The Thought Process of Being Negative

The Thought Process of Being Negative Man Repeller Feature 1


It is 7:36 a.m., I have just woken up and I’m trying to figure out what I have to do today. My heart is beating really fast, which I suppose means that I have a lot to do — but wait, why is Abie still in bed? He’s usually out the door by now.

Oh! It’s Sunday. Not Monday.

It’s Sunday.

Which means I don’t have to do anything! I could go back to sleep.

Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.

I can’t fall back asleep. I shouldn’t have had that tequila last night. How many pizza slices did I have with it? That pizza was so good. My toes feel puffy. I need to take off my socks. Why did I sleep in socks? Why is my heart still beating so fast? I have to get up, I can’t stay here.

First I’ll brush my teeth — no, first I’ll take my vitamins. Then I’ll make my herbs, then I’ll brush my teeth. No, teeth, then herbs. Fuck, I have to take my temperature. I don’t even know what I’m looking for with this temperature shit. How will I know if I’m ovulating? Why do I have to take these herbs? And the stupid vitamins. Why can’t I just be a normal person who has sex and gets pregnant? I hate details, God knows I hate errands and details and TRYING to get pregnant is basically submitting yourself to a holding pattern that contains only details and errands. I will never get pregnant if I stay so anxious. If I resent this process so much.

The Thought Process of Being Negative Man Repeller 2

What do I do? Just give up? When have I ever given up? I can’t even trick myself into thinking that I will give up because the last time I did, I got pregnant. I’m too aware of the process now. If I say I’m giving up, in the back of my mind I’ll know it’s with the purpose of getting pregnant, so I’m not actually giving up and therefore probably not getting pregnant.

I am so sick of being inside my head. I can’t talk about this anymore. I can’t think about this anymore. If I were Abie, I’d pack my fucking bags and hit the road. He’s young, he’s handsome, there are plenty of fertile women out there who will probably be able to give him kids right out of the gates.

Why did I assign myself this story? I mean, literally, this story — The Thought Process of Being Negative. Or, in other words, the thought process of being Leandra. They (you?) are probably, rightfully, so fucking sick of hearing me talk about this!!! I am sick of hearing me talk about this. How could it be that four months later I’m not in the least over it? I’m worse off now than I was then. I’m such a loser. Too inside the darkness of my own head to peek out and see that all is well. Imagine if I was sick. Then I wouldn’t even be able to try.

Oh God, do you think this happened because I am sick? I should go for a breast sonogram, my last one was in July. Abie’s up. Don’t mention any of this. Don’t mention any of this. Don’t. Mention. Any. Of.

“Do you think we lost our pregnancy because I’m sick?”

Leandra!!! Is that the kind of question you think your husband wants to be greeted with upon waking up on a Sunday morning? Why are you doing this to him? To us? Pretend it never happened. Change the subject.

“My temperature is 97.1.”

That is not a subject change. What’s wrong with you? Go brush your teeth and make your fucking herbs.

The Thought Process of Being Negative Man Repeller 3

Why is this happening to me? I must have done something sooooo shitty to deserve it. They say good people never think they’re good and that bad people often think they’re great. I have never thought myself to be a terrible person, which maybe means that I am one. I was so mean in elementary school. I strung that guy along in college. I deserve this. I should just accept that I deserve this.

Maybe I need to pray.

I don’t want to pray. Why am I still writing all of this down? There is just no way anyone wants to hear this. You’re bitter and heartbroken and the world needs you to be positive, to be optimistic, and yet the best you can muster is victimizing yourself? Would you want to listen to someone go on and on and on and on about the very same problem for months on end?

Why do you do this? Why are you letting this define you? Pushing the best thing you have (your audience, your community) away with this ongoing narrative of woe-is-me? Wake up Leo! Smell the damn roses! The sun is out. You know that because you have eyes that can see. Your herbs don’t even taste bad. You know this because you just made them, which means you have a stove and functioning fingers and enough money to buy $40 herbs. Is it really all so bad? Are you really so cliche that thinking about your obvious haves: a functioning body that takes care of you even when you don’t take care of it, a beating heart, a roof over your head, is going to turn your negative-thinking spiral around?

Yeah. I am that cliche. This is all part of a larger plan that I have zero control over. I have to believe that. There’s just no other choice, right? Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Leave it to the doctors! That statement usually makes zero sense in action, but I need to genuinely surrender — give up control and stop comparing myself to other people (How will I do this? Okay, here’s an idea. The next time it comes up, the next time you get down on yourself because someone else has something in utero that you don’t, observe the irrational conclusions you’re drawing. There is a huge disconnect between reality and what your head is trying to trick you to believe is real. Why does their having something indicate that you can’t have it? Or won’t have it?) and stop thinking about the future of my family (you want to be there so badly that you’re forgetting to live and in forgetting to live, you’re projecting so much fear! So many grim scenarios that are completely hypothetical, of course you can’t smile, or see the sun, or smell that first whiff of New York spring air. You’re not here). Focus on the current state of my family — my husband and me. All we have is right now!!! Right?


Let me touch the table in front of me. Okay. I feel my fingertips against it. It’s 9:48 a.m. I’m drinking out of a mug with boobs on it, flipping through the Review section of The New York Times and the sun is shining in through my window. Today, right now, in this moment, everything is perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing. I think I mean that. I should share this with Abie! He will be so proud of me. But first, should I make us breakfast?

“What do you want to eat? I’m going to make a sweet potato/avocado sandwich — supposed to be good for fertility.”


Illustrations by Juliana Vido; follow her on Instagram @julianavido.

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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