How To Stop The Mind From Having Thoughts Of Impending Doom.

Maybe I am alone in this one, but does anyone ever feel as if their mind is playing tricks upon them? Do thoughts: negative thoughts, bleak thoughts, horrifying thoughts, terrorizing thoughts- ever enter your mind without your permission? Do they cause you to shake and tremble at times- as if the end is all to near? Do these thoughts keep you awake at night, force you to drink and keep you confined to your house on certain days? Do the thoughts prevent you from traveling, loving and experiencing joy? I could go on and on but for the sake of my own anxiety I will stop here. I will stop here because I have pointed out enough symptoms of intrusive or unwanted thoughts of impending doom.

I once knew a devout Buddhist who told me that thoughts of impending doom should be welcome to one. We should be open to them and celebrate them because they give us an understanding of our mortality, which in return allows understanding the impermanence of all phenomena. Train the mind he said- and you will be free. Years later, I have trained the mind with therapy and meditation but to little result. Thoughts of impending doom grab me in the moments that I am least prepared and send me into a mystical flight of fear that I am convinced (in the moment) I will not survive. If I have these thoughts while on a bridge- I will avoid the bridge- if I have these thoughts while in bed I will sleep on the floor. If I have thoughts of impending doom while on a walk, I will try to avoid walking. It seems as if I am becoming more knowledgeable about avoiding my life than I am about living it.

I have had thoughts of impending doom for many years now and I thought that by now I would have the answers about how to control these antagonists or even better- abolish them from the mind. But I am no where closer today than I was five years ago in understanding how to live free of such anxiety provocations. I have learned to accept my fate as a man whose mind plays tricks upon him without any concern for his wellbeing. I have come to see my mind as a mass of tissue that is committed to destroying my bodies tranquility. Just today while I was on a walk in a cemetery I suffered a sudden burst of negative thoughts that sent me to the ground where I tried to gain control of my self. I was convinced that I would die and I muttered a few words of a prayer. The thoughts passed and I returned home to do some research on the web about how to stop the mind from having thoughts of impending doom.

I came upon an essay by Martin Luther King. It was an essay about overcoming fear and it talked about courage as the only way to overcome fear. Martin talked at great length about the courage to face death as if it was upon us now. I thought about this idea of courage as being a possible palliative against the thoughts of impending doom. After all- it takes courage to suffer the fate of a silent fury that has no desire to let you be. It takes courage to stand up to your doomish thoughts and convince yourself during your darkest hour that every thing is okay- maybe. I wonder if when Martin was dying from a bullet wound he felt fear? Or maybe he was courageous in the face of death- and rather than holding on to this thing called life he was able to let go, with courage.

And this friend’s maybe the answer. Let go. Accept your fate with courage and with each thought of impending doom- let it go. Now I have never been able to do this and I would be a hypocrite if I said I could. I can’t and I won’t. Letting go is something I seem incapable of doing because I am a Jewish (Jews have a notably hard time letting go. Why this is I am uncertain). When I feel death to be near my knees rattle and I loose control of utilizing any of the wisdom that I have gained from reading, workshops or therapy. I become terrified; because I do not want to die, and I hold on with the force of a man that is unwilling to let it all go. And I wonder is this my main problem? The root of my chronic thoughts of impending doom? “ It is only in courage that the man/woman who stands rooted in fear can be free,” Martin said. “And freedom is only the ability to walk through your fear.” Maybe I’ll just avoid walking for a while.

Stuck In High School!

After 37 years, I am still in high school. It is a mystery to me how this has become my life. After all I do not know if being stuck in high school is the epitome of the American dream or a nightmare. Maybe I am repaying a karmic debt from a past life or maybe I am paying penance for the things I have done in this life- what ever the case may be, I am still stuck in high school.

