Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Inspired to Write

The fact that anyone reads my blog other than me is quite exciting.  I've always thought of it as a private diary accessible to me from anywhere.  I recently threw out my handwritten diaries.  I read the Japanese book on decluttering and it said that one of the ways to stay in the moment, is to stop revisiting old moments.  I figure it's still helpful to have some slight reminder of how I've felt, some record that helps me remember points in my life.  I hope tracking my emotions has a positive effect as well, it definitely feels like it provides me a sense of comfort to read my old blog entries from time to time.

I hit a rock bottom shortly after my last post.  A deep dark place of being very suicidal.  I am always scared to put that out there because of potential judgment that will happen through good google search skills, but I am going to just let go of the fear.  It was scary - my friends took turns being with me so I was never alone.  I had to seek serious professional help.  After i inched back from the ledge, it took a long time to feel anything but awful.  I slowed down my life.  I picked up drawing - which may be how I should be posting now, because my amateur art tells a powerful story of my emotions.  I never could draw as a kid, so the fact that I exhibited any natural talent at my age felt like a feat.  But of course I took a class, which then made me feel inadequate, which undermined the whole concept of using drawing as art therapy for me.

There is something liberating about feeling ready to die.  A part of me took the time to celebrate the times in my life that were great and exciting and to really appreciate that I had taken risks and had wonderful experiences.  I suppose it's like wanting to end on a "high note."  Its hard for me to look forward and see the brightness I see in my past.  But its good that I can look at anything through the lens of positivity.

I went from a numbness, to an emotional overload - where I felt like I was up down and sideways at any given moment, to now an overall gloom.  The gloom is familiar.  It doesn't feel troublesome.  But there is this reborn anxiety of things falling apart all over again.  The pattern has been too entrenched to imagine a stable life, let alone any sort of positive upswing.  I recently switched jobs again, this is the fourth in four years.  I keep trying to land somewhere I can call home, but I just heard that there is low morale in my new workplace and the organizational health is bad.  This news totally unseats me.

I don't ever gamble.  It's virtually impossible to imagine a lucky moment for me.  I can point to a few things in my life, but if I say I'm fortunate I'll jinx it and curse myself to have the one good thing fall to pieces.

That being said, I am "better" from my darkest moment.  But maybe the point of throwing out the diaries is that if you keep reading the same thoughts repeating themselves you get stuck in them.  I feel like I've been stuck with the same thoughts and feelings since I was a teenager.  I still feel like a child.  Now is a time that my friends are all preparing to get pregnant and start families, and I don't even feel capable of taking care of myself let alone another human being.  Especially when I require nine hours of sleep a night!

Alright now I am self-conscious that this last post won't live up to my previous ones, if anyone is reading them.  Sigh.  I am my own worst enemy in this life.

Friday, March 06, 2015

I'm still here, still struggling


The boy I liked, even as I re-read the last post about how I was skeptical --- told me, how he thought we were meant to be together and he didn't want to make it a rebound and ruin our chance to build something--- and then afterwards  disappeared.  Without a word.  No explanation, no statement, nothing.  It hurt so bad,  an intense overwhelming pain.  But I was so humiliated to admit it because everyone had warned me he was not a good person, that I felt that I couldn't share the painful hurt I experienced outloud.  I truly believe that I am unlovable.  That no matter how supportive, loving, fun, exciting, sexual, intelligent of person I am, there is a darkness in me, something terribly wrong that drives people away.  A friend tells me, a person like him, who could be so manipulative, dishonest and inconsiderate - good riddens.  But even as I have finally let go of the situation, I am convinced that a lasting love and companionship will always be out of my reach.

But I stayed distracted.  I took an amazing 10 day vacation to Nicargua alone that was perfect.  It reminded me of a person I feel like I have lost through the hum drum of trying to be the "adult" I am supposed to be here in the U.S.   I made efforts to see my friends and enjoy the diverse and always new experiences available in New York city, to celebrate ending up here as a way to make peace with all the bouncing around, and it felt authentic.  I was convinced that I was finally healing.  That I was close to a normal version of my self and I could finally feel like there was the distance I needed from my long drawn out downfall that had consumed my life for the past two years.  I had what had evaded me for so long - a sense of stability that was on the verge of making me feel secure.

