Negativity + Awareness + Humility = Growth 

Some days I love myself. I am confident, I feel beautiful inside and out, I feel like a good person overall. Some days, like today, I feel really down about myself. Like dominoes, one occurrence perceived as negative leads to another, until I am bashing my character and my intent at the end of the day. I know that I am not alone in this paradox.

One thing that I love about myself is my endless pursuit of shedding layers of characteristics and beliefs that hold me back. 

Nothing terrible happened today. In fact, if you were to look at what I did you would think my day was great. The reason I don’t think so, is provided by the beliefs I have about myself based on my perceptions and judgement of how I acted, and what I thought.

I’ve been practicing meditation and mindfulness to discourage this act of judging myself and believing too much my negative perceptions. This practice and long with nutritional eating really helped clear my mind up. 

What is tripping me up recently may be the decrease in my meditation and the increase of processed foods due to my free eating method (a part of my binge eating recovery journey). 

I feel free because I am eating freely, but this eating freely cycles back to making me feel not so great mentally and physically. In a way, if this theory is correct, it may help me make better choices food wise based on how it makes me feel rather than based on the fear of weight gain. 

Here are things I feel good about:

  • Website development success 
  • No longer think any foods are bad 
  • Noticing affects of different types of food on my mood
  • Noticing difference of decrease meditation 
  • Feel productive and valuable at work 
  • I didn’t binge from the stress today 

Here are things I don’t feel good about: 

  • Website success adding to my ego, my humility isn’t where I want it to be 
  • Complained about manager to friend (gossip or letting off steam) 
  • Messy at home, roommates might be annoyed 
  • Felt ugly today, had video calls all day while looking very rough 
  • Countered my manager on a call with a bigger boss (not intensely but I feel anxiety from it)

See? These aren’t things that grant a bad day at all. It’s just my brain working over time. Which makes sense. Sometimes when I meditate, the most random thoughts come up. So now that there are actual occurrences in my day, my brain has something more fruitful to fixate on. No good, brain. But do as you please because what you resist persists. The game changer, though, is not believing in them. 

So the judgements of myself that is pulling me down? I don’t have to believe them. No matter how convincing they might be. There are certain things I can do, though, to make me feel better. 

Good mood enhancers: 

  • Get back on two meditation periods a day 
  • Get back on picking more nutritional food, while knowing that no food is bad 
  • Wake early enough to freshen up for work 
  • Openly talk with creative team about wanting to teach and encourage share of projects instead of hoarding 
  • Look into resources about enhancing humility 

I must continue to be patient with myself. The reason I didn’t eat more than the donut when I felt stressed today, was because I no longer seek instant gratification. The more instant it is, the less satisfying it will be in the long run. Mindfulness is a muscle that needs time to exercise. Also, I am understanding the concept of being ok with not feeling ok. There may be no fix for it right now, but you can do your best to at least not feel worse. 

I look forward to seeing if the actions above will help me arrive at a new playing field for my next personal growth pursuits. 

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Gossip

Gossip may be the death of me. This is something I hate to partake in, but sometimes I do to appease the gossiper. I use to do this a lot more, but I lately I have been making it a point not to and to question the gossiper.

Someone I’m close to went straight to HR to complain about our manager. Of course this bites us in the end. I’ve tried my best to not get involved in gossip, but I’m still involved because I’m in the chat.

Anyways, I’m feeling really confused and overwhelmed because I was dragged in to be a part of the group that complained when, really, I love what’s going on. But I feel like my hands are tied because I am very close to the person that is bringing up the drama. I feel I can’t be honest about it with my managers because who knows who they will talk to. I don’t know what to do.

What do I want them to know?

  • I want them to know that I don’t have grievances towards how they run the department
  • I want them to know much of the commotion may be caused by the fear that the creative department might not be needed, or we’d be subjected to mundane tasks
  • I want them to know that I deeply apologize for anything that they’ve heard that hurt their feelings. I despise office gossip
  • I agree that problems should be brought up in the moment instead of letting it brew and I’ll do a better job at encouraging that

I feel like writing this out makes me feel like I’m groveling and makes me feel like I’m admitting to being the shit stirrer. But I’m not. I’ve tried my best to stay neutral. I’m going to talk to Tiffany and sees what she thinks. Or maybe I’ll talk to Mo.

I hate feeling this way. And I’m actually pretty upset at this close person. I truly think it could have been handled much much better, but I wasn’t the one who suggested a change in that. I just went along with it. Lesson learned.

