Tales of Depression and Victory: tough relapse


It seems to have come out of nowhere. Without any prior notice. Or, wait – the daily accumulated tension and multitasking at work – this is where it all began.

The first stage is the attempt to ignore and take easy the signs of the looming storm. You just persuade yourself it’s the fatigue, bad day at work (although almost every day can be dubbed as such), PMS or even the vitamin deficiency. But then drop by drop it accumulates in the vessel. One drop – a bad day, another drop – fight with family who don’t want to see your sour face and not even know what to do about it, the third drop – daily fading desire to wake up early and observe morning rituals. Writing included. This is already alarming.

Alarming as it was, the relapse was probably unavoidable. And you can’t even guarantee or guess the exact time to be prepared. No, it’s an insidious bitch.

Then you find yourself in the same vicious circle again. Again and again. You start avoiding your family. You don’t find the energy to write to a friend. Or, you write to complain and speak up – but they don’t seem to understand, which is totally normal.

In fact, no one is possible to wear your shoes. And you don’t even want your precious ones to be inside them. The Spanish shoes…Inquisition. Medieval Ages. This is not the past. This is what’s going on inside you daily. Sometimes the light breaks in and you try to catch up. As though in the 1990s- when the electricity and water were supplied in small chunks and mom tried to juggle laundry, shower, household and all the possible stuff within this short period. The war was going on and we just adjusted to that harsh reality – thinking having interrupted supplies of water normal.

Now we have 24-hour electricity, water and even gas (at that time, gas was considered an almost untouchable luxury). But it’s all off inside me. Only chaotic flows of water circulate in my body and splash out in forms of tears and screams.

Once I even weep in the middle of the street. Loud. This is the final phase of relapse. Uncontrollable weeping.

I sit in my room and the hail and rain knock at my window. I just want to merge with the raindrops and fade away. For good…




Tales of depression and victory: episode 4 – fearless worrier


When the climax of panic is gone – and, believe me, it will happen sooner or later, no matter how desperate you feel now – you will be overcome with a liberating wave of fearlessness. Not that you won’t worry at all. No. You will still worry a lot – for trifles or major issues – but you will experience the feeling of invincibility, the inner strength that you never experienced before.

It will be hard paved road. The way to the state of a fearless worrier will be thorny. There will be moments of total despair, and there will be moments when the colors of life will brighten up. But in most cases, you will feel scaringly fearless. Unbelievably high-spirited. And outrageously brave. When faced with a bullying boss, or confronted by a toxic colleague, or just burnt out under the loads of work. Or, just in the face of loneliness or recent breakup.

Believe me, you will feel totally fine with yourself, with your worries, pains – physical and mental, – with your greatest fears. Because you once (or many times) experienced how it feels like to perceive the closeness of death, or, to be more precise – its twin brother – the panic attack.

The one who felt the hot breath of death close to his/her face cannot be afraid of losing a job. Or fear of being ignored, or even being dumped. You still worry a lot, but the daily growing brave warrior in you throws back the anxiety attacks, and fears, and disappointments. It’s such a meditative, philosophical state of mind. Suddenly all your career ambitions vanish – ayou find the meaning not in achievements, but in fulfillment and joy of simple moments.

Sometimes I even wonder – how a formerly ambitious career-oriented girl could turn into a process-driven protagonist of life full of simple joys. This is how a panic attack can change you overnight. Without a prior notice. Like it or not – you’re not the same any more…

Keep this spirit high. You’re invincible, my warrior brother. Don’t fret: soon your inner fearless child will beat the nasty oldie you’ve become and grow into a fearless rebellious youngster, living in the present, living FOR the present…

P.S. This post is inspired by and dedicated to my favorite yoga instructor Lena, a fearless woman and a loving mother.

Tales of depression and victory: the repeated scenarios


I used to be a master of drafting and acting on repeated scenarios. Amorous ones. With clear understanding of their being not-happily-ended yet untamed desire to go for yet another experience, fall into another gut of emotional turmoil. With outright stubbornness and outrageous frivolousness towards the results. With a speed of the fastest sprinter did I find myself in subsequent chains of doomed affairs.

