The shadow behind

It’s so hard to get rid of traumatic memories. Like how I see the dog with its bite-hold on my arm whenever I hear dogs bark, I see the and hear the conversations I had with that preceptor in my current practicum. It doesn’t matter that the situation is totally different, that my current preceptor and the staff are super encouraging and supportive, and that I did pretty well so far considering my mid-evaluation. I would still see similar situations and find myself go back to that memory. I would hear his words, hear the threats, and the rush of feelings would mess up my mind. The memory pounces on me and I’d have to sleep with a sleeping pill yet again. Day after day. Even if I’m able to brush it off and continue my day of work, it always finds an opportunity to come back. I try so hard to seem alright and it makes me wonder if people will see it. Or what they see.

Do they see a frightened young girl who is at a loss? Do they see a dumbfounded girl who can’t answer anything? Do they see a stoic mask? Do they see a friendly girl smiling despite her mistakes? At those times I can barely control my feelings and expressions. Like a ghost following me around, that trauma is something I can’t seem to get rid off. Working in the same setting, with a male preceptor; it’s so similar while it’s so different.

I really hope that I’ll be able to get over that trauma soon. I only have a week left at my practicum and I hope I can end it well. I really do enjoy working there with everyone and have learned a lot. I find my confidence took a hit since the memories, but I’m getting up again with the encouragements and kindness. I want to work even harder so that I can show that even someone with a trauma can do this. And that I am not someone who would’ve failed like they said I would. I need to prove to myself that I can do this. That I can indeed become a pharmacist. Believe. It’s been my source of strength when I have nothing to hold on. I’d hold on my wrist tattoo and tell myself that I can do this. That I believe I can. That I believe I’m stronger than the trauma.

Believe.

Sooo impulse won and I got the tattoo. On 2/16/2016 at 2:16 pm, I sat in the chair and it all began. Being one who was born on a date that was the square of the month number, I of course had an obsession with dates. It was too far for my birthday to come along so why not a close day that somewhat was special (it was either that day or the 29th since it was leap year) Anyways, after sitting in the chair, in 10 minutes, it was over. It took even longer to prep the tattoo from the design I drew (first pic) to the editing and printing of the design onto a carbon copy kind of paper to putting the template on my wrist (second pic). It didn’t hurt like I expected it to be. It just felt like strong tingly vibrations as she just drew the design once slowly. My hand felt like it was still vibrating afterwards but it wasn’t painful. (third pic) It’s been healing quite nicely, flaking and a bit itchy. We’ll see how it turns out.

As coincidental as it could be, the day before was another day to remember. It was one of those scares where I was just numb from the shock and unable to control my emotions (partially why the tattoo was not painful in my opinion). My dad was exercising and overexerted himself and when he got off the stationary bike, he walked over to the sink and collapsed. He slipped in and out of unconsciousness and my brother had to hold him up. Unlike last time where he had chest pain where I was able to drive him to the emergency and stay controlled, I had another experience with someone fainting and I think it just set it off. Last time was when I was at work and someone had fainted and almost died. I think that was why it hit me so hard. Seeing him limp and unconsciousness, not responding to us, unable to do anything about it. Thankfully he came about and was alright after all. But it was traumatizing and I really hope that he would take better care of himself and be more careful knowing his condition. Now he can’t even do moderate exercise and it pains me to think that the next time he might have a heart attack or just not wake up from unconsciousness the next time. To think of losing him brings on the bucketfuls of tears because I’m not ready yet. If these scare attacks are supposed to prepare me to accept that he may have something serious someday that may take him away from me, I don’t want it. As immature as it sounds. I honestly don’t think I can handle it, even as much as I can believe or try to believe. I guess that’s why having the tattoo done the day after made it even more important of a reminder, to believe. To believe in myself, to believe in brighter days, to believe that in the end, it’ll be okay.


Just an impulse?

I frequently wonder whether my random ideas and impulsive thoughts are something that is like an enlightenment, or rather my own selfish wishes that I try to justify. For me, these impulses are usually against my norm, against my personality and something that I would never do. Unless I do it right now as I think about it. Then I act before I can regret it. Sometimes they require more planning and therefore they just sit there in my brain, bubbling and growing until I can act on it. Sometimes I’m able to reason with myself why I should or should not do it. Other times, the opportunity seems like it’ll never come again and there I go.

