NEW BLOG Y’ALL

Oh i’ll skip the long ass post and just give y’all the link:

Colour Me Yellow

All post from SFTM have been transferred to CMY. It’s less uglier. Dunno if that’s imp.

 

LACY BRAS AND MESH DRESSES

Her lips are painted with a glaring red color. They’re a bit overdrawn but he’s very forgiving of it. Her eyes, too. They’re a bit Overlined, that is. Again, he’s very forgiving of it. Her eyebrows have taken up a personality of their own. The sensuality drips from them. 
Her dress is short enough to make the good wives cry for her soul. Its of a weird mesh material. The cheap kind. Obviously, her black lacy bra is staring right at him. But his mother raised him to never complain, and he really should respect mother dearest’s wishes.

Her strappy shoes strap all over her unevenly tanned legs. They’re long. Her legs, that is, not the shoes.

Basically, she’s really fucking hot. And intelligent too. She was the fucking valedictorian.

And right now, she’s pressed against his bare chest. And right now her lips taste of berries. Strawberries, of that. And not the nasty rotten ones. The real good expensive ones.

He had paid upfront. It took all his savings to get her for one night and a morning.

She was the fucking valedictorian.

She was the fucking valedictorian.

She was the fucking valedictorian.

He breaks apart from her to ask her one simple question.

“Why?”

She smiles her crooked smile. Her lipstick is all but existent. Her lips are of a bruised purple-blue color now.

“Why?” He begs of her.

“I just rrreally like fucking strrrangerrrs

Heavens, she rolls her rs too.

OVER-GLORIFIED PEN TAPPERS (and some other stuff)

Ok i confess. I hate pen tapping. I swear i do. But damn it, i also hate this interviewer. Quite pitiful really, poor Bloke’s more or less (mostly more) a mere over glorified pen tapper. And a disgrace at that, i must say.

And i suppose there must be a reason to be so full of spite. A reason more elementary than this vaguely rabid pen tapping.

“Now then, what makes you so much better than the other candidates, sweetheart?” I shudder aas sweetheart falls from his ugly chapped lips, and i bolt up from the wannabe office chair and bang my hand on the tabletop. This is absolutely outrageous.

Ok well, im obviously exaggerating. Im too much of a coward, you see. Besides, I’ve been told by Ma that shit like that doesn’t get you very far. In life, i mean. The old bat finally kicked the bucket last year. My Ma, i mean. Rotten woman she was, really. But that’s just my two cents anyway.

“Oh well, thats for you to decide”. I smile at the ole bloke. His face is hella pulpy, eyes bulging and the whole lot. Looks right comical, i swear it does.

He hoots with laughter; his drooping fat bags jiggling and shaking. I dont quite know what’s so funny. Its the lack of competency, i tell you. Its patethic. But i dont say as much out loud. Im too much of a coward, you see.

“Now don’t you get smart with me!” The bloke wipes his perspiring forehead. I swear he winks at me as he does so. Sam hell, he’s a smooth bugger. I lean forward and my index finger moves to trace lazy circles on the worn cuff of his left sleeve. Slowly, fluidly i lean into him till my lips are right at his ear. Fuck. You.  

Ok well, not really.

I’m always too much of a coward, you see.

Tuba Shamim, 18

HOW TO BE PETTY! (Ft. panic attack)

(Real talk though; panic attack could be a band name, ay?)

There’s this misconception going around these days that a panic attack must have some colossal reason behind it. Nasty thing it is, really. Now that’s not to say that a panic attack can’t have a colossal reason behind it.

But I’m not here to write about the reasonability of some panic attacks (say, you just got bit by a poisonous snake). I’m here to rag on my sympathetic nervous system. Because that bitch is petty AF.

Excuse my language. It’s been a long day.

Without any further delay, let’s acknowledge, delve into (totally unnecessary but I just really wanted to use the word ‘delve’) and truly appreciate the extent of this pettiness.

