156 – The same monster with a different name.

I am feeling a lot better today in comparison to that awful morning. I realized that my writing down only negative feelings was not giving an accurate representation of the whole spectrum of my experiences. For my own sake, I’d like to reflect on the after, on how I move through my depression (and now my anxiety). Continue reading

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153 – to a hopeful new me: some resolutions.

It’s way past the new year, but I guess it’s never too late to make some goals for the year. I felt a little guilty that I missed last year so I figured it would be even more awful if I missed this year as well. I’m gosh darn awful at completing my new year’s resolutions, but it’s nice to look back to see where I wanted to be and how far I still need to go.

Here’s a little reflection on 2016’s resolutions (hella late, I know).

  • I ended up going to Canada’s Wonderland as a pre-graduation thing; that was a lot of fun – bunch of places I still have yet to go in Toronto, but hopefully I’ll have time to go sometime while I’m still in Ontario
  • I got real close to Masters in LoL in 2016…(decayed out of my promotion games) – not sure that this year will be the year, but maybe?
  • 10 posts/month was the goal…who am I kidding?
  • I did enjoy learning again! In some courses. Obviously not in the one that made me miserable.
  • I didn’t have a super productive summer in 2016, but I did do well on my MCAT retake so that was kind of worth it.
  • & lastly, I got into med school. So it seems that I’m not a total failure at keeping resolutions.

Alright. So, 2018, what have we got in store for you?

  1. Learn enough Korean to survive your exchange in July. [I really hope this works out…]
  2. 5 posts/month. This is totally reasonable. Please. [As an aside, I’d love to do some clinically-related writing…it’d be interesting to blog about my experiences]
  3. Pass all my exams in pre-clerkship.
  4. Find a reviewing system that works for me. [Most likely cheatsheets. Maybe flashcards? Oh, and a question bank.]
  5. Learn to knit something new. [& maybe crochet??]
  6. Go back and visit friends a few times.
  7. Write and actually send a letter to my mom [Instead of throwing it in the recycling, never to be seen again. Why am I like this?]
  8. Become a healthier person [This is terribly vague, but essentially just nutrition, exercise, skincare, & mental health. Maybe make-up from S Korea so I can be prettier? That’d be nice for my self esteem…]

This list seems achievable, so I’ll leave it at that before I start to add things that might not be so simple to achieve. I finally feel ready for you now, 2018. It’s about time. 🙂

152 – Life is always worth living.

This is a confession – one that’s had a long time coming. It’s been a long while since I’ve been able to bring myself to really process and reflect on things happening in my life. I suppose I was riding the wave, trusting that it would bring me to where I would need to be, whilst closing my mind from all the negativity that was tearing me apart. In a way, it worked. It got me this far. But it’s time that I called out my demons in such a way that they won’t keep coming back to hurt me.

I was in an awful state of mind for most of my undergrad senior year. Most of the anxiety and feelings of worthlessness stemmed from my thesis project. Nothing seemed to be working out the way I envisioned it to. While everyone else was making progress on their projects, I felt that I was continuously hitting a dead end. Even simple reactions that were shown to work by my supervisor somehow turned into a mess of unrecoverable chemicals. While no one in the lab wanted to put me down nor did they ever make me feel ostracized or unwelcome, I felt another piece of whatever self-esteem I had left break off and shatter every time I walked through those doors.

Things got worse throughout the year, instead of the better that I was promised. I set fire to a waste bin because I forgot to thoroughly clean a syringe of a highly oxidative reagent. A lab mate’s quick thinking saved the situation as I just stood there frozen in the fear of what I had just done. I almost wish they had kicked me out of the lab for good then. Maybe I would’ve been spared all of the misery that continued to pile on after. The only consequence I received was increased supervision so that an accident like that wouldn’t happen again. And of course, I would fuck up again a few months later by forgetting to turn on the ventilation on the glove box after purging it. I was a walking disaster so to speak.

I wasn’t okay. By February, it was clear that I was sinking further and further into a hole I could not crawl out of. I very much should’ve given up and dropped the course, but I felt that I couldn’t approach the administrator after he had given me a special pass after handing my application in late. I didn’t want to let yet another person down.

My friends at school knew I wasn’t happy with the course, but they probably didn’t expect that it was destroying my mental health. They were surprised when I broke down at the poster presentation where you had to present your research to professors. I felt incredibly stupid, like I didn’t know anything after months of trying to get a grasp on this project. We buried that day in alcohol with my friends saying silly things about the prof that put me down in order to cheer me up. As much I would like to put it all behind me, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that hollow feeling of worthlessness that drowned me.

