Daily Reminders

I crave you like an addiction. But I have to remember I laid us to rest. I gave everything of myself. You gave everything of yourself. I apologized after the rain. I watched you leave in the morning. I must reign in my thoughts. I must kill my cravings for you every day – they’re not real; they’re longings for the past; there’s nothing to be sad about if I can see our time as something to cherish, something that shaped me into who I am today. If there’s any hope, if there’s any meaning to all of this, it’s that my wishes came true. You’re happy, you have love in your love, and you have the courage to go after your dreams.

I must remember I have control over my thoughts. I am my own master. I am not a slave to my emotions. I choose to spread joy to those around me. I choose to be better though I blunder and stumble. I must cast away habits that weaken me. I am confident. I am incredible.

I have seen the monster inside myself. I have seen the rat in myself. I have seen madness and greatness. I encompass all these facets. Though they reside in me, they do not define me. I have conquered them. I have conquered myself. I am king. I have pushed my threshold for pain. I have pushed my tolerance and patience. I have expanded myself, and I must be careful that these boundaries do not fall. I must not return to my weaker dimensions.

I have wandered the desert until exhaustion. I have bathed in the ocean and swam past my fears. I have held fire to my hand and never uttered pain. I have leaped off a bridge and saw the ground reach for me. I have endured hours of pain. I have fought another man until we laughed and embraced. I have done my best to raise up the people around me. I have used my talents to helped those in need. I have used my guidance to bring my family together. I have comforted many people in pain. I have sat in the quiet of the forest. I have felt the coldness of rain and winter on my bare skin while everyone around me ran for cover.

I do not need to share myself with anyone else. I have everything and anything I need to be whole. Though I wish to be in a better place in life, I have to remind myself that things do not always go according to plans and desires. There is still much for me to do and learn. I will leave in time. I do not need to throw everything away and leap into uncertainty to improve myself. I have the ability to recreate myself. I am OK. I must act, but the right things and people will find me in the right time. I must let go control of external factors, and control myself.

In a Year’s Time & Sad Morning

 

“I fear I’m not worth love. I showed her the worst part of me, and the saddest part is she would have stayed with me. How sad is that? I had to let her go. It’ll be a year from Sunday. On that day I finally admitted to myself that we were not good for one another. But I keep wanting to go back to her. Why…? She was the one person who saw all of me, and still gave value to me. No one has ever given me so much generosity, not even my parents.”

I’m relapsing and denying myself love. I bought another pack of cigarettes after 2 months. Maybe I dreamed of throat cancer when I woke up a few nights ago. Maybe I won’t go to yoga today because I’m back to torturing myself. I’ve been forcing myself to exhaustion. Maybe this is my idea of a man -the part I’ve admired most about my dad, his tirelessness, his independence, his leadership. I’ve been trying to force these qualities at work and in life, and its working. I directed a team as we moved 54 pallets of a cliff bar donation in a hellish, chaotic day. I’ll have worked 5 weekends in a row by the end of May.  It was weird when my boss met my dad, seeing two paternal figures in my life. My dad seemed proud of me for the first time when he kept repeating what my boss said of me. I don’t want to be of sadness only. Life has not been joyful for so long. Everyday I am of longing, numbness, and anger. I find some doses of laughter and happiness, but it is not who I really am. It is not what I truly feel. People are surprised when they hear I have a depressive side.

“You are not your depression.”
“That’s so hard for me to think. I’ve been depressed for as long as I can remember. Even as a kid…”

There are days I wish I were never born. I wish I could end this happier.

Disparate

“You’re one of the most beautiful people I’ve met.”
“I wish I can see myself like that.”
“But you’re like perfect.”
“It’s funny, my ex use to say that about me. And I hated it. I wanted to be seen as a person.”
***
“Maybe it’s time you start seeing yourself as someone worth redemption.”
“I’ve been trying to redeem myself for so long. But how can I when I can’t make things better for the one person I’ve wronged?”
***
“Whenever I see you, I see a hamster running on a wheel. You’re like a saint hamster.”
***
“Where do you get all this energy? What are you training for?”
“I don’t know. Life or something.”
***
“You’re a fucking bitch. Fuck you.”
***
“You did bad things, but at least you own up to it. Most people I know never do that. And you’re actively trying to change. That should mean something. It does mean something about you.”
***
“That’s why I like you, Alan. You like sex, but you’re cool not having sex with me either. Not to say that’s why I like you, but it feels like you really want to know me. That’s different from all the guys I’ve met. We’d be a disaster if we ever got together. We’d be so codependent. I want to stay here with you. I really do.”
***
“I hate myself. I hate the things I’ve done. I hate who I am now. I hate so many things about myself. I still think about her everyday.”
***
“You’re a good son.”
***
“You’re a great man.”
***
“I’m seriously proud of you, Alan. Hard work denies no one. Great job lately. I mean it.”
***
“Thank you, Alan. This means a lot. I wish my son was like you.”
***
“Sometimes when I see myself in the mirror, I don’t recognize the person staring back. And I say to him who the fuck are you. That’s why you have to talk to yourself, Alan. It’s not crazy. There’s sanity in solitude. When you’re with people out here in LA, it’s just noise. That’s why you have to know yourself. My best friend always told me, you must know yourself!”
***
“Get out! Get out! Get Out!”
***
“Are you OK, Alan?”

