On Becoming A Gopher

I never imagined this sort of thing possible. How? There is nothing online written about this. None of the great philosophers discuss it. No contemporary theorist makes any mention of it. No one seems to have ever heard of such a thing happening to a person. But it is happening and it is happening to me.

I know it sounds odd to say, but I am becoming a gopher.

The gophers had been destroying my lawn. I hated them and did whatever I could to get rid of them. One day I was running water from my hose down into one of their holes. The water shot out and up into my eyes and face. I tasted something that tasted like fecal matter. I instantaneously become unwell. There was a metallic taste in my mouth and my eyes burned. Ever since that ordinary morning in my backyard, nothing has been the same.

I have grown hair in areas I never before grew hair. Short, stubbly hairs to be exact. On my ears, my cheeks, my arms, the palms of my hands, my forehead, my penis, the soles of my feet, my shoulders, my fingers.

I have had difficulty breathing. My breathing is shallow and fast. There is the continual presence of chest pain. My rib cage feels as if it is being squeezed together. I am in a continual hyperarousal, anxious state. Everything freaks me out and when it does I become immediately mad. I continually play with my penis to calm my nerves.

I never did any of this before. I was a respected psychotherapist for Christ sake!

Rather than being angry at the gopher holes in my lawn, I am now drawn towards them. Something is pulling me towards them and I have this odd desire to squeeze my way down into them. That is where home feels like it is. In those holes. Obviously, I can’t fit.

Instead I have been isolating myself in my writing studio. I have covered the door with books, furniture and anything else that will prevent anyone from coming in. I want to have nothing to do with the human race. Humans terrify me! Once I loved helping humans and now they absolutely terrify me. They are such a threat. I go out at night and collect food from the kitchen while my wife is sleeping, but I then immediately retreat into my safe space and erect a strong wall that not even the police and fire department have been able to break down.

I don’t want to see anyone. I am repulsed by any kind of high pitched sound. I chew on things. I lick myself in areas I was never able to lick before (the one benefit of this entire nightmare). I am terrified and nothing on the internet is helping me to figure this out. Once you cease to be a normal human being, the internet is no longer of any use to you. Accept when I look at pictures of female gophers I am incredibly turned on. I immediately masturbate. This is odd not only because images of female gophers are turning me on but also because before all of this happened, my sex drive was gone.

I don’t know what to do at this point. It is obvious to me that I am becoming a gopher. At this point I have no choice but to just wait things out in here.

Anyone else out there experience anything like this before? Please help

Writing My Way Out Of The Cave

Ok, lets do this. I don’t want to do it but I am going to do it anyways. I would rather do anything else. I would rather sit in my garden and watch bugs and birds fly. I would rather take a walk, read a book, go spend money, listen to music- anything but this. This is hard. It is not what I want to do but I am going to force myself to do it anyways.

“Write it out man. Just write it out……” I know this is what some of my literary heroes would tell me.

Ok. I’m going to write. Let’s see what happens.

I have been dwelling a lot in my mind. Like a person lost in a dark cave I have been wondering around a lot in this cave of my own mind. My mind is rarely a pleasant place to be. When in the cave it is filled with thoughts about potential falling rocks, deep holes in the ground, threats behind every corner and of course being lost in the cave forever. Some people may be able to walk through the cave of their own minds and have a rather pleasant experience. Not I. For me it is a continual stream of worry and fear about what terrible or harmful thing could happen next.

This is not helping. I really don’t want to be thinking about any of this. I want to just go do something that will help me to forget and maybe even feel immediately better. Pop a pill? I don’t want to do that. Have a glass of wine? Too early. Overeating at lunchtime did not work. Now my stomach just feels upset and my upset stomach is only making my anxiety worse. I know that making my suffering an object of my awareness can help. Take a step back from myself and observe it in the same way that I would observe a protagonist in a book or an actor on a screen. This could help. This is why I am writing. Carl Jung often said that a way of reducing suffering is to find the meaning in a difficult event. Ok, that is what I am doing here. The way we make meaning out of our suffering is by taking a step back from it, becoming aware of it and turning it into some story we are reading, writing or watching rather than being all caught up in it.

