Beginning

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

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This blog is called voices in my head. I figured Iv’e spent enough time listening to them it was about time to let other people in on all the noise.

I really have no idea if someone will ever really read this, but I spent most of my life up until now writing a journal and there’s something satisfying about sending these words of mine out to the world and having no control over where they end up and who they end up talking to. Scary as hell though. If you’re out there reading this, my dear random person, i hope i don’t come off too crazy. because I swear I’m just the right amount.

you know, there are different kinds of invisible. There’s the kind we all learn about in high school. “The Classic” if you will. That shy girl or boy. quiet,doesn’t make eye contact,small, with a loneliness that’s hard to miss. And we’re taught to notice them. keep our eyes out and aware so that we can help them feel a little less invisible. a standard “coming of age” Hollywood movie.

But there’s another kind of invisible that no one tells you about. And if you don’t know how to look its really hard to see. because this girl smiles and talks. she’s caring and a part of the group.

But if you knew how to look you’d see that she may smile, but inside all she wants to do is scream. she talks, but no one listens. she’s caring, but that’s usually the only thing people have to say about her. she’s a part of the group, but the group doesn’t even know she’s there.

and her loneliness? her loneliness is the worse kind because no one can even see it. Its covered up with colors and butterflies and smiles.

so she starts to write, letting her words out to the world and hoping someone will hear them and really see her…

UP AND DOWN AGAIN

Anyone who’s ever suffered from anxiety will tell you that there is no permanent fix. You can regulate your medication to the best of your ability, you can learn to read your mood swings, spot your triggers, take care of your mental health with meditation and exercise. You can do everything by the book and still all of a sudden wake up one morning and just feel off. Like there is this sudden dip and your mind is telling you “nope, not today”.

Today you are going to feel distracted and foggy. You will get through your day just slightly to the left of what you normally do. Your not going to notice it at first either, you will just assume you are tired. But when you grab a second in the bathroom you will suddenly realize your teeth are clenched. And when you have a silly altercation with the asshole bus driver on the way home you will suddenly feel a strong need to cry and not understand why. The exercise class you planned to go to in the late afternoon suddenly seems unimportant and you let it slip away with a nap to get back your strength. “It’s just lack of sleep” you continue to tell yourself “It’s coming up on finals, you have a lot of papers to write and ten different things to juggle”.

So you wash your face, make yourself a cup of coffee and settle down in front of your computer. But as you begin to type out the introduction to your latest deadline you feel a familiar lump in your throat. Your breath starts to come quick, your heart start to race and for just a second the fog clears from your brain enough to realize what is going on. You just haven’t had one of these in so long its like you almost forgot.

And then you realize. You haven’t meditated properly in weeks. You kept pushing it off waiting for the next time you had enough time. The exercise class you “forgot” about today was not the first time this month. Your diet has started to include a lot more carbs and not enough vegetables. You didn’t have the energy to make proper food. Assignments and due dates and exams are pilling up and you stopped writing to do lists.

You got lost in the pile of adulthood and didn’t even realize it. so your dear old friend Anxiety has come knocking in to say hello, except this time he didn’t come through the front door with a bang. No, this time, he snuck in around the back and slowly took up all of the space and almost shoved you right back out the window.

And you realize this, and you sit there furious at yourself for letting things get this far. feeling so frustrated and like it’s just too much work to go ahead and start picking up the pieces again. And you want to scream and break something and maybe just go back to sleep. Shut the world out and not have to deal with everything.

But then you realize that that is exactly what Anxiety wants. That is his plan.

So you wipe away your tears and open a new tab on your computer. You let the voices out of your head for the first time in ages.

Then you make a plan.

Your own plan.

 

The In Between

 

I have never been much of a night person.

I get impatient and crabby as the sun goes down, and I never study after 21:00. It’s like my brain shuts off for the day and only turns back up again around 7 AM after coffee.

Lately though I haven’t been sleeping that well. My mind is full of thoughts and decisions to be made. The constant “so what’s next?” pounding my brain from the inside out leaves little space for a peaceful nights rest. And I realized something about the night.

There is  a stillness that comes with the late hours of the night (or early hours of the morning really). A stillness that is cool and calming. It envelops you and makes you feel like you are the only person in the world, but not in a bad way at all. In a “enjoy this time to be you and feel whatever you want” way. It’s like the in – between. In between morning and now, right before the sun comes up and we start all over again. a park bench to rest on. The air at 2 AM seems easier to breathe somehow, maybe because it isn’t bogged down with all of the gas and smoke and tainted air from all of the traffic. when I look at the sky from my bedroom window it is brighter then I would have though. Tonight is a full moon, I realize, and the stars are all blinking down on me.

