Categories
Personal | Pessoal

RAMBLING BRAIN

I just realized my level of concern with couples, relationships and marriage is even more abnormal than I thought. My brain is constantly rambling about that, in unstoppable cycles. People don’t get lost like this.

Then there’s this sharing thing, a quest for some sort of redemption and love. Somehow I have the expectation of my words being gratifying to someone and my loneliness ceases. This is completely out of reality.

My suffering, which I call loneliness, is nothing such. It’s depression, pure and simple. It is a chemical imbalance in my brain and the solution is not to be found in a companion. It is all up to me. On treatment and healthy habits. Looking obsessively for a companion certainly isn’t one.

I must find a healthy way of living. This quest for love must be abandoned. I should focus on having fun and make friends. I haven’t done so on childhood and on my teens and now I’m paying for it.

I must silence the voices in my head that launch me to this neverending romantic enterprise and just be outside of my head. It’s time to receive the world, instead of making up one.

Categories
Opinion | Opinião

STATE OF ALERT

Generalized anxiety disorder is often described as being in a permanent state of alert. The heart rate rises, adrenaline is in full throttle, all cells ready to fight and escape for survival. In healthy individuals, this state is transitory and activated only in the face of danger. People with generalized anxiety disorder have this state activated all day during common situations. Everything is taken as a matter of life or death.

All this happens on a subconscious level. Emotions take control of everything, regardless of the constructs of rationality. This is the main feature people fail to understand about mental illness.

A brave person hides emotions in the face of danger and takes action to heroic deeds. Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder feel they are facing danger all the time and are constantly hiding those emotions to take every single action. It is a life felt as martyrdom, no matter how simple and common each task is felt to healthy people. This behavior is often seen as weakness, laziness, irresponsibility, selfishness and arrogance especially when tasks are not fulfilled in due time. Imagine the effect of making such accusations to someone whose emotions tell all the time one is being brave.

No wonder suicide is an option now and then.

Judgemental people are the most toxic to individuals with generalized anxiety disorder, especially when they start giving advice. The intensity of the state of alert goes sky high and suicide becomes a more viable option.

The only valid way to give advice and really help someone with generalized anxiety disorder is to make no judgement and give all the love it takes to make a child feel safe. The state of alert was learned in childhood, before the acquisition of consciousness, or deployed by trauma. Only true generous caresses can make the feeling of danger go away.

Categories
Personal | Pessoal

BACK TO THE NIGHTMARE

Last week I was said my request for an unpaid leave was not valid due to an alleged error on my proceedings. This happens after four months of leave. Now I’m back to work until things are solved out.

All the heavy symptoms of depression and anxiety are back. I can hardly move or eat. Most of my gestures must be done slowly and it gets real hard to remember what I intended to do seconds before. The buzz on my ears is constant, the elephant foot presses my chest like in the days I head no diagnosis nor medicines, I am regressing four years.

People have no idea of the immobilizing force of both generalized anxiety disorder and major depression. This thing involves grief, panic, numbness, really fast streams of inchoative interior monologue, disorientation, guilt, anger, despair, chills, sweats and what not, all flooding your veins from an anthill eroding your stomach and chest. Only fear prevents you from suicide. Though you hate it, fear becomes your only true friend.

I fear the day of losing fear. Someday, head diving from my sixth floor balcony will become pretty easy. All it takes is a few steps, a little climbing and letting myself go. Someday I will lose my faith on whatever prevents me to let myself fall free.

Getting hurt and loosing my life still frighten me. For the time being, I persevere as a survivor. My ambitions as an artist and a lover are what keep me going. I fear the day my heart realizes those ambitions are fantasies. My survival depends on the naivete of my heart.

Categories
Short Stories | Contos

STUCK IN THE ISLAND

Laura got stuck in the island. Again. We were all worried with her. No one could say she was not doing it on purpose. There was too much stress, noise and isolation.

I one of our awareness campaigns about Laura and thousands like her, we prepared a huge empty dark room with a surround sound system. People were divided into groups and had to communicate with each other the way Laura did. There were individual and community tasks to be made in the darkness and, most relevantly, under the deafening noise.

We design the project too well. Some people developed, for a while, behaviors like Laura’s. Social detachment, numbness, isolation, irritability, anxiety, major depression and suicidal tendencies. One hour in the dark room was enough to make damage. People were aware, some would come back to the dark room for the sake of deepening their knowledge, and the more they did so, the more like Laura they would become.

