Phobia

I had my second encounter with the creature that lurks within my walls and feeds beneath my bed. I’ve known of its existence, but chose to believe for my own sanity that he had given up the hope of me ever being able to satisfy his needs. I had prayed that he had moved on elsewhere to find other victims to torment and harass. There was nothing left for him here, for I had cleared out every bit of repulsive memorabilia of which he loved to feast upon.

Finally, I thought to myself, finally, I can relax once more for the demon has left for good. Alleviated of my fear, I took it upon myself to sink into the cushions of my sofa and enjoy the latest media corruption polluting my computer. As I laid there letting my mind twist and twirl through each exciting news feed, I spotted out of the corner of my eye a quick and sudden movement.

It caught my attention and within an instant my limbs folded into my body tensing and clinging together. The monster dragged its red specked body from beneath my couch and across the floor. I sat in despair ready to scream only to realize that I was alone. My whimpers would only defeat my chance of attack alarming him of my presence. I let a quiet sigh shutter through my lips as I slowly clasped the nearest book within reach and plunged it to the floor where my enemy lay. It saw my attempt and ran before I could make my shot. Frantic, I grabbed another book wasting no time to fling it across the room. Again, I missed. As the book made its impact on the floor, the beast disappeared under my bed; its shield of protection.

Adrenaline pumped replacing all sense of fear with motive. I was on a mission and zealous to murder. I snatched a flash light, hit the floor and directed the beam under the shield that my foe had discovered. It knew my intent and gave the far corner of the bed no time to prove its security. It flung its legs to the wall and pulled itself up hiding behind the floor length curtains.

“No!” I shouted.

Eager to conquer, I jumped onto the bed and yanked on the curtains with the strength of ten men. Swiftly, I rolled over, swung off the bed and onto the ground where I took my position for attack once more. I watched as it glazed down the wall onto the carpet. It suddenly froze. Though it was still in sight it remained out of reach. Now, my only option for victory was to wait for it to come to me. Moments passed before it finally made movement.

“Yes.” I whispered.

This was my chance to finally put the fiend to rest. I watched as it inched its way towards the carpet away from the wall. Suddenly, it stopped yet again and began retracing each step. My heart began to beat as I wondered when the war would end. It made its way back up the plaster and this time into the wall.

“No, no, no” I desperately muttered.

I waited in disbelief lying on my stomach shining the light on its point of escape. Terror had replaced my relief of his absence, for I knew it was only a matter of time before he would return. I shook my head, let out a breath of grief and pulled myself together. There was nothing left I could do. This battle had come to an end and I had lost yet again. Once more, the cockroach had escaped.

Nipping it in the Butt

40% of smokers will try to quit smoking this year, but how many will actually be successful? Like most smokers, I have quit about a thousand times. On a few occasions, I have been able to steer clear of tobacco for quite a while, but it has always found a way back. Recently however, I have quit once again, only this time for good. Since it has been an ongoing challenge for me over the years, I thought I would share with everyone what worked for me.

In all honesty, it had nothing to do with the technique. I have used the patch, e-cigarette, hypnosis, etc., but none of it ever worked. This time, it was all mental. I reached a point for the first time in my life where I wanted to quit 100% for myself. In the past, I have always tried for someone else or because I knew better than to ingest such toxins into my body. During all my attempts however, I still longed for the joy that smoking brought me.

It wasn’t until I stopped enjoying it that I was actually able to quit. I got to a point where instead of looking forward to a smoke break at work, I found how inconvenient it was. I began to get disgusted with the constant stink of cigarettes that I wore and frustrated with the fact that all my perfume was being replaced by my nasty habit. My teeth were stained yellow, I was frequently short of breath and couldn’t get through any three hour period of time without needing a tobacco reboot. I resented cigarettes and the hold they had on me. I was tired of being their prisoner.

