I’m Fooling Myself.

I lied.

I wrote a post this morning and basically deceived myself thinking that I’m okay. And going through all these obstacles is okay. And it’s not.

Today was hard. And it was supposed to be an easy day. I got stuck in traffic, which we haven’t had traffic in the mornings for about a year due to the pandemic. When I saw the traffic, I immediately “OF COURSE this would happen” (sarcastically and angry at the same time). I just barely made it to grab some coffee and get to work on time.

My co-teacher next door was out sick , same with my reliable floater teacher. So I had to help with the sub and an assistant teacher from a different classroom (that doesn’t spend too much time in our classes). I was worried about how her students would react, but they were fine. And it was my class that had a difficult time. Literally, nothing changed in our classroom and they acted like our routines didn’t exist and that it was okay to not listen to me. I was frustrated.

I’m already having a hard week with family contracting COVID and in the hospital. And worrying about them and the rest of my relatives.

Then my f*cking therapy session got cut short due to connection issues.
Work has been more frustrating than ever.

I’ll probably write a blog post about it on Saturday (when it’s exactly a year that my life changed due to COVID).

But I’ve been teaching during a pandemic…by myself….for a year.

It doesn’t get any easier.

And I really understand why so many teachers have quit, especially in the past year.

It’s soo hard.

It’s not fair. I know that every teacher has different experiences teaching during this time.

But thinking about my experience in the past year, it was not fair. And it’s not okay. And it’s not okay that I stayed and continue to stay.

I’m not okay.

What I’ve been through is not okay.

What I’m going through is not okay.

& I need to stop thinking that things will get better someday. It sounds harsh, but it has NOT gotten better. And I’m just fooling myself that there is light at the end of the tunnel. BUT I’m just going through the same f*cking cycle over and over again.

There’s no light.

What’s terrifies me is that I see all these posts about people getting engaged, married or having a baby.

And I don’t see that for myself.

I don’t think I’ll ever get married.

Or start a family.

And that’s all I wanted since I was about 5 years old.

I don’t understand why I get put in these stressful situations.
I don’t understand why people just leave me with no explanation.

I don’t understand why these things happen to me.

I don’t understand.

I want to feel better.

But I need to stop fooling myself that I’m okay and things will get better.

Because the more I fool myself, then the more that I’ll feel worse and things won’t get better.

I’m not okay.

I’m not okay.

-MEL

I’m Sorry Mel.

I apologized to myself today.

I had a really rough week at work. I’ve had rough weeks before, but this one tops them all.

(Let’s put it this way: I’m about to lose my voice and I have two pimples. And I haven’t had pimples in years).

Today, I just woke up and had a epiphany.

I apologized to myself, because I shouldn’t have known better, than to let some guys let me feel like sh*t.

After another dating app fail, I decided that I need to delete those apps. And not go on for months…. probably for the rest of the year.

I got so used to talking to someone, almost on a daily basis this past year, that I got addicted to it.

I have been on and off dating apps for years. But I haven’t been so hooked on it before. Typically when I would see conversations fading and I can see that I have no need for the app, I would just delete it and go on with my life.

But I guess last year, when everything changed in the world….so did my experience with dating apps.

I’ve noticed that many guys were looking for a “casual” relationship. It felt like 70% of them did. It’s probably due to quarantine and not seeing others. But it felt like no one was really looking for a real relationship.

One of the guys that I met (online & in person), we began talking right when COVID hit San Diego. And our lives were forever changed. We talked pretty much daily and it took about 3 months, till we video called and actually met each other. But once I started to have feelings for him, then that was the end of us.

I talked to someone daily for 3 months. And it felt so nice.

I don’t have any friends nor don’t have anyone to really talk to. So when that ended, I really wanted someone to talk to. Because I got so used to it.

Then I talked to another guy daily soon after. Then his ex just randomly showed up and that was the end of us.

After that, I decided that maybe it’s best to take a break from dating apps. I even told my therapist that. Little did I know that it became worse after that.

The loneliness began to hit me. And I was just craving to talk to someone…anyone. I even tried the BFF version on a dating app to meet friends. But it seemed like, no one really went on that app.

So then I began talking to this last guy (the one I’ve been so depressed about)…

And I thought it was great, that he doesn’t text often because I should be used to it (uhh I’m stupid).

Then I got hurt….and depressed. And had suicidal thoughts. Because it started affecting everything else in my life.

And then this past week, I was talking to a guy. We Facetimed last night, it wasn’t so great.

And I woke up today thinking… “WHAT AM I DOING”

I realized how it’s the end of February and I spent a majority of this year (2 months) getting depressed over a guy. I was extremely hurt by him and I don’t know why? My therapist brought this up in a recent session. She asked how I felt when I had a break up with a boyfriend. I told her that I would get really depressed. And then she asked how long those relationships were. And I said, “the first boyfriend was 1 year and the second boyfriend was 8 months”. And then she asked me why I felt as depressed with this guy, when we were just “hanging out” for less than 3 months.

I told her…. ” I have no clue”. And I still don’t know.

And looking back at how depressed I was this past month, how worthless I felt and all the crying that I did. I was so hurt.

And I let myself get hurt.

I LET MYSELF ONLY SEE THE BAD PERSPECTIVES OF THE SITUATION. AND I LET IT AFFECT ME.

My therapist brought up another thing…..

I want some companionship. I needed it.

I haven’t had a friend in a long time. And no matter how much I’m preparing myself to get used to being so lonely. I need a friend. And she also brought up how much people need human interaction for their mental health and well being. And I’m not getting it.

Earlier this month, I blamed myself for that guy not texting me back. I started looking at my actions and pointing out things that I did “wrong”. I blamed myself for losing the friendships that I had.

It makes me so sad thinking about it. I BLAMED MYSELF. When I didn’t do anything wrong, I just did what was best for myself.

I blamed myself for friends not communicating with me and not supporting me. But a friendship is supposed to be about communication and support. It’s not my fault. I pretend as much as I can that I’m okay for the sake of others. But it gets to a point when I’m tired of pretending and want my true emotions to show. But then it can be interpreted as being rude or being shy. Or whatever.

It’s not my fault. But I let my mind think it’s my fault.

That f*cking guy barely communicated with me. I always had to ask him to Facetime and hang out. He didn’t have the decency to just be honest and say that it wasn’t working out. He just didn’t do anything and I let my mind create all these negative thoughts.

I need to focus on myself again.

My mental health is deteriorating and it’s affecting my emotions and my body.

So I’m going to have March as a self-care month.

No dating apps. Doing the best that I can at work, even though it’s been so stressful. Doing more art. Trying my best to not stay at home as much during the weekends. Because being at home more often, means my mind just plays tricks on me.

I told myself as I was driving home today…

“I’m sorry Mel. I’m sorry that you had to go through all these intense emotions these past couple of months. WHEN YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO. I’m sorry that you felt so depressed and had suicidal thoughts after some a**hole ghosted you. YOU DIDN’T DESERVE IT. I’m so sorry that you had to go through all that”.

I made some mistakes and let my mind go to the negative route of circumstances. And it greatly affected me.

