taking all the L’s

Warning: random rambling to get rid of thoughts flooding my mind. Information omitted for privacy purposes.

I interviewed for a company today. It definitely did not go well. I’m not the best at interviews, but I know that I’m capable of selling myself and I did not sell myself well this time around. It’s a sinking gut feeling of knowing you have the ability to do well, but ended up choking because reasons.

The application process has been long and frustrating; however, I got a call and got scheduled for an interview. Granted, it was a screening interview, but I met with a manager of the position I applied for after the screening and that did not go well. Immediately, I felt rushed and as if I had lost the company’s interest. At the time, my anxiety was already through the roof from the previous interview, so maybe that showed. I was ill-prepared for questions that had nothing to do with my experience in the workforce. Instead, I was asked questions about what drives me and what kind of life I see for myself.

I hate to blame this disease called chronic clinical depression for not allowing me to truthfully answer these questions, but, I don’t see any other explanation. I know when I’m not depressed or anxious, I am confident and smart and quick-witted. When I’m in a bout of depression and anxiety (these past six to seven months), I’m suddenly faced with my greatest enemy: myself. When I was asked about my future, my passion, I blanked.

No, this is not what I intend to do for the rest of my life, I answered in my head when asked about my career goals.

Nothing drives me. In fact, I struggle to get out of bed every morning and often feel like there’s no reason for my existence, I thought when asked about my greatest motivation.

That is where my interview tanked. I’m sure it showed how completely lost I was in my life, and I chose to apply to this position only as a safety net, nothing more. I left feeling drained of all my confidence and can only think about the relief I would feel if I did not get the job.

But, then I think about the relief I would feel if I did get the job. The financial relief. That’s it. I can’t imagine being happy or growing in this field.

So, if the opportunity is present, do I take advantage of it? The last time I did that, my mental health paid for it. I became physically ill when I did take it. The money was not worth it. Then, I think about how I’ve been taking losses for the past two years and there feels like no end to it, so maybe I am so used to it, I just expect to fail when I don’t want to fail.

I have respect for anyone who struggles and fights their own thoughts in their head because I know how exhausting it is. The fight is seriously difficult. I try and do good things to move forward in my life and my disease stubbornly pushes back.

 

Stay tuned for a possible turnaround. I’m still hoping for the best even though my body is trembling with anxiety and I can’t feel my hands.

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on retrospection in the subjective mind

As someone who frequently falls into the deep pits of overthinking, I often find myself reflecting on specific encounters or events in the third person. I try to be as rational as possible, using a third person perspective to figure out where I may have strayed from an ideal situation to an embarrassing one. I consider myself unbiased in these reflections; however, I have realized that my logic remains in favor of my perception.

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Stumbling upon numerous articles and consuming media has led me to the conclusion that our memories are never close to what really happened. I have learned that over time, memories do change. Sometimes new details are added, sometimes parts are left out. I will always remember something as I experienced it. The one thing, however, that I cannot change is how I felt during that moment in time.

I’m not saying that memories are completely unreliable. It’s mostly that replaying something over and over in my head (which is my tendency) begins to change after a while. Most of the time, my emotions become stronger each replay. I remember it first immediately after the fact, then over time in retrospection, I feel more of it. What I feel more of could be anger, sadness, embarrassment, regret, happiness, etc. The point is, the experience begins to change. All of a sudden, the antagonist becomes more evil and abusive, or the weather is as perfect as the moment was. It may be like this solely for me because I refuse to feel anything as things happen, so the influx of emotions in retrospect may be trying to compensate. This habit of mine is unhealthy because that means that I secure any life-altering experience into a box and leave it in the corner of my mind until it festers into something more sinister, which will eventually lead to heightened expectations of others or deep, emotional scarring.

In a way, the memory becomes more real. Knowing that my experiences have feelings attached to it help me understand it more. Acknowledging that the memory will never be as it actually happened doesn’t mean that it is no longer valid; rather, it allows me to humanize myself. I know what I have to work on in order to overcome new obstacles.

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It does not hurt to add to a memory as long as the additions are truths. If I cannot remember every detail, I know I can rely on how I felt at the time and go from there. Sometimes, my mind blocks what happened for my mental safety; but, I am trying to open up and allow myself to feel everything in hopes of growing into a stronger person. I just have to be careful not to wallow in my miserable experiences or constantly yearn for a specific feeling, becoming depressed that I may never feel that way again.

I guess I’m getting somewhere.

 

god of chaos

I wish I could describe it so that everyone I know would understand. The idea of being trapped in your own mind, by your own thoughts doesn’t seem to sit well with others. Other people will remind me that I’ll get through it, or that other people have it worse. If they could overcome it, then so can I, right? They do their best to empathize, trying to put themselves into my shoes to offer some sort of comfort in the midst of chaos. They spend the next five minutes explaining how they felt during an adversarial time and how they got eventually got through it. But, they hit a wall when I say that I know that I should not be feeling this way, I just do.

