Filed under: mental health
SO THIS YEAR WAS KIND OF SHIT. But at least there was some good music. Not much, though, I had a hard time putting that playlist together. Not as many jams.
Anyway, I made my serious reflection post so now it’s time for some goal-setting so I can come back and see what I accomplished a year from now. I have a hard time setting goals for myself because I’m really hard on myself for not meeting them all, or even one sometimes, and I want to work on fixing that.
1. Set more goals
Lmao. I need to try to do this so I can be more productive throughout the year. Setting a goal for each month or week or something would be good. Nothing too strenuous, just enough to set things in motion.
2. Write more
I tried writing more in 2017 and did not. I wrote a lot of poetry for my poetry class, some of it was actually good, but I’m talking more journaling and stuff. I want to do more of that this year. I have a special Pokemon journal I bought alst year that I’ve barely used an it’s a CRIME IT IS SUCH A CUTE JOURNAL WITH THE EEVEELUTIONS AND PIKACHU I GOT IT FOR $10 AHHHHHHHHHHSKDFKSDF USE IT MORE LIKE WRITE ONCE A WEEK OR SOMETHING
3. Practice driving
Instead of putting the same goal of GET LICENSE year after year for the past 10 years I’d rather just set a goal to practice now. I have such a phobia of driving that it’s… well, it’s not funny. I just have to work on getting past it. Drive down the street. Drive around the parking lot. Drive around the neighborhood. Etc. I’m educated enough in psychology to know what systematic desensitization is and how to do it to myself, I’ve been doing it for years with my social anxiety, now I gotta do it with driving. Set up some incentives to practice, like if I drive down the street I can go get ice cream or something lmao I’ve got this.
4. Make progress towards getting Ph.D
Awkwardly phrased but eh. Gettign my Ph.D is a longterm goal and I want to at least get closer to it. I applied to two programs this year, so that’s one thing I accomplished in 2017. In 2018 I want to accomplish either getting in to one of those programs or trying again if I don’t get in. Moving is also part of this, as is preparing the house to sell and move. So there’s a lot of subgoals attached to this one but we’ll see how it goes.
5. More therapy
Both physical and mental. I need to start seeing my therapist like every 2-3 weeks if possible. It’s hard not being able to drive and needing a ride out there, especially in winter it’s more difficult, but we’ll see. And physical therapy is super important. I want to build up my muscles and get some strength in this tiny little weak body I have. So we gotta do this. And eat better and more often. Lots of subgoals here, too, but I’ll work that out later.
That’s all I’m gonna do for now. I might edit this post or write out a handwritten list later because that tends to help, to write things down by hand. Makes it more official.
But yeah. 2017 sucked. But let’s see what did I do this year. I graduated college. I went blonde again. I applied to grad schools, took the GRE… I gave a big presentation right after a bad panic attack. I saW STEVIE NICKS LIVE I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S ALMOST LIKE A DREAM I SAW MY GODDESS LIVE WITH MY OWN EYEBALLS. And idk I just, I survived the year lmao I can’t think of too much. It was a fast year and I accomplished big things even if there were only a handful of them. It was a rough year, but here I am ready for another one.
So I don’t know, I might make another more legit goal post but for now this will do.
I read some old blog entries and got smacked in the face with nostalgia and just… a lot of feelings. There are things I miss about 9-10 years ago, and there are things that I don’t miss. But I do miss being more carefree and happy and finding happiness in things and not being so lonely all the time and relying on social media to relieve that loneliness. I mean, I was lonely, but I was okay with solitude. Now it just scares me.
I can see now that I had hypomanic episodes even back then, though, but I didn’t think much of it. So it’s weird to think that maybe I could’ve gotten help back then if I had paid attention, but nothing was bad enough that it was a detriment to my daily functioning like it is now so. I mean, my depression was bad but I was able to control it whereas now it’s very hard. College and everything I’ve been through in the past four and a half year just lent itself to worsening my mental health, whereas back then I had my problems but I was more… I don’t know. More resilient, somehow. There are things I didn’t talk about and things I kept hidden, I know, but I tried so hard to be happy. SHINee made me so happy and got me through a lot of tough times and that’s why the loss of Jonghyun hits so hard.
But aside from that, I learned that I really… need to take responsibility for my own happiness and well-being. I can’t keep giving people more than I get from them. I can’t keep pining for people who don’t pine for me. I can’t keep hurting myself for not being where I wanted to be by this age. I just can’t keep doing this. I have to move on from some things and leave them in the past where they belong. I can’t keep dragging that baggage with me everywhere I go. Some things have just changed and there’s no going back to how things were. That’s just how it is. I can either dwell on those losses or I can accept it and hold out hope for a better future. Things look bleak right now, I’m very pessimistic about the future, but I’m capable of overcoming that and holding onto hope. I just have to learn how to do that again.
