FRAK MY LIFE: Disappointed in Myself (AGAIN)

After all that blather about doing the right thing, I skipped Contracts AGAIN. That makes 4 out of 5 classes skipped in the first 2 weeks of school. OH MY FUCKING GOD. BBT_failure at everything

How I feel:BBT_rage in my heartGI_on inside my head

What I wish I could do to myself:

LotS_nicci boils rhal

Or at least do something to snap myself out of this cycle: Buffy_punches_willow_superstrength_two_to_go

I wish I could make the thoughts go away:

Fringe_shush and calm down

But I can’t…

Supernatural_hate what u see   OUaT_no one could ever love me  Buffy_about willow

*edit* Right after I posted this, my friend burst into the room and asked if I was ok. She was in the room with me earlier in the day. So, she knew where I was likely to be “studying”. I still feel like crap about myself, but she helped me feel a little better.

I am trying to do well; I care about success in law school. I am trying to do the reading. Honestly, I am trying. The problem is my baseline is starting too low. I struggle to get out of bed. Then I struggle to do my Activities of Daily Living. Next, whether of not I did my ADLS, I struggle to get to the law school building. After that I have to rally the effort to actually go to class. Lastly, I have to attempt to read the casebooks or research for my paper and I have to do it after dragging myself around all day, fighting the urge to give up. When getting out of bed is a struggle, showering is a fight, and brushing teeth is a rarity, getting to class takes a lot of willpower. I know if I want to be here, I have to be here. I know I am capable of doing this. However, with the way the professors teach, it is impossible to pass, if you miss too much.

Fringe_Peter_head bang

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Family Breakfast

I couldn’t sleep last night. In order to keep myself awake while driving I ate breakfast and did not turn the heat on in the car. I didn’t feel cold. My car said it was 12 degrees outside; the radio said it was 10 degrees. I think I was ok because when I shivered at 19 degrees it was late afternoon. So, the sun was low in the sky and this morning it was shining. Also, I forgot my meds a few days last week. Today I remembered and maybe my body is no longer used to the high dose of stimulants.

Anyway, when I was sick my mom instituted “Family Breakfast” because unless someone watched me, I didn’t eat. I saw right through the “spending more time together” lie.

Fringe_toast

Today my mom ate breakfast with me. Usually I don’t eat breakfast, but also she is usually on her way to work when I am getting ready. Eating breakfast with her reminded of “Family Breakfast”, which reminded me of treatment.

In turn, it reminded of me treatment friends. Some of them are dead; others are on disability. One died at 20. I’m now 23, things aren’t perfect, but they could be much worse.

In other news: I’ve only skipped 3 classes this week. Granted, 2 of them were Contracts, meaning I’ve skipped 3 of the 4 class times we’ve had this semester. The other was Civ Pro…Oops! I plan on going to Contracts at 2 pm today. I also plan on actually doing research for the paper due Sunday before the night it is due. Then again, I always plan on studying/ catching up/ reading for class/ etc., but then sleep sounds so much more inviting. Haha, yesterday I was awake for a grand total of 8 hours.

LotS_cara eye roll

Another TED talk: Depression Stigma

He has a great point! He is absolutely right; the only way to destroy the stigma is talking openly about it.

 

However, I’m not ready to let the world know about my depression.

GoT_father told the truth

Yes, Sansa, he was an honest man and look what happened to him!

OK, that was ironic considering this is a blog, but the only people who know me IRL and have any idea this blog exists are people who already know most of this and I trust to accept me with the other stuff (I.e. masochism, bisexuality).

You Don't have to Fight Anymore

I talked to my Legal Research and Writing Professor for an hour and a half. She is amazing! It turns out that she struggles with depression. We talked about depression, anxiety, perfectionism, medication, therapy, premature birth, support systems, and coping mechanisms. My professor asked if there was a family history of mental illness (there is a minor history, but no one as bad as me) and whether I thought my struggles were genetic or environmental. I said both, but that was why we talked about prematurity. She didn’t say anything new, but she phrased some ideas differently than other people. It was helpful.

What especially stuck with me was “Wow, no wonder you’re a fighter. You have always been a fighter…but you don’t have to fight anymore. I was proud, amazed, that you passed last semester. You’ve clearly proven you can do it and you’re smart enough. Leaving doesn’t equal failure. You need to do what makes you happy. I worry about you because law school is making you this miserable. The first year is tough, but I know many people who struggled with depression in their 3rd year. This, no degree, is worth being suicidal.

But then again, I feel like I still have something to prove. Like this: (4:44 – 5:09)

Is this what you really want? I know it is hard to know this early; if it is, maybe you should fight for it. If it’s not, the degree isn’t worth the pain you’re in. Maybe a leave of absence would help. If you’re much better out of law school that maybe your answer. Also, just because you leave, doesn’t mean you can never come back. I know students who failed their first semester, reapplied, and returned. I see no reason why you wouldn’t be accepted; you have a solid C average. You’ve proven yourself.”

