“A federal statutory holiday” by Julia on B and W’s couch

Saturday July 6, 2019
10:54pm
5 minutes
From a Wikipedia page re: Canada day

It’s hard to take the day off much less the whole summer.
SoMe
One
Told me that we need to take breaks
Just like the people who work the same hours every week or the ones who go to offices or places of employment outside their brains

This is a foreign concept to me:
I haven’t known the value of a weekend since I was in high school
It feels like every day there is something that needs doing
Especially if no one else is checking to see if it’s done or not
There is no paycheque on a Monday or a Sunday if I am busy sleeping in

This year I am trying-I mean embracing -summer and all its charms
The sunshine, the beach, the cycling, the road, the long walks, the long calls, the patio, the music, the playing, the throwing, the catching, the eating, the laying

I am and I am not because it takes a while to relax and when the relaxing comes it feels like a trick to knock me off my game and stay off

But the folding the laundry, the putting away the clothes, the reorganizing the closets is just as much me as the writing is; as the making
It is just as much me to walk around my house without bottoms as the me who puts on a bra and faces the edge of the street

“experiences unbearable psychological turmoil” by Julia in Kitchener

Wednesday December 26, 2018
11:36pm
5 minutes
Eros
Stella Kalogeraki

Mom tells me about the shingles that people my age are getting. Chicken pox she says, we used to have chicken pox parties, can you believe that?
They seem to know things then that we don’t anymore. I say stress can cause it, it happened to my friend.
My mother nods and her eyes light up, yes yes stress can cause it and other things, can you believe that?
Some assumptions keep us rotting in our skin when the torture becomes self-inflicted. The brain knows how to protect its team by sending warriors to build walls that block out the worst case scenario. The blood still pumps through the highway of the body, alive in the channels sending it this way and that.

“When your music ends” by Julia on her patio


Sunday August 6, 2017
5:07pm
5 minutes
Spotify

That feeling when your guts are in your throat
when you want to breathe deeply but nobody will let you
the empty swallow that burns your chest
that makes you wish for more time or a disguise

The last song has to be a good one. Maeve and Alexis lay on the floor touching skulls, feet outstretched in opposite directions. Maeve has been planning for a long time and Alexis knows patience. She goes along hand in hand with everything. She is not a pushover. She just never gets tired. Maeve is close to tears. She doesn’t know which one to choose and everyone is putting their two cents in. Alexis has stopped suggesting options. Instead she lays there without thinking about the clock and lets her friend quietly cry.

“stress hormones can also cross the placenta” by Julia at her desk


Thursday June 1, 2017
9:52pm
5 minutes
alive.com

Your baby is not safe! Sorry, but it’s not. It’s figthing to stay alive every second and you know what? It’s dealing with enough placentra stress as it is, it doesn’t need any more! It comes down to gut health. It always does. You have to stop eating your feelings! Stop swallowing excuses and old wounds. That stuff is not meant for human consumption. You shouldn’t eat them before bed either. Your body is busy protecting something and you just go ahead to the cookie jar where you hide your pain? Soon there will be nothing left to protect!

“Chickpeas / tahini” by Julia on her couch


Monday May 1, 2017
11:06pm
5 minutes
from a grocery list

in the event of me being put
in charge to host a dinner
party
I would air on the side of
Italian
garnish with
basil
everywhere
tomato
garlic/bread
The music would be chosen with
more stress than should
accompany
a fun night
with friends
eventually confident
Golden Oldies
no one can hate the Golden fucking Oldies
and if they arrive early
(and they always do)
there will be a cheese based
plate or chips, or dips, or good
conversation, until
the food I mistimed
is ready to be served
All Oldies All The Time

“preceded by chaos” by Julia at her dining table


Monday November 7, 2016
10:51pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

It’s a scary place to be in when it’s not pretty. Not pretty aka not functioning aka not safe. That’s it, it is not safe inside my head right now. There are a lot of spelling errors and stress about deadlines. Things are in full swing: there’s scheduling and penciling things in, magnifying glasses and red pens everywhere, everyone is at their desk taking calls, all hands on deck. And then you look over to the self-care desk and for some reason she’s not there? Like she slipped out to have a smoke or something and nobody else is equipped to step in. Everyone is panicking that they won’t get their thing done on time so they don’t want to abandon their post for even a second to go figure out if self-care is coming back at any time soon? Or if she has DIED SOMEWHERE? No, of course not. They’re all eating chips for breakfast lunch and dinner and throwing candy corn at the walls because obviously it’s so stupid, but it’s inexplicably appealing. Some of them haven’t even washed. Some of them are looking at old photo albums from high school and are just fucking WEEPING.

“Elevated stress response” by Julia at Liberty Bakery


Friday October 2, 2015 at Liberty Bakery
2:57pm
5 minutes
Epigenetics
Richard C. Frances


I’m racing.
My mind.
My heart.
My muscles.
I’m working overtime and I’m over that.
I don’t have quiet.
I don’t know peace.
It’s bad.
I’m too soft for things that are this hard.
I watch my dreams turn into nightmares.
I wake up all twisted in my comforter.
I wake up buried deep in my own grave every morning.
Every night.
Every time.
That’s the worst part.
Because I can’t explain it.
Not to you.
Not to me.
Not to anyone.
There’s nothing I can relate this to.
I’ve never died but it feels close to that.
It feels like fighting to stay alive.
But mostly fighting to die.
Time is racing.
I am racing.
I am running from myself.
And running out of running.

“The stress that I have been carrying around with me” by Julia at Barb’s house in Vernon


Wednesday, September 2, 2015
9:40pm
5 minutes
Teach Only Love
Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D.


