From The One Who Lost Control

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I sat there. On the corner of my bed. Clutching my computer. Trying to find something, anything to distract myself from what I knew was happening to me. I went from E! to YouTube, Superwoman to Brad Pitt’s FBI case – if only I could find one thing that takes my mind away from this spiral I knew was around the corner.

But it was too late.

It was too late when I was on that bus, trying to text my boyfriend – my source of happiness. It was too late when I pretended to mull over what bread I want at FairPrice. It was too late when I made dinner like I was completely okay. It was just too late.

And so it happened. One tear drop at a time. A slow shiver that took over my hands and legs. I suddenly couldn’t breathe anymore. My desperation to hold onto anything that was sanity, slowly slipping away from my fingers. The lump in my throat, now a sob. I held onto my hair, willing myself to stop. Begging my emotions to take control of themselves. The pain spread from the back of my head to my chest. I knew I was too far gone to control anymore.

An hour later, I was starving. But I wouldn’t get up. If I get up, everything will fall apart. If I move from here, something will go wrong. I won’t. I can’t. I can’t. I CAN’T!

A fear that wrapped its arms so tightly around me, I felt bound to my bed, unable to move. I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t stop sobbing. It wouldn’t stop hurting.

The kind soul that chose me had to calm down an absolute mess of an adult who didn’t know how to stop being afraid of absolutely nothing.

So we talked about my day. “I made coffee. I showered. I went to study group.” One sentence after the other, I stuttered myself better just long enough to go get food.

But then at the kitchen, his call dropped. And so did I. To my knees with fear and tears until it was connected again because, “I’m terrified.”

A part of me so ashamed that this is what my life had come to. That I had to showcase my biggest vulnerability over a video call. That I needed someone else to help me. It didn’t help the tears. It didn’t help my racing heart.

Leave me. Find someone who isn’t on the kitchen floor when you don’t speak for ten seconds. Go away. But don’t. Because I don’t want you, I need you. I need help. Help me. But go be happy. I’m a mess. Go. Just.. don’t go. 

This doesn’t paint a very pretty picture, does it?

But this is what an anxiety attack is.

24 hours later, I’m still feeling shaky. I’m still struggling to not lose control to it. But it will happen. And I will yet again feel like my world is crushing me as it falls apart when everything is as it was fifteen minutes ago.

I’m lucky, though. I have someone to help me.

Not everyone does. So listen carefully. If your friend / family mentions anxiety, listen carefully. It’s not Want you hear.

It’s a desperate Need.

 

 

 

 

I Feel Like A Failure

There. I’ve said it. I’ve said the words I’ve been afraid to say for weeks, months now. This is what I feared. This emotion that I do not know how to process. This emotion that I do not know how to rise from. This emotion that I can’t make go away. This emotion that consumes me from the moment I wake up. The one that keeps me from sleeping at night.

We all make plans. Long term plans. I made a five-years’ plan. I was going to graduate university, get a job at an advertising agency and work my way up to one day be the Creative Director. Get my own apartment. Call my mom when I missed her food. Have this life that was so perfect and filled with flaws that were sprinkled all over it like tiny little snowflakes. I was moving forward and there came a point when I could see everything I ever wanted right there in front of me. All I had to do was grab it with both hands and never let go and I almost did. But then..

..The Universe happened.

I can be naive and childish about a lot of things but the very big decisions, I put a lot of thought into and I insist about sleeping on it because I believe you always see things more clearly after a good night’s rest. So that’s what I did. After a lot of thought, I made the decision to drop out, not because it was the right thing to do for myself but because it was the right thing to do for my family. I told myself it was a temporary situation. What I’d forgotten was that my five-years’ plan didn’t have enough wiggle room for that break. Because when I made that plan, I told myself it was all or nothing. I aimed for All. Life gave me Nothing.

In two months, it’ll be two years since my life stood still. When everything around me came to a screeching halt.

I’ve written five versions of this post. Nothing sums up what I’m feeling. I have no words to explain this thin line I’m standing on. This feeling where the smallest of pushes will turn me into a crying mess. I have lived all my life with insecurities that I locked deep inside me and some time over these past few months, they’ve been set free. I avoid conversations. I ignore successful people. I refuse to acknowledge happiness. Not because I’m jealous or negative. But because I long for that. Because it was so close and now it feels like a faraway dream that I might never have. I am the Titanic right after it hit the iceberg. Filled with chaos. Falling apart.

The most success I’ve had today is that I swallowed my tears. I didn’t let myself cry like I wanted to. And that’s not ok. Not by a long shot. This cannot be my life. I have made so many mistakes but the biggest one so far was the moment I let myself sink.

