This morning as I biked to the east of Amsterdam to meet friends for the last day of the Amsterdam Imagine Film Festival, I was feeling high on life. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and puffy with clouds, and the music playing blaring through my headphones was drums, drums, drums, great beats that made my heart nearly burst with life. I was so…happy. High. On fire.
A car passed me, a small vintage car with a bride and groom inside. I rang my bell and screamed out “Gefeliciteerd!” into their open window as I passed. I was happy for them, these strangers setting out on a new life together. They laughed and waved back.
The film festival was great and in between the two films, I sat in the sun and had coffee and then wine and good conversation with my friends. Amsterdam has picked up again now that the good weather has finally returned and we have our terraces back. After the last movie, we joined some more friends in the park until the sun was setting and then it was time to head home.
It was maybe ten at night when my mood changed for the worse. I decided to go for a walk to clear my head. The city was packed with people, as you would expect on a Saturday night, and seeing all of those happy people, laughing and drinking and swimming in their cologne just worsened my mood. It was too much of a contrast between me and them.
Each song that came on my headphone was somber and slow and seemed intent on keeping me in this mood, but I admit I also flicked past the happier numbers. I just couldn’t stomach them. I looked into people’s houses and into shop windows, and wondered about who lived here or shopped there. I made mental notes of certain little pubs and cafes that I’d like to go back and try one day.
I searched for something to distract my mind from this funk. Cigarettes? No, didn’t feel right. Maybe a small bottle of vodka to keep me company on my walk? Nah. I passed a coffeeshop and thought about having a joint, but I didn’t feel like paying such close attention to my breathing, which is what happens when I get high. Breathing suddenly becomes a conscious effort, and a loud one at that. I tried to think if I had any way to get anything stronger, but everything seemed to entail more effort than I was willing to spend, and the chances of someone just walking up and offering me something seemed slim (although not improbable).
I texted two friends who might have distracted me, but one was busy and the other didn’t reply. I didn’t text anyone else for fear of further rejection, partly because that’s how I knew I would take it, even if that wasn’t the intention, and partly because I couldn’t think of anyone else that I wanted to burden with my mood. I briefly humoured the idea of chucking my phone into the canal, just because. Because my phone was in my hand and the canal was in front of me, so why not? It was the idea of littering in the canal that stopped me in the end. I would have felt too bad.
I sat down on a bench across the canal from the Westerkerk, propped my feet up on the railing overlooking the water, and just stared up at the steeple for ages crying silently. Cried and cried and cried and made no move to wipe away the tears, because my back was to the street and no one passing could see me anyway.
The songs on my iPod seemed to speak to me personally, somehow knew my situation and knew how to twist the knife. (Fuck you, iPod.) I wondered whose demons I was struggling with. Were they mine or someone else’s? How did I get here? To this day, this life, this mood? I felt an unbearable sadness in my chest, a hollow, empty, choking sadness.
After about 40 minutes I got up and kept on walking, with the vague notion of going to the start of one canal and following it all the way back to the end, of walking until my feet were blistered. On the way to do this I passed a playground by the empty Noordermarkt, and saw that they had swings.
The stroke of midnight saw me swinging barefoot, watching the Westerkerk steeple now in the distance, dipping and rising up-down-up-down over the horizon of the gabled rooftops that are so iconic to Amsterdam. The moon was shining on the rooftops, and I could make out a few stars. The swinging gave me that swoopy feeling that you get in your belly, the same feeling as when a plane takes off or lands, and my mood lifted a bit.
I got a funny text from the friend that was busy, prompting me to reply with a text stating “I smell a blow job coming” which made me laugh and laugh (I was not the soon-to-be blow job giver, just to be clear) and after that it was hard to keep such a heavy mood. The music responded accordingly, and slightly more uplifting songs came on. (Thank you, iPod.)
At one a.m. I was still swinging, despite my toes being numb from the cold and my fingers wrapped in frozen fists around the metal chains. I had found the drug that I was after, and I didn’t want to lose that uplifting, soaring feeling.
