The Searchers

Can you guess which search term from the list I googled to get this image? *

Can you guess which search term from the list I googled to get this image? *

When desperately trying to come up with a blog-worthy idea today, I decided to check my drafts folder for possibilities. I thought that perhaps I started a quality blog ages ago, got distracted, and could resuscitate the content.

Most of the drafts were abandoned with good reason. Then I found this curious list.

WordPress tracks the phrases people enter into their search engines which lead to my blog. According to my drafts file, this list represents the phrases used to find iguesssiwriteforfree on August 31, 2012. I remember wanting to write about this but a friend beat me to it on his blog. Because his was so hilarious, I didn’t dare post mine.

But I dare post it today because I find this hysterically depressing, disturbing, and filled with delightful J-O searches.

  • help i am a boy my face is soft and girly
  • breeding mommy on our honeymoon
  • big boobs with backpack
  • worst diarrhea stories
  • alan menconi dating
  • i’m bored of living in my own head
  • when you suddenly feel that you are stuck in life
  • skinny girl with carpet burn
  • helping somebody cry
  • had to piss so bad i pissed in a towel
  • convinced something is medically wrong with me
  • brooke shields pee
  • sweating like dripping water in suffocation
  • how to make a man face look like a girl
  • im convinced that im insane and im stuck in my head help
  • had some fun with my cousin
  • who is obsessed with dead trees
  • anyone else a tall girl who can’t get a guy?
  • drunk at own wedding
  • wiferys world finger in ass
  • if your penis is upside down can it suffocate?
  • dick poke out towel
  • very hot grang father with hot grang mother
  • sometimes when the wheight of the world is on your shoulders just giving up sounds so easy then i remember bacon
  • when i tell you how i feel you roll over and take a nape maybe im insecure
  • weirdest thing a guy said to me in bed
  • dead skn while masturbating
  • i want out of my loveless marriage

Good GOD.

*If you guessed “worst diarrhea stories” you were correct!

My Mom Had a Stroke. And How Are You?

I'd rather not see this again anytime soon.

I’d rather not see this again anytime soon.

When my mom had a mild stroke almost five weeks ago, I turned Lou and said, “I think I need to blog through this. It will help me. And maybe it will help someone else.”

Jesus. I’m really glad I didn’t.

First of all, now that my mom is walking on her own, fixing meals, and completing chores, it seems like a real whiny thing to do. Writing about my “struggles” during this experience is insulting to anyone who has had to endure a normal or severe stroke. Heck, it’s insulting to describe MY struggles at all. I’m not the one who can’t use her left hand.

Five weeks ago, however, I didn’t know everything would be okay. I completely lost the ability to imagine improvement. I guess that’s why they call it a crisis.

But things have improved. Including my attitude. And to celebrate, I’m capturing some of this crazy business in a list.

Ten Things About My Mom’s Stroke (in no particular order)

1. “Don’t freak out.” That was the lede when Brother #1 called to tell me mom was in the ER. I didn’t freak out. Not until much later.

2. My freak out. On her first night in the hospital, she assured us all that we should go home to sleep in our own beds. Lou, after picking up takeout for me, scooped me up from the hospital to take me home. By the time I arrived home, I was sobbing hysterically. Lou simply gathered a few things for me then drove me all the way back to the hospital so I could spend the night with Mom.

3. I ate a sandwich. This, in itself, is not memorable. But when you eat a sandwich on the drive back to the hospital mid-freak-out, it’s quite a sight. Sobbing with tears and boogers streaming, I moaned, “Why the FUCK did this happen?!?!” over and over. Meanwhile, I was shoving a sandwich in my mouth as avocado and tomato slices slid out from between the bread. I picked up the avocado slices with my fingers and ate them. I didn’t have a napkin. (This item would also make my list of top five most unattractive moments of my entire life.)

4. I forgot. Lou tells me that in the days following the stroke, he managed to sneak me away one morning for a hike on North Mountain. I have absolutely no memory of this. None.

5. Hair is down. When I arrived with Lou and Brother #3 in the hospital, Mom’s hair was down. Gray, wavy, and thick, it covered most of the pillow. She always wears her hair in a french braid because she hates having it in her face. As soon as we walked in, she burst into tears. Then she asked me to braid her hair.

6. I learned how to french braid. “Who did your braid?” I asked Mom the other day. I figured it was her friend, Sammie (the other frequent braider). “You did,” my mom answered. I felt proud. It was a fine braid.

7. Mom squeezed my hand. On day one, her left hand couldn’t do anything. One morning during week three (or so) I put my hands in hers. She looked me right in the eyes, scrunched her brow, and squeezed my hand. I squealed.

8. Spring training. Mom spent two weeks at Scottsdale Osborn Hospital. While I stared out her window, endless families flooded the streets to watch spring training baseball games. They were wearing ridiculous hats, drinking beer (or whatever), hopping in pedi-cabs, and having a blast. I was in hell. But I was happy for them.

9. I became a lady. Sorry to be gross, but this was total bullshit. The day of the stroke, I unexpectedly got my “lady-times” while we were all at the hospital. Whatever!

10. I got mad. I wish I could tell you that I handled this entire thing with grace, love, and patience. I didn’t. Not even close. But I’m not ready to write about that yet.

Stalk It Out

By Riebart, flickr, Creative Commons

I like it when kitties stalk. When humans do it…not so much.

WordPress is great. It gives me all kinds of information about how many people visit my blog, how they find me, and what they click when they get here.