I’ve been into the dark room for days in a row, both as the chief, author and supervisor of the project, and for the knowledge all off a sudden I was getting. The exposure to noise, darkness and effort to desperately communicate was changing the processing of my emotions and I wanted to know what was happening. Like everyone else, when in the dark room, among drifting silhouettes and the full spectrum of noises, only two things were present in mind. Finishing the task successfully, because others depended on me, and getting the hell out of there.

The disruptive and self-destroying behaviors of the dark room’s regular visitors made authorities take action. The project was canceled after four months. As for the awareness, it didn’t reach the said authorities.

“This was utterly dangerous an a monumental flop!,” shouted Allan to me. “Head office is furious. They want your head on a tray surrounded by sauteed potatoes with garlic and oregon.”

“Tell them we never had so many supporters as in this campaign. We can finally achieve a number capable of some pressure.”

“Are you really from this planet, Jacob?” Allan kicked on my iron desk, already dented by previous arguments. “Listen to me, you dupe. Everyone is aware of the damn problem. Everyone! You don’t need any fancy sensory freak show to make people understand the thing. People know about this. They learn it in school, science documentaries and our damn work for decades. The plain truth is they don’t care and never will.”

“After being in the dark room, they will.”

Another kick on the desk.

“You stubborn bonkers! All you got was a bunch of pretentious college kids turned into fanatics!”

To my despair, Allan was spot on.

I was rumbling on this memory while heading full throttle to the beach. I was really scared with the stranding of Laura. As expected, an immense crowd surrounded her, taking pictures while some locals shoveled the sand. A tractor was arriving. I saw her gray bulk on the island shore and her left fin raised for a bit, and I couldn’t help thinking she was saying farewell. There was too much noise in the ocean for her. Too many engines, propellers and sonars. Too many humans. No peace. No rest. No friends to talk to. Only the will to die.

Saturday, September 4th 2021

Categories
Personal | Pessoal

The Weight Of Nothingness

It is overwhelming. Your ribs are pressed apart and the chest inflates with void in continuous suffocation. The rational remains of your mind are grateful for not having a gun or you might have blown your head. There are no joys whatsoever and all you seek for is shelter in someone’s heart, capable of not feeding your hatred for the stupidity of people. Pain makes you terribly intolerant. Wherever you look at all you see is evil. You become a tyrant. All you have is sadness on the verge of anger. The real dumb thing of this pain is being due to nothing but chemical imbalance caused by a painful childhood. No one is to blame. Your family did their best. Everyone has limitations and yours is the inability to overcome trauma. You are chemically marked for life and must deal with it, both with medication and behavior, namely well structured routines. Things will get wrong over and over again. You will be beaten up and fall of exhaustion. All you got to do is rest and rise for the adapted routine. That kind of sums up your life. The damn pain will always be there to haunt and freeze you. A life carrying the weight of nothingness.

Categories
Personal | Pessoal

The Elephant Foot Strikes Back

My lungs and belly are squeezed again. The elephant foot of generalized anxiety disorder is striking me back. Cutting the dose of the antidepressant is not working. It’s too soon for that. The omnipresent chill and the overlapping light-speed thoughts around my possible mistakes in dealing with people are getting me back to paralysis. A high amount of effort, energy and discipline is summoned to get this giant foot out of my chest. I fear the abyss of exhaustion presented to me. I hope the reposition of the dose of the antidepressant does its thing.

I have no salary now. I left teaching, definitely. I am trying to collect and sell houses to earn commissions. It is weird, talking on the phone and presenting myself as the ideal partner to solve financial stresses. All I want is to make comic books.

Categories
Personal | Pessoal

Job Search

I’ve been a primary school teacher for twenty years until my mind exploded with major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. While on medical discharge, I’ve tried to get mobility to some other job in the public service. In several interviews I was told to be the ideal candidate. Unfortunately, being my career distinct from the civil servant’s, I couldn’t get the jobs.

NunoNevesStore emerged from despair. People like my drawings and print on demand services seemed to me as a clever way of making money out of them. Now and then people buy from my Etsy shop items from almost all sections, but it will take a few years to get a significative income. No matter the recipes from the YouTube gurus, an online shop is a long marathon.

Therefore, I started to apply to all kinds of jobs I find myself capable of exerting. In the past two weeks I went to interviews to work in bread distribution, to be a worker in a Styrofoam factory, and to be a real estate consultant. Bread rejected me, Styrofoam is on hold, and tomorrow I start the real estate consultant training.

Will I ever sell a house?