Negative Reactions

I spent half of today in the hospital, wearing one of those super trendy robes where your bare tush hangs out the back. And all I could think about was how I was inconveniencing everyone around me. How these busy nurses had to run tests when there were probably other people more worse than I was. How I should be with my students and professor grading homework. How my boyfriend could be sleeping in instead of sitting by my side. How at work everyone had to accommodate for my absence.

So after all was said and done and I was assured the first doctor was just being over pre-cautious by sending me to the ER, I felt even more that I had wasted everyone’s time when all I left with was a positive influenza result. I quickly felt upset with myself that people were worried over me. And I remembered all the times I was made to feel ashamed for concerns in my health.

The time in high school when I made some stupid choices and had to go to the hospital for a rapid beating heart. The time when I wasn’t sure what a panic attack was. When I had a kidney stone. When I was small and had the worst migraine.

Each time someone in my life made me feel that I was inconveniencing them. So today when my boyfriend was genuinely worried, I mistook his feelings as being annoyed by me. That I’m just this weak person that gets sent to the hospital and can’t take care of herself. That I’m consumed by anxiety most of the time. That I over think the most small things and seem to cry all the time. That I can’t pick a life path because they all seem meaningless.

And since earlier I’ve been thinking how sad that is. That there are tons of people like me that have been made to feel that way. That our worth is based on how much others perceive our strengths. That even when kind people enter our lives we have no idea how to accept genuine care from another person. And I’m realising that I’m kind of terrified to accept that sort of thing. Because what if people change? What if I am as awful as people have made me out to be? And what if I accepted this kindness just to see it turned around?

But I want to learn to not always think in the worst case scenario. I want to believe that there are people capable of accepting others just as they are.  And I want to believe that I’m worth that much.

Just my thoughts today as I’m ordered to rest in bed.

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Death, Dying & Material Things; Why I’m going to stop celebrating Christmas.

When I say stop celebrating Christmas, I don’t mean I’m going to neglect the important things; the supporting charities and spending time with the people I care about. The days leading up to Christmas are a splendid time of year for the most part. The lights and general cheery demeanour of others.

But, I’m at the age where I think about the mortality of people of a lot. Not in my normal semi-suicidal sense, but the basic fact that every one is going to die eventually. It’s not that I never experienced death when I was growing up, I just didn’t really get to see the after effects of death. It was a simple, they are not apart of this living world that I can see anymore.

My freshman year of college I lost my grandfather. We weren’t the type that talked every day, or often at all in fact, but he was someone that I felt I shared a mutual understanding with. A family member that didn’t need constant reassurance that we were family. Though he wasn’t the best husband or father in his day, I had much love and admiration for him. Despite his mistakes, he always tried to communicate with his children and even support me when we were able to meet. He never once made me feel silly.

After I graduated high school is when I started to think of my grandparents more as people. When I found out my grandpa had cancer, I found myself wanting to know more and more about his life. What I didn’t take into account yet however, was time. It waits for no one. I had four days left until I would move back to my father’s for the summer when my grandpa passed away suddenly. I had thought that we had all the time in the world to talk once I was back.

I was devastated. And sometimes I still am… that I never got the time I had wanted with him. I was never able to find out what life had been to him. I was never able to personally ask him if I could buy or keep his unused car. I couldn’t ask about the war photos I found while cleaning out his home. Or the birthday cards. Who his first love was. If he ever got over her. If he could change things would he. What his passions were.

Every day I spent cleaning his house reminded me of these things I wish I knew.

My grandfather always sorted through coins looking for the old ones that would be worth more money. In his older age he used a handheld microscope to check the dates, so when no one was looking I slipped this item into my pocket along as a keepsake. A thing he used probably every day.

What I was surrounded with sickened me. My family searched the house high and low… in the fire place, behind pictures; just looking for hidden cash. I had the best laugh when they managed to break into a safe only to find an ancient Playboy magazine. Bush and all. Who would have guessed while I was looking through magazines and books he kept on his desk I was the one who found 300 dollars in cash. How excited they all were to pocket it… I wish I wouldn’t have said anything at all. Because I wouldn’t have felt right keeping that money. I wish I could have donated it some way.

Watching all of my grandfather’s belongings and life collections being sized up on their value really changed something in me. Did anyone even keep any of the photos and cards I had found? I’ve never asked. But my guess is that they were thrown into a giant dumpster with everything else that was deemed “invaluable”.

I remember as my father mourned his own, the agitation in a person’s voice at him “taking too long” at the visitation. I couldn’t believe that people thought this way.

Recently I’ve been watching death unfold from a distance. I always thought that when someone passed away, if there was something that a family member was extremely passionate about keeping in the deceased’s memory, that item would be granted to them. But I’ve watched from a distance with lips sealed shut as things have been denied to those people because said item may have value.

I often feel bad that I avoid family during times of death, but we simply do not see things in the same way.

