Literally just trying to survive

These two weeks have been crazy, in their own different way. Two weeks ago, I was hit with the worst of my migraines/headaches (it’s all messed up and constantly there so I can’t even differentiate between them anymore). The pain stayed at 9-10/10 for the whole week. Normally it goes up and down and peaks only once or twice a day, normally only up to 8/10 and would go back to a 3-4/10 baseline background headache with medications or just time and sleep. Nothing brought it down. I couldn’t sleep. I would wake up because of the pain. I couldn’t study. I couldn’t do anything. And my supplemental exam was that week. The timing is ALWAYS perfect when life is messed up. Then Thursday that week, I had a mental breakdown after doing bad in a lab session. It was just way too much to handle and I had suicidal thoughts. Funny how on that day of all days, my dad kept asking if I was okay. Of course, I’m still alive and did not go through with my thoughts. One of the reasons being that I did not want to ruin the reputation of the doctor who prescribed me the sleeping pills. Like who thinks of that? The goody-two-shoes. Or more like I just wanted to find excuses to live. Because I knew they were stupid thoughts.

So Friday (the next day), I stayed in bed all day, beating myself up over even thinking of suicide again and going crazy with the headache pain. Finally that Friday night, I was able to talk to my family about it. They already knew about the headaches and some parts of my depression, but I think that was the first time we talked in detail about it. I told them I wanted to drop out of pharmacy. I didn’t think it was worth it. To be in so much pain, to have depression/anxiety, to be under so much stress just for a degree and a job that I don’t even know if I’ll be happy doing. It especially wasn’t worth it considering that one day I’m so scared that I’ll actually go through with the suicidal thoughts and plans because I just can’t reason with myself anymore or something. I guess I’ve just wanted to hear it from them. That it was okay to give up because I’ve already tried my best. That my health was more important. That my happiness was more important. And that night was the first time that I heard that from them. After 3 hours of crying and talking, I think they could finally understand me. To understand the extent of my pain, that I really was trying my best to fix my life, and how badly I tried to not disappoint them. It also helped me to understand them (especially my brother). That he wanted to care for me the same way that I cared for him, but he didn’t know how to do it. He was also able to help give extra-optimistic perceptions on my situation (e.g. I passed 8/9 courses last term so this term I can pass 8/8 courses). I WILL beat those negative thoughts.

So after our long talk, they still tried to persuade me to just give it my all and not withdraw unless I fail out of it basically. I was torn. Between wanting to be a good daughter and giving myself that rest I knew I needed. Of course, being me, I’m still hanging in there. But now, I have a super strong support system and it’s not a lonely uphill battle but an all out war. My brother has also volunteered himself to be my personal trainer for a regular exercise regimen (which is horrible for someone like me who doesn’t exercise at all except for walking). So hopefully that’ll help. And they’ve been forcing me to eat more healthy (aka eating vegetables that I normally pick out of my food). My intestinal tract hates it as much as I do, but being healthy as a whole is important. Also, the day after, I was able to bring the headache down back to baseline pain level (yay!) with a new medication (fun fact: metoclopramide which is normally used for gastric motility/GERD is used in migraine emergencies with IV administration). So although it was taken orally as a tablet, it worked as a temporary solution. And now my migraines/headache is back to the regular peak and trough (double yay!).

And this week, school has been crazy. I had to contact professors for classes missed, catch up on materials I had neglected due to studying for the supplemental, and prepare for 2 midterms. I have no idea how, but I was able to sort it all out. My mom was commenting on how strong the mind can be because she asked how school was and I said it was okay now when just a few days ago it seemed like the end of the world. I just hope that if another situation like that hits again, I’ll only get back up even stronger. It doesn’t matter if I fall down a hundred times, because it’s only important that you get back up after each fall. Because what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Literally. Whatever you’re faced with that you don’t think you can ever overcome, you CAN overcome. Sometimes we don’t know how, but it’s one of life’s amazing mysteries. And you can only find out if you stay alive. So I’m going to give it all I have and stay alive.

(Oh and for those who care to know, since I haven’t posted since finding out about having the supplemental exam, it was hard writing it with a huge migraine/headache, but I think I should pass. The marks haven’t come out yet. I shall update the good news (knock on wood) when it is out).

Happy 3.14159265358979323846264 Day!

