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Friday, September 2, 2016

August lessons on damage control.

August 2016 was a month which taught me a whole fucking lot. About people, about myself . It was the month when many new things kept happening so rapidly that I was just forced to deal with it and move with times instead of sitting behind and wallowing in self pity that things were happening out of my comfort zone.

Prior to this I actually crafted a very lengthy and honest post which was predominantly paragraphs of words but it appeared whiny and boring to an average reader. But I owe this to those who care about me and want me to be okay. I'm going to come clean about what's been up, which can be summed up in three words.

"I'm not okay."

I'm down, I've fallen so I'm bruised and bleeding but one day I know I will get back on my feet. Right now I am just at a recovery stage. It's not a relapse from the previous time, it's just that the previous time I never really healed and started walking when my wounds were not treated. So I should have prepared myself for the next time I fell (like, um, now?) the impact was bound to be ten times worse than it should have been. This is a list of all the ways I was not taking care of myself ; I do not blame anybody else.

Amelia's guide to a downward spiral and declining mental health :

1. Honestly, there are days when I feel lonely even though I am in a crowd because I feel like nobody can understand me. However, one important thing I learned is that whenever I felt alone it was not because everybody actually left but rather I did not do the reaching-out. If I wanted, there could have been people who would talk to me. But I was obsessed with keeping this jovial and 'put together' image people often have of me at the expense of my mental health because so much would be going on and everything would be crumbling but I did not feel I could tell anybody about it. Nobody is obliged to check up on you and find out how you are doing no matter close friends or acquaintances so I will never take for granted the 'Good morning' texts, the genuine 'How are you' texts, the 'I missed you, I want to come see you' , (as opposed to the 'lets meet, I'm bored.')

2. I learned that all this time I was in control of repairing one of the biggest train-wrecks of my life which had been lingering since high school which was my relationship with my family. I wanted it to look like the ones out of the American movies or sitcoms but only now I learned that there is a lot of things about my family which I cannot find in other families of which I appreciate and value beyond anything. It was selfish to expect more when I myself would have chosen friends over them in a heartbeat if it came down to anything. I opened up to my mom about everything. Yes, everything (even that.) and it felt so damn liberating.

3. I learned that as adults life gets busy and sometimes plans would be made yet sudden things would come up and I'd find myself in the middle of choosing between the initial plan and the second pressing thing. This means I would inevitably have to disappoint one. But in a situation when one of the plans were with friends,  true friends understand and assure you it's okay , that plans could always be rescheduled if the second thing was too big an emergency.

4. I learned that in the process of keeping all the different people around me happy I was getting downright miserable when I INEVITABLY had to disappoint someone. I could not say 'no' to my boss when I was clearly exhausted on the inside or just wanted to relax at home with family. (when I did say no I would feel so heavy and not get over it) I could not say no to meeting up because I thought of how I had not met friends in a while. I thought of how I would make my father wait when I was out and he had to fetch me home.

Not only was I thinking of all the ways I disappointed with my actions, I was also meditating on all the ways I was disappointing by things I DID NOT DO. 'Could I have cared more?' 'Should I have asked her if she reached home safely?' 'Could I buy him lunch?' Eventually I just end up overthinking and in the end feeling exhausted and a headache. Disappointingly, all these remained thoughts while on the outside I kept a pokerface, so it was easy to assume that I felt nothing.

The painful truth is that it is impossible to keep everybody happy . If I am not taking care of myself I don't know who else will. So, days where I stay at home, switch off my wifi, relax and eat/cook/sketch, nap or watch TV are ESSENTIAL for a good mental health. I have been neglecting 'me-time' so much that doing something for myself with no intervention from what someone might feel about it or react to it felt foreign.

5. On a similar note, the inner ambitious demon in me who was all out to 'live life' and wanted to tick as many things off the list  learned something destructive. It was getting a lot more about ticking the thing off the list rather than enjoying the activity itself. Then it turned stressful because I was putting a deadline on them ; 'BEFORE UK, I MUST..---'. Again, another sure way to the decline of my mental health.

6. I learned that until these internal issues were resolved there was no way I could dream of settling down with somebody even as a relationship because I never could feel worthy of it. Not ready. I would flirt (because that's in my blood) but when I felt that the flirtation was reciprocated and turning legit I'd want to run away. Yet still crave for someone to be there. Confused much?