That is what I am trying to do now. My stomach feels unwell. I hear sounds of birds. Sirens (I don’t like the sounds of sirens but always feel grateful that they are not coming for me). The sun is starting to come out. I have been dwelling in negative thoughts about the end of life. Sudden loss of control just around the corner. This is what all anxiety really is right? The fear of death and/or complete loss of control just up ahead. Isn’t this why we really preoccupy ourselves with work, drama and other things? Isn’t this why we drink booze and use other substances? To forget about death. But sometimes this is where my mind goes and it is difficult to stop it.

I am beginning to feel a bit better. I am going to keep writing this. I am going to keep trying to pull myself out of my head. I am starting to see a sliver of light up ahead. Phew. I thought his one was going to be bad. There it is up ahead. Light. Ok, keep carrying on. Keep writing. Maybe the more I can step back from the thoughts in my head, the more I can begin to feel better. This is what I am trying to do by writing. It can also be done through meditation or anything else a person can focus on outside of their own head. I am working hard here. I am really trying to stay with this. All I want to do is get up and go do something else. Go sit in the garden. Go sit on my couch. Go do something else. But I know that if I go do these things I will only get pulled further into the negative machinations of my own mind. I will write.

“As long as you unconsciously identify with the sufferer and remain unaware of the pain creator, you are stuck in a anxious state.” This is what Arnold Mindell wrote in Working On Yourself Alone. I am writing so that I can keep myself from becoming unaware that I am the one creating this anxious state. The moment I forget this and get sucked back into the dark cave of my mind, I will be suffering. So I need to keep trying to pull myself out. The pain creator is the one who is identifying with all the negative thoughts in my head. By writing (and mediating) I am stepping back from the sufferer. I am becoming aware of the sufferer in an objective way. Just making a story out of the suffering. That is what I am doing by writing here. Just making a story out of it. Turning my suffering into a story. Ok. Is it working yet? A bit. This kind of thing doesn’t happen on my time. It takes its own kind of time. I just need to be able to breathe, write remain as aware (present) as possible and be patient.

I will now go into my garden for a bit and just breathe. Just take a step back from the sufferer for a bit. Be back in a few minutes.

Without a doubt, getting stuck in one’s own head, is a real illness. When we feel anxious or worried it is difficult to keep it from happening. People who do not deal with so much worry or anxiety do not have to really worry about being lost in their head. Wondering through the cave of their minds can often be a very pleasant and sometimes magical experience. But for those of us with a predisposition to worry and feel intense fear, getting lost in our heads (unconsciously identifying with the sufferer) is the worst possible thing we can do for ourselves. We need to get better at not doing this if we want our anxiety to go away.

I am feeling better now.

My wife made me a cup of chamomile tea. Talking with her about what I was feeling helped. Writing this also seems to have really helped me become aware of and take a step back from my suffering. The sun is coming out. I am doing better now. Everything is fine right here, right now.

It is interesting how anxiety can be like waves. It comes on strong and threatens to suck us under. Years ago when it came on strong like it did when I began writing this, I would have freaked out. I would have panicked. I would have reacted negatively. But by just doing whatever it takes to stay present and as out of my head as possible, whether it is banging my fingers on a keyboard until the intense feeling of anxiety begins to diminish or by talking with someone, drawing, painting, meditating, cleaning the house, reading out loud, deep breathing and on and on, I am able to hang in there until the terror and fear pass.

……..and now I am beginning to feel normal again. Writing my way out worked.

I think I am almost out of the cave. Phew

The Agoraphobic Bike Riding Challenge

I am glad that is over. It was horrible. I made it home safe. Just breathe. Just relax. You are safe.

