Mental Health

Why I Gave Up on Therapy

I’m sorry this isn’t one of my fun posts, but I’ve been having a lot of mental health issues this month. I feel the need to talk about it because while mental illness is being talked about more, we only hear about mental illness and mental health issues from white people. It’s time for people of color to speak up about mental health.

I have seen three therapists throughout my life. I’m still not better. That’s why I gave up on therapy. I may need medications to help with my mental health issues since therapy didn’t work.

It’s unheard of to see more two therapists for mental health issues. By this point, mental illnesses will be either manageable or seemingly fixed. I’ve gotten worse. I’m tired of people telling me to seek therapy again. I can’t do that. I can’t even see a psychiatrist. I will lose my clearance over seeking treatment. Besides, I have not heard of a mentally ill person seeing four therapists through their life. Even in the mental health community, I am an outlier.

For some reason, I have not been diagnosed with depression, but only generalized anxiety disorder. I don’t know why. I am 100% sure that I have it. Medication is something I don’t want to do because I will see it as me succumbing to my mental illness. Electroconvulsive therapy is what I want, even though I will lose memories.

I wish I wasn’t mentally ill. I wish I wasn’t the only one in my family with this issue. I wish my family wasn’t in denial about it. I wish the suicidal thoughts would go away.

Uncategorized

Awesome Blogger Award Nomination

Catherine, whom I feel would be my best friend if we lived near each other, nominated me for the Awesome Blogger Award. She’s awesome. I gave her a shout out in a previous blog, but here’s her blog again.

What is the Awesome Blogger Award?

This award was created by Miss Maggie over at Dreaming of Guatemala! And she says: “This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.”

Rules of This Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you & include the reason behind the award.
  • Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you.
  • Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.
  • Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.
  • Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated!

So here are the questions Catherine asked me.

1. What motivates/inspires you?

I know everyone is tired of me mentioning this motivation, but it would have to be my workout buddy Gary. He’s been through a lot of negative things, including nearly dying in November. He uses his second chance at life to take up boxing.

2. What kind of music do you like?

Rock (no preference over the style of rock), 90s Eurodance, Electronic Dance Music (EDM), and alternative music.

3. Do you read? What is your favorite book?

I have recently started reading physical books again. My favorite book is a tie between Nineteen Minutes (warning: the book contains a school shooting, relationship abuse, bullying, and suicide. Don’t read the book if you are triggered by anything I just listed) and I Can’t Think Straight (review will come later).

4. Do you like sport? Which is your favorite?

I never played many sports, but tennis is my favorite.

5. What’s your weirdest pet-peeve?

Hmmm, if I have to pick one, it’s people telling me to stop talking about a guy I like. I’ve experienced this since middle school and two people in university wrote a collaborative letter to me telling me to either talk to the guy in microbiology class I thought was cute or stop talking to them. I no longer talk to them.

6. What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?

There are so many things that happened to me, so I’m just going to pick one. A few months ago in kickboxing, my coach teased me about wanting Gary’s phone number (to check on my workout buddy whenever he’s not in the boxing gym). When Gary came back, I had him ask Coach about what he teased me about. Coach tried to pretend that he couldn’t remember and tried to make me say that I wanted Gary’s phone number. I got Gary’s number, so yay! It was funny because I thought I was blushing so hard when trying to get Coach to say it so I wouldn’t have to.

7. What actor would play you in a movie about your life?

I was actually thinking about this recently, and I had no idea. I still don’t know, to be honest. I want to say Sarah Barrable-Tishauer (Liberty van Zandt from Degrassi), but she no longer acts. She’s a DJ now.

8. What is your perfect pizza?

Barbecue chicken pizza, but without onions. I have yet to find a pizza place that doesn’t put onions in barbecue chicken pizza. It’s barbecue chicken pizza, not barbecue chicken and onion pizza!

9. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

Probably Seattle or Portland. Portland because of the show Portlandia and their giant book store Powell’s Books, and Seattle because there was a girl who liked me and she lives in Seattle.

10. How do you spend your free time?

When I’m not at work or at kickboxing class, I sit on my butt in front of the computer.

