The Prodigal Daughter Returns

I skipped last week’s session. I didn’t skip on purpose. It just sort of happened. I swear.

My boss had words with me about my schedule. Apparently, she only lets salaried people not make up for holidays (days when the spa is closed) if they are also willing to work overtime in non holiday weeks. So, I had Easter Sunday off, but I had to work on one of my days off to make up the hours. I think she’s worried about where money is going and wanting to get price changes in immediately but realizing she made that decision right before i was going to go on my weekend. I’m not a fan of how things went down. I feel like she doesn’t always divulge her expectations of me to me until it’s more of a disciplinary conversation rather than a “This is what the job is so you know for future reference.”

She also made it seem like I didn’t want to work extra hours because I wouldn’t be getting paid anymore. Again, she’s dealing with a lot of money concerns for the business, so everything’s about money. I was offended though. I’ve only been in the workforce for four years. I’ve already spent time working ninety hour weeks. That has traumatized me. I’m neurotic about only working forty hours a week because I value my time and sanity. There’s a certain point where throwing money at me for my time and sanity isn’t worth the toll working long hours takes on me.

So, that’s why I missed.

It kind of messed with my scheduling plan. In fact, even though I went into this determined to be flexible and acknowledge how life is unpredictable, I’ve been thrown a lot of different things that have rendered my daily planning useless, in mostly good ways. Still, I found myself binge watching videos of the Korean boy band EXO and panicked a little. That’s what I was trying to get away from, listless binging of Korean things.

I mucked up my Instagram and Pinterest. I’m following A LOT of Korean celebrities. Bless them for their posting restraint. I’ve also started a K-shame board on Pinterest. I don’t think it’s shameful to find Asian men attractive. What I think is shameful is that I’ve become obsessed and let it dominate my life. So, yeah, that board is secret from the world.

Overall, I think I’m doing good. I’m almost to 100 pages on my story. I spent the past two days dedicating a lot of time to writing. I’ve really enjoyed that. I think next week I’m going to go home to do laundry, but I’m also going to try to schedule in some much needed cleaning. I haven’t been practicing Korean or listening to the Bible this past week. Still, I feel like I’m doing something, which is what the real solution to the original problem was supposed to be. I felt like I had no purpose and that I was wasting my life. The feeling is bound to come back, but right now it’s not present.

I’m hoping the dietary change is helping. It’s only been three weeks, and I don’t know when that sort of thing is really supposed to show results. I hate walnuts. I really and truly dislike oatmeal. I power through though because it’s not just eating food to enjoy food. I see this as medicine. These foods have properties that are supposed to help alleviate my depression and anxiety, so I plug my nose and swallow. It’s like taking pills and syrups that taste like shit. You just gotta do it and wash the taste out of your mouth later.

I have enjoyed eating the yogurt and the homemade trail mix. I also enjoy eating a little bit every three hours. I don’t each much, but for the most part I feel full throughout the day. It costs a bit more to buy all the fresh fruit and such, but if I wasn’t doing this, I’d be paying much more for doctor’s visits and medication. We’ll see how it goes moving forward.

Deuces.

Love,

Roonil

End of Week One

It’s almost the end of week one, at least. I’ve been following my scheduling. It’s gotten creative with cancelling events and scheduling new ones. I can’t say that I’ve followed it to a T, but I have followed it. I’m regularly doing my Korean lessons, exercising, writing, and listening to the Bible.

I’m super tired though, even though I’ve been getting eight to nine hours of sleep a night. I’ve actually scheduled myself a bed time. So, I don’t know what my problem is. I have a suspicion that its formal name is Depression, which is infuriating. I’m exercising. I’ve stopped drinking caffeinated beverages after four. I’m drinking sparkling flavored water-which-isn’t-water-but-blow-me-at-least-it’s-not-pop. I feel like I’m taking proper steps towards being a healthier person, but it’s still lurking in the background.

I know that I’ve only been at it a week. I need to see how things continue to go. Maybe my body is just getting used to the activity. I don’t know. Every thing seems sort of like a bullshit answer everyone always says.

