I’m still here.

I can’t actually remember how long it’s been since I’ve posted, because I just kept pushing it out of my mine over the last few months. I kept telling myself that I had so many other important things to do, that I would get back to writing again, that it was just a temporary setback due to being back at work again, that I would surely write after the end of *this* crazy long week.

On and on it went, and I kept trying to pretend that it wasn’t a fear of what writing might unleash – as if I don’t already know this dear fear so deeply; as if it isn’t something I’ve struggled with for decades. The funny thing is, why would I keep forgetting this when I surely can’t also have forgotten that not writing tends to create this active build-up of strain and confusion about the origins of feelings and thoughts.

But this isn’t about “holding myself accountable” or aimlessly spending time on distractions – that, after all, is what my growing Youtube and TV series marathons have been about 🙂

No, today I’m here partly because I finally had the closest thing to a “holiday” since starting work in August – and not by having an actual holiday (of course) but simply because we’ve had two public holidays occur during the weekend, so it got carried forward to Monday and Tuesday being holidays, too. Rare but extremely needed so I’ve been taking it.

There is certainly something to be said about having that kind of large chunk of free time suddenly happen, especially in light of The Relationship that Ended and my “usual” hermit-like tendencies of the last 2 years. Certianly work has just been this bizarre series of “go, go, go” moments that carry me from Monday to Friday (and often eat into some part of Saturday, too) and leave barely any time for a desk lunch (true story, not proud of it – but hey I have beef stew in the slow cooker now that’ll feed me for the rest of the work week) and manages to keep my mind occupied enough that I barely have time to think…

Truthfully, I haven’t had this happen to me before. Yes, the NGO job was the kind that quite fully engaged (enslaved?) me, but the difference is that I felt like I was actually doing something significant for the most part, and when I stopped feeling that way, I left. But with this job, I’m very slightly interested in the actual content (medical and health news) but somehow I’m pretty damn dedicated to doing a good job.

I’ve yet to figure out what the exact reasons are. I have some vague ideas, partly to do with not having worked for so long, certainly to do with the new semi-managerial role which I’ve never ever done (nor kidded myself that I was suited for) before and well, a painfully-intangible amount of this has to do with the fact that I am lonely and don’t know what to do about it.

So umm, yeah, I’m hungry… And afraid of saying anything more for now,obviously. But also, kinda hungry.

2016-04-08-19-45-23

This pic is actually kinda old, but yesterday it marked my resurfacing on Facebook. LOL, it remains to be seen what that means, but hey this was epic pad Thai i made.

 

Exit strategy.

There’s really no one left to take notice of anything, and yes I really still am shocked by that, clearly.

Why am I shocked, after all this time and with repeated bad experiences?

I do not know. What I do know is that I know how to source all the materials for a makeshift exit bag. It won’t even be that tricky and I finally found a diagram detailing what needs to be done to ensure success.

It is the first clear plan I’ve had other than the time last year when I felt drawn to jump off the bridge in Penang. But I was quite put off by the public nature of that method; it goes against the core of how I am. Pills have always seemed like the only other option, but never did I feel confident that I could swallow whatever the “right” number would be in time before my HSP body started vomiting or passed out altogether.

But helium is quicker and infinitely more straightforward. Expensive, but that finally won’t have to matter anymore, eh.

For the last few days since finally coming across that diagram after an on-and-off search for about 3 years, there’s been this little near-permanent smile on my face at all times, regardless of whether I’m thinking about shitty things or neutral things. It occurred to me that if anyone saw this smile it would probably come across as “kinda scary” but hey, that problem has taken care of itself, hasn’t it.

I have also been feeling almost zero anxiety since that day, though it’s not the same as saying I’m not sad about the way things are. I am, it’s just that I finally found a method that I’m quite confident will work swiftly and quietly. That is a kind of weak relief that none but the most despairing of souls would be able to relate to, presumably.

Interestingly, I haven’t gone through with purchasing the tank or the other supplies yet. I haven’t felt compelled to leave my house for the last few weeks (well, months if we’re being honest) except for groceries or the unavoidable family stuff.

