Tag Archives: mental health

Someone else’s dream

It took the earth 24 rounds around the sun for me to realize that I need to stop seeking people’s approval. That I need to start thinking and living for myself. That it’s okay if I make a mistake. It’s okay if I’m not perfect in every single thing that I do in life. That it’s ok for me to be human and act like one.

I’ve been too afraid to be wrong that I’ve missed so many opportunities life had to offer. I regret every second, every minute that I let fear control me like a puppet on strings. I regret it so bad that those same moments replay in my mind as nightmares when I’m asleep. But there’s comfort in knowing that I’m here. That I made it in one piece, or maybe in a thousand. But I’m still here. Breathing. Living. Existing. That I still have a chance to change things that are yet to happen in the future. The first step to solving a problem is to accept you have one. And mine is fear. It’s like instead of blood, fear pumps through my veins and clogs into my heart.

Life has so much to offer, but we don’t take those offers because we’re afraid that there might be a catch. That maybe if we take life’s offer life might take something from us in return. But why does that have to be a bad thing? Why is giving seen as something bad compared to receiving.

In order for you to gain something in life you have to first give. You must learn how to let go and how to surrender. I learned that when I was studying biophysical chemistry in college. I was holding onto a dream that wasn’t mine. A dream that everyone else had seen for me. A dream that I couldn’t see.

It was during a lecture on quantum mechanics that I realized I was stressing for all the wrong reasons. These tiny particle spinning around in circles, chasing each other did not put in the effort for me to be miserable. If electrons did as they pleased then why couldn’t I? The position of electrons depended on probability… wasn’t my life the same.

In that class I didn’t learn formulas or theories or hypothesis or names of scientists, I learned that suffering was inevitable. No matter what career pathway I choose in life I was bound to trip, bound to fall, bound to get hurt. But I also learned that I could choose my own suffering. I could choose how to fall and how to rise. How to tend to my own wounds.

Med school, being a doctor- as prestigious as it sounds wasn’t meant for me. Yes the title of Dr. is beautiful but the pathway that leads to it isn’t. That’s not the type of suffering I can deal with. I would most likely go crazy. Even if I do make it through med school, I know I’ll be miserable as a physician.

The probability of me being a successful writer is 1 out of a million and the odd that I would be that successful is low. But its something I can live with. I may not be making a shit tons of money and I may not have a Dr. label in front of my name. I might have to do part time jobs like I’m doing right now. I’ll have to face constant rejections. Maybe even cry rivers. But its something I can live with. Will I regret it? I don’t know? I’ll update y’all in a another ten years to let y’all know.

When anxiety changes into depression

Anxiety is that odd feeling that grabs you by the throat and suffocates you to the point where you wheeze for air. No matter how hard you inhale you can’t seem to get anything inside of your lungs. It’s a feeling that constantly makes you worry. It nibbles on your insecurities and makes you lose your mind. You become tired and restless and your heart starts thrashing in your ribcage and you start sweating like crazy. All the energy you had in your body leaves you, making you feel so tired that you can’t even move. A deep slicing headache takes a hold of you. The pain is so bad that you’re willing to swallow as many pills as you can to make it go away.

The anxiety slowly leaves, and depression fills the void. Everything that once held meaning loses its purpose. Faith that once kept you in one peace starts to suffocate you, making you run around, gasping for air. You sit in one place like a statue staring into space because the wars in your mind are damaging you. You can’t fight the world because you’re losing a war with yourself. You lose faith and then slowly you lose every part of you that makes you human. All you want to do is lie down, curl into a ball, cover yourself and sleep. But even sleep gives up on you and you lay awake, trying to hold onto whatever excuse you can find to keep going.

Things that once made you happy, don’t bring a smile to your face anymore. Even the simplest tasks, like making breakfast seem like a burden. Getting out of bed seems useless.

Thoughts roam around in your mind, making you question the validity of your existence. You lose hope and at that moment everything just seems useless. That soft voice telling you to end it all takes over and you find yourself smiling to that thought. It brings an odd comfort.

Depression or anxiety is not easy to deal with. It’s like you’re drowning in an ocean and everyone else is drowning with you, but they can breathe, and you can’t. It’s like everything is on fire and no one seems hurt but you. It’s like everyone else is living in a parallel universe and no matter what you do, you can’t seem to escape.

