Life keeps throwing chances at me…

…and I keep throwing them away.   Maybe I’ll never graduate. Maybe I’m supposed to be an ESL elementary school teacher forever. I’m starting to get comfy in my teacher jumper. I’m starting to see myself doing this in the … Continue reading

Smile like you mean it

There is no day that goes by without someone checking out my post Writing a thesis while being depressed, mission impossible? It is by far the most read post on this blog, some examples of the search words that lead … Continue reading

And then spring break was over

Today was my first day of work after the spring break. I spent the whole Sunday in angst and afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to pull it off. Well, I did. I managed it just fine. Got up super early, taught my classes, chatted with co-workers, and everything was ok. I’m actually proud of the way I handled myself. I did get one remark about looking sad from another teacher who’s sharp-eyed, but what I essentially got were “Whoa you got bangs” remarks that deflected the attention from other issues. But the thing is, I was trying so hard to be ok, that I actually convinced myself I was indeed fine, and that’s how I got through my workday.

And then…then it was time for therapy. I dreaded it a little because I knew I’d have to face what I’d been avoiding all day long in order to function. I know that once you open the worm can, you can try to close it but the smell will escape; once the warranty seal has been broken, its contents will inevitably escape the container.

I was actually in a good mood when I arrived at Mr. Shrinky’s office. We joked a bit about him moving the furniture around so that now he was sitting in what used to be the patient’s armchair. But I eventually had to update him on what’s been going on, including my severe anxiety attacks and the fact that not even the meds are being completely effective in reducing my symptoms. He basically told me the same thing that N said to me last week: my uncle’s passing, the last time I saw him, and the memories and nightmares that were triggered on that horrible night that followed are probably the cause of this chain-reaction that’s got me in a complete wreck.

And after therapy, the anxiety hit hard, so hard. The first thing I did when I got home was take the anti-anxiety med. Once again, I really didn’t care about feeling weak or crazy or any of that dumb rambling, I just wanted to stop feeling that bad. It took a while for it to kick in and meanwhile I was lying on my bed, wishing it would all just go away. Then I took a different approach: shiny things! I took out my ever-growing collection of nail lacquers and started with my toenails, I put together some pallets until I made one I was happy with, and proceeded to paint each nail a different color. Then I went on with the fingernails and even added some sparkly polish in the end. When I realized it, I had successfully spent an hour not feeling anxious. The only problem is as soon as I finished, the bitch came back, and I was not about to wipe my nails and start over just to enjoy another numb hour. I definitely feel better, the med really helps with the heart flips, but it doesn’t entirely wipe out the chest pains, that hollow sensation right in the middle of my chest.

I can only hope I won’t have to deal with this tomorrow since I won’t be seeing Mr. Shrinky until Wednesday. It might sound self-contradictory, but I wish I could accept his proposition of seeing me four times a week, because I feel like I’m walking on a very fine edge here. But I can’t afford it, I don’t have either the money or the time to do so, and I’ll have to play with the cards I’m given. Another option would be to stop seeing him altogether: today I proved myself that I can keep the sh*t locked away and function normally, so what if I decide to avoid it entirely? Will it explode on my face later on? Will it mean I’ll end up paying a higher price than dealing with it right now, even with the limitations that surround me?

I don’t think I will be posting for a bit. I’m gonna take a small break because I think I might also be triggering myself out. Or maybe I’ll try to write about other kinds of stuff like Juliet is doing, I think that’s a good idea. I’m going to take at least a couple of days to figure this out, try to find out how I can help myself or if I’m making things harder for me.

I’ll be seeing y’all shortly, be good!

Reality check

I go back to my real work tomorrow. I have to get up at 6am at the latest. I have to work for 8 straight hours. I have to wear my dreadful uniform.  After the end of my workday I’ll have to go to therapy, and so I’ll come back home at 8pm, I will have been out for at least 13 hours. I’ll have to go to bed at 10pm at the latest, because if I sleep any less than that, I simply can’t function, especially now that N has increased my anti-anxiety med after I showed at her office on Thursday completely mental.

