lauantaina, heinäkuuta 09, 2011

Inner rap


– Good morning Premdipa!

– Umph.

– Remember what day it is today? The day you start working again!

– Really. (In mock surprise)

– You said so yourself yesterday. You have two big stories to write plus, quote-unquote, “one million other things to do” before flying to Holland on Friday.

– Can I please eat my breakfast in peace?

– Sure.


– Hey girl!

– Hi.

– What’s happening?

– Uuh, I got lost again watching telly and surfing. It’s so difficult to get started.

– Take one step at the time. What could the first step look like?

– I have to go through an interview recording. It's a 2,5-hour-long medical interview and it will take forever to process it.

– Do you need to transcribe it?

– No, I just listen to it and fill in gaps in my notes.

– That’s not so bad, is it?

– Well it is because I don’t want to do it!

– Who’s talking now?

– Little Virpi, aged 5.

– Who else is there?

– Premdipa, 39, is also there but she’s bored with all this shit. She’s busy planning escape routes. She’s daydreaming about India again: getting overwhelmed by the beauty of silence, disappearing in her body in dance parties, wearing maroon robes without underwear, writing a bestseller in Dharamsala in a room overlooking the Himalayas, and re-uniting with her soulmate in USA. She’s also busy planning how to spend the millions she will get after the book is published. She’s not really here.

– Well bring her back.

– She doesn’t really want to come back.

– Just do it. Hey, remember the quote you came across the other day and found inspiring? The one from the Jedi master Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try.”

(Deep sigh.)

– Okay I’ll get her.


– And…?

– This resistance is fucking frustrating! I keep forgetting what I’m doing. I took out the recorder, notebook, pens and markers but got lost again while looking for the headphones. And that’s over an hour ago!

– Hey, keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this.

(Stubborn silence.)

– You are doing this because you need money. You want the money because you want to return to Humaniversity and continue your programme there. I thought you said this was your priority. Is it?

– Yes.

– So, what are you going to do?

– I will press Play (grabbing the recorder).

– Good girl!


– How is it going?

– Suddenly I found myself writing down this inner dialogue and it started looking like a blog entry. And since I haven’t updated the blog in a long time I thought this is important, too. I’ve been anxious about not being able to write. At least I’m writing something now and that’s good. No?

– Hmph.

– Yeah I know… Any excuse to avoid doing what I need to do. Why do I torture myself like this?

– Hey cheer up! Don’t give up! As soon as you start with the medical article you will feel much better. You know that.

– I know. I only wish I could start things in good time. I hate the way I’m setting myself up with deadlines, building up a last-minute-panic. It will feel like dying again. I’m constantly beating myself up for not doing what I should do. I don’t have time for exercising, meditating, relaxing or meeting friends because I need to work. In reality, I don’t work. I’m just busy being anxious about it.

– Yeah that’s what you keep doing and that’s why I try to push you a little bit. I would like you to start doing things differently. I know you have a big no there. But there’s also a small yes. Keep looking for that yes. Tune in with that little yes and let it expand.

– Yes. I want to find that yes. And I will! I will not give up! Thanks for supporting me by the way. I really appreciate the way you don’t give up on me. Oh, Mum just shouted lunch is ready. She’s great. I’ll go and eat now. After food I’ll start with the article.

– I trust you. Remember you’re doing great. It will be okay.

– Thanks. I love you.

– I love you too.

keskiviikkona, kesäkuuta 22, 2011

Playing with Fire

I want to stuff myself with sugar. Right now.

I drive to Helsinki to the yoga school. I'm eating a snack in the dressing room (one banana and a handful of walnuts and seeds), wondering why I don’t change. I get the answer a minute later when I stand up and walk out.

This is not irratic, I tell myself. I’m flying to Oslo tomorrow morning and have a million things to do. I have no time for yoga.

