Thoughts from Therapy #86 – Self Punishment

Note: As usual, this is a long one – usually the posts titled “Thoughts From Therapy” are going to be really long doozy posts to read.

S’ expression was worry and/or concern almost the whole time through our session today.

Hey, I’d be too if I were the psychologist and my client comes in and the first thing they tell me after I ask them how they are is, “I’ve been very suicidal this last week because things have gotten worse for me…”

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Loss and Lost

My ex got married today.

I don’t know how to feel.

He’s still my friend but I’ll be honest, it’s hard to know what to feel because on one hand, I’m happy that he was able to find someone, but on the other hand, I’m still raw from our divorce. I’m still grieving and feeling all the losses.

I know we all grieve at our own pace but I wish my pace could hurry up a little bit.

I’d like to be able to move on too but my mind can’t get past the fact that I used to be married but not anymore. My mind keeps going back to dwelling on all that I’ve lost and not at all that I’ve gained. I still self sabotage. I still hurt myself.

I feel lost and alone.

I wish I knew what I should do.

Also, to make things worse, I just got the results of my second Calculus test back. I got a 56/100. That is the lowest result I’ve ever gotten in any math classes I’ve ever taken. I feel like a failure because I’m repeating Calculus 1 and I should be good enough this time around to be getting A’s all the time. And yet, I’m not. What the hell is going on with me?

My friend said that I’m distracted. She’s right. I am distracted. I am also exhausted. So I’ve been falling asleep in class every single day. I can’t balance my life. I can’t keep to my schedule. I am not making any money at any of my jobs.

I’m so stressed out, it’s unbelievable. My friend asked me if I could still just take the semester off. It’s already Week 5 (starting tomorrow). It’s too late now. Now, I have to deal with my poor decisions and do the best I can.

Unfortunately, I think that my best will just not suffice. I’ve gone from a straight A’s student to a B student. What if I slide even further down and become a C student? I can’t even think about that right now but with my severe lack of motivation and high risk of suicide, I really don’t think things are improving for me.

Renewed Passion

After the amazing experience I had at the Office of Health and Wellness Peer Educators’ Retreat, I’ve added one more thing that I could potentially do as a future career. I’m looking at different ways I can combine Computer Science with my other passions and I think I’ve got some ideas what I want to potentially do in the future.
Here are some of the ideas that I’m thinking about:
 
1 – Work for my Director at the MAC to develop technologies to aid in education and to build educational resources for the masses (schools, colleges, community learning centers, etc).
 
2 – Pursue my PhD in Computer Science Education and open a Computer Science Assistance Center using a similar model that the MAC is currently using – it’s super effective!
 
And now, 3 – Work for the Office of Health and Wellness Promotion to develop technologies to aid the Peer Educators as well as the campus, to develop apps/websites/other forms of computer tech to disseminate health and wellness related topics and data to campus citizens, and help coordinate the infrastructure for such reasons.
 
I know all of them sound ambitious but it all really boils down to my passion of wanting to make meaningful connections, to educate others in topics that are important to me, as well as further my passion for mental health advocacy.
Now, I’m not sure exactly how to do these things yet but at least I have an idea what I want to do. I want to make a difference in people’s lives in the educational aspect because the most meaningful time of my life has been when I was a college lecturer.
It’s also made me realize that I have made an impact on others – even if it was just for a day. And that to me is more priceless than money. It’s so important to me to know and to feel like I’ve contributed to society – even if it’s just the campus I’m in.
I know it’s going to be a tough journey because Computer Science is kicking me in the butt hard, but I also know that I’m going to work my hardest to make this a reality. This means that I’m going to have to work even harder than I have to help myself through my recovery. I’m still dependent on S, and hopefully someday that’ll change because I’ll have learned to rely on my own strengths, to practice self-care daily, to self-affirm, to self-love, and to keep growing.
After 8 painful months of suicidal thoughts, self-harm, severe depression, anxiety, and emotional turmoil, I hope that I can cope better and really commit to my recovery.

Anxious Thoughts

I have an important post about therapy that I want to write but I haven’t had the time amidst all the courses and work that I’m doing. I’m also headed to a Peer Educator’s retreat for the weekend, to learn how to be a good Peer Educator and to support the campus non-academically.

So I’m just going to write this short post about my anxiety that has been wreaking havoc in my life lately. Since I’ve been suicidal and severely depressed, my anxiety hadn’t really showed itself but since school started, anxiety has been taking over my daily mental head space and has been pushing me closer to the edge each day.

I try to combat it by distracting myself with self-care and coping strategies like skateboarding, hanging out with people, studying, and so on. They’ve helped some but S noted that in doing so, I’m not acknowledging that I’m anxious – that I’m not allowing myself to feel the entirety of that feeling, which then makes it come back with a vengeance the next time.

I get what he’s saying but if I allow myself to feel the anxiety, wouldn’t I devolve into a panic attack mess? I don’t know… I haven’t yet really allowed myself to be anxious.

This morning, I woke up with the anxiety that I am just no good if I can’t do 15 credit hours. It just sank in on Thursday that I am doing 15 credit hours. I feel so overwhelmed by the fact that I have 5 classes on top of my 2 jobs, and my responsibility as a Peer Educator.