I am currently sitting in a history class while students are taking a written examination that I designed with the intention of making test taking entertaining. Occasionally I hear small explosions of laughter as students read some of the more comical questions that I have inserted in between the more serious ones- “how many times a day did Abe Lincoln masturbate?” For the most part the room is so silent that I can hear the hum of the freeway which sits just behind the school. I am the Teacher of these students but at the moment I feel like them- stuck in a place that I do not belong. I am always perplexed by the similarities that I find between myself and my 15 and 16 year old students. It is true- I am twenty years older than most of my students but like them I am still pre-occupied with sex and what I am going to do with my life. It is as if a large part of me is yet to grow into this thing I often hear referred to as maturity. I feel as if I have never left high school, my body has aged but my spirit or soul is still stuck at 16. It is a difficult phenomena to explain- but as I sit here writing in my notebook and my students are taking their examination- I feel strangly equal to them. It is as if we should all just be friends and ditch school.

When I was in high school, the first time, I was an apparition. You could see my physical body but my soul was some place else. I was stoned most of the time and Teachers only knew my name because I was the tall lanky guy in the back who never spoke and was seen by all as being weird. At school dances I would get drunk on liquor that I stole from my fathers bar and stand in a corner trying to spy on couples who were making out. Sometimes I could be found lying in the school hallways, broken down into an agitated state of tears crying out “get me out of here!” I did not read a single book nor did I do more than was asked of me. I was preoccupied with blow jobs and death and not once did I get a grade that was higher than a C. My father had to pay off the principle to let me graduate after 6 years of high school.

Now some 20 years later I am still stuck in high school. Somehow the fury of the fates or divine consciousness has managed to transform me into a Teacher. It is like a great magic trick that has been performed in front of my eyes. The trick is on me and I stand there trying to figure out how the magician has created the desired effect. I am perplexed and can not seem to come up with an answer. I am in a state  of absolute dis-belief. How did they do it? It just makes no sense.

Squeezed.

I am a man who is being squeezed from the inside out or maybe the outside in. I do not know which comes first- the outside pressure or the inside pressure, but if Karl Marx was right when he said that society determines the behavior and health of man/woman kind- then it is the the world that is squeezing me. Between the pressure that the earth is placing upon human beings to change or be eliminated and the pressure that government is placing up the individual to pay up or go broke- the outside is squeezing me like a balloon which might just burst. Between rising gas prices, food shortages, recessions, depressions, wars, deficits, unequal distribution of wealth, rising costs and poor environmental conditions, my chest feels as if there is a large leather belt buckled tight around it. My fingers and and toes pulsate and I have noticed that my face has grown pale. My vision is clouded and I can constantly feel my heart beating. The stress of the world seems to have nested upon my skinny left shoulder.

I have noticed that I am not alone. I have noticed many suffering from similar ailments and running around desperately searching for relief (yoga, meditation, eating, drinking, consuming). People do not seem to be getting along, wherever I look another relationship has ended, another person is struggling to survive and another person is experiencing some kind of transformational event that is threatening the sanity they seem to be slowly loosing. All around me people seem squeezed. I can see it in their eyes. I can hear it in their voices and I can certainly feel it in my gut. Human beings are fighting for their lives.

I have heard it said that 2012 marks a monumental time in the history of our planet. Thousands of years ago Mayans have predicted that this will be a time of great transformation that will result in change that our human minds can not currently fathom. Physics believes that the closer time gets to an end the faster it gets- time speeds up. Along with the sppeed up of time comes a kind of constriction and anxiety within all those who are subject to this elevated blood pressure of time. Animals (humans) become more frantic and stressed, things start to break down and people feel squeezed. Like there is not enough minutes in the day. Chaos can ensue.

It is my belief that the earth is experiencing symptoms of this larger breakdown. The sky is literaly falling and some see it and others have managed to distract themselves enough so as not to have to deal with it (but they still feel it). Others feel the squeeze. There is a pressure upon us that seems to be forcing us into submission, to the transformation that needs to occur within ourselves and upon this planet. Maybe being squeezed is not so bad. Maybe I can look upon my pulsating toes and finger tips as a gift from the universe in which I have accidentally found myself living. Maybe I am being forced to awaken to what is going on around me, outside of me- and change what is taking place within me. After all, physics tells me that I am just a microcosmic reflection of a larger macrocosm…if I can un-squeeze myself- than maybe I can un-squeeze the world.

