2/23

The anxiety monster is sitting heavily on my chest tonight. I fly back to the States in less than a week, and my brain keeps telling me all these things I HAVE to do before I leave. Even if they aren’t super important to actually getting me out of the country.

I know I’m just making more work for myself, but I feel like I need to make the transition as easy as I can for the new teachers. I feel like I have to write all these things about my classes and students, when they can probably figure it out on their own. Or I feel like I should deep clean the apartment and wash the sheets and blankets, when really it’s not a necessity. It would be nice of me, but I don’t have to do it.

I’m also worried about fitting everything in two suitcases and a carry-on. I know I shipped a lot of stuff home, but looking at all the stuff I have to pack still makes me think I won’t be able to do it. Also, trying to get said suitcases to the airport when you don’t have a car or someone to take you is stressful.

And then there’s the matter of my hamster. I can’t take it with me, and so far I haven’t found anyone who wants it. Even just to hold onto it and take care of it until I come back in a year.

I’m definitely going to cry tomorrow because it’s the last day I get to see my preschool students. And I’ll probably cry next week too when I leave the country. I haven’t even left yet and I’m already ready to come back. I think this next year is going to be a long one; having to wait to come back. I know I need to see my family, but I kind of wish I had signed another contract.

I know I will be glad of the break, though. It’s been a long exhausting year, and I need to get ready for the next time I come back.

I’m sorry for how disjointed this might seem, but that’s kind of how my brain is right now because of all the anxiety and stress. But I need to see if I can sleep now.

I’ll see you in the next one.

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Friends

[I wrote this a few days ago while the feelings were extremely fresh, and didn’t publish it. I’ve been debating on if I should ever since. But these thoughts and feelings aren’t new for me, and I’m sure I’ll have them again, so I’m publishing it anyway.]

I have no friends. At least none I would really actually call friends. I don’t know anyone to the point of being “best friends”. I’m not told secrets. No one calls in the middle of the night because they can’t sleep and need someone to talk to. I don’t have anyone to go out with on weekends and evenings. 
All the people I casually call my “friend” in conversation are more like aquaintances. I know hardly more than their name, for most of them. Unless we’re Facebook friends, and then I see snapshots of their life. I’m fairly certain that if I went through and got rid of most of the people on my friends list, none of them would care.

I know this is probably the anxiety and depression talking, but I often feel like I’m a very forgettable person. Like, if I just disappeared without telling anyone, no one would notice. No one would question it, because they wouldn’t even think about it. Hell! I’ve had my own mother forget about me sometimes.

I know relationships are a two way street, but sometimes (read:usually) it feels like it’s all one-way with cars only going their way. So eventually I stop trying. I stop sending messages first, because I always feel like I’m bothering them and making them feel obligated to talk to me. I stop trying to make plans, because they always say they’re busy and don’t try to ask me. When I stop trying, the friendship just kind of…dies, I guess.

There are a lot of times when I do get invited to hang out with someone, and I feel like they only pretend to like me. The thoughts that frequently go through my head are about being annoying, saying things that could be taken the wrong way, saying something unintentionally abrasive or offensive, or saying something that makes me sound stupid. Maybe I was an asshole and didn’t know it.

I know most people probably don’t care, but there’s always that little niggle in the back of my brain saying “but what if they do?”

What if they do think I’m annoying? What if I do sound stupid? What if that thing I said was offensive and they just didn’t say anything? What if they don’t actually like me? It’s hard fighting those feelings and thoughts because no one ever straight out answers my anxious questions about them. So I stopped asking, but continue wondering.

At work, sometimes these feelings are even worse. I’m an ESL teacher right now, and I constantly feel excluded by the other teachers. Hardly any of them talk to me, even if I try to start a conversation. They never invite me places with them. I always have to hear them talk in the office about a dinner they had together, or a bar they went to, or other things they did together. 

I know it’s probably my own fault because for a while there I was a huge asshole and went around talking kind of badly about some of them. But I stopped when it ruined what I thought was a new friendship. But it seems it ruined every relationship I might have had here. Friend, aquaintance, whatever. 