I’ve grown to detest the act of giving material things without meaning. So this past Christmas as I was in Mexico trying desperately to think of things that would make family members glad to receive, I got pissed and thought, “what’s the point?!” What’s the point in bringing them a magnet? I don’t give a damn about magnets. Why should I give them a sculpture that has a million copies that’s going to sit and gather dust and be thrown out anyway?

I’ve thought of any gift I’ve ever given that didn’t have much meaning. And I don’t want to be that person anymore. I want the things that I give to be given out of appreciation and not coercion. Not just on a day people thing means giving gifts, but any day that I feel like giving a gift.

I read an article this year on how Christmas used to be a day folks just got drunk and had a merry time with loved ones.  I thought about the awkward feeling I get when people ask me what I want for Christmas or for my birthday and how much I’ve grown to hate getting things from other people just for the sake of getting. I’d rather receive nothing and just spend time talking.

When I look around on the holidays and everyone is plastered to their phones. People come up with excuses to leave quickly after eating. Etc. It’s become a sad thing since the days of playing outside or colouring with cousins.

So from now on, I want to express myself in my own way. Be it in death or during the holidays. I am different than them, and I want to take more pride in myself as individual.

 

Insane people.

It’s a little bittersweet right now… As I’m trying to dedicate my words and energy into the projects I hope to create this year, I’m not sure how to word things on my blog to keep everyone up to date.

I’m currently undergoing something that I have been really terrified of for the past year; going off of my medication for anxiety. I’ve been wanting to attempt it for a long while now, but I’ve always been too scared, so as soon as I start to feel the negative side effects I run right back to these pills I’m told keep me a little more sane.

Sadly, the American health care system is a cruel joke to most, and now has come my time to suffer from it’s inadequacy.  It’s been a rough few days.

But I promised myself that I would try hard in 2018 to not the be the negative person I had become when I returned from Japan. I want to believe that things happen when they are supposed to happen. So even though I have lost a lot the past year, and this week has been emotionally draining, I want to accept things as they come.

The past two days I haven’t felt much of anything. I find myself staring blankly at people and not registering words. And I feel so angry and frustrated because I don’t feel like I can say, “Sorry, I’m just coming off my meds.” and people will understand. I know inside it’s rude of me to think; “leave me the fuck alone.” But I just want to be in an unknown place, alone, with nothing but music and words and art.

I’ve been wanting to lose myself mostly in those things. I want to create endlessly, mostly because it keeps my mind off of the world and my messed up self.

I remember a quote I read once about how people who were considered to be genius were insane. I think of the ways in which people compliment me. In the ways I write sometimes, or art, or advice I give. Maybe all artists are insane. It’s not genius, it’s just reality is so unreal to us that we have to entertain our minds with what others consider the impossible.

As I begin to be more open about this side of me, I’ve been thinking how growing up I always hid it. When my life became impacted by negativity and I felt that everything I did was awful and mediocre. All of these skills I should have been proud of, I became extremely ashamed of.

My love for art, languages, words, and weird shit. It’s hard not to think where I could be now if I had only embraced who I was from the beginning.

How I always felt that the things that made my empty self feel empowered were things others could never accept… But there is a world of people like me. Scared, passionate people that also feel nothing at all. All we can do is put out things we create to somehow feel and relate to the world around us.

On the nights I want to die and I can’t fall asleep, writing and drawing make the empty spaces fill with something colourful. On the days when all the words people speak to me sound hazy and far away, a book can feel like the true world I belong to and the characters are either myself or friends.

Maybe I am insane and alone. But I also think maybe there could possibly be a place in this gross world for people like me.

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Silent Killer.

Many celebrities since I can remember have committed suicide due to depression, anxiety, and various other mental frames. And each time, social media explodes with shocked fans saying things like, “Who would have guessed?”, “They made everyone laugh!”, and other general things. Social media updates change, and the media suddenly becomes concerned about why people aren’t getting help. This lasts about a week, maybe a month, max.

Once the shock wears off, these “normal” people get to go back to their “normal” points of view. Meanwhile, those of us that experience this type of thing every single day wonder, “when is it going to be me? When will I decide I’ve had enough too?”

I’m very open about the fact I have some sort of chemical difference in my brain that doesn’t let me be at ease, but rarely do I get into the politics or the hype surrounding it. But recently, I guess I’ve just felt frustrated.

That every white person in history that has done horrible things did them because of some mental illness. That I get denied jobs because my health exams state that I take medication for anxiety at the lowest dose. I’m mad that everyone shames people like me for not seeking help when they don’t realise that my generation can’t get proper healthcare to cover these costs. That our families say they understand, but talk badly about us when we aren’t around because they can’t understand. That a therapist can only tell you so many times that you’re not a bad person before you start to think that they’re the crazy one.

Whether or not a person has a different mental frame, people should never assume things about a person’s life. We all come from various backgrounds. We all have dark memories. One person’s reason to laugh just might be another person’s reason to cry. Despite how we live our lives, or what it says on our medical records, people should be kind to one another. It shouldn’t take a tragedy to make you tweet about it so your status can trend.

