What I Hated the Least Today 260/365: The Lexaurin Effect

What I Hated the Least Today 260/365: The Lexaurin Effect

Pills. Also, here’s the bloody tin foil I was looking for the other day!

I was doing more poorly than usual today, mental-health-wise. I took measures accordingly. First, against my better reasonable judgement, I took a day off. I am workoholic and I feel shitty, as in guilty, when I don’t work. Second, I did my usual natural anti-anxiety techniques: yoga, meditation and breathing exercises, relaxation music. Didn’t work well this time.

It wasn’t as much anxiety itself as the psychosomatic pain that accompanies it that bothered me most. My shoulder and neck were killing me. So, the last resort: I look Lexaurin. I only do this once or twice a month. It’s an addictive first-and-last-aid pill from the benzodiazepine family. You don’t want to overdo it with it.

The Lexaurin effect is funny:

  • After 5 mins:  Fuck, it’s not working, when will it work, I knew it, I’m getting addicted to it, and now it doesn’t work anymore, bloody hell.
  • After 15 mins: Hmm. The pain is actually better. So nice. It’s weird that I’m still shaking though, but okay, I take the deal.
  • After 30 mins. Aww. So fuzzy and warm and soft and mellow and slightly unreal. I mean, I feel no pain whatsoever. How awesome is it? I just want to lie down, dissolve and die from happiness.

Also, don’t mind me. I’m typing this intoxicated (after 2 hours from Lexaurin). And, since it’s my day off, I’m spending it blogging. Sorry about the flood of shitty posts. Oh, and sorry about the language.

 

Finding Everyday Inspiration: A Letter from Myself to Myself

Finding Everyday Inspiration: A Letter from Myself to Myself

Part of WordPress’s writing course Finding Everyday Inspiration.

Today’s prompt is a cliche which knows it’s cliche but pretends to convince people it’s not. The task is to write a letter(!). That’s not only an analog anachronism but also a subject whose inspiring potential has already been mined out.

In a stroke of genius, however, I remembered I had a letter among my very few relics from the past which I had written for my future self. It’s more of a questionnaire, actually. It was written on 13 May 1996 at 2:55 PM (I see I was meticulous about meta details as a kid already) at the tender age of almost thirteen. (I can’t believe I ever was thirteen.) The instructions on the sealed envelope say to open it when I’m fifteen. (I can’t believe I ever was fifteen either.) Here’s the authentic artefact.

Yep, that’s actual wax seal.

The questionnaire contained in the sealed envelope is cringeworthy, idiotic and hilarious, all at the same time. I had some important questions for my future self, such as:

  • Do you like a boy?
  • Have you been kissed by a boy?
  • Do you go to discos?

The bonus is that the envelope also contains my answers to these and other questions written when I was eighteen. (Yes, I can’t believe I ever was eighteen.) Being a teenager is a mental diagnosis on its own. The bloody things (I mean, young people) believe that they know everything, that they are special and that the world is for them. They are the triumph of positive psychology, in some ways.

Teenagers (at least my teenage self) also believe that everything is for ever and that neither they nor other things will change yet. They might admit it as a theoretical option but they don’t really believe that. On the other hand, there are things to be learned from your young self. Such as, Don’t be that person!

I’m kidding. Now, seriously, I have discovered at least one curious finding about my young self. Already as a dumb teenager, I manifested surprising drive, determination and diligence. (I deduce this from the way I was talking about my study efforts.) I also see I was interested in psychology back then already. (Little did I know that I wouldn’t become a psychologist but a psychiatric patient instead.)