And as I sit and type this the time flows on and the small hand on my watch inches closer to 3 AM. My eyes begin to droop, and I take a breath of fresh cool middle of the night silent air.

 

Full House

It’s the Passover holidays round here and my entire family is in for the week.

Grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, all of my siblings and my adorable nieces. The house is full of love and from some the inevitable constant bickering. Noise all around, toys everywhere. Every single bed is full, and then some. Last night I slept on an inflatable mattress that deflated half way through the night.  Since my grandparents live overseas we only get to see them around once a year if we’re lucky. It makes the feeling of obligation to spend as much time together all the more  strong especially as they get older (my grandpa turns 90 this summer, refuses to use a cane, and walks the fifteen minute walk to and from synagogue every single Friday and Saturday come rain, sun or snow – this is NOT an exaggeration on my part).

But man, it can get intense.

Sometime I feel like I was dumped straight in the middle of a sitcom. Some sort of weird cross between All in the Family, Full House and Seinfeld. You know that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Where the small white family shows up and is bombarded with all of the Nicks, Nicos and lamb?

lola versus GIF-source

well, that’s my family. We’re not Greek but we are Jewish so it works pretty much the same way.

As a kid I would ask my father for a lift to a friend, and suddenly everybody is piled in to the minivan, coming along for the 5 min ride to send me off as though I was going away to camp for a month. There was forever a constant commentary on everything and anything; backseat driving, over-the-shoulder cooking, ten mentions a day on how much weight I or one of my sisters had lost, if our hair was nicer up or down (up), long or short (short). One of my uncles sat us down every summer to watch an hour long National Geographic DVD, if we ever went out to eat there was never enough when all of the food was brought out but then somehow too much when we finished eating. There was no such thing as throwing away food, a remnant of my grandmother’s poor childhood. It goes on and on and on for many more pages. Don’t even get me started on the very not subtle hints about when I will be settling down that started the day I turned 18.

And among all of this chaos and crazy, there is and always was so much love.

They say you can’t pick your family, but if I could- even though they pretty much drive me insane about 75% of the time- I would still pick mine. And I would want it all exactly like this.

Wishing you  happy holidays from a little corner in the backyard under the pretense of writing a mandatory paper for school because that is the only way I managed to get away for half an hour.

avoid the office GIF-source

What are your family’s like? I would really love to hear!

XX

 

 

A Poem part two

Thoughts rush in, swirl and spin and stop.

hopes and dreams, fear-

It freezes and shuts you down,

shuts you up.

 

close your eyes and breath,

deep. slow. free

let go of it all, hold on to possibility.

there is silence now,

that is filled with want.

filled with drive, fire and fight,

and still some fear

worry and care.

 

open your eyes now.

places,

let’s begin.

 

 

when the universe has a different plan

I haven’t posted anything in ages.

CONFESSION: I have about six posts saved in drafts that I started on a bus ride or in line for the supermarket or after a crappy shift at work and then when I got home lost the energy to write.

CONFESSION #2: I am happy. happier then I have been in a long time. This is good obviously. but it also made me realize that a lot of my writing comes from a place of loneliness and sadness and just not being able to hold it in any longer. I paint through calm. I dance through joy and heartbreak. I write through pain. that is just the way it is. or was. because although the words seem to come easier when I have that burning feeling in my eyes, and while I am overjoyed to come to the realization that I have been spending the time once left to theses pages, now out living my much deserved life, still I miss the feeling. I miss the magic that happens when a thought becomes something a little more real and the words flow through my body to the tips of my fingers and out on to the keyboard.

CONFESSION #3: I am now in my second to last exam period of my degree and will do anything and everything to take a break from studying. And so as welcome back, new and improved me present I would like to regale my patient and faithful readers with a story.

This story begins on a cold rainy afternoon while a young women was getting ready to leave for the evening shift at the sushi bar she waitress-ed at to pay the bills. On that particular day the young woman, was feeling down and to try and make herself feel better about going in to work while she really wanted to stay in bed and watch clips from old Tony awards she decided she would play a game. During her work shift she would “collect” interesting customers she met that day, all the funny interactions that tend to happen when you work in costumer service, and then write about it on her blog when she came home. Slightly more motivated she left for work, where she proceeded to endure the worst shift of her life full of customers shouting over the phone, non-stop orders, NO tips, and to top it all off- spilling soy sauce on a customer’s coat*.

