Ups and Downs

Ups and Downs

Since day one, I had medical issues. For as long as I can remember, and even before that, I saw a cardiologist who monitored my growth, my capabilities, and my strength compared to a normal growing child. During the past few years, I have been waking up each morning with a small handful of pills and have been struggling with symptoms a lot of people cannot relate to.

This week, I had been told there’s a possibility of fixing one new health issue, regarding my heart, that has become a new problem to add onto my list of growing conditions. At 19, who would’ve guessed this would be my life? It seems like it is. And despite seeing everyone’s relief when hearing there might be a chance of taking care of the issue without another open heart surgery, I refuse to get my hopes up.

Let me explain:
For the past 2 years, my chest pain and the medications I have to take in order to make the pain tolerable have been growing without any kind of resolve. I’ve been to doctor after doctor, have tried medication after medication, and have been told in every which way that I will have to try something else. I have been told countless of times how sorry they are for not being able to help me despite how many attempts they have made. I have been turned away and I have been brushed off. I had began to lose faith in doctors because there wasn’t a solution in sight.

Then, one day, the nerve block injection worked. After nights of waking up to immense pain, tears rolling down my cheeks and my entire body frozen with fear due to how much it hurt, my specialist wanted to try the injection. And it worked. It made the pain tolerable, or as tolerable as it was before it began to flare and wake me up again. That, that day of relief, is when I was hit with the news that the pain I feel every waking day will never go away. It was permanent, and there was nothing they could do but give me medications to make it tolerable.

When my new cardiologist continuously said how I might still need open heart surgery after this procedure I am going to go through, I doubt the new doctor who claims he can fix me with this simple tube. But, I get it, I should be grateful that I do not have to immediately go to open heart surgery; I shouldn’t be freaking out; I should trust my NEW doctors (complete strangers). But I don’t, and I am.

I have woken up nearly screaming from a nightmare in which I am coughing up blood in the ICU after my procedure. I have woken up crying. I have woken up shaking, stone cold with fear. I have woken up several times for the past couple weeks with a broken heart.

I don’t know what to do…

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A Beginning

A Beginning

When you’re so stressed you become restless and end up not sleeping,
When you are so caught up in what you need to do that you finally manage a full day with your hair tied up,
When you are so out of it and obviously overwhelmed that your classmates check up on you, while still knowing to leave you be,
When you are so on edge that you can’t remember how many times you ran your hand through your hair and sighed tiredly,
When you become agitated to the point that you can’t seem to find the correct keys on the keyboard,

When you’re so down in the dumps you end up typing a letter to yourself in attempt to give yourself a little more strength,
When you’re insanely tired to the point that you struggle to get out of bed in the morning,
When you’re out of energy to the point that the action of getting food prepared and ready to eat seems to drain you even before you can take a single bite,
When you’re out of it and end up staring at a blank word document for over an hour with complete nonsense running through your head,
When you can’t manage to hold a single conversation because all that you want to do is curl up in someone’s arms and take another nap,

When you can’t shake that gut feeling that tells you something is going to go down,
When you are restless at night worrying about what is going to take place in the morning, or even the next day,
When you can’t seem to ignore the thoughts that keep flashing in your mind about an event that you aren’t sure will even take place,
When you constantly get these “pushes” into a certain direction that you don’t know whether or not you should listen to,
When you get doubts about your instincts even though they have been awkwardly precise,

When you figure out that you typed up a blog post but are not confident about the particular direction you had in mind for it…that’s awkward…

Qualm

A Timeline of All Sorts

A Timeline of All Sorts

Here I am, sitting in my father’s black robe in front of my two monitors, struggling with the emotions I refuse to bottle up [like I have for almost the past 2 decades], in pain because my new pain medicine seems to be hurting me more than helping. I always say, if someone wants to get to know me the best route to take is through my writing. It’s where I’ve learned to open myself and express myself.

If you want to get to know me, read this:

I’m a college student finishing her first year at community college, somewhere her family never wanted her to be. It was always a top UC that they expected me to end up. If you asked, why? Here’s the answer: I wasn’t good enough. I hadn’t been prepared to be at a university.