For the sake of entertainment and education, here are a few questions that amused me the most:

  • Do you still study at the grammar school? (Duh. I’ve graduated from a doctoral programme.)
  • Do you still have long hair? (Ha. Since you’re asking, I have half my head shaved and the other half shortish-to-shoulder-length. In case there is any doubt, it is a deliberate design.)
  • Are you still scared of people? (Dear silly young self, it’s called social anxiety and it’s not something you grow out of. Don’t worry though, there will be advances in psychology and you’ll learn a bunch of management techniques in the nut house. Also, you’ll be prescribed Lexaurin for emergencies.)
What I Hated the Least Today 259/365: Real-Life X-Files

What I Hated the Least Today 259/365: Real-Life X-Files

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Mandala lighter: smoking with Zen

Mysterious things are happening to me. Or I’m just going nuts. (I like nuts.)

My lighter has been abducted by aliens. Don’t even think of suggesting that I simply lost it. I don’t lose anything. (Though I may sometimes lose my shit.) Several weeks ago, I dropped my lighter from the balcony. (Don’t ask me how you drop a lighter from the balcony, it was a momentary loss of shit and movement coordination.) The lighter has been lying down there since then. I dropped it in an enclosed area belonging to a pub downstairs which shut down months ago. Today, I noticed the lighter was gone.

I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation. Like, a cat got it. Or a pigeon got it and now we’re facing a pigeon apocalypse. Or, possibly, it was a James Bond lighter and it evaporated. Or it was a ninja lighter and it ninjaed its way out through the fence. Or, being a lighter, it spontaneously combusted. (Why does my spellcheck underline combusted in red? And why does my spellcheck underline underline? I’m telling you, the aliens are up to something.) I’m scared. And I want my lighter back.

What I Hated the Least Today 258/365: Anti-slip Sink Pad

What I Hated the Least Today 258/365: Anti-slip Sink Pad

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Yep, that’s my filthyish sink.

Today I bought something nice for myself. Cookies. But, also, and more importantly, an anti-slip sink pad. It’s a thing and it’s legit.

I never thought about what this stock item in Eastern European kitchens was for, all I knew is that it’s a thing you put in the sink, no questions asked. I’ve always had it, but recently my old one fell apart, probably because I didn’t give a shit and repeatedly placed hot pots on it. When I saw this cute specimen in the shop, I immediately put it in my basket. I’ve never had such a fancy sink pad with flowers and butterflies.

This also led me to serious metaphysical thoughts on the purpose of a sink pad. The package of the product said it was anti-slip and included an illustration of glasses having a pool party in the sink and not being able to slide around, which clearly put a damper on the party. I’ve never experienced issues with slipping glasses—the pad isn’t particularly helpful when a glass slips out of your hands—but then, I’ve always had a sink pad.

I suspect it does in fact more harm than good. You must wash it (okay, you are supposed to, I shall say no more), bits and pieces of ugly things get caught under it, plus it partially blocks the drain. I only have it because I maintain my national tradition. A sink pad can be such a noble thing. Please do tell me if there are sink pads where you live! If so, you’re probably being colonised by the Slavs.

What I Hated the Least Today 256/365: Bright New Things

What I Hated the Least Today 256/365: Bright New Things

What I’ve Been Up to Blogging-Wise

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The desert of my inspiration

After many dry months with an average post precipitation of one to three pieces per month, I’ve been surprised by a sudden boost in my blogging mood. (Such as the local road maintenance services are surprised by snow each year, though I live in a country where it snows each winter.) I’ve produced more posts in the last few days than I did in the last few months together. So what’s going on? I can’t say (I would if I knew), so instead, here’s a clueless song which asks the same question.

Coffee Break: Clueless Song

Continuation: Blogging Plans

avi-aug17
My new favourite halfie

Exactly forever ago I started my cheeky take on gratitude projects and called it What I Hated the Least Today. The idea was to run this on a daily basis but it went oops. Out of sheer stubbornness, I refuse to drop the project and instead drag it along, masquerading each my new post with this heading. I intend to continue to do so because I continue being stubborn.