We can’t go through this again.
We won’t go through this again.

-MEL

JOURNAL JOURNEY.

One of my ways to self-cope/ease my mind from depression and anxiety is to journal.

I have two sources for journaling.

Sometimes I just write in a journal, simple as that.

Writing on this blog is another form of journaling to me. Because sometimes when I think about something, I think it is worthy enough for others to hear my thoughts/experiences. So it can hopefully help someone else in the long run.

When I journal, I typically put music on in the background. Youtube videos and movies would distract me too much.

The music ranges from: coffee jazz music to now Christmas jazz music to Disneyland background music and today was: Ben Platt’s Netflix special.

I have many many journals.

And they each serve a different purpose:

  1. Daily Journal- I like to keep memories of the day, by writing what happened throughout the day. I’m getting older and I also forget things. Sometimes I go back months/years back and like to read what happened on certain days, when memories in my mind or the lack of photos make me forget what happened.
  2. Therapy Journal- This journal is to write things that I think about before/during/after therapy. Sometimes when I want to talk about a certain subject I will write in this journal, so I can reference it during therapy. I write important concepts that I want to remember, that was discussed during therapy. Also, I write things that happened after therapy such as, after an event that was discussed during therapy.
  3. F*CK ANXIETY JOURNAL– this is my second anxiety journal. This journal is basically where I write all my anxieties that keep me awake or won’t escape my mind. It’s a place where I can put my worries/fears/anxieties, so it can leave my mind. Sometimes I write: the facts and what happened, then the WORST POSSIBLE SCENARIO, the worries that go with it. Then I take myself back to reality. I write down any possible evidence that argues with the worries. And then I write down: the next steps if my worries were true and if it wasn’t true (self coping skills). Sometimes I like to read back those journal entries knowing that everything worked out in the end.
  4. Bullet Journal- Where I keep track of everything: bills, habits, self-care, cleaning, water tracker, amount of sleep, mental health symptoms, physical health symptoms and a mood tracker. If I had a migraine, I look back at the amount of sleep and water I had. Also, I check how my mental health was and if I was stressed and overwhelmed. If I had a panic attack, I look at the water and sleep trackers to understand what I can do physically to help me mentally.
  5. Currently working on a 2020 journal- This year changed me like it did to everyone in the world. As much as I want to forget this year, this year has helped me grow as a person. And so I want to integrate every up/down, struggles/achievements, heartbreak and happiness from this year. Because no matter how bad this year was, it helped me grow so much.

I started journaling today. Because I knew that I had a lot of thoughts that could lead to overthinking, which ultimately would leave to anxiety attacks.

So I wanted to write it down to get it away from my head.

I made sure to write down the facts of what happened, reminders that I shouldn’t overthink my actions and that I should love myself, my anxieties (before it creeps up on me before it sleeps) and lastly, the great parts of the day that make my heart flutter.

If your mind overwhelms you, take all the worries and fears from your mind and transfer it to a journal or blog post.

-MEL

I’m Waiting for Something Bad to Happen…

(Let’s do a NO EDIT, write everything down post).

How many times can I say how F*CKING HORRIBLE THIS YEAR WAS?!

It just doesn’t seem real. And looking back, I think… “WAIT, THAT WAS ALL IN 8 MONTHS”.

With what’s going on in the world and with myself.

It really has affected me to the point where I’m just WAITING FOR SOMETHING BAD TO HAPPEN.

It makes me so sad that I let other people’s actions, words, even what they don’t do or don’t say affect me and my self-worth.

It makes me so sad.

I know that I’m a good and kind person. I know that I work hard and do my best.

But I don’t believe that I am.

And it gets to the point where my mind plays tricks on me and makes me overthink every little thing. And it makes me observe what other’s do or say and then my mind makes assumptions and thinks that everyone is out to destroy me.

I had a therapy session today.

And I was expressing how nervous/anxious I am for the holidays and being with my relatives.

It is something that we are going to work out in next week’s sessions.

And the thing that struck out to me was that she pointed out how those times with family doesn’t make me happy, it makes me anxious. Those weren’t the exact words, but it’s something along those lines.

And thus the whole thought of letting others affect me.

There were so many moments this year, when I couldn’t help but break down and cry.

It just felt like, it wasn’t fair. I just kept on getting hit with so many bad circumstances. I didn’t understand WHY.

I remember a couple of months ago. When I talked to this one guy after many failed attempts with other guys. We talked for a month and I started to be like, “hey this guy is pretty great”. And then all of a sudden, he stopped talking to me. After two days, he texted to me to say that his ex called him and they talked about their relationship. So he needed to think about it, so he stopped talking to me to really consider his thoughts and feelings. And I was just thinking, are you kidding me….out of all the times you could have called him about your feelings. It had to be now!!

This was during a time, where work started to settle down. I felt like I wasn’t as stressed anymore. I stopped thinking about that other guy and wasn’t hurt by what happened. And my life was finally okay, for being a sh*tty year.

And then he asked me to call him one day on my lunch break. Before I got that message, I already had strong feelings about it. I was visually upset before he texted me. My co-worker could already tell that I was feeling off and I wasn’t mentally there. After his call, I went back to work and she immediately asked if I was okay. And I just shook my head no and I started crying.

She could tell right away that something was wrong and I wasn’t okay.

And of course, with everything with work. That’s another story.

Oh and one of the most random BAD COINCIDENCES,

When the sleep study test didn’t work the first time. I remember thinking, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME….THIS TOO?”

That’s why I’m so scared.

What’s going to happen next? There HAS to be something that just tops everything else that has happened this year.

And my mind keeps on making up bad “WHAT IF” scenarios in my head. And it’s killing me.

I feel like I’m on edge, every day. Just waiting for something bad to happen.

And that’s just sad, it’s a horrible feeling.

Last Friday, I had a half day off. And honestly, getting off early was the happiest I’ve felt in a long time. I was worried about my students while driving, but then I was immediately glad that I had a break from them.

I decided to go to one of my favorite shopping centers? I’m not sure if that’s what it is. It had all my favorite food places and I knew from instagram, that they added alot of outdoor seating. So I mobile ordered some Shake Shack and ate outside. It was cool and breezy, it felt amazing to have some fresh air. Then I decided to treat myself to a couple of cupcakes from this bakery that I love.

I felt different that day. It was so nice to feel so positive about things and just not having any worries for a couple of hours.

I brought my journal that day to write some things down. And I kinda noticed how I only focused on the negative things that have happened this year. And how I have ignored all the progress that I’ve made.

Now thinking about it, I think I’ve ignored all the progress because I’m scared. I’m scared of having something mess up all the hard work I’ve accomplished.

I’m tired of being scared.

I’m tired of waiting for something bad to happen.

I’m tired of viewing myself so negatively because of others.

I’m tired of using others actions as an excuse of how I view myself.

I’m tired of ignoring my achievements and progress because I’m scared that it will be taken away from me.
I’m tired of my mind making “What If” scenarios in my head to mess with me.

I’m tired of myself….that I listen to my “What if” scenarios and it makes me even more anxious and depressed.

I’m tired.

I’m tired physically.

I’m tired mentally.

