Tag Archives: anxiety

I’m not in your place

I’m sorry that the world isn’t fair
And we as humans are a disgrace
I’m sorry that you lost your life
because of someone else’s hate
I’m sorry that the world doesn’t care
When you were dying inside
I’m sorry about the monsters
We’re all trying to hide
I’m sorry about the attack
I know you’re very hurt
And deep inside you’re aching
I’m sorry I couldn’t save you
When the whole world was breaking
I’m sorry that you’re scared
And I can’t do anything to help you
I’m sorry that I’m safe and sound
While you can’t even make it through
I’m sorry about everything
About those bodies falling to the floor
I’m sorry about being so selfish
And closing all my doors
I’m sorry about this unfairness
About these bans, walls,
and destroying all your dreams
I’m sorry for not listening
When you tried so hard to scream
I’m sorry for being sorry
Because I know loved ones can’t be replaced
I’m sorry for sealing my lips, my eyes and my ears
Because I’m not in your place

A day with Anxitey….

Sometimes I don’t wake up to sunlight peeking through my windows. I wake up to a dark invisible cloud looming above my head. I don’t hear the chirping of birds and the rustling of wind. I hear my own heart bashing against my chest and the blood surging through my veins, and it is in that moment where I want to lie back down and pull the cover over my head and pretend that everything is okay, even though I know it’s not. I’m having anxiety or maybe heart failure. I can’t tell the difference.

My brain isn’t functioning, and a headache is threatening to spill. I’m shivering, and I feel like my heart is about to pop out of my chest. Tears are forming in the ducts of my eyes and I can’t seem to breathe, but I have to force myself up, even when every cell in my body is begging me to lie back down.

The simplest things seem like a burden, and I can’t explain the explosions going on in my mind and in my stomach. The day won’t go well; I know this beforehand. Deep inside, I’m wishing for night to come so I could hide beneath it, but the hands on the clock seem to be moving slower and slower and there is nothing I can do to make them move fast enough.

I drag my legs out of bed and change for school. But I silently sit on the sofa hoping my mother wouldn’t notice the panic crawling on my features, but she does, and she asks me. I can’t get the words out. I can’t tell her that I’m having anxiety. I can’t tell her that everything around me is ticking like a bomb and I can’t control my heart from beating at a rate I can’t calculate, or I can’t control my limbs from shaking. I can’t explain that I can’t breathe because it feels like I have a heavy elephant sitting on my chest.

“I’m okay.” The words seem rehearsed. I lie to her and she believes me, not because she actually does, but because she has seen me like this, and to her this is normal because that’s what I make it look like.

I have to force myself from leaving the house, but incoherent thoughts erupt in my mind. The stupidest things that would make any normal person laugh, are haunting me. I’m afraid the pizza guy next door is an agent and he’s trying to kill me. Even though deep inside I know he’s a kind father of five and he won’t do anything to harm me. I’m afraid that a meteorite will burst out of the sky and against all possibilities it will fall on me. And the one thing eating my insides is that I’ll have a panic attack in the middle of nowhere and the people around me will laugh. They won’t understand because no one ever does.  I have to bite back the tears and suck it up even though there is a storm brewing inside of me.

School isn’t better either. There are familiar faces that look so distant. I have friends gathered around me and I can’t tell them that I don’t want to talk. I can’t tell them that deep inside I am drowning. I’m scared that if I tell them they’ll either leave me to drown or they’ll drown with me. Both possibilities are equally terrifying.

It seems better to have no friends. I know I’m hurting them because I am being hurt, but it’s just something I can’t control. And they don’t ask me, because they don’t know. But how do they not see? How do they not notice?

It’s hard telling them why I cancel plans last minute. It’s because I don’t know when my anxiety will tow with me. And even I don’t understand how it transforms into depression, and then it morphs into anger and I can’t control it and I hate myself for that.

Sitting in class is suffocating. It feels like the walls are closing in on me. I can’t focus on the teacher’s words because I’m scared that the girl sitting next to me will hear my heart, or that she’ll see I’m sweating even when the classroom is cold.

It’s hard explaining to my parents that even though I’m brave, that even though I look strong, deep inside I’m not. Sometimes I feel like I am breaking, and I am falling apart. It’s so hard telling them that even though I’m a grown adult, I still need them to hold my hand. I still need to lean on them. I still need them to speak for me because I honestly can’t do it.

It’s this odd suffocation that can’t be cured with oxygen. I’m drowning, and I can’t be saved with an anchor. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is: I am ashamed to feel this way. I would rather burn and turn to ash than to accept that I have a mental illness. I feel like a disgrace. There are times where I am disgusted with myself. No one around me knows how to deal with this, but I can’t blame them, because I don’t know how to deal with it myself. I’m afraid of being judged, afraid of hearing the word ‘Mental illness’ because it feels like some sort of plague that will spread if I accept it. Like it’s an airborne disease and I’m not allowed to say it out loud. I come from a culture where Mental illness is taboo. Something we don’t speak of. Something we don’t acknowledge.