On my way to the parking lot I pass two supermarkets. Fuck fuck fuck! I start getting angry. I really want to walk in. I remember I’ve run out of deodorant and almost rush in but somewhere I know. If I walk into that shop now I will not be able to control myself.

Outside the City Centre I almost take a scenery route to Sipoo because it’s so beautiful but manage to catch myself there, as well. The scenery route leads to a big mall and I already saw myself walking along the shiny corridors. Stop bullshitting yourself Premdipa, I tell myself angrily. You don’t even like slow scenery routes because you want to drive fast and overtake everyone! Obediently, I turn to the motorway.

A couple of kilometres before home I pull to a petrol station. I turn off the engine and close my eyes for a moment. I feel uncomfortable. There’s something for me to see, what is it….? Oh my God, I almost fooled myself.

I activate the pump with a credit card in order to avoid stepping into the shop. For the first time, I see this game. This is the first time I don’t go inside to pay. I like to go in because I always buy something sweet. Always.

I arrive home, exhausted. It takes a lot of energy to fight the craving. Unless I’m alert every second I will loose the battle. At home I walk straight to the fridge.

– There’s nothing for me to eat, I complain.

– There’s some lentil soup and carrot burgers, mother suggests.

She has started cooking vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free meals.

– Yaiks they don’t help much I want sugar! I reply, irriteted.

– Have some fruit. There’s grapes, mum suggests.

– No they are too sour, I complain.

Mum walks to me, pondering.

– What could help you now? Maybe you could drink water to fill your stomach?

– It’s totally irrelevant whether my stomach is full or not, I snap at her.

I see I would like to react on mum and go for a childish tantrum. I want to dump all these uncomfortable feelings on her. I want to get angry because that would give me the perfect excuse to say fuck-it and act out. I could easily start stuffing myself with sugar now and it would be her fault.

Don’t go there, Premdipa, don’t go there, I warn myself and take a few deep breaths. I take some grapes and start chatting about something else, my voice soft again. That was close.

Mum and dad go to my brother’s to do some garden work. I’m alone in the house. I’m writing this using mum’s desk. Mum’s Magic Cupboard is less than one meter away.

There are no M&M’s left but there’s an unopened bag of crispy mint chocolate, one box of Marabou’s chocolates and half a bag of eucalyptus drops... Interesting. How do I know this? I haven’t had any sugar in a week but there’s also a box of sugarfree chewing gum in the cupboard. Every day I put my hand in, carefully avoiding touching the sweets and grab the gum instead.

I’m playing with fire.

I think I will talk to mum about The Cupboard. So far I haven’t because I haven’t seen a solution. Sometimes in the past mum got angry at me and tried to hide the bisquits and sweets but to be honest, it was quite pathetic. I can find anything hidden in this house in no time.

At the same time, I don’t want to become too busy with my mother and why she’s stashing ice-cream “for the kids” and bisquits and sweets “for guests”. It’s nothing to do with her. If I want to act out I always find a way. Even if the house was clean all I needed to do is walk out. There’s a corner shop only 20 steps away from the front door and the petrol station is open 24/7.

Before I started writing this I wanted to go to the supermarket and buy some nuts and seeds but became paranoid: Do I really need the nuts or is this just another game? Is this a set-up so that I can glide through the long isles in the supermarket, the ice-creams on my left and the bisquits on my right? Even if I don’t act out I like to play with the fire. It’s very entertaining and gives me an adrenaline hit.

Big sigh.

This food story is endless. Actually, I feel a little bit embarrassed now. I know how it works: as long as I keep myself busy with food and sugar I don’t have space to look at anything else. Such as feelings.

La la la la la I don’t want to go there…

I’m flying to Norway for five days tomorrow and have a million things to do. I’m too busy to feel.

lauantaina, kesäkuuta 18, 2011

Taking steps

– Good morning Premdipa!

– Good morning.

– How are you?

– I’m okay, thanks.

– What have you been up to?