But winter hit. A real harsh winter hit and my sense that I was improving fell apart and I ended up right back in that state of despair.  And though the objective observers in my life assured me that even as I was struggling I was light years of where I had been before, I've been having a hard time thinking that I'll ever return to a normal version of myself.  Maybe it is illusory at this stage in my life, or ever.  Maybe that person is just an imagined identity I see wearing rose colored glasses looking at  the past.

I've spent a lot of time unearthing how my parents contributed to my lack of sense of self worth, how without a sense of true unconditional love from them, it hasn't been something I've ever sought out or believed was available to me.  That my feelings that "it's all my fault" are messaging I've carried with me since my childhood.  Understanding and self-awareness is supposed to be the first step towards change, but I'm not sure I really believe that.

I'm still trying.  I put unrealistic expectations of myself everyday at work, that I walk away feeling like a failure and that I'm never productive enough and no amount of time with make me feel caught up.  I have all these physical symptons, the most profound is fatigue, that wipes me out completley, that makes me sleep for 10, 12, 14 hours.  I have always felt that no one believes me, the realnes of my fatigue, how its not something I can push through - I hear the skepticism from others in my mind and a message that I am just lazy and not trying hard enough.  That my mental health does not create that type of physical impairment, it's just that I am not working hard enough to "be better." I'm not sure if it's real or imagined - or perhaps just the message of my family from childhood I'm still carrying around with me.

I met a new boy.  We are going very slow.  He thinks its a good idea to build a friendship and not just immediately give into our physical attraction.  It's a new concept for me.  I wanted to get physical, get that high, feel rejected, hate him and get over it.  I wanted the certainty of that.  I am trying to sit with the uncertainty.  I'm actually doing alright at it, he doesn't make me feel plagued with anxiety, but at the same time, it does feel impossible to feel hopeful.  I've got my walls high up.  I don't want to make myself vulnerable any time soon.  We'll see how that plays out.  I feel like he wants me to take him seriously and that he is taking me seriously - and I'm trying to relish in that, the lack of already existing complications.  I am scanning for it though, something in his life that will make him walk away from me and tell me it has nothing to do with me.

It's been snowing constantly even though we are in March.  I desperately want the snow to completely melt. I need sunshine.  While I want to celebrate that I've ended up in New York City, I can't stand how hard the winters are for me.  That inevitable heightened depression.  I'm not isolated in feeling it, it feels ubiquitous but that sense of solidarity isn't helping.  The grey dirty snow covering the street, making everything ugly, its miserable.

I've completed one year at my job.  I can say I love my job. I feel well respected by everyone I work with inside and outside my organization.  Its starting to make me let go off all the harsh criticism that i had to withstand from the last two jobs and making me believe in myself again.  To make all that hard work feel like it counted for something.  I wish that feeling was enough to make me feel whole.  I fought so hard for it, with every bone in my body.  I have a hard time understanding why achieving it isn't enough, what more could I possibly need.  Its like my mind, body and heart is somehow not grateful enough and that makes me hate myself, that I'm some sort of spoiled brat needing more.

It's late and I need to hustle to get to work.  I'm exhausted.  I didnt' sleep well which will ruin me for the second half of my day. I have a date tonight and am praying the connection maintains itself, while half expecting it to implode.

Sigh.




 


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

No More Letters

Okay in an effort to not write a letter --- but be able to have an avenue to share my thoughts...here I go:  I am in a difficult place where I am still trying to get to a place where i feel good about myself and my life, feel secure and stable.  Someone entered the picture, right when I was feeling my lowest, and has over the past couple of months been enormously positive, reminding me of my positive attributes and the effect I can have over people.  In turn, I, in my normal way of operating when I feel something for someone, anyone friend, or colleague, showered the person with appreciation, compliments, and a desire to fill their needs.  As a result of our almost daily communications, I started to feel emotionally invested in this "relationship" that was developing.  This person, he is in a complicated situation, leaving a relationship of 9 years, even though he feels like it has been over for several years.  The logistics of separating he tells me are very challenging and he doesn't want to hurt this person he at one time in his life, cared deeply about and continues to care about even if he doesn't want to be with her.

