Those Feelgood HormonesbyPanzerFeck©
This is a more ambitious one-off that I hope you have the time and patience to read. If you're not so fussed about emotional investment, you can skip the first verse but I wouldn't recommend it. Enjoy!
If I made a grand for every time I heard the phrase "somebody has it worse than you," I probably wouldn't be writing this. I'd be on an island somewhere with no internet and no arseholes and living like a king dressed like Robinson fucking Crusoe!
Yes, there are people who have it worse than I do, but there is nothing I can do for them when the destructive wave of my own mental illness sweeps me up and smashes my helpless mind against the eroding rocks of my ruined life. Think about that for a minute. As analogies go, that's almost like beating a homeless man to death with a suitcase full of money. That's actually not far from the current tone by which society sets its standards.
But it's not that the world depresses me. It does, but it's not the reason for my illness. Some people are just built wrong. Their biological contraptions aren't made to last or they suffer faulty wiring. I guess the latter is me and as a result I probably care more than I should when I have it in me to care. But depression for one isn't just about feeling bad. Most often I feel nothing at all other than a constant feeling like I'm being crushed slowly to death by gravity.
And the funny thing about living with anxiety and depression is that everything breaks all at once, both your brain and your body suffer the same aching sense of hopelessness and the longer you live with it, the harder it is for messages to get back and forth between the two. I'm a zombie.
I'm barely over thirty and I've lived with it since my final years in high school. Until recently there wasn't much that did work. Most of the time I felt like a warm corpse, wearing down the terrifying novelty of taking up so much of my mum's money, patience, time and space. And then on the better days I just felt like I was twenty to thirty years older before my time.
Just to give you an idea of what I've lived with since my mid-teens, I've been suicidal on and off; thankfully mostly off, in terms of urges. Some days your mind has a voice of its own and your feelings seem completely alien. If you don't do what that voice says, it'll try to find a way to act without your cooperation and that's a scary thing - especially when it shows you just how helpless you can be against it.
Then there are the passively suicidal days where it isn't an urge or a voice but more or less a sense of exhaustion so great that you don't even have the will to rationalise against the irrational. You just sort of shuffle about, accepting that it's not going to end well, and you let it eat at you because you haven't even the power to make choices. You could die and not give a damn and that would be no big loss.
Hearing about people who have it worse doesn't make me want to fucking smile. If you feel differently, then clearly the wrong guy got sick!
If this account of recent events seems disjointed or dispassionate, please let me assure you that this isn't my intention and it certainly isn't laziness. But I wanted to tell you about something that happened between me and my sister Eve.
Admittedly it's a bit of a weird one, but hey, that's Eve; my beautiful human being of a sister!
I could tell you about what made me this way. That might take a whole university study in itself in medicine and psychology, but as a result my immune system became dangerously close to non-existent as of late and hospital tests led to the discovery that the same went for most of my other hormones.
I could barely get it up for most of my twenties. All of the antidepressants made my behaviour pretty unpredictable and sometimes dangerous, so we had to try to find another route. Testosterone treatment made me violent too, so gradually I just slunk back into the same routine of living in a dark corner so not to drain anymore of mum's savings, whatever was left.
Eve didn't just hate to see me like this. She was terrified. Five years ago one of her closest friends, out of the blue, threw herself into oncoming traffic. That put Eve into a depression but the pills worked for her. I wasn't bitter at all. I was thankful that with the mourning process leading up to and coming away from the funeral, she was able to recover within a matter of months. But in all honesty knowing that she needed me close and actually being able to help her made me feel somewhere closer to normal for a while.
All my life I've only ever cared for Eve so much that I could tell her I love her and feel that it means something. I tell mum the same but - and this might seem odd considering - she's just mum. We've grown up with a routine of times and places when it was polite to say "love you, mum..."
With Eve, I tell her when I feel it and she does the same. We've always been close. Some believe we've always been closer than most siblings, despite the fact that we rarely hang out socially (I'm the antisocial one as you can probably imagine).
