antisnotabug: (Default)
And here we are again. It's been a minute since I've been here. And again, so much has happened. Life never stops happening, does it? If I sound bitter about that... well, it's because I kinda fucking am. Which is super ungrateful, I am fully aware. In the last two months, I got my driver's license, a promotion at work (finally!!!!), and started going back to school. I should be so happy at this point, right?

... right???

Well, surprise, I am not. And it's confusing and demoralizing and humiliating. What is wrong with me? In terms of... I guess my station in life (excuse me while I suddenly turn into a Jane Austen character), I've been doing nothing but advancing. I'm farther than I was a year ago, and where I was a year ago was farther than two years ago, which was further than three years ago, and so on, and so on. This is what I've been fighting more so much since I was a teenager who wanted nothing more than to be independent and out of the chaotic environment I was raised in. Maybe that's part of why I'm so bitter about all this right now. Life hasn't stopped being chaotic. And I mean, does it ever, really? That's just what life kinda is. And the chaos in my life right now is infinitely preferable over what I was dealing with 10 years ago. But... fuck, man, I wanna rest. I want my brain to rest, for once. I want my life to settle down. I'm so fucking over chaos and the anxiety that comes with it.

There's so much I can't stop thinking about, none of it good. (Why don't we ever focus on good things?) Let's try and apply some order to the dumpster fire that is my brain:

- I'm gaining so much weight and while I've never particularly happy with my body, this is the first time I feel uncomfortable in it. I hate dressing in the morning. looking at recent pictures is upsetting. mirrors make me feel like garbage. but you know. still eating like a garbage disposal because the idea of not eating even when I'm only marginally hungry is so anxiety inducing. yay for exposure to multiple food insecure households, I guess

- Dominic. my little brother, who I love so damn much, who I haven't seen or heard from in two years. whose health is slowly deteriorating living in that fucking shithole my parents call a home in South Carolina. I can't do anything to make his situation right right now and it's slowly driving me insane. my ASL class is hands down my favorite class, but it's also so fucking hard to endure. the things we learn about Deaf culture, and the dire importance of having communication accessible to you... I think me and my family did more damage to Dom than his being born premature ever did. and every day I don't get him out of there is another day of damage. and it's my fault. now I hear every one of you saying "Ant, you can't blame yourself, it's your parents" and yeah, I know, but I'm not fucking helping, am I? I always felt some degree of guilt, but ever since I took this class, it's been unbearable. but, this goes so beyond my guilt, which I can't seem to make anyone get? like, who cares what I'm feeling and what my motivations are, there's an innocent, good kid who needs help. no one else is going to.

- my interpersonal communication class can go fuck itself. I mean, that's nothing compared to everything else, but it's worth mentioning, because it's stupid and terrible and stressing me out. my professor is primo hipster White Feminist and I get chastised every time I have an opinion. she makes me feel like a judgmental asshole and... I dunno, maybe I am a judgmental asshole. maybe that's okay? you can't stay in the middle anymore with how the world is, you have to choose a God damn stance. I feel pretty good about my stances. also there's a white boy who wants to tongue kiss the Unibomber and a mother who doesn't want to let her 8 year old daughter play basketball because she's afraid it'll turn her into a lesbian but apparently these are perfectly legitimate stances to have and I. AM. OVER. IT.

- my best friend is in a world of pain right now. and I can only do so much to help. Erin, I know you're gonna read this, so... please don't feel bad. I know I can't fix everything. this is your battle to fight and you're gonna win it. but. I can't help but worry. that's just how I am. and I am pretty worried right now. watching a friend I love so dearly be hurt so bad... it sucks. brains suck and mental illness is stupid and I hate it.

- speaking of, actually. lately, I've been afraid to take my medication. I'm becoming more and more convinced that it's been affecting me negatively and I haven't even noticed until now. my creativity is gone. my sex drive is gone. these are classic signs how did I not put that together? maybe I wanted to be hopeful, I don't know. but I've been neglecting them and I swear, things have been changing. but you know, also in bad ways. my medication gives me a stability, I can't deny that. but I think I'm giving up a lot more than I bargained for and this had been exactly what I was afraid of before I took the plunge and started taking them in the first place. I don't know what to do. not being creative has been killing me slowly, I can't not have that, I can't. but I don't know if I can have one without the other.