It took a lot of effort, but I eventually pulled myself off of the swingset and resumed my walk. I came across a drunk Polish man laying on the sidewalk on the Keizersgracht, but that’s a story for another time. By 2 a.m I was back home, and feeling much better.
Last night I slept restlessly, in that floating space between deep sleep and wide awake. This happens often when I have to be up early to be at work at seven thirty in the a.m. My mind won’t let me sleep soundly for fear of oversleeping the next morning. Then the whole day today I felt that extreme tired where your eyeballs hurt as if they have been raked over and your nerves are paper thin and the hours can’t pass by fast enough while the work piles up. We’ve all been there.
After a day like this I would normally come home and crash into bed again, but today I fought it with all I had. I didn’t want bed, I wanted something else. Anything else, anything that would stave off the tiredness and stretch the day out longer.
It helped that I had three cups of coffee in my belly by then and the day was sunny and brisk. I put out a call to arms on facebook for company to go have drinks on a terrace somewhere. No one took my bait. Either no one I know in Amsterdam is the least bit spontaneous, or I waited too late to invite the world to have a drink with me.
In the end I found unexpected company and headed out to a bar that I haven’t frequented since those late nights in about the summer of 2006, when I had nowhere to be in the mornings and no fear of hangovers just yet. I miss this bar- the music is good, the ambiance perfect. It was good to be back.
The company I was with was also nostalgic of those very same times, back when things were a little less confusing and everything sparkled a bit brighter. Back when I didn’t know what unexpected turns were coming my way. The conversation flowed easily over a few drinks, and then over dinner and cocktails nearby, and then back to the same haunt because I had forgotten my phone on my seat and we thought we might as well have one for the road while we were there and the night was still young.
We laughed over stupid stories, talked openly about our days, and shared a comfort that is hard to find elsewhere. I even found myself writing down music recommendations on the back of a coaster, just like that night years ago when the thought of Amsterdam was so far away and the night was never not young and the rounds so endlessly flowing. I still have that first coaster saved somewhere, although on the walk home tonight I lost this one.
I remarked that I still had the urge to have a cigarette, and so on the way out he handed me one, and I walked him to his bike. The cigarette felt strange in my hand, funny that something so small and light could feel so foreign and heavy. It wasn’t until we parted ways smiling that I really allowed myself to focus on the cigarette, and I took a deeper drag.
It was a little shocking to me that the first thing that it reminded me of was being 8 years old in the third grade, when myself and two friends of mine would smoke half-gone cigarettes that we would pick off of the ground or from our parents’ ashtrays. We called them ‘doegywows’. I won’t explain how to pronouce that, nor do I remember where the name came from, but it was our code word for cigarettes, and for about a month we fancied ourselves smokers until the trivialities of being 8 years old distracted us and we “quit”.
Halfway home I found myself laughing at the memories, and how a mundane Monday had turned into something much more interesting and unexpected. I also found myself feeling ultra silly over this farce of me smoking. I decided to stub it out, but when I did I realized that I had smoked the whole thing anyway.
Wake at 6 am, get ready, walk the dogs. Leave at 7 am, marvelling at the warm spring air on the cycle into work.
Get into work at 7:15 am, feeling fresh as a daisy and ready to conquer the day.
This is where things get a little hazy…
Phone Call. Check out. Check out. Reservation. Phone Call. Problem to fix. Problem to fix. Reservation. Check out.
Can I ask you a question? Do you have a map? Where is the Van Gogh museum? How much does it cost? What time does it open? Is it open on Sundays? Where is the modern art museum? How do I take the bus to Central Station from here? No the bus. No the bus. Oh, there is no bus? OK then the tram.
Check out. Check out. Reservation. Phone Call.
Go to make a cup of tea. Whoops no wait- phone call!
Go to make a cup of tea. Whoops no wait- phone call!
Go to make a cup of tea. Whoops no wait- phone call!
Make the fucking cup of tea.
Phone call. Phone call. Phone call. Check out. Reservation. Problem to fix.
Deal with the extremely ripe-smelling homeless man who wants to use the phone. Twice.
Scowl at the young kids who screamed into the open hotel front door because they think it’s funny.