& I’m tired emotionally.

I need a break from everything. From work, from family, from myself, from my thoughts.

I just want to breathe.

-MEL

WHY AM I NOT GOOD ENOUGH?

I actually had a pretty good week at work, was soo ready for a 3 day weekend

& here I am crying….

I feel so depressed and I feel like crap.

Last week, I talked about my relationships to my therapist.

My relationships with: exes, friends, cousins, etc.

As I talked about each type of relationship, I noticed that I was repeating myself. A pattern started to form.

I would say the upside and downfalls of each relationship…and it was similar to the upside and downfalls of other relationships too.

With my exes, we would be close. Then the more I shared about my feelings, my insecurities showed. And it pushed them away…..to the point where they found someone else. They cheated on me and broke up with me.

With my best friend, we were really close. Then the more I vented to her, the more I got “Oh I see” as a response. The more I shared about my struggles with depression, the less we communicated. Then eventually, I stopped sharing my struggles to “save” our friendship. And now it’s been more than a year since we last talked.

With my cousins, again, we were close. I was particularly close with one of them. We would hang out all the time, talk everyday. But yet again, my depression & anxiety got too much. At one point, I stopped caring what everyone thought and shared more about mental health on my Instagram. I stopped pretending that I was okay whenever I was at family parties & kept to myself. But then again, sharing my struggles with my mental health just decreased the communication. And I was left out of cousin group chats and was sitting by myself during Christmas & family parties.

In all these situations, I always felt like I was the only one holding on to that relationship. If we didn’t talk in awhile, I would always initiate it. I would always suggest to hang out or talk.

I just kept holding on….wishing that they were holding on to that relationship too.

Soo.. the pattern.

  1. We were close
  2. Talk about struggles with mental health
  3. A decrease in communication
  4. Eventually, the end of that relationship (with or without closure)

My therapist told me to not let affect my own self-worth.

But I can’t help but think…it’s my fault.

WHY AM I NOT GOOD ENOUGH?

Is it because of my mental health? My depression? My anxiety?

OR

Is it just because of me….

Am I just really awkward for them? Am I just boring because I’m an introvert and homebody?

OR

Is it both?

I know that I’m being too hard on myself.

But I can’t help but think that it’s my fault.

& that I wasn’t good enough to continue the relationship…

I just want friends/boyfriends/cousins/etc. to care about me as much as I care about them.

-MEL

Trauma & Changes.

These past two weeks have been hard for me: emotionally, mentally and physically.

My week off was far from relaxing and my week back was overwhelming.

The very first day of my “vacation”, I decided to share my feelings towards this guy I’ve been talking to. I started to have feelings for him & I knew that his feelings weren’t reciprocal. To prevent my feelings from getting hurt, I decided to tell him earlier than later. I wanted to do it during my week off, that way I can give myself at least two days to feel hurt and cry about it. Then I could move on.

But that didn’t happen.

He messaged me once after I told him my feelings. Then he didn’t talk to me at all. I constantly checked my phone to see if he responded. And I couldn’t cry about it. I was numb. I started to have these feelings that I haven’t had in 10 years (when I had my last relationship).

I started to think:

  • He doesn’t want to talk to me anymore
  • He’s probably talking to someone else.
  • Did I do or say something that makes him less attracted to me?
  • Why isn’t he messaging me back?
  • And lastly, WHY AM I NOT GOOD ENOUGH?

WHY AM I NOT GOOD ENOUGH?

When I had that last thought, that really hit me.

I thought, “WHAT THE F*CK AM I DOING?”

WHY AM I THINKING LIKE THAT?

I hated it. I hated feeling that way.

I took a step back and tried to decipher all my feelings & why I was suddenly feeling this way.

I follow a lot of mental health advocates, therapists, specialists, etc. on Instagram. I’ve noticed that the word “trauma” popped up a lot on my feed. And I started to relate to those trauma posts.

When I think about trauma, I think about PTSD or a traumatic event like rape or a natural disaster. I didn’t think that I had trauma or even close to having trauma because I didn’t have any major experiences like that.

I looked at the definition of trauma and saw that it is an harmful event that can have an effect on a person many years later.

I believe that I experienced two types of events in my life that caused trauma:

  1. When my grandmother passed away when I was 14. The grief I experienced turned into depression.
  2. The two times that I experienced heartbreak. They both cheated on me, broke up with me to single. But got in a relationship with the other girl. And one of them blamed me for the breakup. The heartbreak I experienced also turned into depression.

Those two types of events have impacted me throughout my life in different ways.

I decided to have a consultation with a Trauma-Informed Coach. She told me more information about trauma. Because I still didn’t enough knowledge about it. I told her and my therapist about trauma. I told them that it was strange how those feelings of not being “good enough” came back 10 years later.

After being single for so long, I wanted to improve my communication in relationships and become stronger when it didn’t work out. Because I didn’t like those feelings I had 10 years ago.

I didn’t like that I belittled myself because I wasn’t “good enough” for my exes.

Now I know that those breakups did affect me with relationships and feelings for guys. Now I know that it’s trauma.

That week off and having those thoughts really messed me up. I was supposed to be “relaxing” all week. But those thoughts overpowered those relaxing moments. I barely ate that week and it turned into not having an appetite. Also, I felt sick trying to “force” myself to eat. And then insomnia came back…I would wake up at 3 or 4. The only good thing about that is when I would watch the sun rise.

I didn’t have anything to focus on. I was alone with my thoughts.

I was looking forward to go back to work. I wanted to be busy and have something to focus on.

Then…I went to work. And everything changed….LITERALLY.

My classroom split into two. They put a wall in the middle and made two classes in one classroom. And now my new co-teacher and I had our own mini classrooms (COVID-19 changed so many rules on ratios).

I had a long trek of being a solo teacher, getting help and trying to get her to be my co-teacher. And then they’re just going to “take her” away from me before she works full-time. I was angry. Also, they moved everything around and I had no clue where everything was.

The changes in the classroom became stressful, then my student’s behaviors became overwhelming on top of that.

I had a therapy session on Wednesday during my lunch. She asked me how I was and I started to talk about work. I spent about 5 mins explaining what’s happening at work. I was talking fast and didn’t take a breath in between words and sentences. She talked to me about it and I started to cry. She talked about how much work is having an impact on me mentally. We did some breathing exercises because I really couldn’t breathe from all the work I was doing and the anxiety that came with it.

I really need to get away from this job. It made me lose my passion for teaching.

& it’s really sad.

That one student, one class, a lack of support and unappreciative parents can make me lose my love for teaching.

I’m scared for what this week will bring.

But there’s nothing that I could do.

There’s nothing I could do about the guy not communicating with me, after I told him my feelings. It’s his decision.

There’s nothing I could do about my work dividing my classroom into two and working solo again as a teacher. It’s their decision.

These two decisions made by others affected me a lot these past few weeks.

But I just have to deal with it right now and figure out the best decisions to move forward.

-Mel

Just Because I’m “SHY” doesn’t mean I’m less of a person.

I am an introvert.

So I’m always associated with the word “SHY”.

And I hate that word.

It’s always brings out such a negative energy with it.