An agoraphobics favorite place to be is home. Anywhere else feels unsafe. But because of this, I have been spending too much time at home. Recently I bought a new bike. I thought it would be a good way for me to get out of the house and exercise in the mornings. Everything had been going well so far, but I had not ventured on my bike more than a few miles from my home. Instead, I have been riding my bike up and down, back and forth, on the same streets close to my house.

Today I have the day off. I have not been riding my bike much the past several days, due to the grief I have been feeling with regards to the lives that were lost in the Oakland warehouse fire. After I finished my morning cup of coffee and reading I gave myself a challenge. I have been hearing about various bike paths close to my home that lead to all kinds of beautiful places. There is one bike path that leads to a small lake, which is in the next town over from my home. About six miles away. I gave myself a challenge, why not ride my bike to the lake? It would be fun. Good exercise and a nice way to try and clear my mind.

I put on my North Face fleece jacket, warm yellow beanie to cover my ears and thinning hair, gloves and headed out into the great outdoors. No problem, I told myself as I got on my bicycle and headed down the street.

It was nice to be back on my bike riding on a pleasant winters day! I rode over all the dried leaves on the street and took pride in the fact that I was on a bike and not stuck in a car like everyone else.

Everything was going fine until I realized that I had exited the town that I lived in and entered a new place. The streets and homes were all foreign to me (an agoraphobic likes to stick to familiar places) and even though I was only in the next town over, I suddenly felt like I was on another planet.

Then the thoughts started to happen. Those goddamn thoughts. Who would know where to find me if something happened? How would I be able to direct someone to my location since I do not know where I am? My chest began to tighten and horrible images of something bad happening to me filled my head. I turned down a quiet suburban street with American flags, Christmas decor and camper vans in front yards hoping that the quiet which fills suburban streets would also quiet my mind. Nope. I was struggling to get air into my tight chest and suddenly all the alarms inside of me were going off. I quickly u-turned my bike and began the very long (two mile) journey back home.

Once I was pointed in the direction of my home and back on the bike path that would take me home, I contemplated getting off my bike and just walking. Go easy. You can always knock on some stranger’s door if you need help. My chest was squeezed and my thoughts were terrifying me. What if something happened at any second? I could barely breathe. I was on the verge of freaking out. Stay strong, I told myself, just keep riding. Cyclists raced past me. I cursed them under my breath as I battled this war inside that kept me moving along at a snail’s pace.  Fuck this bicycle challenge, I kept thinking to myself. If I make it home safe I will never do this again.

Once I saw the sign that read: WELCOME BACK TO YOUR TOWN YOU CHICKEN SHIT AGORAPHOBIC TROUBLED MAN, I felt a slight feeling of relief. But not enough to loosen up my chest and put a hault to the frightening thoughts and shallow breathing. Just got to make it home, just got to make it home, I kept telling myself as I was riding along. And then I saw my house in the distance. I was so happy to see it that I waved at it and yelled, I’m here, I’m here! It was as if I was thinking that my house would come and pick me up. Just keep going, I told myself but my mind threw back the thought, Something terrible could still happen.

Once I gratefully arrived back at my house (about fifty-five minutes after leaving), I noticed that the gardener was there. He was blowing leaves from my front yard and I had never felt so relieved to see him. It was so nice to see him that my chest began to loosen up. I was home. He turned the blower off and said, Good for you, you went on a bike ride! So good for you! I pretended to agree with him, parked my bike in the front of the house and then entered my home like someone rushing to the toilet. Once inside I threw off my beanie, took off my North Face fleece, threw my gloves on the floor and collapsed into my reading chair. I swore out loud that I would never take that challenge ever again.

Going Broke! Conversation #29.

What are you doing?

Stressing out. Trying to get work done.

Stressing about what?

Stressing that my business is in decline! I am not making much money now! Concerned about that. Don’t want to have to get another degrading job that I do not care about. Don’t like feeling like my business is failing. Unsettling. I feel unsettled. I also have debts I need to pay back. Bills. Don’t like feeling like money is such a big issue.