Here’s a brief timeline of my life that brought me to where I am today:

It was bashed in my head at a very, very young age that I couldn’t show my true emotions, that I needed to constantly where a mask, that it was a requirement to be who my parents wanted me to be in order to receive affection of any kind. Before I got into kindergarten or the first grade, I perfected the persona of a daughter my parents wanted to have.

By second grade, I had no friends but I knew what fake friends were. I knew how it felt to be bullied and laughed at. I also learned that I couldn’t talk to my parents about anything.

Going into middle school, I moved houses and therefore moved schools for the third time. Unlike my sister, I jumped at the chance to leave the school I was at. I thought I was saved, because everyone who bullied me wouldn’t be in my life anymore. I finally was getting away from that pain.

The same summer that we moved houses, I went through my second open heart surgery. I survived off of pain medications for about a month after being in the ICU. I soon learned what it felt like to have people treat you with caution, sometimes making it feel like your limitations were disabilities. I hated that feeling, and I came to hate it more when it continued even after I healed and got the ‘OK’ from my doctors. I despised that feeling.

In seventh grade, I realized that the teasing would not end, the laughing at would not stop…basically, the bullying had followed me to a new school [to a certain extent]. I learned where I could hide during the breaks you were supposed to go and “hang out with friends”.

In eighth grade, I got a glimpse of what a true friend could be. His name was Carlos. He made it seem like I could actually talk to him because he actually cared about me. But that diminished after I made one wrong move of developing feelings for the boy.

Going into high school, I was lost once again. Everyone had their groups and everyone had their friends. I went back to hiding in the journalism room whenever I could. I hated wandering the campus like a lost duck after I learned the friends I thought I had from middle school were simply using me to their own advantage. The journalism room became where I met one of my favorite teachers of all time. We called him Mr. Hill. It was only after his encouragement that I found my passion for photography, that I came out of my shell. I got more involved with school. I went to events, I ventured the campus with a purpose instead of like a lost puppy, and I developed some confidence in myself.

Too bad that was also the year I got involved with some of the wrong people. Though I had my interest in photography at the time, I still wanted a group of friends I belonged in. I had people I talked to here and there but no one who I knew would have my back. The vulnerability of this mindset encouraged me to basically take up the first group that offered acceptance. And it was from there that I learned what true betrayal and abandonment felt like.

I quickly learned what depression was and how it felt to cut. I knew depression wasn’t a new feeling to me, but I finally learned was it was called and how to describe what I was experiencing. My parents and sister were very scared for me. News quickly spread and I was the disappointment and the embarrassment of the family. I was taken to a lot of places to “cure my depression” just like some people try to “cure homosexuality”. This angered me because no one listened to me yet everyone seemed to have an answer.

I was soon transferred to a new high school, one my sister had just graduated from, one that my old elementary school “friends” were. Great. I started over again with hatred in my heart and anger flooding through my body. I was a lost duck once again. That’s when I met Peter. He took me under his wing and made the effort to be my friend.

Fast forward, Peter is my best friend and I have a little group I seem to fit in with. But I also had one of my old elementary friends hating my guts. To her, I got along with her boyfriend at the time way too well. (Her boyfriend was also one of Peter’s closest friends). I thought I was doing her a favor to try to get along with her friends. I thought wrong. She hated me.

And from then one out, through the rest of sophomore year to my senior year, countless of problems came up in my group of friends that finally stopped changing junior year.

Ahh, yes, junior year. This is when my mother decided her temple was more important than her family. This is when I stopped praying. This is when I shut out my portion of my life because it was just too painful for me to even think I was anything like my mother. The constant arguments (aka screaming matches) between my mother and father broke my heart. I won’t even go into details.

Fast forward, I’m graduating high school the same year my sister graduates from UC Irvine. All the attention goes to her. She’s the one who accomplished so so so much by graduating. She had honors. She had tassels. She had awards. She was graduating a year before she was supposed to, making her two years younger than the rest of her class. And in all of that excitement, I seemed to have been forgotten.

