I will take my breaks to fall down and gather up. I will take my breaks to gain strength to keep fighting. I will take my breaks to choose. I will be better, I will keep fighting.

Welcome to the top of my world – get cocky with me

I have just learned to make keto margaritas! Celebrate with me! Keto margaritas. Is that not the best thing in the world? What an achievement. Hand clap.

And get ready for a plot twist #spoileralert. I will not be sharing my dark side of the mind stories today. Today’s about the highs, the future, the potential, the wishes, dreams and goals. Today’s about celebrating our awesomeness. Today’s about patting ourselves in the back and saying atta girl. Today’s about telling ourselves, and the world, how great we are, and how we are going to do great things.

I’ve had a good week. Sure, I still have my ever-growing list of people to kill and I keep reordering it based on the incompetence points people insist on gathering during the weeks. And some people really seem to want to go for that “dickhead of the moth” trophy. But. I’ve had a good week, even with the aspiring incompetent dickheads. An article I wrote is getting recognized on LinkedIn, my manager (who is still in the running of becoming the next dickhead of the month) has changed his behavior and actually tries to make me happy, I got to make my nieces happy by drowning them in presents, and, maybe most importantly, it’s finally sunny weather and I’m on my balcony, listening to music, and enjoying a frozen margarita – a margarita that will not destroy my diet.

I took out my paper and pens and started drafting some global strategic initiatives for my function. Some ground-breaking, change-making initiatives. Brilliant stuff really. Can’t wait to send it to my manager who now apparently has recalibrated his default settings and should now fully support me with them. And then I stopped. I picked up another pen instead, and opened my notepad, my blog notepad. A journal if you wish. A book where I write down stuff I might want to write on my blog too. I thought I needed to share this with you. A post of positivity and light. Today. This week. I got reminded of why I do what I do. Why I’m still here. I’m damn capable at my work. I’m awesome. I’ve done great stuff, I’ve made a change – and not just in my organizations but in other people’s lives. This week. This week reminded me of that.

This moment. In this moment I’m full of energy, determination, and fighting-spirit. I will improve, create, help, support, drive, grow – myself and everything around me. I will do awesome stuff. I will help others. I will make my life worth something. There is no way in hell I would have gone through everything I have and not use it to try and make the world a better place. I will make a change. I will.

Maybe that’s why I created this blog. Maybe that’s the reason. It’s not to drown in depression, it’s not to drag others with me. It’s to share what I’m going through. It’s to shed some light into the mental issues people go through, and how mental illnesses impact people’s lives. It’s to show how multiple different sides and realities can coexist in one person.

I am fucked up. I suffer from depression and anxiety. Everyday for me is a fun game of “which issues should we trigger today? Daddy issues? Nah, we had that last week, let’s go with abandonment today”. I deal, I cope, I survive, and I want to do something with them. I am not my issues, I am more than that. I am successful, I am smart, I am capable, and if you believe my friends I’m also lovely and funny and charming as hell. I’m awesome.

What am I saying? Life is not black and white. Just because you are one thing doesn’t mean you can’t be another. You can be a mess but also successful. You can be successful but also a mess. Own your issues, own your awesomeness. Do great things.