Category: Uncategorized

Playing victim to my fears.

It’s no secret to the people that know me that I am the worst when it comes to change, the unknown, and things that are out of my control. But I’ve learned something valuable these past couple of months.

During Christmas of last year I landed in the Yucatan of Mexico. I was feeling rather depressed about my closest friends having left for Japan to spend another glorious year of challenges while I was left in what I believed to be the depressing, boring, every day routine that is life in my city. I was beat down with anxiety about being surrounded by family during the holiday season when I was feeling like a failure. So, as I tend to do, I wanted to run from all of these feelings to some place beautiful. I wanted to find inspiration that I felt I was lacking, and learn to become a better version of myself again.

I hadn’t expected to start that journey in Mexico. My first night I was sucked into panic attacks and dread about a new country and all of the things I couldn’t predict. I couldn’t speak Spanish. I couldn’t read signs. My family was probably saying bad things about me for skipping Christmas. So, I bought a journal and began to write about reasons the past year perhaps hadn’t been going my way.

The more I wrote down the events of the past year. The deaths. The stupid actions. My thoughts. My feelings. The more they sounded like excuses. Of course all of these obstacles play a role in shaping my thoughts, but at the end of the day, I realised that I’m just scared. I was afraid to face my family. I was afraid to face new trials in an unknown world after university. I accepted my defeats as faults in myself instead of learning and growing. And I was afraid to face myself. I was afraid to admit my own wrongs.

On my journey in “becoming a better me” I’ve been through a few phases. First was accepting what others had done to me that I couldn’t control. But, for a period all I could do was blame them. Second, was a time frame of accepting myself for my “faults”, but not taking responsibility with how those things could hurt others. Now I am on a path of accepting myself for who I am and how my brain works, but trying to work with others in a way we can coexist and accept each other. I am a very flawed person with extreme ways of thinking. Along with much of the world. We all really aren’t that different in how we feel about ourselves.

I’ve spent the past few months dealing out many apologies and explanations for how I chose to handle the life I was given. I’ve been met with a lot of acceptance. Humans are surprising. We can hurt each other and cause massive confusion in the lives of others, and yet our ability to care for another can always outweigh these pains.

Recently I’ve been faced with something interesting. The initial attack was nothing new in my life. You see, I have someone that hates me very much. Or at least someone who likes to blame me for everything in their life that they find distasteful. And I can understand that as a person who used to do the same thing. This person tried to take away my family. At least those are my personal feelings. I grew up thinking that this was okay.

In the past, I was the type of person that would let this happen. I would back down and isolate for fear of “losing”. For fear that I was the sole factor of this person’s pain. I was actually a problem to everyone in my life and without me, they could all find happiness. I was afraid to accept those things as false, because then what was I without my pain?

But for the first time I truly stood up for myself. I was unafraid of the consequences to what I had to say and how I felt. I spoke up to those around me. I found support and I made a change. Even though I feel a lot of hurt, even though I can’t control the outcome for others, I can control my own outcome.

I want to continue to apply this to the rest of my life. I let these fears of change, the unknown, lack of control, control me. “What if” haunts every thought in my mind. But, I’m learning to rise above that. I really hope I can find a way of life where I continue to push myself through these negative feelings. Even as I write this, part of me laughs because, “there’s no way I can overcome this”. But, I only let myself down if I don’t push on past what scares me.

I always celebrate others. I always love everyone as their own complex individuals, even if I can’t stand them. For once, I’d like to celebrate myself.

I think that owning up to your insecurities, the ways you’ve hurt others, and the ways you’ve hurt yourself are scary to think about. But we can’t get over our fear of the monsters in the closet if we don’t sleep with the door open for a night.

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The Future.

It’s graduation time once again. Even though it’s been a year since my own graduation, I’m still bitter. I remember being enrolled in my undergraduate program and seeing people before me graduate. The cheesy cap and gown photos… the families making a big fuss… I longed for that kind of feeling… a sense of accomplishment. To think, despite everything growing up, I had come so far.

Mine was a little different though… I had worried about being an inconvenience… I had filled myself with so much anxiety that select people in my life would complain about the hours spent at a graduation ceremony. They would deem it a waste of time and a day I was excited about would be ruined. I decided to believe myself that a graduation ceremony was a waste of time and money. So I opted not to graduate that way and invited family for dinner instead. A dinner which no one was bothered to come to. And like so many other times in my life I brushed it off. Who needs family, right?

