TAKE IT EASY

Yesterday during kick-box training my trainer stopped during one particular exercisewhere I had to exchanged two punches to the other guy
and then receive two punches in return
and the trainer told me to ”take it easy,”
cos ”you don’t know it yet but your face is drained of all color. You won’t notice it until it’s too late and then you’re hugging the floor.”
It’s true,
I didn’t notice anything until I was on my way home
and I felt dizzy and tired,
and it wasn’t until I had a good meal inside me that I felt better.

None of this is something to be ashamed of I guess,
but that’s how I feel.
I should be tough and handle this training
but apparently I’m too weak.
And whenever I leave training,
my trainer always reminds me to ”take it easy”
cos he can see that I’m stressed out too much.

It’s been a tough week for me,
at my job I’ve received negative feedback
because I make sloppy mistakes.
On a personal note,
the boss also told me that my language is too coarse
and when I come into work,
I’m complaining too much
and my colleagues get distracted because of this.
cos more often than not,
I start about something negative
and it’s tiresome listening to some naggy motherfucker all the time.
This affects the work environment.

Naturally she has a point,
cos I know I ain’t easy to deal with at times.
I can feel how uneasy she feels in my company at times
and that she doesn’t know how to deal with me.
Same with my colleagues who’ve witnessed on multiple occasions how quickly my mood switches
from casual to jolly
to depressed.
I could be having a good time
breaking balls with colleagues
then suddenly I’m lost in a ruminating thought
I start hating myself
I feel embarrassed cos they didn’t laugh at one my jokes enough
or
I’m haunted by this fear that I did something inappropriate
and they’ll talk amongst themselves
saying what a piece of shit I am.
And I’m constantly checking myself,
watching my language,
making sure I don’t touch anyone,
cos that would freak me out,
would spur on my OCD
and then I’d fear losing my girlfriend,
the one I love.
And
I know I should challenge my OCD
and not recoil into it.
The more you recoil into it
the stronger it gets.
But it’s too hard
and even after a few victories,
one failure can put me seemingly back to square one.

There’s all these things I want to achieve:

I want to be a great boxer,
and I do a match one day-
become a decent amateur (despite the fact I’m close to my thirties and I’m just starting out).

I want to be a great writer
and
create multitudes of
short stories,
novella’s
novels,
screenplays
and plays
cos there’s so many stories in my head
but I’ve wasted so many of them
and I never finish anything.

I want to be a great Buddhist,
be meditative and calm
and teach people how to approach life.

And all of these things are hard
and I guess I want too much
cos I also gotta go to work
and I don’t like this work but I gotta make money.

I gotta sleep on time
or
else I’ll be tired and cranky at work.

I gotta eat healthy too or else I’ll feel bloated
and my man-boobs will get bigger.

My girlfriend tells me
to just focus on having fun with boxing and writing
but I haven’t been having fun doing either of those things in quite some time.
I feel horrible when I’m doing it
and I feel horrible when I’m not doing it.
So I don’t do it as much anymore
and just mindlessly watch TV shows and movies
and dream about doing it in the near future.
And when I go to sleep I dream about this man I want to be,
even though I don’t think I can ever be this man.
I think it’s too late to be this man,
I lost my shot for being this man,
this interesting and inspiring artist.
I think it was there somewhere in the past
but I fucked up
and choose self-pity instead.
Cos that was always easier,
cos telling yourself you will always fail
is easier than working hard and
achieving something…

So now that I’ve gotten this out of the way,
I’m going to get some lunch
and after lunch it’s time to make myself some coffee
and do some writing.

But before I do
I’ll remember what my trainer said:
”take it easy,”

You got that?

I think so.

No thinking,
you gotta be sure.

Yes I’m sure.
I mean how hard can it be?
Just relax, take it easy, have fun.
Should be doable right?

Right.