2 Steps Forward

I watched a meditation video with my mom Sunday, reluctantly. I felt my stomach churn and turn, I think it was engrained reactions from back in the day, when she use to make me do things I didn’t want to do such as go to Temple. Still I sat and watched and challenged myself to fight those flight feelings.

Something that stuck out was this woman that said, you can’t target illnesses. When you fix one thing, you fix it all. Now I don’t think it’s that simple, but the main point she was making was that it’s all connected. It resonated with me. These are the issues I have:

  • Rumination to depression
  • Social Anxiety
  • Binge eating

These are all, I believe, connected. The driving force is Social Anxiety. Alot of my torment comes from the feeling like I can’t connect with people, and so much lately, I feel my true self being muted due to fear of social rejection. I can’t be honest with people afraid they won’t like my opinion. The more I do this, the more mute I become, the more I want to blow up but am unable to. I find release in sport, but that can only do so much because when I return back to regular life, I’m constricted again.

Social anxiety is something I danced around but never truly thought I had since I can be extroverted. I’m realizing, though, that because it takes so much effort to be that, and I’m becoming more withdrawn, I’m truly not extroverted. Starting today, I’m targeting this major issue through reading things only and listening to podcasts. I’m going to work on my social anxiety.

Things I’m doing:

  • Actively addressing social anxiety and getting rid of it
  • Meditating twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. The evening will address my urges to binge
  • Mindfulness – observing my thoughts as they come without judgement, I’ll let them pass and refocus my attention on my breathing

Yesterday I didn’t want to go to BJJ. I ended up staying pretty late rolling. I woke up with aches and pains — which I love, but I’m wondering if they’re not good aches and pains.. hmm. Yesterday was also a binge free day. I meditated in the evening for the first time, I think that helped. I think what helped was that no one was in the living room either. That would be the next challenge. Meditate, then sit through watching television without acting on my urges to binge. Being mindful and present to deter avoidance.

Medication, Meditation, & Binge Eating

Fluoxetine & Other medication:

This is a generic drug for Prozac. My practitioner prescribed me this after I paid her a visit for hormonal check. She diagnosed me with PMDD and knowing that I binge ate too she quickly said this medication will help. I am the skeptical type but I didn’t want to suffer anymore so I began the medication. Day one was horrific. I was having thoughts of suicide even – I didn’t act on it, obviously, but I just felt so miserable that I felt nothing was worth it. I was moody to my parents when I was over in the morning. Eventually, my mom called and I told her what I was feeling and cried. She came over with herbal medicine and we talked about meditation. She said in order for me to be cured of binge eating (in which I tried explaining to her in Vietnamese) I must meditate.

Today is day 3 on Fluoxetine, day 2 of meditation, day 3 of the herbal medication, and I’ve also picked back up multi-vitamin for my B12 deficiency. Eventually, I will only be taking Fluoxetine 2 weeks out of the month and my multi-vitamin everyday.

Today I feel pretty good. I can definitely tell a difference being on Fluoxetine. It almost feels like a blanket has been placed over my PMDD symptoms. Like I’m a bit numb to feeling down about it. I don’t like that I feel ‘fake’ happy, but I do like that I’m still up and feeling good rather than depressed and anti-everything.

Meditation:

These past two days, I’ve meditated for 15 minutes at about 7:45am. I sit next to my bed, put earplugs in, & uncover the blinds. I find it hard to not think about random things and to be patient with the 15 minutes but I have been mind blown by just how many random thoughts pop into my head. It’s interesting to listen to the thoughts and letting it pass by. In the past, I use to put so much weight onto these random, excessive, thoughts. But with looking into mindfulness practice, I’m learning to observe them then let them go as if they were clouds passing by the sky. One important lesson I’ve learned is that you cannot control your thoughts. They typically just POP into your head without you willing it to. Instead of trying to control yourself by willing yourself not to think of these things, you should instead allow yourself to think it, but then allow yourself to not put weight onto it and let the thoughts float by. Another analogy is to imagine you are standing near a train track watching the train fly by. Your thoughts are like the train flying by. You can choose to hop on, hop off, or just let it fly by. The choice is yours. You can’t control the trains coming and going. But you can control what you do.

Throughout the day, I have so many intrusive thoughts. Normally I obsess over how I am with my roommates & other friends, how I come off at work, mainly, my obsession is over social interaction. I am beginning to practice letting intrusive thoughts go AND not believing in them either. Just because I think it, does not make it true. Something I think about a lot that doesn’t serve me is in romantic thoughts. I often have crushes on people, then think “oh he would probably not want someone like me — anxious and disorderly eats. He’d probably want someone confident, worldly, young, etc.”. Now, I am going to practice observing those thoughts, not believing them or putting weight on them, and simply letting them float by.