They all had almost the same introduction: innocent flirt on the internet or over a cup of coffee. Then it all swallowed my emotional aura – with passion, turmoil, guilt, sweet anticipation of yet another secret encounter. The climax was almost the same: me asking them tough questions and them – distancing themselves more and more. And the ending felt me devastated, plus, as in case of the last year, with acute symptoms of panic attacks and anxiety.

Yes, secret. This is the most luring part, isn’t it? And the saddest one, too. I am not going to go into the details of each relationship – this I spared for my “Memoirs for My Granddaughter: Lessons to be Learned”. I’d like to tell you about the victory: you’ve already had enough of ‘depression’ chunks in my narratives.

…In the middle of my third repeated scenario, I just couldn’t bear any more. I was overcome with utmost fatigue – emotional, mental and spiritual. The script didn’t seem to be changing in a positive way this time, too. I again ignored a few signals that it wasn’t going to work. Moreover, it wasn’t already bringing joy and fulfillment in the short run, either. So, what was the benefit for me? Why should have I always felt that killing feeling of constraint, rejection and anxiety?

I was tired of expecting for illusions and ghosts: there was no two-way train bringing me to the station of Union this time, either. I felt sick of this ailment. Yes, unreciprocated or doomed feelings are a malady – one should get rid of it as soon as possible until it starts defining his/her being, every single step, every action.

So I quit. I just ran away from the station. Far far away. Leaving a note to him: “Sorry, I am tired. I lack freedom and space. Don’t contact me any longer. Wish you well. Siri.”.

I never looked back. I just moved on. The lesson was learnt this time. I chose my psychological balance and health over crumbs of romance I was trying to entertain myself with, a romance which in fact was a phantom with beautiful silhouettes.

There is no such thing as easy breakup. Every breakup hurts – even if it was a short-lived affair. But you should always be sure: when the wound is recovered you will feel as liberated and revived as ever. You will be empowered from within, as this is the greatest victory one can have: victory over the ghosts of past and illusions of the present. Now you have all the rights to feel proud of yourself.

P.S. Curtain: the chain of repeated scenarios was broken. I am not waiting for another train. Not yet. I chose to be alone for some time. At least, I won’t actively seek a partner. But whenever I again choose to travel, my next destination will be the Land of Reciprocated Feelings…









Tales of depression and victory: episode 1


Today I can’t keep silent. I’m sitting in our candlelit sitting room. The lights are off, so no internet and full of time to at last set to my narrative.

I am going to write about depression. Not the state of being depressed, but the real, devastating, mind and heart-draining depression. Spiced up with anxiety and panic attacks.

It’s time for the world to acknowledge the plague of the 21st century. It’s not cancer. It’s the cancer of soul, depression. It’s time for people to take care of their mental health – even more than they do about their physical condition.

I am not talking about the state of ‘the blues’ that we once in a while experience. I want to write about the chronic sense of emptiness, constant feeling of insecurity and panic, and uncontrollable crying triggered from seemingly nothing. And, above all, the background track called ‘Despair’…

If it all rings a bell, I don’t envy you…and your loved ones. You’re now a tough burden for yourself and your family (no matter how hard they try to convince you of the opposite).

I am writing these lines during those happy moments when a ray of light comes into the dark room of your thoughts and brooding. No, I am not hopeless. I still preserved the sense of pleasure and some happy moments within a day – connected with swimming, walking and…crying out loud on the shoulder of my family members.

But I strongly believe that depression is not a life sentence. It’s just a temporary imprisonment in the fortress of your thoughts and fears and failures. They are the guards of the prison. Severe and alert. Sometimes they sleep and you manage to catch the fresh breath of air from your prison window.

The daily dose of crying is over. Every day it starts almost the same way and ends in the embrace of different family members or friends. The good old panic attack is an unpredictable bitch. It likes fooling me around, pretending it’s headache or stomachache, or even it’s gone for good through a touch of a magic wand. But I feel it’s coming from the very first step it takes. It’s the old Chinese torture – the dropping water over the head of a prisoner, with the single difference that it’s you and your thoughts that have started the torture, not an external force. Yes. You and your attitude to reality, people, situations, success and failure, love and despair, expectations and inevitable disenchantment.