“You’re so shy and quiet”

“Don’t be shy!”

“She’s shyyyyy…..”

I heard that word “SHY” the day before my week off in December when I had a meeting with my boss.

And I immediately felt my heart sink and my brain explode.

From that one word.

It devalued me. It made me feel like sh*t.

It made me feel like a horrible teacher.

All because I don’t “communicate” enough with the families of my students. When we had larger problems of a student with behavior problems hurting others and ourselves. And problems with behaviors in other students. So we were on a high level of stress and being completely overwhelmed.

So from that one meeting and just working in a stressful environment, it completely ruined my Christmas and week off. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

And then a couple of weeks ago, a couple hours before my weekend. Yet another use of “shy” was said about me in my work evaluation. Basically, I got a low score on my communication with co-workers. I kinda figured it was because during work, I don’t communicate as much with teachers of other classrooms. And it wasn’t that. She basically wants me to communicate more in situations that are outside of work. She mentioned lunch (and I knew it was because I like to have lunch in my car) and that would like to see me at the staff “bonding” events or dinners (that are not paid…). So I got a low score because I don’t bond or communicate enough with co-workers on my own time that I’m not getting paid for.

That destroyed me. Ruined my whole weekend. To alleviate my anxiety at work with all the stress that I’m dealing with, I like to sit in my car during my lunch hour. Watch some videos, listen to podcasts, at times have a panic attack. And all the staff outings are always on days I’m busy and have something to do.

That word.

SHY.

I f*cking hate that word.

When people use that word to describe me, they use it to devalue and belittle me. A majority of the time they don’t know it, but it destroys me ( as stated in the above examples).

That word is never used in a positive way. At least with myself.

It’s always negative.

It’s associated with words like: quiet, introverted, reserved, loner, unassertive, unsure.

Along with SHY….QUIET is another word I hate.

There is alot of times where I am quiet.

Sometimes it’s due to my mental health like feeling anxious or nervous at certain situations so I freeze. Whenever I’m in a social event, I am extremely anxious so I can’t talk or say anthing. Sometimes it’s because I am always tired and I really just don’t want to strike a conversation. And sometimes I’m quiet because I don’t have anything to say.

I’m gonna dig a little deeper into my mental health and why I’m so quiet or shy to others.

When I was in Preschool/Kindergarten, I don’t know exactly what happened but I completely stopped talking in school. I don’t know what the situation was. Maybe someone embarrassed me or made fun of me or what I said…then I stopped talking.

I went up to First and Second grade not talking in school (which I later discovered that it is called Selective Mutism). My first grade teacher NEVER saw it as a delay in my education. She always found ways to have me participate in class without forcing me to talk. And thus, I wanted to become a teacher because of her. In second grade, ehhh not so much. I remember being so behind in my reading list. Because I was supposed to answer questions from the book. And everytime I didn’t talk, the teacher basically gave up on me.

During that time, I did play therapy at school. Where I went to school early and basically played with a therapist to determine how to help me in school to talk.

Then it was decided that I should transfer to a new school in 3rd grade. And that fresh start helped.

I know I have a lot more moments of being called shy in a negative way.

But this particular moment made me feel like I was less of a person.

When I worked at a before/after school program, I was invited to go to dinner for a co-worker’s birthday. I had no plans so I went and the co-worker was always nice to me. While waiting for a table, my director’s boyfriend just kept on poking at me that I was quiet. Like that’s the only thing he talked to me about. And I wanted to cry because I felt like I was being bullied.

Just because I’m shy or quiet doesn’t mean that I’m different from everyone else.

That doesn’t mean that I’m lazy or inadequate of doing anything.

I am a hard-working person and just because I don’t want to tell everyone everything about my life DOES NOT MEAN that I’m less than a person or that I’m inferior to everyone else.

If you are one of those “shy”, “quiet” or “introverted” individuals, don’t let everyone else make you think that you are less than a person.

Have a great day.

-Mel

Having Depression and Anxiety Does Not Make You a Bad Person.

I know the looks.

I know the stares.

I know the body language.

I know the tones in their voice.

I know the fake smiles.

I have major depressive disorder.

& I have anxiety.

I’m not a bad person.

And yet… the looks, the stares, the body language, the tones and the fake smiles directed towards me MAKE ME FEEL LIKE A BAD PERSON.

All because of my mental health.

I didn’t choose to have depression & I didn’t choose to have anxiety.

So why am I being treated this way?

I don’t know & I don’t know if I will ever know.

Is it because I don’t approach people and ask to hang out…

Well here’s why:

A. I always initiate it. Asking to hang out, it’s always me. I always suggest, initiate, ask, make plans. And if I don’t the other person doesn’t initiate, ask me or makes plans with me. It’s one way.

B. Ditched. Cancelled. Or never communicates. There are many times where plans were made and they don’t happen. Plans made, sometimes confirmed. (BTW when I make plans with someone, I plan my entire day for that individual. Cancel errands, postpone tasks, etc.) Then I get that dreaded text (but very common) the night or that day with some excuse.

C. People forget. I always remember. And I’m left waiting by my phone for any confirmation. And end up just……….disappointed.

My mom asked me a week ago if I had seen or talked to my friend. And I said NO and immediately she put the blame on me. “Well you should communicate with her” and I just walked away.

It’s always my “fault.”

It’s my “fault” that I got depression and anxiety.

It’s my “fault” that I was vulnerable and shared something deeply personal to me.

It’s my “fault” that others distanced themselves away from me because I shared about my mental health.

It’s my “fault” that I don’t want to waste my time with those who don’t support me or make me feel like I’m worth anything to them.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a birthday part of my cousin’s daughter (who I absolutely love) and I was immediately triggered. Because my birthday was a week before and I had a small amount of birthday greetings. I didn’t have any of those small amount of people greeting me..ask me to dinner or something to celebrate. And there we were a week later, having a big party (and it wasn’t even her birthday for another week). Seeing so many people give presents, make a cake, buy another cake and telling her “happy birthday” gave me so much anxiety.

But the worst part was when I walked in to the party, my cousins saw me and gave me this look. And I immediately felt anxious and uncomfortable. It’s the kind of look, well…it was kind of like a disgusted look. Thats how I interpreted it. And their body language was just weird and the way they said “hi”… everything was just weird. And I could feel that energy right away. And I went inside to look at the food (which I decided not to eat because I felt uncomfortable and anxious), they all went inside after and just walked past by me, they all were huddled at one end of the island. I immediately stopped looking for food and sat in front of the TV away from everyone.

And it seems like so childish.. the way that I’m saying this. But that’s what I saw and that’s how it felt.

(oh and it’s July 5th, one month after my birthday. And my friend who said she’ll take me out after she feels better, STILL hasn’t contacted me)

This week we had a potluck for the Fourth of July at work. I typically go to my car during my lunch break. Because (1) staying inside the building during lunch just makes the day feel so much longer. (2) staying inside the building all day, especially if I had a rough morning, increases my anxiety. It’s a break for a reason. For the potluck, I stayed inside to eat the food from the potluck. And a co-worker made a comment of “why does it feel like there’s so many people in the break room today” and I could just feel the stares heading my way. I felt uncomfortable and then I left to go to my car even though it was like 85 degrees.