A SENSE OF HUMOR FOR SALE!

I noticed a sign in the window that said “sense of humors for sale.” I thought that this was a rather awkward thing to be selling and my interests were aroused. I went into the small store that was poorly lit and had many shelves without anything upon them. The walls were bare and no one stood behind the counter. There was an eery feeling that ran through the vacant shop and as I turned around to leave I was startled by a voice from the back that said, “good afternoon young man, can I be of some assistance.” I turned around and noticed a tall skinny man who looked similar to me standing behind the counter holding an unsmoked cigarette in his hand. “Yes,” I said- “I am curious about the sense of humors that you have for sale.” “Oh yes, I believe we have one left,” he replied looking up at a shelf that had nothing upon it but dust. “Would you like to try it on,” he asked?

The dressing room was illuminated by a yellow neon light and there were no mirrors on the walls. I commented upon this to the salesman who continued to smoke his un-lit cigarette and said “we do not sell anything that you would need to see on, so why have mirrors I ask you?” He seemed a little defensive so I asked him another question. “What kinds of things do you sell in this store?” he looked at me with an expression of annoyance and replied, “why don’t you try on the sense of humor and then we will talk.”

I put the sense of humor on by rubbing a very cold cream into my chest. He wanted me to take off my pants as well and rub the cream into my legs but I felt uncomfortable getting naked in this strange environment. I rubbed the cream all over my chest and arms and then was given a cloth to wipe off the residual cream. “Give it a few moments and then you will notice a change. The cream that I gave you was a starter cream. The effects only last a few minutes. If you decide that you would like to purchase a sense of humor, we have a permanent cream,” the salesman said to me as he motioned me over towards a chair where I was supposed to sit and experience the sense of humor.

Within seconds of applying the cream I started to notice a chuckle in the back of my thought. The salesman put up various pictures on the shelves and asked me to observe these photographs. There were photographs of Hillary Clinton, villages destroyed by bombs, a soldier in Iraq carrying a very large gun and of George Bush and John MacCain. There were also photographs of prisoners being tortured, the atomic bomb, people suffering from starvation, animals stuck in small cages, two men having sex with a woman, hospitals, ghettos, a man begging for money, and a dead body that seemed to be so violated that I could not tell if the body was a man or a woman. The salesman also placed white pieces of cardboard on the shelves that had words like CANCER, DEATH, POVERTY, UNEMPLOYMENT, GREED, GLOBAL WARMING, CORRUPTION and INJUSTICE written on them. The salesman said something like “now feel free to take your new sense of humor for a test drive,” and then he walked away. I sat there alone in the cold room and observed all many photographs and words for a few seconds- and then it happened.

The laughter was so intense that I was unable to control it. I laughed like I had never laughed before in my life. There was a feeling of great release that caused all of my stress to dissipate into thin air. All things that normally were causes of stress and despair for me seemed to no longer cause me any aggravation. I looked at the photos of George Bush, Hillary Clinton, the soldier and the dead body and my normal feeling of constriction and anger seemed to vanish. All I could do was laugh. I could see the humor in the ridiculousness of human behavior and I was able to laugh at all the ways that we take ourselves SO SERIOUSLY. I saw the ignorance that most human beings seem to suffer from and all I could do was find this ignorance very funny. When I looked at the words my laughter increased because I was able to see how funny it is that human beings create the very things that they fear and do not want the most. I could not believe how funny all these realizations were to me. I saw the whole divine human comedy in which we are the actors on a stage creating our own tragedy. How fucking funny is that!! We do it all to ourselves and then think that we are free!!!