– Well I’ve spent some time with mum. Yesterday we visited my brother. It was great, I was really juiced up after hanging out with my goddaughter, chatting with my sister-in-law and sharing with my brother. And I’ve been connecting with friends a lot via skype and facebook.

– But…?

– But what?

– Do I hear a but there?

– Well yeah, maybe.

– What’s up?

– I don’t know. I just feel restless somehow. I don’t know what it is.

– But sweetheart, you do know what it is. Just look.


– Okay then.

Looking, a bit irritated.

– I suppose I’m disappointed with myself.

– Because…?

– I feel I’m just floating around, I’m not taking responsibility of myself and of my life. I’ve taken a step back and I'm just waiting. Actually, I'm lazy. I’m not doing anything.

– What is it that you should be doing?

– Well I’m avoiding work. On Friday I didn’t start until 1 pm and finished at 4 pm because couldn’t reach anyone anymore. I have to wait until Monday. I should start writing an article but have other plans for the weekend. And then I have a book to write but I’m avoiding even thinking about it. It all makes me anxious.

– You said you don’t take responsibility. How would it look like if you took responsibility right now?

– I’m sure this will sound stupid…

– It’s okay. Go ahead.

– Well my room is a mess and I feel guilty about it. I arrived over a week ago but haven’t unpacked yet. Or to be precise, the bags are empty but the stuff is lying on the sofa and the floor. Plus the stuff I had stored here - there are piles of books and papers, skiing outfits, thermal underwear and bits and bobs all over the place. Plus the collection of over 30 magazines I’ve accumulated in one week, plus unopened mail from the last 12 months. I have to leap from the door to the bed because there’s no free floor space. Every time I see it I feel guilty but don’t do anything about it.

– Why did you say it’s stupid?

– Because I feel it’s something so mundane and insignificant. And embarrassing.

– But you know it's not true, right?

– Yeah, it’s not insignificant. It’s a big thing for me. If I want to take responsibility this is where I need to start. Somewhere close. How can I even think of being responsible with the “big things” such as work and relationships if I’m not able to fold a couple of shirts!

– What if you forgot about the work for now. What if you folded those shirts? How would that feel like?

– I suppose I could try.

– Try?

– Okay, I’ll do it!

– What exactly are you going to do?

– I will sort out the mess in my room. Then I will pick up Jaana and her daughter and we’ll drive to a sannyasin party in Karjalohja, around 100 km from Helsinki. Pragita and Sudeva will arrange a breathing day tomorrow. I will go and have fun! There’s no need to feel guilty. I will enjoy myself fully!

– Wow sounds great!

– Yeah it does, doesn’t it! See you on Sunday evening!

– See you, have fun!

torstaina, kesäkuuta 16, 2011


Last night, at 11 pm I was stretching in front of the TV. Suddenly I’m standing in the kitchen, hand on the freezer door handle. Fuck! I start to panic. How did this happen? How did I end up here?

I open the door, pick up a chocolate cone, slip it under my shirt and smuggle it to my room. I hide the ice-cream under a cushion and walk out of the room again. Father is sitting in the living room, concentrated in his papers with the tv shouting loud in the background. I can hear mother move in the bedroom. I’m standing in the hall, heart hammering and blood gushing in the veins. I walk back to my room.

I can still take it back. I hold the ice-cream in my hands. You can still put it back. This is the point where you can take responsibility and put it back. I’m still not sure. You will feel like shit tomorrow when people will find out… That’s it, I’m pissed off now! Fuck you, nobody will know because I’m not going to tell anyone! In a few seconds, the ice-cream is gone.

I feel helpless. I watch in panic how my body walks to the freezer again, picking up another cone.

I don’t get it! I’ve had such a good day! I started working again despite of the resistance, getting organised, doing research and setting up interviews. I went for one hour jog in the forest, enjoying to the max. I even did Our Sacred Earth Meditation, dancing and shaking away. And now this!

