I Deserve Better.

It’s 4am on a work day. I hate waking up in the middle of the night and not falling back asleep.

But I guess 4am is the time for realizations.

Yesterday was a very frustrating day at work. It was like, a tiny thing in the universe was out of sync and it made my students forget everything that they’ve learned and were OUT OF THEIR MINDS.

It was too much. Students talking back. Students not listening. One student hitting the teacher who gives me my lunch break (he had hit me the day before). Students running around in the class and just dumping all the toys on the tables and floors. It was like I was in an alternate universe.

Because I teach my students to be kind and respectful to their friends, teachers and to themselves.

And I absolutely lost my patience. I had to take away so many toys and raised my teacher voice to the highest level. It ended up giving me a migraine.

I spent last night going over what happened at work. And how I had to yell and raise my voice.

That’s not me. That’s not why I became a teacher.

I’ve had many issues at work, that I’ve shared so many times on this blog. And yes, I don’t know why I’m still working there. When it didn’t give me support for challenging students. We had an entire class that had so much high energy kids and we had one student that we had to constantly keep an eye on & had challenges with. And that I’m still having challenges with until this day.

When I spent the first month of the pandemic doing work fit for two teachers. Additionally, they gave me a weird break schedule when I was a solo teacher. Getting my AM breaks at around 10:45-11am. Getting my lunch at 12pm and not getting my PM breaks until 5pm (during that time we had to sanitize everything, so I only gave myself a 5 min break to catch up)

Then the teacher who has supported me throughout my time being a solo teacher, finally became my co-teacher. Then they put a f*cking wall in my class and we each had our own mini classrooms. Which has so many challenges because our schedule is rushed and we only have a bathroom on one side of the classroom (not my side). And we barely have any materials in our class, because they split up the materials unevenly.

And I went from having the same 7 kids for months to now having about 16 kids total. We had one or two added months later. Then we got 5 new/ returning kids in one week.

And I’m still having problems with my challenging student.

I need to start standing up for myself now.

I really need to leave. I’ve dealt with so much sh*t with this job. And no one really realizes how much I went through. And how hard I worked.

I deserve better.

I deserve a job that I can come to work and leave work feeling satisfied. I deserve a job not feeling frustrated or having a panic attack coming home from work. I deserve a job where I don’t worry about what’s going to happen. I deserve a job that makes me feel like, “yes this is what I’m supposed to be doing”. I deserve a job that doesn’t make me mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted every single day.

Another thing also has happened since March.

I am 31 and finally realize that if a guy doesn’t have the same feelings for me, then I don’t need to change myself to make them like me. Also, I don’t need to put myself down when they don’t have the same feelings for me.

I’ve talked to two guys throughout this pandemic.

Both had the intention of wanting to sleep with me. Nothing more.

The first guy I talked to for months before we finally were able to meet up. Then I began to have feelings for him. I wanted to be honest and tell him, instead of hiding my feelings. After I told him my feelings, he only messaged me once. And after a week of making myself feel like I’m not good enough, I decided to “leave” (aka unmatch).

You would think that made me feel better.

However…

Now that I had experienced communicating with someone on a daily basis. I didn’t like the feeling of not receiving any messages and not having someone to talk to.

I tried to fill that void and tried to talk to other guys. I didn’t want to feel lonely again. But in reality, I wasn’t really lonely. Because I’ve spent years not having someone to talk to. It was just a nice feeling of being able to communicate with someone again.

I talked to another guy and I’ve talked to him for weeks.

We FaceTimed the other night for the first time and suddenly he doesn’t message me. (Yes, I know it’s only been one day). After talking to him, I realized that he’s pretty cute and I liked talking to him. Then he doesn’t message the following day.

And I spent all day: replaying our conversation in my head. And kept on criticizing myself for things I said and thought maybe I should of said this instead.

I hated having that feeling of: DID I DO SOMETHING WRONG?

I guess waking up at 4am was helpful. Because it clicked.

What am I doing?

Why am I only talking to guys who are only interested in me because they want to sleep with me? They butter me up by talking to me and probably acting like their interested in me. Once they are get what want, then they suddenly aren’t interested in talking to me.

I deserve better.

I deserve a guy who likes me for me. I deserve a guy that I don’t have to change myself to make them like me. I deserve a guy who I trust and trusts me back.

