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

Time x Messages.

Oh hey.

Mel here.

The start of my 2 week vacation & this is another episode of “I was sleepy, then I laid down and tried to sleep but my mind wouldn’t stop overthinking…so now I’m wide awake”.

After finding out from 2 sleep study tests (because 1 test didn’t record all the information), I don’t have sleep apnea.

So I’m just going to say that my lack of sleep is due to insomnia & my mind not shutting down and letting me relax.

On Sunday, I took a break from my phone and read. Currently I’m reading “Notes on a Nervous Planet” by Matt Haig. I got to this one chapter, where he talks about phones and uncertainty. Basically, it talks about how we check our phones about a million times a day for messages or notifications.

I do this alot. Even though, I can see my screen and it tells me right away about a text message. I will still check the icon to see if there is a red circle with a number 1 on it. Even if there isn’t a red circle, I will still click on the messages app and look at the message that I sent and check to see if it’s “DELIVERED”…you know to make sure they got the message.

And then I started thinking about how social media is and how it is common to receive messages and responses quickly.

You can have a full conversation with someone just by texting back and forth. You message.. they respond right away and vice versa. You can post something on social media and get a notification of a “like” or comment within seconds of pressing “submit”.

It has become so common, that when you don’t get a response right away…you start to question things (well for me, mostly).

In the past 5 years or so, I used to get those quick responses and conversations through text. Then when I started to have responses that took longer than a day to weeks to months, that’s when I started to feel anxious. (Then I started to not get any texts or notifications anymore)

I started to think that those late replies had to do with me…personally.

Did I say something wrong? Do they not want to be my friend anymore?

And those questions looked different when I was in a relationship or interested in pursuing a relationship with someone.

Are they not interested in me? Are they talking to someone else? Are they cheating on me? Do they not love me anymore?

It’s crazy how the rate of response makes you question your relationship with someone.

Those relationship questions might seem a little bit over the top. However, I’ve had two relationships where they cheated on me. So it was possibly true that they didn’t message me because they were too busy messaging the other girl.

And that transitions me to this current situation that I’m in.

I typically don’t like to announce (especially in a blog) that I am interested in someone, only because I don’t want to jinx it.

But this has been a f*cked up year. So if it jinxes it, then it’s just another thing to add to the list of: f*cked up things that happened in 2020.

But I really am interested in someone at the moment (aka have a crush on them).

I didn’t think he was interested in me in the beginning, because he would message me and then sometimes he would respond back after a week. So we didn’t talk that much before he asked to hang out with me in person.

As with any guy that I meet over a dating app, I always ask them to Facetime first before meeting in person.

I pretty much knew after Facetiming with him and meeting with him for the first time, I wanted to know more about him.

We don’t message each other on a daily basis. I had to push back a dinner with him twice due to some bad migraines and headaches. We Facetimed again a couple nights ago. So we haven’t seen each other for a couple of weeks.

And I really like it.

My last relationships were super quick. We basically talked and then went right into the relationship. No dating first and getting to know each other before calling each other boyfriend/girlfriend. And maybe that’s why those relationships ended so badly.

I really like how slow we are taking things.

And don’t worry, I had some anxiety in the beginning when he didn’t text back right away after meeting the first time.

I told myself, “if he doesn’t text me back, then it’s probably over and he’s not interested anymore…so move on”. But then he would respond back. I had that thought a couple of times, and even if it would take a couple of days, he would still respond. And even though, I had to push back our dinner two times, he would still respond.

I texted him a couple of hours ago, and yea I still had some doubts that he wasn’t interested (because that’s how my mind is like). And I just noticed that he replied back like ten minutes ago.

I really like that we are taking our time to get to know each other.

And that we know more about each other when are video calling each other or see each other in person. It’s not through some words that I see on the phone.

Now I’m getting sleepy…

Goodnight!

-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

Progress:Therapy

2020….YUP.

It just continues to surprise me.

I started my therapy sessions on the 1st of July and I’ve had a session every week since then.

In my previous experiences with therapy, I would either go to therapy every other week, then at least once a month. And overall, it would last 2-3 months.

There has been a big difference between my three experiences of therapy.