Can you print this boarding pass? Can I leave my luggage here? Can I leave my luggage here until my flight? I don’t leave until 6 tonight, is there some place I can leave my luggage until then? How do I get on the internet on this computer? Can you print this for me? Where is the Rijksmuseum?
Phone call. Phone call. Phone call.
Can you make me dinner reservations here? And cancel my reservations there? How is this restaurant? How is that restaurant? OK nevermind, make me reservations for 2 tonight here, cancel those reservations, and if the first place is full make my reservation for here.
Deal with the crying Spanish lady who is claustrophobic and doesn’t want a small room and yet booked a small room. As she speaks no English, do this entirely through the use of Yahoo Babel Fish online translator. Which is quick and efficient, as well as grammatically correct!
Her, typing Spanish to English, with gritted teeth: “I don’t request in tiny basement room for because I am sickness!”
Me, typing English to Spanish, with gritted teeth: “This is problem with travel agent, not hotel. You pay 20 euro addition in larger room to place.”
Her, typing: “I no pay.”
Me, typing: “You must to small room remain finally.”
Phone call. Check in. Phone call. Phone call.
Three hours later I finally finish that cup of tea.
Check in. Check in. Check in.
Can I have a larger room? Is there another room I can move to? Can I have a higher room? Can you please change me to a room with two beds? Can I get a room away from the street? Can I get a room that faces the street?
Check in. Can I have a larger room?
Finally the next person on duty comes. Feel so relieved. Nearly grab her face and french kiss her. After a few more issues run out of the door, not daring to look back in case the phone rings again. Feel an incredible sense of relief on the cycle home and feel jaw unclenching.
Find a homeless man curled up at the top of the front stairs. Tiptoe over him, sssssshh don’t wake him!, and quietly unlock the front door.
He was absolutely genius, always a showstopper, always fantastic pieces of art, plenty of theatrics. Which is what the runway should be about. Not YET ANOTHER GREY PIECE OF SILK OFFICE WEAR (I’m talking to you Donna Karan).
Excuse me while I stream of conscious all over you for a minute. It’s just past 3 am and I’ve been trying to sleep for hours because I had to be up- sorry HAVE to be up- at 6 am this morning. After 5 hours of trying every trick in my insomnia book (those sheep ain’t countin’ themselves you know), I just thought I’d better cut my losses and give up on the sleep thing for tonight.
This wasn’t an easy decision to come to; Amanda without sleep is like a zombie without brains. I just know I’ll stagger around all day bleary-eyed and moaning (maybe not “BRRRAAAIIINNNSSS” but more like “CCCOOOFFFFFEEEEEEE”), but what can you do. If I had gotten to sleep for just 3 hours, it would be more like a tease than anything. Like, the tiniest taste of what wonderful sleep you could have if you had just fallen asleep FIVE HOURS AGO. Like, here’s one lick instead of a whole blow job- thanks for stopping by!
After 3 hours sleep I’d wake up still tired, so why not blog instead?
3 am is a perfect time to let the crazy out!
Which brings me to the point of this blog post. Yes, there is a point. Surprisingly.
Are you living? Do you live? Do you feel? I mean really, really feel? Have you explored all the emotions that your body is capable of….um….emoting?
I’ve been giving this some thought lately. I’ve had the misfortunate fortune of experiencing some unsettling emotions of late, and also the fantastic experience of having some of those really good conversations with friends that get the mind-wheels turning. And this is the conclusion that I’ve come to.
(am coming to)
(don’t worry I’ll get there eventually)
There are a lot of locked doors within the human psyche. I have a strong feeling, although I hope this isn’t the case, that many people can sail through their lives without ever opening most of these doors. Which is fine and all, if that’s your thing. To play it safe. To make happiness your one goal. To tread lightly and not step on toes.
Having had one of these doors of mine unceremoniously opened for me, and living through the shitstorm that followed, has opened my eyes. I had emotions that I never knew I was capable of having. I drowned in these emotions, came up choking for air, and sank again. And again.
And now that black period for me is, for the most part, past. As all things eventually do.
On the other end of the spectrum, because this isn’t just about sadness, I have experienced exhilirating times of soaring emotions. Extreme happiness so that I thought my heart wouldn’t be able to take it. Happiness that made me cry, made my throat close and my heart thump. Sometimes this happiness happened during the above mentioned times of extreme sadness, to make things extra confusing.