THE TIME I HAD A PANIC ATTACK OVER LITERALLY NOTHING

Yes. That happens. I had a biology class and I was in an especially peppy mood. See, I had these new biscuits (oh, hush you. They were really good biscuits) to show to a friend of mine. I wore my special mint colored shirt and these new shoes my mama got me. Hell, I even did my hair all pretty and shit. So I was more than a lil bummed when my breathing got ragged, I started convulsing and terror wouldn’t let go of me (clingy. I know). I mean, damn girl, I did my hair all up for THIS? Anywho, I ended up going home early. Oh but yes, I did end up showing her those really cool biscuits. She even ate some; bless her lil heart.

THE TIME I HAD A PANIC ATTACK OVER MY CEREAL NOT BEING PERFECT

Now in defense of ‘panic attack’ (can someone please make that band name a thing, already?) I didn’t technically have a good night’s sleep. And technically I was fairly exhausted. But, frankly, I’m petty AF and I’m just going to ignore (the fact that) my panic attack wasn’t technically being petty this time. It was NESTLÉ Milo, by the way. The cereal, I mean. Oh what’s that? You don’t care? Yeah, well that bonnet doesn’t look good on you anyway Martha.

THE TIME I HAD A PANIC ATTACK OVER (ACCIDENTALLY) MISSING A MATHS CLASS

So that happened. I mean, really, you’d think someone from my class would’ve come and told me about the class. Hmph, I suppose I can let this one slide (I’m kidding. Stop glaring at me y’all). I never did end up covering what we missed.

 Tuba Shamim, 18

HEART’S UPON HER SLEEVE

Annie turned thirteen today.

Her folks got her a birthday cake and everything.

It was one candle short though. She was pretty cheesed off about that. You’d think they’d care enough to at least get the number of candles right. Yes. She was fairly cheesed off about that.

Annie’s aunt –the nice one– gave her something too. It was a red fabric heart wrapped in an ugly box. The fabric is really, quite filthy. And the box is really, quite ugly too.

But her aunt –the nice one– is rather old so she is forgiven. The filth shall be overlooked.

There is some thread too. And a note.

The note is thrown away.

She takes off her jacket. It’s a very nice pink color. It makes her friends quite envious. Annie likes that very much.

The filthy fabric heart is sewed onto the sleeve.

Annie puts on the very nice pink jacket.

And then she is scowling.

Stupid candles.

WRITER: Tuba Shamim, 17

THE TIME I GAVE A SPEECH ON MY ANXIETY AND PANIC ATTACKS

“Uh I have to be careful with where I sit.” I wash my hands vigorously. Except, there’s no actual water. And there’s no actual washing. It’s just the nervous wringing of fingers. I suppose I could’ve just said that, instead. But the ‘washing hands’ paints a nice picture, no?

“And why is that?” it’s her classic smile. There’s no hesitation, no wavering. It’s a quick, confident smirk spreading across her face. Anticipated, really. If you knew her, that is. I mean, Hell, the woman’s a force to be reckoned with if I’ve ever met one.

“Uh because I uh–” wringing intensifies “–I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks?” the last part of it comes out as a squeaky question. Not really one of my best moments. But it was a big deal, ok? Jeez, cut me some slack would you?

And that, my children, was the start of a speech that changed my life. Ok, well, not really. I just typed that to grab your attention. Did it work? No? Oh, well. I tried.

Though the speech I gave didn’t necessarily bring about any earth-shattering fundamental life changes, it did bring about a new line of thought. But before I start rattling off like a loose cannon, I’d like to talk (type) a little* about anxiety, panic attacks and me.

Hi. Hello. Yes, how do you do? Congrats on the new baby –oh well Martha told me. My name’s Tuba. My name’s Tuba, Im 17 years old and Im currently being treated for severe panic disorder. I’ve suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for the past four years of my life but it was only recently that my anxiety and panic attacks got severe. And yes, it’s true that everyone deals with anxiety. But not everyone deals with anxiety.

Now, a panic attack is an intense, acute episode of crippling anxiety and overwhelming anguish. Common symptoms of a panic attack include: accelerated heart rate, sweating, tremors, Sensations of shortness of breath, Hyperventilating, Feelings of choking, Chest pain, Nausea, Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint, Chills or heat sensations, Paresthesia (numbness or tingling sensations), depersonalization (being detached from oneself) , Fear of losing control or “going crazy”, Fear of dying (for further information refer to https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/panic-disorder-agoraphobia/symptoms).