It looks like I’m supposed to nominate some people now. I nominate the following people.

omydaisy

DirtySciFiBuddha

J. A. Allen

Kate Louise

Rasheed Clarke

My questions I want you to answer:

  1. What language would you like to learn?
  2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  3. What is something you now like that you didn’t like before?
  4. What is currently your favorite song?
  5. If you wrote a script for a movie, what would it be about?
  6. Would you ever want any piercings?
  7. Did you ever have a crush on a cartoon character or anime character?
  8. If you were given $100, what would you spend it on?
  9. What was the best birthday present you have ever received?
  10. What instrument do you want to learn to play?
Awareness

World IBD Day: My Workout Buddy Has Ulcerative Colitis

Disclaimer: Diaryofself will mention medical symptoms and medical stuff in this post. This post is not a substitute for a trained medical professional. Diaryofself is not a medical professional, but a software developer. I don’t even play a medical professional on TV. If you are having symptoms of Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, see a doctor. Also, if you see that I mentioned something incorrect about IBD on this post, please tell me! I don’t want to contribute to the spread of misinformation.

Hello, my lovely readers! It’s another awareness blog! Today on May 19th, we celebrate World IBD Day. This is the day where people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (shortened to IBD), their caregivers, friends, significant others, and families come together to raise awareness and fight IBD. The most common Inflammatory Bowel diseases include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (though people have heard of Crohn’s and not ulcerative colitis). You’ll often hear about someone’s experience with IBD, but we don’t often enough hear about the people who are a part of their support system. Families and friends are affected by someone’s chronic illness as well. However, remember that we should not speak over top of the people who live it. We will never fully understand what they’re going through, even if we hear their stories. Why do I care about World IBD Day? While I do not have IBD, my workout buddy (mentioned in an earlier blog post) has ulcerative colitis. We should also care about this day of spreading awareness for the reasons Colitis Ninja mentioned in one of her blog posts from 2015.

To start off, I shall link you to a few blogs that I recommend. I used these blogs to raise my personal awareness of ulcerative colitis when my workout buddy (the same awesome one I mention in this blog post) told me of his diagnosis within the past few years.

Fierce and Flared. This blog is written by a woman named Brooke. She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2012, had her colectomy and temporary ileostomy in 2013, and now has a jpouch. She also has done advocacy work to raise awareness and is the founder and editor-in-chief of Companion Magazine for IBD.

Colitis Ninja. Colitis Ninja was started by Amber as her personal form of therapy. The ninja represents a fighter, since people with invisible illnesses fight every day and despite their outward appearance, their bodies are declaring war on the inside. The goal of the site is to provide support to patients and caregivers living with ulcerative colitis, crohn’s disease, indeterminate colitis, jpouches, and ostomies. She also creates restroom access cards to give people with IBD access to bathrooms that aren’t often granted to the public. Note: As of this post, she is only selling the access cards in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the UK.

I feel like this blog post will get long, so many apologies for that. Awareness can’t exactly be done in 140 characters like a tweet. Inflammatory Bowel Disease is commonly diagnosed before the age of 35, but diagnoses have been made later in life (my workout buddy was in his mid-40s when he was diagnosed). It used to be thought that diet and stress were causes of IBD, but there is no known cause. However, it is suggested that genetics, environment, and immune system causes may be a possibility. There is no cure for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Ulcerative colitis symptoms can include abdominal pain/discomfort, blood or pus in stool, fever, weight loss, frequent diarrhea, fatigue, reduced appetite, and a sudden urge to have a bowel movement. Source

Crohn’s disease symptoms include frequent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss, fever, abdominal pain/cramping, fatigue, and reduced appetite. Note: Crohn’s disease can affect the entire gastrointestinal tract, so partial or total removal of the colon will not “cure” Crohn’s. Source

Note: People with IBD can also experience joint pain and other symptoms that are not GI-related. Both of these diseases have many symptoms in common, and there have been cases of misdiagnoses between the two common Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Honest conversations must be held between you and your healthcare provider. I know, people get all shy when talking about poop and people are embarrassed to say that they sometimes don’t make it to the bathroom in time before having incontinence.

