The blood stops short trapped before a hair tie, until I release the bun of tension: post exercise of body-induced drama. This is the captivating magic of night.
The mind works itself into heavy persuasion. The body labors with intense urging. The heart never questions what the goals are or what state of peak condition or overwhelmed fatness I stand in. A sober thought I do entertain is how someone can not understand the significance of body awareness and its dynamism.
I have a passionate addiction to adrenaline and to the exclusive kick of the way my muscles drum within its act of compulsion. The heart skips, skips and skips uninhibited. It beats obsessively and storms out my mouth like an aggressive bird. It ignites the fight and frenzy over the psyche and tissue land of freedom.
I’ve failed many times and am more successful because of every stoppage. And now every weakness is formed into substantial strength and what strength has already been established has now constructed itself into marble and stone.
The focus is better determined than years previous. The focus is better established than the last set and the mind-muscle connection tastes stronger than the last seething rep. I’ve been sucked into a craving that’s unaware of its bounds. I throw my fists into the air to battle and enter new coordination and balance ground.
My chest hovers over the floor, shoulders and triceps contract, hum and weep pushing up 200lbs plus over and over again. The brace of my abdominals is my body’s endless support and savior. Now there’s a surge spreading like a wild forest fire burning each of my hamstring fibers and into every angle and groove of my glutes with a various amount of hip thrust and single-leg pelvic bridges I can muster under time and tension. The inner thigh screams by its own distress signals and fleshly vulnerability. The burn degrees increase and I pull my center deeply to the spine to further the accuracy of the focal point along with the present.
I grimace in pain and drill my teeth into my own mouth. I start to elevate and disappear like smoke. I’m high now and there’s an exit. I’m high and there are no thoughts struggling its way to birth other thoughts. I’m high and suddenly there are no problems in the world. There is no suffering. There is only bliss and light. There is only presence and heaven. There is only the state of pure being.
So maybe I don’t need fixing? Maybe I’m perfectly normal except for a few bipolar episodes a month. Maybe I’m perfectly normal except that relationships are hard to manage under the waves of my high and low bipolar episodes. Unfortunately these episodes can last throughout the days, weeks, months and years. These episodes are rapid, can appear without sudden warning and sometimes when I’m outside looking in, I wonder about the duality of everything, the possibility of borderline personality disorder and about the strife everywhere in life.
As a result six months later after ongoing therapy I told the psychiatrist I would finally be ready to give medication a try and to my surprise she wasn’t super elated about it. I wonder if that meant anything aside from her not caring about making a difference in her position. The first medication she prescribed was called Lamictal. The interesting or unnerving thing about this medication is it’s actually considered an anti-epileptic (anticonvulsant) drug, if you can believe it.
This nutty psychiatrist prescribed Lamictal to me based on my bipolar disorder (to delay the episodes) and because she believed I could use additional assistance for weight loss. In any case, I was determined to give this a shot, so I took it with dedication for 3 months. Naturally, during the course, I went through many side effects and even if they lasted a mere day I wrote them all down. It was 2 decades almost exactly since I’ve taken any medication. Here’s how my brain and body reacted:
General sensation of always being sick
Flu like symptoms
Unbalanced (Clumsiness, loss of balance control)
Forgetfulness (like experiencing memory loss)
Loss of appetite
Stomach pain (Cramps)
Extra menstrual pain
Taste alteration (Either food taste better or disgusting)
Ringing of ears
Body sacs (like Folliculitis)
Can’t remember dreams
At first all the side effects above were consistent for the first 2 weeks. Then after the 2 weeks were up many of the side effects began to taper off as my body started to adjust without flu-like symptoms. However, these are the side effects that remained on a regular basis: An overwhelming desire to eat more Carbs than usual, extra Perspiration (even if I sat/stood still) and Headaches, Headaches, Headaches. But WAIT! There’s more.