During my most recent panic attack, I had to be held down because I was clawing at my face. Panic attacks differ from person to person and within a person. My panic attacks are most certainly not on par with one another. I might have a panic attack where I need to be held down by relative strangers (relativity, my dear Watson. It’s everything) or I might have a panic attack where I don’t even need to leave the situation. I can just sit there and figuratively nearly-die.

Great. You’re all caught up. That wasn’t too hard, now was it?

I don’t quite remember the date. Terrible of me, really. You’d think I’d remember such a monumental date. Regardless, I was brought up in front of a class to talk about myself. One thing lead to another lead to me giving an impromptu speech on anxiety and panic attacks. Suffering from said affairs is hard for me. Giving an IMPROMPTU speech on anxiety and panic attacks was inconceivable to me. And yet it wasn’t anything you or I would have initially expected it to be.

For one, it was empowering.

Acknowledging, accepting and spreading awareness about anxiety and panic attacks –it was EXHILIRATINGLY EMPOWERING (yes, Im italicizing and capitalizing it. It’s just that good). There are countless mental health advocates who spread awareness about mental health struggles –including anxiety and panic attacks. But as I wrote about it before, panic attacks (and anxiety) differ from person to person, within a person.

Giving said speech allowed me to acknowledge, accept and spread awareness about MY anxiety and MY panic attacks. It was exhilarating. It was empowering. And it was beyond.

It also reinforced my belief that people are willing to understand if you’re willing to explain. Reinforcement of a belief like that may not mean much at face value, but really think about it. No, seriously, sit and really think about it. Because a positive reinforcement like that is of great significance. It’s kind of like kicking anxiety’s ass. Like, really kicking anxiety’s ass.

Ahem. Excuse my language back there. I got a wee bit carried away.

I digress. This belief was reinforced by the questions asked. Sure, it’s always good for the speaker to be interactive with the audience, but what’s even better is when the audience eagerly interacts back with the speaker.

After the IMPROMPTU speech was over and we all went home, I was sprawled over the sofa rehashing everything I had said and everything that I could’ve done better. It took some time for me to understand that what I did was phenomenal considering the circumstances. And with that realization came a feeling of accomplishment because, yes. I kicked anxiety’s ass. And I kicked it good.

Advocating for my mental health gave way to the societal accommodation that my mental illness necessitated, and gave way to the empowerment i was in dire need of.

I didn’t have a panic attack after and my anxiety wasn’t unusually heightened due to the IMPROMTU (yes, Susan. Im still italicizing and capitalizing) speech.

I did however empower myself and the people around me to be more than your mental illness. To be more than your fears. To be more than your insecurities.

And finally, to be more than a moment.

*ok, fine, maybe it wasn’t a ‘little

WRITER: TUBA SHAMIM, 17

THE MIDNIGHT MAID HICCUPS – A SHORT STORY

“HEY,” hiccup “BABE! YOU WANNA SEE A–” hiccup “–SEE A GOOD TIME? 80’s ALL UH–” hiccup “–ALL IT’S GUNNA COST YA!”

Left foot, right foot, left foot, left foot? Lazily, the woman makes little effort to put one foot after another. It’s too confusing. She doesn’t want to deal with all that right now. She just wants a little fun, is all.

She leaves behind her a trail of foul, cheap knock-off perfume bought at the makeup-aisle of a super-mart, at 1:00 am. Her obnoxiously mesh dress is riding up her thighs. Her cheap thong is showing. It’s not a very flattering color, really.

ADVERTISE THY SEXU–” hiccup “SEXUALUHTY!” she pushes back her black curls with the bottom end of a wine bottle. The label’s clearly witnessed some duress –it’s been clawed beyond recognition. She stops and goggles at the bottle with pathetic pubescent wonder.

“When did you get here?” the midnight maid murmurs.

When the bottle obviously fails to answer, she jolts and shrieks with mad laughter. Her wrinkled, sagged breasts shake with mad laughter too. Everyone’s having quite a hoot to themselves. 

