135 – Pressing “Restart”

Been overwhelmed over the course of the past two weeks. Can’t think of a better word to describe how much I couldn’t really handle the things that were happening around me.

Got sick last Monday. Likely a viral infection. It got worse as the week went by and I actually don’t know how I survived. Did two midterms I didn’t really study for. BS’ed a lab report together last minute and then completely butchered the pre-lab that needed to be done before the lab. School was a nightmare and it’s safe to say that I probably didn’t do well on anything that week.

Recovering slowly now. Can feel some of the heaviness lifting off my shoulders – especially as the long weekend approaches (thank goodness for reading break).

Also found out that I got a little mini scholarship from my college (U of T is divided into colleges) for having a decent GPA. $500 isn’t much in the face of a $7.5k tuition, but it’s something. This made me really happy for all of lone second before my brother killed it with some bad news.

My uncle had passed away from cancer.

I’m actually still not sure which uncle.

But I would rather live with the uncertainty right now than have to face a reality that could turn out to be much worse.

All the information I have is from a Skype message with my brother – the vaguest person alive (exaggeration, but not far from the truth).

“Uncle” could be anyone.

In Chinese culture, “uncle” is a very vague designation.

Anyone could be your “uncle” provided they were close or close to your family.

But “uncle” could also mean your real uncle.

As in my father’s brother.

As in his twin brother.

And I can’t imagine how that would feel. Losing someone with the same face as you, someone you grew up sharing everything with.

For the first time in a long time, I feel sad and sorry for my dad. He may not be the greatest person in the world, but no one deserves to lose someone they love.

But all of this is speculation.

It all comes down to the fact that I don’t know shit.

And probably never will know anything concrete about family affairs (other than my aunt and grandmothers whom I have at least met and love).

In Vancouver, there was already a barrier of communication. Now I’m in Toronto, there might as well be a Great Wall between us.

And just thinking about this pushed me into a state of depression.

Spent Halloween night just crying (and subsequently had to lie every time someone asked me what I did for Halloween). I don’t think I’ve ever felt so alone in my life. At least back home I always knew what my mom and brother were up to. Now I don’t even have that (except for the ~biweekly calls I make back home).

All this isolation was devastating to me.

Made me want to give up and just go home.

But I can’t.

I’ve come so far and to throw it away would just break me even harder.

And so, just like every time you reach a GAME OVER in a challenging video game, I have to press RESTART.

Because it’s not over till it’s over.

Every time I hit a slump,

I just got to reset my mindset and carry on.

Remember the good moments and let go of the bad.

This might be a bad analogy, but I’m going to put it in here anyway to cheer myself up a bit – I always love applying the things I learn in class to my own life:

Just like a treadmilling actin filament in which the minus end is breaking and the plus end is building it back up, as part of me is breaking, another part has got to be strengthening up. And just like in the cell, this breaking and building will propel me forward.

——

P.S. Rest in piece, dear uncle. No matter if I knew you or not, I’ll pray you have a good afterlife. We will miss you.

101 – Recovering from a bad week.

It’s going to be okay.

I know that, but I can feel myself crashing.

I’m not sure those 12-hour Wednesdays were a great idea…but at least there’s only a couple of them left. I can get through this. Just have to be more prepared.

After just having recovered from a 5-day migraine (I didn’t even know they could last that long?), my period decides that it’s a great time to come along. It isn’t. It really isn’t. I don’t need 5 days of pain followed by more pain. Physical and emotional at that. I can’t really deal with all my feelings right now either.

Slept a lot over the weekend since I couldn’t really focus on anything with this awful migraine.

Been browsing the Nosleep subreddit. There are some really good horror stories. Just well written and captivating ones that have really led me to an appreciation for the genre as well as the subreddit. I used to read a lot when I was younger and mysteries/horror novels were a phase. I guess it’s come back to me.

Finished three midterms so far. They got sequentially worse. The first was alright. The second was tiring. The third was a straight up disaster. The third also happened to be the Chemistry one. As I continuous fall below my expectations in Chemistry courses, I’m beginning to doubt if I chose the right field of interest. Am I any good as a Chemist? Having doubts. Hopefully they’ll clear up as I study more.