- work... work's been weird. it's not the worst thing going on in my life right now, which is really, really weird. but it's still pretty stressful. everyone in my new department keeps expecting me to pick everything up so quickly because of my old department and I'm not, I need time, and I need to ask questions, and I can feel their impatience seeping in and I STARTED TWO WEEKS AGO, LET ME LIVE.

- like everyone in my family is dying? that's a hyperbole, but only a slight one. pop just had his 3rd heart attack, mom is in and out of the hospital basically weekly at this point with her kidneys and dialysis, Dominic is permanently back on oxygen, Nick has hepatitis C and is basically deteriorating (or maybe he's just back on heroin, no one can tell!!!). so many of these people I have poor relationships with and it's just constantly in the back of my head that maybe I should patch things up with them while I still can but patching things up with my parents or Nick basically just opens the door to them taking advantage of me again and shit. it's so fucking complicated.

I need a break. and I can't have one, I do not have the time or the opportunity. so I guess I'll just. be over here. withering.

antisnotabug: (Default)
I am a functioning adult. I know right, I don't believe it either. But at the end of the day, I am. I live in an apartment. A decent one, even! I am surviving in a major city. I am holding down a job. I maintain strong relationships with my friends. I am making strides to improve my functionality in adult society. I can navigate the public transportation system and find my way in the world. (Maybe that's weird to point out but jfc I know a lot of people who can't so I'm counting it.) I pay bills and feed myself and vote. I'm doing it. I'm being what I've always wanted to be, a grown up who makes my own choices and takes care of my own damn self.

I kind of hate that.

Because when I was kid, dreaming about living in my own space and making my own money and doing whatever I wanted because no one could judge me for it, I never considered the fact that I could also be dealing with rampant depression and anxiety. I mean, I had shades of those even as a kid, but I didn't really know at the time. I thought depression was cutting yourself and I thought anxiety was... you know, actually, I wasn't even aware anxiety was a thing. I assumed that once I was doing all that adult stuff, I'd be happy. I would have found my meaning. And I'm not, and I haven't. I understand part of that is just growing up and realizing that things don't usually play out the way you think they will. But that isn't the whole thing.

There's another part. There's a part where... that became everything to me. Everything. I think somewhere, me the human being got set aside for me the Adult. My depression was at its worst when I dropped out of college, and I was living at home with no income. I felt like a failure and a fucking joke. It was the worst feeling in the world for me. It was consuming. I couldn't fight it, so I learned to live with it. The world won't stop for me, so I figured out ways to keep going, even though I didn't want to, and I had no faith in the idea that my work would actually get me somewhere. I had to try, right? Or else I might as well be dead, and while I'm terrified of failure, the only thing that scares me more is being dead. So I did it anyway. I applied to jobs and went to interviews when I thought it was pointless, and later I went to work even though I was making such a small amount of money that it made no difference. I learned how to not need hope.

I'm really unhappy right now. Not depressed, at least not like I was then. Now there's a new beast sitting on my chest, and it doesn't have a name. It's composed of knives and tightly wound wires, ready to snap at a moment's notice with little to no provocation. It's like a sharp, high violin note is being played right next to my ear, and the note refuses to end. And these feelings, they do not matter, because they do not stop me. I can pull myself out of bed to go to work. I can sleep for around 6 hours a night. I can eat. I can do what I need to function, and for me the Adult, that's what matters. The rest of it is luxury, meant for stronger, smarter people. As long as I can keep fooling people into thinking I'm a functional specimen, than I'm doing what I need to do. Sometimes, I wish I would break. I wish some part of the machine would fall off with a clatter and then, then, I could rebuild from the ground up. But that won't happen. I'm not built to let that happen. I don't know how to fix me the human being.
antisnotabug: (Default)
So it's been a while since I've journalled publically. It's nice to do. Private journalling has developed into me hyperfocusing on one thing where public forces me to do more of a broad take. To take stock, I guess.

