Tag Archives: mental health* stress

Mental Meanderings

Mental Meanderings

By Matt Carlson

He said, “I’m leaving.” Then he added, “I’m going to stay at my Mom’s.” Then he was gone and there we were, the dogs and I, alone. It was a horrible moment. There had been no real discussion. The phantom that had been my boyfriend for ten years left as if he had never been there. Well, he hadn’t really. I continued to pay for the house credit and other bills alone. I’d lived with someone who had always hated himself, always looking for a sexual liaison with a stranger. Someone who hid inside his computer, then within the virtuality of his telephone. They were safe places, his smart phone and computer, he didn’t have to respond honestly to any questions there. He could easily play with the anonymity of it all. I imagined him locked up in a small room asleep with only cables connected to his brain and a computer while an animated character lived his life somewhere; his real body safely locked away.

In December of 2013, he had simply said to me while sitting outside in the garden, in the sun, a cigarette in hand, “I think we should break up. There’s nothing left between us.” It was the first time that it was he who had brought up the subject; I was usually the one that said it. The way he said it was as if he were waiting for a particular response. I didn’t give it to him. On the contrary, I agreed that it was a good idea to separate. But adding, “I don’t think that there’s nothing left between us – I think we are still friends.” He didn’t answer.

There, I was wrong…It takes two to be friends.

The slippery slope that we’d now ventured upon wasn’t immediately visible. I’d somehow forgotten or put aside the fact that I was dealing with someone who suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder; an alcoholic too. Why is it that when we break up with someone, we imagine that they are going to have the same perception of things – or even be reasonable  –  and are shocked by the reaction we have in front of us?  My ex cried that night out on the terrace, sobbing while holding onto his wine bottle and glass. I went to him, to comfort him. It didn’t last long, me holding him in my arms telling him it would be al-right. He didn’t want me to, I hadn’t said what he’d wanted to hear. So, I left him there as his tears subsided in the black of the night, his anger surfacing, on our unfinished terrace. He had wanted me to plead for us, for another chance, to say ‘let’s stay together’ but I didn’t feel that. The on going pain of dealing with this hurt, broken and angry individual had just gone over the top. I had no more desire, no more strength to try and convince him that life could be beautiful – that we could be. Especially to someone who only knew beauty as a concept, as a visual design on a computer screen  –  his true profession in fact  –  a graphic artist – well, it all made more sense now.

Our unfinished ruin of a house sat there. The hours upon hours of my own labor upon it, for it, for us,  would be the weapon used against me to make me suffer. My name wasn’t on the title and all of the promises of protecting me had gone out the window. My ex would try and take everything away, an attempt to erase my very presence from it  –  from our mutual project. Even his Mother would add fuel to the fire by attempting with her son to keep our dogs away from me. A five month ‘kidnapping’ of sorts would end up with my going and getting them at the Mother-in-laws house in the country. She attacked me, but ended up falling on the ground as I avoided her with the dogs in my arms, my ex running after me like a maniac suddenly (though he was supposedly unable to walk at this time due to a back problem)…His attack of feet and fist marks left on the side of our mutual car Peugeot – just before I could drive safely away…

Later on I had to respond to incredible lies of breaking and entering, theft of money and of my own dogs and that I had physically attacked and beaten my Mother-in-law!  It all seemed surreal – but the hate was only beginning. My ex would continue to lie and paint a new picture far from the reality of what was.  I suppose that I shouldn’t have been surprised by the letter from a shady lawyer hired from my ex describing me basically as a monster, turning the truth into a mockery of justice, or the… and the… etc, etc…

 

Today, I am moving on and recreating a new life. I am still unsure as to whether I want to battle again for at least a return on my investment of my home for over nine years; the fact that I paid for half of his house credit too over that period – a few months paying for it alone as well. I’m feeling like it would take a lot of energy away from me, from moving into a positive direction. Maybe not…  Maybe I need to finish the battle in order to move on… It’s either that or accept things as the way they are and put that aside. What is the most important thing here? To move on? To look back? To move on but to at least respond to what was? To get at least a part of my investment back?