I deserve a guy that doesn’t make me worried about my actions and doesn’t makes me question “AM I GOOD ENOUGH?”

I’m not saying that I am the best person in the world and deserve the best things in life.

But I work hard. I’m a kind person. I think about others more than myself.

I deserve better than a job that negatively affects my mental and physical health. A job that makes me lose my passion for working in the education field.

I deserve better than guys who want nothing more than to sleep with me. I deserve a good guy who likes me, simply for me.

I need to walk away & know that I am so much better than others making me question my own self-worth.

My alarm just went off.

Time to start a new day. Not with a new perspectives on my life.

I deserve better.

-Mel

Anxious Thoughts While Feeling Sick During a Pandemic

Anxiety & COVID-19 are not a good mix.

It doesn’t help that regular symptoms that I get are similar to symptoms of COVID-19.

I’ve had headaches and migraines for years now.

Anxiety always gives me shortness of breath.

I commonly get sore throats.

Today felt different waking up. I didn’t feel 100%. I felt 45%.

I compared how I felt yesterday and how I felt today. It was different.

I still had the regular symptoms that I’m familiar with. But I felt more congested and weak. But I didn’t have a fever. And I rarely get fevers.

I didn’t know what to do. I went to work. Told them that I didn’t really feel good and was not sure what to do. Since I had at least two symptoms without a fever. I had to call my doctor. I talked to triage and since my symptoms were minor, I had to go to urgent care, get checked and get a COVID test.

I was told to quarantine for 14 days.

And that caused an anxiety attack.

I try my best to stay away from the news and media. The high amount of cases, the lack of people wearing masks, the videos of people attacking others just simply because of how they look…scares me.

To think that I could be one of those numbers scared me.

I also felt guilty because what if I had the virus from my minor symptoms and I didn’t get a test earlier and isolate myself.

Then I went to Urgent care’s respiratory clinic…which happened to be a tent outside in the parking structure. I immediately got my temperature read and oxygen checked. Then I got a strep test and then I had to administer a COVID test. Which was intimidating because I had to do it myself and I had 3 nurses there with me.

I got my vitals checked. And the doctor said that I was healthy.

So it is either a COLD or COVID.

That’s a big space in between those two types of conditions.

I already felt anxious and guilty.

And then I felt more anxious that I probably overreacted because it could just be a cold.

But then again, these minor symptoms that I regularly get, could be COVID.

It’s hard to know how to feel.

You think things are okay. But nurses say to get checked and then anxiety hits. Then you have a 50/50 chance of being okay.

I have to self isolate for three days. More time to be alone with my thoughts.

Great…..

-Mel

Missing.

(This will be an unedited post because I have to go to work)

In the past couple of years, I’ve associated crying with: depression, anxiety, being overwhelmed and frustrated.

This morning, I was driving on my way to work listening to the same playlist I listen to every morning.

And then, I listened to Ben Platt’s “Ease My Mind” and I immediately started thinking about him.

My feelings for him have been confusing for me. I began to have feelings, but not strong feelings. Then I told myself I should not have any feelings for him because I will probably get hurt. And I don’t want to get hurt again. Then I told him my feelings and then immediately regretted it. I didn’t know how to explain my feelings towards him, because I was confused about it.

We haven’t talked for a couple of weeks now. After I “let go” of him.

And today, when I listened to that song. He immediately came into my mind. And I started to cry because I missed him. And I have never felt this way about anyone.

Sure, I’ve missed past boyfriends before because I was gone from them for like a couple of days. But it was the loneliness that made me miss them.

This feeling isn’t like that. I don’t miss him because I feel lonely. I miss him just simply because I miss him.

This missing feeling is different. And I don’t have all the words to explain how this feels. But I know that I haven’t felt this way before.

And the way, I’m crying about it is different. It’s not a crying that comes from feeling hurt. It’s not the type of crying that comes from a panic attack or feeling overwhelmed. When I feel stressed, I feel like cannot breathe when I’m crying. This didn’t feel like it.

My eyes are tearing up with a few tears falling down my face.

And now I know that I miss him.

Because I like him.

-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

3:47 A.M.

Oh here we are again..

