Anxiety

I can’t hold on to a single thought. There’s lots of them, they’re swirling, and they’re frightening, but I can’t see a single one of them clearly, and every attempt to grasp onto one and examine it for what it is, is as futile as my attempts to keep hold of this exact moment, to stop and and understand.

My composure is fleeting fast, and I’m making mistakes, because I can’t even think, because it’s all too much, because my heart is beating faster, and I feel that at one moment the pounding in my chest will reach it’s crescendo and follow up with a sudden STOP.

I’m gagged by some invisible object, that fills my mouth, preventing a breath.

This frightening moment, might be my last, and I don’t want to go – I’m normally well expressed, existentially understanding and stoically together but it’s just – CAN EVERYTHING STAY STILL FOR ONE MOMENT? This is ALL TOO MUCH to handle, just STOP AND LET ME THINK. But the next thought I cannot even fathom has already taken the place of this one, already I can’t-

Just a minute!? You need to listen to me, I’m telling you to listen to me, you need to stop and give me a breather, just for a moment! I’m telling you to, and you’re me, my mind, so you have to listen! Just stop! I tell YOU WHAT TO DO!

It’s NOT stopping.

I’m NOT stopping. I’m not listening. Why am I not listening to myself? I AM IN CONTROL. IF I CAN STOP THIS, WHY ISN’T IT STOPPING, I WANT IT TO STOP.

It DOESN’T STOP. I won’t ever get a break, unless my heart gives out which it might this exact second, and I don’t want my last moment to be this one, to be like this. I don’t want to be scared, and to be flustered, and to have faltering breath at my last moment. I want my partner, and my mother, to be with me, and for my thoughts to be of precious times, but instead I’m afraid, and lying on the floor, clutching at my own legs.

My heart is beating out of rhythm with my chest. It beats too fast, it fights against my expanding lungs and halts their expanse, and I can’t even get a full breath to calm myself down, which is what they tell you to do, so what if I’ve messed it up, and I can’t recover, and I’m about to die. I’m dying.

This has to be it – my heart is going to explode, or my brain is going to cease, simply because the pressure within it, has become too much. Perhaps a vessel will burst, and I will feel my life drain away, as red drips from my eyes.

I can’t even breath, I can’t even recover, this is it – JUST STOP. STOP. It’s too much! IT DOESN’T EVER… STOP. THIS MOMENT IS MY LIFE, AND IT WILL BE MY LAST MOMENT, BECAUSE THIS DOESN’T… EVER… STOP.

But it does stop, doesn’t it? Eventually after some time, the moment has passed and some semblance of control returns, although exactly when its snares released their entrapment, is unbeknownst to you. All you know now, is that you can stand.

And although your heart is still beating fast, it is slightly over now – and all that remains is residual guilt, plastered across your insides. You feel so foolish, for having lost. So stupid, for not even being able to control your own brain. Your entire body is distraught, and in need of support. All of that, just to lose to yourself.

But you haven’t lost. You have confused losing the battle, with having fought it. You’re body is tired, and your mind is frazzled – but the fact the moment has subsided, means that you are victorious. It has simply taken its toll upon you.

As with any battle, there are casualties to account for, and time is required to reassemble your forces. And so you may not feel as though it is over, when it fact it is. You’re simply in a process of triage, which is the start on the road to recovery. Your strength will return, in numbers, if only you give it time.

You are worth more, than how anxiety make you feel. You are winning, and while you are afraid in those moments, IT is afraid for ALL of the rest of the time where you are in control. You are merely throwing it a bone, by giving it some moments now and then. Do not feel guilty that they may return, unfortunately the same conclusions that you came to, that allowed you to beat it this time, may not work next time – but that does not mean, it will not leave.

You are okay. Remember this. You are okay, and everything, no matter what comes, will be okay. You will deal with it and conquer it, even if in the midst of the play by play of the fight, you are afraid, you will emerge victorious. You are okay.

And on those days when you are not okay, remember – that is okay too.

Definition – A study of “Now”

It would be a presumptuous yet fair statement, to say that we all have a preconceived notion of what we want from our time in this life that we perceive as ours. An idea of what it would take for us to reach the plenum of existence, and consider ourselves “fulfilled”.

