How To Be Single

Love, science says, therapy

If the word single reminds you of the number one, or an old sitcom from the 90’s, or a hot new Beyonce track then this post is not for you.
For the rest of us:
If the word single sounds like a metaphorical probation officer strapping your ankle with a bracelet of how in the hell do you portion a meal for one, piling the other side of the bed high with pillows so that sleep doesn’t feel so hollow and the constant impasse of dragging yourself out in public alone, again, then have a seat, let’s talk.

Singledom… singlehood … is a spectrum really. There are all kinds of ways to be single, maybe it’s working for you maybe it’s not. Single feels to me like skinny dipping on a pitch black night all alone. I’m not quite sure if it’s wholly exhilarating or if it feels like I might accidentally crack my head open on a rock and bleed to death right there next to the dock, fishermen stumbling over my corpse in the morning. (I thought about being less dramatic in that illustration, but it’s actually pretty accurate.)

Where ever you fall on the single spectrum here’s some advice, from a professional.

 

Step 1: Take Care of Yourself-

This means so many things. At the very least you need to maintain the status quo of standard of living, attention to hygiene, time in nature, amount of exercise that you were gifting yourself while you were still in a relationship. Derailing into a bowl of pity soup is not helpful. It is helpful to increase your self care from the tinniest things to the big ones. Those things are quite literally the antidote to depression. Think you’re above becoming depressed, well you’re wrong. Also, take some fish oil, it can’t hurt.

 

Step 2: Put Out the Word that You’re Single-

but also that you have a black belt in Karate and a ferocious guard dog. Your people might know their people. Seriously.

Gone are the days of the small hunter and gather community where one moment you’re gathering sticks for the fire and the next moment Fred Flintstone comes over and clubs you over the head drags you back to his cave and has his way with you. Not that any of us are upset about that. But what I’m tryin’ to say is that humans have not evolved to comprehend solitude. Our psyche, our physical bodies, our hormonal bodies were not wired for you to sit your ass on the couch and binge watch Game of Thrones every weekend. Neither can we make any sense of Tinder, isolation, self-loathing or the sinking sense of hope inching further and further away on a physiological level.

All of that is to say, do not allow yourself to be alone all of the time. Put some thing exciting on your calendar and…

 

Step 3: Go Out in Public-

Maybe your goal isn’t even to get into another relationship. That’s totally fine, great even. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t seek human contact. We are social creatures, surely you know that. Every single thing about life that matters in the end are the relationships that we created at this phenomenal meeting of place and time. Don’t miss a single day of the opportunity to be you in relationship. It’s the why.

 

Step 4: Make Friends Above All Else-

The wind might blow South one day and that guy or gal that you were ‘talking’ to, might just fade away. All of those pieces of yourself that you hooked into them, because you were grappling and any hand up would do. Those just get ripped out. And it will be fine, but it will be just you again. Well you and your friends. Make sure they’re there first.

 

There’s more, I’m just figuring those parts out still.

Spotify’s Got Me All F**ked Up

silly goose, your body

As many of you know this weekend was a very special weekend. I realized that I had a free Spotify premium membership just waiting for me out in the ethers. I promptly, filled out the necessary information and like the resurrection of Christ himself, the sweet nectar that is my old Spotify playlist has RISEN! Can I get an amen!

[If this is all some foreign tech babble that you don’t understand. You’re life has no meaning. I mean okay, so it probably has meaning but you are barely living. At the very least you need to get the free version of Spotify, which is the Limewire of this decade. I have been trudging though the perils of the free version for the past six months. Six long terrible months. No, I’m not being dramatic.]

Here’s what I wasn’t ready for. The onslaught of songs that have now become so terribly sad because my life circumstances have dramatically changed.

Music that you continually listen to through life changes and expanses of time evolve with you. That smooth love song that you and what’s his face used to grove to in the living room, well now that’s the song that you shake your fine single behind to when making dinner. All is well.

