Back to the Basics

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Had a little mountain of a panic attack yesterday. Tried the phone call I’ve been sitting on for months. Got through to the first person, but I was disconnected on the transfer. Long story short I ended up shedding some tears and feeling autistic as I just couldn’t tell my brother what’s really bugging me lately. Every time I opened my mouth to do so, he started up talking again. The kind of talking I can only ever say ‘uh-huh’ to.

There were two good observations he made among the rest of his manic talk. One was that when we first moved to Rotterdam, my physical condition was very poor. I’d just come off close to a year in my chair from the RA and complications. I was SUPPOSED to take two years – 2 whole years – to do nothing but heal. Get my strength back, get the RA under control. That’s it. That was my entire agenda. Point two went hand in hand with point one; I tend to pile work on myself and overload. It’s my fault. I get through something and feel great, so I decide I’m ready to try THIS now. Keep doing that and suddenly I’m back at TOO MUCH STIMULATION and I’m ranting that I have no time to do what I want to do anymore. I suddenly realized that a week in which I was (1) cutting back on caffeine, (2) cutting down on smoking, (3) starting language classes, and (4) keeping up with everything else like exercise and cleaning, maybe making that first phone call to the counseling center just wasn’t a good idea.

Did my best to relax. Games and telly. My bro made Chilli Verde, a mouth-watering Mexican dish consisting of cubed pork and lots of green chillies and other green veg that gets simmered until you can’t tell one from the other. Oh, man! Perfection in taste and heat. So glad he spent time in Southern California and learned to cook from real Mommas at the Flea Market. Rotterdam has a lot to offer, but it’s shy on REAL Mexican food. Got some wanna-be Mexican places, but they just don’t quite get it. Everything’s just a little bit off from what it should be. Not quite the right heat, not quite the right flavors. My brother gets it right. All day long cooking for Chilli Verde or his famous re-fried beans. Always glad to know meals are so healthy around here. Otherwise, I’d feel guilty for having an extra burrito because it’s just so damned GOOD!

So it’s props time to me now. I did good yesterday, despite not completing the call to the counseling center. I got through a transaction and small conversation in DUTCH. Yippee! Even made the cashier smile as I struggled a bit but thank you, Goddess, the woman was nice and didn’t rush me. I’m trying to keep every little victory in Dutch close to my heart. It’s hard to keep trying, especially since most Dutch are multi-lingual and will swap languages as soon as they figure out which one you speak. I still have to concentrate to spell my name correctly using the Dutch alphabet! The ‘A’, ‘E’, and ‘I’ screw me up; ‘A’ is pronounced ‘Ah’, ‘E’ is pronounced as ‘A’, and ‘I’ is pronounced as ‘E’. But I’m gettin’ there. The second pat on my back this morning is for sheer perseverance, something I’m not well known for. I tried a fourth time to get my bio pic off to the ‘zine. Used my yahoo email rather than my personal one. It finally worked. What really made me smile was the message I got back from my contact: “You are so sweet to keep trying!”. That’s what she said: sweet, like I was a little kid or something. That felt weird. Good, but weird. I don’t usually connect me and ‘sweet’. Hard-assed, tough, intellectual…loads of other adjectives come to mind to describe me. Not ‘sweet’. But what do ya know! Someone out there thinks I am.

Have a message in today from a cousin of mine; one of the few cousins I care about. He’s coming out after being diagnosed adult ADD/ADHD with anxiety disorder and depression in 2011. I guess that makes one more family member I can mention when I’m asked if mental health issues run in the family. Uh…yeah. I figured THAT one out a while ago. I’m glad he’s getting help and feels secure enough to talk about his problems now. Most of the family are raving loonies running around like they’re one of the pack. I’d like to get a heart to heart message out to him but I don’t know that I’m ready to talk about it on my side yet. I do want to tell him how much I support him, so I guess I can at least write that to him. It’s hard to talk about mental health in my family. Even the cousin who took his family hostage at gunpoint when he was 15 wasn’t mentally ill. He just quietly disappeared from family functions and talk for eight years while he was receiving treatment. I don’t know if he was institutionalized. I think he was. Never talked about, never discussed, and no one EVER brought it up WITH him after he re-joined family gatherings. Just one more thing swept under that family carpet.

Rather fortuitous to receive that email from my cousin on the heels of a failed phone call to the counseling center, if you ask me. Like the Universe reached out to let me know to keep trying. I will. My first language class is today at 10 a.m. I’m hoping I’ll feel more confident on the phone after breaking through my reluctance to try to speak Dutch. A couple of classes where I’m corrected when I say something wrong and can get some practice in will do my self-confidence wonders.