Welcome to the world.

Some people have so much money. Pisses me off that I am someone who has to struggle for money, sell my soul for money and worry about money when I am not making much of it. There are people out their living with so much money!

Yes. But they are the few.

They are the winners.

In some ways.

And I am the loser.

In some ways.

Thanks.

Sure.

And, and, and I am so dependent on others to pay me money! I don’t like this dependency. I need to get clients so that I can get paid. I need people to want to pay me. This means I need to get people to want to come and see me. This means I have to be really into what I do! I need to work harder. I need to present to others like I am really into my work as a therapist. That I love it and am serious.

You have to hustle.

Yes, and I am not a hustler.

You have to really hustle. You are in panic mode. You need to do what you have to do to keep your business afloat.

I know. And this pisses me off because now the business that I don’t even really like that much, the business that burns me out when it is busy, is the business I really need and want! What the hell? It is the business that I am so dependent on. It is messed up how much money or the lack of money can drive a person to do things and love things that they would normally not do and love.

So you like having money?

I do like money. I say I don’t care. I say I don’t care that much about it but that is bullshit. I want money! Give me money! I don’t need a lot. Just enough to maintain a humble lifestyle for me and my wife and dogs. I just don’t want to have to work for it. I hate working. Maybe if it was work that I enjoyed, like getting paid to draw or write, I would like work. But as things stand now, I really do not enjoy work but I love having money!

I see. Well, you are in a quagmire. Your business is not doing so well right now. You do not have as much money as you feel you need to maintain your current lifestyle.

Yes.

So you have to hustle. Hustle means to pretend to be something you are not. You have to pretend to really be into what you are doing. You also feel like because you are pretending, because you are not really grateful and happy to do the work you are doing, you some how are bringing this decline in business upon yourself.

Yes. There is some of that. I wish I was really passionate about and loved the work I did. Maybe then things would be different. I have been trying to fake it until I make it. It is taking a while catch on. Maybe I have brought this economic decline upon myself because I am not as grateful for the work I do as maybe I should be.

This is a possibility. If anything, your panic shows you how dependent on your job you really are.

Not sure how I feel about this. I help people to get unstuck in their lives but I am stuck!

Well we teach and preach the thing that we most need to learn in our own lives.

Maybe. But I feel like I should have this stuff figured out before I help others to try and figure it out.

Don’t tell people what they should do. Avoid the “should-do’s” if you can’t do it yourself. Just lend your ear. Listen and support.

Yeah. It is hard to keep clients this way. People want to be told what they should do when they are paying money.

True. So what are we talking about here? I feel like we have gone off topic. You were complaining. I like it when you complain. It’s pathetic but entertaining.

Really?

I think so. So what were you complaining about?

Just the quagmire that I am in. Business is bad. I am not making the kind of money I need to make. I have to hustle to get more clients. I need more business. But I don’t like that I have to do this because I am not that passionate about the work in the first place! Plus I hate having to be dependent on other people to give me money.

Yeah, you are stuck.

I know! You don’t need to tell me this.

Yes I do.

No you don’t! I feel it every day. My alcohol and weed consumption is going up. I am aware I am fucking stuck!

You want my advice?

Yes!

Well, go water your garden. Read a book. Listen to music. Just try and chill out. Let it work itself out. Do what you can and then just let let it go. Enjoy your life. It is what it is. Now you have more time to read and write. Take advantage of the time rather than spending it worrying. Your business will fill up again at some point. Don’t spend this time worrying and complaining. Just try and take advantage of having more free time. Let the future take care of itself. Take things day by day.

Ok. I will give this a try.

And since you are making less money try not to spend as much money. Stay home more, read more. Learn to need what you already have rather than needing what you don’t have.

Yes. I do need to make an effort to spend less now.

To be less of a consumer.

Yes.

It is true I think. I think being less of a consumer will give you more time to just be home and do the things you like doing. you should work on finishing your novel.

