Always Something

I don’t write much on this blog anymore. I have another blog where I write messages to my daughter that I want her to see later on, but for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to write this on that one. I guess it didn’t seem to match the overall theme.

I’ve battled depression for as long as I can remember. I don’t know if depression paints your memories with macabre-tinted glasses, but it’s definitely hard to think of a time in my life when I wasn’t like this.

Recently I have been so stressed and so overwhelmed that I don’t know what to do with myself. I have literally cried myself to sleep the last 4 nights in a row, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so stressed in my life.

Not too long ago I watched this show called “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and one of the central themes was that the main character kept deluding herself into thinking she could make her life better by chasing after something else, that it was something about her circumstance that was ruining her life. But it was something inside all along.

I’m starting to feel that way, and it feels odd to me that I didn’t think about it sooner.

I know I have depression.

I know I have anxiety.

I am open to the possibility that I may have more underlying issues.

But even so, when I am entirely too overwhelmed and can’t function, I always tell myself, “As soon as this is all over, I’ll be so happy.”

But I never am.

Never.

In high school I was always stressed about friends. Relationships. Grades. Getting into a good college.

Then in college I was worried about more grades. Finding jobs.

After I got pregnant I got stressed about the baby. Finishing school.

Now I have to think about the stress of finding work. Of moving out. Putting together the means for the beginning of the rest of my life.

I feel no happiness anymore. I feel no excitement. I can’t remember the last time I felt excited about anything honestly.

I’m supposed to graduate from college in a month and I’m not excited. I’m supposed to go on a beach trip with friends in 2 months and I’m not excited in particular. I’m supposed to go to London and Paris in 4 months and I don’t think I’m excited.

For lack of a better description, in recent months I’ve somehow become emotionally dead inside. I have so many mood swings, I’m quick to laugh but quicker to cry. At this point if given the opportunity I don’t think I would hesitate for a second to jump off a bridge.

Something feels very wrong inside me. I feel no happiness. No love. No excitement. Only fear. Anxiety. Depression. Hurt.

I go through the motions of every day life but I am by no means living.

I tell myself that by next year I’ll be out of school and land a decent job and move out and be a happy functioning adult and I’ll make time for hobbies and be a PTA mom and learn to do some things I’ve always wanted to try.

But when I think about it, I’ve always done this. I’ve always been stressed. I’ve always told myself that the future is going to be better, and then it comes and I am still so overwhelmed with depression. I am both disgusted and taken aback with how little regard I’ve had for my own life lately.

The thought of suicide has always been appealing. Not “appealing” per se, but the thought has never not been an option in my mind. I need help. I am so desperate to feel something besides misery.

I don’t know why I took the time to write this out.

My original intent was to highlight the fact that depression isn’t something that you canĀ  work your way out of. It’s not something that is due to circumstance, necessarily. Circumstance can definitely aggravate the condition, but it is not the cause.

No matter my circumstances, I keep feelings this way. And I am drowning and I don’t know what to do but I am trying so hard to hold on.

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Back At It

Hello! My god, I haven’t posted on this blog in forever. I made my new blog so that I could separate my posts about motherhood from personal posts, but I guess I’ve learned that once you have a child, there is no separating your parenthood from your personal life. In a way it’s wonderful to be tied to someone like that (I mean, she’s literally 50% me), but on the other hand it’s a little exhausting.

I guess this post will be more of a rant if anything.

So this semester is my first time taking a full course load (12 credits) in a year. I honestly thought I could handle it, but I’m starting to find that I really, really can’t.

Here are the reasons why I’m freaking the fuck out:

1) More credits

Last semester I only took 6 credits online. The spring before that I took 12 in class. But there’s a difference.

The 6 I took last semester were psychology classes, and I already have a good foundation of psychology behind me. I already knew, for the most part, what was going on, or I would just have to build on my existing knowledge. Now, I’m planning on switching majors to business (marketing to be exact), and I have absolutely no experience with college level business courses. So not only are there more, but they’re all brand new, and require a COMPLETELY different frame of thinking than my psychology classes did.

2) Online

The 2 classes I took online last semester were nothing. I already had a lot of previous knowledge and they were pretty simple for the most part. Plus, they were both “pace yourself” classes with no fixed schedules.

The classes I’m taking this semester are COMPLETELY different. They have weekly schedules and deadlines to meet, and there are a lot more assignments than my previous classes had. I’m finding it exceedingly difficult to be able to keep up with the course work.

I feel like if I had taken these classes in-class rather than online I would be under a lot less stress, because in class I would have people to talk to and a lecture to listen to, but in my house, not only do I have to combat the feeling of general laziness, but I have my daughter to take care of.