She also said I can help people without a law degree. I said I wanted to do child advocacy; she said there may even be better ways to make a difference because with the law, you feel like you’re fighting unwinnable battles against this giant system. She used to be a child advocate and a juvenile defense attorney, but she became a professor because she burned out.

She said I deserve to take care of myself. I deserve to be happy. I shouldn’t do things because like her, “I (she) was the intelligent person who didn’t want to take the MCAT. It was expected because everyone said I’d made a good lawyer…and I made a great lawyer. My perfectionism worked in my favor, but I was miserable.” Also, on one hand, I am depressed and that wreaks havoc on motivation, but on the other hand, is it possible I waited until the last possible moment to do every assignment, barely read the casebooks, and skipped as many classes as possible to still pass because this is really not were I want to be?

I have a lot to think about. If I become suicidal again, I will at least take a leave of absence. Short of that, I don’t know what to do. I am inclined to stay…today.

lilah teasing smile

On stepping away from incrimination and accepting sexuality

“Love as thou wilt.” While reading Kushiel’s Chosen, it occurred to me that love cannot be evil. Sure, love can lead us to do immoral things, but the raw emotion can’t be wrong. How could it?

Perhaps it sounds cliché, but my religion is love. I badly want to believe in the God I grew up with, but I struggle. I do not think our mortal minds are capable of conceiving such grandiose things, if they are true. Therefore, how could a benevolent God punish mere humans for getting it wrong? I do not think he would. That would be like an adult punishing a 3 year old for failing to grasp theoretical physics! So, I believe if there is a God or some, any, force that is immortal and controls our access to the afterlife, he/she/they/it could not reasonably damn us for not grasping the truth of planes beyond our existence. If he is smarter than us, he is most likely wiser and more compassionate because if he is more intelligent, he would have to understand our lack of knowledge and intelligence. As a result, unless he is so far beyond us that we are tiny ants, unworthy of his concern, he would not damn us.

I believe we cannot know the truth of what lies beyond our awareness. We can cast our lot with one religion or another, but we cannot be certain until after death. So, our morals cannot come from religious precepts. Then were do they come from? I am not entirely sure, that would take another post. I do know having a positive impact on others is a good thing.

Yet, things are not so simple. One kind act could have awful implications that we could not possibly be aware of. For example, say a woman is starving and out of kindness I give her dinner. As a result, she is able to survive to get her next meal and eventually she finds her feet and prospers. Ten years later she gives birth to a daughter and twenty years after that the daughter gives birth to Adolf Hitler. Hitler, as your know, goes on to orchestrate the murder of millions of people. My one act of kindness saved a woman’s life, but in the end, brought untold suffering. We cannot know the full ripples of our actions. Therefore, how can we be judged solely on what measurable good we do in life? I do not think we can be judged that way. We could judge based on the immediate consequence of any one action, but even that could turn out poorly.

So, if not our deeds, what is left to judge our worth? I think the only thing left is our intent. If our intent is good, born of kindness, compassion, and love, I think we are good people. We may make wrong choices or we may make seemingly correct choices, which lead to catastrophe, but I think our intent is how we can judge a person’s character.

Assuming that supposition is right, how can love, gay, bi, straight, paraphilias, masochistic, or sadistic be wrong? I do not think it can be wrong! There are exceptions, when your “love” harms another person, it is not love; it is lust. For example, I believe pedophilia is wrong because a child cannot consent to sex and sexual abuse does immense harm to children. If pedophiles really loved children, they would not touch them.

However, as long as actions are between consenting adults and do not impinge on a third party’s rights, I conclude love cannot be immoral. Furthermore, if I am wrong, I cannot see how a just deity would damn me for my lack of perfect comprehension when I did not have all the facts. Faith maybe the best course of action, but we are weak; we are not omniscient. How can we be judged by standards that are beyond us?

In sum, thanks to Jacqueline Carey and Phèdre nó Delaunay de Montrève, I am another step closer to accepting this part of myself. Thanks to Deej, I accept my bisexuality. In years past, I hated my learning disability and mental illnesses. Truthfully, sometimes I still despise the mental illnesses because they make school, relationships, and life in general, much more difficult. However, I now accept my learning disability is not stupidity or a character flaw. It is a result of extreme prematurity (23 weeks gestation) and an intraventricular hemorrhage I suffered in the first 6 months of life. It is not my fault. Yes, it makes academia tougher and presents unique challenges, but I am stubborn and intelligent; I am capable of persevering. Hell, I already defied doctors’ expectations many times over. One doctor (my mom said she used to wish I’d go to medical school and become his boss in the NICU) told her: You don’t need to worry about her getting into college, or even graduating high school. She’ll be deaf, blind, and retarded. You need to worry about whether she can hold down a job, which is unlikely.