I’m not a bad person.

I work hard. I do things for my family. I always think about others wants and needs before mine. I make sure to see things from another’s point of view.

And yet, the way others treat me feels like I’m a bad person.

Having depression doesn’t make you a bad person.

Having anxiety doesn’t make you a bad person.

And if others don’t support you through a hard, lonely and very difficult time.

Then I’m sorry, then they are bad people.

You have so many things happening to you mentally and physically with depression and anxiety….you need support through it.

And when others don’t support you and make you feel bad for it,

then they are the ones who should feel ignored, unwanted and lonely.

-MEL

Changes: LIFE GOES ON.

Tomorrow is the last day of another chapter in my book.

When I got the email from my new job exactly 2 weeks ago, I had a whole mixture of emotions.

And that mixture of emotions went up and down like a roller coaster these last two weeks.

I would be sad about leaving my students and family. And just look at them already missing them. I would be sad and miss the moments I shared with each student. I would miss the silly things they would say and the unique personality each student has. I would miss their hugs and all the pictures they would make me. I would miss their wonderful families. I would be sad leaving my co-teacher and other co-workers.

Then at times I was angry. I would remember all the reasons why I wanted to leave. I thought about all the times that I was stressed, overwhelmed and frustrated at work. I thought about all the times that I left work with an: anxiety attack, panic attack or a migraine. Yesterday, I thought about all the times that they treated my co-teacher as the main teacher. And that got me really angry and so glad I was leaving.

There were times when I was overwhelmed with anxiety. I was really anxious the moment I got the email up to giving the 2 weeks notice to my boss. When my boss tried to negotiate with me to stay on those 2 long frustrating meetings, it made me extremely feel uneasy and anxious. I questioned and second-guessed myself if I made the right decision to take that job. I had anxiety about all my finances and the upcoming trip for my brother’s graduation. For a couple of moments, I thought to myself, I’m going to be broke. I had many nights of my mind messing with me and not letting me sleep.

There were times where I felt good. I thought to myself, it’s a new change but a good change after looking back at the reasons for quitting. There are hundreds of reasons why I decided to quit and they are valid reasons. So it made me feel good that I made that decision. Additionally, I started to get support from my student’s parents when I told them I was leaving. I had parents tell me last week “You are doing this for yourself” and “Good for you”. That changed my perspective on everything. I stayed at this job for so long for other people and I’m leaving for myself. As much as the parents were sad I wasn’t staying, they were supportive on this new journey for me.

I haven’t been extremely sad this week.

My mind keeps on reverting back to the last days from my other jobs. I would cry either the night before or during the shift. I would tell myself, “this is the last time for____” for every little thing.

And I thought I would be very emotional this week, but I’m not.

I couldn’t figure out why until my drive home today.

Before I drove out of my work’s parking lot. I randomly decided to listen to “The Beatles Essentials” on my iTunes.

It immediately brought me back to senior year when I used The Beatles songs for my 18th Birthday.

The song “In My Life” started playing and I remembered using that for my slideshow. And then I started thinking about my students, then the memories would play in my mind and I started crying.

After a few miles down the freeway, the song ” Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” started playing. It sounded familiar, like I heard it in a restaurant or something a long long time ago. Then I heard the lyrics …….

“Obladi oblada life goes on brahhh
Lala how the life goes on”

And I started singing along loudly as if I were in a concert…. “LIFE GOES ON”

LIFE GOES ON.

And that’s when I knew that I wasn’t emotional about leaving because Life Goes On!

Change is scary. BUT. Change is inevitable. & SOMETIMES. Change is necessary.

I used to have a hard time with change. When a chapter of my life starts coming to an end, I would become extremely emotional. After the chapter would end, I would think about the moments from that chapter….days, weeks, months and even years later. I would not let it go. I always wanted those moments to be part of the current chapter, even though I had already finished that chapter.

I spend a whole lot of time in my mind: either in the present or in the future.

And according to my therapist, that is what ANXIETY is. We are either thinking about the past or always anticipating the future.

But after hearing the words, LIFE GOES ON.

I don’t want to dwell in the memories and moments from this job and have it affect my new job and current life.

This chapter is closing and even though I’ll keep in touch with my co-workers, I only want to keep in touch with those memories every once in a while. Not days, weeks, months or years later.

Tomorrow is the end of one chapter.

I’ll talk to you when the new chapter begins.

-Mel

Uncertainty, Gloomy Weather, Lightheadedness and Just Trying to Survive the Day.

Tomorrow is the start of September.

And I honestly don’t know how August just suddenly ended. Because I feel like I didn’t fully experience this month.

It was a crazy month.

It became a month of uncertainty.

I didn’t know what each day consisted of. And there were nights where I would worry on what could possibly happen the next day.

This month began with major changes at work. My co-teacher had her last week of her two week notice. Which turned into 1.5 days because she sprained her ankle and couldn’t go into work. Then in that same week… we had 6 transitions ( aka new students in our class) start on the SAME DAY. And it wasn’t the most easy-going students. Lots of attitude and lots of “NO”. At the same time, the last few older students in our class were not being good examples to our newer friends. Chaos would be the best word to describe the atmosphere in the classroom.

There was one day, where 10 minutes before my shift, I was having a panic attack. And 5 minutes before my shift, I had to quickly calm myself down and stop my panic attack.

I was just trying to survive each day. Nothing more. Just trying to survive. All in one week, new students and my co-teacher leaving.

And the uncertainty of who would be helping me in the class. It became a game of: is this sub going to be helpful or not?

Then somehow the universe gave us a break. A student got the virus. And our classroom was closed to the students that were directly exposed.

For the past two weeks, we had a quiet classroom. The most kids we had were 7. I got to declutter and change the entire classroom to a system that makes sense. We set rules and classroom management to start fresh when everyone came back.

That was a example of a good uncertainty that occurred.

However, with all the bad uncertainty that happened. It deeply affected how my body felt. Every weekend, it felt like my body was screaming at me to take a break. I would get lightheaded, dizzy, extreme fatigue and nausea.

Then the weather kept on changing which affected my physical health even more, plus my mood.

We had many dark, gloomy and random rainy days. Which is uncommon for us during this time of year. There were some hot days sprinkled in between. But the change in weather made me feel under the weather (not Covid related). But having a dry cough only in the morning and then disappearing in the afternoon.

Then I went on a date with someone and no matter how much I prepped my mental health for that date. I immediately became anxious the moment the date ended. To the point where I didn’t sleep that night because the worries would not stop. Nothing could stop it or distract it. I don’t know what triggered it, because I felt like the date went well. Even my therapist asked, what happened?? She thought I was mentally and emotionally ready to date. And I thought so too. But I guess I wasn’t.

Today was a pretty good representation of my August.

I had a hard time sleeping last night. I randomly woke up at 3. Then at 5am, the power went out & I hear my parents in the hallway arguing on how to open the garage with no power. An hour later, the power finally came back.

