Many years from now

Sometimes I wanna fast forward life.

It’s not that I don’t wanna enjoy those precious moments yet to come. Their first day of school, putting up the Christmas tree every year, riding our bikes together as a family, while we are still young enough to do it, or the fact that we still have a long way to go before my babies move out  of our house.

The reason why, sometimes, I wanna be in my 70’s is because, by then, I’ll have a different kind of peace.

When I’m 70, my girls will be 40. I know they’ll no longer depend on me. I will not worry about my girls growing up without a mother every-fucking-time there’s a disease outbreak of some sort.

When I’m 70, I’ll know that we’ve made it. I’ll know that we’ve had the most amazing, incredible life and that every single time I felt threatened that someone or something could’ve teared us apart, it was just a false alarm.

I might be able to sleep when I’m 70.

And, yes, I’ll worry about my 40 year old babies just as much as I do now and I’ll be sad at the thought of leaving them… but hopefully I’ll be mostly grateful and I won’t be afraid.

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Do you believe in Smurfs?

I think of myself as sane. For real. No matter how much the psychiatrist is convinced there’s a schizophrenic elf messing up with the circuits of my brain, I find myself to be pretty reasonable.

Yes, sometimes I react strongly to life-threatening situations, whether the situation is a benign mole that could -in about 20 years- turn evil on me or the tiny black lines I found on my children’s poop, (that actually turned out to be banana fibers, in case you mothers are wondering)… but the only reason I do that, is because I wanna make SURE I know what’s going on and fix it. Quickly.

I mean, that’s reasonable, correct?

Fine, there WAS that day when I checked my temperature 40 times, including in the middle of the night and first thing in the morning…

I guess reassuring myself that my body temperature was normal just made me feel less nervous about the disease I never had.

Ok, fine, that’s one point to schizophrenia.

But I’ve got some good, reasonable, sane moments.

Like, the other day, when the psychiatrist asked me if I believed in the devil.

Well, like any sane person, I do not. Not 100%, anyway. But the idea is pretty scary, right? I mean… it’s the freaking devil. So, there is, I guess that 1% chance that the devil could be real and for that reason I try NOT to read much about it or join any satanic cults ’cause I figured that if there’s something there… I wouldn’t really wanna get involved.

Isn’t that what a sane person would answer? I think I was being very, very plausible.

Fine. At one point I also told her I believed in ghosts.

Well, not ghosts per-say, like… Do I believe people have a soul? Yes! That’s still allowed, right? And I also told her I believed that eventually these souls could try to communicate with us, specially the people who were close to us when they were alive, ’cause Stella (our nanny) had talked to me during a dream once. I also told her that I did not feel prepared to interact with those souls and that, again, I was not 100% sure it was real, because that kind or certainty could only come from a real contact.

I swear to God I thought I was being sane, but apparently I very much wasn’t, because based on those answers she popped up the following question:

What else do you believe in? Do you believe in Smurfs?

Yes, you read it correctly! Smurfs! Smurfs:

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At that point, I absolutely thought about answering YES ’cause my sarcastic vein was pulsing SO HARD I had a hard time controlling my mouth.

But instead, I just said: “No, I am not quite at the level yet, but check back in a few months.”

You would think that the person prescribing medication for your brain would know by now, based on your previous answers, that there it’s a long, long road between believing in souls and believing in smurfs.

I guess not.

I wish I believed in smurfs rather than obsessed about rare diseases, though. It sounds like a hell whole lot more fun!

Plus, they are super cute.

 

What are you afraid of?

Some of you are able to answer that question with one word. Clowns, thunderstorms, ghosts…

It is a bit more complex to me.

If I had to answer that question with one word, I’d have to say: “Everything“.

fear

 

I’m afraid of all things, real or not. But, most of all, I am afraid of the possibility.

There’s a possibility something terrible will happen today. Anything. It could be the day I find out me, my husband or my girls are terribly sick. It could be the day they get hit by a car. Today could be the day that meteor finally hits our house, out of all houses in the world.