It’s too late to regret. I pick up the third ice-cream, then the fourth. When mum goes to the bathroom I stand outside the door, listening. The water is running. She’s washing her face. Surely she will dry her face and put some moisturiser on, I calculate. I have at least 30 seconds. I leap to mum’s cupboard, fill my pockets with M&M’s in horror because of the loud noise, and walk away again. 10 seconds.

I feel super sharp, awake and alive. I’ve got everything under control. I know exactly where everyone is and what they are doing. I can’t believe they are so blind. Don’t they feel how thick and electric the air is? A part of me is judging my parents. Wake up! You must know, you must see and hear! It’s in the middle of the night and your junkie daughter is sneaking around, going to the freezer every 5 minutes, rattling the wrapping papers. I know it’s unfair to judge them but I’m missing my HAPI family. By now, someone would have asked: “Are you okay, Premdipa?” They would know from the way I walk or stand, or from the look in my eyes that something’s off. They would smell it. And call it.

I’m sitting on my bed, back towards the closed door, reading a book and eating ice-cream. Just the way I used to do when I was a child. The only difference is that back then, I would have hidden the book inside a biology or physics book. Back then, I wasn’t aware of what I was doing. Now I know exactly what I’m doing but I do it anyway.

I’m on sugar high and don’t sleep well. I wake up feeling guilty. The inside of my mouth is coated with the stale, slimy aftertaste of sugar and dairy.

I switch on the computer and my heart jumps - there’s a message from Him. Yesterday, I mentioned to my mother casually that I had sent him an e-mail saying hello. He had replied, saying hello, adding that he’s removed my name from his skype contacts. He needs to protect himself, too. Mum looked at me for a moment and said: “And it pisses you off, doesn’t it?” Casually I answered: “Yes” and smiled.

Now he’s dropping me a short line, commenting my blog. I start crying. I’m sad but also relieved because finally the tears come. Finally I allow myself to feel.

Now I know why I acted out yesterday and what I tried to supress with all that ice-cream. I had received his e-mail and had pretended I didn’t care. Obviously, I do care.

I make myself a healthy breakfast and start the day with a telephone interview. Funnily enough, the topic is Psychology of Eating. I Drive to Helsinki to Shanti for an Essential Motion class, followed by a Sound Healing session. Some retail therapy. Evening jog in the magical Sipoo forests.

Breathe, move and make a sound. Keep feeling. Everything will be okay.

tiistaina, kesäkuuta 14, 2011

Maximum Exposure

Yesterday, I was ashamed. I was stuffing myself with food and sugar and was thinking: "If someone at Humaniversity finds out I fucked it up as soon as I reached the other shore I will DIE!"

I imagined two therapists standing in the corridor outside Four Seasons dining hall. One would say: "Did you hear about Premdipa?" The other would sigh deeply. End of discussion.

Just the thought of it made me squirm in anxiety. Noooooo! I don't want anyone to know!

Well, as soon as I became aware of the shame I knew exactly what to do. I needed to expose myself. I can't do it in a Student Sharing or Darshan any more as I'm used to but there's always Facebook. Hey look, this is me! I'm also this!

As soon as the entry was published something in me relaxed. It takes so much energy to hide a secret. Only a couple of minutes later one of the Humaniversity therapists sends a message: "Reading your blog. How are you?" At the same time, a student brother from Sweden reaches out: "Sorry to hear that but remember you are amazing! Remember I love you very much!" The next morning I had several encouraging e-mails waiting in the Inbox.

I experienced once again how shame can only exist in the dark. As soon as I share it and bring it to the light it simply evaporates. The "most shameful secret" is suddenly nothing but a fact. A piece of information. When the guilt and shame drop, there's actually a lot of space to choose what I want to do. I see the urge to eat but I choose not to.