Oh it’s like a sack of potatoes just weighing down my shoulders, you see? I never once thought of an image quite like that before! It’s actually thrilling to be creative in this way. Hmm. Let’s see, how else would I describe my stress? Well, I suppose I could say, if I’m really going deep here, is that it’s like a 4 year old who refuses to walk on his own and is nothing but dead weight because he’s desperate for attention or something like that. You know the way children act out when they’re not getting what they want, and they throw tantrums, and you can barely drag them around, let alone carry them? Oh dear, I’m afraid that one got a little further away from me than I was expecting. The truth is, I know a lot about these things and those memories that just sort of add up and when I let myself, they all come flooding back to the surface. I’m understanding now that all I needed to say was the refuses to walk on his own bit. The rest just seems superfluous. Either way, we were discussing what my stress feels like. It also feels like a cement block tied around my ankle right before I’ve been thrown into the water….

“10% off” By Sasha at Le Marche St. George


Monday, June 29, 2015 at Le Marche St. George
10:14am
5 minutes
From http://www.hollyhock.ca

You hide your face in your dirty hands. I want to lick your tears like a puppy, but I don’t, only because we’re in public, not because I wouldn’t do something like that. I would. I do. Sometimes when my Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor asks to see my tongue I worry about the stains of coffee or a banana. I suck back the spit and I hope he doesn’t lean in too close to analyze. I stick it out and he looks, but from his roll-y chair a bit of a ways away. “You’re stressed,” he says, like a Knighting. “Who isn’t?” I think. “Not really…” I say, doing the stress comparison. I was more stressed last time I was there. I am less stressed now, for sure. I spend many more hours lying on the beach now. Less hours sitting (“is the new smoking”) at my table or in a coffee shop, maybe eating a few too many paleo, almond butter cookies.

You hide your face in your dirty hands. We spent the morning building sand castles.

“train service is suspended” by Julia in her backyard


Friday June 6, 2014
2:28pm
5 minutes
A tweet by the TTC

When you have to be somewhere at a certain time and you’re already running late, it’s better always, always, always, to take a cab, stress it out in the backseat for a few minutes, then text whoever you’re supposed to meet and say “In a cab, so sorry” so they know that you are trying your best to be on time, you’re even paying real money to arrive as close to on time as possible, and that you feel bad about making them wait for you so you’re enduring the traffic stress of being in a cab in the first place to make up for it. Do not take the subway because subways have delays and trains get so busy because there aren’t enough to get everyone from point a to point b during the time you need. Do not take the streetcar because you probably won’t be able to sit and then you have to smell everyone’s hair and armpits while people crowd around you, yelling, or pre-drinking, or baby talking. Do not walk and think that when it gets down to crunch time you can just run and beat both the subway and the streetcar. You will get sweaty and you will get tired and you will think you can run all the way but you cannot because you decided that working out was a “rich man’s game” and that you’d much rather eat the whole box of Passion Flakies for breakfast instead of just one or two or none.

“Never say never, Moby!” by Sasha at her desk


Monday, April 1, 2013
12:12am
5 minutes
Overheard on the subway going west

Moby has started pulling out his eyelashes. He isn’t exactly conscious of it, he mostly does it when he’s tired, or stressed. Olympia notices when they are almost completely gone. “Moby! What in heaven’s name has happened to your eyelashes?!” She says, grabbing his chin and tilting it up towards her. “I don’t know…” He responds, wrestling his face away from her. “Eyelashes don’t just… disappear!” She’s yelling now, even though the parenting book on her bedside table says never to do so, especially about appearances, or lunch. “I don’t know, Mom…” Moby slunk to his room. The next day, after a particularly abominable spelling test, Moby went to pull out the last of the small, corse, hairs. They were all gone. He moved to his eyebrows. The next morning, at breakfast, Olympia screamed. “MOBY! What the fuck has happened to your eyebrows!!!!” He’d only heard his mother swear once, at his father, when his father had forgotten to send Moby a birthday card. He started to cry. “I’m, I’m, I’m sorry, Mom… I don’t know what’s going on!” She felt instantly bad about swearing, and yelling, she saw the face of the parenting specialist on the cover of the book, his eyes glowing. She knelt down and pulled Moby towards her. “I’m sorry for yelling, Sweetie,” she said, stroking his head, quiet, soft. “Don’t worry, Mom…” He says. “The hairs are just… falling out. I think it’s a disease. I think I should go to the doctor immediately.” She nods, quickly.

“Ballerina afraid” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday, January 31, 2013 at Starbucks
2:12pm
5 minutes
Metro News Thursday January 31, 2013

I’m clenching my teeth because when I get focused I really start to hurt myself. Only started cutting when I was finished university, so that’s something I’m truly proud of. Made it pretty far before they had to operate on the disgusting hair ball in my stomach too. That’s from the stress. It’s cause I have a lot going on. Who doesn’t, am I right? My jaw is a mess. My dentist tells me to wear a mouth guard to bed, but I don’t because back in the day, there wasn’t a fix to these problems and people got on just fine without any help.
I’m not saying I want to do this all on my own, I just mean, if my body is reacting to certain things, fight or flight, then I should trust that. Not everyone is meant to have a perfect set of bottom teeth, okay. Not everyone is meant to weigh 108 pounds and lift their legs over their heads. That’s my bag, I guess, I was just sort of thrown into it based on one experience as a child, expressing some vague interest in prancing around in a leotard. Now I do it, I’m not saying I don’t, but I do it, and this is my life. I maintain a low weight, I cut the places no one sees or thinks to see, and I don’t eat my hair anymore, but I want to. We’re all a little fucked up. I’m just worried that when my dad finds out about the cutting he’ll try and quarantine me again. It’s his way of doing a casual intervention.