And yet, if you were to stop for a moment; put a pause of your life as best you could, and write a list of exactly what it is that you want from your time on this Earth, and make a conviction and a promise not to change that, you would run into two distinct problems.

One: while it is perfectly easy to suggest you pause your life, you obviously and unfortunately cannot. If you were to take your time and write this list, with the intention of completing it in totality and never changing it, you would encounter a problem based on an assumption you would have had to have made, in order to even begin writing the list. The assumption would have been that you, unlike everything else in the universe; are static. An assumption that while your body grows old and tires, YOU are always YOU.

When in reality, YOU are changing all the time. You are not some steadfast rock grounded into foundation which a river works around, rather you are part of its water. It just becomes difficult to define the water part, in the same way you can point to the whole river and say “water”, or pick out a single molecule and say “this too is water”.

It’s a result of a struggle to separate the “I” of the mind and the “I” of the body. Assuming they are not one thing, because one part thinks, and the other part is physical matter. We forget the physical matter provides the means by which the conscious thinks, and can therefore perceive the physical part.

The two are cyclical; perfectly chicken and egg. And the two are changing at every second of the day as you flow from one moment to the next. A great example of how ever fluctuating both your mind and body are; is you may have a memory of a time you were brave, and so you could define yourself as courageous – that you put your body in harms way to save another in some form. And yet, you will probably also remember a time when you were cowardly. When you stood and watched a bully, rather than intervene, for fear of reprocusion. So are you brave, or are you cowardly?

Or were you simply brave in one moment, and cowardly in another?

But while you think of that; you will come to:

The second of the two problems: you can write down the words, “I want to be happy” or “I want to have wealth”; but you must remember that these are just words, not the feeling as they are themselves.

That is to say, that to physically say the words, “I am happy.” is not the same as being happy itself. Being happy is an indescribable feeling, because once you are in a moment of happiness, you’re not thinking about how happy you are; you just are. Like all else, it’s like a flow. You lose track of time, and you simply are the experience you are living, and it’s one which through one way or another evokes happiness. If you are to stop and think “why am I happy?” or “how happy am I?” you have begun to detract from the experience, and may actually think “how could I be more happy?” which decreases the intensity of the experience further so that actually you can’t describe your feeling of happiness just now, because you’ve lost yourself trying to define it, and by comparing it to future or further happiness it’s now not as happy as you imagine you could be.

So you’re defining nothing.

In the same way you could say you “want wealth” and in one moment mean “money” and in the next mean “purpose.”

In summary; what this effectively means, is a “You” which is no longer “You”, is defining an experience of say, “Happiness” which you cannot define, because the “Happiness” you are trying to define has passed to the variation of “You” than you were, and the “You” that you are now because you spent the time to define it.

Classification and definition are traits of the intelligent entity; perhaps experience is the trait of the wise entity.

To live the moment; is better than to define it, for in defining it, you surrender it.

And while you could define a moment, retroactively, this is defining a memory of a moment, and not the moment itself. So it is subject to infinite complications and inaccuracies.

Definition enables comparison. Rather than experiencing temperature, you are now experiencing hot or cold, or hotter or colder. This applies to happiness and sadness.

Rather, live in the moment as it is. Do not fear it or long for changing of circumstances, simply bask in what is. And while you can choose to define, at least understand what you are doing to the moment by categorising it. Take the moment as it comes, as it is in its purest form. Do not long for more or less of it, or a greater or lesser intensity of it. Simply; be.

Regardless of what you do; I hope the moment you find yourself in now, is a happy one. Just try not to think about it.

 

Stop The Possibility Of Future Happiness, Determining Whether You Are Happy Now

Happiness, as everything else in life, is fleeting. It is temporary. This is not scary, or negative. It’s a fact. You hurt yourself, you are in pain, then it goes away. You run, you are tired, and then it goes away. You are enraged, you are all consumed by some startling revelation… And then eventually it does subside. You’re sleepy, you go to sleep, and so on and so forth. It’s all temporary, regardless of whether it’s a minute, an hour, a day, a week, or years at a time. It is temporary.