As I stated earlier, my workout buddy has ulcerative colitis. Since I only see him during the boxing and kickboxing classes, it doesn’t affect me too much. Sometimes, I don’t see him that day if his symptoms are present or if he’s tired. When people ask me where he is, I sometimes don’t know. Now that I have his number, I often know ahead of time if he’s going to have to skip working out. He’s a very funny guy, but I sometimes question if he’s legitimately funny or if it’s just a mask that he’s wearing (people with chronic illnesses can develop anxiety and/or depression). Because his medication lowers his immune system, I sometimes worry if he’s going to once again catch and infection and lose the battle. Back in November, months before I met him, he got MRSA and it went into his bloodstream. After many antibiotics, doctors didn’t know what else was going to help get rid of the MRSA. My workout buddy had to face the reality that he was likely going to die. But he’s still alive. I don’t know how, but something worked. What if something like that happened again? Would he make it this time? It’s something I don’t like thinking about, but I know it’s a real possibility.

So what are some things you can you do if someone you love and/or know has Irritable Bowel Disease? It can all be summed up by one thing: treat them as if they were a healthy individual.

  1. Still invite them out to places, even though they may have to decline at the last minute due to feeling very unwell.
  2. Increase your own awareness of their specific disease to better understand what’s going on (but remember that you will not truly understand what they’re going through if you have a healthy colon).
  3. Know what things to not say to someone with IBD. Gutsy Ginger does a good job in the linked blog post with telling you what not to say, and unlike many other people with IBD, she tells you what things to say instead.
  4. Ask them how they’re doing. It shows that you care about them.
  5. Believe them. This is very important for people with IBD or any other invisible illness. Sadly, people with invisible illnesses aren’t taken as seriously as those with a visible illness because they look fine on the outside.

This is not an inclusive list. I hope you all learned a little more about Irritable Bowel Disease. Here’s my video about it. If you make it to the end of this blog and saw that I mentioned something incorrect about IBD, please tell me! I don’t want to contribute to the spread of misinformation.

Rant

Kickboxer Rage! Shadowboxing Means No Contact!

First of all, I want to give a shout-out to Catherine. She is one of my followers and she’s started kickboxing. Read her blog posts here. Catherine, I will have a blog post in the future that will be able to give you tips for kickboxing.

I’m angry. So angry that I even talked to my kickboxing coach about it. Nearly a month ago, my workout buddy got kicked in the ribs and bruised his rib. No, I didn’t do it! I’d never forgive myself if I did. On the evening of May 17th, he got kicked in the ribs again. Same spot as last month. He also got hit in the nose by a different person and it looks like his nose might bruise. Last week, he got hit in the eyeball by a guy who is quitting boxing to join a different gym. These injuries should not have occurred because we were doing paired shadowboxing, which is no contact.

The combined boxing and kickboxing class is two hours long three times per week. The first hour is conditioning hour, which consists of warm-ups, stretching, shadowboxing by yourself, paired shadowboxing (no contact boxing or kickboxing), and ab work. Read that again. No contact. It means that your punches or kicks don’t hit the person. Tell me, why the hell is my workout buddy hurt again? Another month of him having to sleep on his right side since his left side is hurt! He said he’ll still be in class on Saturday, but I don’t know if he will.

So why are Gary and I angry? I’m repeating myself, but shadowboxing is no contact. Still, people are making contact. Gary got hurt twice in one day and ribs take weeks to heal. He doesn’t even want to shadowbox anymore. I’m angry because people aren’t practicing self-control. I’m starting to not like this gym because more than one person has done contact work during no-contact shadowboxing. Since he was kicked in the ribs twice, I’m worried that he might quit if he gets hurt one more time. I don’t want Gary to quit. I feel a connection with him moreso than anyone else at the gym. I only see him when I have kickboxing, although I want to spend time with him outside of class like some other boxers and kickboxers do.

For 2017, I promised myself that this is the year where I’m not silent. I will speak up. I don’t want to be silent and be seen as passively accepting things that are wrong. That’s why I talked to my coach after class. I suggested that he remind everyone that shadowboxing means that there will be no contact. He told me that he’s going to keep a closer eye on my buddy during shadowboxing and will tell anyone who looks like they may do contact “Absolutely no contact” before they do a round of shadowboxing. He’s also been given the options to either “work the bags” (hitting the bags) during the paired shadowboxing time, shadowbox with the coach, or shadowbox with a few people he can trust (which to be honest, he doesn’t seem to like kickboxers anymore since it’s almost always been kickboxers who hurt him. I hope I’m the exception to his dislike for kickboxers).