So I couldn't bear to see her so upset, knowing that there was nothing she could do. But being that I fought urges I didn't want and refused to accept, I had to be brutally honest with her at some point or another. Her friend might have been helpless against her own struggle, but for whatever the reason, she dropped the ball. Not that I called her selfish for it. But it wouldn't have been selfish to ask for help either. Eve owed her nothing.
What mattered to me then was that I be there for her where most other family would keep their distance and to wait for communication to happen rather than to guide her through her mourning. And part of me wondered, if a friend could have such impact, then what would I have done to her had I taken my own life?
We spent some three months leaning on each other, phasing in and out of consciousness through the dark days and bad weather. I let her cry on my shoulder until I was damp with saltwater, until the mourning itself became too much. Soon enough it was the right time to let go and to move on for her own sake.
But she wasn't happy about leaving me behind, as she put it. I agreed that it wasn't fair that she could recover so easily and I couldn't, but what could we do? We may have been peas in a pod but she was the perfect one. She said she would do anything for me.
I asked her to rob a bank. Putin let us down on those military supply drops we asked for. So I wasn't going to be a millionaire any time soon. I asked her to quit being so clever and go get a job at KFC so she could bring me chicken every night. To be honest, she wouldn't have suited the shirt and cap anyway, not after I've seen her in a teddy bear onesie.
Eve is five years younger than me and carries a few extra pounds, but in all the right ways. She's the best for cuddles, which I never got enough of, until I get to where this story's headed. She's well endowed (F cups I think) and kept her layer of puppy fat and made it work to her advantage.
She's a long-haired brunette, likes to wear her hair up and keeps a light tan throughout the year and she has the friendliest smile and pretty brown eyes which have never been off limits to me. I love her dearly and it's always hurt me all the more to know that they're wasted on this stupid illness.
I often feel like she has to do it for me, and worry that she's left feeling that she fails me when her out and proud love for me just doesn't do the trick. I'm a bad brother!
One evening not so long ago Eve walked into my room and asked what I was doing. I was writing my blog, which I'd taken to, trying to repair the fractured thoughts. Sometimes it's just so hard to piece a single thought together and I was struggling.
I told her "not much, nothing really," and asked in kind. I was in my fake leather swivel chair at the desk and leaned back at ease while she approached and sat on the bedside to put a thought across to me.
'I want to do something for you,' she pitched, and for a moment it did sound like she was selling something. I was a pushover for her anyway so I would have kidnapped Mickey from Disney World if she'd asked nicely enough. 'I don't know exactly what it is yet. But I was talking with someone who seemed to know their stuff today and from what they told me I started looking into some research.'
I was apprehensive, typically. Nothing worked for me. Maybe I'd outlive it eventually. Maybe chance would give me a break one day and I'd get the strength to fight it but, 'sis, come on, I appreciate you trying but nothing worked so far. What can you do that the doctors didn't?'
She wasn't even insulted by that. In fact I just made her more excited because she actually had an argument for me. 'Actually if you're willing to trust me on this one, I might be able to help,' she suggested. 'Look it's all very technical at this stage and I'm shit with big "sciencey" words but please just go along with this. Please?'
'What is it?' I begged.
'So I was talking to a guy at the gym. He was trying every trick in the book to woo me,' she recalled cynically and then laughed him off like a cheap joke. 'He was actually pretty cute, very fit-
'Get to the point!'
'Well he was a personal trainer, he has to be,' she trailed off.
'Get to the point, though,' I pleaded, uttering a frustrated sigh.
'Anyway he doesn't know the meaning of "NO" so he keeps reaching and then pulls up this little known fact that not only does human contact naturally raise the production of good health hormones-
'Very sciencey, Eve,' I jabbed.
'Shut up! Not only that but it also releases all of the feel-good chemicals that YOU NEED!'
'So?' I asked. 'All I need to do is find a woman to press myself up against? Or to drape myself over when I barely have it in me to breathe,' I added. Eve got frustrated at my attempt to be humorous.
'No,' she sighed. And then she sat forward, perched from the very edge of my mattress and took my hand in hers. 'Do you trust me?'
'With my life,' I admitted. And all of a sudden I could feel the sting of tears as I became more aware of how good her touch felt. I cried, ashamed of myself. 'But don't get your hopes up, you know?'