I think partly it’s because the housemate has announced she’s going to come back to clear out all her things before the end of the month, and I keep hoping she fucking shows up soon so that it’s over and done with and I don’t have to worry about any potential interruptions or her (or her dad/BF who’ll likely come along to pack stuff up) seeing anything suspicious. LOL, she’s the type who would be “horrified” and “shocked” by the thought of me actually acting on something that I’ve spoken about all through our decade long former friendship.

But since she’s too selfish to bother telling me when she’ll come, I have a feeling this bubble of “calm” which is very much related to mental exhaustion as well will eventually snap and I’ll put the plan into motion.

Funnily enough, I’ve been working on a “my story” piece that’s about 5000 words already and I have only covered parts of my childhood in brief detail thus far. LOL. I stopped doing those cliched notes when I was a teen. Moreover, I know I’ve said far too much as it is because no one actually listens anyway. But the story has been about putting things together for me; I sincerely don’t care if no one ever reads it. All of my writing in the last few years has been for me.

That’s the thing, at this point, and I’m glad to be able to say this. I’m not doing this “to” myself because I hate myself or I have low self esteem or I think I can’t fix my life. I’m doing this for myself because it is an unnecessarily harsh world that does not know how to value a person like me and I refuse to bend to its will, nor am I willing to pay the price for being my own person any longer.

I don’t expect anyone to believe this, but that’s the best part. I really don’t give a fuck anymore.

If there is anyone reading this, I wish you well.

 

Meds or more weed

I went to see a shrink again last week because the anxiety was increasing and affecting my sleep and also because I kept bursting into tears simply trying to update my resume… (still not done and terrified to look at it yet unable to close the effing file).

So yeah, my thought was that I needed to get anti-anxiety meds but I didn’t want to go into my whole medical and family history and previous psych experiences because I just felt that they’d end up seeing patterns that I don’t necessarily accept as true, plus my dad having bipolar and my dislike of medication coupled with my “few very good years” followed by these lows just sounds like it’s begging for a bipolar diagnosis to me. To be clear, I’m not saying that I necessarily think I have bipolar or even depression, but I’m very very sure that that’s what the half-assed doctors would say within a heartbeat.

Anyway, so I went very reluctantly and just being there was giving me panic attacks, not just cuz it was a crowded waiting room of the psych wing in a government hospital… but also because lying doesn’t come at all easily to me and the more stressed I get, the harder it is to keep my lies straight so the thought of that whole vicious cycle was terrifying me.

Turns out they made me tell my story to a third-year medical student who was basically a clueless, rather nice kid and she seemed slightly let down that my story wasn’t juicier. But anyhow, she was easy enough to lie to and so I gave a hodge-podge version of truths from the last couple of years but blanket lies about the past.

Then they made me see the actual doctor (except it turns out she’s not even – just a medical officer -____-). Anyway, she was so not interested and very easily prescribed me lexapro, xanax and sleeping pills. She didn’t bother asking if I was suicidal or anything much except for whether I “hear voices” -___________- So I asked her about side effects, saying that I’d been told side effects with ADs can be really bad.

She goes, “well you may have suicidal thoughts, nausea, giddiness, palpations when you first start but it should wear off once you get used to it. That’s why we’re starting you on a low dose first.”

FFS, this is the thing with ADs that’s the worst. The side effects are just as bad (if not WORSE) than the actual problem. This is the most unconscionable aspect of the so-called mental healthcare system (mental illness system is more accurate) that really bugs me, though there’s many other things to hate about the whole damn thing.

But I didn’t say anything, I took them and left, all in a daze. I read up on lexapro over the next few days and nothing I read made me feel better about taking it – even though there were always a few immensely successful stories amidst the doom and gloom of SE suffered by most. Nothing has really changed my mind convincingly enough to make me start taking it, but it’s getting harder to resist with each day.