Finally, after my allotted period of time was up, the salesman returned into the room and began taking the photographs and words off the shelves. “You can take off your sense of humor now,” he said as he still held the un-lit cigarette in his hand. The moment he said this to me my laughter halted as if someone had suddenly applied brakes. I wiped the tears from my face and tried to compose myself. “When you are ready please meet me back at the counter and we can talk,” he replied as he walked into the back room. I sat in the chair and tried to assess what had just taken place. I felt what turned out to be a pulled muscle in my upper back (from laughing so hard). I took a few deep breaths and decided that I wanted to purchase a sense of humor.

“We sell all sorts of potions and creams. Not only do we sell sense of humors but we also sell, happiness, IQ’s, ambition, sex drives, maturity, wisdom, feeling successful and we just ran out of love. We sell what we can to make life more worth living or should I say to make life more enjoyable. That is our intention- however, not many seem to want to purchase what we have for sale. It is almost as if people have become so attached to their suffering that they fear change. They are addicted to the way things are because that is how they think things are supposed to be. Little do they realize that we human beings have it all wrong. We have been conditioned to suffer and we do not even know it,” the salesman said to me as he sat on a stool with his arms crossed. “How much does a sense of humor cost,” I asked? “I can sell you the cream for $75.00 and it also comes with a one month warranty. If for some reason you find that it is not working for you- you are welcome to return it and I will give you your money back. I think this is a good deal because after all a good sense of humor is priceless.”

The Man With A Moving Nipple

I know this may seem strange but I am suffering from a moving nipple. It is my left nipple and it gesticulates and twitches like a firecracker. At the moment, the uncomfortable movements of my nipple have become chronic with little intermission in-between. This discomfort has become a part of my life, another bewildering ailment that I must learn to live with.

My nipple began to move after I was in a very upsetting argument with my father. He was in a hospital bed recovering from a surgery and we managed to fight with one another about what, I cannot remember. Consumed with guilt for upsetting my father during his darkest of hours- I left the hospital in a terrible state of mind. The stress was causing my chest to constrict and I remember having difficulty breathing. It was when I turned on my car engine that I noticed my left nipple beginning to twitch. I placed my right palm upon it, as if I was trying to comfort my broken heart. I drove off into the night trying not to think about my moving nipple. Little did I know then that this was the beginning of what would become a full-blown dis- ease.

As the days passed my nipple picked up speed. The twitches would come in unpredictable spurts and I was often forced to have to sit down and try and relax when the episodes would begin. The twitches turned into strange gesticulations that would wake me up at night and force me to place an ice pack on my chest. The moments that my nipple would not be moving became like tropical vacations for my weary mind, which was being over worked by the torment of my moving nipple. The sensations were like aggravating tickles combined with what felt like pinpricks that seemed to leave me feeling like I was a man being slowly crucified from the inside out.

As the weeks passed my moving nipple became more chronic. It rested little and began to control my every waking hour. I had read some where in Greek mythology of a character that had suffered from a very similar ailment as I was. His moving nipple became so violent that it slowly began to make its way onto his forehead and announce all of his private thoughts to whomever was around. Not only did this character suffer the humiliation of having a talking nipple on the center of his forehead but also he was unable to think without the nipple revealing his every thought! Of course it is not difficult to understand why this character took his life by forcing his lover to cut off his head. Once he was decapitated the nipple did not stop talking for over an hour- it told his lover of all his previous affairs!! Ever since I have read this tale I have been terribly worried that my chronic gesticulating nipple is going to break free from its root and make its way onto my forehead!! If the world were able to hear my every thought I would certainly loose everything that I love!!!

Last week I visited a Doctor who knew not what to make of my condition. He told me that he had never seen anything like this before. He recalled reading in a medical journal many month back about someone who had suffered from a similar ailment for most of his life- but he could not remember which medical journal it was in. The Doctor wanted to put me on some medication to see if he could relax the tissue but the side effects for the medication seemed to great to take the risk. My Doctors conclusion was that I was suffering from a stress-induced ailment that was causing calcium build up around the nerves of my nipple tissue-, which is putting pressure upon my nipple. The ensuing twitching and gesticulation is the result of this pressure. If it did not go away in a month he recommends surgery.