In the beginning the one side effect that bothered me the most was the drowsiness; the feeling of perpetual sleepiness and overall weakness. Every day I was completely exhausted. During this sensible time, I was fighting with myself and wondering once again where my workout motivation disappeared to? Lamictal exhausted my entire system where for an entire month I couldn’t even get a single workout in.
The most prominent side effect (for me) that I can’t even explain, (but I’m sure somewhere there’s a terminology for it) tampered with who I am as a person. I’m not stupid enough to NOT believe changing or altering your brain/body’s chemistry wouldn’t affect your personality because it most certainly does. To me, this is one of the scariest things about taking a psychiatric pill, aside from consciously knowing you’re putting something extremely foreign in your body.
Lamictal affected one of the most personal parts of who I am – I could no longer write. I had zero desire for it. I felt like an entirely different person because of this. All my life I’ve written for school, tried my hand at screenplays, poetry, short stories and as you know blogging. So I’m like how could this be? No desire to write.
This was changing me in ways I wasn’t even ready for and I was doing my best to be objective about it. I would try sitting down at the table, hand caressing pen to paper, so I can come up with a single sentence and nothing would come out. It’s like the thought process couldn’t process a single thought. It’s like words meant nothing to me anymore and neither did the desire to express myself.
I felt severely inept and like I didn’t have any emotional response when it came to writing which blew my fucking mind! What kind of sorcery was this? This was when I decided I didn’t want to be on Lamictal anymore. It was a shock to my system that my brain and body reacted rather extreme.
So when I expressed to the nutty psychiatrist that Lamictal has changed me to the point where I don’t feel like myself anymore and I can’t even write anymore which is something I love doing, she says nonchalantly, “I never heard of this. This doesn’t seem possible. Let’s try something else.”
I’ve been trying to get out.
I’ve been trying to unearth the right time.
I’ve been talking to dead fish by the river.
I’ve been talking to the celestial body, reigning orb of night.
I’ve been trading places with shadows.
I’ve been in hiding.
I’ve been throwing things out.
I’ve been investigating my patience.
I’ve been talking to ducks by the Brooklyn bridge.
I’ve been talking to the brightest star, singeing god of land.
I’ve been trading in shades of light.
I’ve been in hiding.
This title will be deceiving to some as there are types of professions that’ll give you the girlfriend experience automatically for their own reasons, but I picked this title because it describes my experience perfectly. See, when your own therapist is trying to give you the girlfriend experience and it doesn’t involve great conversation, an evening gown, a sugar daddy or walking away with an orgasm – you have to question what is going on because some people like myself actually want real therapy.
I’m not looking to sit in somebody’s office and talk about what’s happening throughout my week on a weekly basis. I don’t want to gossip about my life so the therapist could live vicariously through me. I don’t want a girlfriend to laugh with that’s presented as a therapist to have offset conversations about my future with. I don’t want to sit under jarring lights and speak about my opinions or views about my relationship and how does it feel to live with my partner and his two kids.
I don’t want to wait outside the therapist office only to hear loud laughs coming from behind closed doors because I want to KNOW and I want to SEE and I want to HEAR real therapy happen. You know – the kind of therapy that leaves you crying, reflecting and even feeling lost in your own world by the thought-provoking questions and thoughts that should occur.
The truth is I don’t need to share my present or future plans with this therapist. I don’t need the option to have a family therapy session. I don’t need to replace a girl who is a friend because I don’t have any current (real life) girls who are friends anyway. I don’t need my therapy session to be fun or lighthearted. I don’t want to be in a niche I believe my therapist has – some kind of Women’s Club.
So the question is: What do I want from therapy?
I want to stay stuck. I want to stumble. I want my thoughts to dig in their own graves if it means I’ll find a better understanding of myself. I want to cry (if it goes there). I want the therapist to do their job. I want a therapist to put in time and effort by taking real opportunities to intentionally ruin my day with childhood trauma and life-altering questions. I want a therapist who wants to make a difference in every client’s life. I want to walk away from the therapist appointment feeling like I had a great therapy session and not like I had a fucking girlfriend experience. I’m not there to be coddled. I’m there for serious matters.
