The 54th Deadline: Swing

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“My life is so swingy at times. I literally go back and forth from feeling good and bad randomly.”

Well, I am going back to using the anime pictures again (for the time being). I did not like how plain the last post looked. They are mostly for fun, but having the pictures at least break up the wall of text for each blog post. So they are back for now.

Anyway, solving the mystery that is my life gets more and more grueling. But I am starting to narrow things down. I am beginning to understand myself a whole lot better. I kind of have to, as my main goal is to move forward in life. To head toward the next stage entails knocking down the obstacles ahead of me, but the major one I cannot overlook is myself.

In particular, I suspect that I probably have bipolar disorder. Now, this is nothing official. Self-diagnosing is dangerous, so I would in fact need a proper diagnosis from a medical professional, but the more I research it… Well, without getting too technical, it explains a lot about who I am.

In fact, I guess you could say that it literally matches up with my “inconsistency” for this whole time. Granted, I know I always talk about my various mood swings throughout these blog posts. I tell people all of the time that I suffer from mood swings, but now I wonder if that is really all there is to it on the surface.

And now, I just wonder if my dad has bipolar disorder as well. Without going too in-depth here, my dad was all over the place growing up. He had a lot of random days. And by random, I mean he would be incredibly happy and nice one day, and then there were other days you hoped it was not raining outside so you had an excuse to be away from the house.

My dad was Mr. Nice Guy when he was feeling jovial. He was the bad guy when he felt like yelling, frightening me a lot as a kid to the point where I found myself just cowering in fear from him a lot when he was like this.

As I have gotten older, my dad has mellowed out. The thing is, though, this is all due to the medication he has to drug himself with on a daily basis now. He takes so many pills, for so many different health problems, that he just has too much medicine flowing through his system to feel anything extreme. He is very chill by comparison to the childhood father I knew back then.

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I guess this partially feeds into the stigma I have toward taking pills. My dad obviously has to take all of those pills because he has no choice now, and I wonder if I am destined for the same path at this rate.

It all scares me.

With my dad, we called his extreme shifts in demeanor mood swings as well. And looking back at it all, I think my mom just did not want to say anything beyond that. My dad was my dad.

My mom always told me it was just a cultural thing back in Vietnam, that to be deemed “crazy” was super taboo. With this train of thought, it makes sense why we never would call my dad bipolar or anything like that. That would mean he has something really wrong with him, right?

As for me, as someone on this personal journey toward figuring it all out, I want answers. The logical thing would be to seek professional help. An official diagnosis would label me the right kind of things I would need to be labeled, but what would it change unless I ended up higher than a kite stuffing my face with pills each day?

Why do I bring this all up now?

Just lately, lately… I am feeling more extreme emotions. This up-and-down feeling, back and forth…  It all makes one’s head spin! Continue reading

The 54th Deadline: Avoidance

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“Perhaps a key lesson I have definitely learned over the years is to step away sometimes.”

OK, so let’s assume there is a bonfire right in front of you. If you were to touch it directly, it would burn and hurt you, right? Obviously, the answer is yes. So what would the obvious thing to do if it is burning you? You stop touching it.

Again, pretty obvious, right? It is, and yet I am someone who definitely has not learned his lesson no matter how many times I let myself feel the burn.

The point of the matter is, regardless if it is a fire or whatever kind of analogy you want to use, it’s the same darn thing. A lot of people like myself never learn to avoid that which is bringing us down or harming us in some literal fashion. And thus, the cycle repeats and repeats until something changes.

Don’t get me wrong. Confronting particular problems directly is important, as mustering up courage to do so can be a big undertaking within itself. However, there are certainly other cases where just avoiding what is ailing you is just as effective, if not more ideal, when it is appropriate for such a course of action.

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Looking back at it all, I learned a lot about avoidance when I was an unemployed guy who was living at home with his parents after graduating college.

At my worse, I had to avoid a lot of things until I got my head back in the game. When I felt defeated and worthless because I could not find any job to bring in any income toward my name. I had to deal with a lot of lectures and straight-up yelling sessions with my dad about it. Maybe back then it was cowardly of me, but I just started to avoid my dad as best as I could.
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The 54th Deadline: Pressure

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The 54th Deadline: Life often forces some pressure your way to encourage immediate action.


More than five years ago, I was a loser by all means. I never would admit to it back then, but one could call me that now and I wouldn’t get mad at them for it.

That’s what I was. A loser. A bonafide loser. But that doesn’t mean I had to remain one. That’s the key. You can always change.

I was a new college grad, unemployed, just sleeping on a mattress in my parents’ basement. My laptop, my salvation at the time, sat on the desk where the old sewing machine used to be.

Every day, it was often the same routine with little variation.

I woke up. I got ready and all of that jazz. I then parked my butt in front of my laptop. At first, I was genuinely productive for a long while. I applied to many job listings that matched my degree. Granted, that was a rough time to attempt becoming a journalist, let alone getting some small gig to tide me over.

Things are always hard when you’re starting out, after all. The journalism job market at the time was sketchy and very unfriendly toward a lot of new people trying to get their journalism feet wet.

Anyway, the initial months were a constant blur of monotony. I took the summer off to “recharge” from my senior year in college, but the truth is I had a lot of built-up depression systems that lingered after college graduation. I was just in major denial of it.

Regardless, I was hellbent on getting my dream job after summer. I applied and applied, and most of my replies seemed rather pointless. I felt like I was wasting my time, but I knew I still had to apply with some semblance of a chance that things would pan out the way I had wanted.

But what was I to do in the meantime? Because I was so thoroughly weary and exhausted by the time my senior year of college ended, I did in fact needed the rest. So I passed the time mostly on my computer, wasting away hours upon hours while I hoped my “feelers” as you would call them were supposedly working their magic.

