Anxiety Attacks

It starts with a pitter-patter innocently tapping on my shoulders, I hope and pray that this time it might be different, easier, more-forgiving. 

This is not some must-have fashion accessory.

I quickly realise it's not soft, sodden, kind drops I'm sensing and everything is about to unfurl dramatically. This is a shrieking, keening omen of the carnage to follow. 

The sky darkens into gravel-grey, large clouds form, hailstones descend. The force intensifies and falls down heavily. I'm left with no shelter from the huffing wind and being swept away in a mighty flood. It's all whipping up into a frenzy of mass destruction. 

This is not a 'quirk', or something you want.




It's not you, It's me

We were in a crowded bar.

He cleared his throat with a little cough, then began a speech that he'd no doubt delivered many times before.

Our eyes met with uncanny precision.

I felt my face flush. I knew exactly where he was going, I was like a deer gazing into the barrel of the hunter's gun.

My smile faded and my eyes narrowed.

He let each word out slowly like I was a dumb little kid who needed help understanding, pausing for emphasis.

The clock hand moved slower.

He asked in a kind, compensatory tone, if we could be friends. Because that's something I really needed, another fake friend added to my repertoire. I'm sure there was more to it. He meant well, but the words rang hollow, his voice seemed to trail off into the background. Three dates in, I was a redundant little extra to his world.

I wanted to respond with a clever remark, but I nodded quietly, glumly impassive to his wittering, holding my tongue. It was like he was offering me financial advise or a pre-flight safety demonstration. I tried not to say anything stupid and make things worse. The nonchalance probably exacerbated any remaining air of intimacy.




Leo

"It must be hugely exciting, Varadkar being Taoiseach," my barber raved, mid-way through cutting my hair.

"Right," I answered distantly, bewildered, not wanting to be drawn into conversation.

"It will be great for you, I bet you think it's fab," she added quizzically.

"Yep!" I said uneasily, in the vaguest terms possible, to obscure the fact I know next to nothing about politics.

I offered a supportive half-smile, to discourage further probing.

"He'll do no wrong in your eyes, and many others, he has a lot of back-up," she clarified, making it abundantly clear she was referring to his sexuality, chipping away at some inane identity political theory she had contrived in her head.

I sensed annoyance, probably because I was being incredibly uncooperative in indulging her by being the accomplice to the interview.

I winced in disbelief, and chewed on the inside of my cheek.

"Will you be long more?" I said with more authority than I felt, wanting no further business with Nancy Drew's spawn.

"Two minutes," she replied, craning my head back. 


Mosqidou

Mosqidou is a music production and clothing company calling for the unification of all bloodlines, and the eradication of racism. 
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Now, here's a funny thing. Imagine you are placed in a group or social setting. A group of different kinds of people. Different backgrounds, genders, ages, and opinions. Try doing this in the Republic of Ireland, or a similar westernised region.

While on this hypothetical tip, avoid surveying your surroundings, or methodically removing overbearing loudmouths and the really irksome from your proximity. You are being systematically unsystematic.

Bear with me?!

Speak, openly, about the topic of religious discrimination.

Go on, do it. Bring it up in spontaneous conversation.

Try it. I dare you.

Express your determination for equal rights for every religious faith living in this country. You're probably going to be greeted with a very harsh reception. You'll encounter outbursts of strong emotion and outpourings of discontent.



Thinking Bout You

"My hair is going to be just like hers," she squealed with delight.
"Greedy will slay, it's an anthem," I interjected. We'd been talking over each other all evening, eager, our conversations, that night, were like a bad game of tennis, fast paced and refusing to take turns. 

"I still don't know how we are not the support act," she smirked.

I shot her a withering look.

And then we both erupted into laughter. Adrenaline coursing through our veins. Vibrating with excitement.

We were beaming.

Everyone was beaming.

Over fourteen thousand hearts, outside Dublin's 3Arena, were swelling with glee.


Hello Apparel

Hello Apparel are an independent company set up as an outlet for artists to manufacture and sell merchandise online without giving up their rights by signing major label-style merch' contracts. They carefully maintain personal relationships ensuring no one ever feels abandoned. 
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The cactus is looked at as a plant with lots of symbolic meanings. Native to arid regions, it adapts to extremely hot and dry environments, thriving in its harsh conditions. Many assign perseverance as its most remarkable trait, because even in tough times it lives frugally and endures all things no matter how painful or difficult they may be.

Can you relate?

It's pretty awe-inspiring.

Except it isn't.

Because we're not cacti, and we don't have thistles to protect ourselves.

#Bummer



GlassesShop.com

GlassesShop is an online retailer of eyeglasses. Our visual needs are their first priority. 
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Under the spell of sleep my mobile phone awakens me around sunrise. I reach for it and hit snooze, barely reading the screen clearly, my heart sinking to the sound of that annoying bleep. It'll go off, again, in fifteen minutes and then I'll have no option but to ignore the lure of a cozy bed. Mornings are annoying.

I grumble. My first thought is, "I need a cigarette."

Before I even get up and drag myself to the bathroom I'll light one, sitting straight, under the comfort of a warm duvet. Today will be easier, more doable, not as difficult, once I get one into my system. The world won't be such a cruel place. Its weight will be tolerable. 


Kapow Meggings

Kapow Meggings believe human beings are built for self-expression, they’re here to give risk-takers the conversation starters they were born for.
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I watched the fireflies of thoughts orbit her head.

"Don't! People will see your bits," she spat.
"I can pair them with an oversized, baggy top," I shrugged and said sternly.
"My junk will not be on public display," reassuring her.
"It is still a bad idea. I dislike it when lads dress feminine," she fretted.

The backlash was fierce and predictable. This girl is not the type to mull over things. She is plain-spoken and unfiltered, painfully direct and prides herself on it. I appreciate brutal honestly, when it comes from a good place. With her, she's so kind-hearted I know there is never any spite or hate concealed. She continually shows me bluntness can be a strong, admirable asset, if applied correctly.

But I also don't like people telling me what I should be wearing, or doing.

And we are all culprits.



Noisy

"You're not good enough," they say.
"No one likes you really, people just put up with you." They enjoy corresponding with anger.
"Stop trying. You're attempting, as always, something far beyond your reach," they'll preach.

They are loud, aggressive, and overbearing. They like to proclaim their truth and stick it to me, whenever an opportunity arises. They love to dwell on my self-critical thoughts and often create bitterness and isolate me from others, even from beloved friends and family members. They walk with me everywhere. They'll stretch out their rugged hands and tug on my sleeve, robbing me of perspective. They petrify me.

Who are these bitches?

My insecurities.



Friendships

"I'll be there in forty minutes, ready to party," I said, and laughed. Eager as I was to reunite with a companion, ravenous for friendship.

"Cool! I can't wait to catch up properly," she replied. I had promised her a present and a card, I had them with me that night, along with kind words, it was her birthday and I was all set to celebrate the occasion.

I'd been battling manflu for four days, I was raspy, snuffly, wheezy, my nostrils were competing with each other for attention. I was confined to bed the day before, begging for mercy. But the night wasn't about me, so I grew a pair of balls and loaded a pack of tissues into my pocket to control the phlegm. I walked it to her gaff as I was too cheap to get a taxi. Shenanigans were to be had and I made sure to get there ahead of time. 


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