There have also been times of absolutely shit-stinking, mind-numbing boredom so that I’ve wanted to grab my ears and pull them off the sides of my head. Wanted to scream, smash a window, kick a door in. Anything to rid the tedium, anything to entertain me from the exhausting work of being bored beyond belief.
I have spoken with friends who have been deep, deep into depressions, and some into psychosis, and some into their own personal versions of hell, I’m sure everyone has at least one. All of which fascinates me. These are all doors that they have opened that many of us never will.
So, the point I am trying to get to (long-winded as though it may be) is…..are you feeling? Have you explored every corner of that pandora’s box of emotions hiding away within you? Have you ever been so low that you gave up, threw in the towel, and just had to fucking laugh at the idiocy of everything and everyone because there is literally nothing else to do? Have you screamed? Really, truly screamed until your neck muscles bulge and your face turns red? Have you had your heart torn out and stamped upon? Have you laughed so much you felt sick to your stomach? Have you loved more people than you should at the same time, and let those emotions fuck with your daily routine? Have you lost it, in any way that you can “lose it”? Have you ever been so shit scared that you feel that flash of cold over your entire body all at once? Have you (like me) ever wanted to pull your own ears off just because?
I am gaining a new respect for those people who have climbed to the highest heights of happiness that they can reach, or dove to the lowest depths of whatever version of hell they may have been to, and are still alive. Can still laugh about it. Those who raise a little hell, or cause a little ruckus, all because it’s more fun and more funny than sitting quietly and obeying the rules.
Because right now I can’t see that there is very much more to life than what’s inside us, waiting to be unleashed (if only we let it). We are born with this veritable treasure trove of emotions, and when we die, can we really say we’ve experienced them all?
I think most people spend their whole lives avoiding certain emotions, scared that these things will ever surface in their lives. They work to keep these doors closed at all times, the keys hidden far away where no one can find them.
I say bring it on. Bring it all on. Open all of the fucking doors. I can take it. I want it. I don’t want to tread lightly. I want to stomp.
I promised this story a while ago, and since I’m coming up a bit empty-handed for blog posts these days, I suppose now is as good a time as ever.
I worked at The Wild Geese Irish pub in Brussels two times during the five years that I lived in the city. Once was back in 2002 when he was my boss. The other time was in 2005 after a 6 month period of unemployment where I was climbing the walls of my apartment and wandering the streets of Brussels every day, completely at a loss as to what to do with myself, how to fill the long hours of every day.
I happened to be at the pub having a drink one day when I asked one of the girls that I knew there if there were any jobs going. She said no, but a few days later I got a call from the manager. It turns out they did need people, and quite badly, so I was back working at the pub the next week.
As much as I dislike bar work, I have to admit that it can be quite fun at times, especially when you close for the night and have a few drinks at the empty bar, throwing around stories of the assholes that you served that night, or the funny things that happened during the day. I had only been back working for about a month when I worked a busy Friday night shift and we finally closed the bar at 3 am. After cleaning up, we were settling down for our after-work drink by 4 am and the stories were flowing. There were five of us in total, and after one drink, the other girl went home. The assistant manager let her out of the side door, and came back to his seat, so it was just me with the three fellas.
We were just enjoying an after work drink when suddenly...
Now, as is always the case, hindsight is 20/20. After the events of that night, I was able to look back and think, “Yes, it was odd that I saw 4 men dressed in black passing the bar at about 3:30 am in a very non-residential area of Brussels,” but at the time I thought nothing of it, didn’t realize that what I was seeing were 4 robbers “casing the joint”- the joint that I happened to be in, merrily drinking away the night’s hard work.
And again in hindsight, the assistant manager should have locked the door after he let the one girl out. He really kicked himself for this afterwards, but we couldn’t have predicted that any of this would happen. And those guys were outside anyway, just waiting for the opportune moment, so when they saw that the door was left unlocked, they grabbed their chance.