I’m increasingly lonely, disconnected and anxious about how I will manage to have a future if things don’t change. I need to apply for work but I truly cannot fathom sending my resumes out anywhere, let alone getting through an interviews. Which means that working in an actual company is unthinkable. But then what? I take these meds and chances are I’m going to be zombiefied, lethargic, humourless. Surely that’s not going to be very helpful for a job interview or office?

Damned if you don’t, damned if you do.

The funny thing is, there’s still weed. It still works, even if it’s not great but I definitely feel at least a bit better and generally it really works enough to make me wake up feeling decent for a few hours. But somehow I’m still afraid to do it more often. Like, I’ve not tried to smoke up and see if I can finalise my resume and maybe do some job-hunting. I think it comes from this very strong notion that weed is all about slacking off and you aren’t quite in control and it could lead to poor decisions, etc. So as much as I’m an advocate for weed over almost every other kind of drug, I’m still damn cautious in my usage.

So here we are, I’m 31 and unhappy with a choice between lexapro or (more) weed. Part of me is like, dude WTF this isn’t even a contest, go toke right now FFS. The other part of me is like, there’s something seriously wrong with you and you aren’t helping things by trying to keep avoiding it.

But I’ve said before that life need not be about binaries. So there’s a third (and fourth, fifth etc but I’m losing focus already) option at any given moment which in this case is obviously to play around with a combo of the two if need be, or to give myself the leeway to go back and forth if that makes sense but also to always remember that I can stop these things if and when I need to and/or try other options as things go along.

I don’t know, though. I’m so scared to start meds when I’m so alone. My housemate isn’t even coming home these days and she told me today she’s gonna move out this month instead of in June 😦 i guess it’s because our friendship ended badly over some shit she pulled but instead of fixing it, she’s just gonna move back to her parents, because she’s got a ton of others friends.

But I don’t.

I don’t have any left, actually. That’s really, truly the facts. I don’t speak to my family members about anything remotely real plus I barely speak to any of them at all now, other than my aunt (which is purely 100% about her difficulties caring for my uncle these days) and one brother (in connection to helping out said aunt with said uncle…) so yeah.

I’m worried about the side effects being worse this time. And here’s the truth: a part of me is terrified that this time it’s going to unleash bipolar symptoms which have maybe been somewhat dormant all this while….. and then what? i mean, i’m alone and no one gives a fuck and i might do something really stupid.

i don’t want to be alone 😦 i suck at being around people but this is getting terrifying.

Human, all too human.

How and why I’m still here, still trying, still trying to try, still able to find something to smile about for a while are questions that seem bizarre and unanswerable at this point. But I remind myself that it probably doesn’t matter much and anyhow i haven’t a clue on how to answer them other than to say that I have a soul that keeps seeking to thrive, despite the odds.

I hate the words hope, faith, and love (well, and god, too but nevermind that for now) so much because I feel they’ve all been so greatly devalued and misunderstood over centuries that there’s no longer any helpful way to use such words; in fact they end up actively damaging us most of the time. I know this is an odd viewpoint and perhaps I should “defend” it in some way but it’s really one of those things that you’d either get (if your life experiences and/or thoughts have shown it to you) or you won’t and instead it would upset you, which is pointless for everyone.

But I do have a point here, despite the rambling thoughts and bleakness in my mind right now (this is the new norm over the last few months, but of course right now it feels like it’s all i have ever really known and any elusive memories of “happiness” or “peace” are just desperate lies or tricks played by my mind. But hey, at least I know that logically this can’t be true…!)

So, the point, as promised. I almost never use those 3 words in a serious way. My thing is that I need instead to focus on understanding myself and the world around me in a deeper more nuanced way. That’s what I put my energy into, when there is energy and umm, when I’m not cooking and eating and thinking about cooking and eating. I’m putting on weight of late, by the way 😦 sigh. it was bound to happen, with the increased focus on food and the near-zero exercise at this point. Sigh.

Wait, I had a point. Okay, so just getting the energy to try at all has seemed impossible for the most part. Hence I stopped writing. I stopped going out (the little that I did do) with anyone other than K and some epic disastrous “dates” (more on that later…) although I did put renewed effort into my weekly counseling sessions. I pulled back almost 90% of what I did for my aunt/family and was utterly disengaged when I did see them.