My first therapy experience was when I was 21. Fresh out of a breakup, I went to therapy after falling into a deep depression. With it being my first experience, I didn’t have any knowledge of: depression, anxiety or therapy. I don’t know what I wanted to accomplish in therapy and I didn’t think of any specific goals.

After my therapist immediately diagnosed me with Major Depressive Disorder. I also began seeing a psychiatrist and was prescribed antidepressants. It was overwhelming. The world of mental health was new to me and then being hit with therapy appointments/psychiatrist appointments weekly and taking medicine daily was too much for me. Since I didn’t have the knowledge of mental health and understanding my own struggles, I thought it was normal for my therapist to give me “advice” like friends and family do. “Oh you just need to stop thinking about it”. My psychiatrist was more understanding of my feelings, but the medication that I was prescribed made me physically feel worse.

After having two different types of appointments weekly and getting a prescription, it took a toll on me financially. During that time, I was working less because I was going to school. And then it was December and I was struggling financially. I was going to community college and I had to register and PAY for my classes for the next semester. I was buying Christmas presents. Also, I was going to the Philippines for 3 weeks, which meant not working for 3 weeks. So I made the decision to stop going to therapy because I couldn’t afford it anymore. PLUS why pay for someone to tell me to “stop thinking about it”, when I get it for free from family and friends.

My second experience with therapy was last year, before I turned 30. I was stuck in the phase of working with one job and waiting for my new job. Which took 6 months. I had a lot of anxiety and frustration with my previous job. And I began having anxiety which was something that I didn’t know how to cope with.

I decided to start trying therapy again. It was very difficult during that time to find a therapist that either had: online/evening/weekend sessions. Also, trying to find a therapist that took my insurance. So after months of searching, I was finally able to find ONE. That therapist worked with children as well. So a majority of our sessions, I was talking about work and the behavior of some students that I had. Our sessions felt like I was venting to a friend. Which was kinda nice, because I didn’t really have anyone to talk to. However, I felt like I wasn’t able to find coping mechanisms for my anxiety and panic attacks.

Then I finally got the call that I was going to start the new (aka my current job). Additionally, I was in between health insurances with one ending and waiting for the new one to process. These therapy sessions was way more than I could afford. After going every other week, I had to go every 3 weeks. When I was in between health insurance, the therapist didn’t accept my new one. And gave me a “discounted rate” which was still way over my budget. So I had to end therapy sessions with her too.

Then 2020 happened….

What a f*cking year. And it’s only October.

After all the stress that occurred since COVID began, I decided that I NEED to go back to therapy. I began looking in June. The only good thing about COVID is that more therapists had flexible appointments and had a great affordable rate.

The one thing that kept me from going to therapy was the cost. With the past experiences of not being able to afford it, it pushed me away. But with all the sh*t that I went through at the beginning of the pandemic, I prioritized my mental health and included it in my financial plans.

After those past experiences, I knew exactly what I wanted to accomplish in therapy. I wanted to have someone to talk to with experiences that I haven’t shared with anyone else such as: dating apps, the end of a friendship, being isolated from family members, and more.

From my first session with my therapist, I could tell immediately that she was listening to me. She wasn’t judging me and made sure to let me know that my feelings were valid. Which was an amazing feeling.

In our first month of sessions, I talked about all the stress and anxiety that I was feeling with work and my one student with challenging behaviors. She was able to listen to me. We dug down deep into my feelings and find out the reason why I’m feeling those ways. With the situation at work, I talked about my one student a lot and how it was affecting me. And we talked about how I was letting that one student determine my self-worth.

This therapy experience is different because we don’t just talk about situations and feelings, we find out the reasons why I have those feelings. I’ve never shared those deep feelings with anyone before. And it’s the first time where I feel mentally exhausted after therapy. I spend an hour after my sessions just laying on my bed because I’m so tired. She incorporates my self-care practices into what we talk about during therapy. Since I journal and keep track of habits, symptoms, etc. I began journaling more about my thoughts and feelings.

I don’t think I would have survived these past couple of months if I didn’t have therapy. And I am so thankful that I am able to afford to go to therapy every week. We’ve gotten to a point where I stopped talking about my struggles at work and started to talk about topics that I haven’t been able to share before. And some weeks, we talk about coping mechanisms.