Yesterday, I posted a number of photographs from my recent hikes. My stats told me that I had quite a few clicks on photos for the day.

Hooray! I thought. Someone enjoyed those snapshots of beautiful AZ!

Upon further investigation, however, I began to feel yucky on my insides. Every single click (except for one of an image of the shrunken head from Beetlejuice) was on a picture of me. And some are from blog posts way back in February.

Ew.

Best case scenario: it’s an old high school friend who is innocently curious about what adult Lilia looks like. Worst case scenario: it’s a psycho killer who is planning to rape and dismember my body. Then rape my body parts.

(Apologies. I’ve been watching a lot of Investigation Discovery shows recently.)

Yes, yes, I realize it all comes with the territory. But it’s still unsettling. Especially because I did this to myself by blogging, exposing, and posting pictures of myself.

And now, with this post, I’ve potentially isolated or offended one of my readers.

Dangit!

Coping with Anxiety

Come with us now on a journey through time and space…

I have a mild case of anxiety.

Not right now. But, frequently, I feel the irregular pulse, the erratic thoughts, and the potentially-debilitating nervousness that can ultimately cause an experience of sheer terror.

One time, I had a full-on anxiety attack in the Chandler mall (go figure). If you’ve never experienced this, it feels like a heart attack. I was convinced that there was something medically wrong with me. So Lou rushed me to Urgent Care and I braced myself for the news that the doctor finally found the hole in my heart that I’ve always suspected was there.

“It’s lucky we found it now,” Dr. X would say. “There’s no cure. But if you stop eating all delicious things and quit drinking entirely, you might live to be 35.”

Of course, the real-life doctor took one look at my EKG and sent me home with a pill.

Shortly after, I tried a low dose of a daily anti-anxiety medication. It turned me into a zombie.

So, after a few unsuccessful trials with that, I decided to ditch the medication and talk to a therapist. A good one. I’m lucky for finding her but I’m also lucky to only have a mild case — my heart breaks for people who suffer from severe anxiety because it is fucking Hell, people!

Anyway, my therapist taught me a meditation technique that has worked extremely well.

Here’s how it works.

Close your eyes. Let your mind wander. As it drifts, identify what happens using four categories:

Touch, Feel, Image, and Talk.

Anything tangible that happens during your meditation (e.g. the cat jumps in your lap, you hear your husband snoring, or you suddenly notice the feel of your shirt fabric) falls under the Touch category.

All emotional feelings (e.g. nervousness, anger, fear, relaxation, etc.) are included in the Feel category.

The pictures that run through your mind (e.g. what you imagine the cat in your lap looks like, how you remember the way someone’s face is put together, or any other picture) is categorized as Image.

And, finally, the voices in your head that fire off a bunch of messages (e.g. “I should get up and check my email,” or, “I’m hungry,” or “I should be sleeping instead of meditating because it’s 3 a.m. and I have to work tomorrow,” etc.) fall into the Talk category.

When I first started to practice, I would set a timer for two minutes. I’d close my eyes and say the words out loud. I probably looked like a lunatic, but I was surprised how quickly I fell into the rhythm.

“Talk…Feel…Image…Image…Touch…Image…” and so forth.

The goal is merely to continue identifying the things that happen in your head. That’s it. You don’t have to clear your mind (which is something I’ve never understood).

Allow your mind to stay active, acknowledge the activity, label it, and then move on to the next one.

Now I don’t have to speak out loud (unless I’m really in the depths). Most of the time, I don’t have to do it all. But if I have a bad week, I’ll set the timer (for ten minutes now that I’ve had more practice) and meditate each morning for a few days.

It’s magic. My symptoms subside…

…until they return, of course, because there’s no sure-fire way to cure this type of thing for good.

So, if you’re like me and you have similar difficulties, try this.

Seriously.

(I have more tricks up my sleeve for dealing with anxiety so maybe I’ll blog about that later.)

Drunk Writing

This gives me inspiration and permission.

“Write drunk, edit sober.”

Some say this is a quote by Ernest Hemingway (the internet says this may not be true).

Wherever the quote comes from, I give it credit as being a pretty useful strategy. As I mentioned in my  tips for writers blog post, getting out those first words can be the most difficult part.

Since booze lowers one’s inhibitions, it makes this first step much easier.

I drank a beer the other night as I prepared dinner.

Lost in a fuzzy-brained buzz, I suddenly experienced an onslaught of blog ideas. So I set the meal to simmer and jammed out some rough drafts.

When I opened up my WordPress to write today, I was excited to see that I had some copy to edit — enough for four whole posts!

I just read through each draft and they all sucked. Not only was the writing all over the place, but the concepts weren’t even that great.

Still, I’m willing to give it another try.

Zzzzzz…

By soundman 1024 on flickr Creative Commons

This is not the solution.

Less than three hours of sleep last night.

This morning before he left for work, Lou told me that I should take a nap today. He should know better by now.

I suck at napping.

If I’m tired enough to fall asleep in the middle of the day, I won’t stop. A “nap” for me means at least two hours will be lost forever. Most likely, it will be four hours. And, when I finally manage to wake up, there’s a high probability that I might start crying.

I don’t know why this happens but I always feel sad after I wake up from a nap.

Especially as a teenager, I’d weep every single time. Eventually, I just stopped napping. The experience is just too emotional.

So, today, I’ll resume my zombie-like approach to my checklist for the day and try to make it through dinner.