It’s so annoying to hear, “Had only I known.” You can’t “fix” our brains by telling us you care and that we should be more positive. You being aware and posting “talk to me” all over social media for a week then stop caring once the trend dies down doesn’t make you a hero.

The sad fact is, some of us aren’t going to die in a way that the rest of society says is acceptable. Our reality is a little different than yours, and we have nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes no amount of what “normal” people call help is helpful. And half the time we aren’t even looking for help, we’re looking to understand ourselves and this world we live in. We don’t always kill ourselves because we’re sad. Sometimes to put it frankly, we’re just fucking bored.

I’m just a little tired of mental illness being viewed as trendy. People not knowing the difference between the average experience of anxiety and the exaggerated kind. And how the stigma of mental illness judges some of us before we’re even given a chance. But I suppose that it’s like I usually tell people anyway; you can’t understand something unless you yourself have experienced it.

Hold tight out there, we may not know why we’re alive, but maybe if we keep living we can figure it out.

Body Talk.

Sometimes when I’m in a bought of depression/anxiety I find myself watching some pretty extreme movies. Last night I came across a Korean film titled, Beautiful; and it kind of fucked me up for a minute.

The film follows a woman who is deemed extremely attractive by all the men and women around her. Ultimately she is stalked and raped and continuously victim blamed. Just when I thought that there would some sort of redemptive character in the story, the plot just gets more and more sickening.

I have two standard thoughts when it comes to my appearance and why I tend to dress in a more so called casual style. One is that I lack confidence. When I try something on, I will think I look great until I’m about to leave, then I find myself wondering how others will judge me. Does it actually look good? Will people think I’m slutty? Etc.

The other is fear of unwanted attention. I’ve had my share of run ins and assaults as I’m sure most women, and sadly children, have. So I’ve always had this fear in the back of my mind that if I look a certain way, then I’m asking for trouble.

Today I remembered a video I had made while I was in Japan after listening to friends complain about their bodies at sento. In high school I was often complimented about being small and friends saying they wish they looked like me without really knowing my own struggles. And when it comes to family, especially around the holidays, I fear being around because I always get comments about being “too skinny.”

Hell, even for not being romantically interested in a guy I was criticized for being “too skinny anyway.” It really disgusts me the way females are attacked over how we look, no matter how we look. So I wanted to post this video here too.

Maybe when I’m 27.

The past year has been an extreme drag. It’s been the slowest, fastest, most productive, yet least productive year of my 20’s. I had a thought a moment ago that perhaps this has been the worst year of my 20’s. It’s odd to say… considering the failed 7 year relationship, a precious loved one finding heroin, the loss of my unborn nephew, the depression and anxiety lows, and ultimately the moment I thought I’d just quit my 20’s my all together.

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Though I’ve been through a lot since I’ve entered my 20’s, all of those situations I was able to learn from. Losing a relationship made me regain strength in myself and learn the difference between what is good and bad for me in terms of friendships and romance; not that I always followed that knowledge. I was able to become more of myself and meet people that changed my life, ultimately helping me carve my path to Japan.

Since Japan, I haven’t quite been right. I’m not sure why it’s become so hard for me to keep motivated and find worth in myself. Especially why it’s so difficult for me to take risks when I’ve already moved across the world to a place I knew hardly anything about.

Those years were struggles, but I grew. Never once did I feel I was standing still for too long. Yet this past year I feel just as small as I did growing up.

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I’ve realised that my worth as an individual is seen as the dollar amount I make, not by my happiness. I could be anything and others would be happy towards me if my earnings and lifestyle were envious enough. If all I did was sit and play video games, and somehow that alone earned me enough to pay my bills and travel, my family would think that I was successful. But working every day, doing my best to do everything on my own, is not admirable enough. Taking the time to find my strengths and passion is simply me being a worthless millennial.

It’s been about a year since I graduated college and it’s hard for me not to focus on what seems like a wasted year. I remember trying to make sure I didn’t feel proud of myself for graduating university. I knew that no one else would see it this way, and that surely I could have done better. I could have been an honours student. I could have graduated sooner. I could have already had a job, or several, lined up. So when the day came and went without recognition… I guess I’ve spent the time since then telling myself that my degree means nothing.

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But I don’t want to keep basing my worth off of what others think. I don’t want to apply to jobs with the thought; “This won’t be good enough for them.” I want to remember my feeling when I applied to go to Japan. “This is good enough for me.”

My precious one that made it through addiction and rehab, into sober living, and on to their own place, buying their own car, finding a loving, healthy relationship… When they speak to me now, there is such a calm acceptance of life and the ways it pulls us. A strong sense that even though most days are filled with tears and doubts, we are able to do anything… I felt suddenly in their new year something clicked within in them.

Maybe in the next year I can find that same something inside myself. Maybe when I’m 27 I’ll know what it’s like to truly be confident and believe in the abilities that I hold inside.

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