The problem with that, is we must accept that we have to let go of the moment. That time, that feeling, or that possession we felt belonged to us. At some point, although it cannot be identified, we must let go of the current moment, for the sake of the next. And while we would like it to return again one day to a moment we enjoyed in some form of another – the sheer fact we cannot guarantee it brings about our anxiety, or our reluctance to truly let it go. It brings about a unique sadness, where we may not experience the moment, for fear of it not returning again one day. Similar to when you are sad while you’re on holiday, because you know you will be back home in a few days. This is silly. You’re allowing the sadness of not being on holiday, ruin your happiness while you’re actually on it. So now in both moments, you are not achieving your full potential, because you’re sad in the moment, about being sad in the future, about a moment where you were happy, where in fact now you are sad! Which is maddening, and confusing altogether.

If you were to wake up every morning, and consider that today may be your last day – you would drive yourself to the point of insanity, despite the fact that ultimately it is true; it COULD be your last day. To fear the content of the day for fear it is your final one, would be a very negative way to live.

It should not matter if you feel you have one more day to go, or twenty thousand more to go. Make that day count.

If you are to be sad that day, be sad. If you are to be happy that day, be happy. If you must when you are sad, remember that at some point you will be happy again. But to detract from some happy moment, because it may not last, is altogether not worth your time.

While it may be difficult to let go of the beauty as the sun sets, know; you will next have the stars to enjoy.

 

Mature

What would be the mature option?

To accept continuous burden in silence; to live with worry about the future, regret of past actions, and anxiety in the present.

OR

Talk about it.

Ironically, it’s so easy to chastise someone for thinking terrible things about themselves, and yet so easy to do it to oneself. If a friend were to exclaim that they’re ugly, you would be startled, almost offended, and reassure them otherwise. And yet, give yourself a mirror and time, and you’ll pick out every flaw about yourself until you’ve convinced yourself wholeheartedly of it.

What’s worse, is if you’ve convinced yourself of the theory that you’re ugly beforehand, you’ll twist and warp facts until you believe it so, and have evidence (however twisted) to prove it.

This applies to much more than appearance. This applies to money woes – where you could convince yourself you’ll be bankrupted and homeless, it could be about career and dream aspirations – and you’ll think you’re going nowhere, or it could even be about friends – and that you worry you have none, or that they don’t care.

There is nothing too big or too small, to be considered. It’s okay to not feel okay, today. It’s okay to have an off-day, and off-week, or an off-heck-of-a-lot-longer-than-that.

What’s not okay, is to accept the burden alone, indefinitely. We shelf small worries everyday, and as long as we then deal with them in the next hour or so it’s okay. But everything that’s negative to us, regardless of size, will damage us if left long enough. You cannot simply accept burdens all your life, and shoulder them alone, because you believe they are yours to bare. They are not.

You cannot somehow value yourself worthless, when in reality surely you must know that you are not, because no one is ever worth nothing. Especially not you. It doesn’t matter if you feel this worry or negativity is stupid to others. Or small. Or that you’ll be mocked. If it’s important to you, if it weighs on your mind, then do not hesitate to talk to others. Let them know. They can offer support, and you can beat it, or they will make you see more clearly how foolish you are being, and can dissipate your woes altogether.

Sharing a burden, halves it altogether immediately. And in sizeable chunks, it can be defeated.

You are important. Your worries and concerns are valued. Remember that if your thoughts are damaging your mental health in any way (and that includes just making you have a bad day) then you should tell others and the ones you care about and/or care about you, because they love you. Others want you to be well, even if you don’t feel like you’re worthy of it. It’s not fair, for others not to even know you’re not okay. So let them know. Share with them. They want to see you happy. You know who they are.

If you bare a burden that weighs heavily on your mind, regardless of how big or small it actually is;

Talk about it.

That would be the mature option.