Yes. Ok, I will try and but some of this into action. Thank you for this consultation.

No problem. I need to go relax now. Remember: Don’t panic. You will be ok. Spend less. You will find a way.

 

 

 

“Hi! How Are You?” Post #21

Hi! How are you!

I am ok but I never know how to answer that question.

What do you mean?

Exactly.

Exactly what?

You are exactly right.

Right about what?

What do I mean? When I answer that canned question I really do not know what I mean. I most often feel like I do not know if I mean what I am saying. In fact, I often know that I do not mean what I am saying. Maybe this is why I do not like this question- my answer always feels false.

How are you doing now?

I am ok. It is Sunday afternoon. I have been lost inside my head all day. I spent the morning working in my garden. My wife did not arrive home from being out with friends until 6am, so she slept in.

6am! Wow. Were you upset?

Slightly but she does not do this often. I am glad she was out having a good time. She went to some DJ and acrobatic event in downtown LA. I guess it went on until 4am and then she hit a lot of traffic on the way home. I think I was upset because I thought she might have gotten it on with another guy or girl.

Would this upset you?

No. Well yes. What I mean is I am turned on by the idea of her having sexual experiences with other people. I like that, especially when I get to watch. But I would be upset if she did not ask me first.

I see. You thought she did something sexual without asking first?

Yes. That is where my mind goes. I see how it might kill the mood if she had to text me real quick beforehand to ask permission. I would just like there to be some sort of communication first.

Makes sense.

Yes.

So, how are you?

like I said, I am ok. I have some anxiety right now. I always have some anxiety. Feels like I am standing on the edge of a cliff and can fall of at any second. I am overly aware of my mortality. When I spend too much time alone, too much time in my head, this is the place I go to most often.

Does not sound fun.

I have always been this way.

I know.

Creates a lot of uneasiness inside me. I envy people who have no idea of their mortality. People who can live free from this feeling.

Why do you think your mind always goes to such a dark place?

Is it really a dark place or is it just a very aware place? Are not we all up against this edge?

It is aware. Yes it is a fate we all deal with moment by moment but it is dark because it makes your time alive fill with fear.

It is dark because it creates fear. Yes.

I often feel fear.

How about joy?

What does it mean to live with more joy?

To have no fear. When no fear is there joy is.

I see. Maybe this is why I very rarely feel joy. I get excited but I don’t think I ever feel joy.

I know.

Not much at all. Maybe I get close to it when meditating.

You do not meditate much.

Not as much as I probably should.

Do you feel like you probably should be doing a lot of things?

All the time.

This will take away joy as well.

Where are we going with all this?

Hi! How are you?

Really?

I am just trying to get a very honest answer from you this one time. I really want you to know how you are right now.

I see. Well, like I said, I am ok. It is a very hot Southern California day outside. Things are pretty quiet. I have some anxiety in my body and some thoughts of impending doom in my mind. But this is pretty much always the case. I am probably isolating too much. I am probably spending too much time lost in my head. This is never fun. I feel uneasy and hyperactive. I have to go to a wedding later today that I do not want to go to, but I realize it could be a lot worse. I am also just trying to focus on being present and not getting hung up on the future. This is not easy.

Staying focused?

Yes, it is difficult for me.

This because your brain is hyperactive.

Yes. Too much sometimes.

It prevents you from finishing things. Too many things at once.

I am working on focus.

Work at it.

I am.

Work at it harder.

I will.

Finish the drawing you started TODAY.

Ok. I will put my mind to it. This is not really what I wanted to talk about today.

What did you want to talk about?

Pornography, smoking marijuana, the female naked body, my beard, my frustration towards myself, why I have not been able to succeed at being the person I want to be, my mental illness, why I got rid of my tv.

Lots of hyperactive stuff.

Yes.

We can have these conversation at some other time. Today is Sunday. Go easy. It is a day of rest. Take it easy for both of us.