About that, remember my post from Thursday where I said I was feeling a bit better? Well it didn’t last. After I left the Institute I went to a coffee shop to make some time since my appointment with N was at 8:45. I was still very anxious and stopped there in the hopes that a mint tea would help me relax. Sitting there with my smoky tea and reading blogs felt like a good idea…until a quake happened. Not a huge earthquake or anything, but a strong one. It was a magnitude 6.5 quake exactly. I’m not usually the kind of person to be scared about these things, they’re quite normal here in Mexico City. But in my jumpy state I guess I was triggered. I was sitting by myself when I started to feel the floor beneath me moving. I honestly was in such a state that I thought I was imagining things. Even when I looked at the lamps tilting I believed it might be the wind or something. But the sensation was growing stronger, and when I looked around at the rest of the people there, everyone was carrying on their activities as if nothing, that really freaked me out, I really thought I was loosing it. I don’t know how scared I looked on the outside, but a man came up to me and told me “it’s trembling”, which really helped me get a grip.

I waited until the last possible moment to get in the car and drive to N’s office, which almost caused me to be late. When I did get there I stayed for some moments inside the car, and when the car locked automatically with me inside, I had the shock of my life. My heart stopped, it was as if someone had shot point-blank at me. I got out, rang the bell, and then I had to wait outside for a couple of horrible minutes. Every car passing by was scaring me to death, there were even a couple of loud motorcycles that had me put my back against the wall. The previous patient eventually came out and I came in (N doesn’t have a secretary or a waiting room)…completely freaked out. I was crying, telling her all the things I had experienced just on that evening. I started to calm down and was able to talk to her about the past weeks, how anxiety had really taken a toll on me ever since my visit to my uncle’s house. She basically scolded me for not calling her and deciding on my own to take the anti-anxiety med…which is ironic considering in the end she told me not only to keep on taking it but to increase the dosage and to take it continuously for some time, even if I don’t feel the angst anymore.

As I said in an earlier post, I hate taking medication, I hate needing it. But the past few days had been so horrible that I truly didn’t mind anymore, I just wanted to feel better. And it has helped I have to say. I still feel bad, anxious, but the chest pains and the heart flips have stopped, so that’s good news. I’m coming back to Mr. Shrinky’s office tomorrow. I don’t know if N called him or if I’m gonna have to spread the lovely news of how I dealt with my holidays on my own. I have barely done half the things I needed to get done by tomorrow, and even so I’m here writing. I don’t feel scared of coming back to work anymore, but I’m finding it hard to even feel excited for the coming days, probably because even if it’s occupied by birthday-celebration-related events, I’m not keen on having too many social situations in one weekend (and by too many I mean even one).

Also, there are just a lot of commitments for me to deal all at once, at least that’s how I feel it. I have to prepare the open classes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades that are due on May but need to be handed in by April 19th. My tutor has emailed me about the Frankenthesis, she’s pressuring for me to be done with it, as she should, but I just haven’t found the time to deal with it. Is it really such a crime that I didn’t want to work on it over the holidays? I’m busy every weekday all day long, so when I got some days off, I actually wanted to clear my mind of things (which didn’t entirely work looking back on my anxiety crisis). But I’m not entitled to do this, there are just too many things to be done. All the time. Will it ever end? Will I ever get to do the things I like because I want to, and actually make a living out of them?

God, I’m still young and I’m already tired of responsibilities and sick of the system. How does one break free? Is it just a wild dream? Is is just the personal crisis I’m going through what’s making feel so unfit to live my life? I obviously don’t have the answers to any of those questions, but hopefully in about two or three weeks I’ll be readjusted to this unsavory routine. That is, if my post-birthday-depression doesn’t kick in as it has for the last couple of years. That’s actually the main reason for doing a small reunion this year. I can’t expect things to be different if I keep doing the same every year right? So this year I wish having company on Friday and attending a concert on Saturday will turn things around…even if just a little.