Binge Eating

I’ve disorderly ate for 4 days in a row. I am scared that I will gain all my weight back but I’m also optimistic about the actions I’m taking to help my mental well being. I think that meditation and being mindful of urges & thoughts will cure me of this behavior. I’m at a point where hitting my goal weight isn’t a goal anymore. Now, a goal is to live a ‘normal’ life where disorderly eating doesn’t disrupt my life. Something worth observing is: even when I think I’m doing good and I try to shrug off anxious thoughts, it finds its way into my actions eventually. Monday I’m good, I’m not letting something negative get me down, by Friday I’ve binged for 3 days straight. How do I stop this? I cannot stop thoughts, but I can change my response to them. 

Summary:

I think right now, I will continue to practice meditation and mindfulness. Observing feelings, urges, & thoughts, then simply letting them float by. There’s more to learn, but for now, these are my next steps. Sadly, I even started questioning my desire for BJJ. I get very socially anxious practicing this, and I question my motive (again). I am good at it and I enjoy it. I enjoy the methodical thinking it requires of you. That’s enough to keep going. I think BJJ is an absolute that, no matter what insecurity I have, I will continue to practice it. It will be a constant.

 

My Choice is to STOP

Last night I binge. Oh, I binged so good. I had half a bag of family sized ruffles, chicken, nuggets, fries, coke, food, food, and more food! I ate till I forgot about my stress of the day. And boy was I stressed. I have so much work to do and the music website has been stressful on me too.

I was paralyzed yesterday. Ever feel like you have so much to do but don’t know where to start and people are waiting on you? That was me yesterday. So I ate. That is like another kick to my face while I am down. And I did it to myself.

So, I am deciding to stop. I will not allow myself to gain 40 lbs of useless weight again. I don’t care if I am incredibly hungry for the release of endorphins. I will chose to drive myself 20 minutes to the gym if it means it will keep me from a binge. I will write pieces after pieces if it means keeping me from a binge. I will cry, I will scream, I will do anything and everything (unharmful to others) if it means keeping me from a binge.

I am choosing to stop today. Just as I chose to stop loving my ex, just as I chose to stop taking in my dad’s sadness (still a work in progress), just as my future choices I am determined in, I am choosing to stop this 3 decade old addiction.

Just. Like. That.

I’m going to have a kick ass, productive day today.

This is Important

I can feel myself slipping into a depressive cycle. And I know exactly what the triggers are, so I must write about it.

  1. I am getting annoyed of my roommates, perhaps they are the victims of my PMS feels or perhaps I have a right to feel the way I feel. I became annoyed when Kristina didn’t follow through with her statement that she will follow up with our landlord about our missing checks. The day came around and she didn’t want to be the person to send it. I don’t know what lays in her way in her head, but I was annoyed because it was something that 1. she said she’d do, and 2. it needs to be done. So I went ahead and sent the text. I ended up driving the checks to John, about my 3rd or 4th time doing it. The other two roommates don’t take any responsibilities for bills at all. Which is fine, I guess. Or maybe it’s unfair to Kristina and I. I don’t know.
  2. Angie invited us three to dinner but she texted my old phone. I was already out with Erin when Karen called asking if I was coming. Ok, I’m being ridiculous here. i think my irritation built from the irresponsible nature of the Moores and I am blaming them here. I was thinking, they could have brought it up the two days prior. But, I had already made plans with Erin last week for this week so it wouldn’t matter. It’s the principle of it. But it’s also a weird principle. I shouldn’t be feeling this way here. I think I’m just sensitive to the missing out of occasions so it got me. I was being sour to Kristina.
  3. I had a long conversation with Erin, diving deep. Then I had a conversation with Chris, this guy at the dog park. I was more assertive than normal. As in, I interrupted him some to talk. I had to though! He talked so much and I wasn’t going to just listen like I normally do. After these deep talks, though, I felt really vulnerable. Did I say too much? Or the wrong things? Was I trying to be someone I am not? I don’t know.
  4. It’s Friday.. I hate weekends. I’ve always hated them because it highlighted the fact that I am insecure about my social life. It won’t always be like this though. I’ll create a life where I look forward to my weekends.