We were just turning back to our drinks again when the door flew open and four men ran in, dressed totally in black, with ski masks, black gloves, and guns. Black shiny guns that they were waving around.
Did I mention that they had guns?
First thought: haha! What a laugh. But who do we know would pull a joke like this?
Second thought: Oh. Crap.
"On the floor! Now!"
So that’s how the four of us ended up facedown on the ground, each with a gun to our head. The robbers were yelling and yelling in French, and I have to tell you, after five years of living in Brussels and struggling with French on a good day, my language skills were never so sparkling as when I had a gun pointed at me.
WHO IS THE MANAGER? WHERE IS THE BOSS?
He’s not here. He wasn’t working tonight.
WHERE IS THE SAFE?
WHERE IS THE MONEY?
In the safe.
WHERE IS YOUR ATM CARD?
In my bag. (Here my bag was thrown down in front of me, the contents strewn about and my wallet taken out. He flipped through the cards, asking which one was my debit card, and pulled out an expired card.)
WHAT’S YOUR PIN CODE?
That card is expired. (So helpful of me! Just because you’re being robbed doesn’t mean you should forget your manners.)
I saw the right card in my wallet, and willed it to somehow hide itself. Stupid card didn’t listen, so he eventually found it and pulled it out, waving it in front of my face.
WHAT’S YOUR PIN CODE?
I gave him my number. I was fully aware that there was an ATM machine across the street, so they would probably go use the cards, and by lying about my number I would get caught out.
WE WILL KNOW IF YOU ARE LYING!
I know, but I promise that’s the number. It’s my mother’s birthday.
THIS WILL ALL BE OVER SOON.
Thinking: What the fuck does THAT mean?!?! Over soon how?
Anyway, while this was going on with me, the three guys I worked with were also being robbed of their personal belongings- mainly money, cards, and phones. Then they took the assistant manager upstairs to get him to open the safe (he played stupid and didn’t open it, although they roughed him up a bit). Then they told us to get up, marched us back to the kitchen, and had us lay facedown on the floor back there. Then one went to steal money from our cards at the ATM machine across the street while the others stood guard, telling us over and over again that it would be over soon.
Oh no, not the kitchen. I've seen this bit in the movies...
During this whole thing, my mind kept swaying between two basic thoughts. The first was: “ohshit-ohshit-ohshit-crap-crap-crap” and was accompanied by visions of the flash of gunfire, and wondering when that was coming, and how it would feel. I was bracing myself for it.
The other more dominating and rational thought was something along the lines of: “They won’t shoot. It would make too much noise, and they want to get away as quietly as possible. And besides there is no reason to shoot us. They’ll just take what they want and be gone.”
But I have to admit that when they marched us back to the kitchen I couldn’t help but think of all of those stories that I heard growing up where workers in bars and restaurants were robbed, then brought back to the kitchen and shot execution-style. I had a flash that this was a bad, bad sign, but then the rational side of my brain would remind me that there was no reason to hurt us, no reason to shoot.
Moments later another voice was above me, yelling at the back of my head:
YOU WERE LYING! WHAT’S YOUR PIN CODE?
I wasn’t lying. That’s my pin code, I swear.
DON’T LIE TO ME!
I promise, that’s the number!
The Jersey girl in me got a little indignant here, I have to admit. Pfffff. Calling me a liar when he’s pointing a gun at my head? That’s a laugh.
I think because they were in a rush to get out as soon as possible they didn’t press the issue much further. I remembered later that I had in fact given the wrong number to my debit card, having just gotten a new card recently. So they didn’t get money from my card, but they did take my phone and €300 that was in my bag for my rent. But it was sheer stupidity and forgetfulness that saved what little money I had left in my bank account.
I have a feeling as well that because I was a girl I got a bit of an easier time than the three guys, who were hit and kicked about a bit, while I was just nudged and pushed.
Anyway, they told us in the kitchen to wait for 10 minutes and then they disappeared. We all layed there in a row, quiet as church mice for about a minute until the assistant manager looked back at me. I flashed him the biggest cheesiest smile I could muster with two thumbs up signs, laying on my belly on the nasty kitchen floor, and the two of us burst out laughing.
That’s when we got up and called the police.