Feminism; Equality Takes Two

It is a strange world we live in; where one could decide they would like all things to be equal, and yet not decide they believe in feminism. The core concept of feminism, being that in a primarily patriarchal society, it is about time that women were given the same rights as men, and not be subjected to petty rules based on a pre-defined gender at birth. Ultimately, it is about shaping the world so that women are not classed as second class citizens. It makes no sense, to pay a woman less, to require she work harder to achieve the same goals, or to assume she must perform “housework”, must put on make-up or go through additional “grooming”, or must perform “womanly duties” because she is a female.  It’s creating fictitious rules one must abide by, simply because of their sex. This is archaic, it’s misogynistic, and it needs to change.

In the defence of those who are not yet feminists (one must assume ignorance before maliciousness), it may be that they are indoctrinated by a male dominated media, who have managed to swindle the case of feminism so that it appears all supporters are radical. It’s a common technique, called minimalising. Where you make an issue seem small, and that only extremists could care about it. Of course with all causes there are radicals. But it is important to remember they are called as such because they differ from the norm. It is vitally important, that you do your research, and understand what feminism really means. It is important, that women are given equal opportunity in the field of journalism, professional journalism, so that they may steer the view-point. With more women in the field, in the positions of power and with the ability to make change, so too will this trickle down to the masses, who will be educated on the other side of the the debate.

Equal Work Opportunity

Now what must be understood, as a matter of physics, is that to start moving an object takes more energy than for it to continue moving. So while it is unfair, the task is upon the world to make an effort, to gain the momentum we need, to reach the place we should be as a society. And that requires the participation of all peoples. Or all genders and sexes.

And yet, what is problematic, is that some are falling into a trope of assuming you must be radical to be true to the cause. What’s more upsetting, is that some vocal speakers, believe that feminism requires misandry. As a male – I come across a common issue when trying to comment on feminist issues, to show support for it. I come across the issue, where I am immediately made to feel not welcome, or when I do enter a forum and read a horrific story a woman has went through, the top and most up voted comments are to the effect of “Typical man.” or “Of course it was a man who did that.”

And when you do try to comment with your own perspective, you are touted as not being eligible to have an opinion on the matter.

Some people are under the impression to be a feminist, you must be a female. This is categorically false – and remarkably short-sighted. This would be similar to saying you cannot believe black people are treated unequally because you are not black. Which would be a very stupid thing to say. If we could only comment on qualities we posses, then one could not believe disabled people require support; unless you are disabled, or that gay people deserve equal rights; unless you are gay.

Long story short; you are allowed an opinion on a matter, even if you are not the direct subject of it. To say “You aren’t X so you don’t have an opinion.” is moronic, and cowardly. We all fit into the society we are creating, which means we are all allowed our takes upon it.

To say, “Typical man” or “Of course you’re a man; you would act this way.” is the very definition of sexism. Do not fall into this trap. I understand, as a male, my struggles to enter the feminism debate does not equate in any way to the struggles of the brave women out there who have had to endure endless ridicule and denigration because of their sex – what I am saying – is that there should not be an additional barrier to being a feminist. Especially an invisible one.

Because the Male Sexists of the world will use it as ammunition. They will be given evidence, however false, that will allow them to spin stories, and tell lies about feminism. They will point to the one negative article surrounding feminism, and ignore the adjacent positive hundred. It’s very easy to convince large groups of people, when you show them a narrowed perspective. This in turn will slow the move towards feminism, which will in turn increase frustrations, which may lead to more misandry, which will in turn slow the transition more, and so on.typography-2730340

The fight for equality requires that we both participate. And while the rules of progress are still debated, please ensure you are moving towards the solution, and not simply creating a problem.

Lastly, if you are a man, and you believe this is a fight.  You believe this is a fight, where the women are stealing your power, they are stealing your advantage, they are stealing your ways and the traditions of how the patriarchy has operated for thousands of years, then understand this; this is a fight we must lose. 

We are on the side of the privileged – and in a world where we should all be given an equal opportunity, it is important then that we lose this advantage. You are not losing your opportunity – you are just ensuring others have it too. In the race of life, we must all start on the same line, as best we can. We cannot make education, opportunity, work, money, healthcare, safety, politeness, caring, kindness, or priority, different for one sex – and not the other.

This is unfair. Just because it has been the way, and the way for a long time, does not mean it must continue to be. You must not continue making a mistake, simply because you have committed so much time to it. This, is a honey pot.