And I don't even know how she did it. I was a dead weight and I certainly didn't do it myself, but one moment I was sat there sniffling and struggling to meet her gaze, and the next I was on my knees, my head in her lap, blubbering like a baby.
A week passed. I couldn't say that I felt any better but every evening she came to my room and we more or less did the same. Either she held me one way or the other, or we hugged or held hands. Either we talked about how it made me feel - strange mostly - or we were happy not talking at all. That night I cried never repeated itself though, which was a shame because it led to the best night's sleep in years.
And Eve spent more and more time at her computer, looking into the science of feel-good hormones and how they came to be. Then one night she deviated from the routine and called me into her room. There she was, sat with her eyes almost squished up against the monitor, looking cute and snug in her baby blue pyjamas with the black and white teddy bear faces all over.
'You wanted to see me, doctor?' I mused.
'Lie on the bed,' she instructed, albeit with a distant tone as she scrolled. So who was I to argue? I made myself comfortable and rested my head in the soft cool pillows, marked with her scent which I loved. It relaxed me.
'I've done more research. The super-quacks say that skin on skin contact is the most effective way to-
'Hello you two,' mum interrupted from the doorway. 'What are you up to?'
'You make that sound accusing,' Eve scoffed.
'We're playing doctors and nurses,' I teased. She didn't approve. 'You'll never believe where she wants to put her thermometer.'
'Shush, Adam! I'm curing Adam,' Eve explained. Literally that was all the explanation mum was getting. But then, 'If you carry on like that you'll get more than a thermometer, Mr Shitzengiggels!'
'I suppose so,' mum supposed. 'Anyway I'm going to bed so don't make too much noise and don't go too late to bed yourselves. I'll switch off the lights,' she said, disappearing.
'Okay, Professor,' I sad back to Eve, 'where were we; skin on skin? Did you smuggle Christy Mack into your room for me?'
She snorted, laughed into her hand with a wicked look in her eyes. 'You'd have liked that, wouldn't you?'
'Just like that photo I showed you with the melty ice cream,' I recalled fondly.
'No, I noticed that holding your hand had the greater effect, so I wanted to try that again but differently,' Eve said professionally. I wouldn't have minded seeing her in a nurse's uniform, but not the kinky costume kind, you understand.
'How different,' I wondered. 'You're not getting naked are you?'
'What'd be wrong with that?' Eve asked, suddenly looking hurt. 'No, but... do I look that bad?'
'Of course not, just tell me the plan,' I said with an exasperated huff.
'No, I'm curious now. You know I'm insecure about these things-
'You have no need to be. Christ, don't do this to me now-
I let out a heavy sigh and looked her in the eyes, then offered her an exhausted smile. You know, the type where you look like burnt out crap and smiling probably just draws more flies. 'Darling sister, my pretty Eve, you're the A-B-C of good looking,' I tried.
'Adorable, Beautiful and Cute rolled into one. Now back to your sciencey stuff, you dork. What have you planned for me and should I have douched my bunghole?'
'Well that was horrifying! But you might as well sleep here tonight since mum's turned all the lights off,' she decided there and then. 'Get your pants off and get in bed!'
I didn't know what to think, or what to say to that, really. 'Really,' I asked just to make sure she wasn't being funny with me. 'Really,' she assured, switching off the PC and flinging her slippers haphazardly from her toes and across the room.
Switching off the bedroom light, I heard the tip-tap of her feet padding towards me as I stripped down to my shorts and slipped under the duvet. Her bed was so much more comfortable than mine that I could have drifted off immediately.
Instead she was soon snuggling into me with her back, her pear-shaped butt nuzzling close as she wrapped my arms around her and intertwined her fingers with mine. Just so long as she didn't keep wiggling up against me, this wouldn't be too weird, I decided.
'This is nice,' she whispered. 'I don't get enough cuddles either so I guess this works out for the both of us.'
'Hmm,' was all I could think of. It was neither an agreeable sound nor a humorous one. She was stroking my fingers up and down, as light as a butterfly's touch. After a while it seemed she was massaging my hands, moving from the knuckles to the palms - leaving nothing untouched - before trailing off to my forearms with long, caressing strokes.