As much as I wanted to keep my friends close, I became more and more excited to finally go to school closer to home. Santiago Canyon College. The drive would be 20 minutes (with traffic) versus the 1 hour and 15 minutes (with moderate traffic) I dealt with everyday going to high school. My first weeks went by very slowly and very chaotically. The transition from high school to college wasn’t as hard as they said but it definitely wasn’t a breeze either. Most of the semester went by without a single friend at my side. The friends I once had in high school slowly drifted off with little to no attempts to mending the gap. I tried and tried to keep this family of friends a part of my life, but failed one by one.

Jump to my second semester of college, I developed a group of friends in my chemistry sequence that is slowly blending into my math sequence as well. I know they have my back. I know I have friends in that group. But through everything I have been through with “friends”, I still have a hard time letting my guard down and trusting any one fully. But as I am struggling with something new in life, I am learning who are my true friends and who are simply “friends”. I am also getting reminded of what I pushed away my junior year in high school. I had started to miss what I used to have, but the reflection of my mother I see in that belief scare me away from accepting it back into my life.

Today, as I am writing this post, I am still struggling to accept that portion of me back into my life. But I am also realizing that, slowly, what I once pushed away and denied myself had already begun to seep back into my heart, into my life.

Maybe this post wasn’t brief. Maybe it wasn’t very detailed. But that kind of sums up who I am and where I am with my life.

I Know

I Know

I know you love me. I know you care a lot about me. I know you want to be there for me despite everything that goes on in your own life. I know you want the absolute best for me. I know…you love me.

But there are some things I have to do on my own. There is a path I have to walk independently instead of constantly asking for help. There are some questions only I can produce answers for. I have to do this.

This doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to be a part of your life anymore. This doesn’t mean I don’t care about you anymore. I want the absolute best for you just as you do for me. I want to be able to help you make your dreams come true. I want to be a part of the big parts in your life. I do.

But I have to do this.

I have to take a step back from all my relationships and focus on myself and my own future a little more. I need to plan and analyze what I want to do and where I want to go. But, if anything, I need a break to just be myself and worry about me.

I’ve spent too many years of my life putting everyone before myself. I’ve done it ten too many times, where I neglect myself and my own needs in order to take care of someone else. Even though I mean well and I do my uttermost best to help others, I hurt myself in process. And, now, I realize how much I’ve forced myself to suffer when I could’ve eased some of my pain by just giving myself some of my time and attention.

I still want my friends. I still want my relationships. I still want all those things. I just need to balance out my life a little more right now. There are things I need to take care of; there are things I need to face head on; there are things I need to accept and learn. I have do walk a part of my path alone.

I’m not going to be fighting insanely hard to grasp a hold on the relationships that are falling apart, because that always takes too much of my time and energy for nothing at all. I’m not going to put a million things before my own needs, because I have realized how much I have forced myself to neglect myself by doing that. I’m not going to spread myself incredibly thin to make sure everyone else’s needs are met, because I understand I have my own needs that I keep forgetting too.

I have my own life. I have my own dreams to chase. I have my own problems to face.

I know you want to be there for me and help me through it all, but there are some things I have to do on my own.

I know you love me, so please…hope the best for me.

Never Act Like I AM STUPID

Never Act Like I AM STUPID

I can feel my blood boil with anger. I am not stupid.
I can feel my mind spinning with negative remarks. I am not stupid.
I can feel my fingernails digging into the palms of my hands. I am not stupid.
I can feel my breathes get deeper. I am not stupid.
I can feel my body preparing for war. I am not stupid.

I know I have made my mistakes. I know I have failed many times. I know I have fell over and overstepped my limits. I know I have bit off more than I can chew.

But I have learned. I have grown up. I have become more experienced. I am not stupid.

I can feel the hatred grow. I am not stupid.
I can feel the anger rise. I am not stupid.
I can feel the fury inside me. I am not stupid.
I can feel the flame intensify. I am not stupid.