Even though, it’s been a rough year. I am glad that I made my mental health a priority and am able to get the help that I need.

-Mel

Pain:Mental & Physical.

It has been a rough week.

I was hit with some unexpected moments….then depression occurred. Followed by panic attacks. Followed by hitting rock bottom. Followed by suicidal thoughts. Followed by: nausea, upset stomach, migraines and forcing myself to eat.

I cried so much.

It was the type of crying when you feel your heart break.

It began last Friday. I actually had a good week at work. & I left work so happy for the 3-Day Weekend. Then later that night, I suddenly became really sad and cried. And I had no idea why. I immediately thought about the relationships and friendships I’ve had. And I just kept on asking myself “WHY WASN’T I GOOD ENOUGH FOR THEM TO STAY”.

I had been talking to a guy for almost a month. And then all of a sudden, he just stopped talking to me the next day. And then my feelings of anxiety grew.

On Sunday, I began having panic attacks. I couldn’t understand what happened. And then I began to feel extremely nauseous throughout the day. I barely could eat and I felt like I was forcing myself to eat.

On Monday, he texted me that his ex called him that Friday night. And that he needed time to think about their conversation and basically, think about if he wanted to be back with her or still continue with the relationship that we were forming. That increased my depression and anxiety. It was supposed to be a great day off and I was filled with worried thoughts. I spent the next couple of days anticipating for his text or call telling me that he wants to be back with his ex. I didn’t want to assume anything. But he needed days to think about his relationship with his ex. If he liked me enough, he wouldn’t need 5 days to think about i. I felt extremely nauseous that day.

I was depressed, hitting rock bottom.

On Wednesday, I just walked into work and my co-worker immediately noticed a change in me. She asked if everything was okay and I was like, “yeah”. She didn’t believe me and then I shook my head “no”. I was crying at the beginning of nap time at work before she came in to give me my lunch. I think my mind knew that it was going to happen that day. And then it did. He texted me and asked to talk to me during lunch. I called him and my intuitions were right. He wanted to go back with his ex. I couldn’t say a single word when we talked.

And then when we ended the call, I texted him that I was really upset about the timing of this. I told him that I was depressed during those days we didn’t talk and I felt like I wasn’t good enough for the people who were in my life. And now I wasn’t good enough for him.

I still had nausea and forced myself to eat. The mental and physical pain that I was experiencing was so intense that I wanted it to stop. And I wanted to end my life for that pain to stop.

Again my co-worker had noticed that something was wrong when I came back from work. She asked if I needed a hug and I was crying and shook my head yes. I cried for the rest of that nap time. And felt more nauseous at the end of nap time knowing that I had to stop my tears and pretend that I was okay.

Then I started getting a migraine at 7PM that night.

On Thursday, I woke up with that same migraine. I had an aura and felt like my vision was blurry. And I was still feeling nauseous. Then when I was driving home from work, I got a call from my mom saying that she was taking my dad to the ER. So I was having anxiety when my mom wasn’t calling with any updates. I couldn’t sleep that night to the worries I was having.

Then on Friday, fortunately all my dad’s tests results were great but he had to stay for more tests. I still had some worries throughout work. Then my one student decided to have a bad day to end my horrible week. I was already feeling anxious and nauseous. Then I was getting an upset stomach from all the stress.

I hate how when you are hurting mentally, then you are hurting physically.

It’s bad enough that your mind is messing with you, then your body reacts and attacks you.

I hate it when I’m depressed. It just kills my spirit and I feel like I don’t know who I am.

So

Let’s start off the new week on a positive note, let’s try.

I think I need a break from dating apps. It’s done nothing but hurt me this year. I think with the first guy, I was getting used to talking to someone everyday. So I just kept on staying on the dating apps because I just wanted to talk to someone. I just deleted the apps and need to have self-control and not download the apps again.

I’m going to try my best to do more things than lay down and watch Youtube and Netflix when I’m home. I’m going to try to be more productive. The depression made me feel so sluggish and unable to achieve anything.

Also, I think I need time to write down and process everything I felt. So it’s all out of my head.

Let’s start another week.

No expectations.

No disappointments.

-MEL

Can We Just Be Honest?

We should be over this phase of playing games when we are in our THIRTIES.