Life is... I actually don't know what life is anymore. Ups and downs are coming so rapidly. More ups in the last two years, which I'm grateful for. But I would really, really love to feel... relaxed, for once. But I don't see that coming anytime soon. Specifically, in the next four years.

I am so. Fucking. Scared. My mind can't help but focus on the catatrophic things that could happen with an unstable leader at the helm of the US. I can't even begin to process what I can do, and I have no faith in the thought that I could make a difference anyway. I can barely focus on stuff happening at my country's level for fears of what could happen globally. It's exhausting and I can't sleep.

But in an unexpected turn of events, fear is for once working in my favor, at least a bit. I got my permit, and took my first driving lesson last week. It was terrifying. But not as terrifying as the thought of being stranded with no escape. In related news, working on getting my passport too. I can just... see running become a necessity, and I want to be equipped.

I'm just miserable and afraid right now. For the first time in my life, I am so close to where I've always wanted to be. I'm self sustaining. I have an apartment. I have a steady job. I just need a little more, you know? A little more ability to take care of myself, and then I'm there. I'm so close. And now, any second, it could all be taken away from me.

Also work is still shit and I had to break up with the first girl I ever loved (not so much making deets public on that but don't worry I'm a fucking mess) and 2017 can jump up my ass, in personal terms it's starting much worse than 2016.
antisnotabug: (Default)
I ended up reading a bunch of the old entries on here and. Wow. I really should journal more. Because sometimes, it escapes me how much life has changed in the last few years. Reading entries from four years ago, holy shit, so much has changed. I'm sort of gobsmacked right now.

Like, I was always aware of how much my situation changed. This time two years ago, I was living with my parents minimum wage, part time job. This time last year, I was crashing with a friend and working overnight. Now, I am in an apartment, promoted into a real position at decent hours. It's kind of incredible. ... Actually, putting it in that perspective only makes me realize more everything that I've done. And I'm really lucky. My disadvantages were plenty, but I powered through.

I guess I didn't realize how much I changed emotionally. Two years ago, I wanted to die. I was (mildly) hurting myself. I let my family take advantage of me. I shirked the thoughts of therapy or medication. Last year, some of that got better, but some of it didn't. I'm still not happy with where I am. With who I am. I'm still lost. I still rip myself apart when things go wrong. I still need balance and direction.

But seriously, holy shit, look how far I've come!

Despite my complicated relationship with writing, I've written more in this past year than probably the prior two combined. I've taken multiple stands against my family's manipulations, and I've established to them that I am my own person, with my own life I need to live. I'm taking care of myself! Er... not perfectly, of course. But I'm paying rent and bills and I'm getting myself to and from work everyday (even though I hate it) and there is no arguing that I am an adult. Which I've always wanted to be. I always wanted independence. I always wanted to be able to take care of myself, to not have to rely on anyone to provide for me. And I am. Depression can't take that away. No matter how hard it tries.

I'm just... proud of myself right now. It's a rare feeling these days. And it won't last. I'm never really satisfied with what I've done, there's always more. But for right now, this is enough. I'm doing okay. My friends are with me. I escaped Lawncrest twice now. I'm still in Philly, where I want to be. I've seen shows on Broadway. I'm... free. It's good.

Sidebar: Reading those old entries, and writing this one, I noticed a trend of a big lift in my spirits right around what would be my uncle's birthday. (It's tomorrow. He would've been 50 this year.) It's probably a coincidence, or maybe the date makes me retrospective, but... I dunno. Maybe there's something to it.
antisnotabug: ([writing] Killing 'Em)
I feel good today. Not really sure why. I mean, I'm getting out of the house for the weekend and that's always a good thing. That helps. But right now I just feel... okay. Like I, as a person, am okay.

That feeling has been astonishingly rare over the past few years, particularly these last two.