The woman throws her head back hooting with childish delight. She takes a long swig from the bottle and lovingly caresses it “Well, I s’ppose, we can keep woo!” the woman coos at the bottle nestled in her arms.

She sways back and forth in an attempt to apparently lull the bottle to sleep. But her shoes are cheap. And as the village’s local midnight maid sways to and fro, the cheap heel of her cheap knock-off shoe falls apart. 

Falling to the brutal embrace of the hard pavement; the midnight maid grips the bottle tightly, squishing it against her breasts. Motherly instinct, and what not.

Teary eyed, the woman loosens her grip on the bottle. She holds it at arm’s length and stares at it. Something in her must have snapped just then for tears slip out; they cascade down the awkward cracks in her cheap foundation. Really, they’re embarrassingly awkward. 

The woman’s hunched figure shakes uncontrollably. Hysteric cries of despair escape her small self.  Snot runs freely into her mouth and the woman coughs haphazardly. 

An off-putting trail of drool runs down from the left side of her clumsily lined lips. Frantically, the woman claws at her face, howling as she does so. Long red scratch marks take form on her face. There’s that cheap foundation under her long nails now.

The village’s local midnight maid hugs the bottle and rocks back and forth. The wailing has subsided to a needy whimper. “I thought I lost you back there” fear stricken, she whispers into the neck of the bottle. “Don’t. Don’t. You ca-ca-can’t dew that,” the woman rocks back and forth with increasing urgency “you ca-ca-cant m-m-make someone care then just-just weave ‘em”

Her eyes are wide with disbelief.

The bottle does nothing to calm her.

But the bottle exists, and right now that is enough for the woman.

“I THOUGHT YOU WERE PAST THIS DAMMIT!” the son roars at the woman “LOOK AT ME WHEN I SPEAK TO YOU!” when the woman giggles playfully, he marches over to her till he towers above her curled figure on the ground. He snarls at the woman and viciously grabs a fistful of her dark curls.

“Owwie. You’re hurting mommy.” She whines at the wretched beast before her.

“You disgust me.” He spits at the woman, holding her from her hair. The woman shoots a million watt smile in his vague direction.

“Oh, honey boo, don’t talk to mommy like that.” She pouts at him. When her boozy breath hits him square in the face, his nose curls up with disgust. Her breath most certainly stinks.

“JUST SHUT UP JUST SHUT UP JUST SHUT UP, YOU DISGUSTING WHORE!” the beast bellows, letting go of her hair. “YOU SAID YOU’D STOP BRINGING THE GODDAMN BOTTLES HOME!” he shakes his head at her drooling figure.

The beast walks out the door.

He doesn’t bother closing the door this time.

“Oh, foo. Where’d ‘e go?” the woman looks around the dim room and sulks “SEE YA LA’ER, ALLIG–”hiccup“–ATOR”

Her hiccups are back, it seems.

WRITER: TUBA SHAMIM, 17

PANIC ATTACKS CAN APPARENTLY TEACH YOU A THING OR TWO

“Hello, my name is Denice Fluthen. I’m currently being treated for severe Panic disorder. Thank you.” is how I imagined introducing myself at a group therapy session. Did you like the use of the pseudonym ‘Denice Fluthen’? It’s an anagram. Jumble the words around and you’ll get ‘The influenced’ (inspired by The Messenger; of course that’s a story for another time. Pun intended). Sure, you’ll get a whole lot of other words too, but let’s not acknowledge that, yes?

For the past four years I’ve had countless panic attacks. The diversity in my episodes means I need to constantly be prepared for any and every kind of it. And over the past four years, I’ve learnt a few things along the way. Allow me to impart some of this knowledge upon you, young one (just bear with me).

WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING THAT HELPS (or doesn’t)

Note down everything that helps you before, during and after a panic attack. My list (I recently started carrying my list around) includes ‘ice packs or chilled water bottle’, ‘ask me questions’ and even ‘Lemonade’. Include in your list everything that makes it worse too like ‘don’t crowd me’, ‘don’t start crying’ or even ‘don’t tell me I’m late to class’. Carry the paper around with you and keep it in an easily accessible place so you can always give it to someone, because at times though people WANT to help, they don’t know HOW to help.