Everyone has their way of dealing with anxiety. I write. I wrote a freaking poetry book to deal with my mental health. Curing my Venom. It’s based on the five stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But no matter what stage I’m on, I can’t seem to move on to acceptance. I always get dragged back. I don’t know what’s holding me, but I do know I have chains as thick as iron grasping my arms. And I’m suffocating.

Be gentle with people who have anxiety and depression or any other mental illness. They’re too busy fighting the demons in their minds that they can’t seem to fight you. Give them assurance. Constant assurance that things will be okay because sometimes the demons in their mind are so loud that they can’t hear you over the ruckus in their brain.

Wrenched anniversary

“It’s our anniversary,” she says so softly over the phone that I can barely hear her.

“That’s amazing! Are you gonna celebrate?” I ask trying to sound gleeful even though it’s 4 am in the morning, and I’m sleepy.

She doesn’t say anything and all I hear is her uneven breathing. “I’ve wasted eighteen years of my life.” There’s remorse in her voice, the kind you get when someone close to you passes away. She’s been married for eighteen years. Time passes by so fast when you’re not the one suffering.

“Huh.” I try to act oblivious even though I know what she’s talking about. She’s never mentioned it to me, but I’ve eased dropped enough to figure out things that I’m not supposed to know.

“Nothing child,” she steers away from the conversation and asks me about college, and when I’m getting married. I laugh it off and brush the conversation to something more convenient, like the weather. We can talk about things that are unimportant for hours, but when it comes to important things, we either have no words or we lose our voices.

Why is it so hard to say what’s on my mind? I want to press her, ask her for the details but I’m terrified of her answer. Sometimes the words I want to spit out are lingering on the tip of my tongue but no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to say them. It’s like they’re caged behind these metal bars that won’t let my words pass.

I know her because I love her like a second mother, but I haven’t exactly been the perfect daughter. I know the torture she’s been through and it gets me angry every time I hear her hopeless voice. I wish I could do more for her then just listen. But how can I help someone else win their war when I’m losing my own battles.

She seems perfect from the outside. We all do, but no one knows what’s happening behind closed doors. Some smiles are etched with knives of pain. Sometimes devils don’t wear horns, they come to you wearing divine wings. And the worst part is that these devils don’t even know they’re devils because they’re hiding beneath culture, sex, ego and power.

What I don’t get is why we become so afraid to speak? Maybe because we’re afraid no one will listen or understand. Maybe we’re afraid of the gossip. Maybe it’s easier to hide beneath veils then to be exposed.

I don’t know why she stayed. She says it’s because of the culture we grew up in and because she had children and there was no way she could fend for herself in a world where divorced women are considered taboo.

I remember hearing once that her husband beat her up because she left the house without covering her face. I do blame the husband but also the mentality he grew up in and sadly we’re still living in that same time frame.

People around me still have that mindset and no matter how loud I scream or speak, my voice falls on deaf ears. People think it’s better to endure abuse than to unveil that curtain. I don’t blame them because I am not in that position and I have no idea what they’re going through. But not speaking up ruin’s future generations. It creates abusers and victims. I’ve seen way too many women around me suffer in silence and their silence screams in my ears.

She- whose name I can’t mention is still in that position. Her children are a mess and it breaks my heart every time I talk to her or see her. I wish I could do more for her and other women like her.

Photo by Northwoods Murphy from Pexels

Needing Validation

Why is it that sometimes… no matter how many mountains I climb, or how many oceans I sail, or how many bridges I burn I don’t see myself the way I want to. No matter how hard I try I can’t seem to rise to a place where I want to be. It’s like the mountains keep on growing, and day by day I become smaller and smaller.

It’s like I’m stuck in this little plateau and the only thing I can do is jump off it. I could crash, or I could fly. The latter seems more likely. But I am at that point where pain seems like a better option than this feeling of being empty. At least that way I’ll feel something. The numbness creeps up on my skin and takes a hold of my being, making me feel like a hollow body without a soul.

I feel like no matter how many accomplishments I kiss, no matter how many victories I embrace, I won’t ever be satisfied because my heart is not content. I feel like I need validation from people close to me like a child in preschool needs validation from a teacher. I need the people around me to tell me I’m doing a good job because that’s the only way I’ll be convinced. I need people to tell me I’m good for me to believe it, which is bad because when I don’t get the validation I plunge into this hole of self-doubt.