I love exploring all new because discovering a new thing makes me feel less like I’m so old and like I’ve seen everything already. I’ve been looking for some bring new thing for my time-wasting through blogging and I got something. First, I’ve changed my avatar to my current favourite halfie. Second, I’ve changed my blog’s tagline. Remember how I hated on rainbows and sold the unicorn on eBay? Well, no more. The new tagline is in beta version. Please don’t tell me that it’s dumb unless you come up with a suggestion.

Third, I’m ambitious like it ever got me anywhere! As I was procrastinating researching WordPress’s Daily Post blog, I remembered how I hated the least their blogging challenges and courses. The courses used to be organised on particular days and tutored by WP editors. Well, no more. Now it’s on a self-served basis. I’ve however found something to my acquired taste. It’s called Finding Everyday Inspiration, which is what I very much subscribe to. Literally. I subscribed and will be likely seeing through this writing challenge at my own pace. If it sounds like something you fancy trying out too, do jump on the bandwagon—and (don’t) break a leg.

What I Hated the Least Today 255/365: Concierge

What I Hated the Least Today 255/365: Concierge

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I happened to be installed to the unenviable position of a make-shift concierge at my building. The concierge is a fancy name for the person who goes quietly about her own business only to get yelled at by antagonistic neighbours when something stops working. The concierge also serves as a rent collector, which is obviously a highly popular function.

I’m everyone’s favourite: I’ve already got my postbox vandalised twice and people probably pee at my door. Well, as long as it pleases them—and as long as they bring in the rent… I wish the building owner had manifested more common sense when selecting the concierge. As an anxious and asocial individual hardly capable of interacting with other representatives of the human species, I hardly make an adequate candidate. I totally suck at it too.

The other day I paid a visit to the upstairs family to kindly remind them of their overdue rent, or, alternately, to threaten to throw them out on the street unless they promptly pay. As soon as the tenants opened the door, I got in trouble. There was a kitten! When I see a cat, I totally lose it. So, without saying what I wanted or even asking if I could, I grabbed their kitten and proceeded to cuddle it. The errand didn’t go well. I was offered coffee, sat down with the tenants and the kitten and, by the way, do you guys know that you owe on rent? They did know.

Yesterday the scariest woman in the building, whom you wouldn’t want to meet after dark on an empty street, flew down the stairs pounding at my door and screaming that, quote, her fucking internet wasn’t fucking working and what I was going to do about it, fuck. I didn’t dare to inquire whether she tried switching her router off and on because I feared she might bite me and I’m not vaccinated against rabies. Ten minutes later, as I was in the process of screaming at the internet provider, she came back to apologise. Her husband apparently unplugged their router.

It’s the twentieth, which is rent day, so please excuse me, I’m going to wear my breastplate, grab a stick for self-defence and am off to collect rent.

What I Hated the Least Today 254/365: How I Met My Cat

What I Hated the Least Today 254/365: How I Met My Cat

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Ella

It’s been a while since I last reminded you of the fact that cats are the best. And since it’s Caturday, here’s the history of how I met my cat. It’s a lengthy, convoluted and boring story with several false starts. You have been warned.

I first found myself in a regular proximity with a cat when I moved in a house which came with a black panther. At least I thought it was a dwarf panther, but on closer examination, it turned out to be a huge black cat. On an even closer examination,  it turned out to be two cats which looked alike. Soon, one of the cats went to Tahiti. That’s a local saying meaning he disappeared for good. The other cat remained but resisted all my attempts to become friends.

Since the in-stock cat wouldn’t have me, I got myself a spare cat. It was a super cute multi-colour kitty. She was alright as long as she was young and dumb, but then, under the adversarial influence of the unfriendly panther cat, she became a feral wild thing. She would only let me hold her as long as I was feeding her ham. Before she managed to grow up, she got herself run over by a car. That much to me having a kitten.

A few years later, I got a replacement cat. I got to pick her from a new litter. There were only black-and-whites and tabbies. I didn’t particularly fancy any of those, but I half-heartedly selected a brownish tabby. I wasn’t too impressed. I called her Ella. Ella wasn’t too impressed either. She spent the first few weeks sitting at the doorstep and meowing plaintively. And then we somehow grew on each other.