Today I cried right in the street. I was stepping out of granny’s house when it started. I was with mom. No longer could I hide my pain from her. I did it for too long. I spared her feelings. But I couldn’t keep silent any longer. That’s another thing about the attacks. Suddenly you stop caring about what others will think. The only thing you want is get rid of the huge shark of pain in your throat which threatens to swallow your whole being. Crying and screaming are the only solutions. I am lucky to be able to loosen like that. There are people who say they can’t. It’s horrible.

I didn’t care about people looking at me in the street, holding my mom’s hand and crying right in the middle of walking. I just wanted (as always) to get rid of the tons of lead in my heart, mind and body at the moment. An attack doesn’t differentiate between places. It just happens. And leaves you desperate and frightened – if it’s for the first time, or in the full swing.

Sounds familiar? I want to hug you, my friend. This is what my friends always do and this is what is the best healer, the best method. Don’t tell them to stop or to be strong, or to be ashamed. It has the opposite effect. Just be there. Just hold her/his hand. Say – I am with you and I will protect you. Let her cry away all the pain. It may come again, but she will feel safer.

It’s time to confess to ourselves: depression and anxiety are the banes of the century. Too high expectations, life paces, ambitions, illusions about love, perfect Facebook couples posting their every kiss…It doesn’t have to be a major bereavement and adversity to trigger the depression. Vice versa, the small and at the first glance trifling events may conceive it. Don’t blame yourself for being weak. It happens to the strongest. Don’t blame yourself for being pessimistic and desperate – it may happen to the most optimistic of us. Don’t think it has gone for good…it’s such an obtrusive bitch, it won’t leave you so easily…Be prepared for her possible arrival on your next station.

I am a super emotional and passionate creature, and my energy is often turned into a destructive one.

But I am not going to analyze myself. My therapist does it quite well. I am feeling so relieved while writing these words. I can write – and this is my weapon against panic and anxiety. This is my answer to depression. Yes I got weaker and I cry a lot and I am damn desperate at times, but I am a winner. I lost a battle but I will win the war. Because I am stronger than you. Because I have so many precious people around me, who help me in all the possible and impossible ways. Because I know they do care. And that’s what’s the most important thing in life. That’s a treasure that I am grateful for.

Be grateful, when you’re desperate. I know it’s hard to do as you are obsessed with the things you don’t have. But – do be grateful. For the simple joys of life. For this very moment. For this very second.

I will come out a different person. More mature and patient. This is my mantra which doesn’t seem to work…

To be continued…

Toxicity detected, or why are some people always unhappy?



Do you know any “always unhappy” person?

In one of my previous posts, we together unveiled how to identify and shield ourselves against emotional vampires. Let’s face it we’re all sometimes sieged by them, moreover, at times, we are the Draculas! (Not the funny one from my favorite Hotel Transylvania, but the real one- emotionally depleting and horrible).


Now let’s talk about a particular vampire “species” – “the always unhappy and complaining” type. They are toxic. But I’m not going to bash them: the inner discomfort may be deeply enrooted in the childhood or family circumstances; nor am I going to justify their being “a pain in the ass” for their surroundings. Let’s just discuss the reasons for their chronic unhappiness. If any of my readers identifies himself/herself of her friend, for instance, with the “type”, it will be useful for them to ponder over the reasons and try to eliminate them: not only for the sake of “the unluckiest person in the world whose problems are alien to anyone else in the world” but for your sake in the first place 🙂

  1. They’re not grateful for what they feel and have. Rather, they obsess over their not having enough money, friends, energy, resources, time (!), marital status, support from parents and spouse, support from strangers (!), support from God! and, continue the list, for being happy. Now listen: enough is enough and I’m going to be harsh on you with the simple truth. There is no “enough”. We humans are greedy creatures and our exponentially growing needs die hard to our resources at any single given moment.  As cliched as it may sound, just be grateful. The only path to harmony is thankfulness for the things we experience first and the things we have secondly.

2. They think their problems are the worst in the world and everyone owes to listen to them dwelling upon their hardships (for at least, 2 hours, for instance- offline or online :). That’s ridiculous. I’m deeply convinced that nature is so balanced, the give-and-take mechanism is so perfect that all the people are “granted” with the same amount of problems and are obliged to make sacrifices at this or that point of their lives. If someone chooses just not to overwhelm you with their troubles, worries, routine problems or even the major ones, that doesn’t mean he/she is on top of the world with joy and luck. That doesn’t mean I urge you to ignore a friend who feels like sharing and is going through a tough time. But you certainly have one who ALWAYS goes through a tough time and you don’t see an end to it.