I think I have to admit I'm facing depression now. I've used the word before to describe my current state, but I never really liked labeling myself with it. I can't have that, right? There are people out there with more reason to be depressed than me. I haven't hurt myself. So I can't be depressed. But that second thing isn't quite true. I mean, I haven't really hurt myself physically, beyond the rare moment of weakness where I'll bang my head against the wall or scratch at my skin until I realize I'm doing something bad and force myself to stop. But like I said, that's rare. I'm more prone to hurting myself mentally. I sometimes think about killing myself. (Don't freak out, I'm not going to. I don't even really want to. But my thoughts get beyond my grasp and scare me.) I'll tell myself awful things. Sometimes about other people, but 99% of the time about myself. I'll say them over and over until I have to believe them. You're worthless. You're unloved. You don't deserve love. You don't deserve anything.

Life hasn't been easy. I've lost two very important members of my family in two years. I've had scares about losing the rest of them multiple times, which is pretty stressful. In the last two months alone, my dad had a heart attack and my aunt had a double embolism. I had to drop out of school, something I don't think I'll ever quite get over. My family's been suffering money problems so dire that losing the house has been a possibility and our food situation is shaky at best. I've been through the exhaustive grind of job hunting, which has only just eased in these last couple months. And even adjusting to the new job is hard, between how long the commute is and the fact that it's overnight. It's been really fucking hard. And I make things worse for myself because every time a bad thing happens, I'll convince myself that it's my fault and I deserve it.

I also create problems that don't exist. I have a really hard time reaching out to people. I've been raised on this idea of self-sufficiency, but the people who taught it to me expect every one who isn't them to go to ridiculous lengths to make their lives easier. So I've learned to push myself far beyond my limit. The idea of not wanting to burden anyone is so ingrained in my bones that every time I think I am (which is just about always), I panic and try to fix the problem. Only the problem isn't there to begin with, so I just make one. There's a lot of that with me, my worrying making me into a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's an awful cycle.

I don't want to blame my parents. Even after everything, I don't want to pin this on them. But... I kind of can't avoid putting a good amount of it on them. A huge amount of the stress in my life comes from the fact that I'm still dependent on them and they can't handle money for shit. I sometimes wonder if they're facing depression too. Even if that's true, that isn't what made them toxic to begin with, it just aggravates their initial desire to be inert. I believe I'm worthless because they treat the task of raising and helping me like it's an almighty chore. They'll put things they want before feeding me sometimes. They'll sigh over-dramatically and bitch when I ask for a favor. They make it clear that I shouldn't go to them for anything. Mom often defends dad by admitting his childish behavior but then adding, "But he'll do the favor. Isn't that enough?" For a very long time, I thought she was right. It took me 24 years to realize that no, it's not, because he nor she have any right to make their children feel like shit for asking them to be parents. Maybe I'd be more inclined to sympathize if they haven't stolen from everyone under the sun, including me. They burn bridges by being completely selfish and then later are surprised when they don't have any friends left. I can't comprehend that they don't understand how awful they are to people. To me.

So yeah, that's been an issue. Then there's other stuff, like my former drug addict brother. The point is, I'm in a really bad place right now. Unfortunately, recognizing my bad thought cycles doesn't make it any easier to break them. This moment I'm having right now of being okay is going to go away. I can only try and hold onto it as long as I can. I know I have to take some blame. I did inherit some laziness from them and there are times when I don't fight the depression as hard as I could. There's a strange kind of comfort that can come from hating yourself and I do give in. I'll look for things to be mad about that are far from a big deal. But I'm gonna try and be better. Slow process probably, but. Better than nothing.

I hope this makes sense. I'm still bad at talking about this. But this is one of the steps I want to take towards being better: talking about it. For a while now, I've only really been confiding in one person. And she's been better to me than I could ever hope for. I really don't know where I'd be without Erin and thinking about that is kinda scary. But that's not fair, not to her and I'm starting to think not to me either. So this is me talking to you. This is me telling you I have a problem, a very big one that sometimes I'm scared I won't beat. If I sent you this, it means I care about you and want to let you in. I'm not trying to frighten you. I'm not going to do anything bad to myself. I just need to face that this is in my life and stop hiding it from people I love.

So. Uh. Yeah. That's me lately. Not to say there hasn't been good stuff! If I sent you this, then you've helped me keep going without realizing it. But yeah. I'm not in a good place. At the very least, for this very second, I'm okay. And I'm going to keep chasing okay until I can reach good.

September 2017

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