Yes. My wife just got home from the farmer’s market. I am going to see what she got.

Eat lots of vegetables.

If she got tomatoes I want to interview them before I eat them.

Ok. You do that weirdo.

I want to know what the tomatoes know.

 

 

MY DISTURBED BRAIN (fear and loathing)

Why do you say this?

What?

That your brain is distrubed.

Because it is.

Why?

It is almost always working against me.

How?

Well……..Last night I woke up in the middle of the night with my brain racing. It was churning at a high speed. So many vertiginous thoughts happening one after the next.

Vertiginous. Thats a good word.

Pulled it out from nowhere.

Good job. Your mind can’t be that disturbed to think up words like that.

Defenestration.

Thats a good one also.

My favorite word.

Lets get back on track. So you woke up in the middle of the night with a brain running wild?

Yes. And it kept me up all night. Thought after thought after thought after thought.

This is weird since you are such an advocate for staying present and not getting caught up in thought.

I know. I tried all of my meditation techniques but they did not really work. May have made a subtle difference but did not work much. I realized that my brain is really disturbed. It just is continually sneaking off into the past and the future. It is always judging and worrying about what could happen in the future. It is continually resenting people and things that happened in the past. My brain causes me a great deal of worry, fear, anger, resentment and on and on. It seems to sabotage my well-being and contentment in the present moment.

Why do you think this?

It is just always what it is doing! It is messed up. I don’t want to drink. It starts to tell me how I should just have a few drinks. I don’t want to watch porn. It starts to remind me how great and fun watching porn is. It seems my brain is programed to work against me!

Hmm. Seems like your brain continually thinks of things in the future. You brain is preoccupied with what future event could be like. It has a very difficult time just staying right here, right now.

Yes. And not just that. I can not trust my brain. It is not rational. For example, yesterday I did not want to go to work. I often do not want to go to work. I think that I dislike my job. I loath it. Then I go to work and come home from work and realize that that was not so bad. Now I have some money. I think that I should be more grateful for the job I have. I should be more interested in it. Then I realize that I do not have as many clients as I would like. Various clients keep canceling on me. I am working less than I need to. So I wake up in the middle of the night worried about money. Worried about not being able to get enough clients. Worried that I will have to find a different job. Worried that I am not making enough money. Angry that clients are canceling on me.

Sounds like madness.

It is! One minute I loath going to work. Then I am terrified of not having enough work. I panic because I feel like my business is falling apart.

You would think you would be happy that you do not have to work as much right now!

I know! But I am not! I am worried about it. I have bills to pay! And then why do I always loathe going to work but after work I feel like I should have more gratitude and that I am so lucky to have the job I do? It is just craziness.

Sounds like you are very confused.

Obviously.

What is a better word for confusion?

Vertigo.

Yes. You have psychological vertigo.

Thanks. But can’t you provide me with any deeper insights than that?

All I can really do is agree with you that your brain is disturbed. I think you are correct. You may even have a slight mental illness. You need to meditate regularly. You need to get a good nights sleep. But most importantly my friend…..

Are we friends?

Yes, I think we are. I am just the wiser and more insightful part of you.

Ok.

Most importantly, you need to stay present. In this moment, right now, you are fine. You have a roof over your head, you have some work, you have your health, you have food. You are doing ok right now. Do not get too far ahead of yourself. I realize that you are making less money right now and that can feel scary, but you are ok. Let the past and the future go. You can worry, worry, stress about what the future is going to look like but you really do not have much control over how the future will play out. You don’t know that there will not be a major earthquake in twenty minutes that wipes everything out. Worrying about the future is useless. Your disturbed brain will project worst case scenarios into the future. It is like throwing a pebble into the ocean- you have no real clue where it will land. Don’t listen to your brain. Enjoy your life right now. Stay present. Practice what you preach.

Yes. I agree. It is just very difficult. Seems my brain sneaks off into the future or past without my permission. It causes my entire nervous system to freak out. Do you think this has anything with being Jewish?