But that doesn’t stop me from feeling bitter jealousy when I hear about and see all the friendships around me. 

I always feel bitter and jealous when I hear and see friendships around me. Why can’t I have that? What’s wrong with me that I can’t make and, more importantly, keep friends? Why do people call themselves my friends but never do anything to show their friendship? It hurts, and sometimes I wish I was different. That things could be different. But they aren’t, and I’m not, so I’m stuck with no friends and the constant fight with jealousy.

See you in the next one.

2/10

Tonight the anxiety is unexplainable. I can’t figure out where exactly it’s coming from. And that annoys me. When I know what’s causing it I can accept it and usually move on and sleep. It’s the anxiety with no perceivable cause that makes life difficult.

Tonight it could be from any number of things. The fact I fly home in eighteen days and need to start getting ready to go. Maybe it was something I said or did. Maybe it has something to do with my plans to actually leave my apartment tomorrow. Maybe it’s from my digestive issues today and the worry I might have inflammation again. Or maybe it’s a combination of any number of these and more. These are just the ones I can name that could be causing anxiety. 

Almost nightly battles with anxiety are exhausting. I lose sleep or I sleep poorly. And then I’m exhausted the next day. I’m just glad I’ve gotten good enough at hiding it that no one can tell anymore. I don’t want to have to hide it, though. I want to feel awake and energetic after a full night’s sleep. 

I know a lot of what I write is complaining, but it helps me. And saying it here, where no one knows me, makes me feel less guilty about sharing..

It’s time for bed. 

See you in the next one.

2/7

I have so much anxiety tonight. So much it makes me want to cry. Over really silly things too. 

At the beginning of the year, I wrote a list of things I wanted to accomplish this year. Not really resolutions, more like goals. Things like lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, study more Korean. They’re hard goals, but I thought I could do them. Especially since I’m moving back to the States at the end of this month and will have a few people there to support me. 

And then there’s tonight.

Tonight I realized how very little Korean I actually know. I also realized trying to teach myself isn’t working like I’d hoped and I’m not sure I’ll be able to find a class or tutor back home. So how am I going to learn Korean?

This doubt, as well as lower back pain, made me start thinking about how tired I am all the time, which makes me doubt being able to make myself exercise more. I’m tired so I don’t want to cook or exercise, which makes eating healthy and exercising hard, which in turn makes losing weight hard. It’s a circle of failure.

I have anxiety because I’m worried I won’t be able to achieve any of my goals, which makes me incredibly sad and angry with myself for being this way.

I wish I was normal. I wish I didn’t doubt myself all the time. I wish I wasn’t tired all the time. I wish I had energy and motivation to do normal things. I wish I could actually make myself do things instead of telling myself it’s okay to do it tomorrow instead.

I’m going to go dig myself out of this depressive hole and go to bed.

See you in the next one.

Ugh.

I’m having increasing anxiety lately because I’m getting ready for another move. It’s not a permanent move, like the one that brought me where I currently am wasn’t a permanent one. But it’s still stressful. I have to worry about luggage being overweight, having extra luggage, making sure I remember to pack everything. I also have to worry about finding time to pack everything, as well as do some chores so the apartment isn’t a disaster for the next person to clean. As soon as I move out, a new teacher is moving in. And I work almost right up to the day when I take an eleven hour flight back to the US. I have three and half weeks left before I return to the (not so great) U. S. of A.

Speaking of America. That gives me anxiety too. Seeing what’s happening with the new president and all the things he’s changing is just… ugh. I don’t even know what to say. I’m worried about being able to get health insurance so I can continue to stay in remission with my auto-immune inflammatory disease. I’m worried about what could happen in the next year that might keep me from coming back to S.Korea to teach for another year. I’m worried about how, being a woman, will be affected by the things he’s changing. And I’m worried about how these changed will affect those around me that I love and care about.