 

I’m still questioning that – if only a little bit.

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SICK OF YOUR JOB? by Matthew Carlson

Are You Sick of Your J-O-B?

by Matthew Carlson “Full Range Human Being in Motion…or at least trying to be’

Is This You?

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-You get up in the morning and the ONLY thing you want to do is STAY in bed…

-You drive to work and you’re sweating, you have a stomach ache, head ache or are VERY tired…

– You want to drive OFF the road or into the asshole that is tailgaiting you… (Going to or coming from work)

-You’re in a meeting and you’d really LOVE to cram  a “post-it” block down the throat of the person talking to you…

-You’re taking bathroom breaks more & more often, sometimes even taking a short nap!

– You start thinking of ways of sabatoging your boss, maybe start signing him or her up anonymously for some non corresponding porn…

-Every time you see your boss, you have violent images or ideas..(back stabs, gun in the ear, a bomb…)

If any of these is you, well my friend, your body is telling you something. What is it? Get out of your job right away!

Your mental well being is at stake! No job is worth destroying your physical health. But how many of us do that job, the one that might pay very well (or not at all well, but you feel you have no choice) and we keeping do it? Alot! That’s how many.

When we finally wake up from the reverie of a bad job (meaning something that doesn’t correspond to who you are) it takes time to unravel the conditioning from society (our family, friends, co-workers) that holds you to it. For example: a good salary might mean having the right friends (but if they’re really your friends, they will remain so after you leave), the status that you have it (maybe your wife or husband loves repeating what it is that you do) or maybe others reecognition of that job (wow, you’re so lucky – wish I could be doing that)…..All of the above are NOT GOOD if “you” don’t feel happy in your job choice. And I say it like that, because what you do really is a choice. (You know that, right?) You have somewhere at some point made a choice, whether you want to accept that or not…(Unless of course you are being held as a slave in the Thai Fishing industry)…

So how do we know when something, I mean a job, is actually meant for us?

First off, I must say that no job is perfect. No job is going to meet every single one of your demands or needs all the time. Maybe most of your demands, or some of them a little bit, or not at all!  But rarely (or probably never) is perfection present in the work that we do, in the work that we choose. What are the essential elements that you need (not someone else’s needs- but YOURS’) in order to feel good about work? What essential elements do you require? If you don’t know, try making a list of them. The things that you require. If you were looking for an apartment and you ABSOLUTLY needed a garden, but accepted a cheaper one on the 2nd floor (with no outside space), well you’re not going to be happy with that for long, no matter what “perks” you might believe make it liveable.

Your job, work or career (depending on your perspective of that) is something that you will spend alot of time doing. It must be something that turns you on, excites you in some way, stimulates you to move on with it. Something that legitimizes what you’re about. But remember too, it doesn’t have to be a long life ‘forever’ choice job either. By that I mean, you can also choose a job for a short period. Every job (and probably most of them) will not last forever. Some jobs are meant to do for short periods. Of course, it depends on what you’re doing specifically, but my personal experience is that after 2 or 3 years in a job, well you’ve seen it, done it, understood it. It’s time to move on! Either a promotion (though its’ probably not you deciding) or a virage, or a total change. People that tell me that they have done the same job for twenty or thirty years, I know they are just playing the game (and I feel kind of sorry for them). Just buying out their time left somehow, waiting for retirement, that famous goldwatch, a last drink with collegues… but then it’s going to be  a handshake and a ‘kiss my ass’ because you probably won’t hear from them anymore…Ouch! Have I said too much?

Perhaps there are sectors in the work field that are so complete that it takes a lifetime to truly learn them: research, law, philosophy, music, the arts…etc. so a lifetime working in these fields can be an evolving experience, not one of maintenance or survival only. Short or long term. It’s is the quality of something of what we do, the intention behind it. Behind the thing.