3. And, lastly, by default, they believe life is hard. Well, you and I don’t think it’s a piece of a  strawberry marmalade, either, do we? But we don’t reiterate it and try to prove it to others by our being permanently disenchanted (or, at least, I hope so – in the majority of cases:) ) And again it boils down to the “victim” mindset. Listen. Life is hard for EVERYONE. I repeat- ev-ery-one. Now, are you a bit happy about it? Just a bit? Keep repeating it to yourself, my chronically discontent friend, as a mantra, whenever you feel like flushing your problems to your parents, spouses, friends or colleagues. Make it your affirmation in the morning, or do with it whatever you feel like. In addition, be grateful and think of others’ problems (by the way, supporting others rather than expecting support from others also helps), and maybe in near future you’ll notice you have all the “enoughs” to be happy!

Life: our friend or foe?


Recently I’ve been ruminating over the rules of life. Like a little fretful princess, it likes taunting us, torturing to tears, biting and stinging and then, at the end of the game, “award” us with a shiny smile.

Suddenly, in the middle of my reflections, I thought how good the life can be at throwing us to the situations opposite to the ones we would strive to be.

Love being in silence? Here you go- a job in a crowded office with constant buzz and bubble (over the work or everyone’s husbands’ work).

A passionate person? Good for you! Go and find your way of sublimation- shouting, yelling, bitching around or- more civilized variants- beating the pillows and dancing like a crazy- since you are not going to have any affairs (or a single meaningful one) for a long time. Deal with it.

An extrovert? Sorry, but there is only this available job opportunity in a small office with no colleagues. Go and grab it, you’re broke and have nothing to chew.

A tough woman seeking a strong man? Then you’re sure to be exposed to either a bunch of mellow losers, or shrewd gigolos, or- just the “perfect” but…married ones.

Life is sometimes against us. It’s our enemy, the most hostile and bellicose rival that you could ever meet. But it’s the fight that makes us stronger. It’s the acceptance of the impossible to change that makes us resilient. And it’s the bit of irony and cynicism that helps us stay sane in the most hopeless states.

As the closest friend may one day become your fiercest enemy, the life can play both roles at the same time. As one of the ancient sages said: “I don’t know what’s good, what’s bad”. Let’s at least TRY not to judge the events, just to accept them and be optimistic about what’s awaiting as in the Life’s next twist.

Myth debunker: How to fight Monday-phobia

gmo-runsystem-monday-morningTo most of us, Mondays are miserable, scary, frustrating (complete the list on your own). It turns out there is even “blue Monday” – the last Monday of January- which is the worst day of the year, and some counsellors offer ”Blue Monday” help! (NB: I had a productive morning and almost Friday-night-out- evening on January 26, the last Monday of 2015).

It’s ridiculous. A cultural myth permeating the offices and infecting workers with sluggishness, anxiety and series of yawns. A stereotype that has already been dispelled by statistics. According to US surveys,  around 340,000 people claimed to feel no worse on Mondays than other working days, except for Friday mentioning that sweet ”Friday feeling”.

So, what makes Monday so unjustly dubbed as “miserable”? The answer is obvious. It is the contrast in mood from Sunday to Monday that made Monday so loathed by the employed people. (Here’s the first thing to ponder over. Even though you hate Monday, it’s still better than never-ending week-end of the out-of-work). So, to smooth the contrast, you should start as early as Sunday evening.

Plan ahead something exciting for Monday evening – a rock/classical/jazz concert, sushi with friends, massage, SPA or intensive workout- whatever empowers you and creates an anticipation-mood.

A rule of thumb: to fight Monday-phobia, as any other phobia, you should face it and turn it into something more enjoyable and less scary in your mind. Manipulate your mind the way you treat Monday as any other weekday. Imagine it’s the promising Thursday and even liberating Friday! Feeling more at ease, aren’t you?

P.S. I admit I often find myself surrendering to the mainstream ”Monday blues” at the office or Facebook. But the thought that I’ll be jogo-ing at the capoeira class brings me back to the Friday-zoneJ