Feeling overwhelmed

I would like my appetite back please. The sink clogged and it’s the day before my move/flight. I’ve tried the vinegar and baking soda method (two things I haven’t packed for some reason), but no luck. Oh well. I dissociated today after a disagreement with my mover who kept pushing for more money to drive our van for the same distance. I haven’t dissociated in a while, so it was hard to get my bearings straight. It felt most like being very very drunk and nothing was real, except you don’t feel good at all, and you feel tense, anxious and frightened.

I’m so very stressed about tomorrow. I’ve never flown with a cat before and I’m moving on the same day as the flight. Also we are picking up the moving van in the morning. Oh. Plus the car in NY probably need to get jumped. I’m feeling super overwhelmed by the avalanche of events that are about to happen.


Reflections: second last day in Chicago

Boxes, boxes everywhere. I’ve moved a lot in my life. Overseas, across the country, within the same city, within the same continent, you name it, I’ve done it. Yet it’s always a struggle. It’s more of a struggle for me this time than any of those times because my bipolar depression wasn’t in full bloom back then. I’m doing a lot better this month than I have since college, or forever really. When my psychiatrist asked in my last appointment when I last felt like myself, I had to pause and scratch my head a bit. Feeling like myself… huh… Did I ever feel that? Do I feel “normal” now? You learn to forget. How you feel becomes a new normal, then another new normal until you hit rock bottom. You can’t see the forest from the trees, and you can’t compare the gradual changes your brain goes through, as others can. Just like aging over time.

Chicago living has been pleasant, (sans bad experiences that could have happened anywhere else). The people are, as Midwesterners are known, nice. Places are more spacious for a lot cheaper, and people don’t give too much of a hoot about how they look (Not in a fashionable Parisian way, but in a utilitarian, it’s warm-it’s comfortable-and-I’m-going-to-wear-it way). It’s less cut throat. At least compared to the East Coast. The best words I can come up with are that I have grown here, but I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed my life here. There are still painful things that come up, like when someone I dated for a year broke my heart by breaking up with me at 2 am out of the blue, or the time my new boss told me that I was not learning quickly enough (during our first one-on-one), the time someone whom I considered as one of my best friends stopped talking to me during my worst time with my depression, the time I got hospitalized the first time, and the second time, and the time someone who meant a lot to me didn’t believe that my depression was very serious, or that I was trying to get better.

At the same time, there were small surprises here and there that made it all bearable. I found a group of friends that I really clicked with (read: found a book club with) from work who were kind, and saw my potential as a coworker/person. I adopted the most beautiful cat, who is my Emotional Support Animal. I have been in love and out of love, then in love again. I found the missing link to my life- the ultimate question, the truth about myself, “why was I so sad/guilty/depressed/down all the time?” (answer: I have an illness, and had it probably for awhile and it went untreated), complete strangers who wanted me to feel better while I was hospitalized/in treatment, the friends who visited me at the hospital, and most importantly, my parents who supported me through my struggles and stayed by my side.

Life is funny. When I got this job offer based in Chicago out of college two years ago, I had rejected the other ones closer to home, thinking that it was a good idea to move somewhere I’ve never been. Turns out, I didn’t know myself very well, or what I wanted. I wasn’t sure where home was, but I found myself telling my friends at my farewell brunch that “I’m going home.” So I guess, New York is home, then.


Nighttime anxiety

It’s not rooted in thought or event; it just is. The tingling in the limbs and shivers down the back. The worry that I’m missing something, not doing something I haven’t done, guilty but not knowing what I’m guilty about… at night things are more intense. Both the depression and the anxiety. It makes sense why I’m a morning person.

Ohh, shoot. Just realized I didn’t take my Ativan. No wonder…

OK. I’m back, medicated.

Because of the move next week, I probably won’t blog much until I get to NYC (sorry!). I have some fun posts that I need to write soon, but I’d like to do a good job, not as frazzled, so stay tuned.

Real talk. Moving sucks. Packing sucks. Arranging movers and storage sucks. Why do I have so much stuff? Most of all, leaving friends behind sucks. But I am leaving this damned place I’ve been through hell in, so for that I can be thankful. Nothing against Chicago, it’s a beautiful place to live, it’s mostly just the association I have with it now. I’ve had some unfortunate experiences here. If somehow my cat doesn’t throw a fit going through security at the airport, then we should be golden.


Trying our best

I used to be one of those ignorant people before I got (clinically) depressed, so I know where they are coming from. But Andrew Tate’s twitter comment about depression not being real? Ignorance is so real.

Those of us with invisible mental illnesses…To society, we might look like failures. But in reality, we’ve worked as hard or harder than anyone else, just to survive another day. Recovery is more than a full time job, and an accomplishment in itself- getting my diagnosis of bipolar II and the depressive episodes related to it were definitely the hardest things that I’ve had to face in my twenty-something years.

We might not look like we’re trying our best on the outside from your perspective, but trust us, we are. Not everyone functions the same way. We don’t have the same f(x) = y, certain input of energy and determination does not equal certain amount of result.

It’s my personal belief that everyone is doing their best in their given situation. It may not seem like it if you put yourself in our shoes, but that just means that you don’t have all the information. How someone grew up with certain values, hopes and dreams. Traumas they hid from you. Chronic pain. Mental Condition. Physical ailments. External environment. Relationships. The list goes on. We’re complicated. If you did know everything, you would understand why we are doing certain things a certain way, and that we’re brave enough to have gone through it all.

So don’t tell us to just “suck it up,” or berate us for being depressed. While there is tremendous amount of effort needed to recover and manage our illness, “sucking it up” doesn’t cure us, since our illness is not something we cannot control, but a constant battle to be fought.


Three principles

I’ve been a bit stuck with this question of, “what are your principles?” So I’ve been listening to what other people thought theirs was, and here is one of them, relevant for interpersonal effectiveness:

Three things to live by* (and the values):

  1. If something is better to be said than not, then say it, even if it’s scary. (Advocacy, integrity)
    • Think back to a situation or two where you wished you could go back in time and say to someone what you were really thinking.
  2. Do not rely solely on others to fulfill your wishes.
    • This can easily lead to manipulating behaviors. You cannot (in reality) control other people, and people can always move in and out of your life whether you like it or not. All you have is you, as well as control over yourself and your behaviors. (Independence, self-sufficiency)
  3. Practice self-care, always.
    • You need to put your own air mask first. Don’t become someone’s liability. (Self-compassion)

*The credit goes to one of the therapists I’m working with named Matt.

What are some principles or mantras that you cherish in your everyday life?



Friends: I just wanted to say THANK YOU to those reading my blog. Fifty followers wow… I started this blog during my worst depressive episode ever when my life fell apart. I’m still in the process of putting the pieces back together one day at a time. You all make me feel less alone in my struggles, and I truly feel heard and most importantly, understood.❤️