But those songs that you haven’t touched in you don’t know how long, those will jump right out of your ear buds and sucker punch you in the gut. Damn. I would like to send a personal f-you to Damien Rice, Citizen Cope, Bill Withers, Fiest, Paolo Nutini, and Joss Stone herself. You can shove Super Duper Love up your arse.

This isn’t news to any of you who have weathered the storm of heart break or what you thought was heart break in your teenage years, Coldplay knew just how to say it didn’t they. Our brains are hard-wired to connect music with our longterm memory, speaking of being able to recite every Will Smith album ever from heart… adding that to my resume right meow.

The hippocampus (that little bitch) is likely the culprit here. It mediates both memory formation and emotions. So here we are sobbing between Amos Lee songs. I’ve got bad news for those recovering from crushed dreams and the promise of forever love even patients with very advanced Alzheimer’s can go into deep emotional recall at the drop of one Ludacris song. Okay, so What’s Your Fantasy probably isn’t bumpin’ on the dementia wing, but ya know.

 

 

Saying What You Really Feel

silly goose, social awareness

Me and an anonymous person that I know, were exchanging emails today. She’s always articulate and hilarious regardless of how dark or upturned her corner of the world happens to be that day.

Preamble: It’s always fucking Mercury isn’t it. Let’s just nuke it out of the solar system. I ‘aint got time for this ish.

Kimpossible shared that:
Mercury is in retrograde, I’m hallucinating little green men in the middle of the night and my skin has more in common with alligators than human beings. I’M FUCKING WONDERFUL THANKS FOR ASKING.

Regpopolis responded:
No flipping way. I legit just gave the same speech to myself on the drive to work today, it goes a little something like this:

Mercury is in retrograde, it was a Pieces full moon— what in the fuck does that mean, sounds tragic enough– my baby literally shit the bed yesterday, I’m a full time maid fighting the funk from hell, my boyfriend is dying, my dog spite shit on our brand new carpet, and everyday I cry at my job. Ohhhh and on Monday I start school again.

Okay, Reg, check yourself. Mantra: you will get a job offer from Starbucks today. You will get a job offer from Starbucks today.

This is my uncensored life right now.

And then on the way home from work after a surprisingly decent day (that was either because A) I am now taking anxiety meds 30 min before I arrive every day or B) I had a full blown life breakdown to the intern on Friday including crying and she probably told my boss that I’m a sensitive little bitch, which if fine because it meant less fire and brimstone today, so #winningfornow) any-who at this stop light on the way home I had to talk my self down:

Reagon, It could be worse: you could be a Syrian refugee, you could live in Baghdad, you have never actually been involuntarily starving. Your basic needs are met. You are okay. Your basic needs are met. You are okay. This could be much worse.

That’s the place. That’s the space that I have to live in right now because I’m in full blown panic. I told J this morning that right now is literally the most anxious and emotionally unwell that I have ever been in my life. And I’ve seen some shit (again, not bombs falling on my head shit, but you know white girl shit).

Here’s something that is keeping me going (and has been since I learned about it). Adjustment Disorder. It’s one of the most commonly used “diagnosis” in therapy because most therapists don’t want a stigmatizing diagnosis following their patients around. It takes on average 6 weeks to process an “adjustment”. So when your life gets all backwards and inside out and you CAN’T FUCKING DEAL, 6 weeks later (pending that there’s not an onslaught of other horrendous things going on) you will feel better. And you will have moved on to something else, hopefully that something else is much sunnier.  Six weeks. We can do six weeks.

* I feel it important to note that I have been shoving my fingers as far down my auditory canals as possible, and scrolling past all of the atrocities being committed (MURDERS, IT’S MURDER) against black men, women and children in the past (well forever) but specifically in the past few days, because I can’t deal with reality right now. However it is not lost on me that if I were born in a different body that I may very well be gunned down for absolutely no reason at all, even if I have my hands in the air and even if I am disabled. So, once more it is ALL RELATIVE*