If you are in a relationship or dating someone and don’t want to be with them anymore, just be honest and tell them. Don’t “ghost” them/suddenly stop communicating.

If you in a relationship and you notice your feelings decrease with your partner and increase with someone else….just be honest and break up with your partner. Don’t cheat on your partner.

It’s funny how I wrote my last post about not feeling “good enough” for friends, family, exes, etc.

And as I’m writing that post…..

I had been talking to someone for weeks and all of a sudden….just stopped communicating out of nowhere.

& that validated my feelings of not feeling “good enough”.

Just talk to me & be honest. If you don’t want to talk to me anymore. Let me know.

Yes, it will hurt. But that hurt feeling will be temporary.

But I rather get an explanation than no explanation at all.

Because a sudden stop in communication is feeding into my depression and anxiety.

It’s making me feel like I’m not “good enough”. It’s making my mind question every action I did and every word I said.

“What ifs” begin to appear. What if I didn’t broaden our conversations enough? What if I shared too much about work struggles? What if I was just too boring?

What if I wasn’t good enough…

I have so many relationships (friends/exes/cousins) that have ended without any closure.

I am always left behind wondering… WHAT HAPPENED?

We surpassed our teenage years and twenties..we should be older and wiser enough to tell people how we feel.

We should be able to be honest with each other.

-Mel

(& yes it is 3:39AM)

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

WHEN_____, THEN I WILL FEEL____.

These past couple of months have been….sh*tty.

Y U P. No surprise there.

If this year has taught me anything, it’s that we have no idea what the future holds.

When the pandemic happened, I kept on thinking about different “future” scenarios and how it will make things better.

My thoughts went like this:

When ________, then I will feel______

“When my co-teacher comes back, then I will feel less stressed”. Well, he didn’t come back & I felt the pressure of being the only teacher for months.

“When my new co-teacher starts, then we can split the work and I can feel the weight off my shoulders”. The week before she was supposed to start as my co-teacher, they split my classroom into two. And without any notice, we wouldn’t be working together and would each have to manage a classroom on our own. We each have our own challenges in our classroom, that we have to do on our own without each other’s support.

There are many times in my life when I anticipate for something to happen, then it happens. And I discover it didn’t give me the long-term satisfaction that I was hoping for.

When I graduated college, it was a huge goal for me. I worked hard and I couldn’t wait for the day when I walked across that stage. It was the happiest day of my life. And then the next day happened, and I immediately went into a deep depression. I accomplished a great achievement and then I thought….now what? My life at that point was getting to graduation and then it happened. And I didn’t know what to do next.

When I received the offer for my current job, I was so excited and relieved. I thought this job was the answer to all the unhappiness that I felt at my previous job. Then I started this job and I felt like I was lost myself. I wasn’t creative in my activities and lesson. And I lost my passion and spirit for teaching. I thought the workplace at my previous job was the reason why I lost my passion for teaching. But I guess, it didn’t matter where I worked.

When I finally met up with the guy I was talking to for months, it felt great to finally see him in person. But immediately after I left, I was feeling very insecure. I had anxious worries and thoughts that appeared in my previous relationships. I discovered that I had trauma from previous relationships and years later, it still left a mark on me. We don’t talk anymore but I still think about him …

It’s easy to feel hopeless, when these things happen.

Why should I feel excited for something to happen, because my experience tells me that I will be disappointed or upset afterwards.

So I’m not going to do that…

I’m not going to think that things will be better, because _____ will happen.

I’m not going to think about the future. Not what will happen in 10 years, 5 years, next year. Not even what is going to happen in the upcoming week.

We didn’t know that we were going to be in a pandemic this year and that our lives would be turned upside down.

I look back on past photos and memories and think how much our lives have changed since then.

There’s no point in worrying about the future, because we have no idea what the future holds for us.

NO expectations. NO disappointments.

-MEL

Finding the Positive in the Negative.

It’s finally August 1st.

July was a f*cking hard month.

Mentally, Physically and Emotionally.

I turned the page on my calendar from July to August.

A calendar where I write down one positive thing that happened in the day. If it was a hard day, I made myself find one positive thing that occurred. Many of those hard days, I typically write “survived the day”.

Many of those dates of July said “survived the day” or “going home”. To be exact 10 “going home” and 5 “survived the day”. 15 out of 31 days.