7. I've learned that although it challenges me to do more, it's damaging to seek validation from someone who just does not have a habit validating people. [In English, it means people who will not tell you if you're doing good but will not hesitate to point out all the things which you're doing wrong] More importantly I learned that I was turning into the same damaging thing, where because I was holding myself on such a low standard I was unconsciously doing that to other people who I considered close enough that they were practically a part of me as well. However, I'm going to do something about it and not victimize myself.

8.Gratitude, humility and learning how to be comfortable in your own skin is the only way to live life happy. It's destructive to talk about people and I am going to try and stay away from either being the source or to participate in anything.

They say a picture paints a thousand words, this is what August looks like. A zillion words.  It was a difficult month. I mean, polar opposite traits blended and compressed into the mind of an over-ambitious overthinker, HOW could that have NOT backfired? I need to remember that I'm in control of more things than I make it seem but most days it's easy to recline and play victim.There were good times as well!

Grateful for these boys who made time to hang out with me, open up about their stuff and generally talk about things which made me laugh because they are like a group of comedians together. Congratulations Gautham, you've 'evolved' (in your words) into this fit, handsome young man who still treats girls right, and your pathway to your career is looking fine so you've got a lot to be proud about !  ♥

I don't want to describe this day but we know what happened. So embarrassing but it gave me hope that there are people who would look at your situation and try to help instead of take a glance and give you that disappointing, judgemental sigh like 'Haih, some things cannot be helped' .

I made this pizza with my mother ; I did not die of food poisoning , neither did she, so it was not that bad. Pretty good actually.

That time I tried to take this morbid shot of a playground which just half an hour before was bright

The picture I took to remember where my mom parked in Nu Sentral because it was her first time driving there and it was hell when we got lost on our way back. But that day is etched onto my heart, because I was spending time with my mom for her and her only. ♥

When he's charming as fuck and downright honest about who he is ♥

When I hung out with Max, Pavi, Archana and Rebecca for tea at Francos and I was just glad that some issue was resolved and spoken about ♥

When I walked through the bridge which links the mall and Sunway college for the first time and there were white tigers by the side--walking through this itself felt like a big deal. ♥

That time there was a new phone being launched and people were lining up till it reached other stores and I was amazed at just what people do for a phone.

That time I was revisiting my gym routine but fell out from it because I kept feeling very dizzy and it was because of these overwhelming thoughts as well as I was not taking care of my health. Brief but meaningful gym sessions with Nat definitely made August better.

That time I visited Enigma with Judith because I have been wanting to go there for sometime based on the things I heard but it was rather empty and served overpriced drinks. Oh well.

That time I tried my first 'BurgerLab' with Judith and she did not want to be photographed .

That morning before work when we went to check daddy's pressure and mine was worryingly low, so we had breakfast before they sent me to work . ♥

That time I before work when I decided I needed an ABC, but it was mostly iced sugar and disappointing. But it was a 'me and ma' kind of day.

A scene from the movie Colonial staring Emma Watson when I was watching it with Calvin , Sin Ye and Foo Shen. Hell yeah to my first outdoor movie experience. Especially because I was a little tipsy.

This selfie I took with Pavi before Max helped with my photoshoot.Genuine, warm guy. ♥

My photoshoot as done by Max ; just one of the many shots he took, this one with Rebecca.

^ and this was an individual shot which I personally love ; I'd caption it as ...'Turning over a new leaf'.

This glorious and healthy dessert I had with Angeline in SoftLaunch when we were first speaking. ♥

The super fun yet tiring day with these bunch:

The time I was made aware of just how short I am , in the presence of my high school friends;

The brand new laptop daddy got me on Merdeka; I love it so much for how much it reflects my personality from the colours and style.

That time I got tipsy with my ladies and we danced our heart out to 90s R&B at Bianca's 21st birthday party .

That time I met up with Abi and Priyaah after so long and we ended up talking about animals and careers , it was simple and pleasant :) [also is it just me or does Abi and I look similar here]

The time I just told myself I had to get over my fear of driving and do it.

...Did I just save the best for the last? This is one of the more recent pictures we have of us (me and my cousin Judes) and how much closer we got over the months -- she's one of God's blessings in my life because she protects me from the sidelines and actually cares about what's up . Her devotion to God is always inspiring and makes me want to practice what I go to church to listen to every Sunday. Love and forgiveness. For someone who gets thrown a lot of hurdles she hops over them and still stands tall and remembers to be there for others.

To the people I actually hung out with in August whom I do not have pictures with (I'm looking at you, Shumita!) I want you to know that I love and appreciate you just as much. I'll always remember the inspiring things you told me, which is; 'God does not put you through something if he did not think you could get out of it'. I always hear you say that whenever I feel life is getting too overwhelming.