Tag Archives: shrink

Bow & Breathe

9 Dec

image

Every show is different.

…Outside of the obvious, I mean it in the ways that they affect you; Even down to the basics of blocking rehearsals, and early French scene runs…before you’ve even gotten to the really meaty, everyone-off-book, part.

The last show was a laugh-fest of hams personifying humans, waltzing around making merry.  Which meant that, naturally, we all wanted to carry it on afterwards…usually to the local watering hole…where we would continue our antics (unscripted), with the boosting cheer of alcohol.

This show is more, hypertension, caged-animal fighting, sinus-weeping at max, with a couple of inappropriate jokes in between. Which means that, naturally, we all want to carry it on afterwards to the local watering hole, where we can kill it with a couple slugs of good whiskey, neat.

…The problem with that being: I don’t like alcohol as a medication for feeling like shit. 

…”Emotionally,” that is. 

(I’ll hot-toddy the sniffles to death in half a second, if given the opportunity.) 

…But depending on a drink to loosen the stays of the emotional corset I’m wearing, three to four hours a night, (and up to eight, on weekends) will NOT help me in the end.  It will only service me a new laundry list of problems.  So I have to be smart about how to deal with what is “left over”…my little host of nightly scars and unresolved emo-haunting…and not take them out on a bottle of something, expecting it to act as a cure. Or even to, “take the sting out.”

I wanted this job.

I knew what it would take.

I gotta put on my big-girl-panties, and do it.

…And because I know “me,” I gotta have a plan of attack to help even myself out afterward…or this could very well become the kind of sleepless obsession-state that’ll drive me into some kind of nervous breakdown.

I thought that maybe, instead, I’d not have one…as I’m kinda busy right now.

…Which means, I go back to my little mental toolkit built back in my days of Shrinkdom. Do some of the thinky-exercises to deal with extra-emo kinda things, I write in m’blog as needed, and return to the regime of morning and nightly Yoga.

…Just breathing exercises in the morning, but a full session every night before bed.

No matter how exhausted I am.

…And to follow that: only wash, and bed.

This was my old regime we had set, “back when,” giving me the most resolution to a hard day, the best start of the next, and a sort of defragmenting to my general software in the brain: releasing any little left-over burps and farts of aggression, sadness, frustration and fear.

A good plan, I think.

…And a good task at taking care of the “me” that will be taking and giving mental and physical beatings every night, from now into February.

…Which is NOT to say, I don’t intend to go out and have fun with these peeps, when the occasion arises.

It just means I am self-aware that “fun” is what is being had, that healthy solutions to feeling like crap are made, and that I am full of fuel and ready to hit the gas, full-throttle, come the next rehearsal…with no holding back.

And speaking of: another good one in the can.

Awesome Yoga session: complete.

Blog: now written.

…And now to wash and bed.

Namaste, cuties.

~D

One Hundred

20 Oct

image

SWAL is now 100 posts strong, well past our 3000th view and has 75 followers in a little over 4 months since we opened shop here on WordPress.

…We aren’t one of the Big Boys with gillions of traffic hits, but we have great affection and appreciation for each and every one of you, our readers. We enjoy making new friends (which in real-life we happen to suck at.) We enjoy stopping by your pages and catching up on your days and weeks and projects…we enjoy little blurbs left now and then on our posts, and we enjoy the fact that our “likes” aren’t a popularity contest…each one of them mean that you totally know what we’re talking about and are kindred spirits in these things, day to day. Or maybe, we just made you smile, or feel glad you don’t have the 9-5 job we do. Either way, today’s post is for YOU.

Thanks, for daily giving me a forum to vent and wonder and create in. Thanks for keeping me honest, and on task with each days post…even when I’m too busy or tired and don’t feel like writing. You have saved me thousands of dollars in additional shrink fees, and help rise my spirits when they land in the shitter.

I’ve learned a lot, since writing m’first post here.

…To be honest, I would really appreciate the million-viewer blog as well, but for different reasons…reasons monetary, that could help fund bill paying and other such incidentals. And I tried. But seems that SWAL had other plans in mind. She’s decided her own fate I think, and chooses to keep it closer to home. After a couple of months, I finally got that, and let her follow her own path.

…Letting go of your children (albeit even artistic ones) isn’t always easy. You might plan out this entire bright future for them that they are not designed to fit into. You can write a play that gets at fest levels and runs the gambit, but never goes mainstream. You can write a book that took everything you had in creative resources and never sees a pressing. You can have a 40 year career in Hollywood playing “second guy on the right,” never quite getting the big break you were hoping for. But if you are doing what you love and need to do, at some point you will accept the cost of it, without expecting a big payout in dollars and cents, end-of-the-day.

Just doing it will be enough.

