There’s a Khaleesi in all of us

My last blog post was in October of last year and on the topic of weaning off. I did not post like 4 months after (is it 4 months? I wouldn’t have a clue because I’m a hippie now and I don’t keep tabs of what day it is)

Well the truth is the weaning off almost killed me.

Sorry I shouldn’t use such extreme words like ‘killed’, what was I thinking?

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One word isn’t enough to describe what I went through during the weaning off process. Let’s just say I felt like I was thrown unexpectedly out of a high window and did not die a glorious death. Instead I had to experience every single unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Anyway I’m back on my normal dosage and this time the doctor told me not to think about weaning off until like in a year’s time. He gave the ‘I-told-you-so-face’.

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So annoying of course but hey, it took me awhile to get back to a normal functioning human. I tried to explain to so many people on why I need to take medication for my sleep issue. Anxiety and panic attacks are triggered thousand folds when I do not have adequate sleep for weeks. It’s tiring trying to explain to people who do not have this issue.

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So now that my sleep is back on track, the next issue I had to tackle was my job. I had to look for another job, again. Before you people start judging like

“what is wrong with this woman?!”

“so you like being a job-hopper”

“can’t you hold out longer than a year?”

Before you savages started to blame me, I did not initiate the ‘break-up’ ok?  I went into this job giving everything that I had and always thinking of the other person. I kept my sleep issues to myself because I did not want to burden anyone. So no, I did not want to leave this relationship, they decided, not me. They expected once the projects are done, they would not need me to continue my contract anymore. So I am just the ‘mother’ who carry this ‘baby’ for 9 months and had to leave once the ‘baby’ is out. I had to go through all that process of sending resumes, going for countless interviews and trying to be like ‘look at me, I’m happy, hire me’. The thought of leaving my ‘nest’ and the warmth of the nice colleagues just saddens me.

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I am so thankful for my friends whom I kept drowning them in my work sorrows. They always keep me motivated and encourages me. Hell that doesn’t do justice to what they did for me. Basically they joined me in talking shit about the situations, judge people and let me cursed like no tomorrow. Then from all that we came out with such wisdom that makes Dumbledore proud of us. That felt better than all that motivational and positive thinking mojo. You need to feel like your girls had your back, this is how you can be a confident and kind woman at work. Because you had all your shit sorted out. Cheer to my squad!

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So after the long arduous journey of getting my shit back together, again. I found a job or shall I say they found me. Yes, I manage to find a rebound pretty quickly. So I was all happy and shit until I tender, my boss tried to stop me by giving so many fucked-up reasons. Saying I should not leave when the ‘baby’ is still not done yet, this is why you are here in the first place. They wanted me to extend my notice period. In the past, the mousey me will agree. But I’m no longer that person now and I will challenge back.

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That frustration does not ends here. they are making use of my remaining days there trying to throw as much shit on me as possible. I had the most frustrating week at work and my patience had truly reached its end.

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The rose-colored glass are now gone, all I see now are the selfishness of people in a workplace. Right now what is keeping my shit together are green tea and listening to soothing music. I should not be blamed for the foolishness and ugliness of the whole situation. People can be an ass when they did not get what they wanted. People can be selfish and expected people to accommodate to their request and not thinking of the feelings or the difficulties the other parties feel. Some people are more focused on having money and career than being a kind human being with values. People priorities in life are different.

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Here’s to the other Khaleesi out there who are trying to live a normal life with illness or other injustices in life. You do not need to get your hands dirty and go out for revenge. There is Karma and there are people will get what they deserve someway or another. Find your squad in life, the people who will stick with you throughout ANY journey you are going through. People who will not just leave that part of your life because it is difficult for them and re-enter again to the part of the life that they want to be in. It took  me so long to find mine because I do not open myself to everyone. But I am learning because the more I open myself, the higher chances of finding ‘my tribe’.