Days before July started, I was already in a battle with my mind. I made myself feel “not good enough” for one person. Additionally, I felt like I wasn’t good enough to be in a relationship. And what’s worse was that I had a week off with my mind.

Fortunately, I started therapy on the first of July.

After my week off, work changed drastically every week.

The moment I walked into work after having a week off, my classroom literally changed from one classroom into two. Before my break, I was finally having a co-teacher and we were both so excited to work with each other. Then we each had a mini classroom and couldn’t work together. That first week of a divided classroom, I still had to work by myself in the afternoons. My co-teacher had not started working full time yet. And it was difficult to keep 9 kids in one small classroom for a week.

The next week was interesting, I spent the first half at work and the second week in quarantine. It was the first week of having two classes and we had 5 new/returning students. It was chaotic. Our schedule was rushed and we barely had any materials since they split the toys and materials into two. Then Thursday I woke up feeling so weak. I was trying to just take the day or half a day off. But with COVID, I had to call my doctors and see what their opinion was. Many of the symptoms of COVID are symptoms I experience many times, way before COVID. With anxiety, I already have a hard time breathing and get sore throats. Also, I get headaches all the time. I had to go to a Respiratory “Urgent Care” (aka tents in the parking garage). I got a strep throat test and COVID test. My vitals and breathing were healthy and the doctor had no concerns. However I had to be in quarantine for 3 days while my test was being processed. No complaints there. (Oh it was negative, by the way).

I came back from my unexpected 4 day weekend worried about what happened while I was gone. It was the Floater’s first week there and she already had to sub for me. From what she told me, everything went well. However that 4 day weekend didn’t help with my challenging student’s behavior during nap time. All my progress with him regressed and he was back to hitting and kicking me, along with the floater and my co-teacher. And after the third day in a row, I had a panic attack and was ready to quit. Thankfully, that week we had a Staff Development Day and was closed on Friday. I spent time talking to my director and we tried to come up with ways to see if we could switch students around, which was impossible because that one student has conflict with so many other students. I was stuck.

It was affecting me so much mentally. I felt like I was failing as a teacher. I was so frustrated and got so angry at work. I raised my voice at students and took away so many things. I cried on the way home from work one day and the following day going to work. THIS IS NOT THE REASON WHY I BECAME A TEACHER.

I had therapy this week. My therapist could tell how I’m letting the behavior of my challenging student affect my self-worth and my quality as a teacher. And I was…

I barely slept or ate in the past couple of weeks. And that is probably why I’m feeling very fatigued and weak.

This week, I changed my perspective on my student’s challenging behavior during nap. Instead of making him lay on his mat quietly and wait until the last 45 mins to do a quiet activity. He had to earn the quiet activity. I made him a visual schedule, something I’ve learned while working with children in special education. He is helping wiping the chairs and tables after lunch to get his energy out. Then he has to rest for 30 mins, then read books. Afterwards, he has a quiet activity and a “mystery activity”. But if his voice is not quiet or his body is not calm throughout each activity, he cannot get the next activity. He has to work and earn it. Hopefully this will be the answer to my problem with him.

Along with problems and challenges at work.

I had a couple of scares with my mom going to the ER twice.

I found out that my next door neighbor committed suicided. (Hearing someone commit suicide is a trigger for me.)

I had about many migraines. More than I typically have in a month.

Really bad migraines that: made my vision blurry, was a pounding and unbearable pain. It also made me feel nauseous for days.

Additionally, I realized through a trauma coach and therapy….I have been experiencing trauma from past relationships.

Some positives about this month:

  • HAMILTON!!!
  • Finally got a haircut
  • The days I had off. Due to: my vacation, my unexpected 2 days off and getting off at noon on my staff development day.
  • When one of my students told me, “Ms. Melissa, you’re so beautiful everyday”
  • Coffee.
  • A negative COVID test
  • Videos from Instagram making me laugh.
  • Organized and decluttered my desk.
  • Finally finished errands I put off for months,
  • The amazing floater who barely started. But she has helped me with my class, my students and comforted me when I was having a panic attack.

So yea…

That was my month.

I’m glad it’s over.

I’m starting this month with a positive perspective.

Hello August.

-MEL

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