So then the counseling sessions weren’t going great but I was trying to keep at it because she was the only person I could almost-sorta-kinda talk to. But one day I didn’t reply one of her overly-chirpy texts and she panicked and called and I didn’t answer partly cuz i was feeling too crap but partly cuz i had to go to the hospital again for my uncle and I was just trying to focus on making myself go shower… she freaked and called my stupid housemate/ex-friend whom I’m not even speaking to and who wasn’t even in town. Anyway, eventually I replied and I tried to apologise but i couldn’t pretend well that I was okay.

The next time I saw her she abruptly told me that she could not see me as a counselor anymore but wanted us to be friends “like before”. There was no discussion, it was an abrupt firm decision on her part. I sat there thinking of various things I wanted to scream at her or to just fucking walk out of this shitty situation but of course I didn’t. I sat there and tried to just go with it. I ended up saying that I would go see a shrink to get anxiety meds because I didn’t know what else to do, how else to make myself move forward with applying for a fucking job or anything else. She didn’t say much. She did offer to come with me but WTF, how would i agree to that after she blindsided me like that? I was spacing out of the “session” but she barely noticed and here’s the worst part: she was visibly more cheerful immediately after telling me her decision. I even asked her about it and she said it was a weight off her chest…. hahaha. The irony is that I had tried to tell her this – that our sorta-friendship might make this awkward, that we might project, etc etc – from the start, last year. But she said she could handle it and I wanted to believe her because I didn’t have any other choice, not really.

I couldn’t keep writing. This was 2 days ago :-/ I distracted myself with cooking and weed and tv shows but ended up waking up randomly at 3am with that panicky feeling all over again.

Anyway, I initially meant to say that coming across this beautiful poster from Jenna at the wishingwellblog.com came at the perfect time for me; even if that day did end up disintegrating, seeing this pic did really help me breathe some fresh air for a change. So, thank you.

can’t breathe.it’stoomuch.pleasemakeitstop.pleasehelpme. someone pls. is anyone here. i didn’t think so. but this can’t be true.

maybe it is.i’m alone. i’m useless. i’m weak. i’m not the nice person i think i am. i’m terrible, maybe. that would at least explain how it’s possible that i’m left alone to break down, every single time.

Attempting to see the good.

1. A love of words.

I was always drawn to words from the moment I learned to read (around age 4, apparently) and books were a great companion, a great escape, a great comfort for me for my entire youth, up until the Internet kinda dulled the “simplicity” of books for much of my late teens & early adulthood. But anyhow, I started enjoying writing around age 9 or so (school essays, short stories) and then when I was 11, we got a computer and so I started various storybook-styled stories about strong (-ish) female characters who still desperately wanted to fall in love and be rescued… haha. But as I kept writing these continuous stories, I started feeling  rather stressed out by the fact that it never seemed to end… i remember trying furtively to write an ending but not being able to stomach putting a firm end to the lives of these bold, colourful girls… so I kept abandoning the stories and starting new ones; this went on for a few years until I got into more non-fiction/semi-fictional (based on the psychological and spiritual questions I had) writing. Truthfully, though, my inability to end those stories made me feel like I wasn’t a good writer, especially when coupled with the fact that I couldn’t write poetry… haha, today I understand that these were silly thoughts, but yeah my self-confidence and knowledge were considerably less back then and I did feel like I wasn’t good enough. But I did continue journaling, in various forms (actual written diary as well as numerous short-lived blogs). Anyway, with college starting, my factual writing style proved very useful and lecturers loved my work. Eventually I got into writing for a living: lifestyle, political/human rights and then into the dumbest of all; PR/communications. At different points, the old urge to write stories would crop up, but I was quick to dismiss it, especially now that I have known many actual writers and poets (incl. Priya). I clearly wasn’t in the same league but I tried to reframe that as a positive: my intellect was too critical for fiction; it could only be captured via true writing. Haha, so sanctimonious, but that’s how I felt. Anyway, it’s not necessarily untrue or even arrogant, depending on how it’s framed. But more importantly, I need not pick one over others nor feel like any are inferior/superior. On a final note, writing has almost always helped me, yet even until right now, when I am truly hitting the bottom and despair feels like it’s choking me, I can barely focus on thoughts, let alone words. I think it’s a kind of blind terror that grips me, perhaps that my subconscious is going to reveal “too much”. It’s a catch-22 for sure, but knowing that hasn’t been enough to help me stop.