In the mean time I still have to live in this world. I have to make a living so that I can continue to have a roof over my head. As much as I want to hide away in my closet and write poetic lamentations all day- I cannot. I have a mouth to feed.

It is not difficult for you to see my ailment, or what I have come to call my crucifixion. There is what appears to be a constant vibration and rotation under my left shirt pocket. When people notice this they immediately ask me if I am okay. I tell them that I am fine, that what they are witnessing is an annoying muscle spasm. My high school students make fun of me and refer to me as a freak. They all want to touch my nipple and when I let them there are loud uproars of “EEEEEEWWWW,” or “That’s so disgusting!!!!” Whenever I go out into public people stare at my nipple as if they had never seen anything like this before. I feel like an aberration, like all eyes are condemning me to constant judgment. Now I know what it must feel like to be a big-breasted woman.

The only thing that I can do is learn to live with my ailment. Every night before bed I put a chamomile cream upon my nipple, which seems to relax it a bit. I also wrap my chest in a towel before bed, which seems to reduce the annoying vibrations of my moving nipple, allowing me to get some sleep. There is nothing that I can really do (besides having my nipple surgically removed) other than accept my current situation. I see this condition as an opportunity for me to deal with the various causes in my life rather than the effects. If I can learn to change the stressors that have caused my moving nipple than maybe over time my nipple will stop moving. I believe it was Pascal, Socrates or Emerson or maybe Nietzsche- who said that an unexamined life is a life not worth living, so I am examining my self- trying to understand the various ways that I have caused my own dis-ease. Maybe, through this process of self-examination, I will eventually become the only man who can set myself free.

No More Awards, Please!!

I just received notification for an award that I received today. The award is for ” Blog With Least Amount Of Weekly Readers” and I must say that I am surprised. I have always thought that having ten to twelve readers or “hits” a day was fairly decent. I was proud of my weekly rating of around seventy hits. But when I received this award for “Blog With The Least Amount Of Weekly Readers,” I did some research. I found that successful blogs receive over 10,000 hits a day and mediocre ones receive at least 500. 500!!!!! Since I have started this blog I have gained many awards for things like “Most Ridiculous Content,” “Most Depraved Blogger,” “Blogger In Need Of Most Psychological Assistance,” “Least Commented Upon Blog,” and so forth- but this most recent award has really opened my eyes! I mean I have been writing, laboring and living in the dark thinking that ten or so hits a day was decent!

All I had to do to receive the reward for “Blog With Least Amount Of Readers” was push a button and what I won was three private phone consultation with a blogging service that could help me acquire more readers. It is a pity prize, a reward that is intended to patronize the awardee. So I will not follow through with receiving the free consultations but I will ask one final time to Please….stop giving me these humiliating rewards!! I write not to be awarded but rather to release my numerous thoughts and emotions into the digital void hoping that some semblance of a life form will answer with various solutions for my existence here on earth. Some days, I stay away from this blog because I am afraid of what I might say and instead decide to keep it all in. Now that I know that 10 or so hits a day is nothing to be proud of I may change my strategy…but like I wrote in the awardee comment box when I accepted this last award “It is not about quantity…but rather quality. If I can affect only one reader with the things I write than I would rather have one reader than 10,000.” But Please….to whomever this may concern- NO MORE AWARDS, please! These awards are causing me to question why I spend my time blogging and taking a toll upon what little self confidence I have left (please read my last post entitled “The Trappings Of My Mind” for more information upon my psychological state at the moment).

The Trappings Of My Mind

My mind has been doing things without my permission for the past few years. It began with very subtle thoughts such as “you should steal this,” “you are a failure, “you can’t breath,” or “you might have this disease.” I tried not to pay much attention to the workings of my own mind by smoking weed and drinking two bottles of red wine every day. Whatever it took to put these mischievous thoughts out of my mind- I did with a passion. But life went along as it normally tends to do and everything changed including the thoughts in my mind.