 

 

Rambo skills

This is just not a good day. I hate how my mood can go up and down just like that with no apparent reason for it, not on the outside at least. It started since last night. Wild suicidal thoughts running through my mind. Hadn’t had those in months. And it just sucks. Not because I’m about to throw myself out the window, I’m not really suicidal at this point, but the thought crosses my mind and then I just start thinking of ways I could do it, lovely hobby isn’t it? It feels like a loss, like I was getting away from that and then in a day I can be thrown right back into it.

As much as I wanted to pretend everything was ok just because I had the gift of a couple of happy days, truth is I’m still broken, and it won’t go away because I got to play in a pool.

I know one thing that is for sure contributing to making me feel this way. I got two weeks off from teaching but only one off from Mount Olympus, so this week I was able to show up at the Institute earlier, without the pressure of running back and forth between the school and the campus, and I got to stay for as long as I wanted, there was a lot to be done anyways. But the point is this isn’t my real routine. On Monday I have to go back to teaching English, which was perfectly fine by me until I got this other job that constantly reminds me of what I really want to do with my life, or rather what I don’t want to do with it.

It’s not that I don’t like being a grade school teacher, I think I like it and I don’t suck at it. It’s that I didn’t choose this to be my life, but rather it chose me. It’s something that happened to me, not something that I made happen.

Writing for a living, being a historian, working in the editorial business, becoming a foreign affairs official, those are things that I want to happen to me, any of them, but I’m gonna have to make them happen, they’re not going to come on their own. But how can I work on obtaining any of those things while I’m so busy making a living out of teaching? I guess I do think I can do it, that’s what I’m fighting for everyday, but this week is just reminding me how easier it would be if I didn’t have to juggle so many things at the same time, especially things that I consider are keeping me away from my dreams.

I’m going to be 26 next week, I’m not a young girl anymore, I’m actually going to be closer to my 30’s than to my 20’s, and I still haven’t gotten there yet, I still feel like my dreams are millions of light years away from me. In fact, I feel like they are further away than what they where some good 4 years ago. I feel like I’m wasting my time, and while other people my age are steadily on their way to achieving their life goals, I’m still in line to get on life’s roller coaster (wow, that sounded a so corny lol)

It’s been a couple of hours since I started writing this post, and I feel a little better, it’s a good thing I let it rest here for some time before publishing it. Maybe it’s because  I’ve been so busy with documents and emails from one of the reviews I’m working for, maybe it’s the fact that I’ve resigned myself that I’m gonna have to keep going this way for longer than expected. Maybe it’s the weather, that has become cloudy and probably rainy and sure suits my mood better than the sunny spring day we had in the morning. Who knows… I guess we all have our moments. I’m still feeling down, but as we say in Mexico, I’m not cutting my veins with animal crackers anymore. Now I’m working on my Rambo skills: this is life, it’s not great, sometimes it sucks, deal with it.

 

Rambo cat disapproves of my weakness

Not so Good Friday

My uncle passed away this morning. We’d been expecting the call for days now. Whenever the phone rang at unusual hours our hearts would skip a beat. And it finally came. I don’t know the details, but apparently he died in his sleep, his heart just gave out. My mother, together with my remaining aunts and uncles left around noon to be there for the wake and burial and are coming back tomorrow afternoon. A couple of my cousins left a bit later and got there by the evening, they’ll probably be coming back at down tomorrow. Irapuato is a 4-hour-long-drive away, give or take. And still, despite all these facilities and opportunities, I stayed behind. That’s how much of a chicken I am.