Mostly it’s led to good things happening. I feel like I fulfilled something. I get the chance to do something that I otherwise would regret. Sometimes it even turns into a dream I want to accomplish. And of course, sometimes it turns out it was a dumb decision after all and I regret it oh so much. So here are my current impulses that I want to act on and have not found the ability, time or justification to act on it yet.

  1. I want to get a tattoo. Yes, I know it’s permanent and it’ll have to be something that I can cover up as I work as a healthcare professional. But there’s just something about the word “believe” that I feel like I need it as a reminder for myself. To be able to see it daily, with me all the time. To believe in myself. To believe in my abilities as a pharmacist, as a person. To believe in love. To believe in the worthiness of life. To believe in people. To believe that the future will hold brighter days. To believe that there are people who love me no matter my failures or successes. Because without believing in all this, my life is meaningless. And I do believe that living can be meaningful.
  2. I want to volunteer abroad. So I found this Work the World that would allow me to do a pharmacy internship volunteering abroad. It honestly sounds amazing. To be able to see how I can use what I’ve learned and at the same time see how it can be used in other areas. It’s also a great opportunity to immerse myself in other cultures and further my learning and understanding of them. The only setback is the cost. I’ll have to start saving up and possibly find another way of income to cover the cost of the internship itself plus the flights. And as for whether my parents allow me…I need to prepare my arguments for some convincing.
  3. I want to start tutoring. This impulse came as my idea for a way to cover the cost of the internship. Well, I have been thinking about it for a year now but never got the incentive to do it. I had planned to do some sort of part time tutoring after I became a pharmacist so I could have the best of both worlds and fulfilling my childhood dream to be a teacher. Reading with kids every week with One to One has increased my love for teaching kids and opening them to the amazing world of learning. Learning is lifelong as I can definitely attest to.

Here’s just a few of my current impulses. I guess it can be risky but that’s what life is about. We can’t predict the result of every move we make and life is so much harder when we make decisions based on that. One life to live. Time passes without regard. What can I do with my time and life so that I am content that I have lived my life to the fullest?

Addicted to Depression?!

It’s been so long since I’ve posted. So many drafts in my history, unfinished posts that I just never got around to. I’d start and just didn’t have the time, energy, thoughts to finish them. So catching up with a TDLR summary of all the ones I wanted to post…life has been hard between then and now. However, there’s been a difference. I want to do life “right”. I’m doing more impulsive things (good and bad) but I’m starting to live life for myself and not others. I’m starting to learn to love myself and put my energy into relationships that are worth it, not relationships in which I invest too much into hoping for a return. The best impulsive decision so far was the one where I decided I’m going to do something about my life and went to Counselling Services and told someone that I was thinking of suicide. Since then, I found out more about depression and what I had.

Depression. What a depressing word. Once you say you have depression, people act different. They seem to be walking on broken glass around you, scared to “trigger” something or like you’re going to start bawling in front of them because you’re “sad”. Depressed are normal people. Anyways, I’ve been learning more about AA Alcoholics Anonymous recently. No, not because I’m addicted to alcohol. But I’ve learned that it doesn’t apply to just alcoholics. We can be addicted to things bad AND good. And I’ve come to a realization. I was (might still be) addicted to depression. There’s something scary about not having those self-deprecating and pessimistic thoughts when they’ve been there with me for a good 5 years. There’s something that is almost…comforting about worrying. I guess it’s like having control over your thoughts and predicting, knowing that you’re going to fail. As always. It’s much easier expecting the worst and expecting that you’re in the wrong. Trusting yourself and others is scary when human beings have such a high failure rate.

I’ve done the first steps of admitting it and wanting to change. Now how to change? How to do that full U-turn? Haha, I don’t have an answer for that yet. Still formulating it. Still exploring my path. But at least now I have hope that I’ll get out of this hole. Believing for me is the biggest step to take in my depression. Believing that life will get better. Believing that people will like me for who I am. Believing that I can forgive myself. Believing that there it’s worth holding out and trying hard for the future. Believing that I’m worth this journey. Because it’s true. I just have to believe it.