Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another Something

Something Important

--It is not required that one read this unless especially interested in its contents. Rather, this is simply a musing of mine, reflecting mainly on certain aspects of me that are easily misinterpreted and not immediately understood. To me, it is important that I finally begin to set this down in words. It has been lounging about in my mind for quite some time, and I feel it is time to liberate it. This is not intended as anything malign or uncalled for (e.g.: a cry for attention, etc.); again, it is completely up to the wandering eye whether or not they decide to peruse these words. This may be, of course incredibly helpful when just getting to know me.

Another thing I feel vital to note: I would never lie (especially not in material this serious) about any issues, qualities, or quirks regarding both myself and my personal life. This seems, already, to be an unfortunate misinterpretation I have discovered amongst others as of late: that, due to being particularly emotional, one may draw the conclusion that I am merely melodramatic and exaggerate in order to gain sympathy/empathy from others. One may believe what they will, of course—I cannot possibly stop them from it—however, do consider that there is a side to every story, and this is mine from my mind’s perspective. In my story, I do not lie, nor do I deliberately seek attention from others. If one wishes to offer me their attention, that is their choice alone.

I will begin.


I suffer from mild anxiety. That is to say, it has been prevalent from a fairly early age, though not entirely defined until around the time my parents divorced when I was thirteen. For a long time, I have not been one to deal with significant stress as well as others do. Since my junior year of high school, my observation has been that I have a significantly large breakdown each trimester/semester of school, barring one or two exceptions. Sometimes I do not know what triggers them; unfortunately, I had my routine breakdown (and possibly the worst I have ever experienced) the week before last week—the largest anxiety attack occurring right on Wednesday—probably at one of the most ill-timed moments in the history of forever (I will not elaborate on this, of course, but it resulted in negative reactions from other people, and possibly damaged friendship potential). I would cry for three hours at a time, and my crying spells totaled around five hours on Wednesday; I hyperventilated and could not feel my arms. I could barely stand, and I shook when I attempted to carry something. When I remember the way I felt at that exact moment, I shudder, and I hope with all of the allotted passion in my soul that it never happens again. Loneliness has a color, and I felt it.

When I enter this state of mind, or even a considerable emotional rut, I seem to become unaware of my words and actions; it does not dawn on me what it is I have done until after I resurface. Sometimes I tend to say irrational or paranoid things, or even act out against people without second thought, which is what I otherwise would not even dare to do when levelheaded.  I do not always recall what I have done, either, until reminded of the ordeal. I regret that this still happens, even though I have much more control over it than I used to: for example, in the past, I used to break things. Of course, this was unintentional as well; I kicked a door when I was enraged, and I created an accidental hole as a result. When my friend from elementary school irritated me, I shattered a window with my fist. I happen to be rather lucky that my hand sustained no damage.

After a significant breakdown, the stage afterward is the docile period. I become more mellow and, in some cases, apathetic to the life moving around me. I may or may not sleep for longer periods of time, and I possess no will to continue schoolwork, nor do I fully enjoy doing what I fervently love to do. The docile period may span anywhere from a few days to nearly an entire month, though despite the fatigue attributed to it, I fortunately have not let a docile period affect my grades too strongly—I took care of that right after my freshman year of high school, and my grades may, in fact, tend to be higher during a period of erratic emotion. I came to the conclusion that higher stress levels in my atmosphere means I have been working exceptionally harder than usual. It is a strange pattern.


I am not medicated for my anxiety mostly because I am deathly afraid of the side-effects. When my mom was medicated for her severe anxiety after her mother died, she experienced weight gain which led to both heart and back problems. I was probably seven or eight when I witnessed her slump out of bed in the morning, crying because the pain was so excruciating. I hated seeing my mother that way. I hated seeing her even more depressed and paranoid over her health issues combined with the stress of work. My dad just opened his restaurant at the time, so my parents were often busy and high-strung, leaving my sister and me to entertain ourselves at our own leisure.

