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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Army of Negative Thoughts

So this is how it feels to go insane. 
All this time I was expecting a  grand, traumatic event to collapse my rotting stability to dust. How did this happen? Did someone die suddenly? Was she raped? Did she experience trauma in her life?
Not quite. 
Just fickle minded. 
They will look at me through the thick cloudy glass window of the psych ward door, with a pen and pad in hand and scribble 'pathetic' on my evaluation. 
Puzzling to some, but the only trauma I faced was the worldwind of negative thoughts spinning around my head. So many of them, it began to sound like a crowded auditorium right before the show started and the lights were dimmed. They spun around so fast, and so randomly that they started colliding into one another. The words were no longer coherent. Just tormenting. Relentless. 
I felt like I was going insane. 
That worked. For a second. Picked up the phone. Texted him “ Can’t sleep”. No response. I need to keep my mind occupied. Sent several other text messages out. “Are you up?” No response.  I need to talk. I need to distract myself from this. Is this happening because my period is on? Is this happening because I am miserable at work? Is this happening because I am scared that he’s going to be just like the rest of them? 
UNIVERSE! Work with me. 
Boom. Got a text back. My good friend, Phil. Supportive. Grounded. He’s experienced many hardships in his life. Phil, help me. My life is changing and I can’t recognize it. My dad just moved away. I am working at a job I hate… with no friends… I feel alone. Phil reminds me that change is hard. Thank you, Phil. I never realized how hard change could be. Seriously.
Knock knock. My roommate is at my bedroom door. Its 1:48 AM. She’s checking on me. I am crying. How can I stop these negative thoughts? I say the same thing to her that I told Phil, but I go into more detail regarding my potential future boyfriend. My roommate says positive words. At this point, I realize the thoughts have subdued. She sleeps in my bed with me. 
I lay there.
What’s happening to me? Who can understand this? Am I doing this to myself? I am driving myself insane?
Under the surface...
How little worth I apply to myself... Where I constantly feel undeserving. 
How can I slay this dragon. This massive cancer that feeds on my insecurities. If it comes back like a thief in the night, you can no longer retreat. You can no longer run and hide… folding into fetal position.
At last, you will take up arms. You will destroy the demons that conspire to feed on your soul. The smell of vulnerability only intensifies their hunger.
Carry your sword. Stab every negative thought in the heart. Not only are you the king, but you are the queen, the rooks, and the bishop AND you are also the knights. Protect every morsel of your being. Rule on a throne pure and forgiving. Cut out cancers. Ignore them when they call. You are on your way to infinite bliss, and can no longer be distracted.

You have been crowned. Protect the realm.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

This Is Thirty - My Mortality - Part One

My Mortality

It slept outside my front door unwilling to come in while I still had company. Despite it granting me such a courtesy, its presence was never forgotten. It taunted me, casting his elongated shadows in my foyer from under the cracks of my front door. My friends were in town celebrating my 30th birthday. A milestone that has stopped me in my tracks and has forced me to come to terms with my own mortality. It's unsettling, a 30 year old girl still in the prime of her youth, crippled by the thought of inevitable lifelessness and despair. 

I should be happy right now. But with it sitting outside my door, I knew misery awaited. While I slept that weekend, I could feel it grow at my front door step. I felt its presences more and more: minute by minute. I was surrounded by friends, but my mind was be preoccupied with the culprit that waited. 

I'm 30 now. A friend joked and said that my best years were behind me. Terrible joke, might I add. It seems like it's me against the clock now. Literally. My body won't promise me a chance at motherhood for much longer. 10 years the least. 10 years use to sound like a long time. But now I know 10 years can happen in a blink of any eye. And I've already blinked three times. 

By Sunday night, I dropped my friends off at the airport. I played World News on the radio on mu way back home to drown out the sound of my heater blasting. The temperature outside was below freezing… which complimented my anxiety. After arriving home, I reluctantly climbed the two stories of stairs, limping due to my right knee. I was terrified to reach my condo's doorstep, not knowing what I would find. I tried to come to terms that the culprit that sat outside my door, accepting that he would now devour me because I was finally alone. I was vulnerable, left with only my pessimistic thoughts and harsh realities. My cynical outlook on what's to come. I felt it suitable to drown in my emptiness. 