As we move towards equality – a world where men, women, and children of all genders, ethnicity, and sexual orientations are allowed equal opportunity – we will move towards a world of peace, of understanding, and of a forgetting of past bitterness and unfairness. We do not have to be dystopian children; dystopian dreamers. We can have a future, and a beautiful one at that.

Be sure that in the future, when you look back upon your contributions; you see you fought for the winning side; the side of feminism.

 

 

Shorts: The Apple Tree

When the seed in your hand has come from an apple; it does not matter how much you wish for it to be an orange tree. Regardless of whether you pray, and request for it to change; when you plant it, and bide your time until it grows, it will always be an apple tree, and bare more apples to enjoy. It does not care for your desires, nor does it care how much you desperately would like to try something new. It is an apple tree. And it will be an apple tree. There is nothing you can do to influence that outcome.

Do not spend your time in vain, wishing, with thought and prayer, or with some kind heuristic botany. Instead, find your new solution. Allow that apple tree, to be the little apple tree it needs to be, as you pursue what it is you need. Do not spend a moment of thought, on sadness over what is essentially a desire for control, where this control is an illusion.

There is so much in life, that we fuss over because of a perceived control over it. And as humans, when we lose control of something it gives us great distress. It gives us anxiety, because we feel as though we no longer can predict or even understand the outcome of any given situation, which in turn gives us anxiety. A tension, which is a desire for more stable conditions.

But the truth is, that whether we like it or not, we have less control over larger things than we would like. We can love someone with all of our hearts, and give everything that we are to them; but that does not mean they will be kind in return, offer us any time, or reciprocate that love with us. We can train a lifetime for a given task, and manipulate our paths in the best way possible to achieve the goal when the time is right; but that does not mean there is not a chance we could be run over by a bus tomorrow. Equally there are those who will be greedy, do iniquitous and horrific things; and never be caught for it, and die thinking they got away with it.

Once you submit that control over anything but your thoughts and your actions is an illusion, the rest of the pieces of your life seem to fall into place. And you find that rather than fighting every wave in the sea, to get where you need to be; you simply adjust the sails.

 

Shorts: Disagree.

It is okay, to disagree.

It is okay to like someone, but have aspects of their life which do not cohere to aspects of yours.

Imagine a kaleidoscope, with a near infinite number of fragments, which with a single near infinitely small turn will change the outcome of the projection it gives. The chances that any two people land on the exact same image and their views align, becomes quantum; but that doesn’t mean they can’t both enjoy each others pretty patterns.

It can be a struggle, at times – usually because of an error in how one might perceive what it means to disagree. Disagreeing, does not mean you dislike the person whom you are disagreeing with, and vise versa it does not mean they have an aversion to you. It simply means both of your opinions do not align, at this one point in time. And as you know, your thoughts, loves, hates, passions, and ambitions change almost daily. Maybe a turn of the kaleidoscope in the future may bring you closer, or further away, anyway. But for now they do not work out. It is not so severe an obstacle to friendship or more than you might believe it to be.

You’ll find that it would be an awfully lonely world to be friends with someone only like you. For you are unique; in many ways you may not fully realise.

What’s more – is that if you in any way respect yourself, you will understand that with while perfection is an unattainable goal, you should still be striving to improve yourself. Always. And if you believe you can achieve this, without learning – you are undoubtedly still a fool. You may not always be – but for now if you believe you can improve without lessons taught, without experiment, and without others, then you are losing out on life. You’re doing yourself a great injustice.

Equally, to disagree with a loved one, ultimately is to show them respect. You respect them enough to say, “I’m not agreeing with you, just so you stop talking. I disagree with you because I think you could make a better decision in this moment. You could think better thoughts, and if not, and I could be better, I want you to teach me.”

So… disagree. Surround yourself with people who agree with you in your entirety, or that you believe yourself to be “better” than, then you will remain stagnant, and utterly extremist. If there is only one “truth” being spoke around you, you will believe it to be so.

Regardless, let me know your opinions. Disagree with me. I’ll love you anyway.