The police came and the manager of the pub came around. After giving our reports and seeing the police off, the manager gave us a few hundred euros to go into town and have a few drinks to unwind. He felt really bad that we had just been through this ordeal, but besides a bit of shellshock we were overall in good spirits, more in disbelief of the whole situation than anything else. One guy, however, was a bit more shaken up and decided to go home instead.
So we went into town but it was too late for any bars to still be open, so we bought cans of beer and sat on a bench in the city center, asking if this really just happened to us, and going over the finer details to compare what each of us had gone through. Then we headed back to the assistant manager’s house and hashed it out some more. It all felt so surreal and incredulous, something that happened in movies, not in real life. So we just drank and laughed and marvelled over how imposible it all seemed, bonding over this thing that we had just been through until the sun came up the next morning.
Our laughter made me feel strong. I felt like a survivor, but I knew I didn’t quite deserve that title. It had been an ordeal, but I was more fascinated by it than frightened. My rationale had kept any panic at bay, and for the most part- except for a few tense moments- I knew that we would come out unscathed when it was all over. It was only hours later, after several cans of beer, when I arrived home in the morning, that I broke down and cried.
You always think about how you would react in certain situations, and I can assure you that whatever you think you would do, you never actually get around to doing. The shock is too sudden, your mind clicks off, and you kind of just numbly react.
Anyway, I did walk away from the situation with a bit more awareness. Any job I’ve had since you can be damn sure I’ve checked the locks on the doors twice at closing, and kept my head about me when leaving the place at night.
I can now chalk it down to one of life’s more interesting experiences that I have had. And it may seem kind of odd, but for that I’m actually somewhat grateful.
This movie, about international love and a faltering relationship, is just brilliant. This scene in particular was freakishly on the mark.
I confessed the toughest thing for me was to decide to be with someone for good -the idea that this is the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life with. To decide that I will make the effort to work things out and not run off the minute there is a problem, is very difficult for me. I told him I could not be for just one man for the rest of my life.
It was a lie, but I said it anyway.
He asked me if I thought I was a squirrel, collecting men like nuts to put away for cold winters. I thought it was quite funny.
Then he said something that hurt my feelings. The tone changed drastically. Then I misunderstood him. I thought he meant he didn’t love me any more and wanted to break up with me.
It always fascinates me how people go from loving you madly, to nothing at all. Nothing. It hurts so much. When I feel someone will leave me I have a tendency to break up first before I get to hear the whole thing.
Here it is. One more, one less, another wasted love story.
I really loved this one.
When I think that it’s over, that I’ll never see him again… Well, I’ll bump into him, we’ll meet our new boyfriend and girlfriend, act as if we had never been together. Then we’ll slowly think of each other less and less, until we forget each other completely.
Always the same for me – break up, break down. Drink up, fool around, meet one guy, then another, fuck around to forget the one and only. Then after a few months of emptiness, start again to look for true love. Desperately look everywhere and, after two years of loneliness, meet a new love and swear it is the one, until that one is gone as well.
There’s a moment in life where you can’t recover any more from another break-up. And even if this person bugs you 60% of the time, you still can’t live without him. And even if he wakes you up every day by sneezing right in your face, well, you love his sneezes more than anyone else’s kisses.
He asked if I had cried, and I told him no, that this was too long drawn out and I was too tired. It was only afterwards that the emotions actually hit me and I did cry. I sobbed. My mouth gaped open and my eyes squinted shut and I heaved sobs for that life that I would never have, like a baby cries when you take away his pacifier.
First you have it, it’s in your grasp….and then you don’t.
I cried because I had officially closed that door, and I still didn’t know if that was the right decision to make.
So my contract was up for review at Lush, and for a myriad of reasons (this being just one of them) they have decided not to extend my contract.
Huh? Wha-? Was I just fired?
I took it like a big girl, smiled and shrugged and said “Well, if I’m not right for the job then there’s nothing to be done about it!” and tried to make my boss feel better for having to be in the difficult position to let me go.
And then I walked out of the store with my shoulders back and my head held high, went to a cafe, ordered a coffee and started to cry. Just feeling a little bit sorry for myself, no big deal. Drip-drip-drip. ….Drip.
