How Meditation Changed My Life

How Meditation Changed My Life

Sometimes I turn into this extremely intelligent sounding person, and that I’ve got life figured out, and we all know that it’s far from the truth. The truth is that I actually have attention deficit hyperactive disorder, you know, ADHD, and awfully bad social anxiety.

It had gotten so bad at one point, I couldn’t make eye contact with people that I actually knew. I ended up creating a bubble around myself and I wouldn’t let anyone penetrate that. I’d come home, shut myself up in my room and never get any sun. Human interaction was basically zero. And I was comfortable that way. As luck would have it, I had to go to the bank one day to hand in a form for a new card and I realized that I was having a black out, and I couldn’t breathe. I felt all alone and I’d never been more scared in my life. I’ve no idea how I managed to get my work done and come home while being painfully aware of everyone staring at me, and the crippling anxiety I felt.

I practically ran to my therapist the next day.

He suggested I take up meditation seriously, and I did. It was hard, at first. I needed tech support. Not kidding. I used this app called Headspace for the first few months. It wasn’t easy. The instant I would close my eyes, I’d automatically start to think weird crap. Every little failure and disappointment I’d gone through would play on loop, like an extremely vivid slideshow, and I couldn’t even meditate for ten minutes. Ah, those days. Eventually, the waking up early and the mediating became a routine. I got so good at it, I didn’t need guided meditation anymore. Now I can actually clear my head completely and go into total zen mode. Easy peasy.

I still struggle with my anxiety and ADHD but it’s a lot better now. I sleep better. I’m healthier and a lot happier. It’s definitely been an excellent lifestyle change. I’ve been loving my mornings lately. Plus, the weather is gorgeous. It feels amazing to get my yoga mat, sit cross legged with my back ramrod-straight and just almost hibernate, in total peace.

Do you mediate? Has it helped?

Monday Mood Swings

Monday Mood Swings

Jitters. Cold feet. Sleepless nights. Silly little fights. With this poor mum of mine. The rituals. The customs. The Goddamn fish. The long ass lists. The crying over clothes, the unsolicited advice you didn’t ask for. Unfinished chores. The long hours. The cramping because it’s that time of the month, ugh. Over-caffeinated. Tired. Sneezy as heck.

Let me take a deep breath.

Instagram DM: Hey, I’m doing okay. Thanks for asking.

I guess the problem with being a sunny ball of sunshine is that nobody understands that you’re human too. That you’ve got your good days and your bad days. That you need some time off from being their Agony Auntie somedays.

Twitter DM: I’m okay, what’s new with you!?

Sometimes I wanna throw my phone away and breathe for a little while. Play some shit ass music that I actually like. My phone is nearly five months old and the battery capacity is at ninety eight percent, is that all right? It’s driving me mad and it’s driving me wild.

iMessage: No, haha. I’m not mad at you. I’m fine. Stop asking.

I just wanna grab a pillow and go to sleep. Maybe get myself a sensory deprivation tank or something. Or maybe go home to him and cuddle with him. The way his neck smells is just so comforting. Get a pizza and watch some Netflix and go to sleep.

Snapchat: Hey, sorry. It took me a while to reply to your text. What’s up? You broke up with your guy? That’s bad. Let’s talk about it.

I’m dying. I really need a break from this shit.

This, or That?

This, or That?

Are you a late riser, or do you wake up early?

Do you like it black, or do you add some milk to your coffee?

Are you a cat person, or a dog person, or neither?

Are you a follower or are you more of a leader?

Do you get in and out of relationships like it means nothing?

Were you a wild one when you were an early-twenty-something?

When you break up, do you constantly bash your ex?

Or are you forgiving and only focus on what’s coming next?

Do you hold on to the past like it were your first born?

What kind of music do you like – Blake Shelton, or maybe even Korn?

Are you sweet or are you freaking shady?

Are you a polite Tweeter or do you subtweet like crazy?

Is your Instagram all filled with selfies?

Or do you take time to post other shiz?

Are you type A or more of type B?

Introvert, extrovert, “ambivert” maybe?

Do you read for the sake of reading?

Or do you actually devour your paperback because it helps in healing?

Are you comfortable being yourself?

Or do you always put on a show for their sakes?

Are you this, or are you that?

What kind of a person are you, beneath that facade you wear like a hat?

When Should You Seek Help?

When Should You Seek Help?

So, one morning you’re gonna wake up and BAM, you’re thirty. And you have this huge panic attack and you don’t know who to call. You’re scared and you can’t breathe and you have zero clue about what you should be doing next. So what do you do? You see your Ambien bottle and down the whole thing. And the next thing you know, you’re in a hospital bed, sore from the emergency stomach wash.

You don’t want that, now, do you?

So what do you do to keep this from happening? You seek help. Before it’s too late and you’re in an unfixable mess.

What are the ‘red flags’?

Seasonal affective disorder is so sneaky you won’t even know when it’s blossomed into full blown chronic depression, that lasts all day, everyday, round the clock.

It goes to bed with you, lies awake with you, and when you are asleep, it haunts you, and it wakes up with you. It’s worse than your shadow because at least your shadow fades in the darkness, but this guy? He grows even stronger.