My anxiety ‘tribe’, strangers supporting one another online because we understand each other journey so well. You guys are the magical creatures on this earth because of your amazing empathy and acceptance. You guys are unicorns and the world is such a better place with you on it.

Unleash your dragons my Khaleesi.

 

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I’m weaning off

It’s been 4 weeks since I started to wean off my medication. Every doctor visit I always asked if I can wean off and the doctor reluctantly gave me the go ahead. He was reluctant as he said they need to see a good 6 months of symptoms free result. I do have a couple of anxiety symptoms which occurs about twice a month. I do not understand how someone with history of anxieties can go totally symptom free. Even normal people will have some sort of anxieties.

I was very confident and adamant about weaning off as I feel I have been feeling super well these past months. I’m now cutting my medications by half and I thought to myself, what the worst it could happen?

Well my worst nightmare happened immediately after I cut my dosage. I’m face with insomnia and the lack of sleep cause by a snowball effect of fatigue. I have problems concentrating in my work and I hate that I can’t give a 120% in my job. I’m the kind of person that will do anything to reduce any downtime in my work. I have bad period pains so I get a prescription of strong painkillers. I only want painkillers that work super quickly because like I said, I do not want any downtime from my work.

My poor appetite return and I’m so upset about it as the medication been helping me gain weight and made me look healthy. I have been so skinny all my life and I cannot put on weight for the life of me. The medication been giving me healthier appetites and I really enjoy it.

So then I realized what if the pros of taking these medications actually outweigh the cons? The medication I’m taking actually focuses on increasing my serotonin levels. There are people whose body are unable to produce a required serotonin levels that the body needs. What if I have serotonin deficiency? Is this why I have been underweight my whole life and having terrible sleep? It kind of makes sense but I want it to be proven. If it were true, I finally found the reason to so many questions. I can be healthy like everyone else.

I brought forward my appointment because I am not doing well with my weaning. I hate to think I am addicted to it since many people do become. But I just want normal sleep and appetite like everyone. Even if I have to rely on it for life, if it gives me quality of life, I take it.

Sleep and eat is like basic human survival. I’m so challenged in something so basic that should come naturally. This is the case where no matter how strong your will-power is, the fact that you cannot control every cell in your body holds true. My will-power can help me avoid depression and negative thoughts, reduce anxieties sometimes. It cannot help me increase serotonin in my brain. Would you tell a diabetic person to have stronger will-power so that it can magically help produce insulin that the body needs?

Thinking positive thoughts and training your mentality to be stronger is not the answer to medical problems. It can help ease the situation but does not solve it.

I am so lucky to be working in a company that talk about staffs facing anxiety, panic attacks and depression. The company has counselling to anyone who needs it and emphasise the importance of taking care of your well-being both physically and mentally. I do not expect that a bank could do this. I thought I’m so over being in a banking industry, I’m glad I gave this one a try. They continue to surprise me with their humanistic approach even with being a big corporation. I realize not every bank; every company is the same as I thought they are. I am willing to stay there as long as possible, as long as they are willing to have me.

I hope people like me can find a company that is understanding and helpful. I hope to see more companies taking the humanistic approach in future.

I’m back from the dead

No I did not really die, I meant as a figure of speech for my blog. You probably think my blog is dead. Whatever happens to the anxiety girl? Did panic attacks really killed her?

Well anxiety girl has been busy at work these days. I am learning to take things slow, one day at a time. Little did I knew, time flew by so fast when you are taking things slow. You see lads, you can never get what you want in life. ‘Life’ is like an angst teenager that defies you in every way possible. You try not stress about stuff, you got stressed even more. You try to take things slow, life sped it up even more.

Then again this angst teenager sometimes throw you a couple of surprises your way which you never see coming. I found a job that I am comfortable in and did not have a single panic attacks at work at all. Maybe it’s the Mirtazapine working in me but I have to say, the people and work are much less stressful and mean as my previous nut jobs.