Even if you judge that today you cannot change your job immediately, at least try to be aware of where you are on the subject of it. Is this job for me? How do I feel living it? If your answer is negative, that awareness will lead you to an intention. An intention of change. Going from where you are now (and you don’t like that place) to where you would like to be (I know that would correspond to my nature, to who I am. That’s where I’d like to be)…

Then go there.

The Inner DIALOGUE: Are You Constantly Talking to Yourself? by Matthew Carlson

I should've won!

The Inner Dialogue by Matthew Carlson

THE INNER DIALOGUE (an excerpt from an ebook in progress)
by matt carlson
You are on the tennis court. You are playing a tennis match. Your adversary beats you almost every time (except when he is suffering from a minor illness, you can sometimes eek out a set). This time, you suddenly and surprising have the advantage
with a 15/40 on his serve and you are leading 6 games to 5! It’s never happened before during his periods of being healthy.
Without even thinking about it, your backhand down-the-line has dropped in! You now go and pick up a ball and toss it to your
adversary and during that time, a voice is talking to you.
It says, ” Wow, I can’t believe my luck ! For once my backhand went in at the right time! I’m gonna hit a great big forehand to
close out this set! It’s gonna be devastating!” You tell yourself with a self congratulating air on how it will be afterwards.
Already, you are seeing the photographers fighting to take your picture; this is your moment of glory!
You move into position and stand to receive serve. Your partner begins his windup. It’s a slow, unexpected puffy like sphere
rolling in the air like a cloud, seemingly to take forever to arrive in your service box. Apparently, your opponent wants to play it
safe. Not you though, you’re gonna pound on that ball and show him how good you really are! To make up for all those many
humiliating lost matches! It’s time! You jump at 200 miles per hour on that poor, slowly rotating fluorescent green ball while
slamming it with all your might, using that brand new powerful racquet you just bought (guaranteed for hair splitting return of
serves!) Unfortunately, however, your velocity is too rapid and you completely miss the ball….It sadly rolls into the back fence;
it is alone and unmoving. A lost ball, an unmoving one; a once again lost opportunity….
Suddenly, an irate voice in your head is
now screaming, « What an idiot! How can anybody miss that kind of ball?! Even a 2 year old could’ve made it back into the
court!” You try not to show how upset you are, but your breathing is suddenly short & fast, your face too has become a red
tomato…
The controlling voice intercedes once again saying « It’s okay you still have a another set point – forget about that horrible
forehand – let’s hit a backhand this time – you hit a great backhand just a minute ago ». Your breathing is still very fast and you
can no longer feel your legs either. But you are trying to be positive so you move again into position, hoping it’ll work out for you.
Then while expecting your opponent to accelerate that dinky serve of earlier, you are wrong again. He serves you yet another
dinky serve and ‘oh-happy-days’ it’s to your backhand, as you had hoped! You jump into action immediately, but the controlling
voice is there too, saying « Drop shot! Drop shot!” and you think yes, (though you never worked on it before), there’s a big
ignored hole right next to the net! » However, at the moment when you decide to hit your drop shot, your racquet slips a little bit
in your hand about half an inch in the wrong direction. You attempt to make your drop shot anyway with this new grip (one
you’ve never used before, but you have committed yourself) all the while thoughts at terrific speeds are giving you a lot of
information: « Softly, softly! Hit up on the ball: hit up, hit up…HIT UP YOU IDIOT!!! »
The ball lands at the bottom of the net…
At first you don’t realize it, but the head voice of earlier is now screaming out loud and you have thrown your brand new racquet onto
the ground. Your adversary is quite pleased. Needless to say, the first set has been lost in a tie-breaker and the second set was
a mere formality; you have lost it 6-0. You were a phantom after losing the first set, feeling as if you were somehow disconnected
to your body and its sensations. You wonder if it is worth it to continue playing tennis at all…
You were right about one thing: you were completely cut off from your body and henceforth, your ability to play tennis well…

Your INTENTIONS by Matthew Carlson

Intentions.

