Waiting for today...: June 2015

"In plain English, stress early in life makes us more vulnerable to stress la...

"In plain English, stress early in life makes us more vulnerable to stress later in life. The evidence for this can be seen in multiple physiological an... - Nyawela Gianna - Google+

Friday, June 26

Sunday the 21st: I Need a Mental Break



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Between work, home life and sorting through my mental ailments, I’m drained.
But hope has not escaped me!  I’ve had a couple revelations this past week and I feel lighter moving forward.
An extended weekend off is on the horizon and I’ve decided to skip town for
a couple of days… really looking forward to it.
I’m also looking forward to my upcoming appointment with my therapist.  I’ve got to discuss to those “revelations” which may or may not lead to needing further evaluation by my psychiatrist.  Hmmm… I can’t decide whether or not I’m looking forward to that part…
I’m going to have to make some moves sometime after passing my certification exam.  Either expectations here are beginning to get too high or my mental tolerance is getting too low.  Whichever one it is… both?... I’ve noticed higher levels of 
stress over the last couple of weeks. 
Problem:
I won’t be able to work a normal Monday to Friday, 9 to 5… *sigh*.   At this point all I can do is wait for the “better” that management has been promising since last year and hopefully not lose my mind in the interim.

I realized this week that “doing things” is not the same as “getting things done”.  For example, it seems as though the more I do to get organized at home the less organized I am. It’s a paradox I can’t wrap my head around it.




Wednesday, June 17

Trying Times


con’t from: Much of the Same


Although uprooted again, there was a silver lining in our moving before high school: I didn’t have to attend school with the bullies from our Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood. But, I wouldn’t share any more classrooms with all the friends I made in 8th grade either. Which was a bummer, being as those friends helped to make the school year tolerable. Even fun at times! Thanks to the school district system I not only ended up away from my friends, I also landed in one of the tougher high schools in the city.
The first person I gravitated toward helped to squash the notion that my new school would be similar to, if not exactly the same, as Eastside High in the movie “Lean on Me”.  Based on experiences in elementary and middle school, I wanted to be careful who I attached myself to. But she was mellow. When I spoke to her, she spoke back and continued to carry on conversation. I didn’t sense rejection. She appeared to be a loner, like me. But in tagging along I was quickly introduced to her friends.
Many girls came and went from our group over the years. Those of us that made it to senior year together are still on good terms today. But from freshman year to senior, I was faced with a familiar dilemma: frenemies.
Cracking jokes is common among peers of all ages. Sadly, many of those jokes have hidden darts. Others border on verbal abuse. Often they are employed to ridicule, embarrass or humiliate.  God forbid these jokesters and jesters find themselves with an audience.  The railing then continues... unmercifully.  For those that do not stand up for themselves, the railing is perpetual and worsens over time to include physical violence.  
Although I came close to a few brushes, once for accidentally stepping on someone’s foot, no one laid hands on me in high school.  While I was thankful to have been spared that embarrassment, the mocking and taunting cut deeply into my self-esteem.  It was at this time that I took to writing in a different capacity.
I have no recollection of keeping a journal before high school. In middle school we were made to keep a “journal”, of sorts, by our English teacher. But my writing was pure fantasy; about a life I only dreamed about and usually in competition with my bestest to see who could write the most titillating stories.  And because our teacher asked us permission to read those entries, I held nothing back. Although fun, it wasn’t helpful.  It turned out to be just another distraction.
High school was the first time I began pouring my real life out on paper. With the exception of my mom reading it when I haphazardly left it lying around, no one in any position to get me help would know what I was really feeling. I often wonder what happened to that journal.  It would sure be nice to browse through its pages. Was it helpful? Journaling? I would like to think it helped to deter another suicide scheme. However, it wasn’t helpful enough to keep me from failing the 10th grade.
As I entered the ninth grade, I had my best academic start since coming back to the states. The crowd I fell in with though was a one of leisure.  By senior year, two of us were drop outs and three of us got left back.  Needless to say, my pursuit of academic excellence took a back seat at some point during that first year.  Another known threat to my academic success was that of bullying, which reached its climax in tenth grade.    As a result, I would continue to cope the best way I knew how.  And the appearance of rebellion took on a more mature form.

Being a bit older, with more freedoms and more knowledge about the vices of the world, I found myself dabbling in things that many would consider mere curiosities for my then age.  I added smoking cigarettes and “weed”, drinking alcoholic beverages and hard liquor, and even lechery to my coping formula.  A formula that did nothing but help cast a shadow over the stress of being at home and in school.  Rebellion, maladaptive coping, peer pressure, which ever, the bottom line: it was agony to have to share almost every single class with my bullies. What's worse is I had to share those same classes my friends which added to the embarrassment.  

next: Crash




Sunday, June 7

Article: The Link Between Bullying, Depression and Suicide


As I continue to reflect on the troubles of my childhood years, I got to thinking about that time…
Before leaving the 7th grade, I made the decision that I would forfeit my life. I was miserable… in school and at home.  I tried to get along in the world, but couldn’t find a place to fit in.  Making friends wasn’t coming as easy as it did when I lived in Bahamas.  Many of my peers were just not friendly.   Only a few were constant.  And I often feared for my safety because of bullying.  I mostly feared the embarrassment though.
School and home, where I spent 98% my time, became places of despondence.  My relationships with the adults in my life were strained by my bad behavior.   I felt discarded by indifference; made to wander through the rest of my childhood without direction. “What’s the point?” I soon thought. I don’t remember writing a letter.  I do remember having a plan. While home alone, I took a few pills out of each medicine bottle I could find.  I decided I would get up in the middle of the night while the house slept as to not alert anyone of my plans to commit suicide.
Something changed my mind.  Others are not as fortunate.  The following article discusses the link between bullying and mental illness, even suicide.




A new study on depression and suicide suggests that children who were bullied are more likely to have mental disorders as adults. This is because the negative consequences of bullying might not stop once recess comes to an end. These findings suggest that bullying can have as much negative impact on someone’s mental health compared to other kinds of traumatic experiences like maltreatment and child abuse…


At least one in four children has been the victim of bullying. One decade later, the children who were bullied were more than likely to suffer from anxiety problems. Children who were bullied as well as bullied others showed a heightened risk of depression as well as having some suicidal thoughts…”

con’t reading "The Link Between Bullying, Depression and Suicide" published at NoBullying.com. Retrieved on June 5th, 2015 from http://nobullying.com/the-link-between-bullying-depression-and-suicide/

Thursday, June 4

Unfit

"People are strange when you're a stranger.  Faces look ugly when you're alone... Streets are uneven when you're down…”  
People Are Strange, The Doors




As Jim Morrison of The Doors sat with a friend watching the sunset, he realized that he was depressed and ultimately penned this song about feeling alienated.  I remember hearing Echo and The Bunnymen’s version of this song as a child and thinking it to be very eerie.  It wasn’t until college that I actually listened to the lyrics and realized it spoke to my soul.   No matter what I did growing up, I always fell short of fitting in.  And it wasn’t a day that went by that one of my peers didn’t remind me of that.  I was well into young adulthood before I felt complete alienation.  Although, I concluded the world was a painful place many years before… a place that I didn’t want to be a part of anymore.