They just state a normal, human thing: I’ve been there, too. To me, that’s where the problem lies. “I’ve been there, too.” Yes, I know they are trying to make me feel comfort by acknowledging that I am not alone, but that reassurance followed by their bafflement that I can feel this way out of nowhere completely contradicts each other. Surely, I hope to never experience the loss of a job, leaving my family’s welfare in jeopardy. No, I do not know what it feels like to lose a child. No, I have never been beaten by my parents. No, I don’t know what it’s like to live homeless and alone. Yes, I am aware of how much my parents sacrificed to give me the life I have today. No, I do not know how difficult it must have been for them to give me everything I have.

I am suddenly presented with the dilemma of having to validate my feelings. What have I gone through to make me feel this way? I know I grew up privileged. I know I had it easier than many people around the world. So, as a need to justify my feelings, I resort to exposing my scars, allowing them to be the excuse for my depression. Sometimes, that’s not the case. I don’t want my trauma to be blamed for my mental health because I have gone past that. I have become a stronger person because of my past. I had the ability to overcome my hardships, so, why am I being asked to use them as my excuse for why I feel weak?

Depression and anxiety is not a direct result of my traumatic experiences. The depression was not chronic until two years ago. Before that, I experienced seasonal affective disorder in the summer months and that was the only time I felt depressed out the entire year.  I have been depressed when nothing bad had happened to me. I have felt happy after something bad had happened to me. I have been depressed on gloomy days, I have been depressed on perfectly sunny days. My anxiety is something that had always existed even as a child, I just did not know what it was until I got it diagnosed. My anxiety did grow worse, however, as I grew into an adult and had multiple traumatic experiences. Some days, I’ll feel fine, my triggers will have zero effect on me. Other days, I’ll feel like my entire world is falling apart and I will feel that way as soon as I wake up. It’s something I try my hardest to control and manage.

I am controlling and managing things that I simply cannot justify. There are days when I feel hopeless. There are days when I feel like I can conquer my world. I just cannot explain why I feel the way I do to someone who has never felt this way. I am not depressed because of *insert damaging experience*. I have always been an anxious person, it is just worse today than it was when I was younger. I am grateful for anyone who shares their experience with me and how they got through it; but, I know that I cannot empathize wholeheartedly if I have not gone through what they did. I do not expect them to reciprocate the feeling when I share my experiences, my feelings with them when I know that they have not gone through what I have gone through.

I know I will never “get over it.” I have come to accept my mental illnesses as a part of me. But, they are not who I am. Some days, I will fight and I will win. Other days, I will fight and they will win. I am not less worthy of a person because I have to tough it out in my head more than other people. I am not antisocial or a flake if I can’t go out with my friends because I had spent the entire day wrestling with my mind on whether or not I should kill myself. I am not incapable because my anxiety is debilitating on some days.

I am someone who fights. I am someone who gives up every now and then; though, I have not failed because I am still alive. Every time I spend a day contemplating taking my own life and wake up the next morning alive and well, I know that I have won. I may lose some battles; however, I am still here today because I am winning the war.

 

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255

on mental pain

When you visit a doctor’s office for an injury or illness, they often ask you to describe your pain using a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being extreme pain. It’s quite easy to quantify physical pain because instinctively, we can recognize what hurts. You give the doctor a number and they will treat you accordingly. We go to doctors when we’re in pain because they are trained to understand our symptoms and can effectively carry out their jobs.

But what about mental pain? It’s difficult to describe as much as it difficult to understand. There is no visible injury, nor physical evidence that would indicate physical pain. Mental pain seems to be subjective. For people with anxiety, their mental brain may feel like it’s melting. For people with depression, it may feel like needles or bullets lodged inside the depths of their minds. There are no real words to quantify mental pain because there is a lack of understanding.

If I could describe my mental pain to you, I couldn’t simply put it on a 1 to 10 scale. I could try to gather up every possible feeling that is contributing to my mental pain; but, that still wouldn’t be enough. From the woes of depression to restless nights, my mental pain could write a novel. Do you know what it feels like to have your mind turn on you? One day, or perhaps over a couple of months, my mind decided to become my enemy. The idea of ending my life slowly transformed from a suggestion to an attempt. One day, my mind decided that it was in danger. I would be sitting, watching TV and suddenly, I wouldn’t be able to breathe. My heart felt like it would burst out of my chest and I lost control of my body. One day, my mind exhausted itself from trying to make sense of why I felt dizzy and nauseous all the time. One day, my mind grew an irrational fear of leaving my house by myself.

Maybe this is still going over your head. Why can’t I just tell myself to move on and think about all the things I do have? That’s where it’s difficult. My mental pain is an illness, an infection. I can’t put a cast on it. I can’t take a pill once a day for a couple of weeks and be done with it. My mental pain is a constant battle, a chronic disease. I feel as though the inside of me is erupting like a volcano, destroying everything good I have built for myself. It feels like a never-ending battle that I will never win and I will never be able to let my guard down because one day of rest could mean that I’ll finally convince myself to take that jump rope and end it or use that pocket knife and slice through my delicate skin.

If I could materialize my mental pain, I wouldn’t be alive.

 

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255