That word.

So easy to say and yet somehow easily put aside.

But that word or more precisely, the meaning of it is incredibly strong. Intentions…IN…10..tions.  (And again!) INTENTIONS….Just let it roll off your tongue for a an instant and reflect on what that means. You could even close your eyes too: hearing it, imagining it and wondering what yours’ might be. Intentions. Your intentions. Maybe the most important word in your vocabulary. If not, perhaps it should be.

Often in our lives these days, there is a lack of clear intentions. Not knowing what you want, running after the almighty dollar (or euro) so you can buy “stuff”, follow outside agendas (other peoples’, not yours’) and very quickly one can run out of steam. Perhaps so locked up in your daily functioning that you forget about who you are and why you are doing things. Life is not about making money. Making money is about making money. A commodity that can easily kill you (fast or slow) depending on the poison you have chosen…Are you trying to impress someone, or maybe following someone else’s idea’s, religion, goals or aspirations? Wanting someone to like or love you? Trying to get  something from someone? If you are, just step off that crazy bandwagon ride and get a hold of yourself! Consider YOU, what desire is there in your head/brain, heart or soul? However you might define those things…

What is it that your inner self is trying so hard to communicate to you? The term communication means to bring all elements together with equal knowledge and/or awareness to the same place (and to all parties concerned) only then can one truly have access to communication. To bring together a “commonness”… That still doesn’t mean that true communcation will take place. If everyone is not aware of what the information is, there cannot be true communication. It will only be parts of information shared eventually, but not thouroughly. There won’t be any “commonness”.

(I know, I just made up a new word!)

Are you aware that billions of cells in your body make you ‘you’ constantly communicate? Well they do. Or rather, they try to. There needs to be reception of the phone call, right? I mean if someone calls you on your cell phone and you don’t answer, well you won’t get the message. Unless you check your messages (ha, ha!) And hopefully one was left! And no, just saying something in your head voice is not communication either. It’s not because you thought it that your thought was sent out to anyone. No sending, no recieving.

The same can be said for EMAILS. Many people think or say, “Yea I sent an email” Which someone means “It is no longer my responsability because I sent an email with my information”….BUT the problem is this: does the person have a computer? Will the person turn it on? Will the person OPEN his email box? Will he see your email AND will he open AND read it?? That’s alot of if’s! Sendina an email or even leaving a message is not communication, it is only a smalll part of which could BECOME communcation.

(By the way, it sooo makes me laugh when people say they work in communcation and don’t know these simple facts, so don’t feel bad about it if it’s your case. Live and learn every day, right?

So, how do you listen to your inner voice?  How do you know your body is even talking to you? Does it speak Spanish? French? English? Well, a hint: it doesn’t speak verbal language.

That’s the key.

Your body communicates with you by sensations: through feelings, through pain and pleasure, hunger and thirst, images, desires, dreams, thoughts that just seem to appear for no reason…

Being in touch with ones’ body and being present in the moment is essential in order to “hear” (or the reception there of) those messages. One of the best ways I’ve found to get into touch with myself is to sit or lay down somewhere, close my eyes and take some long deep breaths. Just concentrating on that act of doing nothing but breathing.

Little by little, I will focus on my physical awareness starting with a part of me like: the position in my chair, my feet, my back against the chair, my neck and shoulders…the position of my hands and so on. All the while focusing on breathing, deep down, feeling the air expand my lungs, then letting it out again. Really, fully feeling those sensations. Any thoughts that might come up, I will block their presence with a renewed focus on breathing, on my sitting there, the whereabouts of my body and its’ position…just emptying my head of all thoughts…

Try it out and let me know what you think.

Can’t hurt!