Tony  Sopranos

***

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YOU HAVE SO MUCH WORK TO DO

I’ve said this many times before and I don’t want to say these words again, but I can’t help it…

”I was doing so well. I thought I’d finally woken up from the nightmare. I would never fall asleep again. I thought it would never come back. I was too strong for it now.
I educated myself on it.
I taught myself to see the signs:
-The repetitive questions,

the way it keeps coming back,

asking the same questions again and the right answer only satisfies it for a short while

and then it’s hungry again.
-the need for confirmation,
even for the most obvious goddamn things.
You ask once and soon you’ll ask again.
You know you’ll never be free if you keep making it stronger.
-The thoughts has a peculiar feeling,
they are not normal thoughts,
they are diseased,
they smell,
the make you sick from the inside.
-The biggest question of all:
is this just OCD
or is this reality?
Don’t you have a sneaking suspicion this is reality?

All I want is to look at her face and enjoy her company.
All I want is to be left alone with her,
why can’t you just leave me alone with her?

I even gave it a monstrous face,
despite the fact that it’s nothing more
than chemicals in my brain.

It’s a monster in my head,
and it’s doing is toying with my brain receptors
and the only way to make it is to dope yourself with medication
or learn to break the habit.
Know its patterns
know the signs
and then move on.
Make it starve to death.

Start meditating again,
close your eyes,

take a deep breath,
accept what’s going on with you.
Go to the gym
and lift weights,
run the treadmill,
go that extra mile,
make yourself like you can’t take one more step.
Wear your boxing mitts and get inside the ring,
don’t flinch when you see your opponent coming for you,
take his punches,
slide to the left and hit him back.
It’s okay to bleed.
Bleeding is just what you need.
It’s okay to break some bones,
it’s okay to be scared,
take it,
learn to defend yourself and then hit back.
Get outside your head,
get outside your head,
get outside your fucking head.

Write about your experiences,
express yourself creatively,
give it a voice,
make it mean something,
draw something,
even if you can’t draw for shit.
Start a picture collage,
make random pictures of strangers on the streets,
who cares if they get annoyed?
You are just trying to get by like everyone else.
You are trying to make something mean something to yourself like anyone else.
Start writing again,
a poem, a novel, a novella, an essay, a fucking blog,
anything,
the only way to make anything meaningful is to write about it.
If it’s on paper it means something,
if it has a title,
if characters have arcs,
if it’s real,
if it’s based on your experiences,
if it was just the thing you needed to do
and made you feel so good,

if only for a while
then it fucking means something.

Make it mean something,
even if it doesn’t seem to have any meaning.
Even if there doesn’t seem to be an end to it,
even if it all seems like a pitiful joke.
Make it mean something

and somewhere along the line,
after doing all of that,
you’ll wake up from the nightmare,

probably.”

See.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania foxcatcher cinematography

***

What Matters Most

My tattoo is imperfect
just like this poem.

My Bukowski/Buddhist/sugar-skull tattoo is imperfect
just like my brain.
My brain is and has always been imperfect.
It was imperfect the second I was born.
It became increasingly imperfect the older I became.
Now I’m filled with irrational fears
and obsessive-thoughts.
The tiniest details can be terrifying.
A small innocuous act can be interpreted as subconsciously malicious.
A small meaningless imperfection can be the end of the world.
A tattoo, with an imperfection, can make me want to cry and hide away in shame.

But then it dawned on me about the message of the tattoo:

What Matters Most is
how well you
walk through the
fire.

Sometimes when I walk through the fire, I stumble.

I carry with me an imperfect brain as I try to cope with existence and make it something worthwhile and meaningful.
One of my greatest struggles is my obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The mind that fixates on my every little deeds
and scrutinizes my every thought.
The monster I always carry with me,
the monster that makes me doubt the most beautiful aspects of my life.
The monster that makes me want to hate myself.
He will always be there,
he will never go away.
Just like this tattoo.