I chose not to go to the wake for a number of reasons. The good thing about driving my mom to see my uncle for the last time a couple of weeks ago, is that I myself got to say goodbye and see him while he was still conscious and express my aunt (his wife) and one of their daughters (the one I’ve been closest to), how sorry I am for all of this. Having said my goodbyes and having seen the two women I wanted to see, I couldn’t really find a point in meeting up with the rest of his children and grandchildren, whom I’ve never been close to. Also, there’s the fact of how horribly triggered I was the last time I was there, just by the mere idea of seeing this particular cousin of mine whose memories I’ve been having to deal with ever since that night I stayed there, and all of the terrible dreams I dreamt that caused a week-long anxiety attack.

I feel like shit about staying behind, and still I think it was what was best for me. Amongst other things, I would’ve been forced to see my cousin, and I don’t know how triggering that might have been. A couple of weeks back I suffered like hell, and I think now it would’ve been worse. However, even staying here in Mexico City didn’t entirely keep me out of harm. I’ve been having these palpitations and anxiety pains that got so bad I actually needed to resort to my anxiolytic today.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been having a different kind of chest pains. The experience is similar to what you feel when you just heard incredibly bad news, something you just couldn’t believe possible or something that goes terribly wrong and there is way too much at stake, do you know the feeling? I can kind of describe it like my heart flipping over… it’s weird and it feels horrible. The thing is, I’ve had this sensation while doing the most ordinary things, it’s happened while driving, teaching a class, working, playing with the kitties, anything really, and since I felt it related to my heart, when I shared it with BF he obviously got worried.  The first thing he wondered is if this was an anxiety-related issue, like the regular palpitations I get on Sundays and I said no way, because this time it wasn’t happening while I was experiencing anxiety or angst in any way. So, when I continued to feel this way, he suggested I met with a cardiologist or something like that. I of course didn’t like the idea so I was trying to ignore the sensation.

Today, however, the sensation happened so many times I lost the count, and by the evening I was also experiencing my regular angst chest pains. That’s when I decided to hit the med cabinet and grab the anxiolytic. I don’t like taking it, it makes me feel like I’m weak and a loser, but today I really needed it. It was also sort of an experiment, if the heart-flipping-over-thing didn’t stop with the med, then I would be sure it wasn’t anxiety-driven. But it did, both to my relief and sorrow. Relief, because it means I won’t have to go on a heart-doctor-quest that would most certainly imply uncomfortable and expensive tests. Sorrow, because it means I’ve developed yet another cuckoo symptom. Now I’m getting anxiety related “heart flips” or whatever you want to call them, and I get them even when I’m not particularly stressed! Granted, today has been a stressful day with all the family issues, but this thing started before today.

And now I’m gonna have to mention this to the shrink board. Because yeah, I really haven’t brought it up before since I had convinced myself this was entirely physical. So, I’ve been dealing with a new and quite discomforting symptom, and haven’t said a word to the actual people who might help me deal with it, way to go! I was probably just waiting for it to go away and leave me alone, but by this point I’m beginning to realize it’s not going to go away by itself, damn it!

About my uncle, I can only say I’m relieved he’s resting now. Of course it’s terrible to have someone in the family die, but what he was going through was way worse. I only worry about my aunt now, she had been taking care of him for so long she practically gave up her life for him. I just hope sadness recedes just enough to let her see he’s now in a better place, whatever it may be.

I’m still going to see her and her daughter next week though. As I mentioned before, I’m going on a small trip with BF to this village called San Miguel de Allende, which is actually just an hour away from their city, so when we head back, we’re going to stop there for me to give my condolences to them, and hopefully by then the family huddle will have dissolved.

Downtown San Miguel de Allende
Image credit: Sandy Baum Photography

Sweeping the crumbs of despair

Been sitting here for two hours looking at my attempt of a draft of my final chapter of the Frankenthesis. It’s not really the last chapter, it’s the second one, but it’s the only one I’m missing. Have to deliver it by Friday so that it can be checked and read by the people at the dreaded thesis seminar. I’ve gotten extension after extension, and this is the last chance I have of delivering it. I honestly think I’m in danger of losing my tutor. This isn’t wat she signed up. She’s not my mother, nor my therapist, nor my friend. She’s a successful academic who accepted to work with a high performance student, and what she got is a depressed, washed up , insecure cry baby who can’t manage to write down a chapter without a breakdown.