Shorts: You Don’t Have To Be Diamond, Everyday

Diamonds are the hardest substance on Earth. They’re considered the magnum opus of mineral. Their integrity is strong, and their beauty is astonishing. A sight to behold, and a desire to be. But this; you know.

For a lot of us, we use this as an example, as a standard in which to conduct ourselves. In fact those who strive to be good, to do their best have probably at one point of another considered, or assigned themselves the mantra:

“Diamonds are formed under pressure.”

Which makes sense. The strong are only formed through adversity. Arguably anything is only shaped through adversity. If you already fit the mould, you probably aren’t going to change. We keep life long friends who have helped us through tough times, whereas friends we see only in celebration, come and go as fleeting as those times of jest.

However, there is something easily overlooked, or perhaps misunderstood with our comparison to the gem in question. Diamonds may be formed under pressure… but being the hardest substance on Earth, does not make it indestructible.

Jewellers still shape diamonds into pretty cuts. A sharp knock in the right weak spot, and they will break, and shatter into tiny little shards of un-salvageable. Expensive dust, on the floor.

And while fragmented diamond can be replaced; you cannot. Snowflakes will repeat their patterns, long before a you that is not you will be found.

So take care of yourself.

You should strive to be good. Aspire to be great. But remember to take sixty minutes. Everyday that is. At least. Have a bath, or a cup of tea. Listen to music, read a book, or watch a “nothing” TV show. Let nothing distract you. Do not feel guilt, do not think of what needs to be done. Think only of you, for sixty minutes.

And if that which you are striving for, is ultimately unattainable. Forgive yourself. Allow yourself a mistake or two. Allow yourself a mistake or two, regularly.

Not everything you do, has to succeed. Not everything you do has to be flawless. Not everything you do has to be great. Not every word must be well placed, not every syllable well said, and not every emotion entirely due.

Not everything you do has to be completed, and finished, and perfect.

There is no rule; there is no contract you’ve signed your name on to to say you can’t just stop whatever you’re doing, right in the mid-

Shorts: Mother’s Day(s)

According to the dictionary, to mother, is to;

  1. bring up (a child) with care and affection.
    “the art of mothering”

And so apt a definition it is. It’s an art, because it’s beautiful. It’s wonderful. It’s hidden in plain site, and often it’s significance forgotten. If you’re looking for a definition of kindness, or a reason to continue believing in this world in a time of tempest and uncertainty, motherhood should be your guide.

Your mother has held you in the cold, with cotton wrapped around your infant body. She has held you against her, when tears have streamed down your face at matters trivial or otherwise. Your mother has taught you; inspired you; in ways more than one. She has clothed you, paid your debts, and listened to what makes you unique as an individual. She’s cared about it, and listened for countless hours, for the stories you tell her, she will surely tell to anyone who will listen, including strangers, in moments of pride.

She does all this from the moment you are born, knowing you will one day lie to her. Knowing you will one day upset her, move on to other things without her, and act selfishly towards her. You’ll put your feelings first, you’ll reject her advice, and you’ll forget in the moment, all that she has done.

And yet still, unwavering, she will be waiting with forgiving arms. She will not remind you that she told you better, she will not put you down, but raise you up, and she will not ask for favour in return. But only love.

I cannot think, of a kindness, grander, than a mother’s. The act once itself, is so gorgeous one could write a poem. But more astonishing, is rather the constancy of the act.

To all mother’s out there, thank you. For birthing and raising every one of us, since the dawn of human kind. Thank you for your unimaginable kindness, for so many years. So grand a span of time, to consistently be kind. Thank you for listening to us, seeing who we truly are, caring for us, and sharing yourself with us, so that we may learn, and grow.

And to my own mother, thank you. Words sadly fail me, for I cannot describe how wonderful you are. How inspiring you are, every day of my life. How decisions I make, and thoughts I have, are done with you in mind. You’re a thought that does not leave my mind, even though some things pressing may appear for it to be so. I love you with all my heart, for everything that you’ve done.

I love you for your support, your kindness, your friendship, and for being my inspiration to be a better man, for as long as I live.

Happy Mothers Day.

P.s. Spoil your mothers. Treat them. Remind them you love them, and you’re thankful for all they have done. Just be sure, not to limit it, to this one day.