Things spiraled out of control so easily and so quickly. I should’ve gotten help somewhere along the process, but didn’t. I would never suggest that anyone attempt to deal with something like this alone, but I did anyway. I genuinely wanted to kill myself several times over the course of those two semesters. I spent more nights crying myself to sleep than I can count. Even now, I feel like a disappointment looking back on how little I had accomplished.

The little things saved me. The little things that told me repeatedly that life was still worth living. Attending class and dinner dates with my friends. Playing video games. My favourite drinks at Second Cup whenever I was having a tough day or had a late lecture. The many “I miss you” messages from my mom. Knowing that I would be somewhere better next year. And my boyfriend at the time…(whom I cannot thank enough for being my escape from all of the misery; our recent break-up was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done).

I just wanted the time to make this blog as a reminder of why life is always worth living. Depression is not terminal. There will be good days just as there are bad days (or bad years). While it takes a great deal of strength and courage to commit suicide, it takes just as much to continue struggling through this hell and persevering. Sometimes it can be easy to feel alone in this great big world, but you’re never alone in feeling that way. Even on the nights when the sky is grayed out, you can rest easy that the stars are still out there somewhere in space. Even when the world seems to be full of darkness, there is light somewhere beyond the horizon. Believe in it. There will always be a chance for things to get better. Hold onto it and don’t you dare let go.

140

Got a long day ahead of me tomorrow, but rather than thinking about it, I’d like to do a little reflecting.

Reading week went by so fast. Spent a lot of it playing league, sleeping, eating, and generally ignoring the whole ‘reading’ bit.

Went to the ROM with Alina last Tuesday. It felt really good to get lost in history, art, and really cool objects. I *love* dinosaurs. It’s fascinating to think about what the earth would be like if they never went extinct. Of course, we probably wouldn’t be around if so, but still. Dinosaurs. ❤

Well at least that’s one destination off my list. 🙂

Kind of wish I had done more studying during the break, but I also understand myself enough to know that it’s almost impossible to find myself doing work when I don’t have to be doing work.

Bad habit. Working on it. Kind of.

If I do badly on tomorrow’s assignment, I’ve got no one to blame but myself. Meh. I can live with that.

Found myself constantly refreshing the information page for the internship I really want for this summer. Got worried they weren’t going to be having any this year when I checked the interviewing period for last year. Sent an email to the person in charge and luckily, they responded with an indication that it will be happening this year. I know it’s bad practice to be placing all my bets on this one opportunity, but I really didn’t want to be doing research this summer. Worse comes to worse, I’ll go home for two months and take studying for my MCAT retake seriously.

Starting watching anime again recently – though I’ve been trying hard to stay away from ongoing series (they really take a toll on me via the constant anticipation and checking for new episodes). Did start watching Erased (boku dake ga inai machi). Liking it so far. Really hoping for the happy ending for the protagonist – he really deserves one. Will write my thoughts on the anime when it completes (only 5 more episodes according to the wiki).

Recently finished Gate (meh, too happy) and Mirai Nikki (main protagonist too cringefully stupid) and working on Another (scary, but interesting).

Also picked up Shingeki no Kyoujin (the manga) and The Gamer (the web series, tons of fun to read). The Attack on Titan plotline is so complicated that sometimes I get confused, but reading people’s theories on it have got me thinking and really wanting to read more. Apparently the author had decided to change his ending (which apparently was all the humans dying or something to that effect) since it was too depressing and unsatisfying to the readers. Will be interesting to see what he has decided to do in place of that.

I feel my inner otaku emerging after months of not really paying it much attention (and indulging in korean dramas in its place). Sometimes I feel like I should get some hobbies that don’t involve in lying in bed in front of a computer screen. Other times I feel like I should just be me.

Maybe I should find a balance. But that’s never easy. Will try anyway.

Oh. One more thing.

>Insert reminder here to write about some of the games I’ve really enjoyed over the past year.

Will probably do it after I finish Danganronpa so I can lump all my gaming reflections together.

Nothing makes me happier than finishing a really satisfying video game and I’d really like to get some of those thoughts down so I can look back on it years later as a good dose of happy nostalgia.

130 – a crazy, but likeable friend

Was on my way to meet someone for an interview at Starbucks (for the Brain Day exec committee).
Saw Victor across the street (think I mentioned him before; he’s another undergrad in the lab).
Waved to each other.
Normal people would stop there.
Victor isn’t normal.
He looked like he was gonna jaywalk across the street (a really busy downtown street), which was stupid since the intersection was so close by. 
So I yelled at him to stop, “NO, DON’T DO IT!!”
But he did it. (And no, he didn’t get hit).
Apparently, someone walking by who saw it said, “He likes you.”
I didn’t hear it myself. Probably too distracted by the stupid, dangerous act.
I kinda responded to that comment with, “of course people would think that,  you do crazy shit all the time”.
He proceeds to tell me how he failed to jump from the nearby ledge to another at 2am at night, thus falling to the ground below. And how he attempted it again with friends around.
He really doesn’t learn.  Sigh. At least he admitted it.