If you’ve lost focus, if you don’t like leaving your bed and if you don’t feel passionate about anything anymore, that’s when you know it’s starting. Many women just ignore these little things as PMS, and try to shove it all under the rug by calling it a mood swing issue, and their partners agree, but OH NO, it’s so much worse than that.

People talk about World Mental Health Day and yada yada a lot, without actually implementing what they talk about.

• ARE YOU EVEN HAPPY?

If you can answer this question without lying to yourself, and you’ve answered “yes”, congratulations, you’re lucky and you don’t need to do much – just keep going and doing what you do. And good luck to you. You don’t need to stay here and finish reading this post, you lucky ducky, because you’re sorted and everything.

However, if you’re still reading…

How would you answer these questions?

1. Are you happy with your job?

2. Are you content and happy with your relationship?

3. Do you ever hold things in a lot?

4. Do you feel fit and healthy and active and uplifted?

5. Do you take vacations?

If you’ve answered ‘no’ to most questions, boy, are you in trouble.

Let’s psychoanalyze, shall we?

1. The job thing? Pfffffft. You don’t need to be working a job where you’re being harassed by your manager constantly. Maybe you need the money, desperately, and you’ve got to keep at it, but here’s the thing – look for the silver lining. Stay away from that handsy manager. My man once told me that he’s cold to people at work and doesn’t indulge in conversation because people walk all over you if you open up. And he’s 💯 correct. Staying away from drama is key.

2. The whole relationship thing, yeah? Such a fight, such a headache and such a pain honestly, when it doesn’t work the way you want it to. Seek professional counseling, couples’ therapy sessions, with someone that won’t judge. And trust me when you communicate about what’s eating away at your head, things become this literal cakewalk. We’re unhappy because we care too much or care too less without realizing that happy mediums DO exist.

3. Again, when you hold things in a lot, you’re turning yourself into a pressure cooker. Don’t. You’re a person and you need to let it out. Half of your problems would actually go away if you cared to vent to someone once in a while. Hence, therapy.

4. If you can’t sleep, or eat or feel unhealthy and lethargic in general, try meditation and yoga. There’s no harm in that, is there? I use this app called Headspace and it is excellent – “Andy” has a soothing voice and meditation becomes easy. At the end of my session, I’m left feeling a lot calmer and healthier. Also, try drinking a lot of water. Not only does it help to detox, it also makes you look and feel alive.

5, If you haven’t taken a vacation in ages because you’re married to your job, STOP. Take one as soon as you can. It’s crazy how much we ignore our own mental and physical health for the sake of relatively unimportant ish and drive ourselves nuts in the process. Stay in therapy as long as you need to. There’s no stigma around it anymore. It’s 2019, people.

Have you ever seen a therapist? Did it help?

Zephyr

Zephyr

It was one of those extremely hot summer days. Forty degrees, zero chances of rain, scorching hot, bad enough to make you dehydrate in a jiffy.

She’d been driving for two hours and the AC had broken down. That business meeting probably did not go well. That lunch didn’t do much except leave a bitter taste in her mouth. As if that wasn’t enough, she saw her ex and a group of his friends walk into the club and trash her openly amongst themselves. She’d left in a hurry. They’d broken up ages ago, and he resented her, every fiber of her being, and he made her want to die everyday. He’s brought out the bad in her and she hated herself when she was with him and she had no one to blame.

And now, a failed career and a slew of failed treatments later, she was fighting to survive and fight for others just like her. She adjusted the headscarf and her sunglasses and concentrated on her driving. Ten minutes later, her car ran out of juice, and she made it to the nearest gas station just in time.

Not a single leaf seemed to be quivering. It was that quiet and that still. She got a refill and got back on the road. She was growing tired and couldn’t really drive anymore, so she parked the car in the first empty patch of land she could find. It felt like a total desert. The trees looked dead and ghostly. She felt her head spin from the heat, so she took off the headscarf, and forced herself to sit on the bonnet. As she blotted her bald head with some Kleenex, her phone vibrated.

It was a new email from the investors she’d met with earlier. They said they were interested in her pitch and that women with no homes to go to and women who had carcinomas and felt like they had nothing to live for definitely needed someplace that felt like home. She’d been promised six months and she wanted to put in everything she had and give people hope. Which was precisely why she’d come back to her tiny town and made the decision of investing in shelter for needy women.

She smiled to herself as the zephyr blew in like a breath of new life.

PS: Whoa. I actually completed the A to Z challenge without embarrassing myself too much. Give me a five!!

Happily Ever After (With an Important Message)

Happily Ever After (With an Important Message)

Continued from “Can I Ask You Something?”

*

8 pm, still outside the library.

“Jake, wow! You’re actually proposing!”

“Yeah, I am. Been too long now. Right? It’s been what, four years?”

“…why haven’t you ever said something?”

“Let’s see. You’ve always been with a guy. How many boyfriends have you had since you got here? Um, there was Nathan, Carl, Danny, Roy, and whatshisface.”

“Hahaha. You’re making me sound like a slut!”