SWAL’s blogging voice is a different character, almost completely, from last incarnations on blogs I have built in the past. She has become this other being: a slightly more butch, openly biting, yet ultimately more forgiving version of me. But she is a “character”…and with realizing that, I’ve come to realize I’ve built this person who lets me be more balls-out than I usually am in real life, and helps me build up a little more urgency to my life force as a whole.

I like her.

…She’s ain’t elegant or necessarily subtle, is much more effusive and daring, but she’s who I needed when I needed to create something new. As I’ve learned more about her, by writing her, I’ve come to respect her own voice, and will even go back and edit out (or in) certain formats of language because they either do or do not fit her “character.”

…Essentially, (from the writing perspective), I am a dramatist, a “playwright.” It’s the medium I am most comfortable with, yet haven’t created anything new in nearly two years. It seems to me, that SWAL has winked her way into my life as a reminder of what I do best: create characters. Filter life through their perspectives, yet do it in such a way as others can relate to them. Write a person you understand…parts and pieces borrowed from dozens of others you have met, that when put together build specifications and realism’s to what is in fact only a name on a piece of paper, until you make something more of it.

After three months and 100 posts, SWAL is very much her own person, and steadily pressing on. Her daily script of Improv may change, but in the end, by reading our posts, you’ve encouraged our strange little serial Telemudo to continue to grow and further it’s grasp in the world.

…And the royal “we” just wanted to say, “Thanks, guys.”

🙂

~D

Linear Label Laws

2 Sep

image

What IS a “Linear Label Law,” one might ask? 

I didn’t invent it, I only named it.  Lots of fellow OCDers practice it religiously as well, and I thought that for their sake, I’d help spread the word a little, to the “normals.”  That way, if you find yourself stepping into a home which screams the obvious tell-signs, you can cooperate accordingly, and maybe not be a dick about it.

…The Linear Label Law is a two-part regulation regarding both height order and presentation, which specifies that everything within every cupboard, refrigerator, bookcase…or flat surface in general, obey the certain categorization requirements usually reserved for library shelving on the dewy decimal system.  Depending on the inclinations of said OCDer, some or all of the following must be categorized, either alphabetically, within their specified genre of existence, paired out occasionally by color or type, and/or height…but must ALWAYS (without exception) have their labels facing outward. Obeisance is required.

Always.

I’ve been a practitioner of this law for quite some time, but thankfully have never reached the stage where I feel the need to walk around correcting other people’s lack of implementation.  I can sit at a restaurant table and not become obsessed with categorizing the jams and jellies or putting all the sugar packets in order. I can visit a friend’s house and not become completely distracted by incorrect picture hanging alignment, or colors touching other colors in arrangements of things that would drive me totally bat-shit within the walls of my own home.  Basically, unless it belongs to me directly, I don’t feel responsible to “rescue” said items from whatever egregious error is taking place in their regards (like an upside down book on a shelf for instance.)  If it isn’t mine, the bastard is totally on its own.  And this, I suspect, is due in two parts to:

1) Working with men all day long who never put anything back or away, at any time, ever.

2) My Shrink once saying, “You could totally be worse right now…for instance what if you had this issue?”

…The first part, is like when obsessive compulsives have children. Working with Men is basically the same thing. Part of the OCD has to recede in these cases, otherwise you would worry yourself into impossible perfection-oblivion by never sleeping, eating or resting ever again.  The second part scared the shit out of me, mostly because I already had motor skill, speaking, sleeping, and anxiety issues to the extreme. The thought that I could be worse, damn near sent me into an episode right there in my Shrink’s office.

The long and short of it is: I may not be on a Grand Poobah scale of Linear Label Lawing, but it is still a taxing enterprise to keep up with, even if only in the confines of my own person, office, and home.

…This is helped (in no way) by the fact that there is something special about this law…(like the one about “No Parking” signs)…that makes people in the vicinity who know about it, immediately want to break it.

Almost nothing delights people more than to incorrectly file a contract to an entirely different category, turn the beans label facing backward, write in blue ink all over my desk calendar, swap the stapler home with the tape, move the milk to another shelf, stack the lobby brochures in all the wrong order, attack the cork board postings with thumbtacks like it was a shooting gallery…or put the short bottle in the back, on the bar.

…Most of the time, this is not done in the spirit of meanness…it is 85% of the time, just out of curiosity. Like a game, they wait for me to exit a room and then watch upon my return to see how long it takes me to sense the error through the very vibrations of the element changes in the air.

…Which is all done in karmic pay-back of course. 

I used to do this same exact thing to my Aunt, once. 