3) Ember

My baby is not even 3 months old yet. She requires A LOT of care. Her day works like this: nap for 1 to 2 hours, wake up, eat, poop, play, sleep again. Repeat. High school had gotten me adjusted to this “do all of your homework in one sitting” mindset, and that worked for me for 5 years. Now all of a sudden it’s “constantly start and stop, and sometimes stop in the middle of a thought because the baby is crying”. Ember has finally gotten into the habit of sleeping 5-6 hours in a row at night, every night like clockwork starting at midnight. For the first week I thought “Maybe if I try to get it all done during that time span I’ll be good”. But no, no I won’t. Turns out staying up all night when you have a baby will kill you during the day.

When Ember is awake, she wants to be entertained. She will actually cry of boredom. I have to play with her. If I sit her down in front of the TV, she’ll usually stop fussing and watch, but the thing is that I don’t want to do that to my baby. I don’t want her to be a brain-dead TV head before she’s even 1 year old. I’ve considered dropping her off at my relative’s house some days of the week so I can go to a library or something a study in peace, but the weather is so bad that every time she goes out she ends up getting sick and I can’t let that happen.

So pretty much, I am a nervous wreck.

My anxiety had gotten better over the past month, but recently it’s almost been right back where it used to be.

Thankfully I don’t have suicidal thoughts like I used to. It was a really rough 2 months after Ember was born, but thankfully I’ve been able to pull myself out of that. This anxiety is more like an, “I am so stressed and I have so much to do that I literally can’t function thinking about all the stuff I have to do”.

People don’t understand how dangerous the “depression/anxiety” pair works when it comes to academics.

The depression, by itself, leaves me hollow and unfeeling. It leaves me paralyzed in bed unable to move, sometimes so numb that I let my daughter cry for about 10 minutes before I have the strength to get up and give her whatever she wants.

The anxiety, by itself, makes my body start to overheat, and I start having panic attacks over the smallest things. Little arguments can make me cry and hyperventilate. Thinking about something stressful can make me heat up and start nervously scratching myself until I bleed.

The depression and anxiety together puts me in bed, with no energy, scratching myself until my arms bleed while my head hurts trying to strategize a way to get all my work done in time. Once I have my mental homework schedule planned out, I remain in bed, still without energy, and panic, constantly revising my schedule because I lack the mental capacity to execute it with efficiency. When I finally get the energy to get my textbook out, the words are blurry and my mind is racing with panic and I start to cry because I am so worried about failing that the thought of failing is what is actually leading to my failure.

You can read that paragraph and tell me I’m insane, and others will probably agree with you, but I swear to god that describes me on a good week.

I feel in my heart that I won’t go spiraling into a pit of suicidal depression again, but I’m feeling such a horrible stress I’ve never felt before, and I honestly don’t know where it will lead me.

It Was Only Just A Dream

“So I traveled back, down that road.
Will she come back? No one knows.
I realize, yeah, it was only just a dream.”

Just A Dream, Nelly

I had an interesting but mostly horrifying dream last night. It put me in this downtrodden, melancholy mood all day, and it’s been haunting me ever since.

– Begin Dream –

My boyfriend called me and asked me to meet him at the mall. He said it was an emergency. I was excited because I thought it was going to be my surprise baby shower.

When I got to the mall, I found my boyfriend sitting on a bench. For some reason the mall was dim, and the bench he was sitting on was in front of what looked like a shady nightclub. He looked tired and dirty. I sat next to him and asked him what was happening. He told me to turn around.

There I saw my best friend that had killed himself over a year ago, sitting next to me and smiling. I started screaming at the top of my lungs. I couldn’t calm down. I jumped and wrapped my arms around him to make sure he was really there. I could smell the cologne he always wore. I could feel the self-harm cut scars on his arms. I could feel him there, I could feel his soul.

I asked him so many questions. I wanted to know how it was possible that he was really there and I was in hysterics. He couldn’t stop smiling. He told me that his parents faked his death, so they could keep him home and abuse him, and that they had spent the last year and a half trying to “beat the gay out of him”. I was furious. They faked his death, they had a whole huge ceremony, they had a private family-only funeralĀ to hide the fact that there was no body.

I changed from tears of happiness and confusion to tears of injustice and outrage. I wanted to kill them. I was planning on killing them. He kept telling me to calm down because it’s all over and they can’t hurt him anymore. I didn’t know what to say, so he just kept hugging me, and I just kept crying and hugging him right back.

– End Dream –

I woke up crying. I felt so much pain. I wanted him there with me. During my first few moments of consciousness, I forgot that it was a dream and I thought I had just discovered something horrible and that I had to save him. But no, it was just a dream.