Gary, if you ever come across this blog post, Coach and I don’t want you to quit. Coach likes you a lot. I really admire how you figuratively spat in the face of death and decided to pursue boxing after being given your second chance at life. Whenever I get frustrated at my lack of improvement, you make things better. Whenever I don’t want to show up to kickboxing, the thought of you being there makes me want to go to class. You mean a lot to me and if you quit and I never see you again, I would be devastated.

Self-Reflection

Self-Reflection: What Things Do I Want to Do?

A few things unrelated to today’s blog topic first. Happy National Nurses Day to all nurses! You’re just as important as doctors. Remember that. Second, I have been getting followers and likes on my blog posts, so thank you everyone who has liked a post or followed my blog! I look at some of your blog entries as well. Now to the reason I’m blogging! I haven’t done any self-reflection on this blog since last month, so it’s definitely time for me to self-reflect. I’m going to talk about what things I’d like to do and I’ll think about how easy or difficult it would be to do what I want to do.

  1. Start playing the clarinet again. Level of Difficulty: Easy. My clarinet is stored somewhere in the laundry room, but I will most likely need to buy new reeds. I haven’t played the clarinet since seven years ago and my reeds probably don’t look good anymore. I may have some unused reeds, but I don’t know if they will still be any good. I should also see if I have my lesson book from middle school music lessons, but if I don’t, I can buy another one at the nearby music store. It’s less than $10.
  2. Learn to ride the bike without training wheels. Level of Difficulty: Hard. My biggest blocker is getting a bike and helmet. Another big blocker is that I’m 24 and haven’t ridden a bike since I was 10. I felt like I was too old to ride with training wheels so after graduating from elementary school, I stopped riding my bike. I think I was starting to get too big for the bike with training wheels because my bike eventually kept tipping over and I’d have to quickly hop off. Riding without training wheels requires balance that I do not have, a bike that I would have to buy at a bike store somewhere (which will likely be very expensive), and a strong core which I am working on doing ab work during kickboxing conditioning hour.
  3. Improve my cooking skills. Level of Difficulty: Medium. The most cooking I’ve ever done was last year when I helped dad make lasagna and I had fun saving my dad a few minutes of time. Otherwise, my cooking skills involve either the use of a microwave or boiling water and adding things (not including soup). What makes this more difficult than it should be? I don’t like touching things that are slimy (so cooking chicken would be out), I’d have to buy things (I am stingy with my money), and someone would have to teach me because I never learned how to learn independently and just following a recipe would likely not end well. Honestly, I’d just make tacos a lot.
  4. Do volunteer work. Level of Difficulty: Medium. I did Service Corps for a year in university which is a club where we did volunteer work one Saturday morning per month. Outside of this club, I have also volunteered one afternoon per week in the summer at a hospital and picked produce at a farm that grew crops for food banks and soup kitchens. Time is my biggest issue for volunteering because I work full-time, I do kickboxing 6 hours per week (2 hours per class, which occurs three times a week), and I’ll be starting to work on my Master’s degree sometime in 2018. Due to time, I would only do volunteer work once a month.
  5. Get back into dance. Level of Difficulty: Hard. For five consecutive years, I did dance classes through a rec center. My fourth-year and fifth-year trophies are a few meters away from me. I had to stop dance because mom thought I’d be too busy with middle school to continue. I tried hip-hop dance once, and I didn’t like it. I tried out for the high school dance team and didn’t make it. I also tried out for the step team in university and I didn’t make it either. I never had to learn dance choreography in short bursts of time and my short-term memory isn’t very good (but my long-term memory is very good. I have scared people by reciting memories from weeks, months, or years ago). Difficulties mainly rise from time, finding a class for adults (there is surprisingly few adult dance classes in studios), and I’d have to relearn ballet first in order to learn any other dance style (most studios require ballet as a prerequisite for other dance styles). Dance can be a form of self-expression and I can use dance as a form of activism.

So out of all five of those, playing the clarinet again would be the easiest thing to do. I keep wanting to pick up the clarinet again because I listened to too many marching band songs on JW Pepper, the site where my high school band teacher would buy marching band music for us to perform. So tell me, readers, what is something that you would like to do? I’d like to hear from you so I’m not just talking to myself on here.