“Whoops. No, I’m not. It’s just that I just asked you to marry me, cause you’ve been single for almost a year now. And I really, really like you. And – hey, where you going?”

“It’s freezing. Let’s go somewhere to talk. And get some food.”

“I like it when you grab my arm like that. Great, and now you let go.”

“Pffffffft. Come on!”

*

8:30 pm. Some tiny diner. Corner booth.

“Lauren. Are you gonna say something?”

“Do you like kids?”

“What? Of course I do! I want a couple that look EXACTLY like you. Why are you looking at me like that?”

“I, uh, I like you a lot too. There’s something I have to tell you, I just don’t know how to.”

“Well, just say it!”

“I’m dying.”

“No, you’re not.”

“I am. I’m not kidding.”

“No. Just… No.”

“Which is why I haven’t been with anyone for a while.”

“…”

“Remember how much I used to smoke? Then I got pregnant. With Joel’s kid. It was an ectopic pregnancy, but I didn’t know at first, until it started hurting real bad, but he was gone by then. And I got it looked at, and they said I’d never be able to conceive again. Cause. It just damaged the uh, tubes. And it was terrible. That’s when I cut everyone out. Started smoking more. And then the next thing I knew, I had… Cancer. Mets everywhere. I’ll barely last the rest of the year.”

“No.”

“Are you crying? Jake. Stop. Look at me.”

“Just please. I want to be with you. Can’t we stop it?”

“Kinda sorta too late, J.”

“Gimme your hand. The other one.”

“Wait. Wha- oh my God. You were carrying it around the whole time?! It’s beautiful.”

“We’re getting married! In a week!”

“Yikes. Don’t tell the whole place!”

*

Lauren lost her battle with SCLC (small cell lung carcinoma). But, those six months – the marriage, Jake, everything – were the happiest six months of her life.

If you’re a smoker, and a woman, you really should quit. I’m not here to preach, I’m just telling you that you’re at a giant risk of having ectopic pregnancy. Which is one of the major causes of infertility in women.

As for the SCLC, don’t smoke or encourage it.

Passive smoking is worse than active smoking, the risks are greater when it comes to other forms of lung cancer – the NSCLC (non small cell lung carcinoma). There’s a reason why they say smoking kills. It’s dumb, and don’t do it.

The Werewolf/Crab Theory

The Werewolf/Crab Theory

I’ll attempt to put a funny twist to this. Laugh at the posterity of this situation.

I got home and got assaulted with a solitary rubber shoe. “Hello to you too, Mum!” She’s been doing this a lot lately. Throwing things at my head, by way of greeting. How sweet.

I love my Mum. She’s so entertaining!

Like how she smacked me full on the mouth in front of a friend. Right now. (I blog when I’m having a blogsthma attack, sorry. I had to ramble and let it all out. Like how you shouldn’t hold back your hurl.) I’m left with stingy lips and a strong hot bowl of words. Hey, I guess I just got temporary lip fillers! Hahahaha.

It’s funny how I’m the Cancerian and she’s the crabby one. She’s got mood swings which totally peak when the moon’s full. She’s probably descended from a long line of werewolves, or she’s lied to me about her birthday. She’s the personification of a full-blown-hermit-crab.

As for her mood swings, I’ve got a theory: you know how water bodies experience tides? High tides when the moon is full and the pull is at its strongest? I’ve got a feeling that this pull acts on her cerebrospinal fluid and makes her go bonkers. And she’s normal when the moon wanes.

Hermit crabs function (read: go haywire) in the full moon. My lovely mum isn’t an exception. Do you like the werewolf theory or the loony moony one? Let’s have a comment marathon while I go ice my lips.

Had I Known How To Save A Life.

Had I Known How To Save A Life.

I was watching The Fault in Our Stars today, for the umpteenth time, after a miserable day at work. It did not help.

People say doctors are amazing. They save lives. Today I wasn’t one of those people. I can’t deal with fatal illnesses. I can’t handle bad news, even though that’s basically my job description. I tell myself, be strong, and I go back to being, well, me.

I didn’t want to talk about this, and I didn’t want another sad post. I realize now, that it’s basically my life. Maybe someday, I will get used to it. Maybe someday I’ll learn to shut myself down and not melt at the sight of my patient looking at me like that. Bambi eyes. Full of hope. Even though she knows the chances of survival are bleak, she’s praying you’d tell her otherwise. That you’d tell her she’s going to live. 

And I never know how to deal with that. And a part of me dies each time.

You walk into the ward and your patient presents with a lump in the breast, discolored, ulcerated, almost reeking of death. Terminal cancer. Mets everywhere. Even after removal of the breast, and the affected lymph nodes, you know she won’t survive. At some point she’s going to say no to chemo. At some point she’s going to give in to the pain. At some point, it’s goodbye.

I’ve never felt more helpless. I can’t even save a life. And why must cancer almost always win?

The loss a new doctor feels after losing a patient to cancer is unfathomable. As you grow older, you learn to keep your emotions in check, I’ve heard. I’m hoping, again, I stop feeling the loss before it kills me.

One thing’s for certain, I’m never taking up surgery in the future.

Love xx