…With the ever patience of Job, she would return and carry on an entire conversation while readjusting every single alteration to a room that we had made.  It was fascinating.  How did she manage it?!  She must be a Wizard!  Or at the very least a clairvoyant!  How could one know the mere millimeters change in a picture frame angle, in which magazine was on top of the others…which order the books are in on the shelf, and that “this” do-hicky, goes on “that” do-hicky in natural grouping selection and presentation?

…It took me about a decade to figure it out.

…And then, it seemed that one day: I just knew.

And I can never “un-know” it ever again.

It can be exhausting, let me tell yuh.

…Hold that thought. I have to go fix the coaster stack on the table.  BRB…

~D

Adventures In Sleeping

29 Aug

image

Woke up this morning with the fitted sheet all balled up in the bottom corner pocket, my pillow on the floor, and my mouth guard laying next to me.  I either had really amazing dream-sex or a fight with zombies. I’d like to hope not both, but you never know what may happen. Either way, I don’t remember any of it…which is always weird to me now.

…It didn’t used to be like that.

For a little over a decade I never remembered my dreams at all…cuz I was really traumatized with probably the most horrifying nightmare ever, after the death of a friend in 8th grade. So I did everything I consciously (and unconsciously) could, just to wipe ’em all away. The “good” with the “bad.” And outside of an occasional flicker, I never remembered them at all. Not the theme, not the starring players, not what went down…nothing. Just faded snapshots every now and then.

Turns out, that isn’t really the most healthy thing.

When I started therapy, my Shrink warned that sometimes it can bring on kinda crazy dreams, and I should “prepare myself.” To which I smirked that I had brain-parts of STEEL (obviously, otherwise why else would I be in therapy?), and such things just never really “affect” me.

…So you can imagine my surprise when within a week, floating heads of my dead Ancestors would hover next to me, in a world that looked roughly like something Picasso or Dali would have painted, and all my teeth kept falling out. Totally normal and not freaky at all for your first time dream-scaping since you were 13.

The more we dug and tore at all my problems, the stranger they became. Like constant little acid trips every time I drifted off…which, coincidentally, is the first time I ever developed insomnia. I became literally too terrified to close my eyes. Four, twelve, sixteen dreams would collide all at the same time, all with these intense emotions and circumstances that never made sense…and all with a constant underlying terror at the base of them, which could never be explained.

…Eventually, of course, I managed to work it all out, in the little sorting machine of “strange” up in m’head…and as I got “better,” my night adventures did too. In time I managed to sleep like a human again. Without screaming myself awake. Or finding finger nail digs in the palm of my hand every morning. In time I was flashing back to childhood memories that were the good kind, fantasizing new ice cream flavors, having dinner with my BFF Meryl Streep, winning the Pulitzer, and running for President.

…You know…normal stuff, like that.

Then it calmed down to a trickle…only once in a great while sticking with me beyond that first three minutes or so, after being ripped awake by the alarm clock.

I don’t remember my dreams much anymore at all, now. Only an exceptional few.

…Not because I block them…just because, well…because “I don’t,” I guess. Waking up this morning, and seeing the condition of my bed, just kinda got me thinking: how in the hell can anyone sleep through all that? Then I remembered, I used to do it all the time.

Even when I was “awake,” if you get my drift.

…It’s not that I want to necessarily experience absolutely every trip I go on, every night. My brain prob’ly protects me from any number of horror night-sweats on a regular basis…(induced no doubt from lack of chocolate.)

…But it also means I’m missing out on prime story-telling plot I could really be using right now. Free creative stuff that doesn’t count as “stealing” if the episode is super limited and only shown to the viewing audience in my head, that one time. I’m not saying that I’d want to experience nightmares like a Jack the Ripper attack, or those kind where you’re naked and confused in the produce aisle, looking for butter again. (Look, don’t judge me okay…I don’t make fun of your little “freaknesses.”)

…I’m saying: if it was all about me being a Super Spy, or goin’ at it on some grassy knoll with Colin Firth, and I find out about it? I’m gonna be pissed!

…That’s all.

~D

Threats & Other Side Effects

16 Aug

image

I dunno what it is about our particular business at the Brothel…but working here is the first time I have been faced with consumer fury when things go awry, equal to the kind of emotions that begin World Wars.

…A 90-something year old man went all “Gran Torino” on our Whs Pimp once, threatening to “shoot him in the head,” just because a part was missing from their delivery.

…A Wife (in prep for her Husband’s birthday) warned us ahead of time that if we screwed this up, we’d have political ramification for it.  Cuz he was “such-in-such, under la-de-dah, with the department of whats-it-called.”

…This one time? Boss was damned to hell so viciously, he put it on speaker phone, muted. We laughed our asses off as it continued to grow in tirade across the better part of five minutes. Which is a long-ass time, when it’s one run-on sentence without stopping for air.

We are not “new” to the game of totally ridiculous over-reactions, here. Just part of the job.  I dunno “why.”