Bobby is really gone. I will never see him again no matter how much I want to. I’ll never feel his warmth or see his smile, I’ll never sing with him again, or listen to him play the piano. I’ll never get to introduce my daughter to him. He’s gone in every sense except my memories.

I love him so much. There was so much pain. And it all came rushing back when I woke up, like it was the first time I heard that he died. In that short dream, he came back to me.

But it was just a dream.

18 and Pregnant

I’ve known for weeks now. I knew before I took the test that it would come out positive.

My boyfriend came to spend Valentine’s Day weekend with me. As a surprise, I got a Plan B pill so we could forsake the condoms for the night. 95% effective. 5% ineffective.

No matter the circumstances, here we are. Here I am. Here it is.

I knew the moment my period was late that this was why. The nausea, the extreme fatigue, the cramping, the food aversions and cravings, the breast tenderness, the dizziness, everything.

Of course my immediate thought was, “What am I going to do?” I’m 18. I have no job, and I don’t know if anyone will hire a pregnant teenager. Abortion is the obvious choice.

This is my conflict.

I have always been pro-choice. What a woman does with her body is her choice. If you want an abortion, I think you should be able to get one. My dilemma doesn’t stem from whether I can get one, but whether I want one. I always thought that if I got pregnant before I was out of college, I wouldn’t hesitate to get an abortion. But now that it’s here, and now that it’s actually happening, I find it hard to make a concrete decision.

To abort

To abort is the obvious answer, or at least that’s what everyone is telling me. But my question is, obvious to who? Obvious for what? People always say that having a baby at this age will ruin your life. That my education would suffer and I wouldn’t be able to live a good life. But why does it have to be that way? Yes, if I abort then I will be able to continue my college education and my young adult social life the way they are, “as if this never happened,” as someone said today. But it wouldn’t be like that. Because I’ll always know, and I’ll always feel regret. I’m currently seeing a therapist for severe clinical depression, and I feel an abortion would push me beyond my limits. Yes I’d be able to stay at school, but at what cost?

To keep

The unpopular social opinion. I think in no way will having this child “ruin my life”. I definitely think it will put some plans on halt, but who says that’s the most terrible thing? When people think of teenage pregnancy, they think of the horror stories. The girls getting kicked out of their homes forced to work jobs they hate to raise children they couldn’t afford to begin with. But it doesn’t have to be that way. My family is arguably well-off, and I’m Filipino. Filipinos have a very, very, very strong sense of family. A handful of my cousins have actually had babies at young ages out of wed-lock, and they’re very happy with their lives and their families right now. People have told me that it’s possible to take a semester or a year off school and come back. I see no way that this child will “ruin” my life, merely begin a new one in a new way.

One of the biggest factors that’s influencing my decision is a conversation I had with my mom before, when I first started therapy. I told her about the extent of my depression, and my suicidal tendencies. She confessed to me that I took them from her. She said that she used to be the same way, but things changed when she had children. It was like suddenly she wasn’t living for herself anymore, she was living for me and my brother. I believe this could happen for me. I believe things may go the other way if I have an abortion.

I still have time to make a decision. This child was conceived on Valentine’s Day, which means at this rate it’s probably only a month or so. Nothing is written in stone.

I never thought I’d ever be in this situation. I never thought I’d be “that girl”. But here we are. Here I am. Here it is.

Here it comes.

A Deep Freeze

Elsa

My goddess.

*FROZEN SPOILER ALERT*

I really hope everyone watches Frozen because it is such a good movie.

I’ve been thinking of writing a movie review about it because it touches on so many important topics, but there’s something from this article that surprised me. While watching I thought I had picked up on a lot of the very many issues it addresses (the gay family, the fact that no one questioned a single queen’s capability to rule on her own, Elsa calling out Anna on her rushed engagement immediately) but the article mentioned something I probably never would’ve guessed: child abuse.

The king and queen are seen as a lovely couple, but more importantly as loving parents. When Anna got hurt and they wanted to hide away Elsa, I didn’t think much of it. I thought, “They want to keep her safe, they don’t want people abusing their daughter, they don’t want Elsa to accidentally hurt Anna or anyone else, they just want what’s best for her” etc etc. But what the article pointed out is that, in essence, that is what modern child abuse is like. They made Elsa feel like a monster. They made her feel like she was a blight on society that should be kept in isolation, and they made her, pretty much, just feel like shit. But it didn’t look like it.

This was a hard concept for me to think about, until I thought of an example of child abuse in my life.

My friend B, who killed himself last year. His parents took him out of public school, and told everyone it was because he was being bullied. They never said what for (because he was gay) which, like the king and queen, they thought was a monstrosity and dangerous. They wanted to keep him away from people, and people away from him. They told him he needed to suppress his bad thoughts of homosexuality, much like the king and queen wanted Elsa to contain her powers. They made him feel like shit, until he ended his life rather than being who he was.