I am just one, out of countless people who feel this way. Mental illness is not something that will go away on its own, even though sometimes I wish it could. It’s not a phase that you’ll snap out of. It has the ability to transform and morph into something new. Something much worse. It can lead to depression and even suicide. It needs to be addressed. It needs to be talked about. Like any other disease, it needs to be cured.

Picture drawn by me.

The kiss of failure!

Isn’t it weird how sometimes you work so hard on something, just to be kissed by failure at the end? And it’s not the soft, subtle kiss you find in those happy ever afters. It’s one of those kisses that makes your heart sink somewhere near your kidneys. The one that makes you doubt your very existence. It’s the kind of kiss that haunts you for the rest of your life.

The kiss of failure never comes alone. It comes with self-hatred, doubt, desperation, and despair. It slowly creeps on you from the back and jumps on you when you least expect it. But you fall so hard that the earth stops rotating on its axis and I’m sure the sound is so loud that the angels up in heaven can hear it too. I’m sure they’ve gotten used to it by now.

Failure isn’t the only thing that bothers me. The after effects are just as worse; like an earthquake. When it comes it rips and tears everything apart and the after-shocks are just as worse. They break what’s already broken.

It’s like your mind becomes your greatest enemy and the world transforms into a very dark place. The beautiful masks people wear come dripping off and you get to see their real faces and they’re not pretty. You understand your fall but along with that, you understand what value people around you have. You understand that the mountain you were climbing had faults of its own. I’m not saying that failure is a bad thing, but it isn’t something that gives you comfort. If there’s one thing I’ve learned that is- the mountains you want to climb won’t get smaller. The paths you want to voyage won’t get prettier. The journeys you want to travel won’t get easier. And the fall definitely won’t hurt less. But the real question is how badly do you want it? How badly are you willing to fail? To fall? To crash? To burn? And then to reform? If your will to reach the peak empowers all other wills, then even failure will bow down to you.

It’s hard, very hard to swim in an ocean that’s pulling you down, and yet here you are, trying to climb a mountain you can’t even see. But if you give in, the waves will drown you. If you fight, then maybe, just maybe the waves will give up and they’ll push you to the shore.

There was once a man in Halacin who wanted to become an artist, but his parents forced him to become a doctor because according to them an artist had no value. “Artists don’t get paid much. How will you live? How will you ever be happy?” the parents argued. The man wanted to please his parents, so he left his passion and went to med school. There he studied hard, but no matter how much effort he put into his work, he would always fail. His joy vanished, and his heart did not align with his head. Every second that passed by pulled him toward art, but the man did not give in.

Because the man was doing so poorly in med-school, he was kicked out. Having no other option, the man burned his books and set sail to begin his journey as an artist. His parents disowned him and because of that the man had to take odd jobs to support himself. He worked as a mechanic, a dishwasher, a servant, but he did not complain. He was happy because for the first time he was listening to that voice in the back of his head.

The man wandered for years, but he couldn’t find a destination. Every journey he would travel would lead him to more turns. The man, tired of being on the road for so long, and aimlessly walking around, became tired and decided to give up and go back to his parents.

His parents were willing to accept him on one condition; that he follow the journey they had chosen for him. The man did as he was told, but he was unhappy, and he failed miserably. He did not understand what life had in store for him, but he knew one thing that failing while dreaming didn’t hurt as bad as failing without any dreams. The man, even with failure constantly kissing him, understood one thing, that failure was inevitable and so was suffering. No matter what journey he chose he was bound to fail, but he could choose what type of failure he was willing to endure. And in that instance when he did not know which journey to choose, he understood that he was willing to fail again and again, on a journey that made him happy. He was willing to suffer on a journey without a destination because it made him value himself. It taught him that failure is just as important as success.

He told his parents that he was willing to suffer, but of his own accord. His parents, furious with him, kicked him out again. The journey his parents had seen for him was easy, but it didn’t make him happy. Yes, he had a clean bed and warm food, but he lacked the ambition to move forward. He lacked the desire to do something.

The man left his parents and aimlessly voyaged again. He faced many setbacks and there were times when he wanted to give up, but he always remembered the reason why he held on for so long. When the man finally climbed the mountain of despair and hopelessness, he saw victory, wearing a blue cape, waiting for him on the peak of the mountain.

“Took you long enough,” victory scowled. The man was baffled. He was mad, angry, and annoyed. He was furious at victory. He couldn’t hold in his tears anymore, so he wailed like a small child.

“Why?” The man cried. “I spent years searching for you. Did you not pity me at all?”

Victory smiled at the man and said, “Every time you took a step toward me, I took two steps toward you and every time you stopped, I stopped with you. Every time you doubted me I doubted you. We’re linked. Don’t you understand that you’ve made it here on the back of failure? It was your perseverance that bought me here, to you.”

I’m not saying that your path will be easy. It won’t. But comparing your journey to someone else’s won’t make things better. Failure is a part of life. Maybe instead of fighting it, we should learn to embrace it. Kiss it back with such passion that victory gets jealous. Learn, and move on. But remember, every fall of yours is bringing victory closer to you.