 

I can’t take medicine. I don’t have the money for a therapist. I definitely don’t have money for a psychologist. I could probably get average behavioral medicine from my general practitioner, but how much would they know? How much would they be able to work with me on dosage? I need uppers and downers, and when that’s your need, there’s a lot of subtle shifting to get the perfect blend for your brain.

I guess I just need this scheduling/exercising/being active thing to work because I don’t really have anything else right now.

Yeah.

I’m going to go then.

Love,

Roonil

I Call Bullshit

Dear Therapist,

Let’s be honest. Outside of my frustrations with myself – feeling like I don’t talk about the things I need to talk about with a therapist, feeling like I’m lying, feeling like the majority of therapists I’ve talked to end up talking about their own lives rather than listening to me talk about mine – I need a real human being to say words out loud too.

I almost gave up on this blog to get a real therapist. April marks a year since I last cut myself. I’ve spent the last two weeks nearly breaking my streak. At the same time I feel all of this pain and then I feel dead inside. I can’t level out because every small thing sends me into a new tail spin. It’s bad. I know it’s bad, so I did the smart thing. I called my new insurance to see what it covered as far as mental health.

Turns out, even with health insurance, I can’t afford to see a therapist. Welcome to America, where you pay a lot to not see a doctor. It was a scary moment. Before, I was just being a stupid, lazy, asshole who just needed to go see a doctor. Now, I’m just straight up alone and helpless. That’s how it felt for an hour.

I can’t just do nothing. The likelihood of me committing suicide is already much higher than the average human. I can’t be Anastasia riding the train and instead of jumping off and hoping not to die upon impact of the snow drift, ride the train straight over the edge of the cliff towards certain death. I have to find something, try anything, and survive somehow.

So, I’m scheduling myself. I’m not allowing free time, not that I’ll do something harmful if I’m not entertained at all times. It’s that I let myself fall into this stupor where I’m on the couch watching Korean dramas for hours while mindlessly scrolling through social media on my phone. That could kill a person, depression and anxiety aside. I’m scheduling out my day so I have time for social media and K-dramas, but I also have time every day to start working out, to write on my story that’s shit but maybe I’ll still finish it, to listen to the Bible from Audible, and to practice learning Korean 30 minutes a day. I’m giving myself time to do things that better me and make me happy when I do them regularly. I’m breaking everything up into smaller chunks so that I feel more fulfilled.

I’m also really going to try to stick with working out. Not to loose weight. I mean, I wish someone science-y would come along and ask me to be a part of their experiment which ends in my being thin with straighter teeth and thicker hair. Also, in these fantasies they make it so I can speak eight foreign languages, I can do ballet, and play piano, plus I’m just ridiculously smart and maybe can do some form of martial arts. I want it all. A girl can dream, you know? So, obviously, if I lose weight, awesome. I’m more interested in the endorphins. I’ve seen that through my many bouts of exercise, quitting, new exercise, quitting that my depression doesn’t fall so low. I can’t tell you how aggravating it is that exercising really does help because I don’t want to sound like that person who’s trying to tout this healthy lifestyle that solves everything. But, alas, working out keeps my depression from drooping too low and I don’t lose it at every little thing.

I’m also going to start researching good foods and vitamins to help endure what’s happening in my brain. This is not where I feel comfortable. I have no issues popping pills and finding the correct dosage to make me feel somewhat normal. Intrinsically, I’m anti-holistic. However, I’ve realized I gotta do what I gotta do to survive.

So that’s my goal. It’s only Day Two. I’ve hit a few bumps, but I promised myself that I’d remember to be flexible because life laughs at timetables. I take it as good practice for the long haul. I’m choosing to have good thoughts and hope about this plan.

Catch ya next session.

Love,

Roonil

The Chicken or the Egg?

Dear Therapist,

Someone at church gave me a book, which is stressful. As much as I like to read, I really hate when people give me books because there’s this perceived deadline of reading it quickly and returning the book and thanking them so much for giving you this opportunity to read an amazing book I never would have had the chance to read otherwise. The truth is, maybe I don’t like the book. Maybe I need this book five years from now to really appreciate it. Maybe I don’t have time to read this month. Maybe I’m in a reading slump and you giving me a book just drags sandpaper across an already festering wound.