What I want from therapy is very specific and it has to be because there isn’t any other way to go about it. I have a family history of mental illness. Some behavior is learned, while others are given to me directly by blood. I notice sometimes I’m managing okay, and other times I have to accept that I’m not. I was diagnosed as a twelve year old kid with Depression. Now it seems I graduated to being Bipolar. It is important for me to understand my illness, my blessing and my curse. And it’s super important for me to understand my behaviors and tics and why I switch into two different types of people without any awareness as to when it’s happening.
The point to all this is: I remember clearly telling the lady who performed my evaluation exactly what I want(ed) as well as the first time I met and spoke with my therapist.
My therapist has a good nature about her (at times) despite being very different from me and my own life. Still, I want a good therapist. And I will get a good therapist because I’m not settling for less and because I’m not going to stop searching for one. And as I walk away from the therapist office once again thoughts start to balloon collectively but singularly at once: Why is it every time I’m early to my appointment and lounging in the waiting room I see the same aged clients (late 20’s- early 50’s) strolling out of my therapist’s office? Why are all these women – whether they’re young or old laughing every time they leave the therapist office? And why are all the therapists’ clients’ women?
Now the time has come where I believe I’ve fully given this woman enough of my time. I’m never getting those months back. Of course this is a learning experience for future therapists and future standards I’m going to set right in the beginning of my first therapy session which takes place next week because this bitch doesn’t play. I did my goal: I stuck with a therapist for about 6 months because I’m like most men in the world – I have commitment issues. Nevertheless I learned a lot. Therefore this is where I break up with the girlfriend experience who is my therapist.
Some Final Notes
Some people have a problem with breaking up with people. Fortunately and luckily, I do not. I enjoy it, and frankly – welcome it! I think about how my life has been about one big confrontation. And luckily for me I love confrontations because it says a lot about the kind of person you are (or not). I go on and think about the bases I have to cover in case this therapist decides to fire away questions because she doesn’t like my basic answer which is: There’s something missing in our therapy sessions.
Along with confrontation I think about liberation. Breaking up with a partner, wife, husband, business partner and such can be a fantastic release, even if it hurts initially. I think about the freedom to speaking your mind and expressing what it is you really feel and think about right after moving on and never looking back because if it was good for you, you’ll still be in the relationship or in my case – sitting in a seat across from my therapist who wants to get paid to do half ass work. I’m not wasting my time to get half ass results. If a person isn’t driven for success by giving out quality work then why should I (or any other client) be around?
If the other clients don’t understand this, that’s not my problem, and as is, not every client wants what I want. Some actually want to be coddled. However, I’m leaving this therapist because I have self-love. I wish she understood what it is she’s currently providing by not providing. As a therapist, she should put in time and effort into improving and evolving her client’s lives unless they specified to have a girlfriend experience.
I am absolutely elated! I’m joyful and in high spirits training speaking (and yes I’m talking about Ballet Beautiful). I never thought anything other than weightlifting could bring me to a place where I’m both happy and full of plenty endorphins. For thirteen years I’ve devoted lots of time, effort, tears, injuries, strains, tears and more into the lifestyle of weightlifting. This has been a part of me like my genetic makeup. The iron has forever been my best friend when I didn’t have any best friends.
The truth is over the last year or two – I associate a lot of negativity with weightlifting. There were endless moments where my weightlifting sessions were more about doing my best to fill in my countless voids rather than for the purpose of how I looked or other health related reasons. I was destroying my body to the ground with force and brainwashing myself with negative words and connotations.