Ah, isn’t it great when the universe has a different plan for you?

 

* This would have been a great moment to have the ground open up and swallow everything down.

Once again, sorry to any frustrated followers who wondered if I had fled the country and resumed a new identity, I AM BACK and hope to be around here more often.

’till next time

FULL SPIRAL

My birthday is coming up*

Despite the fact that we are hurtling towards 2018 at full speed**, it was this realization that made me fully appreciate all that I have been through in the past year.

Not to sound too dramatic, but to call it A Year From Hell would not be too much of an overstatement. When you’re going through tough times it generally feels like it is not going to end. It feels like you have been sucked in to a black hole with no way out. Like you got so used to drowning you are no longer looking for the sailboat or rescue helicopter, but are fine to grab on to a loose object at sea, hold on for a bit and then get back at it. At least you pretend you’re fine. You put on an act so convincing you start to believe the lies you are telling everyone else. You stop expecting it to go away. It’s like you got on a terrifying ride at the amusement park and you just close your eyes and wait for it to be over without really believing it will. You can’t get anything done. Not really. You think you are, you think you are managing, that you are pushing through. But in reality you are just going through the motions. And then slowly that stops too until you are just waking up every morning and making sure you BREATHE.

I am sitting here and thinking of where I was on my last birthday and where I am now. How eternally grateful I am that change is possible and inevitable and will always come even when I can’t see it. How even though it is probably the most cliche thing I could write right now (and I am hating myself a little just for actually putting it down here) the night does eventually end and the sun will rise *Gandalf voice: on the third day, look to the sun*.

I think on how much things have changed since I sat to write my first post. I think of the reasons that brought me to do it. How alone I felt, how scared. I opened this blog to let some of the voices in my head quiet down, and to see if maybe there are some other people out there in the world that feel something close to what I feel, that are dealing with something like I am dealing with. Talking about my anxiety with someone I knew in real life seemed nothing short of impossible. And keeping it to myself had started to make me explode. So I wrote it all down here, and felt safe in the anonymity of the internet.

About two weeks ago I told my three best friends. Told them I had general anxiety disorder, had had it for my whole life. That last year things had just gotten too intense and I had finally sought professional help and started medication. And that I now feel like a new person, the real me. I told them all of it. It happened easily and naturally and I didn’t even cry once while talking about it something that up until then had been a wild dream. Most importantly, they understood. Or at least- they didn’t judge, or look at me any differently after. I think in some part of my mind I knew they wouldn’t. They are my closest friends after all. But a much larger part of my mind was scared sh*tless. That they wouldn’t understand, that no one would ever understand.

And so I am writing this post, to close a bit of the circle I have had, and start a new one. A spiral, that hopefully will make it’s path  continuously upwards this time instead of down in to the seemingly endless dark. To thank all you anonymous readers for your anonymous support. And to send out a message to any old me’s reading this, searching for anyone who is feeling what they feel right now, who is dealing with what they are dealing right now; YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And even though it may feel like it is never going to end- IT CAN AND IT WILL. Ask for help, don’t try and go it alone. And when you are ready, tell your friends.

And don’t forget to love yourself even when you might hate yourself.

 

 

*this post has sat in my drafts unfinished for about a month. needles to say my birthday has come and gone. Don’t worry I celebrated.

** are two days in to 2018. Belated Happy New Year all

 

 

A poem

I’ve never studied poetry or anything but this week during a slow shift at work the words just sort of fell in to my head and I decided to share it with the bloggersphere just for fun and maybe to get some feedback..there’s no specific structure to it and it doesn’t all rhyme but it made sense in my head with the beats I heard inside..

let me know what you think, what you feel- I’d love to hear!

 

When the sky is too big
And the night feels so small.
How the mind hunts
Endlessly
and the heart breathes.
and bleeds.
and sighs.

Then a new day starts
Teeth clenched
Stomach tight
Hands at the ready
To work
To fight

And the stars come out again
And the eyes close.
A breath escapes
Gently first
Then hard
But the mind never stops,

never quiets.

and just a shard

of hope still remains

that the sun will bring a better day again.