You’d think that the first thing I would google would be “jobs in Amsterdam”- that I’d be smart enough to start looking for another line of work.
The first thing I thought of was “Get the hell out of here for awhile” and so I googled “shortstay apartments in Paris”.
Because when the going gets tough, Amanda just simply gets going. Ciao! Au revoir! See you in a week!
It’s always my first instinct when things get me down. “OK no big deal I’ll just go to (fill in the blank).”
Paris, you’re the lucky one this time. You and I have a date!
….or maybe not. After all, spending money on a trip right now with no foreseeable future income isn’t exactly the wisest idea….
I have several ideas for upcoming blog posts that are as light and stupid as my usual posts are, but something happened last night that has sort of thrown me through a loop and so I’d just like to take a minute to hash this out, and then I’ll return to my normally scheduled light-hearted programming….
I was fine all day despite a long hospital visit (I was not the patient) and the fact that the dog ate some Lush products and spent a good few hours looking drugged out on Aqua Mirabilis and puking all over the house. (Side Note: As long as you’re not planning to eat Aqua Mirabilis like my dipshit of a dog, it’s actually a loooovely product and you should totally try it!) On top of this it is that time of the month for me, so over all it was just an UGH day in general. But I wasn’t exceptionally upset or sad or mad yesterday. I was just on auto-pilot, I suppose, somewhat emotion-less.
And then at night in bed I started to think about things. And I mean EVERYTHING: The apartment, the dogs, my relationships, my jobs, the amount of bath and beauty products in my bathroom, my bike, my finances, friends that I haven’t seen in ages, friends that I have seen lately, family near and far (it was my father’s birthday yesterday and I couldn’t find his phone number in all of the paper clutter which meant it was the second year in a row that I wasn’t able to call him on his birthday, and just over 2 years since I have spoken to him), the Dutch language, my workout routine, my hair, my nails, thinking about where I am and where I should be in life – literally every aspect of my life was flashing through my head, and it all just seemed so DIRE.
I started to cry, and it just went on and on and on. And not body-wracking, shuddering sobs (although I have been known to break out that party trick on occassion). Just a quiet drip-drip-drip that I couldn’t quite turn off.
I tried really hard to pinpoint what was happening. Was this just PMS? Was it because my birthday is in less than a week and I was afraid of another 4-month funk (another year older, nothing to show, etc)? Is this anxiety just a normal feeling in a recession? Maybe all of the above.
But then I hit on a phrase: Loss of Control.
I feel like no aspect of my life right now is firmly in my grasp. I feel like I am sinking beneath obligations and responsibilities and actual physical STUFF (clutter makes me claustrophobic). I have no control right now. I feel like life is running away with me….or is it running away without me?
I so desperately need to get my shit together, or I need a massive change, or I need……something.
Does anyone else get like this? Is there something that triggers it for you?
I wiki’d anxiety (because that’s what you do in 2009 when you have a problem, isn’t it?) and found this:
“Feelings of apprehension or dread (check!), trouble concentrating (check!), feeling tense or jumpy (check!), anticipating the worst (check!), irritability (check!), restlessness (check!), watching (and waiting) for signs (and occurrences) of danger, and, feeling like your mind’s gone blank. There’s also nightmares/bad dreams (check!), obsessions about sensations, deja vu, a trapped in your mind feeling, and feeling like everything is scary (check!).”
It sounds fun because it is!
At some point I fell asleep and I am feeling a bit better today, but that tightness in my throat is still there. I need to figure some things out, so if anyone has any tips or suggestions, please feel free!
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In other less dire news, we are having a small expat blogger meetup on Friday the 4th of September at 8 pm in Cafe Gollum! So far it’s John, Angela, Emmy and myself, but more are most certainly welcome! So if you happen to be an expat blogger and are reading this and are free on Friday, come around!
I can just imagine someone reading the top part of this post and then the bottom and thinking “Yeah….no way I’m having drinks with a depressed narcissistic blogger who only posts about her dogs.” but I promise I won’t be all doom and gloom!
Don’t let this blog post scare you- I’m actually quite a positive person!