2. The ability to cook.

This one seems straightforward enough, but of course it isn’t, really. My mother was a great cook, though she couldn’t quite replicate some of my grandma’s best dishes, mostly from a lack of patience with letting a curry sloooowly simmer instead of speeding up and finding shortcuts. But then, that’s part of why she was so good at stir-fry and fusion stuff; lots of “lazy” or “cheats” recipes that were delicious, even if unhealthy. These were the many conundrums presented by my mother specifically and my family’s love for food in general. The more she began to dislike cooking, the more she started wasting money on groceries that ultimately were left to rot while she got Chinese takeaways or fastfood deliveries, was the more that I began to dabble slowly with cooking. I also started paying more attention when she did cook; not just to the things she excelled in, but the silly mistakes or missed opportunities for added flavour. Since the TV was always on anyway, I got into the foodie shows and learned little tricks. Whenever she was away (“looking after” grandkids or whatever) and  especially when I moved out, I began to thoroughly enjoy cooking because the kitchen could actually remain half-neat when I was done; the veggies that I bought would be used up, not left to rot; the portions would be sensible and not excessive; the dishes would be washed up, not left to pile up. Is it any wonder that even today, I deeply dread not being able to cook (as in, living in a place where i can’t cook), as well loathe extravagant/wasteful cookery. The flip side is that cooking provides me such a simple, wholesome sort of pleasure and I can access this all alone, 24/7. I can also try and find all those little “middle ground” spaces by making “lazy cheating” recipes when I’m busy/tired yet spending 4 hours (or more) on another dish when I feel like indulging myself. Or splurging a bit on a nice piece of salmon or steak, but then not needing to ever order it (for 3x the price) at a restaurant. Essentially, food is so much more than just nutrition; it is self-care, creativity, frugality and even self-indulgence at its best. Much as my mother scarred me, this is one thing I may not have discovered without her influence.

3. The ability to live relatively simply.

Sigh. So many negative feelings and a general sadness are engulfing me as I try to complete this exercise. I’ve already spent almost 2 hours on it, with 15 minutes gone on a phone call rant from my aunt… I’m so distracted by the combination of dread that I will have to go and deal with her and the whole hospital hellhole (and my brother… :s) in a few hours as well as guilt and fear about the possible anxiety that will strike if I don’t do it and stay home instead. Damned either way, essentially. These constructs have such a heavy toll on me, the tension is exhausting.

Anxiety attack. Mild, controllable. I’m trying to remind myself that I love this woman, I love her even when she is panicking, although it’s so hard to remember.

Ambivalence kills.

It’s been 5 days or so of basically feeling nothing, beyond the occasional few laughs over a random comic scene or clever meme. Oh, and annoying drivers do still piss me off, on the rare occasion that I did leave the house. But yeah, other than that all I’m registering is a lack of interest in things, an overall feeling of lethargy, and a vague sense of anxiety and despair – especially when I try to sleep and as soon as I wake up.

Classic depression, yes?

I don’t give a shit about finding a post-grad program, finding a job, finding a new place to live or even – wait for it – finding the next Decent Lay.

So I drove myself to read some R.D. Laing, but when his Divided Self proved too scientific for me, I started reading Knots. My goodness…. well, at least I am not quite as numb now.

It is boring that you are frightened
you are boring me by being interested in me.
In trying to be interesting,
you are very boring.
You are frightened of being boring, you try to be interesting by not being interested,
but are interested only in not being boring.
You are not interested in me.
You are only interested that I be interested in you.
You pretend to be bored
because I am not interested
that you are frightened
that i am not frightened
that you are not interested in me.