I played a lot of video games. An unhealthy amount, no less. I just played a LOT of video games. So many hours. So unproductive.

Alas, I wish my resumes could have told me somehow that their searches were to no avail. Potential employers don’t have to tell you they passed on you. Heck no. Most just ignore you. It’s like you never sent anything to them at all. You become just another blip on their radar they don’t notice. Another message in their inbox they might as well put in the spam folder.

Unless you had a gleaming resume or prior connections, many college grads were basically screwed. I was no different. Unfortunately, I should have known how ill-prepared I was to face the real world at the time.

It would take about two months after summer before I got my first real interview for a potential job, but that’s a different story I have discussed before way in the past. That led to a lot of terrible things for me personally, which added further self-destruction to my name as that particular series of events unfolded.

I might touch up on that later, but for now I want to focus on the notion of “pressure” and why I need it more than anything else in my life at the moment. Continue reading

Everyday NhanSense – Day 100

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Everyday NhanSense: Each day, I will blog about something that comes to mind. My goal is to practice writing about my hobbies, my interests, my opinions and so forth.

Day 100’s Topic: Priorities.
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As each day, as each week, as each month passes … I guess I do wonder about my own priorities as a person. I’ve had a lot of bumps in the road during this personal journey, with lots of stumbling around until I finally found a course of action that I can salvage some sort of happiness in the meantime.

There are times I wish I could just sit down and sort out what kind of priorities I really want out of life at this very moment.

Should I:

Buy a car?

Raise a pet cat?

Buy this?

Start that venture?

There are so many things to make your head spin when you really think about it.

The frustration, at least for me, derives a lot from feeling somewhat “forced” to survive over just pursuing my dreams. But at the same time, life isn’t all that bad, either.

I enjoy my job. I can take care of myself to a decent degree. I finally have all the independence I could have asked for, which was something surely lacking for someone like me who had to live with the folks at home for a while.

And yet, here I am. I find myself pondering. I just wonder about what I should really be putting all of my attention toward in the near future. I wish I could just clone myself and accomplish a million things at once, but that’s just not gonna happen, now is it?
Continue reading

Everyday NhanSense – Day 95

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Everyday NhanSense: Each day, I will blog about something that comes to mind. My goal is to practice writing about my hobbies, my interests, my opinions and so forth.

Day 95’s Topic: Not quite alone in tough times.
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Looking back a few years, I guess I can admit I was pretty much one step away from being hospitalized. I doubt my family would have let it happen, but I was in a pretty bad spot upstairs.

At the very least, I think I should have technically been placed in some kind of care. What I got instead was a lot of mental meandering for quite awhile. I was too darn embarrassed to seek help, let alone be brave enough to admit I had problems. It was a paradox of sorts.

But believe me, and I do mean this, I had my share of problems at the time.

My family was basically very hush-hush about my situation. I didn’t really like others knowing what I was up to. I am sure the neighbors probably wondered, but we all have our respective issues and personal dilemmas to deal with, right?
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Everyday NhanSense – Day 94

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Everyday NhanSense: Each day, I will blog about something that comes to mind. My goal is to practice writing about my hobbies, my interests, my opinions and so forth.

Day 94’s Topic: Cats.
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Lately, part of my life has felt somewhat empty, but empty in the sense that I don’t have something to take care of other than myself.

With this in mind, the idea of me getting a cat in my situation has become more and more intriguing.

It’s starting to become an everyday occurrence I think about having a feline friend again to call my own. Ugh, I really want a kitty or two, but I do worry about the finances. If I were to get a cat, I wouldn’t be cheap about the whole spiel either.

I would want to make sure the cat is thoroughly entertained and is comfortable living at my place. I have two whole floors with a bit of extra room, but I would definitely keep the cat(s) indoors out of fear of something bad happening outside.

Obviously, food is something I have to pay for, along with litter and some other essentials. Not to mention, God forbid, my cat(s) in the near future don’t run into any health problems that would force me to go to the vet.

But otherwise, money aside, I think the companionship of having a cat would far exceed any dollar amount I could ever imagine in my current situation. Heck, there have been plenty of days I felt like having a cat to pet would have made my ordeals seem less daunting, putting my mind at ease. Continue reading

Everyday NhanSense – Day 92


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Everyday NhanSense: Each day, I will blog about something that comes to mind. My goal is to practice writing about my hobbies, my interests, my opinions and so forth.

Day 92’s Topic: Slow and steady.
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There are certainly days I think I am moving “too slow” in life, like I am falling way behind in some race we all are supposed to be aware of, for some reason. I have former friends and peers who have already landed their big-time careers, started a family, moved to exciting cities to live in and so forth.

But then again, this was a huge mistake I had to come to grips with many years ago, as a wise friend once pointed out to me – it doesn’t matter about them because you have to live your own life.

And this is the correct way to perceive this kind of stuff. After all, we all advance through life at different paces because we are all in fact vary from person-to-person. In strengths, in weaknesses, in ambitions … etc.

Because there is in fact so much diversity among individuals, why do we try to compare ourselves so much like we are anything but apples and oranges, respectively, to one another?

One person has what it takes to be a great scientist. Another person isn’t that great at science, but is an excellent artist in their own right. There could be literally endless comparisons, but we all somehow want to think of one another as “the same” when we totally are not.

Ultimately, when I finally came to realize that my own destiny, my own divine plan laid out by God himself, was certainly not going to pan out the way I had envisioned, I found some sense of closure. I will admit it did really suck at first. Heck, it almost destroyed me. But the amount of lessons I learned as a result of everything, and I am still learning by the way, have all been valuable in so many ways.
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