…In keeping with this, I’ve been dealing for two days with this Customer who (if he had his way), would have Boss and me fired, skinned, cooked on a spit, our children kidnapped, our pets murdered, houses ransacked, and the towns we live in pillaged.

…I know this because across the span of these past 48 hours, he has told me so.

Because Boss is on vacation at some beach house with zero cell signal, it has fallen solely on me to deal with this enticing character. 

…Besides being thoroughly pissed to have to deal with someone who isn’t a man, said Customer is also further enraged that there is such a person above me, whom he cannot speak with, under any circumstance.  “Cannot” isn’t in his vocabulary.  Most especially as he owns us (don’t you know.)  WE work for HIM, Boss is HIS hired servant, I am less than a concubine, and Customer DEMANDS we understand this.

…He’s also gone on a political bent about “burocracy,”  compared us to both Hitler AND Stalin, called me a “capitalist pig,” (though I very obviously make less money than he does), and made it perfectly clear that if he does not get his way, the President will be hearing about it.  Not of our “company,” mind you.  Of the United States.

Now, English doesn’t happen to be his first language, and he clearly has some unresolved issues with regards to the workings of his previous country of origin.  Also, clearly, some unresolved issues on how we do things over here.  I am not entirely sure how we can possibly be Capitalistic-Social-Communists who are trying to “rape” him with regards to our goods and services.  I assume both frustration and a major language barrier are a greater part of these threats than not.  But what I do know is that by day two, I was a HELL of a lot less “gracious” about it, when he called for the 11th time to awkwardly attempt a verbal ripping of a new asshole.

By 9:30 today, I was just done.

DONE, with listening to him barrage me with hypothetical pictorals of my imminent demise. DONE trying to corral and calm him down. DONE with the five follow-up calls directly after speaking with him from every source our company owns which ever has touched his order in the annals of history. 

…I was DONE trying to explain process and procedures, while he refused me a word in edgewise.  DONE with his brayings about “honor” and “entitlement”…and DONE being called “you girl,” on a consistant basis, with the kind of spit-grimace in his voice indicating I registered somewhere between “horse shit” and “amoebas” in the classification of worldwide existence.

I HAVE A NAME!  I HAVE A POSITION!  I HAVE A COUNTRY WHO REFUSES TO KILL ME FOR NOT HAVING PRODUCT IN STOCK!  I AM A WOMAN, GODDAMN IT, NOT JUST “SOME GIRL!”  AND I AM SO FUCKING DONE WITH YOU NOW!

…Needless to say, our last conversation didn’t go as he planned.

In fact, it was rather a curious turn of events.

…Apparently I am the very first being from the population of all womanity to take him on, head-to-head.  I must have been.  Because his shocked silence to my final stipulation, was a 180 degree turn from his previous stance.

“Enough!  This stops now.  You WILL NOT speak to me like this anymore.  I am the manager of this office.  If you are unhappy, I will delete your order, return your money, and instruct Corporate to refuse any further services.  That is my final offer.”

…”Refuse?”  But how can this be??  He owns us!  By rights of all consumerism.  It says so in the rule books and stuff!

Refuse,” says I.

…To which a silence followed.  It was full.  He, using all the space inside of it to troubleshoot this new dilemma.

Me: “Do you want to keep your appointment tomorrow, or would you like me to cancel your order.”

He: “Please.  Yes.  Yes…please for to, please…keep appointment.  Tomorrow.  Yes.  Fine. Please.”

Me: “Alright then.  You’ll be receiving a call tomorrow morning with estimated time of arrival.”

He: “Please, yes.”

Me: “Thank you.”

He:  “Yes.  Please.  Thank you.”

The end.

Why the change?

How do you just stop an ongoing assault, lasting for two days, on a dime like that and completely turn a corner into a totally different scenario? 

I have no idea.  But I do remember this one thing m’shrink said once…when I was knee-deep in frustrations and all-consuming  irrational faux-responsibilites. 

…I tend to take the world onto my shoulders because, goddamn it, I can manage and hold the weight!  Until I can’t anymore, that is.  The whole idea is NOT to get to that point. 

People need boundaries. 

We need to set them for ourselves as well as for “others.” We need to declare them. We need to enforce them.  If for no other reason: at the very least, our own sanity. 

…People encroach like children…pressing buttons and limits just because they can…because they want to know where the final line rides.  Where is your tipping point?  And a lot of time…more often than you would think…saying, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH,” doesn’t sully your reputation.  Instead, you very often will GAIN something. Certainly, “dignity.”  “Honor.” “Peace.”

…And sometimes…even from the most filthy hatred-spewing assholes…a kind of “respect.”

Battle won.

…Now for the rest of m’day…

Next?

~D

%d bloggers like this: