Relax

Today was my second day off. I don’t normally get two consecutive days off. I was scheduled off yesterday in order to attend a company function. Surprisingly, I enjoyed myself. Today is also the first day of the actual dose of Strattera. There was a titration period of 15 days. I generally felt good all day until mid-afternoon. I became somewhat irrational and I felt judged by my partner. I began raising my voice and having strong feelings. The feelings I felt strongest were shame and guilt. I felt ashamed that I was relaxing and enjoying myself. I felt guilty that I have been spending my time and effort into my interests and trying to find new friends. I felt bad that I haven’t done any of my research this summer. It kind of snowballed from there. I didn’t have dinner at the time but I didn’t feel hungry. Strattera curbs my appetite – most times I don’t feel hunger at all. I cried because I felt angry. I was angry at myself and I felt that my partner wasn’t being supportive of my efforts and of my interests. I felt extremely alone at one point. I felt I was on a rollercoaster of emotions. At one point I felt as if I was not allowed to be happy. That I am a slave. That I am not allowed to take care of myself. I said, “I’m not allowed to breathe unless I am working (on my project).” It was rather over the top. My partner calmed me down by telling me to eat and by watching a show together. We hardly ever do anything together these days. I told my partner I feel alone because I am alone.

Eating and watching two episodes of our show put me in better spirits. I admitted that I wanted to take a break. I got over the guilt and the shame and worked on a schedule. I feel that I will be alright as long as I schedule a week in advance. To keep me in check of what I need to do.

Despite my outburst this evening, I have finally found how to relax and how to enjoy myself. I haven’t felt this way in a long time.

Music

I concede. I can’t  make myself a morning person. I’m sure I could try but all I would be doing is tricking myself to do things I usually do at night during the day. I’ve accepted the fact that I usually sleep at 2-3am and fully wake up at 2pm. It’s really a vicious cycle. I have noticed that I am listening to music again. I have not listened to music (on a personal whim) for maybe a year and a half. When I “fell” into my debilitating depression I did not listen to music, I did not eat, I did not do anything really besides working. I didn’t feel like talking, I didn’t feel like going outside. All I wanted to do was stay in bed or stay home because I was afraid of crying for no reason. It was really bothersome and it took a lot out of me having to be conscious to not cry at work or at school.

The type of music that I enjoy listening to is 2000s rock or emo. I don’t know what it is about that period that I’m stuck on. I will never get tired of listening to Coheed and Cambria, Death Cab for Cutie (The Postal Service – to be honest Ben Gibbard), Dashboard Confessional (to be honest Chris Carabba), or Panic! At the Disco (to be honest Brendon Urie). Certain albums encapsulated my life at the time that I was listening to them.

Coheed and Cambria and Dashboard Confessional really helped me through the bad years of my life. I was very unhappy at the time – listening to these bands took my mind off of what was happening to me, but also I could relate to some of the songs. The loneliness, the betrayal, the heartache.

From time to time I think of my ex-boyfriend who is probably still playing the bass guitar for a band. He is handsome and funny. He wasn’t very ambitious but he was a very simple guy. He dumped me because I was too ambitious. He told me that he couldn’t stand being with me because he felt intimidated by me. His friends would boast about my accomplishments, his parents would nag him about his lifestyle and compare him to me. I really loved him. Even though he didn’t have a clue of what kind of work I did or how hard I studied for my degree, I loved him just as he was. He made me laugh, he made me feel that I didn’t need to be someone amazing to be by his side. I wanted him to love me the way I loved him – he just didn’t feel that way about me. When I told him that I loved him all he said was thanks. Recalling those key moments, he doesn’t sound like a very great guy. He really is a good guy. He hasn’t had a girlfriend since he dumped me. To be honest, I check on him now and then. Part of me misses him, I won’t deny that. He’s still doing the same thing. Still gigging, barely playing the bass, still working his 9-5 job, still living with his parents. He’s still handsome.

My boyfriend now, was a guy that I really liked while I was dating the bassist. I don’t know. There was just something about my current boyfriend that I was really attracted to him. I was faithful though. I avoided him at all costs. But my current boyfriend had a lot of things that my bassist ex didn’t – muscles and brains. Yeah, I’m shallow, whatever. When my bassist ex started pulling away from me (impending break up) I started working out, dieting, and making myself up. There were so many times the thought would cross my mind, “if I wasn’t dating the bassist, I would so date so and so.”  Well, I got dumped. I really didn’t think my boyfriend would have been attracted to me, I really thought that I was friendzoned from the get-go. He was just waiting for me to be single, so.

There are some times that he’s kind of dorky though. He’s still young, I’m sure he’ll get less dorky when he gets older. We’ve been dating for four to five years now.

Lol I just checked his profile. Still single.

 

Fear

I wanted to continue the morning pages but when I wake up, hopping on and writing is the farthest thing from my mind. I am reading the book my counselor suggested I read. She told me about it last year. I've had the book since November of last year. I have never read it until now. I read it last night. I can only read a few pages at a time. I don't understand why I am afraid. I'm afraid of the words. I am afraid of reading on. My heart is racing, my eyes are tearing, my face and my ears are flushed. The words are common words, but here and there they bring me back to that place. The place I don't want to be. Old memories that have been pushed down and forgotten.

I am alone in my studio apartment. My house is secure. No one is with me. But why do I feel so afraid? No one can hurt me. No one even knows where I live. They don't know my telephone number. They don't even know that I am miles away. I know that I have to continue reading to heal, I know that. But still I am afraid. I'm starting to regret pushing my counselor's appointment to a month and a half. I think I will call her and see her. I think I need to see her. I don't understand, why am I so afraid. Why am I crying? I am not hurt. I am not in danger. Why. Why. Why.

I know what happened to me. I want to get better. I know I have to do this even though I don't feel strong enough. I know I can get through this because I have people who will support me. They will support me even though they know what happened.

I feel fear. I feel anger. I'm so angry. Why did this happen to me? I didn't do anything to deserve this. I was just a kid. I had so much potential. I could've been something. I had hopes and dreams. Why am I stuck? I keep thinking things could have been better if that never happened. Maybe I would've been done with my degrees by now. Instead, I am stuck. Just running in this wheel, making excuses to not finish my thesis. Pathetic, pathetic.

Feeling sorry for myself. Pity party. That's what he would say. Even though he is not here either, I hear him in my head. I hear my mother in my head too. I hear my father in my head, my grandmother. I hear them. Everyday, they tell me how I'm not good enough. Not smart enough. Not attractive. Overweight. Lazy. I hear them, over and over. I can't see past their voices. The whispers are coming back. Why, why. I've been doing so well. The medication, it's been working. They have been quiet. But ever since I started reading this book, they're back, I hear them.

They say I'm a liar. That I should keep it to myself. Don't spread rumors. No one will believe me. I'm not lying. It happened. Believe me, believe me.

I never wanted to be sexually abused by my father. Who would ever wish for that. Heavy breaths, so hard to breathe. My eyes are blurry. I have to read at least a page, two pages, three. I have to. It's hard, it's difficult. I'm still alive, I can do this. I can. I can. I can. Even though –

Rain. Darkness. Breathing. Touching. No, I don't want to. Please stop. Please. Don't do this. Please.

Rush

Yesterday was my appointment with my counselor or as others may simply call it therapist. I’ve been seeing my counselor for nine months now. I used to see my counselor every two weeks. I have been doing monthly visits since I started my medication. I will try out a month and a half. I think I’ll be fine, but we’ll see. If I ever need to schedule my appointment sooner, it won’t be a problem. I’ve been waking up earlier than nine hours for the past couple of days. I’ve started dreaming again. I haven’t dreamt since starting Remeron. Strattera wears off at night and I’m back to my old self when I wake up. I almost decluttered my closet. Instead, I reassembled a table and fixed my computer area. I did manage breakfast and coffee though. Breakfast today is my favorite: an acai bowl. I’ve been playing around with ratios to get the proper thickness. Nothing beats the slushy texture of two packs.

Yesterday I woke up and got ready for work. My counselor appointment was before work. I really don’t like doing anything after seeing the counselor. I like to relax, reflect, and repair myself. That wasn’t possible yesterday because I had actually missed my appointment last week. I was still figuring out how many hours of sleep I needed. I spoke about my parents with my counselor. About things that really bothered me or memories that kept recurring over this past month. I will probably write about it one day, but not today. I just kept saying, “I don’t know why these memories have come back to me, especially after so long.” I had done my makeup so crying was not an option. Look up and breathe and talk slower. That’s my trick to keep the tears at bay and to not ruin your mascara. I just wanted my counselor to know what had happened. I wanted someone I could trust to know what happened.

I don’t know what I’m going to do about my mom. I worry about her but at the same time I don’t really care (what’s she’s up to). My mom is not #1 mom mug material. I know that she tried her best to make the best of things when I was growing up but for me I saw so many opportunities she outright declined because of her pride. She was a single parent, she could’ve gone on welfare. My grandfather offered to send me to private school, but she said no. We could’ve lived with my grandfather for a time but my mom would rather have her pride at the expense of her children’s’ well being and education. I could’ve been a better person, maybe a smarter person, had I been given the environment and education. But no, I’m just me. Average intelligence, struggling with childhood trauma, and only knowing that I must work hard but I’ll never reach the level of those who are superior to me because of socioeconomic status.

I am envious of my step-sister. Ever since she was conceived my step-father had laid out a nurturing environment. She was given everything she needed to excel in academia. She went to the best schools, had the best tutors. She was valedictorian at the best school back home. She went to an ivy league school. She did her post-baccalaureate at another ivy league school. She has the recommendation of a very high political figure from back home. She has all these accolades and accomplishments. Next to her, I feel so worthless. My step-father felt really sorry for me that I was not given a better environment. That even now my own mother does not support me in anyway. My step-father was the one who paid for my education. He helped me get through my bachelor’s financially. My mom didn’t pay a single cent.

Here I am now, doing my masters but struggling to just continue my project. The reason: I’m not making the time for it. It’s as simple as that. If I lead a more structure life, if I kept to a strict schedule, I know I could do it. Maybe I could start with an hour a day. Or maybe two hours a day. Just do a bit of progress. Just a little bit of work everyday.

I said that I would have my data collection done by the summer. Summer is almost over. I can do it.

Yesterday after my counselor’s appointment I went to a bookstore and bought a notebook. The current notebook I’m using has a coffee stain that stains all the pages. It’s not the best thing to look at. I bought separate notebooks for work. I used the bullet journaling system during my course work and it really helped me. I want to be better with scheduling and with how I manage my time.

Last night after work, I accidentally spent five hours just watching TV. That’s something I definitely need to stop doing. Tonight is my last night of work and then my day off is tomorrow. I want to finish tidying today so that the technician doesn’t have a hard time installing my new internet.

I’ve gotten rid of a lot of clothes and just things in general. There are some pieces of clothing that I like wearing because they’re easy and comfortable. But I don’t like wearing them anymore because that’s not the image of a person I want to be.

I lost an earring yesterday. It must’ve come off when I removed my helmet. I should probably get ready for work.

Control

Another day of morning pages. It’s a pretty cool feeling to have something scheduled at the start of your morning. I’m doing laundry and making something to eat, but it’s close enough to my start. Not sure why, but this is the second occurrence of waking up at 6a. I sleep with the curtains open so that when the sun rises it will fill my studio. When I woke up it was still dark. I woke up again around 10a, went back to sleep. Finally woke up a little bit before 1130a and decided to stay awake. Yesterday wasn’t so bad, I only had eight hours of sleep. I felt a little tired but I was alright. I didn’t feel groggy.

I’m a bit out and in this morning as far as my attention goes. A ‘friend’ needs a favor but I can’t help her. I’m helping her find someone who can help her. I don’t know why I’m helping her, I’m not obligated to. Also I’m doing laundry. Today is one of the few days I actually have off. Toaster oven toasted bread is probably my favorite type of toast. It is thoroughly toasted. I wish I had a bigger area for my computer area, but I suppose it’s better this way.

This is turning out to be a really good breakfast. I have two slices of toast: one with jam and the other with a bit of hazelnut butter and jam (strawberry jam). I’m having my toast with a dark roast coffee that has a bit of vanilla syrup and soy milk in it. Good pairing.

I just reserved a car for December. My partner is flying out to visit. I have already made arrangements at my part time job for vacation. My partner isn’t of the departure date though. Hopefully it will be figured out well before so I can adjust the car rental.

I’ve been talking to my best friend more often these days. We have been best friends for over 10 years. We have never met in person. I want to meet him. Maybe after I graduate I will go and visit him in London.

I’m not a fan of the hazelnut butter.

I’ve been watching this show called The Tudors. I’m hooked on Reign but there hasn’t been an update for awhile. I really want to start reading history because of these historical fiction drama type shows. I don’t know how to start. I remember when I was studying U.S. History in high school it was a drag. I remember I was so bored during the class that I would skip around the book just to look at the pictures. I never took a government class. I kind of wish I did, especially with what’s going on right now. I received a letter from a senator. It was one of those mass sent letters letting citizens know that the senators are there to serve them. Lucky guess, but I bet it’s to quell all the protests.

I bought a $60 clock. It charges my phone, has a usb plug, can play music from my phone, has an FM radio, dimmable LCD screen, and is an alarm. It’s pretty neat. I keep it near my computer. I would love to have it near my bed, but my pet chinchilla will more than likely chew the cord.

I love the idea of writing, but I could never be satisfied with the pen or the notebook I would carry.

Counter

I read this article about a writing exercise called ‘morning pages’. I thought it would be a good idea to implement it. My mind races at night and I feel that is when I’m most creative. But, I want to train myself to switch my creative peak from night to morning – or at least when I wake up.