Meanwhile, Ella has become five, has moved with me twice and has become my bestie. She’s a pretty average cat, but she has a bunch of redeeming features. She’s affectionate but not annoying, doesn’t mind it when I don’t mind her and can be left home alone for up to two nights. Though she’s always pissed off when I dare leave her for too long. Right now, she’s sleeping curled up on my yoga mat. It was third time the charm.

What I Hated the Least Today 253/365: Decision Paralysis

What I Hated the Least Today 253/365: Decision Paralysis

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The road not taken
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
—Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”

Decision paralysis is officially a thing. Trust me. I read it on the internet.

Seriously, though, I read a lot of psychology books and articles these days, and I also conduct hands-on research on live human subjects. One subject, myself. I’ve always had decision paralysis but didn’t realise it was decision paralysis. I just thought I was a weirdo and that the nature of my weirdness was unique. Apparently, I am just as unique as everyone else—hence, not at all.

Decision paralysis is a crippling condition when you can’t decide. For me, it gets worse when my depression and/or anxiety get better—I mean, when they get the better of me, when they flourish and I therefore don’t. Deciding consumes a lot of mental energy. Also a lot of time. It’s usually pretty frustrating and doesn’t necessarily lead to a decision being made.

In a research experiment, it was found that the more choices you have, the less likely you are to choose something. Research subjects were offered two or three choices, and they picked one relatively easily. When they had a dozen or so choices, however, they more often ended up not choosing anything at all because the number of possibilities was too overwhelming. I so get it.

The other day I was with a friend and asked her to wait for me a minute while I get something at the chemist’s. I needed one thing, shampoo. When I located the shampoo shelf, I nearly fainted because there was an array of dozen variants from my preferred brand (the cheapest one). I clutched the shelf and slowly descended in a yogic squat to examine the options. It made my head spin. It took me forever to pick the blue one. My friend was exasperated. I objected that I wasn’t fucking horrible, as she suggested, but just had a case of decision paralysis. She wasn’t impressed.

One practical psychology book I read and was hugely impressed by proposes to limit decision paralysis with to-do-today lists. It’s a modified to-do list, except you only put on it what you have to do on a particular day. You should colour-code tasks which must be done, which may be done and which don’t have to be done. The tasks should be spread randomly all across the page. OK, now, WTF. I hate randomness, and I find it obvious that if it’s supposed to work, you have to write down your tasks in the order in which you want to do them.

I sometimes use the method, but not often, because I’m already super organised. I mean, I have a regular schedule for each day and I stick to it. When I can’t stick to it, I get extremely anxious. You can’t mess with your rituals when you’re OCD. I suspect I even unconsciously brush my teeth in a prescribed number of strokes in a given order.

Now that you know that decision paralysis is real, do you have it and if so, what do you do about it?

What I Hated the Least Today 252/365: Shit I Do While Asleep

What I Hated the Least Today 252/365: Shit I Do While Asleep

Suspicious Search History

Yesterday I took a sleeping pill and didn’t go to sleep. I don’t know what I was thinking. I probably wasn’t.

I was also acutely anxious and was OCDing, this time about my blog. I’ve been fiddling with the blog for hours on end in the last few days instead of doing something productive. If you’re looking around to see the changes I made, don’t, I haven’t made any substantial. As I say, I wasn’t being productive. I tried probably all the themes in the theme showcase from the last two years and also searched for a new avatar and header or background picture.

I’m totally obsessing about a new blog design these days. I suspect it’s because I’m escaping from a work project which I’m scared of. It’s highly inefficient and idiotic of me.