When I got to the door, the culprit wasn't there. I should have felt relief that he wasn’t waiting in the corners of the building halls. But I think that I became addicted to a certain kind of sadness. My ambivalent relief was short lived. He must have thought me to be a fool. His natural instinct to prey on the weak would not deter him from having me as his prey. I knew he had to be close by because I could still smell his odor... Like wet rags soaked in dirty mop water. He was a filthy thing that enjoyed the illusion of being clean.

As I put my key in the door, I happened to look down. That's when I realized that he slipped under the cracks and now resided inside my home.

After an entire weekend of fearing our confrontation, I realized that more so, I was fearing fear itself. Can anything be more crippling than knowing he stalked me all weekend? The anticipation was torture… confronting him head on... our first face to face encounter was now something I yearned to get over with. 

I opened the front door. My living-room was dark but the TV was still on, casting dark shadows that flashed with every change of brightness coming from the screen. In the shadows, there he laid on the floor. His eyes didn't move. His face expressionless until he cracked a sinister smile. 

“Welcome home”. 

His voice was like a cold knife running effortless through my spine. The hair on my arms stood to attention... the only thing on my body that was mobile while the rest of me remained paralyzed with fear.

It wasn't that long before he moved from his positioning on the floor and seeped into the air. He disintegrating from  this creature from the pits of despair to a thick smog of black smoke that infiltrated my airways the closer it moved towards me. His name was Dread. And from my airways it filled my stomach. 

My stomach was filled with dread.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Global Perspective

“Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.” 

― Shannon L. Alder

In America, life gives you lemons. In other countries, life will give you famine, a sea filled with blood due to incessant war, and little to no access to health care. Submerging myself in world news, I’ve come to realize that my quality of life is overwhelmingly better than most people in the world. This enlightenment has given that cliche quote “it could be worse” new profound meaning. Shit could really be worse.

The social and economic injustices in America can cause us to forget that America and its shortcomings is the lesser of many evils. The United States provides us with an abundance of life's necessities and trivial desires. Living in America, most have access to resources that other inhabitants die for. Running water, shelter from the heat, shelter from the cold, plumbing, free education, and public transportation are luxuries easily taken for granted. Although some people in America may be subjected to harsh living conditions, those harsh conditions are nothing when compared on a global scale.

While listening to BBC World Service, I’ve heard the cries of refugees fleeing Syria that witnessed their family members drown during their attempts to enter Europe illegally crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Syrians have lost their homes, their jobs, their communities, and their rest. Worst of all, they face a high probability of losing their lives as causalities of war... causalities of unfortunate circumstances. All to escape turmoil they did not provoke: A war that has killed many innocent civilians. If and when they make it to Europe, or whatever country that they believe possesses a second chance at a normal life, their misfortune isn’t comforted. Starting a new life with nothing in a country where the government is ambivalent regarding your refuge there, does not provide much ease.

If we could compare the prayers of Americans and the prayers of those confined in Syria, we would see that the two countries worship two very different Gods. Not in name, but in attitude. Those that live in America may act as if life is an entitlement of sorts and evil is something that only lurks in the dark: prayers for job promotions and material possessions. But in  Eritrea, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Uganda and Iraq, evil lurks relentlessly day and night: their prayers are for food, refuge and timely revenge. 

American adults would be utterly traumatized waking to piles of rotting dead bodies stacked one on top of the other outside of their makeshift tents. While children in these war ridden countries play a few feet away from decapitated heads. Whatever pain I feel is triumphed by the pain of those suffering unremittingly around the world. For those searching for their family member's remains in the rubble of bombed buildings, life is hell on earth. I don’t know pain. The devastating circumstances in my life can’t even scratch the surface of what my brothers and sisters experience around the world. 

They say that you should expect causalities in war, and I’ve also come to expect Americans to bask in their ignorant bliss, as I used to. Not knowing the blood shed that is happening around the world, around the clock. My perspective on life has changed significantly. And I ask myself, "Who am I to complain?"