I walked into that Chemistry midterm feeling ready.

I clearly wasn’t.

I thought I understood Molecular Orbital theory at a fundamental level. Enough to deal with diatomic molecules or molecules centred on one atom. Enough to do well on this mid-term.

Thinking about it now makes me realize that I probably failed that mid-term. A “legitimate” fail (<60).

I hope some kind of miracle happens.

We talked about Depression and Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression) in our Abnormal Psychology class today. I didn’t learn anything that was completely new nor was it all that helpful towards my understanding of the mental disorders. But it wasn’t bad. We went over things slowly and thoroughly. I think so anyway.

Made me wonder if I really do have bipolar disorder. I know that if I do, it’s type II (hypomania & mostly depression). I know that it could also just be a matter of my hormones going up and down all the time (growth and menstruation). Time will tell. I know that I used to get depressed even before I hit adolescence. If it continues after I’ve matured a little more, then I’ll know. I don’t know if I should seek treatment.

Would treatment motivate me more? Would it make me happier to have a psychologist to talk to? Probably. For the most part, being able to write out my thoughts serves the same purpose. I don’t think I need therapy as much as I need support. I’d like friends that understand me. I also know that that requires me talking to more people and actively trying to make the effort to maintain my relationships. I’ve never had the motivation to do so. Never had the self-esteem in that regard – I don’t think I make a good friend.

Yes, I know. A change in attitude is in order.

It’ll come.

Hopefully.

I’ve also been quite homesick. The cold weather. Inches of snow. Static in my hair. Having to do everything on my own. It’s all been getting to me. Some days, all I feel like doing is giving up and staying in bed. It’s warm and safe in bed. But that would truly be a problem. That would be dysfunctional as my Abnormal Psych prof would put it. That’s abnormal. I would need help then.

Where has all my motivation gone?

I thought I had so much after writing my New Year’s Resolutions.

Maybe it’s just this horrid week.

Let’s make that attribution.

I don’t want to dwell on this.

I just want to get better.

I want to feel the hope rush back into me. I want to feel whole, I suppose as I definitely feel broken at the moment. I’m hoping that some relaxation this weekend will fix me up. I can’t relax too much as I do have another midterm coming up next week as well as some assignments. But I think I need to take the time and fix myself.

I’ve been struggling to find my smile in the midst of all this stress, gloom, pain, and fatigue. I know I will though. I know that there will be better days. I just wish that they would come quicker.

68 – I want to go home.

I thought I could do it. But I guess I extended my wings a little too early. I think it’s time to call it quits. Back to the nest.

I am losing me. Losing friends and not really gaining any. Losing my writing. My love of art and words and the combination of the two. I have lost the flavours I once loved and indulged in, the freedom I once wielded in my hands.

The city is killing me. Inside and out. My body feels weaker with everyday. Sick. Again. and again. and again. I value health over happiness and I want to be healthy again. I’m not sure that happiness is to be found here anyway.

I miss my old city. The mild weather, the rain. It’s funny, but I really do miss the rain. Miss hearing the clatter of it against the windows. Miss losing myself in wanderlust, in the droplets against the glass.

But I have learned something being here. And regained something too. I have learned that happiness is completely in the grasp of one’s own mind, that no one dictates how I feel besides me. Time away from family has taught me that. Here, I don’t have anyone else’s expectations to worry about – just mine. Just self standards. I have regained my love of reading and that is something I am utmost grateful for. I can once again lose myself again – I can find myself in another city, another time, among another group of people. I have discovered, once again, a different kind of freedom that I had thought only existed in the mind of a child’s imagination. But it appears I was incredibly wrong. Books are timeless, ageless – they maintain a sparkle of magic that can be activated by any mind. I love that.

I will write more. I have been so wishy-washy with my feelings of wanting to blog more and then end up not doing it. Everyday doesn’t seem to be happening, but I will try for more. More. One step at a time, I suppose.

I want to go home.

doors

you open your door

 

only for me

to stare

at mine

closed shut

against the world

 

i place my hand upon

the knob

twist but

do not dare

to push open

 

let it

recoil

that is all

i’ve ever done

 

i slam

a lock

upon its

restless self

not tonight

i tell myself

not yet time for me

to open up

 

cringe-worthy cries

and shattering shrieks

i still hear

the demons

lurking

beyond the

wall

 

i ask you to save me

and you ask in return

how?