Feel like I’ve re-set back to an earlier default. Overnight a lot of crap seems to have fallen off my shoulders. I’ve got less anxiety, less of a feeling of I gotta do it ALL right now. Back to the basics. A (Ah), B (Bay), C (say)…

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11 thoughts on “Back to the Basics

  1. I was just thinking yesterday that you and these words are pretty good buddies: disciplined, motivated, and all things productive. It’s inspiring, really, how focused you are on what you need to do.
    You’re likely in your language lesson right now so suerte – hope it goes well.
    I don’t eat pork but I can appreciate your love of chile Verde and authentic Mexican food. I love to take traditional Mexican recipes and do a bit of a fusion thing. I love intuitive cooking – adding ingredients together that I feel would go well based on their flavour profile and texture. I am also a proponent of odd food combinations.
    Are you notorious for any odd food combos?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, my! Do I REALLY come across as disciplined and productive? I feel like a slug a hell of a lot. A slug who’s got a fire lit under its ass. Makes me move, but I don’t like it!

      Odd food combos…well, I’ve got one, actually. I don’t think it’s all that weird, but then again I’ve never seen it offered on a menu or in a cookbook. I LOVE mashed potatoes and a great bolognese. Oh, goddess! The two are like ultimate flavor meld in my mouth. Just pile on the bolognese until the mashed potatoes start to look bloody. Hey! Great food idea for Halloween! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think that’s an odd food combo…kinda like shepherd’s pie but the Italian version. And yes you do come across as disciplined and productive. That’s probably because you are more disciplined and productive than you think or realize 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You know, that’s an image of me I have a tough time swallowing. Of all the things I kick myself for, being undisciplined and unproductive have to be my Numero Uno combo. I even nag at myself for sleep and rest; it’s time I should be doing something. Eventually I just burn out. But thanks for your observation. I’m gonna try to take it out into the world today. I don’t have to push myself; I AM productive and disciplined. Wow. Thanks, La Sabrosona!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey beeps, did you try phoning again yet? I am so phone phobic when anything less that hypo, it’s ridiculous. I hear you about the work thing; I do the same damn thing, it doesn’t even have to be work. And repressed families… Nightmare. And yours sounds particularly bad. So stupid, considering the genetics and likelihood of developing mental illnesses themselves. Bah. Glad about your cousin’s email though, and he’s lucky to have you to at least offload on (as long as it doesn’t end up sucking you dry).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have NOT tried phoning again. I figure one try a week right now is a good average until I feel a bit more confident met de Nederland taal. Phone calls in general are a pain in my ass. I gotta rehearse before I ever pick a phone up. Don’t know that I’ve ever just dialed. Ever. Yeesh! That ain’t so good. As for the family, I’m never quite sure if they’re really the dicks I make them out to be. I guess I want to think well of them despite all the evidence to the contrary. Except for SHE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED. She’s a cunt. I doubt my cuz will suck me dry since he’s half way around the world and just one of those people the US won’t let outside their borders due to bullshit minor charges and offenses that aren’t even ILLEGAL in civilized nations (whoops! belated rant alert!). 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I so hear you re the phone, I get other people to make calls that don’t absolutely require me to. In fact I hope they shove it in the DSM as a disorder and treat it by banning telephones. Telephone aversion disorder or something. And Dutch ain’t easy. Dutch people tell me that afrikaans sounds like young kids talking lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, my bro & I go back and forth on phone calls. “You do it.” “No, YOU do it.” Sometimes I get the courage, sometimes it’s him. Between the two of us we seem to manage most things ok.

        Right now there’s a whole new language opening up here. It’s a mongrel thing, part Dutch, part English, part everything else. The kids can communicate in it; the adults are lost.

        Isn’t the new host for The Daily Show from South Africa? Can’t remember his name, but saw him on QI speaking his native tongue with clicks in it. Very cool.

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  3. Mmmm…I gotta say, I don’t know that I’d ever have started writing if I didn’t smoke. That ashtray belongs next to me when I write. It’s like a cat; it just sits there and keeps me company. It also doesn’t do a dance across the keyboard if I ignore it, so it’s one up on a cat. (kidding. I miss my cat.)

    At the risk of encouraging less than legal behavior (hem, hem), have you tried the old college toilet paper roll with a drying sheet stuffed in? Any smells from highly aromatic herbs just come out scented like clean laundry. Ya always gotta watch the burn, tho. Make sure to stuff a towel at the bottom of your door. 😉

    I empathize with ya; I began this journey as an American. I have no idea what I’ll end up becoming. When people ask me where I’m from I usually answer ‘Earth’. Doesn’t always go over too well….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. Here I buy according to the effect I want: pain relief, relaxation, creativity boost, etc. OR strength: heavy, medium, light. It helps to know that kind of stuff when you walk into buy, and most places list the effects right on their menus. Didn’t realize some of the new strains of smoke would set off mania! I keep the most heavy duty for bad RA pain. It knocks me on my ass. And I’ve written a lot of music while on the most powerful strains, but NOT stories. Words escape me when I be THAT high. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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