Sure, the possibilities are small. Until you google them, and those “rare” facts start looking pretty damn popular…

And so it starts. The trigger has been pulled.

If you think about the possibilities, the only choice you’ll have is to go crazy. Trust me.

But that bullet it’s going pretty fast towards the target, at this point.

In real life it means you got so scared you started acting like all that shit you are afraid of is not a possibility anymore. It’s actually happening. You see signs and symptoms everywhere.

How does it feel like? Torture.

Your breaths are short, you can’t eat, nothing is fun or funny anymore… after all, this IS your last day with your loved ones.

As apocalypse settles inside your chest, you still need to function. You still need to go to work, take care of your kids, be there for your husband and answer to your mom’s 37 calls. “Are you ok?” . “Are you ok?”. “Are you ok NOW?”

I have to admit that sometimes I’m actually slightly distracted, until I get a text from her saying “don’t worry”. So, I actually REMEMBER I’m supposed to worry.

So, how exactly do I handle this?

Well, sometimes the fear is so great, it’s exhausting so I just go: “fuck it, if something terrible happens, I’ll just fix it, it’s not going to kill me TODAY, so TODAY I’ll just watch a fucking comedy movie and enjoy my evening.” – That is a lovely way of handling things and I profoundly thank Seth Rogen and James Franco for being so high all the time (maybe only Rogen?) and creating all these movies whose soul purpose are to get me through this.

After I watch my movie and calm down a little bit, I start trying to put my finger on what caused the crisis. See… in order for the trigger to be pulled, there must be a stressful situation going on, whether you’ve noticed it or not.

Once I figure out what that was (sometimes it’s not clear, sometimes it’s RIGHT THERE) I find a solution for that. Once the solution is found, whenever I think about the possibility again I just figure, “ok, THAT is highly unlikely”.

And I breath again.

All the way until my next crisis.

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*Important ps: Finding a solution may involve hours of google search and up to 3 visits to the doctor, it’s not a 5 minute thing… but I’ll get there! 

Terrorism

As mothers, all we wanna do is to cuddle with our babies.

When a mother is born, a great fear is born with her. We are afraid of losing our babies and we are also afraid that our babies might lose us way too soon, before they are ready, before they understand what death is.

Death is a big part of the world right now. Therefore, I find myself scared of sending them to school, to concerts, or even to the playground.

Still, this paralyzing fear cannot make me wonder if I should in fact have had children. Nothing could ever change my mind. I was born to be their mom. I knew I’d be afraid. I have always been afraid of everything.

I am a runner who ran away from a place she considered not to be safe for her children. Yet, as I listen to the benefit concert Ariana Grande did for the victims of the attack in Manchester I can’t help but think to myself “is there a safe place”?  If there is, can we call just go there?

I know all of us moms would love to be there. This world is not meant for a mother’s heart.

How does a mother who can’t protect her baby in her arms feel? How does a mother who can’t feed her children feel? How does a mother with a sick child feel?

What the fuck is wrong with this world? Actually, what the fuck is right?

People have “unfriend” me on facebook when I moved to Canada. Out of jealousy, maybe. Not the terrorists, the good people. The people who are supposed to “fight” evil.

This is something I’ve learned from my husband and my amazing best friend. I’ve learned to be tolerant, to give people a chance, to just fucking let them be happy – no matter how stupid their accomplishments might seem to you.

But these people can’t do that.

Unhappy people are unable to just let others be. They want everything to be more miserable than they are. That way, they won’t feel like the most miserable people on Earth.

Some people will just envy you, unfriend you from the stupid facebook. Some people will attack our babies and make every mother’s worst fears come to life.

“Terror”  is, in fact, a good word to describe it, no wonder they use it.

Right now, I am terrified of life and I don’t know where to run.

I’ve watched the interviews where they asked the children at the Manchester benefit concert “why did you come back?” and they said “because you can’t live in fear. you have to live your life”.