I can look in the mirror and chant, “I’m amazing. I’m beautiful. I’m awesome,” day and night, but I won’t believe it, not until someone comes and tells me those things. The people around me don’t realize but their words have a huge impact on me. Sometimes their words hit like knives and bullets and sometimes they act as a salve. Even the tiniest gesture or a simple sentence could hit like a bomb and I would find myself thinking about it for the next eon.

A person could come and tell me I’m a psychopath and I would believe them because my brain is wired to listen to the outside voices, rather than the voices in my head. This is one of the most toxic traits you can have because it leads directly toward self-destruction and that’s the one thing I’m good at. Destroying myself. The worst form of abuse is the one that comes from within because at the moment you become your biggest enemy and there’s nowhere to run.

If someone told me I was ugly, I would agree with them and I would feel uncomfortable in my own skin and if someone told me I was beautiful, I would make myself believe that I’m worthy of being on the cover of Vogue magazine. Sounds stupid. I know.

Imagine having a computer and you need to reset it or fix it. The first thing you’ll need to do is turn it off, then take out the wires, untangle them and plug them back in. You might even have to reboot it. It takes effort and time, and fear that your ‘useful’ information will be lost with all the useless information.
That’s how rewiring your brain is like. You have to detangle yourself and, in the process, you might even cause more damage, but the best thing is that every form of damage is reversible and curable.

Rewiring your brain is hard. It’s not, ‘oh let me shut my brain off and turn it back on like a computer.’ It’s more of ‘oh shit, this was wrong’ or ‘oh snap I should’ve done that,’ but that’s how you learn. That’s how you progress. That’s how you break bad habits, by replacing them with good ones.

I’m working on myself, by making amends and filling in holes that I have because I was too busy doubting myself. Too busy looking for someone else’s approval. I’ve started listening to that soft voice in the back of my head now. It’s not always nice, but it’s there… dim… and barely audible.

Will it actually be okay?

“It’s okay.”
“It’ll be alright.”

Your lips are moving but your words aren’t reaching me. I’m trying so hard to grasp onto the letters spewing out of your mouth, but they slip from between my ears like sand does in a closed palm. I can’t comprehend what you’re saying. Don’t raise your voice, it’ll only make me deaf.

The words your chanting have stopped making sense to me and the demons rioting in my mind are taking control. They’re harsh words make more sense, then your sugar-coated lies. Those demons are so loud that I can hear them scream like they’re standing next to me.

“Nothing will ever be okay”
“Look at yourself. You’re all sorts of fucked-up…”

Yes!
I find myself agreeing and repeating those same words to myself, saying them over and over again in my mind. The vapor of hope, I was holding close to my chest, vanishes and I find myself being molested by despair. I cry and scream but no one seems to hear. And it feels as if everything coming out of my mouth is a sin. Maybe I deserve all this. Maybe I should be punished. I’m already ruined, I’ll ruin everyone else around me too. I feel like a weed growing among roses, which needs to be pulled out or it’ll ruin the beauty of everything else.

I’ve come to the point where I’ve stopped yelling at those voices in my head. I’ve stopped fighting them because, in the end, I’m the one who gets stabbed. I curl into a ball and pull the covers over myself in an attempt to hide, but I can’t seem to do that. The more I try to conceal myself the more visible I become.

No matter where I go, I can’t hide myself from me. I can’t run away from what I am. From what I don’t want to be. This self-inflicted war makes my chest tight and it aches so bad that even inhaling hurts. How can I fight the world, when the war I’m fighting is taking place in my head? How can I win, when the person I’m fighting is me?

It’s hard to see the good in things when you’re blinded by grief. It’s hard to be positive when you’ve grown up in negativity. But I guess that’s what life is. It’s a war and you’re a soldier. It’s a dictator and you’re a rebel and rebels don’t give up. Rebels never give up. You’re brave, not because you’ve always won but because you’ve chosen to rise after every fall. Warriors don’t give up. No matter how brutal the voices become, no matter how bloody the battlefield gets. You’re strong because you’re here, torn, messed up, broken. But you’re here and that’s all that matters.