If I finish on Friday, I’ll be done with my self-created monster. Not DONE done, but I’ll be on the other side, on the much greener (or so I think) grass of corrections and editing. If only I could have it done by Friday I’d have one less stone to carry around. But as I was saying, I’ve been wasting my time for two hours and produced exactly 2 paragraphs, one of which I erased. And so, I come here to whine in the totally realistic hopes that ideas will magically flow into my mind and I’ll just have to write them down.

Today was a better day though, I don’t want to sound like I’m still swimming in the same misery pond I was on Sunday and Monday, let’s say I’m just dipping my feet in those waters. Panic has receded into anxiety, and after the f*cking Science Fair was over and done with at school (something I hated so much I didn’t even blog about), and I managed to gain a small victory against the infernal online system that runs the reviews I’m working for, I managed to ease up on the apprehensive state of shock I was in.

Anyhow, I guess this is me reporting I’m back from the land of despair where I’ve been approved a resident’s visa. Lovely trip, the sightseeing is amazing. Here’s a pic I had taken while I was there, fun times!

sadcat

Meds and birthdays

I’m not used to having sucky Fridays. They’re not my favorite day either, but I handle them. Today sucks though. And I want to write about it but I don’t want this post, and my blog for that matter, to become a place where I come and barf all my negativeness. And it’s also angering because I don’t understand how I can wake up and feel like shit in one second, before I even walk out into the world. So I’m placing the blame on the meds. Fuck ’em.

I usually take my morning dose somewhere around 8am, but today it was one of the first things I did after getting up at 6 because I knew from the moment I woke up it wasn’t going to be pretty. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I set my mind to have a shitty day, it just comes that way sometimes, it sneaks up on me. And to be honest, I haven’t been taking all of my meds either. Ever since N admitted one of the pills was making me gain weight, I  stopped taking it. She had told me to just lower the dose until I had my next appointment with her, and she could then decide what to replace it with, but I just couldn’t put it in my mouth knowing that it was making me hate my body all over again. So yeah, that’s what happens when you tell crazy people to take their meds I guess.

Also found out earlier today that I’m gonna have to work on my birthday. It’s a Saturday so I was thinking I could at least take the day off but no, I have to be at school entertaining parents on the Family Day, whatever the hell that is…  Still I’m considering the possibility of doing something for that day. I haven’t properly celebrated it since I turned 19 some ages ago, and maybe I’d like people to celebrate me for a change though it’s something that makes me anxious.

I’ve had some shitty birthdays that’s for sure. Right now there’s one that comes to my mind. I remember once BF asked me to spend my birthday at his place as they were celebrating another friend’s bday, it seemed like a good plan for me. Little did I know no one except BF gave a shit about my birthday. I hate people singing happy birthday, and the cake ritual and stuff is just not my thing, but when a cake appeared and everybody started singing to this guy and then to congratulate him and simply ignore me, I just wanted to hide under the table. His birthday had already passed, and mine was on that very night,  and still they didn’t care! Thanks for the appreciation…

I haven’t really decided yet, but I’m giving it a thought. It would be something very low-key, absolutely NO cake included, and probably at my house (exxxtra-anxious!) because I don’t really have a group of friends. I have scattered friends from all the lives I’ve lived and so I think it would be easier to make the reunion at my house instead of at a restaurant or something.

One of the reasons I think this might be a good idea is that maybe the time after my birthday wouldn’t be so hard for me. Last year I had it rough. Fell into a deep crisis and zombied through April mostly. This way, there could at least be the possibility of having something to look forward to. There’s also the possibility it becomes an epic fail and throws me into some miserable days, there are just too many things that could go wrong.  So what to do? I’ll let March be the judge of that.

So there you go. Meds and birthdays. Are my post-naming skills getting smoother or what? Happy weekend!