Now I realize that all human beings suffer from the condition of negative thinking but I believe there are variations of effect. Some people are able to immediately transform their negative thoughts into positive ones and others are able to ignore the thoughts that enter the confines of their own mind. Others, who are not so fortunate- may be dominated, overcome by the negative thoughts that their minds generate. They look towards food, drink, chemical substances, television, film or novels to distract themselves from the negative thoughts that have a tendency to colonize their minds. These distractions work for an allotted period of time but the negative thoughts seem to return with a fervor and force that no amount of inoculation can put down.

This is where I have found myself these days. I have met with nueroscientists, psychiatrists, chiropractors, and healers all to try and garner some support around gaining some control of my own mind. I have done daily exercises to turn down the left side of my brain and turn up the right side. I stand on my head every day for twenty minutes and I eat alot of fish which has been said to balance out the right and left hemispheres of the brain. But still at different times of the day the negative thoughts come at me like a wave which is determined to drag me under. What is a man to do when his own mind is working against him?

The past two years I have made many changes in my lifestyle. I no longer steal, cheat , lie or act without a motivation to be loving (most of the time). I exercise every day and I make every attempt that I can to sing or hum when I walk and to meditate when I sit. My hope has been that by using my mind in positive ways the negative thoughts would start to fade away like fog around noon time. Instead, the better and more hole I become- the more intense is the volume of my negative thoughts. It is like there is a devil in between my brain cells.

Nowadays, my negative thoughts seem to have been mainly centered around death. Every time I get comfortable or relaxed there appears in my mind an agitating thought about my own death. I see myself dying in various fashions and the thoughts are so vivid that the ensuing apprehension and fright stimulates my heart to beat rapidly. My body constricts and I have to fight against the impulse towards flight. The negative thoughts have become so frequent and strong that I have almost rendered myself powerless in controlling them. When a negative thought comes in which I see myself having a heart attack or being hit by a car, all I can do is take deep breaths and tell myself to relax. What is a man to do when the most dangerous place on earth is within his own mind?

When I sit in meditation, drive my car, go for walks or do just about anything- I am filled up with these intrusive negative thoughts. They scare me out of being ambitious in my life and instead I feel pity for the man I have become. I have grown depressed and conquered by these thoughts which have invoked a silent fear which resides just beneath my chest. There is really no place that is safe for me so I have taken up prayer (I am still trying to figure out to whom I am speaking). I eat less and take foot baths before I go to bed in the hopes that this mini baptism will perform the miracle of eliminating these negative thoughts. But instead my mind is a living entity that has its own set of rules which I am to weak to defend against. It is like the nueroscientist told me “as a result of many years of suffering from anxiety, worry and hypochondria-sis your left brain is at war with your right brain.” “What can I do about this?” I asked him. “The only thing that I know of is prayer,” he sternly replied.

So I pray, I sing, I stand on my head and I try to act with an intention towards love rather than hate (most of the time). I am doing all that I can to gain control of the workings of my own mind without giving myself over to medication, surgery or a Buddhist monastery. I work hard not to manifest the fears that I carry around inside my head and I have even started volunteering some of my time (to keep my mind off my thoughts) to help suicidal illiterate soldiers who have lost limbs in the war learn how to normally function in society. Sometimes when I talk to these veterans about the war which is raging in my own terrified mind they seem to be the only people who understand what is going on. “Ya, it is like a kind of post traumatic stress disorder that you are suffering from,” one soldier told me who had lost both legs in Iraq. ” “Rather than fighting in an actual war you are suffering from the terror that your own mind is generating…you are in a perpetual trap,” the soldier said. I could not have agreed more with his comment and to this day all I think about is how I can survive the trappings of my own mind. “What can I do?” I always ask but no one seems to know. “If only there were more answers, I would not be in the situation I am,” one suicidal soldier replied.