So yeah, these thoughts and happenings are what causing me to feel that little flame of anxiety. I feel like the only solutions to my dilemma with my roommate is to either, 1. deal with it and live with the anxiety. Hope that I’ll grow out of it, or 2. Get my own place…

I might do the latter… I’m nervous because that’s ‘facing the darkness’ in the bravest way. I worry I will miss out on the Moores and Jakes adventures, but honestly, I’ve kept myself from enjoying these adventures because of the ‘click’ disconnect anyways. So I really wouldn’t be missing out on much. Even, I may enjoy it more if I actually reach out and seek that experience rather than feeling a mere convenient inclusion.

In 15 minutes I have a call with David – head of the content department to go over my goals. I am in both creative and content. I want to make sure I have a heavy hand in creative because I really enjoy learning and using photoshop and stretching my creative brain. I must make that clear to him, that I must maintain time for creative. It might be difficult to find a balance for me at the beginning, but if I make that clear to him, then my workload should be balanced.

After the call, I am going to the gym, then to Starbucks to work. I may see Victor, I hope I do. I feel terrible because I stopped going all of a sudden and I wonder what he thinks. I hope he doesn’t take it personal. I shouldn’t worry about that because, I know I only worry because I would feel that way if I were in his shoes. He is not like me, he’s not as affected by things like this. So he’s probably just doing his own thing.

This weekend, I’m going to work really hard against falling into the cycle mill. I know I have feelings, and it’s ok that I have these feelings. I just have to work through them, face them. I am human, I am not a bad person for feeling irritated, annoyed, or sensitive.

Vien, I love you, don’t you ever ever ever give up on yourself. Even when you feel the sky is becoming dark, you know, your eyes always adjust until the sun creeps up ever so slowly again. Just as you can’t control nightfall, you can’t control the sunlight that is determined to creep through your blinds either.

 

Death

I went to bed thinking about this alot. What would happen if I died? Who would mourn? What would be left unsaid? Death is so final, but at the same time, during episodes of intense sadness, it seems so freeing. No longer do I overthink relationships, no longer do I feel self-pity, no longer would I feel inadequate and lonely. I felt so alone going to bed last night, and I kept thinking about this topic until I fell asleep. How nice it would be to not feel the emptiness anymore.

I don’t want to die, though, because I know there are more feelings than this sadness that hits me hard on lonely weekends. I wasn’t even alone – I was with my roommates, but, with my roommates I still feel alone. I don’t feel wanted by two of them. Where is this pathetic concern coming from? Why do I even care?

Let’s break down my weekend and my thoughts:

  • I don’t have a “friend group”, one of which I can be completely my awkward self and still feel accepted. One I can lean on and say, they got me. This, by far, is the deepest scar

Honestly, that’s it. A sense of community and unconditional love is all that I want. This is why I don’t want to die. This single item has tormented me all my life might be easily cured with action and planning on my part. This yearning to belong and be loved, I feel it in spurts during simple conversations with a friend or times when I’m completely in the moment. It’s a single item, but such an incredibly important item.

When I think of an ‘ideal’ life, what do I see?

  • I would have this friend group, or a community
  • I nourish my body with healthy foods but am still able be relax when I want to have fun or treat myself
  • I don’t second guess or criticize who I think I am
  • I have a healthy body image
  • I’m deep into my hobby and showcase it on a public platform – no matter the scale, I’d like to share my love with others

This weekend was a sad weekend, if you saw me, you would think me suicidal. I kept beating myself up for my inability to get this music site to work correctly, and the constant challenges that pop up was discouraging. I kept feeling bad for myself for how lonely I felt. I allow what I think others think to make me feel less. I ended up eating a whopping 6 thousand calories to feed that emptiness.

The silver lining, though, is today is a little brighter. Perhaps because it’s the work week and I’m not consumed by not knowing what to do with my weekend off times. The other silver lining is that I know what my triggers are.

The reality, though, is that knowing isn’t going to stop negative actions from happening. When I’m in the hour of self-pity, I just want to self-destruct. What I can do, then, is to be proactive and preemptive. Instead of waiting for these moments to come, I can use this time of feel good to set up my weekends.

Things that may deter self-pity weekends:

  • Planned soccer night – join All American Soccer
  • Volunteer – what should I volunteer in?
  • Don’t succumb to challenges – feeling inadequate about abilities
  • Invite friends over for games – be proactive and invite others over instead of just wishing for it
  • Throw self in hobbies – music writing, find like-minded people

Anyways.

That’s all I have on the topic of morbid death and my silver linings. Vien – don’t you ever, ever, give up on yourself.