I know it’s already March 15, but I was unable to finish the post yesterday. In Gr. 8 or 9, I memorized 200 numbers of pi in a class competition for math class. It was fun! But yes, it’s 3/14 today and thinking of pies (which I don’t really have a liking to) made me think of circles. Thinking of circles made me think of a clock. Thinking of clocks (you know where this is going) made me think of time in a day, and thus time in general. My mom always reminded me that time fair with everyone. Everyone gets 24 hours in their day and how they use it is up to them. Correlating this all in my mind was the pie graphs we learned to make in elementary school. You can only split the circle with how much you already have, it’s all by percentages. So…how do I split my pie graph of time everyday? I’m still working on a better split of time that’s for sure! I’d say I spend 25% of my time sleeping, 45% at school or doing school related things, 10% commuting, and 20% not doing anything. Actually, it doesn’t look that bad! But that’s just on average. Sometimes time sleeping is decreased to 17%, school only 35%, 10% commuting, and 38% not doing anything. That’s what I’ll have to work on. I definitely need more sleep!And…not all of my time at school or doing school related things is productive, which kind of defeats the purpose I know. But, lately it’s been really hard to not waste time. Thinking about school and overthinking about stress, it’s like David and Goliath with me being David. Impossible! I would stay up trying to use more of my time productively, only to spend more time dealing with the hurricane of thoughts. I almost feel as though I’m going psycho with everything! I really envy my friends who are able to get good grades without studying much and being able to sleep early every night. Well, some of them don’t have the same course load as me, but I do know people who do and are able to keep it up! I really think all this thinking has made me dumber, burning my brain cells. For now, I’ll try to be more productive by staying on a bedtime of 12am and staying off YouTube.

Time flies. Really. Really fast.

Reading break this year has been…a mental war in the trenches. It didn’t help that I was PMS-ing the week before, on the verge of tears almost all the time. So, my emotions were already all over the place. Then, I start stressing out over the use of my time during reading break. Of course I hoped to use my time wisely and study lots, but it just got too intense in the trench warfare. I don’t even know if I want to fast-forward time or slow down time. I was so tired and I just needed to really take a “break” during reading break. Then the whole cycle begins, never-ending. They’re at a standoff – studying or relaxing, one or the either. Staring each other in the eye, the tension feels as if it’s going to make my brain explode. Each reasoning thought takes a walk in the minefield. It gets so stressful and tiring. It’s even more stressful and tiring than studying itself I bet! And most of these episodes last quite a while…when I look at the clock periodically, an hour has passed. And of course, to give my mind a break, I watch pointless but entertaining YouTube videos. Another hour passes. Then another. And subconsciously, it’s back to the battlefield. It’s so frustrating and I feel as though I’m going to fail myself either way. I can’t get over the fear of this trench warfare. And so the clock keeps on ticking, everything’s stressed, and fear storms in. How is school going to be these upcoming weeks? Intense. I can only hope that I can get myself back on track, clear my mind, and focus on what I need to do without thinking too much. And yes, that is too much to ask of my poor strategic war-torn brain.

Skyfall and drowning

It feels as if the sky is literally falling on me and I’m dying under all that atmospheric pressure. OK, slight hyperbole, but I feel so cramped on time and squashed under all the responsibilities, etc. Midterms are coming up and a lab is due, and I’m just having a hectic weekend with today busy from morning til night and starting to work now. It’s chaotic to say the least. The pressure is definitely on, as people are expecting me to do well and needless to say, I’m pressuring myself even more. It’s the type of stress and pressure that I would feel the tears build up like “I can’t do all this!” and then I push on. 

Two days later from when I first started this post: 

I just had another midterm, and it was grueling. Short on time and I just panicked. I changed so many of my answers that probably would have been right before to something I don’t even know what I was thinking. I almost broke down afterwards, my eyes hurt from the tears that were welling up but wouldn’t come out. I have realized that I am not good at math. I can’t think outside the box under pressure to manipulate formulas and calculations. This is quite sad saying this from a stereotypical Asian student. I guess this shows how I’m more suited for courses that require memorization or applying concepts, routines. My brain is fried, but now I have to somehow finish a lab report and study for another midterm tomorrow, which hopefully I’ll feel better about. It’s on days like this that I reach out to my friends. Needless to say, I have the best friends in the world who immediately gave me comfort and reassurance, lessening the blow that I had burdened myself with. It’s like floating in an ocean; alone you will drown because sometimes we get tired from treading water and the waves just keep on buffeting against us, but friends are like pieces of driftwood that we can rest on and help keep our heads above the water when we ourselves can’t. 

Lesson learned – definitely no more procrastinating! 

Also, interesting fact, our bodies response to stress by boosting our immune system, but then if we are too stressed, our bodies give up and we can easily get sick. Thus some people always get sick around the time after exams. Interesting how our physiological stress can affect our immune system. I learned from that lecture the 3 ways to stay healthy is to:

1) wash your hands

2) stay happy

3) make money