my double life is killing me


Filed under Flowers

38 responses to “combustion

  1. I know the feeling. Perhaps some marjoram balm is required? x

    • It most certainly is. You can’t imagine how essential that oil is; literally, sometimes it is the ONLY thing that will let me go to sleep, and it must be Maggie Tisserand. Have you tried it? I have to send you some if not (though I have probably said that before…)

      • I have, but not the Tisserand (and please do!). I liked her Ylang Ylang oil though. It was very rich and lasted for years.

      • And I know that you definitely 100%, if not more, know what I am talking about. And the fact that it is not that simple. And that i LOVE the double life in some ways, but that the inner crab shell (soft pure isezakicho) just can’t take it.

      • What about Lanvender Oil that is amazing for sleeping.
        What about geranium oil for balance.

      • It’s funny. I love both, geranium as a day time bath oil (sometimes I CRAVE geranium actually. Not at the moment. It’s almost as though my body and mind know exactly when they need it.). Lavender is a must, obviously, but nothing, nothing is like my Maggie Tisserand marjoram which is just peace and comfort itself. Other marjorams smell like bitter oregano: this one is entirely different; much warmer, sweeter, richer and calming. I put some on the tongue and a minute later always enter a different mode of being. Honestly.

      • Holly

        Btw, thanks for mentioning the Tisserand. WAY back they used to be sold here in the US in Ulta, which is (or was, actually) a slightly more upscale drugstore. Aromatherapy was almost eliminated here in 2000 by the NCAHF’s successful lawsuit against another company, Aroma Vera, for its claims about the therapeutic effects of their products. I always loved the Tisserand oils, and I’m so glad they’re still available. I know that there are still many good places to get high quality oils, but a recommendation is always preferable.

      • It must be Maggie, not Robert Tisserand (did they get a divorce?)!

  2. Rob

    Neil ~
    This sounds a bit desperate. Are you ok? What’s up?
    ~ Rob

    • No, it’s ok.

      Just Friday night annihilating culture fatigue. Being the only foreigner. And having to do that ‘life is perfect’ thing….it goes so against my spirit you wouldn’t believe.

      I want to just lie in a pile of syringes in Shinjuku right now, just die in ash and unrespectability.

      Thanks for replying. I am going upstairs now to immerse myself in cinema and Cointreau (and then marjoram and rooibos)

  3. Lilybelle

    😦 ❤ xo

  4. Marina

    Teaching is getting you down?

  5. Holly

    Oh dear. I’m sorry to hear that. I hope you’re finding comfort in the night.

  6. Since others have tried sympathy already, let me use another approach.

    Are you saying your life isn’t perfect? If you’re [relatively] healthy, have somebody close in your life and have a job that pays your bills, it’s definitely perfect. Actually… If you’re [relatively] healthy, everything else is more or less improvable – don’t tease the fate being ungrateful. If you have serious problems with your health, then I’ll agree – it sucks. But then all the other things “being a foreigner”, etc. just do not really matter: it will suck in any other circumstances.

    • I actually agree with you and I know that I have nothing to complain about: in fact, I am grateful that I have such a good life.

      But the ‘being a foreigner’ thing in Japan is really much more intense and can be such a mindfuck on occasion that it honestly cannot be dismissed so easily. It is utterly unlike a western environment (which I realize I have chosen myself so can hardly complain), but I have a certain emotional makeup that really needs expression, and there is something about the lack of that when I need it most that can make me feel as though I am literally about to explode; that I could say anything, just go nuts.

      But you are right, ultimately. To be honest, when I put this up I actually wasn’t seeking sympathy; it was more just the need to express it no matter what, at that particular moment in time. Facebook can be so irritating and ‘jolly’ (and so damn ugly half the time as well) that it didn’t seem like a decent outlet. And Duncan was asleep. That just left me and ‘my audience’…

      When you have a bad day, how do you deal with it?

      • It my comment sounded anything like “don’t complain!”, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. If/when you do feel overwhelmed, blog, e-mails to friends or even a shout out in FB or Twitter are completely fine, you should definitely do that. What I meant: you shouldn’t really feel that way. I mean, we all do – lucky ones just from time to time, many – constantly. But when such a feeling comes (usually with some push from the circumstances), I think the way to fight it is to examine logically your life and tell yourself why, in reality, everything isn’t as bad as it feels (if it’s so, of course). That’s what I usually do. And remind myself of the previous times when I felt like that – and then it passed.

        Having said that, I should mention that I can’t imagine how you can live in Japan: I would have had to be sentenced to do that ;- )

  7. jennyredhen

    Havent you just had Golden week? Was that a nice break?

    • That was the thing!

      I did have Golden Week, and had all these pieces planned for the Black Narcissus, but instead Duncan, at the last minute, told me that a friend was coming to stay, a performance artist who was living in Tokyo before and has come. She stayed at ours until she could find somewhere to live, and although it was very stimulating and enjoyable in many ways, it was at a time when I really needed my space and quiet and I think it somehow tipped me over the edge. I am so bloody difficult! But perhaps I have become very Japanese in some ways. No one really stays at other people’s houses here; maybe a night or two, but a week seems almost shocking……Perhaps it is getting older and becoming set in one’s ways, but for me, for example in the morning, I really need not to talk to anyone. To just make coffee and read the paper and wake up slowly. It feels very exhausting to me to have someone there in the kitchen; just their presence…

      • jennyredhen

        Sounds like you needed to upsticks and take yourself off somewhere for a wee sojourn. Japanese people always seem to stay in those hotels that are avaliable in every suburb… When I was in Japan for 2 weeks in March-April I stayed in the Matsudo city hotel in Matsudo. It was like the village inn, right in with all the shops etc, . staffed by local people and nearly always full with Japanese families etc.Perfectly adequate, very affordable. and quite enjoyable.