I've had a beautiful day today. In the morning I bumped into an old school mate I haven't seen in years. I first ignored her thinking: "It's too early to be social" but then remembered I want to change my life. I want to start doing things in a different way. I turned back, smiled and started a conversation. It was nice!

I had a deep session with a homeopath I've been working with for years, and visited a friend at her yoga school. We agreed I will start leading weekly AUM Meditations in August. It's the largest yoga school in Scandinavia with beautiful premises in Central Helsinki. How exciting, can't wait!

Later I had lunch with a Finnish sister from the Encounter Training peer group, and to my big surprise met another Finnish sannyasin in the restaurant - a girl I met in Pune almost two years ago.

In the evening had an open and honest sharing with my mother. Seems like I'm riding a good wave again.

Aaah, I love being with people! I feel loved and cared for. I'm not alone any more, even if it might feel like it when I occasionally trip over and land in a black hole.

I'm so grateful for all my friends. I love you!

maanantaina, kesäkuuta 13, 2011

Junkie Behaviour

I returned to Finland on Friday evening. It took me less than 24 hours to relapse. It started with sugarfree chocolate I found in mum's cupboard. (What was I doing in mum's cupboard anyway?) I got excited - yippee sugarfree lactose-free chocolate, that's tailor-made for me! I started reading the ingredients list but by the time my eyes caught "milk fat" my cheeks were already full. Shit, I knew lactose-free doesn't mean milk-free but chose to ignore it for those few seconds it took me to rip off the paper and stuff the chocolate in my mouth. Now what? Should I spit it out or what? Quickly, I swallowed. Too late.

That was the fuck-it all addicts can recognise. Me deciding to look away for two seconds. What harm can it do if I eat a couple of pieces of milk chocolate? It was an accident anyway, wasn't it? Just relax, no harm done. My head was buzzing with excuses because somewhere I knew exactly what I was doing. For the last 7 months I've been on milk-free, wheat-free, glutein-free, soya-free and sugar-free diet and now I broke it.

After finishing the sugarfree chocolate it took me 15 seconds to get back to mum's cupboard. I started with Peanut M&M's and moved on to Brunberg's liqorice, then to Fruit & Nut Toblerone and Haribo's Matador Mix. Next, I raided the freezer. (Okay let's be honest here: I had scanned the freezers already earlier as I knew exactly where what was - the hazelnut and chocolate cones, pear sticks and vanilla tubs.) Aaah, binging feels so safe and familiar. I'm on my sixth ice-cream but it still feels like I'm starving. My belly is deep like a bottomless well and I love the way the cool ice-cream is caressing my body from the inside, slowly sliding to the depths.

I started binging on Saturday afternoon and haven't stopped since. Today I drove to Helsinki and found myself sitting at McDonald's attacking a McFeast Meal. I've been vegetarian for years now and can't remember the last time I ate meat. This self-sabotage is really getting out of hands.

A part of me is watching all this in amusement - this is my 5-year old going crazy! Yes, Premdipa is a 39-year-old woman full of awareness and determination, especially after participating in a residential addiction programme for the last 5 months. But it's Little Virpi running the show. The 5-year-old in me is grinning in excitement: what a pleasure to break the rules and go off-track. Fuck off everybody I do what I want ha ha ha catch me if you can! No-one can stop me!

I'm watching all this. It feels like I have no control but I'm too experienced now to fool myself. I want to say "I can't stop it" but "I don't want to stop it" is more accurate. Okay, I'm acting out now but I'm patient. I'm waiting for "It's enough now" and then I will stop.

What else? Oh yeah, I fell in love a couple of weeks ago. Today I broke up via e-mail. I love him but can't deal with a relationship at the moment.

I'm writing these words as if I was writing a shopping list. I don't feel anything. I suppose somewhere under a thick layer of ice-cream my heart is broken.

