I can’t, will not be of that … How’s that imaginary wall in your head keeping you away from…what?

Be humble, bow down, don’t speak up. That’s what I grew up with. Some I’m sure my parents believed in, and some; due to their fuckedupness might have actually destroyed them and me. The lying cheating alcoholic of a dad wanted me to be the best ever; smartest, quickest at all I do…just not want any affection or support or him being actually present, as he was, well, otherwise occupied. And the cold-hearted robot of a mom who was always there seemed to take pleasure in my emotional suffering. Oh you are getting good grades? “You aren’t as smart as you think” Oh, you made friends? “They will all leave you in the end” Oh, you are dating someone new “men in our family leave us”. Oh you broke up? “Men don’t like what you do”

Dealing with that shit. Dealing. With. That. Shit.

Restrictions. This shit builds complex, hard to break restriction in your mind. Walls that filter our any other messages. Silence the teachers, the friends, and more importantly the inner voice – that’s your parents ya’ll. That’s what counts as you “hear” – restrictions. There might be others telling you they like you, love you, appreciate you, but all you can hear is “you are not good enough. No one loves you. Stop trying”.

In fact, there’s a voice you hear if you go against their damage.

Let’s break that down. Voice. Their damage. It is their voice, about their damage. It is not a rando in a bar telling you their life story, it is a key figure in your life telling you their life story for years, decades. It is about them reflecting their shit on you; their experiences resulted in their shit – clearly you should expect the same experiences and therefore the same shit.  

What that does: Restrictions. It is in your head, your mind.

What you need to do: Question that shit. Question the shit out of that shit.

If you are like me you were conditioned to certain attributes with certain behaviours. It can be as stereotypical as “you are a girl/woman, you are supposed to, not supposed to xyz”. Or just more creative ways of telling you are not capable of it, and definitely not worth it.

Let’s have a more objective, oh-have-I-grown-up -chat with them …things I should have said…

  • “Stop crying, you are only looking for attention” – my mum to me after my granddad died –> yes, I’m crying, I’m sad. I’m fucking sad, and I’m fucking allowed to be. Hug me for fucks sake
  • “You are not as smart as you think” – my mum to me after I got first place in class  –> I see you hate my dad for whatever reason. Yes, I share some traits with him, one being pretty damn smart. That also means knowing when I’m not smart enough, and when I can kick a 4th grader in the ass. I am smart, I know the shit I’m talking about. I know my shit. Shut, the fuck up. Be proud of me
  • “They will all forget about you” – my mum to me with me making new friends in college –> not my damage, mum. It might have been your experience, and it might very well be mine. That’s life. No need to make a “all hate you” – performance about it. I have friends that understand and stand by me, few of them even for years and years. Should they leave me, I’d like you to be there for me
  • “He is too good looking for you” – my mum after seeing a pic of one of my exes –> really mum? I’m not pretty? Smart? Lovely? Not worthy of a good looking person? …the fuck you are a mum for? Ask me if he makes me happy
  • “Men don’t like what you do” – my mum to me when I found out the man I was dating had slept with another woman –> I cry in front of my mum and hope for a question of “what’s wrong”. The silence and coldness that pursued led for my comment “I had to break up with a guy”. Her comment, not a question, “men don’t like what you do” –> would love a hug on my side! …further questions, caring, being on my side no whatever what…acknowledge and support the crying child in front of you, you bitch! Seriously, Really mum? I’m not pretty? Smart? Lovely? …the fuck you are a mum for? Guess I’ll just hit him up for a random hookup and fuck his brains up. Love? Nah. Fuck off.

The hate, the fucked up mental models, and the sense of your own worth is too often tied up with mental models that aren’t yours, mental models that don’t support you going forward.

What you do? You listen. You accept. You build your base on what the fucked up people say. And then you fucking keep building.

What you do as of 10,20, 30, 40, 50 years from that is tell them, at least in your head, to fuck off.

What you aim for is for those 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now is to stand your ground. Be proud of your choices, whether a success with a happy ending or a complete clusterfuck; or a combination of the two. What you aim for is you owning that shit. You owning your actions.