I realised today I’ve been holding on to that bitterness ever since. But, I want to change my attitude to never let myself or others feel like their accomplishments aren’t worth celebrating.

You see, I have incredible friends. Three special humans that put all of their own differences aside, their own stresses, etc, and took me downtown for dinner and drinks. Seeing all of the families around me celebrate was hard… and I wanted mostly to just cry and lock myself away. But here I was with these three smiling faces that refused to let me be alone. The same way that they had been doing for the past couple of years. The family holidays I would skip. The no good boys I would cry over. ALL of the stupid shit I would do or say. My anxieties. My depression. My sometimes rude sense of humour. My struggles in Japan. And even now I as I look to the future with uncertainty.

Those are the memories and feelings I should hold on to. People like that are the only ones that should matter during my accomplishments.

I spent some time after graduation feeling sorry for myself. And that’s something I never want to do again. Nearly all of my life I have spent placing my worth in the hands of people who simply will never be pleased with anything I do. Be it family, strangers, or people I had called friends. The truth in life is that sometimes, certain people come along and can not accept us as we are. And that’s no one’s fault.

I don’t want to live a life where I feel sorry for myself. And I certainly don’t want to blame others. What does that do? I want to just spread positivity, especially on the days that are hard for me. Because, let’s face it, even though I’m saying all of these things, I’m going to be sad, and mad, and so hurt some days over events of the past.

But all we can do is aim to grow stronger and build something brighter. Surround ourselves with people who bring light into our lives despite the darkness we wish to bury ourselves in.

I don’t know about my future. I don’t know if the things I’m stressed over now will pay off. I won’t be able to meet the timelines of others. My way might not be the best way. But it is my life, and the only thing I can try to control is what I put into it. And the people I allow to be involved in it.

So if you’re ever questioning yourself… am I doing a good job? Is it okay to celebrate this? Am I awesome? If you have to ask yourself, then you’re doing just fine. Even if it feels like your family or friends or anyone isn’t rooting for you, I can guarantee that people are.  The amount of times in the past few years that I’ve gotten messages from near strangers or people I haven’t talked to since high school just to tell me they get inspired from me or to offer encouragement is wild. We may feel alone, but we never really are.

So yeah, you’re awesome. And make the future whatever you want it to be.

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The Cherry Blossoms Are Blooming

I’m noticing that every Spring I come face to face with the same feelings. Somewhere in the coldness of Winter’s grip I tend to lose something… They say that’s pretty common for everyone; “seasonal depression”. The days are short, cloudy, and cold. We keep hidden in doors and under thick blankets while breathing in the same suffocating air for months at a time. The holidays creep up on me and I’m reminded of feelings that I wish I could have left at the doors of my childhood home. Winter is not my most sparkly moment despite my love for Christmas lights and fireworks and the fresh start of a new year.

I write about this all of the time lately. Honestly, I’m sick of hearing it myself. But, maybe that means I’m getting to the point I need to be. Usually once I piss myself off enough, I can finally change in the ways I’ve only been longing for. Since coming back to America I’ve regressed into the timid girl I was before I started working so hard to accomplish my dreams. I let people tell me I was stupid, childish, making all the wrong choices. I allowed the disappointing moments dictate how I would move forward. I’ve fallen deep into depression and self hatred that I haven’t been able to shake for the past year.

But today, the sun is shining. People are in good spirits for the Irish holiday, I’m in a cafe that’s playing reggae music working on which will hopefully be an accomplishment soon, looking forward to seeing someone special as the day passes, and I’m mostly content.

Maybe I’m not where I want to be yet. I don’t even know where that is anymore.

But, the cherry blossoms are blooming. And I want to with Spring as well. However, the sakura trees are such a short lived thing… As soon as they come, they are gone, and though these delicate flowers always seem to come and save my life every time I am falling, I shouldn’t focus on being like them as I have until now. I should be stronger and more vibrant. I should allow my own branches to stretch higher and let myself bloom so high into the clouds that no one else can ever pluck me back to the ground.

This year’s spring, I want to be stronger than the person that I keep wishing I still was. I’ve been looking at that version of myself as the strongest version, but if she was really that strong, she wouldn’t have allowed herself to succumb to the negativity that has always held her down once again.

I want to recognise my own accomplishments for what they are to me, not to anyone else. I want to walk at my own pace and not care anymore where others say I should be.

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.

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.