But like my imperfect brain
and like my imperfect tattoo
there are beautiful things to it too
if I look at the bigger picture
if I notice the shadow
and detail
and if I see clearly enough,
I began to realize that this imperfection doesn’t really matter.
It’s part of me,
part of who I am.

I have to accept it
because
there is no other way.

There is no you without your imperfect mind.

There is no you without this imperfect tattoo.

There is no you without the fire.
And it burns,
it can burn for quite a while.

There are scars
and there are bad memories
and there are tattoos:
self-inflicted wounds and works of art.

They are there to remind us of something,
to bring us closer to ourselves.

And as I’m looking down at it now,
noticing the shadows
that make the lotus flower on its head stand out
think it looks beautiful.

Don’t you think so too?

Image may contain: one or more people
***

Elegy for an OCD-Patient

There’s salvation inside…
Until I figure out the plot, until I smooth out everything in the past, I can’t relax.
You never know what will be your undoing.
If you fix this now, you’ll be set. You can enjoy the moment. You can enjoy falling in love. There’s no need to worry about whether you even deserve her. You got to keep telling her the truth. But what if you’re lying to yourself? What if you are hiding something inside your mind? Figure it out. Figure it out before it comes to you and destroys everything…

But there’s something wrong in there…. Every time I go in I keep going to the same place. I rearrange, I clean up, but the stain just keeps getting bigger.
I pretend I don’t care but it’s not true. This feeling won’t go away that something is deeply wrong. This feeling taints everything. Whatever you do, you know something is not right. No matter who you are with, you know this person can’t accept you because you must have done something so horrible.

It’s a disease! It’s a parasite! Don’t listen to it!
You need to pay, but you can’t figure out what. Something isn’t right. You need to go and find out what it is. You keep going to the same place. MAKE IT STOP. There’s salvation inside. You just have to delve deep enough. PLEASE. Until I figure out the plot, until I smooth out everything in the past, I can’t relax. You never know what will be your undoing…

Picture taken somewhere in Holland. 

***

Somewhere Else

I’m not really here. All I want to be is to be present, right here, with you. But I can’t. I tried. I just keep going back. Every time I think I’m on my way back, I realize I haven’t moved an inch. At times It’s worse when I’m with other people. They tried to make me feel like I’m part of them and I pretend I am, but I quickly realize this is impossible. The people are here. They flutter now and then but most of them stay where they need to be. They stay in this world. I’m trapped in my own world, I created it without my blessing. I just wish I could be here. I wish I could feel like I should, like you deserve. I wish I could experience joy without this nagging feeling that things are not alright. This consciousness knowledge that the moment is lost. You can never experience it fully. Things are not alright and they will never be alright. It happens to people sometimes. Along the way something happens to them or they make a mistake and it damages them for life. Sometimes they just happen to be born with it. This alienation was always there, it just needed time to grow….
 I just wish I was more like you. The things I could do if I was more like you. Maybe someday you’ll teach me. Maybe someday you’ll make me dream it’s possible. The people can escape hell when they fool themselves its possible. I like that idea. I like that idea a lot.”

Photograph taken in Katowice, Poland.

***

A Bad Habit

”I have this habit of looking back, even though I know I shouldn’t. If I don’t go back I have this constant feeling telling me that something is amiss. Something’s wrong, you need to check it out before it’s too late. I keep fearing that pernicious knock on the door, the devil smiling at me, telling me ‘you should have seen it coming.’
So I look back, observe images from the past. Some of them are very painful. Once you see them and look hard enough, they refuse to leave you alone. But I keep looking, hoping to find something, an answer that will make these painful memories hurt less. I keep trying to remember everything as clearly as possible. Maybe if I look hard enough, I think, I will discover something new.
In return I find myself imprisoned back there. I try to escape but the guilt becomes too much. I try to stop caring but I can’t. There is nothing I can do. I just keep staring back, hoping that somehow, if I look hard enough, I will find a way out of there.”

Photograph made in Poland

***