I just signed an extension to my contract which honestly I was so eager to. I do not know if I will still hold the same sentiment next year regarding this job and the people. In the past my over anxious mind will be thinking so far ahead that made me cautious to even trust and open up to people. I did not show the real me in my previous jobs which I wish I had. I wish I opened up to more people, the colleagues whom I see everyday.

I am doing it now, taking little steps because I thought to myself “if not now, then when?”.

Whenever I feel like I want to share things with my colleagues, share a little snippet of my life. My anxiety got me over thinking with worries and will hold me back. I find that quiet moment in my mind and ask myself this, “if not now, then when?”.

Sure in my job, not everything and everyone are like nice and cheerful. Whenever I encounter a shitty task, I will always remind tell myself that I’m thankful for this job. To be able to find a job in less than 2 months when I have stop working for a year was ridiculously lucky. I thank the universe for this cosmic outcome.

I do have a couple of mean and rough colleagues and sometimes I got the brunt of their bad days. My colleagues will message me encouraging words and even share their jokes/experience with me to make me feel better. As such, these bad experiences with the ‘common’ enemy made me feel included with the group. In fact almost like a family, where there are some arguments and resentments but we never hold grudges because the next day is a new day to start over.

I remember my manager told my colleague who was unhappy after being scolded by our big boss. She said ‘Why must you take it to heart every words she said? Just let her vent her frustrations and it will be over”. I honestly wish someone had told me that many years ago. People with anxieties, find it difficult to ‘let go’ every single harsh words or bad incidents. We replay it over and over again like a broken record and every time you slip deeper and deeper into depression.

So here I am, back after many months of hiatus from blogging. I am busy keeping in check of my own mental and physical health. I try not to over exert too much on myself and avoid the snowball effect of fatigue physically and mentally.

I admit I was scared to admit of my anxiety disorder and depression last year. I lost a lot of things. I lost some friends, I lost my connections in the working world and lost my self-esteem.

Looking back, I never would have found my current job if a number of things had not happened in the last one year. I was there at the right place and right time. I lost some friends but I gained a pal who I Skype with everyday. We have so many meaningful discussions that I feel outweighs all the friends that I lost.

I feel more centered now and at peace. I am still working on a lot of issues but I am so much better than I was this time last year. If I told myself this time last year that I will be travelling to Seoul, South Korea, I would not believe it.

You will feel that you are in this constant replay of bad moments with your anxieties and depression. You feel that you will never get out of this evil cycle, but here’s the thing, I broke the cycle and am free from it for almost 5 months. There are days where it just consumes me whole but I recover from it quicker than before. It’s like constant training for your mind, you will get better than before and every little bit of achievement counts.

So when you are deep in the darkness and lost in every direction you take, always keep moving and keep fighting back.

Because if not now, then when?

 

Being highly sensitive

I thought I come on here to talk about my issues which I have been facing for the longest time.

I am a highly sensitive person (HSP) or an empath.

I feel way too much and to the point where I will self-destruct. I am highly sensitive to everything around me. The sights, smells and sounds are all very overwhelming for me sometimes which is why I like to stay home. I am a homebody. I used to feel ashamed to tell people that I have literally no life. People feel that means you are lazy, inactive, shy or a nerd.

So here I am, telling the world that I am a homely person. I prefer to stay home. I hate crowds because crowded places make me anxious. I get very uncomfortable when it is too hot or too cold. Like I said, I am a very sensitive person.

With that said I had many people rolled their eyes at me or brush me off as being too weird or too childish. They make me feel lesser as a person and make me feel ashamed of who I was.

I am a HSP. I cannot change that or make it go away. This is me. This is who I am. The person you are talking to, you are texting with and you are having lunch with. This trait is in my very core. Is what makes me who I am today.

I have people telling me that I am a good listener, I am caring and I am sensitive to their feelings. These are all parts of HSP traits. You can’t tell me shut off when you don’t want to deal with my sensitivity crap and turn back on when you needed a shoulder to cry on. I had it with people who do that to me. I do not deserve you. I do not deserve to care so much about you when you do not treat me the  way I treated you.

