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How Not To Calm Down


It has been some time since I could enjoy a little peace and quiet. Having a routine of perfectly constructed activities and tasks was never quite my thing. Everyone told me that having a routine can help me to ground myself and have a sense of stability. And with stability comes peace. But it wasn't routine I needed; it was chaos. If the outside was louder than the inside, then the sliver between the two spaces is where I can find comfort.

There are a lot of noises in my head. Not voices, just clutter and sustained noises from all the worries and burdens that rest on my shoulders and stay in my head. Whoever said this said it best: "Life is not all rainbows and sunshine". It is mostly light drizzles and the occasional lightning shower.

When I was younger, I thought I had life figured out. I met the love of my life when I was young, got married and planned our entire future ahead of us. Our naivety shielded us from the reality of life. Getting married, and promising to spend your life with someone else always seems like the most adult thing anyone could ever do. Marrying young made us feel like we had our life figured out. We had just completed the biggest accomplishment in our adult life. Whatever could get in our way?

As it turns out, it was life itself.

The young and naïve couple soon realised that their love cannot weather the storm of life. One after another, it was problem after problem. The love we once had for each other turned to obligation, then resentment, then total and complete hatred. She moved out after our last agreement, and I was left to live alone again. My marriage was done. That was one of life’s achievements I had to undo, but it’s okay. At least I still had a career.

That is until I got distracted by the divorce and accidentally lost the company 2 million dollars. Now I’m back to square one.

But it’s so unfair. I didn’t ask for any of this. The little nagging at the back of my head that was whispering when I exchange my vows got a lot louder, and suddenly it was the only thing I could hear. There were so many thoughts running through my head, but I could never put them into words. There weren’t any words for it. I just felt frustrated. I felt indignant. I couldn’t explain my thoughts even if I tried, so I tried to drown them out.

I went around packing my schedule to the brim. Looking for jobs, running, going on dates with random women that were desperate enough to agree to go on a date with a loser who hadn’t shaved his beard in 2 weeks. But it still didn’t go. The noises were still there.

I kept racking my brain to think of ways to get rid of the noise, but as it turns out, your body knows best. When it’s tired, it’ll faint. When it’s dehydrated, it’ll make you thirsty. And when the noises get too loud? It explodes out of you. One punch to the wall, and I can hear the noises dimming. Finally.

Unfortunately, one punch isn’t enough to silence the noise completely. They were still there, whispering and mocking me. No matter how hard or frequent I punch the wall, I could still hear them. And that is when I learned that reacting to a problem is not good enough. I have to go back to the beginning.

The noises only amplified when he fired me for a simple mistake. It was him that made me like this. The noises were because of him. So I’m doing what internet forums and self-proclaimed therapists suggest doing when trying to heal yourself.

Solving the problem at its roots.

One more hit and I let out the largest heave of relief I have ever felt in 20 years.

Finally, the noises stopped. The static noise in my head went away, and all that was left was what I have been searching for since the beginning.


As I saw the blood slowly flowing away, I could feel my worries melting away. Every drop of blood that dripped from his head looked like worries disappearing from mine. Just like that, drip, drip, drip. Gone were the noises and heaviness that sat atop of me. This action didn't just bring my silence, but it bought me freedom.

It took me a while, but now I know why people were so into making routines. Because it brought them peace, and it was freeing.

But, as with all other problems with life, the peace I felt didn’t sustain for long. In fact, the noises came back twice fold, engulfing my brain with plenty of hows and whys.

Now, what do I do with the body?

© 2022 Alison Lian

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