  8. Tara

    Very sorry you feel ready to combust, Neil. If it’s any comfort, many of us feel like that on a regular basis (I do) and without too much rational justification either. I wish I could be more like Undina but I’m not made that way. I suspect you are a man of extremes to an extent (can you be extreme to an extent? Probably not!).

    Many of us need some kind of safety valve. Fingers crossed your strategy for tonight works and you feel better in the morning. Hopefully sharing your feelings on the blog has helped too.

    I know you are not the smaltzy type but sending you a big hug and lots of love from London anyway.

    • Appreciated. And I most certainly am a man of extremes (ridiculous!) but ultimately I feel lucky that I do just wear my heart on my sleeve, because the sense of emotional ROT in the teacher’s room on Friday night, with people just marinating in their own psyches made me feel sick. I like them, but I just can’t be in that atmosphere too long. The classroom is like a theatre, like being on stage, and although I am in some ways a real attention seeker, I am also a freakish introvert, like we all are. A mix. I get really overstimulated sometimes, like I enter another zone and my nerves are on fire. Teaching does that, as this is a real high pressure class with students who want to go to the top universities and there is a lot of pressure.

      However, I can hardly complain. I have a three day weekend , always (which is why I was able to start the Narcissus as I do really have enough space and time to do it), and great holidays. Still, I reserve the right to sabotage my own website when I need to, even if it is a load of nonsense and has nothing to do with perfume. It really did feel like a portal or outlet last night.

      What do you do on the days when you are danger of combusting yourself, incidentally. I am interested.

      • Tara

        The fact that you are prone to these extremes and wear your heart on the sleve are the things I think are most attractive about you. I also think it’s good that you express that on the blog and it can be an outlet. It’s your space and people come here because of that. There are so many blogs now it’s as much about a connection with the person than the perfume. Don’t ever think you’re sabotaging yourself.

        I can see how teaching and going from the classroom to the staffroom, espcially in Japan, is a job of extremes and can make you want to break out.

        You’d probably hate all this but I found it helpful when I learnt through the MBTI personality test that I am a type (INFJ) prone to living in my head and acting on my emotions. Also the book The Highly Sensitive Person made me go from acceptance to gratitude for the way I am.

        On a bad day I talk to people on the phone (not easy in the middle of the night), take a nap (clearly a struggle for you), eat chocolate, light my oil diffuser and actually, focusing on writing a perfume review can really help. If I feel like I falling down a void I do this weird tapping technique (sometimes called EFT or other things) on my face, body and hand combined with eye movements that re-sets the energy system somehow and calms me down.

        Hopefully you’ll get a few tips from others in the comments that you can incorporate. Surely some vanilla immersion helps at these times or perhaps it would over-stimulate you, thinking about it.

      • Funny though this morning I just bounded back to life, as I usually do. I haven’t tried these personality tests, but there is certainly something in them I am sure. I wouldn’t change myself, though: I can’t imagine being a non-sensitive lump of dough…

      • Tara

        I think that’s great. I hated being so sensitive until my early 30s and still sometimes envy those who don’t feel painful emotions so easily or intensely, but I wouldn’t change now either.

        Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I am off to Milton Keynes with Nick to celebrate Thomas and Nigel’s wedding!

      • Say hi from me and have a wonderful time. x

  9. Katy

    There is always a bed and a excellent perfume collection waiting for you in Virginia– think of it as your North American escape hatch! I wish for you to feel much less torn, quickly.

  10. David

    That’s the key, really–the weekend and being able to do what you want. Planning trips. Reading Colette. Anna Magnani and Barbara Stanwyck movies. Trying a new fragrance. And from time to time, Shinjuku (minus the syringes….and for me it’s a place called Baixa Augusta in Sao Paulo). From time to time, need to put on the red light, need to put on Lady Gaga’s Do What You Want, need to put on that Dior leather oud. Have you ever heard the Brazilian singer Thiago Pethit? He’s got a song called “Moon” that you should here. Watch the video for it and you will see Baixa Augusta….glad to hear that the next day was better!

    • Thanks for this. Lady Gaga was EXACTLY what I was doing, actually. Beer in hand, listening to tracks from Artpop going up the hill (Aura, Swine are great for aggressive release).

      I will check out the music recommendation.

  11. Sometimes all our wishes fulfilled can still leave us hungering for something different. In moments like that, and it has been proven for sleep time also, a fragrance heavy in Jasmin works wonders. I hope your head will clear and all will seem right again. Cross cultural living is difficult, trust me I know. I have been in the States for most of my life, yet I still do not feel part of it, nor do I truly understand the way people exist here; the South in particular really baffles me, religion being the whole dictator of one’s life? Truly baffling. So I do understand.
    Good luck and feel better.

  12. jennyredhen

    Actually the Matsudo City hotel is pretty awful. I dont know why was going on about it. Alright for a bolt hole!! I stayed there off and on over 2 weeks as it was convenient.. thats all you can say about it really If I could edit that comment I would…

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