Then I went to work and it was full of emotions. Many kids came back from their two weeks “off”. It felt like everyone was crying and sad for the smallest thing. And it felt like every 15 minutes, someone was crying. I was not fully awake to deal with all the emotions.

Then the sub was late coming back from lunch. Then it pushed back my co-workers lunch and furthermore, my lunch. And I couldn’t go to lunch late because I had therapy during my lunch. I was NOT going to miss my therapy session. With most students napping, I got the go-ahead to leave my lunch on time leaving the sub in the class.

BUT of course, 5 minutes before my lunch. One student wakes up crying for mom and asks to go to the bathroom. Her cry is so loud, it wakes up two students. Then 1 minute before my lunch, one of those students said that she needed to change. So I had to bring her to the bathroom and change everything. Then once I was finished, she starts crying and missing mom. And the sub couldn’t help because she had to sit with one student who was having a hard nap time.

So I could just hear crying and screaming in my class as I’m leaving. But I was not going to miss therapy, I needed it.

Then being extremely sleepy and not having a lunch, I was just over it. And just trying to survive !

Then I get home (aka a millennial who can’t afford her own place and has to live with her parents), and my mom is in the worst mood. And furthermore, transfers that negative energy to my dad. And all they did was argue the rest of the night. And when they argue, they don’t even listen to what the other one is saying. Which ends up with my mom crying.

I had no sleep, a day with half my class crying. I don’t need a household filled with: anger, tension, crying and yelling.

I don’t know what September will bring.

Because that’s my life.

But I’m going to try to literally take things one day at a time, one hour at a time.

If I just need to survive the day, then that’s a step in the right direction.

I’ve been at rock bottom already this year. And it’s been a horrible feeling.

I’m trying to push through and get away from that direction.

I’m gonna sleep.

Bye.

-Mel

Anxiety ruins my life.

I just had a first date with this guy I’ve been talking to, for about a month.

I thought the date went well and I want to see him again.

But immediately, as soon as I said bye to him. My anxiety kicked in.

What if he didn’t like me? What if all the hype of meeting each other after many delayed dates wasn’t worth it for him? He didn’t really have too much physical interaction, wait he doesn’t like me?? Do first dates end with a kiss or hug? I don’t know. I guess he didn’t feel the same way??

What if he doesn’t text me anymore after tonight?

What if he ghosts me (like the other guys)?

What if?

What if ?

What if?

Why do you have to do this to me? Anxiety…why?

Why can’t I focus more on how handsome he is, his smile or his hug? The fact that he said, I’ll talk to you soon. Or that he responded to my text when I got home and texted him thank you for dinner.

No. Because anxiety has to f*cking ruin it.

I didn’t have too much anxiety all day prior to the date.

But anxiety was there waiting for me, as soon as I said bye to him.

I’m tired of feeling this way. I’m tired of my anxious mind diverting my mind towards overthinking and negative thoughts.

I just want to feel okay.

I want to feel like my life is going into a good direction. And not have suspicions that something bad is going to happen when life gets steady.

I hate you anxiety.

-Mel

I had a panic attack at my cousin’s wedding.

It’s been a couple of months since my last post.

But I thought it was important to share what happened on the day of my cousin’s wedding.

My last post talked about how I felt so out of place and felt like I didn’t belong in my family, when I was at the rehearsal dinner.

So naturally, I already had a lot of anxiety on the day of my cousin’s wedding.

I barely had sleep the night before and it added to the anxiety I already had. I could feel the anxiety of the day before the day even began.

I felt fine that morning, despite the lack of sleep. We spent the morning in the penthouse where all the women got their hair and make-up ready. I spent the majority of that time on my phone, which helped my anxiety. And after getting my make-up done and getting ready for the wedding. I thought I was going to be fine.

I did not know where to go, where to sit or stand before the ceremony. I felt so strange not having anyone to interact with….and my anxiety grew. I finally just sat where most of my relatives were and thought I would be okay.

I cried when the doors opened and I saw my beautiful cousin walk down the aisle. That moment really hit me. I felt a sudden rush of memories, from the time we were little to the present time, flashed before my eyes. I was really close to her when we were younger and like with everyone else, we got distant as we grew older.

Once the ceremony ended and the cocktail hour started. That’s when the anxiety kicked in. I didn’t know where to go. I felt my heart beating quickly and I started to feel so confused. Because I had no where to go and I had no where to escape.

I was guided to go outside to take photos with the family and the bride.

One moment that struck me was the girl cousins were all gathered and they called me in. And I thought it was for everyone & no one else came up with me. And I thought I made a mistake because I wasn’t a bridesmaid. I walked out and they were saying no I’m part of the picture.

It was a nice gesture to include me as part of a photo. But looking at the pictures now and seeing how I’m the only one that doesn’t have the same dress hurts. What hurts even more is looking at my smile in that photo. I was hurting so much, but I had to try so hard to fake that smile.

Once we were done, we took our seats for dinner. I was in the back and close to the bathrooms. I sat with my cousins, my cousins kids and my brother. So again, I thought I was fine.

But throughout dinner, everyone at my table would leave for various reasons. To help with the DJ, to take photo booth photos, to get a drink, to go outside and the two little girls were just running around. I would look around and see all the girl cousins at the photo booth together & that they all sat next to each other too. A majority of that dinner, I sat by myself in the corner. And that set my anxiety into high gear.

I didn’t know where to go. I could feel a panic attack coming. And I didn’t know what to do. I figured that it was best to go to the bathroom. And as soon as I closed that stall door, I started crying, hyperventilating and having a panic attack.

If I could, I would have stayed in that bathroom all night. It was the only place that felt safe.

I kept on going back and forth from my table to the bathroom to cry or continue my panic attack. Or the seats outside the bathroom, which didn’t feel too safe because everyone was coming in and out of there.

Towards the end of the night before the dancing began, I become overstimulated as well as having a panic attack. If I was at the table, I would cover my ears and close my eyes. If not, I was in the bathroom crying or sitting in the seats outside the bathroom covering my ears.

I couldn’t leave the venue on my own or even to step outside. We were in the heart of downtown and on a Friday night, it probably wasn’t safe for me to go outside on my own.

My mom could sense that I was very uncomfortable and asked if I wanted to go back to the hotel (which was 2 blocks down). I said yes, hoping my dad would come too. But he stayed. My anxiety increased as my mom and I, walked two blocks in downtown. I was trying to speed walk/run to the hotel but couldn’t leave my mom behind.

Once we got to the hotel and got safely back to our hotel room, I felt like I was able to breathe again. Along with some donuts we had in our room, I felt a lot better.

I felt so uncomfortable in a wedding where half the guests were my family.

I prepared myself for weeks in therapy for that day.

But no matter how much I prepared, it wasn’t enough to help my anxiety or help with my panic attack.

Ever since that day, I always think about my future wedding. And how I won’t have any bridesmaids or maid of honors, and it breaks my heart. All my friendships and relationships with cousins diminished. And if they aren’t there for me for my tough mental days (or at least talk to me), then why would I have them as part of my “special” day??

I had to completely take myself out of my comfort zone for that wedding. If it wasn’t family, I wouldn’t have gone to that wedding.