With HSP, we always, always get our hearts broken by literally everyone in our lives. Even the closest friends and family, we all got our hearts destroyed at some point by them. Because we are so sensitive, we pick up on that little bit of hostility, that sarcasm and that hidden insult.

I tend not to watch very sad and heart-wrenching shows because I know I would cry for hours and be depressed for days. I feel sadness from the death of beloved storybook characters. I feel hatred by watching a movie with evil characters in it.

I had a hard time managing my high sensitivity at work. I am always exhausted after a day of work because I spent a lot of energy on my anxieties AND my work. I don’t usually go out after work because I am mentally drained and I need to recover in time for the next day.

I did not know how to manage myself so last year I caused myself to be in a dire situation. Physical and mental health alarms went off at the same time. I felt that I was losing control on everything and I just shut down. Nobody around me could understand, nobody could help me, nobody wanted to even try to lift a finger. I was all on my own. I did not even get an ounce of sympathy, I did not get the decent human respect as a sick person. I get the same reaction from people saying I’m so over dramatic, I am making things sound serious when they are not, I am not trying hard enough. All that just pushed me deeper into another illness which was depression.

People think I am overly dramatic and sensitive. I feel that I must have failed so badly in being a human being. Criticism just simply kills me. I don’t deserve to be happy, I don’t deserve to have friends and I don’t deserve to take care of myself. I felt worthless and I felt like I am so damaged I am beyond repair. I try to force myself not to feel too much. I ended up hurting myself more because of guilt and regret. I did not mean to be so insensitive, I did not mean to hurt other people’s feeling, I did not mean to not care when in actual fact I DO care so much. I get sad when people around me are unhappy or are hurt and I can’t do anything about it. I feel guilty when I could not help anyone.

When I look at the adoption gallery on the SPCA website, I feel so sad and worthless that I can’t help them. When I saw old folks in the home I just feel my heart was wrenched out of my body. I could not do anything to make their lives better and happier. People will think that it is so fake. I am an empath. I feel a lot when I am surrounded by things like that. My mood changes according to the environment around me.

I am learning to control it and learning to detach myself from a lot of unecessary baggage. I am learning to let go of negativity and worries. I am trying to treat myself better and give myself lots of patience and room for error. I am still a work in progress.

I got silver linings from my bad situation last year. I met a good counsellor who always reminded me to be kinder to myself. I met a super awesome online friend from the U.S whom we Skype almost daily (I’m talking about you Bake!). I am reminded of the goodness in my family and my other family.

I am reminded of how lucky I am even though my life isn’t perfect.

I am learning to not emphasis too much on the negativities. The good and the bad always come together. Where there is darkness, there is light. Where there is rain, there is sunshine. Where there is despair there is hope. I still get affected by a lot of things but I am learning and pushing forward to growth. I don’t feel ashamed of being who I am. I see being a HSP or an empath a good thing. People who don’t have that, could not understand something so deep. They made a snap judgment based on their shallow perception and they make us feel bad for something we cannot control.

I am at a happier place than where I was a year before. This is good because it means that I am improving. I was recently given another shot in proving myself in the banking field. I never thought that it came so quickly. I feel honoured that they have gone all out and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

This is me having another shot in life, take 3.

I am putting all my new skills and wisdom to use. To always, ALWAYS be kinder to myself for I am my worst critic which haunts me every second of every day.

For people who are like me and going through some tough time now. I am going through that as well. Let’s stay strong together, let’s just take tiny steps to the right directions. I know it is so hard and may seem impossible. You may think you have fallen too deep in a dark black hole and you will never find your way out. I thought I did as well. Now, I am moving further away from the dark hole and moving towards the positive side of life. I am telling you now, it does get better with time.

My sister brings ‘toned’ legs to a whole new level

I was watching TV when I saw my sister bringing out her little basket of skincare goodies after her shower. Sat on the sofa, watched the TV with as she do her skincare ritual.