I dreamt of death
the rank stench of stagnancy
the cold hand crept around my throat
until I awoke, fetal.

 

Not Great

you see yourself so harshly i wished i could have been who i am now for her back then why does it feel like i had to be a shitty person first to become a better person you need to change your foundation oh you’re still emotionally with her you need to rethink negative thoughts into positive i have been trying to recreate myself for most of my life when do i get to stop when will i be ok why does it feel like i always have to choose between being the better person or a complete monster sometimes i wish i can just be ignorant of others and when i can take my mind of others and how i can be helpful in a moment i’m trying to figure why i am like this because you like to help people and that there’s nothing wrong with self-validation but then you have expectations i feel like i ask for the minimum this is an issue of boundaries like trespassing signs some people have their sign way outside past the lawn some people have it to the door you just have yours way more open than some people i know i can’t expect people to be like me all the time but sometimes i just ask for the minimum and i try to be as clear about what i need but what do you do when they say no you say thank you sometimes that’s the best you get

I didn’t feel that great from this session. I’ve been smoking weed everyday. I’ve been self-medicating. I’ve been working nonstop. I’ve been amazing, but nothing really registers. Objectively, things are so much better than a year ago. But then why do I feel like I don’t care for any of this, that it doesn’t matter because you’re not with me. That’s a sad way of seeing my life. That’s a toxic way of seeing life. Today I stopped working out midtraining and I just walked away. my coach called after me, but I just felt crummy. people asked if i was ok but I couldn’t answer why I was doing any of this anymore. sometimes i wish i was somehow rewarded with something, but maybe the ways i’m working aren’t the ways I want to be rewarded?  what are the ways I want to be rewarded? i mean its cool i’m in shape. it’s cool i’m doing well at work. it’s cool i’m becoming more mature in how i handle things. but i think i want love.

eh i’m tired of thinking, and not exactly how i want to be high. i’ll try to be better tomororw.

I am a person? lol

I heard the good news through the grapevines while I felt the sun blister my skin. The day could have made a turn for the worse in that flower garden with my family. Mother’s Day was well spent; I invited my parents on the morning boat ride. After I took my family out to eat, and then to a flower garden in Pasadena. We sat in awkwardness as we have not done so for so long. There was a moment when my sister insisted that the loan we took was for naught, and I simply had to walk away to practice mindful breathing. She didn’t mean anything from it, but there was an implication of futility in my asking her mom for help. And maybe that’s somehow true, and maybe it strained our relationship, but I came back and spoke my truth. It turned out to be productive and it helped to re-orientate us. My mom then insisted that it was my dad’s fault and he’d have to fix all of this. I was proud to correct her. “No, this problem is all of ours. We all have a part to fix this.”

I came back home not exactly happy. I heard the good news, and again I was not exactly happy.  It sounded like things are going well for you and your family, and I can only be happy for that. But it made me think that perhaps I was the one thing preventing all that happiness. And in that case, it was for the best I was taken out of the picture. But I suppose again it just spoke to the futility of my efforts – while I’ll be the first to admit I made a lot of mistakes, I did give an earnest effort to being available, loving, and supportive of your family.

I was to reign in the sunlight, but when I turned the blinds a certain angle I’m suddenly reminded of afternoons with you. Likewise, I’m trying to reign in the light to avoid this great shadow of nihilism. Why am I the hardest and most supportive worker at my job? Why am I the one who trains the most intensely at boxing? Why am I trying so hard to keep my family together? Why did I bother writing a mother’s day card to crazy cat lady?  Why do I feel so doomed and unlovable? I suppose all these questions fell upon me today, and I felt an inescapable pessimism. And sadly, it all condenses to a question I cannot answer: why am I like this?

Maybe it’s time I be honest with myself. Why do I only pray for others, when I should pray for myself? At the beginning of meditation, I am given a monk’s robes. I tie the wraps, and for whatever reason, it feels strangely fitting on my skin. I kneel before Buddha, and I run through all the people in my life that I wish the best for. It always begins with you finding love, happiness, and strength to protect yourself. then blessings for your family, my family, my friends, then people I’ve come across. Maybe it’s time I pray for myself to find success and love. The saddest part is I still don’t have a great sense of self. It is my best quality that will send me careening towards destruction. Or maybe it’s my only saving grace.