DON’T FORCE YOURSELF TO PARTICIPATE IN TOXIC ORDEALS WHEN YOU CAN CHOOSE TO DO OTHERWISE

I know. It’s 1 AM and your test is tomorrow. I know you feel compelled to study late because somehow it makes you feel more studious (probably just me). But you need to take a deep breath in. That’s it. Just like that. No don’t let it out yet.  You’re doing great, just hang on to it. Ok. Now. Let it out. Lovely. I know you feel compelled to stay up but you need to separate yourself from this situation and realize that you don’t need to participate in toxic actions (Yes, Susan, not sleeping well does makes it difficult to manage your anxiety levels) when you can choose NOT to.

DON’T SAY NO TO HELP

Several people suffering from panic attacks don’t accept help because they fear they might abuse the accommodation provided for their aid. Note my use of the word ‘accommodation’. Countless people use the word ‘privilege’ rather than the word ‘accommodation’. Furthermore regarding the whole ‘abusing your accommodation’ business, I can’t help you there. I suppose, that’s where your sense of morale comes into play. Accommodation must never be abused; it makes light of a grave situation and mocks the people going out of their way to provide said societal accommodation.

STOP APOLOGIZING

Apologizing for needing to be accommodated is something that used to be (ok, maybe, it still is) my romantic constant. Instead of apologizing I have tried adopting different ways to respond to accommodation, ‘excuse me’, ‘appreciated’ and an awkward laugh seems to go a long way. You don’t need to feel obligated to apologize for your mental health (that’s right society. Im looking at you). But it’s understandable if you do feel that way (Yes, society. I’m still looking at you); try and make use of healthier alternative ways to respond to accommodation.

A PAPER BAG REALLY DOESN’T TAKE UP THAT MUCH SPACE

And getting comfortable with using it in public really isn’t as damning as you’d think (surprise, surprise). During hyper-ventilation we expel too much CO2. This creates in us a feeling of being smothered. Breathing in a paper bag, in a sense, traps that CO2 so we inhale it back in, allowing re-circulation of CO2 in our lungs. Of course, checking with a physician (and a mental health expert, if need be) is a necessity before trying this exercise. If you have the go-ahead of said professionals, and are interested in the how-tos and the what-nots of paper bags, http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/using-a-paper-bag-to-control-hyperventilation is a lovely help!

WRITER: TUBA SHAMIM, 17

4 Ways Mentally Ill People Are Blamed For Their Struggles

Let's Queer Things Up!

The first time I told someone that I was mentally ill, they reacted with disbelief.

“You?” they asked. “You don’t seem that sick to me. Be careful not to play the victim.”

The second time I told someone that I was mentally ill, they invalidated me.

“We all get depressed sometimes,” they replied. “You just have to power through it.”

Countless times, I’ve been made to feel like my mental illness is my fault. I wasn’t trying hard enough, I needed to change my perspective, I wasn’t looking at all of my options, I was exaggerating how much pain I was in, I was only looking for sympathy.

If I wasn’t mentally well, they implied, it was obviously an issue with me that had nothing to do with the systems that fail mentally ill people each and every day. My “failure” to live a functional and happy life had nothing…

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Dealing with Dementors

Anne M. Holmes

As a result of following Caitlin Moran on Twitter, I have just learnt that it is World Mental Health Day today. Learning this has prompted me to turn the computer on for the first time in days.

According to the UK Mental Health Foundation:

  • Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain, with 8% of people meeting criteria for diagnosis.
  • 4-10% of people in England will experience depression in their lifetime.
  • Common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety are distributed according to a gradient of economic disadvantage across society. The poorer and more disadvantaged are disproportionately affected by common mental health problems and their adverse consequences.*
  • Mixed anxiety and depression has been estimated to cause one fifthof days lost from work in Britain.
  • One adult in six had a common mental disorder.

*  Just how blindingly obvious is this statistic?

A generation…

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