It’s morning and the sun isn’t up yet. And I’ve been up for almost 2 hours.

Out of everything that I experience with depression and anxiety, I hate insomnia the most.

I’ve experienced insomnia even before I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

When I was younger, I would wake up in the middle of the night many times. It went away for a little bit. But it came back when I was 19 and throughout my early twenties. I remember one summer where I would fall sleep at 4am or 5am everyday. In my late twenties, insomnia would happen every so often.

And then the pandemic happened.

In the past 2 months, I’ve experienced a lot of insomnia and a tiny bit of sleep.

It started off with sleeping around 10:45PM, then waking up a couple of hours later around midnight and falling back asleep. Then it went from waking up at midnight to 2AM, then 4AM. Sometimes I would fall back asleep right away. Other times, I would fall back asleep around 5-6AM. And there are times where I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I would just carry on with my day.

There aren’t any triggers with my insomnia.

I could have a stressful day filled with depression & anxiety AND have a full 8 hours of sleep.

& I could have a normal day without any significant stress AND wake up at 4am with a total of 3-4 hours of sleep.

I can’t do anything to prevent my insomnia and I can’t do anything to help “cure” my insomnia.

That’s the most difficult part…not knowing how much sleep I will get when I lay in bed at night.

Now it is 5:48 A.M.

It’s alot brighter outside than when I first typing this post.

Now time to start the day.

Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right

The Beatles

-Mel

T H E R A P Y

I’ve spent the first couple days of my vacation doing absolutely nothing.

I’m so physically, mentally and emotionally drained from work and the other aspects of my life that cause anxiety and depression.

So I’ve just been switching from the couch to my bed watching Netflix, Youtube or Disney +.

I have a consultation with a therapist tomorrow. I had one last week as well, with a different therapist.

I’ve been preparing myself on what I want to discuss at this session. Also, I’ve been thinking about why I’m chose to go back to therapy at this moment in my life.

There isn’t ONE BIG thing in my life that is causing me to feel depressed or anxious.

It’s a lot of small things that are adding up to become ONE BIG thing.

  • The daily stress and exhaustion at work.
  • The feeling of not being “good enough”.
  • Insomnia: I had many nights where I slept around 4-5 hours and would wake up at random hours in the night.
  • The lack of focus and concentration.
  • R U M I N A T I O N.
  • Catastrophic thinking! I always thought of the worst possible outcome about the smallest things.
  • Not being able to get tasks done. The smallest task would take so much energy from me.
  • Always feeling fatigue.
  • My mind racing back and forth between different thoughts and worries.

I first went to therapy when I was 21 and it occurred after a break up.

During that time of experiencing a really bad breakup, I was at a point where I told my mom that I needed help. I didn’t know what to do. So she called the therapists that coincided with her health insurance and she made an appointment for me.

From what I remember in that first therapy session, I immediately burst out crying. It felt like I was filling up a tank with my emotions and the tank got too full that it exploded. And then after my session, the therapist called my parents into her office and talked to them.

In one of the first two sessions, the therapist diagnosed me with Major Depressive Disorder (Clinical Depression).

And sometime after that, I was referred to a Psychiatrist and was prescribed Zoloft for my depression.

I was going to therapy every other week to either see my therapist and psychiatrist.

From what I remembered about my therapist, she basically told me to “not think about it”. Which is something my mom would say. And my psychiatrist actually listened to me and supported my feelings. The Zoloft didn’t do anything but give me the side effects that came with it. I remember feeling nauseous all the time and so tired. And it always occurred after taking Zoloft.

With going to: therapy every other week, going to school full time and going to work part-time, my schedule was busy. Then it got busier when a huge box of lids fell from the shelves at work. It bumped my head, which then resulted in a minor concussion. I had to go see a doctor every week and get checked. The box left a bump on my head making me: get headaches, feeling vertigo and more nauseous.

A couple of months after starting therapy, I went to the Philippines for 3 weeks for my cousin’s wedding and to visit friends and family..

During that time, I was very broke. I was working less because I had school. I was paying a co-pay of $20-$30 dollars for my therapy sessions. Which seems great now, but back then I couldn’t afford that every other week. Before going to the Philippines, I spent a lot of money to buy Christmas presents for children in orphanages. I also had to choose my classes for the next semester during finals week and pay for it. I was at a community college during the time. So I didn’t get financial aid and paid for the classes on my own. Also it was December and I had to buy Christmas presents for family and friends before I left.