When talking to my father about a potential groom, I always said – “He has to be the kind of person that started his life from scratch. He can have the smallest apartment and we could be saving not more than $10 a month and I will still be proud of him because everything he has came from his hard work. I will remind him everyday that he’s worth it. Because he is all that matters.”

This was the mistake. I had so much encouragement and pride towards someone I’ve never met and yet, I didn’t have it for myself. I didn’t tell myself it’s ok to fall. I didn’t take pride in having the strength to live through that. I didn’t encourage myself enough to want to rise from this and make a life for myself. I didn’t value my life enough to do something about it. I just let myself go.

When I started this post, it was going to end right here. But as I pour these thoughts out, I’m starting to see things with clarity.

And now when I look back, I feel like I’ve paved the way to my own depression and I’m afraid that if I don’t do something about it, this will be the rest of my life.

So this is where I will start. Today, right this moment I take an oath to myself that I’m going to turn this around. I’m going to pick myself up and dust myself off. I’m going to find a Plan B and leave enough wiggle room for a Plan C. My cousin is getting married in March. When that wedding comes, I will not hide behind a fake smile. I will not avoid conversations. I will not find excuses to not go. Because right now…

I feel like a failure. But it’s not who I am and I won’t let it be.

Failure J.K Rowling

A Person Behind The Face

I am one of the most impatient people I have ever seen. I do not do well with crowds, long lines and people who stand at the cashier for hours and still cannot decide what they want. I especially hate when I have to listen to the same thing or answer the same question for the millionth time. “I already answered it. It’s over. Asking me about it every other day will not change what I’ve said.”

There is absolutely nothing that tests your patience more than the service industry. Incompetent staff, forever on-hold call centers and gossiping employees. It is always a struggle to not yell at a person who cannot do the one job he/she is paid to do. 

I recently went to a store and it was still pretty early in the morning. This staff member walked up to my dad and offered to help – it’s his job. We were probably his first customers for the day and when my dad asked him something and he gave an answer that hinted at an alternative suggestion, my dad snapped. This bothered me.

The lady at the cash register has been paid by a beauty products company to mention two of their products to every customer. So right before she takes money from us, she has to ask “Would you like this deodorant? This cream?” It is her duty. My sister gave her an irritated look and said “No. Just bill this. That’s enough.” It wasn’t nice.

A friend of mine had a problem with his internet connection. He called the person at the call center and screamed over the phone for not giving him the perfect solution. The problem was that the man sitting on the other line was not an engineer and had no idea what to do to get the internet to work again. They have a list of solutions written on a computer screen and if it’s a different problem, they don’t know what to do. This is common knowledge.

These are three instances that have happened over the past month. Three instances that I look down upon. Yes, the man at the store is paid to please my dad. But his day was just starting and the least we could do was not ruin it already. When you start your day by getting yelled at, it really puts you off. 

My sister and I were shopping and I had gotten my things just a few minutes before her. The woman who stood in front of me was there for twenty minutes trying to figure out if she wanted to pick the brown hair clip or the black hair clip. I looked at her and said, “Could you please go stand in the side, decide and come back? You’re holding up the line.” Because it wasn’t the cashier’s fault. The cashier gets paid to stand there and smile at even the most irritating of customers. She can’t tell the woman to walk away. It is not ok to be shouting at that cashier for doing her job.

We often let money cloud our judgement. “I pay the bill, they better treat me like I deserve to be treated.” We forget that the face you see has a person behind it. A person that hurts when you scream at them first thing in the morning. A person who has to repeat the same question about the same products to every customer and get irritated looks just so she/he can make ends meet. 

Someone sent me a private message criticizing my blog recently. It upset me. If she didn’t have something nice to say, she shouldn’t say anything. There is a difference between creative criticism and being mean.

Always remember, money or not, no matter which side of the cash register you’re standing in, you both bleed the same when poked. Yelling over the phone just because you can and writing mean comments because you don’t love it is not healthy or nice. Give out a smile. A genuine one. Don’t feel like it? At least don’t frown.

The best mantra to live by – Never treat someone the way you wouldn’t want to be treated. 

And never justify it with “I’m great ! I have money ! If people like me didn’t buy things, she/he wouldn’t have a  job !”

If people like them didn’t exist, you wouldn’t have someone to yell at. 

It doesn’t matter whether the person on the other side of the computer screen, phone or register is the most stupidest person on the planet, their emotions are still valid. Just like yours.