The sheer ridiculousness that he is though kinda cheered me up.
Like what kind of friend runs across a busy street just to say hi.
It’s so dumb I couldn’t help but laugh.
Made this awful heaviness a little lighter.
I feel a bit better.

I think this nice, stupid, risk-taking, extroversion is what makes him so likeable though. 
Like we literally cannot go out for a lab lunch without someone recognizing him and saying hi.
I really admire that.
Perhaps minus the stupidity.

122 – just a little thank you.

I grew up with more or less the same group of friends. We’ve known each other since preschool/kindergarten/grade 1 and we lived through our elementary and high school years together. Birthday parties. Sports. Hanging out. Video games. Movies. We were close for a while, but gradually grew apart – as friends often do. But we’re still good friends that have loads of history (and too many stories that are too often brought up thought they act as nothing but sources of embarrassment, but friends will be friends).

I just have so much appreciation for the one friend in that circle that never forgets about me even though I’m off in this far away land and everyone else is back home.

Even though there’s no way I can attend an event back home, you invite me anyway.

Even though I can’t hang out with everyone, you bring me into a conversation discussing where and when we should hang out.

You are the only one I regularly keep in touch with (partly my fault on that regard).

And even though these are little things, they mean a ton.

I would say these words to your face (metaphorically speaking since you’re so far away), but you’ll probably be weirded out ’cause that’s how our friendship is.

We don’t say the words out loud.

But we just kinda know.

So thanks, Ceci (even though you’ll never read this).

I love you a lot, girl. ❤

110

So I’m officially the Treasurer for the CSU (Chemistry Student Union). Yay. That NY resolution is achieved. So I can cross another one off the list. 🙂

No one was running against me, so I automatically got the position. Which is both a relief as it meant I didn’t need to be anxious about public speaking and a disappointment at the same time as it means there were fewer people running this year. There was still a fair number of people there listening to speeches and running for other positions so it means we weren’t entirely unsuccessful this year. Maybe we just chose a bad time for the elections. Hmm.

I’ve been feeling really moody lately. Agitated. Irritated over little things. Part of me believes it is due to the fact that my period is coming around soon (it should have been here today…?). Another part of me believes it’s another part of a mental disorder I may have. A third part thinks that it’s just normal. Moods change constantly – it doesn’t necessarily have to mean a thing (could just be a shift in hormones, the weather, the air). But it’s been a good three days in which I’ve been feeling like this. At least I’m not sleeping for abnormal periods of time anymore. My internal clock’s working a bit better (meaning I’m definitely not depressed).

Spring is finally here. It was raining today. Felt bittersweet. Back home, it’d be like any other day. Here, it’s a rare occurrence and one that I Don’t particularly mind. It’s relaxing. Listening to the sound of the rain against the bus windows. Against the pavement. Against the roof above your head. Which is probably why I’m writing this entry (it’s not raining anymore, but the rain does get me into a writing mood).

On a different note, one I haven’t touched on in a while…I finished reading Liar Game. It was, for the longest time, my favourite manga of all time. It touched my psyche and intellectual interest in a way that no other manga ever had. I say, it was, because the ending left me quite unsatisfied. I was necessarily unsatisfied with how it ended, but rather how rushed it was. It got me thinking, “I waited 5 years for the manga to finish, for this?” The last arc was disappointing and lacked the same amount of finesse that Kaitani Shinobu-sensei brought to the other arcs. I understand that sometimes series are rushed to a finish (due to loss of fan base or pressure from the publishing company), but there was so much potential in the manga. I loved it so much that I guess I would’ve been unhappy with anything less than perfect – it was an okay end. Not the worst possible way to end it, but it wasn’t done well. Ugh. Thinking of all the series I abandoned five years ago and that are completed now and are waiting for me to finish, I’m feeling anxious. I don’t want to be disappointed again. I think the main one I’m concerned about is Dengeki Daisy. Another manga that blew me away six years ago. I need to finish it.

To be perfectly honest, my compulsion towards wasting away my time on the computer doesn’t seem very healthy. I spend a ridiculous amount of time playing video games, reading manga, and now I’ve proceeded to an increased interest in watching TV shows (House, Survivor, Masterchef). I think I need to let go of everything for a while. Not necessarily right at this moment, but I think I need to pick a week for which I don’t touch any of these things. Live outside the computer screen for a while. I think I’ll start when my exams begin. See how it goes. Lessen my addictive nature because I know I am biologically prone to addictions (especially gaming ones).

I was all over the place with this entry.

But it feels right to me.

It feels like me.

Jumbled, erratic, contemplating, reflective.

Yeah.

I should get going.