When I came back from the Philippines, I barely had any money. I didn’t work for three weeks. Then it became four weeks, because I immediately got sick when we got back and I was suffering from major jet lag. I was on the opposite schedule and became nocturnal. When it was daytime, I would sleep and when it was night time, I was wide awake.

So I decided that I couldn’t go back to therapy. I couldn’t afford it anymore. Additionally, it wasn’t helping. It was hard for me to “not think about it”.

The second time I went to therapy was a year ago.

I was stuck in a weird position with my jobs. I was hired in September of 2018 for my current job, but I was still working with my previous job.

Since my current job was a brand new school, we had to wait until enrollment increased for me to start. So I was in this waiting game. About once a month, I would email and ask if there was any updates for me.

Then it became March of 2019 and I was still waiting.

Between September and March, I was experiencing a lot of stress and pressure from my previous job. And I was becoming overwhelmed. I was in a job that I didn’t like, but I couldn’t leave because my new job wasn’t ready for me to start. It was frustrating.

I didn’t know how to handle the anxiety I was experiencing. Depression was something I knew for many years, then anxiety showed up and I didn’t have the tools to manage it.

The therapist I saw fit my schedule and immediately pinpointed things that I was not ready to talk about.

She also works with clients that are children and we instantly clicked on talking about child development. A majority of my time in my sessions were talking about my struggles at work and talking about waiting for my new job. Our sessions were just casual and talking like we were friends. Which was a great feeling because I didn’t have any friends to talk to. But she didn’t talk about my anxiety and coping mechanisms.

But yet again, therapy appeared during a busy time.

A couple weeks into therapy, I finally received the call about starting my new job. So I was trying to handle my emotions from saying goodbye to my co-teacher and students that I loved and transitioning to a new environment with new co-workers and new students.

Then it became May of 2016 and I was even busier. The first week of that month, I was in the East Coast watching my brother graduate and become a doctor. Then we were preparing for all our guests and the huge graduation party we were throwing. (I was still learning everything about my new job and my new students during this time). We had guests from the: Philippines, Texas, West Virginia, Kentucky and the Bay Area come to the graduation party to celebrate my brother.

The therapy sessions went from every other week to every 3-4 weeks. Because it was super expensive. I started therapy when I was at my previous job under one health insurance. The co-pay was about $65 which was A LOT. Then I started my new job and didn’t have health insurance for 30 days and my therapy fee went up to $95. That was the lowest that they could do for me.

I couldn’t afford it anymore and stopped.

It was difficult because I liked talking to my therapist. However, she never discussed my anxiety, my triggers or how to cope with it.

I decided to try therapy again at the beginning of June this year. It’s so dumb, but it was after I saw an Instagram post about not waiting until you are in a big crisis to seek help.

During that time, I was starting to feel good about my life. I finally had a co-teacher that I worked well with and really liked. I was talking to someone and really enjoyed getting to know him. I was getting lots of compliments on my lessons at work. It was my birthday and I had so many unexpected surprises.

Things finally felt good and content after months of stress and feeling alot of anxiety and depression.

And it scared me…

I finally felt good about my life and I didn’t want to lose it.

I didn’t like feeling that way.

And then I went back to my past experiences and memories to figure out why I’m scared of things that are good in my life.

Then I decided that I couldn’t do this by myself and researched therapists. I researched therapists that accepted my insurance and didn’t accept my insurance. It was difficult to find a therapist that I could afford and that fit with my schedule.

Also, I realized that I haven’t cried or had a panic attack with all this stress and exhaustion from work and all these other thoughts.

It was scarier.

I’m just waiting for something bad to happen….and I shouldn’t feel that way.

This time, I don’t want to do therapy just for 2-3 months. I want it to last as long as possible.

With no luck, I just looked at therapists that I was compatible with. Someone who will listen and be empathetic to what I’m saying. At the same time, I want them to help me understand why I’m scared of good things in my life. Or why I think about the worst possible outcome of a situation.

I don’t know what tomorrow’s session will bring…

But I am glad that I didn’t wait until a BIG crisis to start therapy.

-Mel