So I texted my close friend, C, and suggested that maybe I should drop the Server Side Programming for the Web class. We both take that class together and I miss being in the same class as C (he’s way more advanced than I am now despite the fact that we both started together in Spring of 2015). However, at the same time, having 2 already very intense “weed-out” classes is stressful enough without having to add another class that I barely know anything about into the mix. As it is, due to my lack of experience and knowledge, I am having to study HTML and CSS outside of class just to be able to learn the PHP and SQL that I’ll be learning in this class. Every time I think of school latey, I just want to break down and cry.

I feel thoroughly overwhelmed. I know that dropping this class will be good for me – it’ll be a healthy thing to do, right? But at the same time, see the doubt? Anxiety is telling me that I’m so behind. That I’m not going to graduate in time to get a good job because the market will be flooded by the time I finish. That I’m just such a loser for not doing 15 credit hours and beyond. That I was able to do that in previous semesters.

I try to tell Anxiety that I didn’t have extraneous circumstances in the past – I wasn’t divorced, I wasn’t questioning my sexual orientation, I was moved out and living alone, I wasn’t stressed about my finances, and I wasn’t so severely depressed. At the moment, it’s not helping. I know I have to practice the mindfulness technique that S had taught me – that is, to sit down quietly, visualize a river flowing calmly while leaves float by, put my thoughts onto each leaf, and let the leaves and thoughts float by.

Damn, why is it so hard to deal with this?

Feeling Irritated for Always Being There

Whenever I find out that someone suffer from the same kind of mental illnesses that I do (anxiety, depression, ADHD), I automatically become inclined to talk to them more because I know how difficult it is to feel all alone and helpless. I would almost reflexively tell them that I’m there for them to talk if they ever need to. I do it, not only because of my protective nature, but also because I know that not many people care to talk to someone who is suffering from depression or anxiety or ADHD.

I have found few people to talk to other than S (which is why I spend so much time in his office and have been spending so much time in his office lately) so I want to offer that crying shoulder, and the comforting ear.

That said, I sometimes think that maybe I’m overexerting myself because depending on who I’m talking to, sometimes I end up feeling more distress myself because I’ve taken on the person’s burden on top of my own already-very-heavy one. I can’t seem to help it though – I always just would rather hurt myself than let others hurt.

Case in point, I have a friend who would message me whenever they’re down and despite all the encouragement, one doesn’t simply get out of being depressed – a fact that I know full well. Lately, I’ve been feeling stretched thin by my own struggles with the issues of abandonment, grief, confusion over trying to reconcile my faith with my identity, and overwhelming stress from school. So, every time I hear from my friend, I feel irritated.

I feel bad about it of course because I feel that this was my own doing – after all, I was the one who offered to be the empathetic friend who will always be there to listen and to help. Yet, I can’t help the exhaustion I feel. I don’t know if I am allowed to feel that irritation or not. In some cases in my life, my anger is justified and deserved, even. In some other cases, it’s not so clear – this being one of it.

I want to be supportive, helpful, and a comfort for all who need it from me. But I’m also exhausted. What do I do?

Pretension and Denial

I think I’m kidding myself and I’m pretending when I’m in front of everyone else.

I don’t think I’m as well as I want to feel and just because I’m not thinking of something, doesn’t mean it’s not in my mind.

I’m trying to be patient and when in times of loneliness, I’ve sought out the company of friends. I don’t think it’s really helping or that it’s really working.

I thought about S and though I don’t want to let him down, sometimes, I feel like just like in my marriage, I’d just been making promises I can’t keep. I promised him that I wouldn’t hurt myself or go and buy a knife – though I haven’t broken those promises, I feel like at any moment, I could.

My anxiety has been increasing because it’s only 8 days until school begins again and I don’t know if I can handle all the responsibilities that schoolwork will throw at me while working 4 full shifts at the restaurant, working 12 hours at the Math Assistance Center, and contributing my time and energy as a Peer Educator, all while trying to keep my mental health in check. I know something has got to give. I fear that my education might be the thing that gives. That, or maybe I’ll lose my job. If I do, I don’t know how I’m going to be able to financially support myself.

I tell myself I’ll be fine. But I can’t believe it. I know people believe in me and I know that they care.

Yet, at the same time, I can’t stop myself from wishing that nobody did, just so I can leave this existence without hurting anyone but myself. I’d rather that nobody cared at this point because I just don’t want to keep going. Having people care means that I can’t hurt them by leaving their lives so suddenly.

Even in all my pain, I keep thinking about how many people I’ll hurt if I take my own life. A part of me, the child most probably, hates that because I care about others more than I do myself. I think the child wants me to care for myself. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to care about me. Is it because I don’t feel like I’m worthy to have such care? I don’t know.

At the moment, I feel hopeless again.

Recently, a coworker had messaged me and told me some very inappropriate things – it made me feel violated and uncomfortable. Initially, when he told me how he felt and what his thoughts had been, I had told him that though I was flattered, I wasn’t interested. Then his words started gnawing at me and I felt more and more uncomfortable as the days passed. Today, I told my GM about it and he took it very seriously – he told me that he and the management team has my back fully. That if the coworker seeks recourse in any way at all, he will be terminated from his job. So I’d been struggling with that too – feeling awkward around said coworker, still feeling violated and somehow naked, feeling really unsafe and insecure.

When I reached out for comfort and protection, I got none. I wanted to talk to S on Friday because I felt so bad but he wasn’t in that day. I didn’t think that what the coworker had said would affect me so much but I guess it had affected me more than I would allow myself to believe.

I guess at this point in time, I just don’t know how to deal with life.