I really miss how things were before so many things changed. But I just can’t keep wading in that dark water. I have my regrets and I have things that I’m proud of. Just like everyone else. There’s no use in lamenting what’s lost, because some things there is just no getting back. And I have to learn how to be okay with that. There is still hope for some things but it just… some things are worth holding out hope for, while others just keep me in an unhealthy cycle clinging to false hope. And I can’t do that, either. I have to accept what’s lost and what’s different and cherish what I still have while cherishing the past in a way that doesn’t leave me dwelling on what went wrong. I know what went wrong in a lot of cases, and there’s no fixing it. There are things I can’t talk about, things I can’t discuss with other parties involved, and that’s a sure sign that something is flawed in those relationships and that they’re probably not worth trying to salvage beyond their current state. So I have to resign to that and let it go. I’m just hurting myself by clinging to the sharp fragments of memories that are long gone now.
I just really need to move on and I hope that in 2018, I can do that. That’s my goal. Move on from some things. Hold out hope and don’t give up on my dreams. I’ve been very pessimistic about getting into grad school and I’m honestly just tempting fate here. If I don’t start having a positive outlook then I might just tempt the universe into being like welp maybe you don’t want it bad enough. Maybe you aren’t going to try hard enough. I my not get into my dream school, I may not get into my last resort choice, I don’t know. But I can always try again. I can take the GRE again and devote my time to figuring out all that tough math, read more, try harder. Keep applying until I get in. I just can’t give up on my dream, like there’s a lot that I’m not good at, there are a lot of ways that I’m inadequate, but I have the heart and the soul and the drive to keep going and realize my dream. Even if I don’t get my Ph.D, I can still go into clinical mental health counseling. I can still be a therapist even if the Ph.D dream doesn’t come true. But by damn, I will try my hardest to make it come true.
And that’s all I got. I’m just very thoughtful. Holidays do that to me, this weird space between Christmas and New Year’s always does this to me. But it’s important. I just have to start putting things more into practice than into words.
I’m still pretty shaken up about Jonghyun. I just can’t wrap my head around what happened. It got me thinking about other things, other losses, and how weird it’s been the past couple of years.
The passage of time has really shaken me up, too. Thinking about SHINee and how it’s been nearly 10 years since they debuted and I remember that time. I remember being a huge SHINee fan around that time and just. I never would’ve guessed that it’d have ended up this way. It’s just so heartbreaking and tragic. And I just wish I could go back to that time, not just for the obvious reasons but just because I miss when I was younger and more optimistic about the future. I feel like I’ve wasted the past 10 years. I feel like I’m behind. I feel emotionally incapable to be 27 years old. It’s so hard to accept how some things have changed while others haven’t. Things that I wanted to change just didn’t, while everything else is changing in ways I don’t like and I’m not ready for any of it. I’m just… not.
I just feel a lot of things. I’ve been getting angry lately over little things. Mostly just… frustration at feeling alone and invisible. I get angry at the people I love for not being there when I need them, even though I do nothing to reach out and ask for help and say, “hey, I’m feeling low right now, can we talk for a bit” or something. So then I just get angry at myself for lashing out and for not doing anything about it, for not taking care of myself, for needing other people, for just… not doing what I should do. I need to work on taking care of myself, and reaching out and asking for help when I need it but knowing that I won’t always get it right when I want it, or at all, even. I try to be there for everyone when they need someone but I’m not there for myself. That needs to change.
Graduating college has left me empty, too. I’m okay right now but in a month it’s going to hit me that I’m not going back. I still feel like I’m going back in a few weeks. It hasn’t hit me yet that it’s over. And while I’m happy, I don’t feel like I’m ready to be done. I am but I’m not. I’m leaving behind a lot of memories and a huge chunk of my life. And if I get rejected to grad school, I mean I’ll take the GRE again and try again but it will get me down, I’m not going to lie. It’s a big loss and I’m trying really hard to accept it now before it hits me later but it’s hard to do. I keep trying to tell myself that hard doesn’t mean impossible, but it’s still what it is.
I don’t know. I’m just trying to accept a lot of changes and I feel like my brain needs rewired, or maybe my soul, I don’t know. I feel like some change has to take place internally. Externally, everything is backwards. Like I said before, things that I don’t want to change are changing while things that I wish would change remain the same. I don’t know how to deal with that. I’m working on finding a way to. I’m working on finding ways to stop feeling so damn down about myself, to overcome those body image issues, to love myself, something… I just don’t know how to find those ways. I only have three emotions at this point, love, anger, and sadness. Also fear. So four. Four emotions that I feel intensely and I feel like I’m always wrong for feeling them. I feel like it’s my fault that I’m mentally ill. I feel like it’s my fault that I feel the way I do. I’m trying to work on overcoming that.