I do. I think us Jews have a predisposition to unnecessarily freak out and see gloom and doom on the horizon.

Our brains are wired to worry.

Yes. But please. No Porn. No booze. Smoke a little weed if you want. Stay present. Really work on just being here right now and reminding yourself that everything is fine right now.

Moment by moment.

Yes, that is it. Take life moment by moment. Time for me to take off.

Where is it that you go when you are not here?

Far away from your disturbed brain. It ain’t much fun being in there when it is acting up.

I understand.

 

The Woody Allen Syndrome

“The chief patient I am preoccupied with is myself.”-Freud

How are you doing this morning?

I am doing fine thank you. However, I think I have the weight of the day and the coming week hanging from my shoulders and head.

What do you mean?

What I mean is that I feel like I have a lot to do and not much time to do it. I also feel like I have a lot infront of me that I do not want to do.

Like what?

Like go to work. Like pay bills. Like talk to other people. Like make money. Like worry about not making money. Like having to be in the world. Stuff like that. I realize it sounds ridiculous.

It does a bit, yes.

I just really do not enjoy my work and having to interact with people the way that I have to interact with them as a psychotherapist. There are good things about it but overall I find it troubling. I hate having to do the scheduling with other people. I hate having to worry about getting new clients. I hate having to worry that I do not have enough clients and as a result will not make much money. I hate the worry. I hate the hate. It is just all troubling.

I see. Well, maybe you need to change the way that you think about things.

What do you mean?

Maybe you should just try relaxing. Don’t care so much. Just let go. Let what happens, happen. Trust that everything will be fine. Stay present. In a hundred years no one will even remember who you are now. No one will know who you were, so why worry about the future so much? You are just a blink in time. Life is short. Take what comes. Deal with what comes. Let go of everything else.

Wise words. You are right. You are absolutely right. I know this intellectually and theoretically. Seems like my brain is hard-wired to worry and be in a highly aroused state.

It is. Didn’t you just read about that research study that showed that Jewish men suffer from depression and anxiety at rates higher than men in other ethnic groups?

I did, yes.

And you realize, the reason why is because Jewish men are much more prone to self-examination. This is what creates their chronic neurosis. It is called “The Woody Allen Syndrome.”

Hmmm.

Yes.

I wonder why Jewish men are prone to this sort of thing?

Probably because of centuries of persecution and having to continually be hypervigilant about finding ways to survive. When you have so many people trying to persecute you and hunt you down, over time you become more intelligent about how to stay alive but you also become more frightened that someone or something is going to take you down at any second.

Yes this is probably true. I am always worrying about something taking me down. Something ending the event that I call “me.” Something coming along and taking away what little power and control I have. It is contsnat. But I still do not want to go to work. I still do not want to deal with the day ahead.

You just do not like the work you do. It is that simple. Maybe some other time we can talk about why this is. I do not think you have ever liked any job that you have had to do. Another time we will discuss this. For now, don’t worry about the day or week ahead. Leave it alone. Just be present right now. Try not to think about it. Just let it all go. Take it moment by moment rather than looking forward at the entire day and week.

Alright, I will give it a shot. But I seem to be afraid of two main things- not having enough money and unconsciousness.

Yeah, I agree.

Yes.

So what are you going to do now?

I will go water the backyard garden. I will go for a walk. I will take care of some business stuff I have to deal with. I will do a bit of work on my website. Maybe I will get some reading time in. I might masturbate. Then I will dress and get ready for work.

Take things moment by moment. Don’t care about anything in the future.

Yes.

You should meditate as well. You really need to meditate. If you don’t, your mind will over power you. It will dominate you with all kinds of judgements, anger and worry.

Ok, I will meditate now. Once we finish this conversation.

Don’t let me keep you.

Ok. Thanks for your guidance.

No problem.

I still don’t want to go to work. I really don’t want to have to do this.

Please. Just sit down and meditate.

Ok.