He's fine with us being in almost constant communication, but does not want to make the effort to see me in person in a timely manner.  I want to be understanding, but I also need to draw boundaries.  I used to have this philosophy that something is better than nothing.  A person who is somewhat positive in my life, who i feel connected to, is better than me being alone and meeting droves of people who I feel nothing for.  But I'm not scared of being alone, I've never been scared about being on my own.  In fact the only life I've known is being on my own.  My desire for greater intimacy means that taking it too a more emotional level is difficult for me -- but I am not sure that's what is happening here.

My feeling is that I must both be honest with myself about what my needs/desires are and also be willing to put them out there, no matter if i risk losing the "something" the positive of the situation.  I've learned that boundaries are a way of asserting your own self esteem.  Of valuing yourself.  And I need to have enough respect for myself, value the person that I am, believe in myself and my own positive attributes, that I do not fear that communicating needs, particularly reasonable  ones, like seeing each other on a regular basis will drive someone away.  Because sometimes nothing is better than something.  I remember telling one of my close Thai friends, that if she kept trying to be cool and casual with these white backpackers, none of them would turn around and ask her on a date and be her boyfriend which is what she actually wanted.  You've got to put out to the world what you want, in order to get it and stop wasting time getting someone who is not in the right frame of mind to begin with, to intuitively meet your needs.  High maintenance girls are unapologetic about their high maintenance ways, and they are very successful in relationships.

I do like the fact that I am an understanding and accommodating person.  But at the point that that requires me to wholly sacrifice my desires, i must draw a line.  And the person can be in my life, but in a smaller role, as a fling or whatever, we can connect, but not in the deeper way.  We haven't gone so far down the line that we can't step back to something simpler.

Its kind of the same as in my workplace.  My former boss and previous workplace, made me feel like nothing.  So much so that I didn't feel really entitled to have my basic needs met at my new job, like a workable office space.  But I had to recognize my worth as a lawyer and employee to set forward my demands, even if it meant risking my job again.

I really need to get to a place where I think highly enough of myself where I deserve better treatment and respect from the world.  Only I can control that.  No one can do that for me.

And lets be honest.  I am in a place where I am still learning how to regulate my emotions.  And it probably doesn't make sense for me to be having intense emotions about a situation that is unreliable right now.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Acceptance

The theme of my personal growth right now is acceptance.  I have been fighting for a long time and while I am proud of my resilience and efforts to keep my life in tact in spite of the ongoing obstacles and challenges, I simultaneously feel humiliated and ashamed both for whats happened and my inability to fully keep it together and persevere.  I guess acceptance for me starts with accepting that it's okay for me to break down.  It's okay for me to have this diagnosis and as a result  need a more structured world of support, and taking time to care for myself does not mean i am f**king up my life, but accepting the need for help.  It's okay that I can't meet all the expectations i have for myself and I must accept that my family is unsupportive, that my past employers actively sought to undermine me, and that my life does not feel like it is structured in a way that I am proud of.

I've tried to let things go, but I think I've been ahead of myself because you can't let go until you have truly accepted.  I've needed validation and sometimes even when I've gotten it, I didn't hear it or believe it and I just felt like I wanted more and more and more.  But it will never be enough - the validation from the outside world until I truly accept my circumstances, stop questioning my decisions, stop blaming myself, stop hating myself for not being strong enough, good enough.  Accept that I am tired.  Accept that that the next logical step is not that my life will always suck, that I should never be excited because I will ultimately be disappointed.  Acceptance does not mean that I should hate myself for having too high of expectations and I should have known better.  Acceptance is not mistrust in the world.

That desire, that very American desire to believe that good things happen to good people, that hard work pays off, is still embedded in my DNA.  Avoiding that desire is what I was chasing in the developing world.  Fundamentally, I feel like working with my client base I should know better.  But again, I am accepting that society has an impact on me.

Just like letting go is too far down the road, so is self forgiveness. Acceptance is where I am at.  That I need more treatment, that its been hard for me, that it is a long road from here to an easy life, that I can't analyze and intellectualize my way through problems on my own.

