One of those F*%$ing days!


Dear Diary

Today was just one of those F*&%ing days.

It started with my beautiful limpet like daughter bashing on the bathroom door  shouting “Dadda! Dadda!” while I was trying unsuccessfully to move my now chronically paralyzed bowels (probably a bit too much information but there you go). My morning bathroom routine used to be one of the last shrinking bastions of independent space, no longer. Last week she managed to maneuver herself into the bathroom while I was on the loo and demanded to sit on my lap, my wife found us like that, she thought it was amusing, I didn’t. But anyway I digress, the point is that there I was, trying to immerse myself in a frightening article I was reading

http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2013-01-30-a-new-south-african-syndrome-scandal-fatigue ,which highlighted the egregious devil may care attitude of certain corrupt officials of the ruling party while they gorge themselves at the trough. In hindsight no wonder I am constipated.

The wailing outside the door grew impossibly loud and as I glanced at my watch I realized that I was horribly late for work. The next half an hour deteriorated into bedlam culminating in my leaving home in an extremely agitated, irritable state. I still had to get my ten year old daughter to school and while I attempted to not let my irritation show while she prattled on, I almost drove straight into the back of a very large middle aged man wearing spandex (plumbers crack et al) as he weaved uphill in the middle of the road. I gave an irritated little hoot, he gave me a stubby finger and a litany of expletives which broadened my daughter’s rapidly expanding lexicon… for a very brief moment a spectacularly vivid murderous phantasy flashed through my mind but thankfully my sometimes shaky prefrontal cortex although barely online was able to regulate my powerful primordial impulse.

What was interesting to note as the day continued to disintegrate (I’ll spare you the quite exasperating details) was that I began to observe my mind as an interested observer. I watched it with great curiosity as it began to mutter and gnash its teeth. I saw my mind swell as it inhaled judgements, anger and fear with alarming, allergic intensity. Each incident, each perceived sleight gave my mind more fuel to wage war on itself. At some point of  the day, after watching numerous reruns of the same repetitive, negative cognitive loops,  I managed to transition fully into the Observer after becoming quite bored with my mind’s histrionics after using a combination of CBT and mindfulness based strategies which have historically been very effective in bringing my runaway mind to heel. In order to further detach from the drama my inflamed mind had created throughout the day, I had to shift my awareness into a kinetic pursuit i.e. exercise (in the absence of my yoga mat or surfboard I walked… a lot). Furthermore, when my mind and body were quite weary from the drama I had put them through, I decided to immerse myself in an alternate reality by watching some escapist schmaltz when my family were asleep.

And finally Dear Dreary Day Diary, I drag myself to you, as my confessor in an effort to unburden myself  from the mindless drama I sometimes create.

Now, let’s see what my dreams will do with this day.

About the author

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Jamie Elkon http://shrinkrap.co.za/

The author can be found rummaging through life looking for nourishment in the early hours of the morning. He is slowly going sane by using his actual life and relationships to wake up.He lives in Cape Town with his teenaged daughter, two bassett hounds named Thelma and Louise and Digit... the cat. He hugs trees, has experienced numerous dark nights of the soul, collects incorrect Chinese packaging and tracks curious things to their lair.

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