The art of confusion

Sometimes I think I’m dumb, but then I have to remind myself that I’m a student majoring in biochemistry. To say that I’ve received all A’s would be an unorthodox lie. I’ve failed countless times but here I am trying to write a paper on Carl Schmitt. I know, this has nothing to do with biochemistry, but here I am taking a class I most probably won’t use in my career- that too, if I have one. It’s a political science class, and so far, the only thing I’ve learned is how to use an online dictionary.

At first, I was impressed by all those political and philosophical ideas. I was amazed at how beautifully the human brain can come up with such complex ideas. But after a few days, I realized that those ideas only appealed to me because I didn’t understand them. It was fascinating because I had no idea what Schmitt was talking about. Not like I understand the difference between an enzyme and a protein. FYI- A protein is made of amino acids, while enzymes can be made of both nucleic acids and amino acids (I googled it). See you learned something new. But sometimes, I have these moments where my dense brain gives up on me and I forget my own name. I’ve taken so many classes in the past, and ironically, I’ve received A’s but I still don’t know what I was supposed to learn.

When the teacher asks a simple question. I want to raise my hand and tell her/him the answer. But my version of the answer seems dumb. Like what is two plus two. My slow mind would say ‘four’. But then you have these smart-ass kids that would use the principles of God-knows-what to justify their answer. These are the times where I try to morph into the wall, so no one would know I said something as simple as four.

I like Trump in that sense. He speaks simple English. I bet if he taught biochem I’d be Einstein right now- in medical terms. Trump would make a good teacher if I was capable of taking him seriously.

People around me have the tendency to use complicated words. Like, ‘The zeitgeist intellectual has nescient ideologies.’ You lost me at ‘The’. The hell does zetgast mean. I can’t even pronounce that word.

I’m not saying that increasing your vocabulary is bad. No, it’s an amusing idea to go memorize the Oxford dictionary. You guys should go try it out. I’ve tried, and I’ve miserably failed.

I’m just saying that we should have an easier way of exposing complex topics. Sometimes it’s not even about complex words it’s about using words in such a way that it becomes impossible to decipher. It’s like a code that only a few of us can decode.

When people around me use complex words, I go into a trance. Like another universe. It takes time for me to adjust. Like my physics professor said something about relativity two years ago and I still can’t make sense of it. It gives me nightmares. I have dreams of two brothers separated in space for the sake of science. That is inhumane.

Sometimes I have to pretend not to speak English because people use simpler words. Yes, you feel smart and elevated and you feel like that college degree hanging on your wall has value but come on. Nothing is worth destroying brain cells in others. We already lack a lot of those.

Saying things in a simpler version should be named after our president. We should call it trumpling. So, when someone speaks in a complex way, no matter the language. Just say, please speak trumpling. Please don’t deport me Mr president. I’m a dreamer and I’m still waiting for that house with the white picket fence and an amazing loving soulmate, with two and a half kids and maybe even a giraffe.

Moral of the story. My inorganic chemistry professor pissed me off and I needed to vent. He’s one of those people who speaks with such authority that I get scared. Like okay, I understand the importance of chelates, but you don’t have to make me feel like I belong in the zoo, next to those penguins. Even if I did you didn’t have to point that out. I get insecure.

But my point is, that sometimes, certain things are hard to understand, and it takes time and patience to grasp concepts. Instead of making things more complicated, maybe we should figure out other ways to get our message across. Yes, it takes time and it might be hard, but the fruits at the end of the bridge are always rewarding.

Think of knowledge as a door and in order for you to attain that knowledge, you have to open that door. For some people, it might be easy because their door is made of plastic, but for some, it might be hard because their door is made of metal. But the only way to get through is to bang on it until it opens. Yes, at times you will feel dumb and stupid because you might not understand why things have to happen the way they do, but giving up midway won’t make things easier. Knock, bang, and strike until your door opens. Tear it down, blow it up, ignite it; try whatever you can. Do whatever is in your power. If one way doesn’t work, then try something else. But don’t ever doubt yourself, because sometimes while doing that, we create more doors instead of destroying old ones.

Thank you for your insults!

If you know I see dreams higher
than the sapphire alluring sky,
then why do you dig my grave
in your atrocious mind.

Stop tying me to these wounds
I’ll pull through all this pain.
Your hatred only gives me strength
to break free from these chains.

My flight has yet not left,
I’m dwelling my own demons,
the ones you planted in my desire
to keep me from my freedom

You’ve always pressed me down;
your laughs still echo in my ear.
They haunt me day and night
but remind me why I am still here

All your taunts trapped me
behind thick rusty bars of terror,
each day I would close my windows
wishing you could become better.

But I failed to realize that in me,
there’s a beauty you don’t see.
I’m elevating into victory,
where your harsh words won’t destroy me.

But now I’ve broken all those barriers,
the ones shackled in your disgust.
It was you who led me to this victory,
So, thank you for your insults.