I’m trying. I just fail most times. 2017 has been a year of learning what my inadequacies truly are and trying to find some semblance of hope that maybe I’m good enough in some way. I’m still looking for that hope. I don’t want to put pressure on 2018 to be a better year, and I don’t want to put pressure on myself to have myself all figured out a year from now, because I know it’s not likely to happen. But I do want to go into the new year with some kind of hopefulness that maybe things CAN get better. Not an expectation that they will, but hope that they can.
The news about SHINee’s Jonghyun broke my heart. I’m still in shock. He was a light in this world, a beautiful person with a beautiful soul and I believe that he is still all of those things despite the fact that he’s no longer walking this earth.
Reading his suicide letter really… really broke me. I found myself relating to it too much. I will never say that I know how someone feels, because no one truly knows how anyone else feels. If I’ve truly learned anything in my undergraduate studies in psychology, it’s that. No one can ever know what another person’s subjective experiences are, not 100%. So no, I can’t say that I know what he felt. But I can understand because I’ve been in a similar dark place. I don’t know what’s stopped me from losing myself in that dark place, but I wish something would have stopped him. I wish so much that he were still living and that he could’ve gotten help to relieve some of his pain. But life doesn’t work the way it should. And it’s not fair.
SHINee was there for me in some dark times in my life. Through my last year of high school, especially, and all of the shit that came with having the family that I have. That’s why this hits so close to home. I never knew Jonghyun, I didn’t even follow the group that closely, but that’s beside the point. Maybe it is just pop music, maybe he was just an idol, but he was a human being first and foremost. What he was to me is irrelevant. He was a human being who just wanted to bring happiness to people’s hearts and he did that with his music and his bright personality. All the while he was hurting deep down inside and no one knew, because he hid it so well. And it’s just such a shame that such a beautiful person was taken from this world so soon, and by his own pain.
Depression is a deadly disease. People don’t take it seriously enough. It can be fatal. And in this case, it was.
It’s just so hard to process. It’s so hard to understand and wrap my head around. What could anyone have done to stop this? Why can’t we just put his soul back into his body and see him smile again? Because he’s never going to smile again, or sing, or write another beautiful song. It’s so heartbreaking to think about. All anyone can do is continue to keep his memory alive and honor him in whatever ways they can.
I don’t know what else to say because it truly hurts to have to say anything, to acknowledge that this is real.
But I will just say that, Jonghyun, you are loved, and I hope that your soul has found peace and that you can see how loved you are from wherever your soul is now. I hope that now you can rest easy without pain.
With that said, here is my favorite SHINee performance. I’ve been watching it constantly, because it brings me some comfort in this awful, awful time.
I’ve been having body image issues lately. I don’t know why, but it’s been really bothersome and it’s something I need to work on getting over.
I never used to have problems with my body image. You’d think with age, that stuff would go away rather than crop up but nah, I do everything backwards so lmao why not this, too. I don’t want to go into details about like, what is bothering me exactly because it’s everything, really, very small stupid little thing. It’s not weight issues, I am underweight as it is so part of me is afraid of mentioning this for fear people will be like oh but you’re so tiny what is ur problem. Like, being tiny is part of the problem lmao I feel like I have the body of a 12 year old little girl and not a 27 year old woman. But I know that’s just me perceiving things that way. I’m just tired of being reminded by people how young I look, like yes, I know. Please stop telling me.
Hell, I have a hard time even calling myself a woman lmao but calling myself a girl is just as weird. Not a gender thing, just an age thing. I still feel like I’m in my early 20s even though I’m nearing 30. And that is another issue that’s being caused by my body image issues.
See, these issues are causing other issues, too, like I just feel so uncomfortable in my skin–which is probably my biggest body image issue, I have terrible skin and that has always been a problem. And I compare myself to everyone, which is the root of this problem. I never used to compare myself to people, therefore I never had body image issues. I didn’t pay attention to the media or have any cause for comparison. I still don’t have any real reason to compare myself to anyone, there never really is a good reason to do that. But things in my life prompted me to compare myself to other girls, specific girls, and now here I am with this mess.
I’m just tired of being so uncomfortable in my own body. I worry about how I speak and how I look and how I walk and how I breathe, even, just. This is something to work on in the coming year, I guess. Stop comparing myself to other people and work on building a stronger sense of self. Because I know, as I should as a psychology student, that body image is nothing more than how we perceive ourselves and it’s incredibly distorted sometimes. How I look to myself may not be how other people see me at all. Everyone has their own opinion and it shouldn’t matter to me what those opinions are. That’s part of what I’ve got to work on, not caring what other people think of me. Never used to care, again, it only happened in recent years.
I need to learn to trust myself more, too, and just… work on a lot. Loving myself, I guess.