I always have to sacrifice my mental health, my comfort level for my family. Going to family events when I feel uncomfortable.

I wish they would go out of their comfort zones for me. Ask me how I’m truly feeling, asking about mental health. If I have a panic attack, just being present. Or just including me in things as their family because they WANT TO AND NOT BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO.

-Mel

I don’t feel like I belong in my family

I can’t sleep because all the anxiety I had being with relatives today.

I was at a rehearsal and rehearsal dinner for my cousin’s wedding.

I’m not part of the wedding. But since my parents are part of it, then I got to go. Same with the dinner.

I walked into the venue. Dressed in what I wore to work (a nice skirt and flats). I didn’t have time to change. And everyone was dressed up as if it were the wedding day. All the girls coincidentally wore spaghetti strap maxi dresses and heels. I immediately felt out of place.

Everyone was off in little groups here and there. And I didn’t have anyone to talk to.

A couple minutes in and I already felt like an outsider with my own family. But that wasn’t the first time.

I was preparing for the anxiety that I will have over this long family weekend. I had many therapy sessions about this. But the feeling of loneliness wasn’t anything that I prepared for.

Naturally my anxiety got worse over dinner. I was already exhausted from my morning with my students. I was feeling out of place at the rehearsals. And now I had to sit there for hours. And all I could do was be glued to my phone.

I hear all the girl cousins and the rest of the bridesmaid’s OOOHs and AWWS as they opened their bridesmaid gifts. I heard lots of loud conversations and laughter.

I immediately became overstimulated and overwhelmed from the environment.

At a point, I felt like the world was spinning around me. It was too much for me. I had to turn my body to the side, and put one hand up to my ear to lessen the volume. I had to whisper and repeat “ I am safe. I am safe. I am okay. It will be over soon.”

I have been dealing with being an outsider in my family for years. Just because I shared my mental health struggles over social media. And when my anxiety got too bad at family parties, I took time to take care of it.

I suddenly thought about my future wedding. And how I won’t have any bridesmaid or maid of honor at my wedding. I’m crying as I type that.

I won’t have a wedding like how this wedding is. Not have bridesmaids or maid of honors. Not having people for a rehearsal or rehearsal dinner. Just because I don’t have anyone close to me.

Because they all pushed me away, just because I have depression and anxiety.

I push myself out of my comfort zone to be there for them. To be at places that I am not comfortable with. For them.

But they can’t go out of their comfort zone to have a conversation with me about my mental health. Or at least, be there for my physically. Or at least say “How are you doing?” And mean it.

I have 3 more days of family events.

What do I do ?

-Mel

My Mental Health is Getting Worse.

Hello there.

It’s been awhile. I actually don’t remember when I last wrote a post.

I’m at that point in the year, when I don’t know which year is worse ……2020 or 2021?

I just keep on getting HIT with so many unexpected circumstances.

And I just need a break.

You think one week will be “normal”, then you get unexpected news.

I think I always start my weekly therapy sessions with: “So something happened…” and it turns out to be completely different from what we’ve talked about the week before.

SO…

I’m Catholic and it’s been difficult to feel comfortable enough to go back to Church since COVID happened. It’s a hard transition from watching mass at home, to going to mass.

I’m trying to transition it back to my weekend routine.

I went to Mass yesterday and I didn’t know that it was going to be a pretty special mass.

It was a mass, specifically for mental health.

I wanted to cry, as they prayed for those who suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses.

They’re praying for me. They’re praying who others who also suffer from mental illness.

They also prayed for the family of those with mental illnesses to give them patience.

I’ve rarely heard mental illness being talked about in church.

We typically pray for those who physically sick.

But to have an entire service devoted to mental health, made me feel like I was supposed to be at that mass.

I needed that.

Because days before, I was just about to give up on life.

Honestly, it’s been really tough and I don’t know what to do anymore.

I had an incident that happened at work, that broke my heart. Because I have worked so hard (being a teacher) and to have someone do something like that…. is like a slap in the face.

But I know what’s going to happen on Tuesday during my therapy session,

“SO SOMETHING NEW HAPPENED….”

-MEL

I’m Trying My Best.

I am not sure which year was worse 2020 or 2021 (and we’re only in March).

I’m not shocked at the things that have happened to me, but I am disappointed.

Every time I try to be positive and just deal with the things that have come my way.

Life hits me with another obstacle.

This week was hard. My uncle passed away from COVID. My heart hurts for my family. My heart hurts for my aunt, my cousins and my cousin’s kids.

Work already has been difficult and I’ve already felt so burnt out.

And going to work already burnt out WITH MY heart hurting for my family was soo difficult.

But I had no choice but go to work.

I had so many obstacles come my way in the past year & I just have to deal with it.

And it’s so hard.

I’m tired of dealing with difficult moments that have happened in the past year and are continuing to happen.

Moments that have knocked me down physically, mentally and emotionally. I’ve had so many journal posts that begin with “This has been a rough week….”

And I’m so tired of hard weeks. And I have to deal with it because there’s nothing I can do.

I have to constantly pretend that I’m ok, I have to “stick it out” and just go on with life with all the sh*t that has come my way.

I’m so tired.

I’m trying my best & I am constantly getting hit with these obstacles. Sometimes it comes when I’m not recovered yet from the previous obstacles.

I’m trying my best to be positive.

I’m trying my best to work when I feel like sh*t.

I’m trying my best.

I’m trying.

-MEL

ONE YEAR: Since everything changed.

March 13, 2020. I remember that day so distinctly.

Prior to that day, I had seen what COVID did to everyone else in the world with: temperature checks, panic buying, lockdowns and quarantines.

And that day…. was the day, when it came to my part of the world.

We had a teacher development day on that particular Friday. The virus was in the back of everyone’s minds as we were doing ice-breakers, having meetings and working in our classrooms.

You could tell in everyone’s faces that they were worried.

During lunch, we found out that all the school districts in our area were going to be closed. I vividly remember that lunch, that quiet lunch. Everyone was on their phones, and we all gave each other looks when we saw the news.

But, we still didn’t know what was going to happen to us. We aren’t part of a school district and we weren’t sure if we were part of that closure. The school didn’t know too.

I remember leaving work and calling my mom, asking her what she wanted for dinner since I was off early. She said to pick up something fast and easy to cook from the grocery store.

Little did I know that a trip to get one thing at the grocery store, would lead to me realize that this pandemic is f*cking real.

That was my first experience with seeing panic buying. I saw first-hand the empty shelves and refrigerators and I started to panic. Prior to that shopping trip, I had only seen panic buying on social media. I don’t remember what I got, I think I just got one of the few items that was left. Funny enough, while walking around the store just to find ANYTHING, I hear on the speakers “it’s the end of the world as we know it”. R.E.M.’s song “It’s the end of the world” was playing and it felt like something out of the movies. As I was seeing the empty shelves and as that song was playing, I felt like I was going to have a panic attack in the middle of the store.

That’s when I knew that things were going to change and this virus was something much more bigger, than I thought it was going to be.

That day was the beginning of everything that changed.

Our lives changed after that day.

And it’s crazy to know that a year later, we are still in that pandemic. It’s not as intense as last year, but COVID is still around.