I’m sure if Frozen was written by the Grimm Brothers, that’s how Elsa’s tale could have ended. But instead, she ran away, and finally found a sense of self-acceptance. Something I wish B could have experienced. I wish he could’ve lived long enough to “let it go” and face the world for how beautiful it really can be. I wish he didn’t see himself as a monster.

Frozen was incredible. 10/10. If you haven’t seen it yet, I really think you must.

Baby’s First Therapy Session

Though countless counselors have been recommending I get professional help since I was in middle school, I had my first therapy appointment last week.

I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and social anxiety.

It was nothing I didn’t anticipate.

I was very interested in the experience though. Of course, I answered completely and wholeheartedly with nothing less than the entire truth, but I was very cognizant of how she was speaking to me. I aspire to be a therapist in the future. Everything she said and did was of vital importance to me.

Mostly, it was an hour full of her asking me question and giving me suggestions about how to approach things that make me happy. She told me that if I was with any other psychologist, they would most likely have put me on medication, but she didn’t want to. Instead she gave me a long list of lifestyle changes I can do to naturally increase my serotonin levels (the hormone in your body that produces pleasure/happiness etc). Just basic stuff, like dietary changes, exercise habits, maybe listening to music or meditation etc. I found it very interesting.

I’ve gotten a list of professionals to see here in college now that I’m off vacation. They say it would be good for me to continue seeing people.

When I told one of my friends what the diagnosis was, he replied with something I didn’t expect anyone to:

Were you at all surprised by those results?

He didn’t say it in a sarcastic or mean way, but he was genuinely curious. And to be honest, no, I wasn’t. I mean, I can take a hint. Ever since I was 12 school counselors and teachers have been telling my parents to send me to get professional help, and all this time not seeing one, I’ve just been assuming that something was horribly wrong with me.

Hearing the therapist say I was clinically depressed was almost exciting. It almost justified all those years of crying all night and all those panic attacks and all those terrors.

Hopefully now that I’m finally seeing someone, I can begin the path to recovery.

The Longest Year

It has officially been over one year since I’ve seen my best friend.

Image

I leave his picture above my bed so we can chat after a long day.

My best friend B tried to commit suicide on February 11 of this year, and died on Valentine’s Day, which has forever been soiled in my heart.

I remember November 10th.

It was my dad’s birthday party. B came over to hang out with me. I remember us watching Tyler Oakley videos for the good part of 3 hours. B was gay, and his Christian parents home-schooled him. He had never met another gay person before, and Tyler Oakley was the first gay person he’d ever “met”. I remember we watched Tyler’s Chubby Bunny Challenge on repeat for at least half an hour.

I put makeup on him for the first time. He told me one day he might like to be a drag queen. I laughed. That picture up there was the final result of my makeover.

I also did his nails. He wanted something bright and happy, like his personality. He settled on a rotation of neon pink and orange. He was such a cutie.

That was the night he tried Filipino food for the first time. He loved the pancit (noodles) and the eggrolls. My family thought he was adorable. Everyone thought he was adorable.

Now that I’ve typed it out I guess he had a lot of firsts that night. Granted they were little firsts, but it’s the little things that add up in life.

My last memory is dropping him off home. He rode his bike there and I didn’t want him going home by himself in the dark (it was like 11 at night) so I asked my dad to drive him. It took us like 15 minutes to fit his bike in the back of the car. We laughed the entire way, and I can’t even remember what our last conversation was about. I remember getting to his house. I was too lazy to get out of the car because I was exhausted from a busy day, but when I think about it now it kills me. Instead of getting my ass out of the car for 10 seconds to give him this last hug, I stayed in the car, rolled the windows down, and waved as we drove away. That is my last memory of us together.

Hindsight bias is a bitch, but I’m gonna say it anyways.

If only I had know. If I had known it would be our last time together, I would’ve shown him the Deathnote series. I would’ve baked him my famous cheesecake. I would’ve taught him about gay sex (like he always asked me to because for some reason I knew more about it than he did). I would have done anything he wanted. But most of all, I would’ve gotten out of the damn car and hugged him for all my life. I would’ve breathed him in and felt his warmth and remembered him exactly the way he was.

He died on Valentine’s day. I missed out on his last 3 months of life. It’s hard making plans with someone that’s home-schooled and strictly watched over (his mom rarely let him out of the house besides for Church functions).

One last biggest regret. For the entire winter season, I was a tutor at the elementary school right across the street from his house. I always thought about just dropping by, but I never did. Every Wednesday for 4 months I passed by his house, but I never went to see him. I could’ve seen him every day. I could’ve talked to him every day. But I never will. Never again.

I regret not being there for him as much as I could have.