 After careful thought and planning, I set a quit date for August 1, 2014. This would allow me plenty of time to prepare for the big change I would soon undergo. It wasn’t very long though until I realized that August was simply too far away. I wasn’t willing to wait that long. I had to kick the habit now! I decided to do it cold turkey, and set a new quit date for two days in advance.

The first day I refrained from lighting up gave me a great sense of empowerment and strength. I was finally taking back the control I had lost for so many years. While my determination helped me abstain from smoking, I would be lying if I said that the first day wasn’t a challenge. I’d be an even bigger liar if I said that by the second day I wasn’t ready to rip the hair from my roots and scream. I was reaching the breaking point where in the past I would have caved. However, this time around, my mindset was all new and I was zealous to overcome. As much as the withdrawal hurt, I wanted to be free of my addiction more than my body craved the nicotine. Each day that passed soon got easier and marked one more day of pure success.

Today is exactly one week since I embarked on this new journey. While it may not seem like enough time has passed for me to say I have permanently quit smoking, all I can say is my physiological need for a cigarette is far less than it was when I had been off of smokes for a year. The fact that I was truly ready and committed made all the difference. Sure, the cravings still peak, but there is nothing I want more than to make it through one more day tobacco free.

Just like anything else in life, as long as you devote yourself 100% to something, there will never be anything that you are not fully capable of. Growing up my parents always told me I could be anything I wanted to be. Now, I tell all of you, you can do anything you set your mind to.

Innocent until Proven Guilty

         Why is it that we feel guilty about things that we really have no reason to feel guilty about? Normally I start a blog with a topic that I have an answer to. However, in this case I don’t. I am writing this simply as a way to vent and in hopes that someone may have some insight.

          I know that for myself I constantly struggle with the feeling of guilt regardless of who is really at fault. Sometimes, there is no fault, yet I take it anyway. It does prompt the question, where does this come from?

          For a long time I think that this has resulted in people taking advantage of me. I felt badly about something that happened when I had no reason to, and as a result someone was able to make me feel like I owed something in return to make up for what I had or hadn’t done.

          I was in a relationship with someone who constantly made me feel guilty for the things that he lacked. I now see that it was a projection and a way for him to cope with his feelings of inability. For example, he did not have a job when we met and made very little effort to find one. When I would confront him about his lack of discipline to find work, he would turn the argument around making me out to be the bad guy. My need for him to help contribute and pull his own weight meant I was being “unsupportive and pushy.” I would feel guilty for how I was acting and as a result offer to take him out to a movie to make up for my “uncalled for behavior.”

          Thank the Lord I was able to see that this was unhealthy and leave. For two years though, I let my feelings of unnecessary guilt lead me into scenarios where I was putting someone else’s needs and wants ahead of mine. This wasn’t the first time I had been in a situation like that either (not relationship wise but with friends, family, work, etc.). It simply took being in that relationship for me to see that my feelings of guilt tend to be on the extreme side and can ultimately be destructive.

          While guilt is not a pleasant feeling, it is necessary, but only to a certain extent. It helps us be mindful of our wrong doings and prevents us from committing further damage. However, what about when guilt is being felt for no reason at all. Sociopaths lack feelings of guilt and empathy which give them no understanding of right and wrong. In turn, they can be capable of committing unspeakable acts with no penance whatsoever. Therefore, the absence of guilt is extremely dangerous. But what about too much guilt; can’t it be just as concerning?

          I have now reached a point where I am aware of my strong sense of remorse regardless of it being appropriate or not. I have been able to identify when I am feeling bad about something I truly should feel sorry for and when I have no reason to. This has now helped me prevent being taken advantage of in the future. As aware as I am though, the feeling still remains.

          My question to all those readers out there is this; have you ever experienced this too? If yes, how did you manage to make the feelings of guilt go away and what causes such a distortion of emotion?

          Thankfully it no longer controls my actions, but regardless, the feeling being there is still difficult to deal with. If anyone has any feedback it would truly be helpful to me and anyone else struggling with this.

If anyone would like to contact me personally, I can be emailed at elladele.dailymusings@gmail.com