And unfortunately, a year later…COVID is affecting my aunt and uncle. And my uncle is in the hospital because of COVID.

I say it so many times.

It’s been a rough year. And it sucks that it continues to be rough.

Additionally, I have been teaching in a pandemic for a year.

On top of that….I’ve been teaching BY MYSELF IN A PANDEMIC FOR A YEAR.

On Thursday March 12, 2020: I had a full class of 24 students.

Then on the following Monday, March 16, 2020: I had 4 students. I had 20 LESS students.

Additionally, little did I know that my co-teacher (at that time) would work for a week and ditch me. He didn’t come to work and 3 months later, he finally put in his 2 weeks.

During that time, I was talking to a guy on a dating app. And little did I know that we would be talking for months, meet up for a couple of times. And then I first began to understand what the term “GHOSTING” means, because he was the first one to ghost me. And that wouldn’t be the only time in the time of being in a pandemic. Because it would appear that dating in a pandemic just means guys want a “casual” relationship, but then you ghost you weeks later.

ONE YEAR LATER:

I went to a couple of stores today, wearing a mask and consistently putting on hand sanitizer. I was keeping my distance and stepping on the signs to keep a distance from others. The shelves were shocked and no one was panic buying. I was standing in a line to get inside one store. AND IT WASN’T WEIRD…it was normal.

We actually had a Staff Development Day yesterday. Some of the teachers including myself, had a CPR/First Aid class. No worries, just taking a regular class at a distance from others and wearing masks.

I have a new co-teacher. However, we aren’t co-teaching together. We have a split classroom with our own classes.

After my most recent “ghosting” situation that put me in a deep depression (because I really liked him). I am taking a long break from dating apps, which I probably explained in a recent post. And I think it’s best to not go on them for the rest of the year because it just completely diminished my self-esteem.

Life has changed so much within a year.

I don’t know if it changed for the better or the worst.
But it definitely impacted my life (and everyone else’s).

One year of living in a pandemic.

CRAZY.

-MEL

How to react to unfair situations.

Last month was horrible. Oh wait, life has not stopped being horrible since 2019 ( and basically my whole life).

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for everything in my life. I understand that others have it worse than me.

It just feels like the universe just keeps hitting me with hard situations, with unfair situations, with an overwhelming amount of situations at the same time.

And I’m f*cking tired of it.

Last month, I was extremely depressed to the point where I wanted to act upon my suicidal thoughts. Another guy that I was talking to and was starting to get to know just stops talking to me out of nowhere. And this guy was different because I really liked him. At the same time, I was extremely burnt out at work and I felt I needed more support than I could get. With all these overwhelming feelings going on, in my personal life and in my work life.

My choice to react to those situation, was completely see the negative side of things. And it led to a dark depression, feeling worthless and wanting to end my life.

As March was approaching, I realized how horrible I felt during February. I know that the situations that occurred were sh*tty. But I couldn’t do anything about the situations. I couldn’t control what happened. My only control is my reaction towards it. And my choices led me to feel so bad about myself.

I wanted a fresh start to March. I wanted to practice more self-care. I wanted to look at different perspectives of a situation before automatically reacting to the situation.

But March immediately hit me hard.

My aunt and uncle got COVID. It affected my uncle very badly to the point where he’s in the hospital. We had a family zoom call with all my relatives twice over the weekend. It was very hard to watch my family members cry. It was extremely hard to watch my dad cry about my uncle.

I went to work with a heavy heart this week. I couldn’t control my tears before work and during work thinking about my uncle.

But I still had to go to work.

Then it just felt like the week hit me hard every day this week and it’s only Thursday.

I’m having a hard time with my class lately. Because I have students who need extra attention for different reasons and I can’t give it to them…..because I’m by myself. So they act out. And I found out on Tuesday that a student is coming back. A student who also needs some extra attention too. And I’m already stressed out about it. But my choice to react is to let my assistant director know about my concerns.

My co-teacher left early yesterday because she was sick. So the floater teacher (aka my savior) had to be in her class yesterday. But I found out that they BOTH won’t be there today.

So my choice is: life is already sh*tty. Let’s get this sh*t over with, the best that I can. Because that’s all I can do.

Gotta go.

-MEL

Trying NOT to feel Guilty for Taking Care of Myself.

I called in Sick for tomorrow.

I have been burnt out for the past couple of weeks.

My body is exhausted. My mind is exhausted.

I’ve been wanting to take a day off, but I felt like I was just making excuses to not take a day off.

But the longer I waited, the more it began affecting my mental and physical health.

Last week, I was very irritable. I felt like I was angry at my students more than being patient and comforting to them. Because I was soo burnt out and exhausted. I felt so guilty at the end of the night for how I talked to them.

I started having a headache yesterday. I could feel an aura coming, and I knew that I was going to get a migraine soon. I wanted to take today off, but I was so conflicted on whether or not it was the best choice. I kept on thinking about my students and how it would affect them. Then it was too late to call in. I went to work today and my head kept on throbbing. At some moments, I was irritable. Then I was very out of it. It felt like I was in a dream-like state, like everything didn’t seem real. Then, as I was driving home. I was at a stoplight and it turned green. For some reason, I just stared at it and didn’t react quickly that it was the signal to drive. And the loud honk from the car behind me, reminded me that I’m not living in a dream-like condition. Then as the sun was setting, I also realized…I didn’t put my headlights on and it was getting dark.

That’s when I knew that my mind needed a break.

My headache started getting worse at the end of the work day. And then when I got home, the nausea started. I took my prescription for migraines. And it didn’t really help. I used my essential oils, that didn’t help. Then it felt like everything else in my body just gave up. I got anxious about a relative getting COVID (I haven’t had any contact with them, everyone is worried about him, so my anxiety went up)…then I suddenly felt like I couldn’t breathe. Once I realized it, then even more I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Then all of a sudden, my sinuses hurt and of course it hurt more, when I started thinking about it. The anxiety made me have physical symptoms. Then thinking about my physical symptoms made me feel worse. Oh and my head still hurts and I still feel nauseous.

That’s when I knew that my body needs a break.

As I came to the decision of letting my director know that I would be out tomorrow.

I got really anxious. For some reason, I thought of the worst possible responses for taking a day off. Which I never really take a day off.

And then, I started feeling guilty for taking a day off. How it would affect my co-teachers, my students and everyone else.

My body is literally telling me that it needs a break and I feel guilty.

I texted Crisis Text Line. And the first thing the counselor told me is that I shouldn’t feel any shame for taking a day off to stay on track. My mental and physical health should be a priority.

And she’s right.

My therapist talked to me about this, a couple of weeks ago. She knew that I was depressed and burnt out. And she said that if I’m not feeling good (mentally and physically), then I should take a day off. I knew I need a day off, but I never did. Now I’m suffering the consequences from it.

I know that going to work tomorrow will either: make my head feel worse or make me more stressed that I’ll be more frustrated and angry at work.

I’M DOING WHAT’S BEST FOR ME, MY MENTAL HEALTH & MY PHYSICAL HEALTH. I SHOULD NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR THAT.

-MEL