So finals are finally over, all 9 courses of Term 1 is done. But instead of joy and relief, I always tend to feel tired and depressed at the end of exam seasons. Well, being tired and drained is a given (and normally sick too) from all that energy spent trudging on with the endless mountainous terrain of exams, but the depression comes back at this time as well. I knew it wouldn’t be so easy to get rid of depression. Having just let it stay there for a good few years, it’s hard to get out of. And it’s so easy to go back. Especially when I grow older, realize more, and find more disappointments with myself. What happened to the old me? The me who would strive for the greatest and be able to achieve it? Now, my standards have dropped so low it’s embarrassing for me. Rather than be proud that I’m in pharmacy and passing, a future healthcare professional like how others may think, I still see myself as a failure. Is it the depression talking or just facing reality? I look at my marks and I’m barely passing. Is it because I’m actually stupid contrary to everyone’s belief or the effects of life has just made me more stupid? Heck, it might even be the medications I take everyday. Or the material is just too hard for me and I wasn’t ready for this. I am stupid either way, so why do people still look up to me?! Just because I’m in “pharmacy”. It’s so hard for me to accept that a pass is something to celebrate over. It isn’t. And I’m so disappointed in myself that I would even dare to think that way. But I just feel like with everything going on, I’ve already tried the best I can to fix and turn around this life of mine that I need to find the contentment with myself. If only it was that easy to turn back time and try again. To not let depression and anxiety cage me in like it always does. When will I finally be able to be content with my life and what I’ve done with it? To what degree can I try that it becomes good enough despite disappointing results? How can I forgive myself for being such a failure and disappointment in my eyes?
My parents know about my depression and anxiety, and they like to “reassure” me that they don’t want to give me pressure and for me to just do my best. I KNOW that they don’t want to give me pressure. And I now think that it isn’t the pressure that I’m feeling. Depression and anxiety ARE mental disorders after all. Schizophrenia’s a mental disorder. Ah maybe I should go for more counselling. But they just say the same things, and it’s always easier said than done. It seems like a lonely uphill battle, but people have gone through it and come out stronger. It’s scary thinking that I might become a bigger disappointment if I fail in this area too, but it’s scarier to think that I will be like this for the rest of my life. I guess I wouldn’t feel as much self-hate and disappointment if there weren’t such successes to strive for. And then I can hear the old me telling me that I’m still here, I still wish to do well and make my parents proud. And that voice is enough. Enough to put away my embarrassment and disappointment and to keep going. To fulfill that dream and bring the old me back. To just try my best again and continue through life. To remember that even if I think that I’m a disappointment, there are people who love me despite that and that I should love myself too. Because I’ve tried my best and it’s the best I could do. It’s okay.
So it’s been a few days since my breakdown. Am I over it? Yes and no. I know it’ll happen again in the future, but I find myself forgiving and forgetting. Honestly, a part of me doesn’t want to forgive and forget. But it just…happens. I guess THAT’s what family is. Family is who you’re stuck with. Family is going through all this and learning from it. Family is there to shape you into something beautiful using the sharpest knives and the softest bandages. Without realizing it, I’m able to get out of my room and make small talk with my brother. Is this normal? Is this healthy? I don’t know. And the scar is still there, but somehow, like always, disputes with the family resolve the fastest.
In the beginning of my depression, all the negativity slowly chipped at me until I couldn’t handle it anymore. It hurts more when it comes from your loved ones. But I know they don’t mean to I guess. No one’s got the perfect solution on how to live, nor have a manual on how to be a good family for someone. It’s something you learn through time and experience. So I accept that. I make mistakes too, and I want them to forgive me as easily as I forgive them. And it’s not like I can avoid them forever like how I might try to with friends that I don’t agree with. At the end of the day, we’re all learning. Learning how to love one another, how to use our knives to smooth out our imperfections. I can’t say the hurt just disappears, but blood seems to make it a lot easier to fade and mend compared to water. There’s just that mix of “substance” to it that makes it stronger than just one molecule.
So before my oh-so-important oral exam for a 6 credit course in Pharmacy which integrates all the ideas we learn into cases, I had a severe migraine attack. The cause? A breakdown I had earlier because of my brother. I woke up to the sound of yelling and heard everything he said to my parents about me. Most of it were outrageous things. And the thing that hurt the most and reminded me of my childhood traumatic experience with my aunt yelling at my dad? That my parents didn’t stand up for me. Like how my grandma didn’t stand up for my dad. The anger I had towards my grandma since then until the day she died (and the regret I had towards my dad for not being strong enough to support him), and now I’m conflicted with the same scenario. Not only the hurt of the words and accusations my brother yelled out, but also the hurt and loneliness of not having anyone stand up for me.
How can they think that way about me? Even when I see their worst, I understand that they’re human, that of course family, who see them everyday, are bound to see the worst more than others. I don’t take it to heart and the day isn’t done before I find myself forgiving them and loving them again. I try all the more to understand them and find excuses even to justify their actions. But what has that done. Relationships won’t last even if one person tries their best. I’ve tried so hard to show my brother the love that siblings should have, one that he wasn’t able to see in my parents’ generation. I guess it didn’t show and all he sees are my failures and imperfections. I honestly never knew that he saw me that way. Because I could never see him in that light. If it was me, I wouldn’t have been able to talk so harshly about him. He is my little brother after all. Guess life doesn’t go the other way around.
It means the world to me when I see people standing up for each other. When my friends support me, when I see people love me like family even though we’re not blood related. After that happened, I used every opportunity I had to support my family. To stand up for them when they’re put down by others. To call a coworker who’s not distributing work fairly. To stand up for my dad when my mom and brother attack him with words. To tell my friends what amazing people they are. But this all messes it up. The meaning of family was destroyed back in Grade 5. And now again, I can’t help but think of the parallels. Is this family? Is this a safe place? I hear his voice and can’t help but break down in tears, shivering. It’s too similar. It hurts. It really hurts.