They are right. I have lived in fear for months longer than I can count. Every day I waste worrying about something that is not happening, just afraid of the bad stuff that could happen is a day I did not live.

Fear is a powerful thing.

I hope I can teach my children to not be afraid and to live their lives but for that to happen I guess I should learn how to do that myself.

I wish I knew where to start.

 

People are so mean.

I like writing. I like talking to people. If I see something that I like, there’s a chance I”ll wanna talk about it, but I rarely ever do that, specially on social media.

So, this morning I randomly complemented a famous girl on Instagram. It’s stupid to talk to the people who’ll never acknowledge your existence, but I do it from time to time, whenever I’m in a good mood.

Because of that, some random woman was rude to me.

She could have been rude to anyone down the street and they’d just ignore her and keep going with their lives. But it was me and I felt like I was attacked.

People are so incredibly mean and they have no idea how they affect others by doing that. The fact that that woman criticized my compliment made me shiver.

I have panic disorder -so they say-. I hate conflict. She doesn’t know that. All she knows is that something was going wrong with her life and she decided to take it out on strangers on Instagram.

Now I am questioning everything. I’m not sure if I’m healthy anymore. I start thinking I have some kind of rare disease that’s gonna kill me in months because that’s the way my mind works whenever I see conflict and I can’t stop it.

And now I’ll suffer. For minutes, hours or even days. It’s hard to say.

I’ll suffer because those tiny words from someone I’ll never meet triggered something on my brain that I fight day and night not to trigger so I can have some peace.

But she doesn’t know that.

None of us know the ghosts the live inside other people’s heads, as we wake them up day after day.

Yes, I am over sensitive and most of the things that disturb me are only inside my head and not actually happening. But I still suffer from that, unfortunately.

The kid that figured out the puzzle

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When I was 20, I pictured the 40 year old me. The ” life” ? Well, that’d be all figured out.
The mystery of “who is the person I’ll marry and how many kids we’ll have” ? Also solved.
And I’d just sit back on my fluffy couch and stare at my accomplishments. Life would be good!
By the time I hit 34, I had my routine. I was so lucky to have my girls, to have moved to Canada, to have found a good job.

Lucky, lucky, lucky.

But, even though luck was a great thing, it’s not enough if you don’t really live it. I started to feel like every day without laughter was a waste of life.
A psychologist once told me that I had an urge to live. Could be. I DO get bored quite easily and the responsibilities of adult life had taken me to a place where I couldn’t remember how to enjoy things anymore.
I’ve mentioned this here before. Everything was at it’s place, yet, something was missing.

And then, the other day, I met a kid.

The kid had this thing inside him, an attitude towards people, that no matter how exhaustive the training we were participating on was, he’d always find an excuse to laugh. Make a joke. As if he was not standing on that same office I was, which was filled with computers, and learning about programs most people wouldn’t want to get involved with. While all of us, old people, could barely find the strength to smile at his jokes.
He made me wonder when exactly do we lose that enthusiasm? When do things stop being funny? Or was I the only one losing it at all?

Even though I was the luckiest person on the planet, I still couldn’t laugh. And I missed it so much. I’ve never missed being 20 ’cause I believe right-now is the best part of my life. This is not what this is about. But I realized missed having friends. The friends that would fill out the time while I stared at my accomplishments with their silly text messages and youtube videos. It didn’t sound like much… but I still couldn’t have it.

The cliche was right. It IS in fact all about the people around you rather than the things you have or the place you are (even though, the concept of ” PLACE” is important for me).
So, yeah, that kid’s changed me. For once, he made me realize that even the longest meetings may have funny moments if I change the way I look at things. Just as in life.
The other change was that he made me believe there’s a chance I’ll have a new gang here one day. Because I might still have the ability to make friends. Not everyone in this country is necessarily so different from me that we can’t relate, like I thought. I am guessing there are probably 5 bearable people around here somewhere… And there’s a chance we’ll bump into one another other one day and end up playing video games together (as if I could actually play videogames).
The kid got the puzzle together for me. Showed me what I was missing – and it was not setraline pills.
As it turns out, the mysteries of my life are not yet solved. I was wrong.  I’ve still got plenty to find out.