This book extra stressful, though. She gave it to me so that I can talk better about myself. I am at my core self-deprecating. I fully acknowledge that when I talk about myself to others, I drag myself through the mud. I know. I know that people don’t understand it or like. She’s the first to actively try to prevent me. Part of me really and truly appreciates her for that. It must be the same part that looks at the book and thinks maybe it will solve my problems. Maybe if I learned how to think nicely about myself, all of my problems really would go away. I’ll be able to cure my own depression and anxiety.

Sometimes the mean thoughts do weigh me down. They do. It feels like they sit on my chest for days while I slowly suffocate. Only, I have to ask what comes first, the chicken or the egg? Giving me this book and saying it will help assumes that I have bad thoughts about myself and that’s what causes the abyss of depression and terror and wildness of anxiety. It seems logical. If you pour negativity into your mind then it’s going to make you feel icky. I don’t think that’s my problem.

I don’t feel like my ticker tape of thought is as negative as my speech is. A lot of me talking to other people is thfear-fueledled attempt to make people love me and think I’m funny without coming across as too arrogant and annoying. I often say a lot of shit I don’t actually mean. I model my speech and behavior to match the person I’m with. I intrinsically put myself on their level so they’ll like me more because we like people who are like us.

The speech doesn’t explain away the real issues I have. It doesn’t explain the gnawing questions of “What am I doing?” “Why am I alive?” “What’s my purpose?” that genuinely haunt me. Those questions don’t make me think mean thoughts against myself. It’s not like my immediate answer is “You’re stupid. You’re untalented. You’re worthless.” Instead, I feel like I contain this foreign currency of intelligence, talent, and worth that isn’t spendable in the world. I don’t know how to convert it into usable currency in life. And, then, there are moments where I simply can’t answer why I’m alive. It’s not that I’m good or bad, I just can’t see why I’m here or why I’m putting in so much work to stay around. Why I’m I not just giving up, you know?

Any articulated thought about my depression and anxiety are not my biggest problems. It’s actually a bit of a relief to put words to the feelings. At least a fraction of the mess inside my head is definable. I’m comforted by that small fact. What scares me is the pure emotion. Today, I’m stressed. I have so much to do. It feels like I don’t have enough time in the day to finish everything. (It is, of course, unhelpful that I chose this exact moment to write a blogpost, but I thought I’d have a break down if I didn’t.) I wish I could define or explain what I’m feeling to you or anyone. The feeling is crescendo-ing though, and I really feel like I might hurt myself.

It’s an energy build up and my brain is screaming that something has to happen or change. I have to jump onto a new track or I’m going to crash and explode. I’m riffling between music stations, playlists, Korean dramas, Netflix shows, all in the attempt to find something that levels me out or feels like enough of a change to direct this energy away from pain or destruction. I’m also fighting the surprisingly large voice inside me that says “Cut yourself.” Somewhere along the way I’ve trained myself to think that cutting releases that energy build up. It forces a climax and causes me to crash, but in that crash I’m able to level out or deaden myself enough to continue moving forward.

I’m ashamed of it. I hate that my brain works that way. There is some rational part of me that knows I’m not solving anything. I’m just hurting myself. It’s rational enough that I haven’t actually cut myself for the past year. April marks a year since the last time I cut myself. I’m going to treat myself. I think I’m going to buy myself a pair of real Converse shoes. But also, cutting is shockingly close to what I hear people in AA say. When they talk about always being an alcoholic, or that they’ll be an alcoholic for life. I get it. I get that realization that I will be battling this for the rest of my life. I’ll always have the urge. Now it’s just whether I succumb to it or not.

Writing you has made me feel better. I’m also snapping a rubber band against my wrist. Is that low-level harming myself? I feel like I see it on too many sitcoms for it to really feel like self-harm to me. The writing has been most helpful. I can take a deep breath again. But also, I should get back to work so I don’t crumble under my task list.

Thanks for listening.

Love,

Roonil