Accepting my limitations does not mean I am admitting weakness.
Accepting my limitations does not erase my strengths, my value.
Accepting does not mean analyzing and just saying it out loud, it's deeper.
I have successfully accepted things in the past and just because life has hurt me and challenged me in new ways does not erase my progress either.
While validation facilitates and plays an important role - acceptance is me and only me.
I want to get to a point where I don't need to say it out loud at all to accept it.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Depleted

Even though I want to journal, I haven't been able to force myself to do it.  I m not sure I have anything new to say.  Yes my life circumstances have changed since the last time I posted, I found a job that is seemingly squarely within my interests, with an organization that is affording me the autonomy that will hopefully avoid the type of interpersonal conflicts that ruined my ability to feel like I could truly succeed at my last two jobs.  But as I have desperately tried to do everything right, to make sure my life circumstances improved and not further deteriorate no matter how bad I was feeling internally, by exercising every day, by taking Spanish lessons, by volunteering, by diligently applying for jobs, by eating right and trying to save every penny, by finding the medical services I needed no matter what cost --- and then doing everything in power in my new environment to impress people, ingratiate myself, to pour my energy and heart into the project, to be productive, to learn the new terrain, to reach out, to speak in spanish and keep improving, to save money by staying with family and find a place to live that will be affordable,  ---- i am not sure any of my internal feelings have changed.  Every continuing hiccup, not having an office or workspace, mini breakdowns, mistakes in my health insurance plan, --- just seems to indicate to me that i can't seem to ever get ahead of the hardships life throws my way.  I feel weak.  Everyday I want to give up.  I feel like a failure and think I am on the tipping point of throwing everything I've worked so hard to put in place with the hope of a better future.  I've been so consumed with basic survival, that I haven't even been able to enjoy or fret about things that seem normal in the lives of other, dating, having a family, having a home, buying material items.   I fantasize about a time out from life - there is no such thing.  I feel no one actually sees the gravity of my suffering, i also fantasize about being so self destructive that the pain i feel would finally be visible to my friends, family, everyone.  But I know then my worsened life circumstances would really be my fault in that moment.   It's hard to feel like I am no further ahead in fighting the demons that haunted me in my adolescence, twenty years later.  People want to celebrate the interesting experiences I've had in my life, remind me that I am great person, but it does little to provide comfort or assurance to me.  I wonder if all of this is because I chose the legal profession.  Well, no point wishing I had made other decisions in my life, i must live with what i have - but all i want to do is lie on the floor, hiding under a blanket and wait for the perpetual storm to pass.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pointless

I am sitting here, with absolutely nothing in my life.  I am jobless, the person I thought was a potential for a real relationship turned out to be a monster (and I don't use that word lightly) and I can barely seek baseline medical services I am in need of.  I've been through hardships many times in my life but I thought they all served a purpose.  But after withstanding all of them, persevering setback after setback, with some faint hope that it will all lead to something, I look around and I have absolutely nothing.  What do I have to show for all my years of hard work, for all the efforts I put into my education, into my commitment to social justice? Nothing.  What about all those great networks and people who believed in me? Does that assist me in any way? Do I get anything back from everything I've given - no.  No one is in any position to help me out in anyway here. Vouch for me, give me an opportunity, believe in my potential even when I don't have every 1001 qualifications required.  I'll never be good enough for anything or anyone.  What is the point of even trying anymore? Is there not some alternative life I could choose to live that would not strip me of everything and make me feel so utterly without any sense of self worth?  That I was at least enjoying my life. I've got nothing to enjoy now.  I am bleeding money.  I am in such a sorry state of mind without any potential for resolution, how can I even enjoy a simple pleasure that I used to revel and celebrate.  Dancing, t.v., books, everything is a distraction but once I look up, all I see is the ground beneath me keep dropping.  A person like me, who just had one bad thing after the other, only get worse in the last one, two, three years, how can I realistically believe that the pendulum will swing? That my luck will change? That I am not just such a horribly worthless person that I don't deserve even the most basic good things to come to me.   I seriously I just want to crawl into a hole and disappear from the existence. I don't want even to run away because I'd just run right back here at some point.  I hate myself, my life and all the future has in store for me.