'Feel good?' Her butt nuzzled against my crotch again, almost as though to rouse me from slumber, but I wasn't yet asleep. And against all odds, I felt something I hadn't experienced in a very long time. My crotch was tingling with the very first sensations of arousal. My sister was spooning with me, rubbing up against me, and I was growing, stiffening, right up against her.
I coughed, thinking maybe this wasn't such a good idea. I made my excuses to go to bed, citing that she needed her space and that I'd only keep her awake unnecessarily, but she wouldn't budge. At that point she had both of my arms in a firm lock and she was just asking me to trust her.
'I never forgot how you looked after me and how you held me. You made me better and the more I think about it, it helped you too. So I just want you to sleep with me and allow yourself to be held. At least just to see how it makes you feel tomorrow...'
'Okay.' She was getting her way. She nuzzled me one last time, backing up into me so deliberately slowly and arching up with the use of the small of her back. I wanted to tell her to stop. And then when she did, turning around to face me, I wished that she hadn't.
Instead she cocked my outer knee so that it was bent towards her, lifted her leg over me and - half a foot or so higher than me - laid my head on her breast and ran her hands through my hair until I drifted off.
The very next day I felt...
I don't know what I felt!
'I hope you slept well big brother,' her text said. I'd slept until ten that morning, waking up oddly refreshed and alert. Over coffee and toast I read the message, which ended with, 'I know I woke up with a big smile on my face... X'
Later I went out and took a walk amongst the people-shapes, looking in shop windows and fooling myself of all the things I'd buy when I had money. Then I went home and started looking up jobs online. Somewhere along the line that feeling of dread and hopelessness sunk in. So I did what I always did. I hated on myself until I had nothing left and then drifted off into an uneasy black sleep as the world turned from sunny and blue to cold and slate grey.
I awoke at the end of the afternoon with Eve looking over me and immediately felt guilty. 'I felt alright. I really did,' was all I could say. She went back to her research. And that evening I picked at my food and answered every question put to me with one word answers, because I couldn't think straight. All the while Eve watched me with grim fascination, her mind ticking over patiently.
Then later on she called me into the bathroom where I found her running a bath. She was wearing her shimmery velvet robe, showing off her smooth, tan legs as she sat perched on the bath's edge. She told me to close the door over for a minute so I did.
Then when I turned to face her again she told me to take my shirt off. Once again, South of Adam, something showed signs of life. Tiredly I held my gaze but Eve was serious. 'Oh come on, sis, are you going to give me a scrub?'
'Heh, you should be so lucky,' she said with a wink, then, 'do it!'
So I did. Then to my surprise, and I can't stress that word enough, she stood up before me and in one swift motion, let her robe slip from her shoulders and reached in to cuddle me close. Eve, who stood only three inches shorter than me at 5'8" was still wearing a bra and panties (at least I was guessing about the panties), but the fact that she was suddenly mostly naked and squished up against her half naked brother both weirded me out and excited me.
So often my skin is tender, sore, like in the aftermath of a fever when everything you touch seems to have been scalded raw. Her skin on mine wracked me with chills immediately, as though I had stepped out of a sauna and beneath a tepid shower. And as I stood there struggling to catch my breath, while trying not to make it so obvious that she was making me breathless, Eve glanced up at me with studious eyes, mere inches away.
'Put your hands on me,' she whispered.
'Eve,' I croaked...
'Put your arms around me, or it won't have the desired effect.' So I did. And she was right about a desired effect, alright. But I don't think she knew what part of me was feeling that effect. 'I love you, big brother,' she said and kissed me firmly on the lips.
'I love you too, little sis,' I reciprocated, snaking my arms beneath hers, careful not to grab two hands full of side-boob and allowed her all the way close. I also made a point not to kiss her back. It was the only way I could avoid her gazing eyes and because her kiss and then the kissing distance between us, palpable with more than just affection, had my heart pinballing madly in my chest.
'This kind of skin on skin contact is really good for you. But they say kissing takes the feel-good hormones off the charts. I just want what's right for you,' she assured, 'so if you want to kiss me I'll let you...'