First she did her facial mask. After she washed it off, she began toning her face. Next she picked up fresh cotton square, saturated it with toner and started wiping her legs!

I asked her why was she applying toner to her legs as it was such a waste of toner.

She said she learnt it from some beauty guru on a variety show that it is good to apply toner to your legs because it may still be dirty even after a shower. She proceeded to show me the dirt on the cotton pad. After that she finished off with moisturising her face and legs.

I got to admit the leg looks silky and shiny. But the toner is going to finish off real quickly. If you are rich or got a toner which you do not use anymore, maybe you can try it out.

You can tell people, you ‘toned’ your legs every day.

Price of life

My counsellor told me about her trainer which is a scientist in her 60s. She was a mild tempered and easy going person. She had her menopause and everything changed about her. She was grouchy and bad tempered. She noticed how much her personality had changed, just because of the chemicals changing in her body. After she took up hormone therapy, she was back to normal and able to focus on her work. Of course, with hormone therapy she is at risk of cancer.

“We are all just a by product of our brain chemicals” she said.

My counsellor said my anxiety and depression are caused by chemical imbalance in the brain.

The chemicals in my brain is using my own body against me. All the negative thoughts are caused by chemicals in my brain.

How do we stop it from causing harm to ourselves?

Doctors said drugs are the cure. They help solve the issues. What if the drug that is thought to be saving you is actually harming you in a different way too?

The scientist, willing took the risk of cancer by going through hormone therapy just so she could function normally.

Are we just using drugs to buy us quality of life but sacrificing our quantity?

She is doing what she love most, her work. I believe she rather have a quality of life over quantity.

One of the reason I hate medication is because when I was younger, the people I visited in the hospital, either discharged being sicker or passed away. The first days, they were still sitting upright and laughing. As the day went by, they could not sit up or eat.

There is nothing free in this world or should I say, there is a price in everything.

You want to cure this particular illness, alright these drugs will help you do so but at a price which you will pay later on.

What we would pay just to live a normal life. What we would pay to spend another day with your love ones. What we would pay to build more happy memories.

Because at the end of the day, when you are hit with the realization that your time is coming to an end. What will be going through your head?

Those happy memories, your love ones and the things you love to do. You wouldn’t be thinking of you probably could live longer if you hadn’t had these drugs.

Because that’s all that matters to people. Quality of life over quantity.

Spending our lives making happy memories so that on our death bed, we have something to remind us that your life was well spent.

We are just a by product of chemicals in our body but we like to think that our heart is beating for somebody. We like to think that our ability to love is something magical or something spiritual. Something bigger than our whole existence.

Can we use our heart to heal ourselves? Something that modern medicine couldn’t do?

Yes we can. Using our heart to forgive someone who have hurt us so that we can heal emotionally. Using our heart to heal somebody who have been hurt emotionally. I’m trying to say is if you have a beating heart, use it to heal yourself and heal others. If you have a beating heart, make it as a purpose of your life.

Once the heart stop beating, your brain stop remembering the good memories and the world disappears.

Your beating heart is a priviledge with a deadline. So make good use of it.

The Blindside movie

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“Courage is a hard thing to figure. You can have courage based on a dumb idea or mistake, but you’re not supposed to question adults, or your coach or your teacher, because they make the rules. Maybe they know best, but maybe they don’t. It all depends on who you are, where you come from. Didn’t at least one of the six hundred guys think about giving up, and joining with the other side? I mean, valley of death that’s pretty salty stuff. That’s why courage it’s tricky. Should you always do what others tell you to do? Sometimes you might not even know why you’re doing something. I mean any fool can have courage. But honor, that’s the real reason for you either do something or you don’t. It’s who you are and maybe who you want to be. If you die trying for something important, then you have both honor and courage, and that’s pretty good. I think that’s what the writer was saying, that you should hope for courage and try for honor. And maybe even pray that the people telling you what to do have some, too.”
Michael Lewis, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game