Day in and day out I would break my body. I used to work hard for hours in the gym doing 60-90 minute cardio sessions and a separate 60-90 minute weightlifting session a day up to 5-6 times a day for many hours. I bet I could light up Times Square with all the energy I gave to the gym daily. Sometimes I would split the sessions up and other times I would do it back to back with a protein bar or a shake in the center of the sessions.
The twenty-four hour gym was my haven – it was my alcohol and bar. I gym hopped from one gym to another especially when the manic nights wouldn’t let me sleep.
This leads me into another subject where I built more brainwashing for my training life mind. I tell you now that everything is a lesson in disguise if you have the ability to recognize it and flex your self awareness often. The fitness industry can be a motivating place for some and a disheartening place for others. The one thing I know however is the fitness industry has a powerful impact on everyone in the world. I wish I could say I’m immune to it, but I’m not. Sometimes I get caught up in the strange world.
I like to pride myself on rarely looking up to anyone in the fitness and bodybuilding industry because no one is like me and I’m not like anyone else. I don’t look up to the pros in the fitness industry because I don’t agree with most of the things they say. Everything is airbrushed, enhanced and they’re in competition mode selling us lies that come in imagery, supplements and pill bottles.
The thing that gets me the most about these fitness pros is their brainwashing – it is pretty much the same talk and mentality. They’re like clones of one another with their mantras: “No pain, no gain” and “Train insane or remain the same.” Should you train with pain? It depends on the kind of pain. Should you train through your pain? No. Will these pros tell you that? No. But they’ll tell you whatever you want to hear to make you buy the products they themselves are forced to sell.
To my knowledge (and I don’t know of every person in the fitness industry), almost every single coach, IFBB/National Pro and even fitness gurus talk about extreme dieting and extreme training. One day I viewed a video someone on Twitter linked and was shocked when I saw a powerlifter expressing his extreme viewpoint on why you should work through elbow pain, and if you don’t, then you really don’t want your personal records and so forth.
This is hogwash!
Just because you refuse to bury your body into the ground and you want to live and die for your weightlifting/Powerlifting numbers – doesn’t mean YOU should. Just because you have a tear in your shoulder/knee and need to beat out your competition as a way to prove to yourself and the whole world YOU can do it – doesn’t mean YOU should DO it. You should take a step back and really analyze the world and what they’re telling you and what dream they’re selling YOU.
The thing is you need to look at facts aside from asking: Why are you putting your body through hell? What are your reasons? Are they good reasons? Or are you doing it for your business, for your team or for your country? Is there something in your life that you’re running away from? Or is there a void you’re trying to cover? Or do you simply live for the passion and want to break your body in return for this passion you’re feeling?
I know myself well enough to know what my boundaries are within a single moment in which I stand as a human, part flesh, part energy in Mother Nature’s grand land..
Sometimes one has to sacrifice themselves for a greater cause other than their physical being. Other times like this weekend, one may have to sacrifice their patience, reserved energy and sanity for a friend, for money.
Working for 14 hours and being away from home for 16 hours isn’t a thing that occurs naturally. Nor would I desire it to. I, fortunately, don’t work in a field which requires this extreme amount of time out of my precious day. All for personal reasons. All because I Know Myself. However working a double shift as a favor for my friend. Getting extra cash to make sure I pay my part of the rent with my roommate doesn’t seem to be harmful, now does it?.
But it is for someone like me.
I’m a preferred loner. A superstar devoted introvert. An outcast from society’s standards. A nonconformist with goodwill, good faith and tremendous beliefs. I’m otherworldly, this I know. And therefore I’m in a streak of anger because I’ve yet to recharge my energy back to the status that I own and work with at an optimal level well.
At the moment, the sun caresses my face and though it is seemingly beautiful, I find no beauty in it. Tis’ the life of being an imperfect human. Losing oneself in emotion. Being consume quite easily by the dark hands that are always reaching out to cradle your every ounce of vulnerability. My sanity turn to small bouts and tantrums of insanity and overshadow what happy thoughts I may create.