However, I took the sleeping pill and sat back down to the computer. I was doing something but I was asleep. Soon my vision became so blurred that I couldn’t read anything. I remembered I took the sleeping pill and wisely concluded I should just as well go to sleep. I had a huge trouble trying to switch the laptop off, since I couldn’t read anything on the screen. Then I was stumbling around like I was intoxicated, which I was, in a way, and I found it hilarious. Whatever they add in sleeping pills these days.

The next morning I thought I’d check out what the fuck I was even doing on the computer when sleeping. I was really hoping I didn’t delete my blog entirely or reset my laptop to factory settings. I went to search history and it appears I was trying and failing to search for designs. My queries included, literally, pattern for headepattern to j and pattern wallpaer. It’s curious that Google actually returned pretty much what I had in mind. I seriously should get my shit together.

What I Hated (the Least) Today 251/365: A Week Off Meds

What I Hated (the Least) Today 251/365: A Week Off Meds

Due to the unforeseen circumstance of my bloody psychiatrist going on a bloody holiday, it so happened that I ran out of the meds that keep my brain from imploding. It was a fun week. One more, and I probably would have ended up behind bars, whether of prison or of a mental asylum. I managed to replenish my pill supplies today and this very success is already making me feel saner.

While off meds, I had a number of epiphanies, altered consciousness experiences and curious meltdowns, some of which I don’t care to share even with a professional lest I should be institutionalised for life. Here are some of the more harmless ones.

Discovery #1: Lucid Dreaming

I thought I had weird dreams when on sleeping pills, but without them, trying to sleep got so weird that I no more knew what I dreamt and what I didn’t. If lucid dreaming is about you being aware that you dream and being able to direct your dream, then I had it. This one was an extremely entertaining case because in my dream, I was a hot guy and was configuring myself, adding an ab here and there, choosing my facial features, hair style… I can’t believe I picked a man bun, but on my defence, I immediately took it back and went for short bed hair.

On which I was a girl again and gave birth to twins, who looked exactly like hotdogs. The boy I named Richard, the girl I wanted to call Victoria, but the father, whose identity remained mysterious even to me, didn’t think so. The poor girl ended up being Unnamed. Funnily enough, these two names are the exact ones I actually picked in real life when I was young and thought I’d want kids. When I realised I didn’t want kids, I named Richard my car (when I had a car) and Victoria my tortoise (when I had a tortoise).

Discovery #2: OCD

My OCD is normally within the limits of cute quirks, but it went a bit wild when unchecked by pills. I had a legit breakdown over, quite ironically, my zen meditation schedule, which I printed out and pinned on my whiteboard, but couldn’t get the sheet align with the other papers that were already there. Besides spending time aligning shit all over the flat, I had a range of highly interesting compulsive impulses coming to me – that’s when your mind goes blank and you can only think of doing one particular thing, which is usually something pretty dumb.

On this note, I should stop watching TV series entirely because I watched an episode of Sense8, which was perfectly harmless, except for one unfortunate incident when a minor character slit her wrists. Now, that’s a huge trigger for me. Surprisingly, when people are shooting other people on TV, I have absolutely no urge to imitate them, but when someone slits their wrists on TV, I can’t help myself wanting to try it at home. I have however prepared for this pet peeve compulsive thought of mine in advance when I had both my wrists tattooed. I naturally don’t want to cut my designs.

Discovery #3: Am I Hallucinating or What?

No, I’m not hallucinating, but I seriously thought I was. It was when I went to the balcony to smoke and saw a small ape from the Planet of the Apes standing at the table at the common backyard and staring at me. Well, I decided I was just hallucinating, why not, after all, it’s an interesting new experience, right, so I calmly sat down and lit my cigarette. When I looked again, the ape was gone. When I looked yet again, there was a bunch of kids hiding behind the table. The ape-like kid should probably have a haircut soon. And the bloody kids should stop fucking with my mind. It’s not like it’s not fucked up enough already.

To conclude on the same cheery note, here’s a song that I currently can’t get out of my head (especially the very upbeat line “The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had”).