I already faced my own school-related problems even then; my teachers, especially in the first grade, often described my behavior as unusual during parent-teacher conferences. They observed that I was a loner, I did not understand social cues (which I will expound on in a moment), and I tended to lash out at other students seemingly randomly. I also fell ill so often that a truancy officer once arrived at our door, questioning my mother on my frequent absences. I missed somewhere around eighteen or nineteen days of kindergarten; I happened to be the most prone to throat problems, digestive upsets, bronchitis, and respiratory infections, the latter two likely aggravated by the evident carbon monoxide leak in the apartment we lived in (too slight to be life-threatening, they said), in addition to my mom’s appalling smoking habit. I inhaled secondhand smoke for a good portion of my life, unknowing of the detriments it would gradually inflict upon my health.

It may be absolutely possible that the trauma of dealing with my mom’s unpredictable temper has made me steer away from most medications in general, even over-the-counter remedies for headaches and cramps. I only ever consume pills in extreme circumstances. This is quite an abstract perception of my subconscious, of course, yet it is not to be disregarded because it seems so. I have discussed this with my counselor on a couple of occasions; I visit him weekly, on every Thursday, and he helps me to monitor my progress in dealing with the social as well as the academic expectations of college life. He knows as well as I that I have made progress, especially in recent weeks. I have not told my mother that I routinely visit him.


This brings me to a vital part of understanding my personality: if I have trouble comprehending social cues and habits, it inevitably leads to frequent miscommunications, unfortunate misunderstandings, and, well, impaired conversational abilities. I do not move or walk the same way others do. I speak fast and spend a moment answering questions that are asked to me. Questions as a whole intimidate me; when I feel interrogated, I become frozen. I space out often. I am easily distractible and excitable. I cry often. I might crack jokes people do not necessarily agree with, and others may take frivolous things I say absolutely seriously. I am not a generally serious person (hence my alias), so it is extremely crucial to know that I do not intentionally mean to offend anyone at all, even those I do not get along with.

I am also timid around people. This does not always happen. Sometimes when I walk into a communal bathroom, however, I do tend to avoid the sinks when there is even one other girl standing there, preferring to wash my hands here in the room (there is a mini kitchen in my dorm room). I feel this way with my roommates as well; I always feel a kind of tension emanating from the redhead in particular (nothing against redheads—this is simply how I choose to describe her, as I will not use names), and I usually tend to avoid associating with her. She is such an organizational perfectionist while I am not, especially when I happen to be in a down mood. She has berated me for this, and I strive to improve, but it never seems to be enough.

I feel so uncomfortable around people like her.


I only hope that this explanation can serve as a base for understanding why I act the way I act sometimes. I need to know why people are upset with me before I can act to improve what it is I am doing wrong, or at least so that I have a chance to explain why I may come off the way that I do sometimes, because otherwise I will not know, especially in a panicked or anxious phase. No one is perfect, and I have many flaws that I have been feverishly working to improve—and this is for me, most importantly. I know that I need more confidence in myself. I know that I need to believe in myself. I know that I cannot blame myself and destroy everything about me over mistakes that I make. My new year’s resolution was to forgive myself more often, and to speak out more, and to not be so afraid of the people that spark my irrational fears. I have gained many new friends and I have lost some, and I know there will be people that do not like me. There will be people that interpret my intentions as malign, and refuse to accept how I describe them. I have never been the best at explaining myself, possibly due to being a wordy and vague writer at heart; this is my style that I have chosen to accept, and have deigned a part of me.

This is me, and I need to accept me. I understand others may not accept me. I do not like making bad first impressions, and I feel that lately I did just that, but I suppose it cannot be helped. I suppose I needed to write this down because my right eye was twitching relentlessly and I have been constantly twirling my hair throughout the day, which are both signs of something bothering me. I hope this suffices, at least. In the future I may write more; writing these down soothes me and prepares me for a wonderful future. And I know that it will be wonderful. This week as well as the last has been such a contrast to the hopeless depression that I felt before. I hope that, this time, I can make it last.

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