I’m trying not to worry about how things will be when I return to the United States, especially since I have so much to do here to get ready to leave. I’m trying to make it so the teacher who takes my place isn’t left completely in the dark when it comes to teaching and what to do. Because that’s pretty much what happened to me, and the person I was directed to to ask questions wasn’t really receptive to helping. For this new person, there won’t really be anyone for them to turn to to ask questions because a lot of the teachers will be new to the school. Which is why I’m doing my best to leave information behind to help them. It’s just stressful trying to writing everything down for them for future reference. I don’t even know when this person will be coming train. I hope soon. But anyway.

I’m stressed. I’m anxious. And I probably won’t post again for awhile. Or I might. Don’t know yet.

See you in the next one.

Anxiety

My anxiety rears its ugly head a lot. And there are times when I’m not even sure why I have it, which then gives me even more anxiety until I can figure it out or it goes away. A lot of my anxiety stems from how I think others perceive me. How I look, how I act, how I seem, what I say… it all causes anxiety on any given day. I’ll be fine some days, where nothing will cause anxiety. Some days I’ll be fine until I climb into bed and try to sleep, and then I start agonizing over things I’ve said that might be taken the wrong way, or might make someone think of me badly. And then there are some days where I get immediate anxiety after something I say.  I like the days when I don’t have any anxiety.

It’s really sad to say, but I also have anxiety during activities if I don’t know what is going to happen. I was going to take a weekend trip to another city over the summer, but cancelled it because I had no idea what I was going to do once I got there. There’s a long holiday weekend coming up soon, and I’m going on at trip. The only reason I haven’t cancelled this one is because everything is planned out already. All I have to do is make sure I’m at the bus on time. As such, I don’t go out very often unless I have a plan of “okay, I’m going to do this today, and I might do this, too.” I don’t socialize often either. But I don’t usually reject an invitation to hang out with someone, just because I don’t get such invitations often and I know I need to socialize outside of work.

I think I’ve always had anxiety and just didn’t know it. I always thought I was just excruciatingly shy. But looking back, I do see the same symptoms I get now. The not wanting to talk to people I don’t know. The turning red if I have to talk to someone or in front of a group. The pounding heartbeat. The cold sweats. The need to psych myself up to use the phone or contribute to a conversation.

I have one memory from high school where I think my mom started to realize maybe I wasn’t just shy. But she never did try to get me help. I had been invited to a friend’s birthday party at a pizza restaurant, but we weren’t sure if we were at the right place. So my mom told me to go to the counter and ask. I couldn’t do it. I was almost in tears, and I knew I really should get out of the car and go in, but I couldn’t make myself move. She got so angry and slammed out something  about it not being normal.

I think I started to get a bit better when I went to college because I had to do everything for myself. But then things got worse again because I got sick, and the symptoms of my physical illness caused a lot of stress and anxiety. That’s when I finally realized that maybe I have anxiety. And it’s stuck around ever since. Even with what I found out to be an autoimmune disease under control with few lingering symptoms.

Anxiety sucks. And I’m hoping I’ll be able to find better ways to cope with it. Although, I’d love it if I could get rid of it entirely, but I’ll settle for learning to cope.

I’ll see you in the next one.

I’m tired.

One of the hardest parts of having depression, anxiety, and an auto-immune disease is the constant exhaustion. It’s the kind of tired where you can sleep twelve hours and need a nap ten minutes after you get up.The kind of tired where no amount of coffee, cola, or tea will even make a dent in how you feel. The kind of tired where you get really good at faking being happy, awake, and energetic so others don’t question you. The kind of tired where you get really good at ignoring how tired you are so you don’t fall asleep at work. The kind of tired where you’re fighting the need for sleep so hard it gives you a headache. The kind of tired where you catch yourself staring at and thinking of nothing more often than you used to. And it’s the kind of tired that is so bone-deep your body hurts and all you want to do is stay in bed and sleep all day, knowing, even if you do, you’ll still be tired when you wake up again.

To those of you who know this pain, please know you are not alone, and we will make it through. One day at a time.

I had more to say on this topic, but I feel like it will ruin the affect of this post. So, I’ll include the rest of what I had to say sometime later in another post.