Thanks, kid. Really, thank you.

For making me realize those things and for making me laugh again. I absolutely missed that. I absolutely missed being me.
Please note that I do not indent to sound like a creepy old lady. I just realized we can learn and recapture important lessons from the youngsters too. Unlike that popular belief that says that only our gamma’s know it all!
You can have your mom call me at anytime!

You don’t like my point of view, you think that I’m insane.

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I do doubt if we are, in fact, from this world from time to time. I secretly wish we are not. Well, maybe I am not that secretive about it.

Sometimes I believe we have a soul. It happens when this world stops making sense. For instance, when I’m staring at the mirror for so long I don’t recognize myself anymore or when I say my own name over and over. “Michele, Michele” what the hell is a “Michele”? What a weird word that is!

Also, there are always those dreams when you see someone you know and they look different, but you still recognize them. Right?

That leads me to believe that there’s something else hidden inside all of us we’d still recognize even without an specific body form. Like an energy.

And that’s probably the kind of crazy shit that’s got the psychiatrist thinking I was borderline schizophrenic. I do emphasize the word “borderline” (as in ALMOST, not as in the disorder!) ’cause she said I was not going to develop it. But don’t get me wrong… I am, apparently far, far from normal.

There’s something on my brain that makes me wonder. I wonder about tiny symptoms that could kill me in minutes like no one else does. It terrifies me. And then it’s gone.

My friends say it’s depression. But I don’t feel sad. I feel terrified. Like there’s a huge black bear running on my direction and a cliff in front of me. Which reads to very little chance of survival and high heart rate! Except, I’m sitting in the office. I forgot.

She suggested medication, but only if I wanted to. That is, only if my mind wonders to the point where I can’t concentrate on life or actually suffer from things I somatize into my body or things that aren’t actually happening.

Which I do.

But isn’t that what makes me, me?

Yes, the crisis suck. But what kind of boring person would I be if I worried about society or money instead of how infinite the infinite is?

Unfortunately, being crazy is not always fun and games. There are always those days when the tactile hallucinations take over and don’t allow you to enjoy a sunset or a board game with your kids ‘ cause you think those are your last minutes on this earth. So, yeah… I guess the medication would be the “responsible” thing to do even though I am torn.

I mean … a medication that controls your thoughts and your personality seems so… so… what? “Controlling” I’d say.

I’d very much like to believe that I CAN control my own brain. Well, at least my thoughts. But hell, no I can’t do that! I can’t even control my weight! And that’s like the mechanical act of putting chocolate into my mouth!

I also need to say I am curious about the medication and what it actually feels like. Will it make my annoyingly happy like a smurf? Or will it have absolutely no effect and I’ll keep waking up in the middle of the night thinking who the f&^% is that person lying next to me and what room is this?

The first week is supposed to be bad – like, people try to kill themselves (WTF?) but, eventually, the sertraline on your brain is controlled and you’re all good.

*scoffs*

Yes, I doubt it.

For the record, I’d like to say that I considered the psychiatrist to be very superficial on her analysis BUT since the medication she suggested is also used for a bunch of stuff I absolutely agree that I have (like the hypochondria that I mentioned) , I’ll give it a try. Had she only picked up on the fact that schizophrenia runs on my family and decided that I had something related to that, I wouldn’t agree with the medication. Not ’cause I’m on denial, but just basically because I am pretty sure the radio is not talking to me. The closest I get to that kind of situation I believe is writing here as if someone was reading this and I find it quite offensive to the people who actually suffer from this terrible, terrible illness that is schizophrenia that the disease was even brought up.

Having said that…

Experiences with panic disorder and hypochondria medication, anyone?