I’m currently on an anti-depressant that helps me sleep, it’s called Remeron. With the help of my doctor we figured out which dosage suited my needs better. A 15mg dose makes me sleep for 12+ hours. A 30mg dose decreases my required number hours of sleep to 9. So far, I have been waking up around the same time, regardless of what time I go to bed. I usually wake up around 10a – 11a. I already know that in order to get up earlier you must go to bed earlier. I work a night job and I usually get off around 11:30p – 12:00a. My commute is about 20 to 30 minutes. So by the time I get home it’s 12:00a – 12:30a. When I get home I clean my pet chinchilla’s cage and I let him out to play for about an hour. Around this time I am hungry as well. I should really fix my eating schedule, it’s really messed up.

I have been recently diagnosed with ADHD – who doesn’t have it these days (that’s how I feel)? I am on Strattera. It’s nice because it counters Remeron as far as appetite goes. Remeron makes me eat a lot, I’ve actually gained weight back because of it. Into the fourth day of the Strattera starter pack, my appetite has decreased. I was wondering why I didn’t feel like eating at all. I didn’t even feel hungry. When I got home I had to eat something even if I didn’t feel like it. All I ate yesterday was a fast food meal (burgers, fries, soda, snack sized ice cream).

July is almost over and I haven’t progressed at all on my research. August is almost here and I’m supposed to have finished my data collecting over the summer. I’ve been working at my part time job a lot. I think I’m pulling almost 40 hours a week. I was struggling with how many hours of sleep I needed.

It’s just frustrating that ‘I’m so busy’, when in reality all I’m really saying is: I don’t know how to manage my life. That’s the truth of it. I sat down at a cafe last week Sunday, planning out my week. Besides work, I didn’t get to do most of what I scheduled. I figure that 30 minutes of time allotted would equate to three pages worth of writing. I type faster than I write anyway and I want to use this old laptop more often. I barely use it. I finally have it set up where I can sit and use my laptop, so it’s a waste that I don’t.

I guess I should write out what my goals are, even though I feel as if I have written them a hundred times.

Short term goals:
– Finish my data collection
– Write the introduction and materials and methods of my thesis
– Write an entry a day for my blog
– Use my bullet journal daily
– Sleep consistently
– Exercise at least 60 minutes per day
– Not to rush!

Long term goals:
– Graduate with my MS Spring 2018
– Lose weight
– Be happy
– Manage time better

I haven’t taken my ADHD medication so I am somewhat restless. I keep getting up or I keep attending to other things. I tend to pause and either stare at other things or fidget with something else. In fact at this moment I just realized I started twitching my foot while writing. 8 minutes and a half left. I should have silenced my phone too. I was about to check my phone but instead I put it on do not disturb.

I have learned that there’s no need to rush to check messages or calls. There’s no need to rush to check your email. There’s no need to rush to watch the next episode. It will be there whether or not you check it now or later. I’ve also learned that you don’t need to rush to respond to someone (I mean of course this doesn’t apply to medical circumstances). If someone calls you when you’re not available, there’s no need to call right away, call them when you’re free. If someone messages you when you’re not available, you don’t need to read their message, you don’t need to respond right at that moment. In a way, I miss the old days when we weren’t so connected. How in order to communicate with someone who lived far away, you could only write letters. Or in order to catch up with your friends you had to physically be together or plan a time and place in order for you to share things with one another. Even telephoning, you had to be at your house in order to receive a phone call. You were talking in real time and you couldn’t do anything really, unless you had those really long curly phone lines or a cordless phone.

I miss the days of analog when people spent time with people, rather than their mobile devices. I’m not anti-tech, I love technology. I just find it so heartbreaking that I can’t connect with others in person. Instead, “send me a text”. I despise apps that allow others to keep up to date with your life, depending on what you post. I want people to ask me how I’ve been, what I’m up to, what my plans are. To ask me to have lunch, to have coffee, to catch up, to live a moment, an afternoon, an evening with me.

I just want that personal connection that you can’t get with a mobile device.

Sleep

I pulled an all nighter Sunday night. I finished grading papers at about 10am Monday morning and slept for three hours so I can be coherent for the meeting later that day. After the meeting I was exhausted and hungry. I stopped by McDonald’s to unwind and gorge myself. I went home and knocked out at 6PM. I did not wake up until 11am the next day. It was glorious. I had an incredibly bad headache all night. It finally went away when I got off work. 

School is finally over…for now. I have a month to get it together. Finally start on my research. Finally start lots of things. I’m really excited to start again. But, right now I just need sleep.