So. Break those mental models and weird as “rules”. Fight the voices in your head that tell you no, cheerlead the voices that tell you yes – fight them all! Here are some examples:

  1. Crying. Cry your fucking eyes out if you want to. Do it! Share your hopes and dreams and vulnerabilities. If you are lucky someone somewhere will bring a bottle of wine and join you on it, the people online certainly will – We’re broken people now……
  2. Friends. Make them, make new, make millions. Reach out, touch, share. You are not alone. We got you – Don’t be creapy though….just. don’t…
  3. Success. Fuck aim for only whatever you need, aim for what you want. Get the money, the title, the reach, the happiness or the enlightment. The Hugo Boss in your feet is fine, you deserved it, paid for, worked for it. Don’t apolize for it.

Step 4 that should be1. Not the Hugo Boss, but the not apolozing for it. Free your mind, free yourself. Don’t let other people’s walls keep you out from your happiness.

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.

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!

Oh hello mommy issues – guess it’s happy hour for all my fears now

The devil you know. It’s a great saying. Sticking to the shit you know..it’s easy. It makes a lot of sense. Again, I thoroughly regret ever starting with talking about fears. It would be easy, I thought. It would be simple, I seconded (thanks, random voice in my head). Where are we now? In a turmoil of fucking fear of future. …well, no, no fear, not of future, …well…. Where we are is a turmoil of all the things we were, are, and could be. We are in a turmoil of all things stopping the future we want.

Let me explain. I know I’m a daughter of an alcoholic, and an emotionally abusive mom. My dad would drink, cheat on his wives and girlfriends, and break every promise he ever made. My mom would take her anger at me, put me down, call me out on random shit, accuse me of everything and anything…to put me down. That was my normal.

As I grew older I started to slowly realize that maybe the dad I admired and looked up to wasn’t as good as I thought he was. The man who I grew up idolizing wasn’t actually worth it – at all. …he was smart though, charming, funny… but an asshole.

But. Here’s the thing. I have been so afraid of becoming my dad. The good things about him, like his charm and IQ – I have it, I hate it. His habit of having two-three bottles of vodka a day – nope, not there…wine though…I was especially proud of this 40 days of lent, of no drinking. I did it, could do it, easily. Fear  922527 – Me 1. I have always been afraid of turning out like my dad.

Little did I know, I would one day wake up realizing I’ve turned out like my mum.

After the divorce, when I was about 8 or so, I remember my mum having boyfriends. Me even meeting couple of them. But after that; nothing. After that my mum turned into a…and I mean no disrespect, if anything, I owe my life to her for this…single mom with three kids. She spent her life making sure we would have everything we needed in terms of food, clothes, and eventually a loan against her house that allowed me to get my bachelors.

I love her. I respect her for that. I am forever grateful.

My mom sacrificed her own well-being and wishes and dreams for me and my brothers. But she never got over what my dad did to her, and from what I gather there is a lot of bottled up anger and regret in it too. I never got the love of a mother, never felt it. I felt the regret, anger, and bitterness. I got, whatever she felt for my dad. I was an emotional punching bag for her.

It hurts me to write this.

I saw a woman ignore her dreams, her work, her social life. I saw her giving up on her and focusing on us. She would play candy crush on her computer, have a beer or two and watch tv. She would start missing all her deadlines, she would get shit from her clients. She’d play candy crush, have a beer or two. She would feed us, but she was away – mentally. We could see her, but not feel her – not the love at least. Not me especially. Me, more than my siblings would get the anger and the hate. The snappy comments, the bitterness. The emotional abuse.

It hurts me to write this. So I will stop it now.

Point is. I woke up a few days ago and saw my mom looking back at me in my bathroom mirror. My weird as nightmares did warn me about it, but still! Hello revelation! I have indeed turned out like my mom. I have given up on being me, I’m overwhelmed and overinvolved in other people’s problems, I have a drink or two way often, and I’m damn good at candy crush. I’ve completely lost myself. I’m supportive of my friends and loved ones though, I have a strick no emotional abuse polilcy, but still…what a thing to realize…what a think to reflect on…what a thing to act on…

I guess this doesn’t make sense to you…I’m certainly still making sense of it myself… Go fears!

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.

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.