I'm numb. Blessed sugar.

sunnuntaina, tammikuuta 03, 2010

Pitkästä aikaa

Tästä mitään tule. Kello on 2.50 yöllä ja nousin jo toisen kerran sängystä. En ole pitkään aikaan kärsinyt univaikeuksista enkä muistanutkaan, miten tylsää ja turhauttavaa tämä on. Nukahdin viime yönä vasta puoli viiden maissa, mutta pakotin itseni aamulla ylös. Oikein keräsin väsymystä pitkin päivää ja valmistauduin tyytyväisenä hyviin yöuniin. Nukahdinkin kymmeneltä, mutta heräsin puolilta öin. Skannasin jääkaapin ja söin äidin viimeiset joulusuklaat. Surffailin pari tuntia ja palasin sänkyyn, mutta ei. Tästä mitään tule.

Kirjoitan tätä sähköpostipohjalle. Olisi liian juhlallista avata uutta tekstidokumenttia, nimetä se päivämäärän mukaan ja tallentaa kansioon nimeltä Blogi. Siihen kansioon ei ole ilmestynyt puoleen vuoteen yhtään kirjoitusta. Tiedän, että sähköpostin Luonnokset-kansiossa on pari merkintää, ja olen säilönyt joitain meilejä ja chattikeskusteluja. Myös päiväkirjassa on joitain merkintöjä. Kai niiden on ollut tarkoitus päätyä blogiin. Kai silläkin on jokin tarkoitus, ettei niin ole tapahtunut.

En nyt jaksa kirjoittaa siitä, miksi en ole päivittänyt blogiani. Kun Anu syksyllä huhuili kommenttiosiossa ja kyseli kuulumisia, taisin vastata että tapahtuu niin paljon etten ehdi / halua kirjoittaa. Täytyy elää ja kokea. Muutama päivä sitten juttelin ystävän kanssa samasta aiheesta ja totesin, että arkikokemukseni alkaa olla niin kaukana lukijan arkikokemuksesta (tai siitä millaiseksi sen kuvittelen), etten uskalla kertoa siitä. Pelkään, ettei minua ymmärretä. Pelkään, että minut tuomitaan. En tiedä kumpaa pelkään enemmän: sitä että joku alkaisi suoraan kommentoida ja arvostella, vai sitä että joku hymähtelisi vain itsekseen: "Tuo reppana on päästään sekaisin." Ehkä jälkimmäinen vaihtoehto on kauheampi. Joku tuomitsisi, enkä edes tietäisi siitä.

No, tämä kaikki tietysti kertoo vain siitä, että olen itse hämmentynyt ja epävarma. Jos tiedän mitä koen ja tunnen, mikään ei voi horjuttaa totuuttani, eikä minulla ole minkäänlaista tarvetta selittää itseäni. Majority of one, yhden naisen enemmistö riittää.

Samalla tiedän, että hämmennyksen ja epävarmuuden aika lähestyy loppuaan. Minussa on valtavasti voimaa ja energiaa, ja alan ihan kohta suunnata sitä myös ulospäin. En tiedä milloin tai millä tavalla, mutta jotenkin minä alan taas kommunikoida tästä, mitä minussa tapahtuu. Olisi kiva, jos se tarkoittaisi blogin herättämistä henkiin.

Jään katsomaan edellistä lausetta. Olisi kiva kenelle?

Näköjään sittenkin kirjoitin jotain siitä, miksen ole päivittänyt blogiani. En kyllä usko, että tämäkään kirjoitus päätyy blogiin asti. Tai ehkä päätyykin. Ehkä tämä on uusi alku. Tällainen ihan tavallinen ja vaatimaton. Ei tajunnanräjäyttävää megapäivitystä, jossa antaisin tyhjentävän selvityksen seikkailuistani rakkauden ihmemaassa kuuden viime kuukauden aikana.

En ole edes muistanut kertoa, missä olen. Olen joululomalla Suomessa, Sipoossa. Lähden ylihuomenna takaisin Intiaan. Takaisin kotiin.