You know what? My parents are f**king right when they call me a miracle. At the time of my birth, no baby born as early as I ever survived the NICU at the hospital I was transferred to after birth. Child magazine ranked the hospital in the “top 10 best hospitals in the nation” 4 times in a row. It is considered 3rd in the nation for neonatal care according to U.S. News and World Report. Furthermore, the hospital received the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence, the Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). To date, only 170 of almost 5,000 hospitals nationwide – 3 percent – have Magnet status. In January 2010, it was redesignated as a Magnet hospital by the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program. Only 2 percent of hospitals nationally have achieved Magnet re-designation. In other words, it is a fricking good hospital and it was good in 1990 to. So, their inability to save a baby born at 23 weeks gestation says something about the state the neonatology at the time. I’m not perfect; there are immutable challenges I must live with, but I am freaking awesome when you consider everything.

some parts of me are awesome

As for the mental illnesses, I believe they are due, in part, to my first 6 months of life. Numerous longitudinal studies show NICU graduates have higher rates of mental illness, including mood disorders like anxiety and depression. I do not know if recovery is possible for me. I know Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can literally rewire the brain, maybe I can recover. However, whether or not I can gain remission from my mental disorders, I must believe I can manage them better. I can surround myself with people who accept me for who I am, I can utilize my support systems, and I can use coping skills to the best of my ability. Managing emotions does not come readily to me. I did not learn to healthily self-sooth and perhaps my emotions will always be more intense than most people’s, but I can learn to use the coping skills therapy taught me.

I used to think I did not have a “right” to be sick. I used to believe my life was perfect, I had a good school, nice friends, a loving family, and I wanted for naught; so, I thought I had no reason to struggle. Now I realize those things, while I am blessed to have them, do not negate my internal world. For whatever reason, I have these problems; they are my burden to bear. I wish it was not so, but I am what I am. I can be no more and no less. I have a right to my feelings, even my irrational ones, but I can learn to harness them. Moreover, I have a right to love who I want and how I want, so long as I am not taking away someone else’s rights.

*edit* While I acknowledge my prematurity had am impact on my development (if nothing else, I endured surgeries until I was 16 to correct certain problems), I do not agree with psychodynamic theory. They believe the unconscious governs most, if not all, mental illness, expressing some unknown need from our forgotten childhood. In contrast, I admit neonatal trauma can physically alter brain development, for example, my stroke.

It is possible that my former therapist is correct and I am substituting masochism for self-injury or my eating disorder, maybe it is unhealthy. At the same time, it gives me peace, security, and happiness. Again, as long as I am not harming others (For example, if shooting random people made me happy, I still could not morally do it.), and it is not detrimental to me wellbeing, I ought to be able to conduct myself as I want. I do not think peace, security, and happiness can be wrong. Granted, my eating disorder gives me those things, after a fashion, but it also harms my long-term health, which when all is said and done, takes away happiness. Masochism, done safely and sanely, does none of those things.

In conclusion, there are still ways I can better myself. Everyone is capable of self-improvement. Bisexuality and masochism do not make me a lesser human being or weak. They are part of who I am. In truth, so are my mental illnesses because they’ve given me more compassion and understanding of others. They’ve shaped me. The harm of mental illnesses can go, but they are not a character flaw or weakness on my part and in a way, I am grateful for them. Bisexuality and masochism are not diseases; they are not immoral. I…I am okay; I am not bad because of them. Alt and Olive_happy to see you Fauxlivia_happy to see you

B smile2 Felicia Day_satisfied smile

Starting Fires

Fringe_Angry pyro

Yesterday my therapist/psychiatrist said, “You’re doing it again; you’re manufacturing the next catastrophe. We’ve only had short times of in-depth therapy because you divert attention from the underlying problems to the next big crisis.”

First of all, props to me for going to therapy for the first time in over a month! Second, he is right. I do create catastrophes in my life. The ironic thing is my first therapist told me that 10 years ago after seeing her for a year and a half. She said I had a habit of “starting fires (metaphorically! I’m not a pyromaniac!) to avoid the real problems.” I’ve seen my current therapist for 9 years! My mom said she switched my treatment providers because she thought I was manipulating my therapist and the therapist didn’t know it.

I don’t remember ever intentionally manipulating her. Lol, apparently she had me better figured out than my mom realized. Honestly, I don’t do this consciously. Two therapists saying the same thing about me makes it more convincing though. I’m not sure how they can tell the difference between “starting fires” and having mental illness flare ups because many people with mental illness have bouts of remission and relapse.

Then again, I do shoot myself in the foot a lot. There are certain warning signs and I often knowingly ignore them. Plus, many times I do stupid/bad things for no good reason. In other words, I do them when I’m not in the vice-grip of mental illness. So, maybe they’re both right.

I’d be less skeptical if his comment wasn’t followed by, “I realized you’re repeating what happened to you as a little girl.” …OMFG, psychoanalysis is stupid! While I can see how my birth trauma impacts me (I was born at 23 weeks gestation in 1990), I don’t think I’m unconsciously repeating the past, which I can’t even remember. Furthermore, I think that is a stupid theory.

None of you know me and I’ve only blogged for 3 months. Therefore, I know you only have a limited snapshot of me. Despite that lack of knowledge, given what you know, do you think they’re right? Either way, why? If they are correct, what do you think I can do to change the pattern?