 

well darling

i think

dealing with

those demons

is

a good start

50

When it comes, it bears no warning, no foresight, no kindness.

It hits you hard; not like a hurricane, not like a bolt of lightning, but like a rock projected straight to your heart.

It’s confusing because it messes with your thoughts.

It’s blinding and you can’t explain it.

It seems like a friend, but do not be fooled.

It is empty.

It is void.

It overwhelms all else.

It will pull out your darkest, most dearest secrets from the past so that you can relive them and hate yourself more.

It lives off your tears. Sweet as nectar, as juicy as all the lies that you have told – lies you tell to conceal it. It doesn’t like to be hidden.

It’s scary; because you don’t know how to get rid of it, because it comes when you least expect it.

It comes again and again and again. Haunting, hurting while you’re still healing.

Once in a while, you may recognize it right away, whisper its name into the air for no one in particular to hear.

Depression.

48 – Disappointment

I’ve been having nightmares lately.

Not just once or twice.

But every night.

It frightens me to think about what it might mean. What’s wrong with me? Psychologically, I mean.

I’ve been sleeping a little too much since it’s spring break and I really needed the break to refresh myself. I’m thankful for this.

The nightmares. Vivid. Tantalizing. I’ve never had so many dreams not go away the instant I wake up.

A room of snakes. An academy scarce of liberty and filled with strangers. A chemistry test and a demon-possessed teacher.

I know the motivations behind that last one – I still haven’t gotten over how badly I had done on the last chemistry test. That can’t happen again. I promise.

What’s fueling this evil in my mind?

Too many video games?

An irregular sleep pattern?

I’m not myself.

I’m possessed by disappointment. Of others. Of myself. I’m suffocating in an emotion I’ve never been comfortable with. Yes, I’m aware that I have a series of exams in May I can’t afford to do poorly on. Yes, I’m aware that my piano exam follows right after in June. Yes, I’m aware that nothing will ever come out of all these hours on the computer, tapping away in a virtual reality. Yes, I’m aware that I’m a mess. Still, this makes me happy. This other world. So why can’t I just be happy?

I just want to be alone, but everyone is determined to make that goal unattainable. At the same time, I fear loneliness. I’m probably bipolar.

I feel so numb.

I don’t let anything take my smile from me, but it’s harder these days.

But I’m happy, right?

I’m supposed to be happy.

I’m leaving on a trip…in a few hours. For a few days.

I’m supposed to be happy.

Lost.

I’m terribly lost.

Can you find me again, like you did the first time? Make me feel safe atop my stronghold? Consolidate me with the words I have always cherished?

I just want this nightmare to end.

46

It’s just a little sad that I don’t feel comfortable opening up to you. I don’t usually feel like I have your undivided attention and thus, I don’t want to say something that you’ll just brush off like any other comment. I know there are others that fill up your world, but I want you to realize that you take up a continent of mine. It’s difficult. These awkward periods of silence and ignorance. But I won’t stop. Because the loneliness doesn’t go away without you.

I’ve tried to tell you many things, but changed my mind in the end. You’re a little impatient and when I hesitate, you move on right away. I’m no good with decisions. You’re no good at waiting for me to make them. I’m sorry it’s this way. I’d change it if I could.

There are times when I want to run away because I just don’t know what to say. I’d hate to be a bother. I’d hate to be someone you no longer look forward to talking to. I’d hate to be hated.

I’m a good listener or at least I try to be, but sometimes, I know there are things that you cannot open up to me. I won’t pry. Some parts of your world will always be secret to me.

I’m lonely. It’s hard to admit that sometimes, but I think it’s better to know it than to be in denial. It is onerous to express myself in front of my friends. When I try, I miss every opportunity.

I know that if I asked for it, you’d stop and listen. You’d shut away everyone and everything else for the moment and listen to what I have to say. I know that if I asked for it, I’d receive that unimpeded attention that I’ve always craved. That I always will crave. If not from you, then from someone else.

For now, just that thought alone – just the thought that you’d abandon all that is around you for me, is enough for me.