I feel like people withhold help from me sometimes. My boss gave me a bunch of tasks today despite my saying I can’t because I’m so busy. I’ll be working 4 weekends in a row. I asked my co-worker for an easy favor, but she didn’t do it. The one coworker whom I planned to move out with, decided to simply find a place for himself. People have been telling I’m so strong, that I’m impressive, that I’m inspiring, that I’m this and that, then why do I still feel so crummy inside? Why does it feel like I’m always going to be a loner? I want to fully accept this and just go about my days as an unstoppable force, but sometimes I really wish someone would help me.

But I will stop this thinking now. I am not cursed. I’m strong-willed. Anything thrown my way, I can overcome. I’ve shown myself this day after day. This is self-confidence. I am OK. Haha, sometimes I realize I’m always looking angry and frowning at things now. Well maybe I can get another tattoo and travel a little now that I’m not moving out… I am a person? lol

 

My guide for myself to be un-depressed

“Maybe the redemption you’re looking for is the crazy cat lady. Sometimes the universe gives us our next task as the one thing we don’t want to do. You care about her, don’t you?”

“Nope.”

“You say you don’t, and you try not to talk about her, but you do care about her. Why else would you go looking for her cats at night or why would you yell advice at her?”

“She already physically occupies space near me. I don’t want her to occupy any space in here. What, I’m supposed to emotionally invest in this person now? I thought I was doing the right thing by buying earplugs. I don’t want to care about her.”

“No, but you do care. You said you were giving her advice you wished someone told you years ago.”

“Yeah, it just exploded out of me.”

“And you said you feel a lot of shame in being angry.”

“I do. It reminds me of how I lost control when I was with my ex.”

“There’s a lot to work with here. Look I’m not saying to start emotionally invest in crazy cat lady. Does she have name?”

“Gross. Yes, but I like it better when she’s just crazy cat lady. OK OK, Sandy. For the record, I hate that name now. If I ever meet another Sandy, I’ll have instant bias.”

“You see something of yourself in her, don’t you?”

“What? No… Maybe a little. Fine. I do. You know you’re good… I do, but I don’t want to. Why her? Of all people, why can’t it be someone who uplifts me instead? I see someone who’s trying her best to find her redemption. She once called me her son… well there’s this idea in asian culture that you have to love your parents. There’s no English translation but it’s sorta about being a loving kid is a duty or something. And I realize that a lot of the times asian parents abuse that obligation by being complete shits to their kids. I was just telling her that despite what they said and did to her, she has to find her own value. And then maybe she can go back to help them. Only by finding her own value…. Yeah,  I see a lot of things in her. She talks to her two cats all the time as if they were her kids. It reminds me of my mom who tried her best to make things right later. I don’t know.”

I’m still trying to piece together the last session. But it was a good one after I told my therapist our previous session wasn’t helpful for me. Still trying to break the anger cycle. The cognitive triangle thing she showed me was really cool. I am catching myself more. Anyways, here are my findings of how I have gotten past the worst parts of depression and anxiety in no particular order:

  1. Eat Breakfast. For me it’s protein rich breakfast in the morning.  Drink Coffee
  2. Exercise. And I mean drenched in sweat exercise not mild walk exercise
  3. Get Out. Get outside your thoughts. Get outside your room. Go stand in sun light. Go socialize with people even if you have social anxiety. Tackling my anxieties has been the only way I’ve beaten them.
  4. Find something to invest yourself into. I think the only way to defeat poor self-esteem is to get better at something. So maybe it’s learning a language. boxing. or I don’t know anything you can see tangible results of improvement. I think somehow this will lead to finding purpose -whatever that means. Here’s a good quote: Without a goal, you can’t score.
  5. Be in nature. I’m getting the impression from reading Jung that different environments in nature have different inherent meanings ingrained in us. What the fuck does that mean? I guess go somewhere in nature that represents your mindset. I went to the desert when I felt lost and wandering. I went to the beach when I was trying to find forgiveness. I went to the forest to find peace. I went to the mountains to find adventure.
  6. Talk to yourself. I do this all the time now. It confuses my coworkers. It confuses people I interact with. But this is self-regulation. I think a person must somehow bridge their consciousness with their subconsciousness. And sometimes, for me, that means just leaking out words in my head like go to work go to work go to work. or take out the fucking trash.
  7. Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for being bed ridden. Forgive yourself for being sad. Forgive yourself for being short with your loved ones. Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Then don’t be a bitch. as in… you’ve identified problematic behavior that means you have to change it.
  8. I’m still figuring this out… will add more later.