I. AM. NOT. STUPID.

Dear Life

Dear Life

I’m forgetting how much time has passed. It’s been six years since I moved to this house. Yet I still remember getting the news of getting the house that day at the old house. Yet I still remember coming to the house to clean it constantly during that summer and not being able to help with anything. Yet I still remember that first night we moved with the blankets piled in the car. Yet I still remember sleeping on a blanket after we arrived to the house, being an exhausted little child. Yet I still remember how annoyed I was when I walked around the new house with boxes everywhere, not wanting to unpack. Yet I still remember the first couple times driving down the streets, admiring the new places. Yet I still remember the feeling of adventure whenever we drove around, the surreal feeling as if we were just going for a vacation.

I’m forgetting how old I really am. I still want to be a child. I still want to have that time before those big decisions I have to make. I still want to be taken care of. I still want to pretend life is perfect around me. I still want to think everything is going to be alright…forever. I still want to think I have friends I can trust. I still want to be able to push people away and expect them to come back and tell me everything is going to be okay. I still want to believe everything to be okay. I still want to be able to walk through life like a breeze.

I’m forgetting…a lot of things. I’m forgetting how my parents are getting older as I grow. I’m forgetting how my life is never going to halt in front of me. I’m forgetting how time doesn’t wait for anyone. I’m forgetting how I need to start taking care of myself. I’m forgetting how I’m soon going to be on my own, facing the real world by myself.

I’m sorry I’m forgetting so much. Can you slow down? Can you stop for a couple more years? Can you wait for me to figure things out? Can you freeze until I am not so broken anymore? Or better yet…

Can you go back to how things were? Can you go back to the time where I didn’t know any better? Can you relapse to the years I was just..happy…and nothing else? Can you go back? To the times I thought I could take on the world and be okay? To the moments I felt like everything was going to be okay? To the memories that I have of happiness…wherever they are in my mind…?

Can you go backwards? To a time I thought everything was alright? That’d be a dream come true…..

I’m forgetting how strong I can be. I’m forgetting how smart I can be. I’m forgetting all the good things in life. Can you go back to a time I remembered?

Please?

Dear Me (of the Future)

Dear Me (of the Future)

I hope you have found a way to be happy without needing distractions to avert your attention from any emotional or mental pain.
I hope you have found a way out of your physical pain and the chains that once tied your feet to the ground.
I hope you have found a way to love yourself the way your first love did.
I hope you have survived all the pain that I am going through and you are living somewhere out there, in the future, as a new and improved me who has learned more than I can ever imagine.

I hope you can hold your head high when people ask what you do for living and smile when you tell them of work.
I hope you can smile and laugh freely without having to fake your happiness for the world to believe that you are okay.
I hope you can breathe when you are sitting in your house without the pressure and tension that use to grasp at your heart and soul.
I hope you can speak your mind without being torn down and shoved into a corner by everyone, even your family.

I hope you have stable friends around you who you know you can count on and trust to be there.
I hope you have friends who accept you, encourage you, and love you for the person you are – flaws and all.
I hope you have friends who live life with you and don’t hide secrets from you.
I hope you have friends who mean well and don’t do you harm.

I hope you can walk outside without being paranoid of someone following you, someone having bad intensions.
I hope you can calmly talk to people without wanting to put up your walls, walk away, or hide your true self.
I hope you can focus on your work and studies without being scared of what people would think if you work too hard or not enough, get too great of grades or too bad of grades, or work too fast or too slow.
I hope you can tell people you are okay and you are looking forward to the next couple years of your life without having to lie and pretend as if everything is okay.

I hope you have come to peace with your past, all your struggles you’ve been through, all your mistakes that you’ve made, etc.
I hope you have learned to look forward in life instead of just around you or behind.
I hope you have accepted yourself, flaws and all.
I hope you have found whatever it is that I believe is missing from my life and embraced it in yours.

I hope you are okay.
I hope your life has come together more.
I hope you have a stable and strong support system like you always wanted.
I hope you are truly happy with life.
I hope you are okay.