Posted in My Life Now, Texas- Living with Parents, Thoughts and the Past

Where is My Home? [with Audio]

 

I don’t think I’ll ever be happy and I don’t think I’ll ever stop starting a post with that announcement. When I sit down to write and don’t come with a topic in mind, that’s where my mind goes. For whatever reason, in whatever environment I am in, I am not happy. It’s been years, so I don’t think I ever will be truly happy. Comfortable. I’d settle for comfortable.

I don’t think I’ve ever been completely comfortable in any place I’ve lived. I know it’s a delusion to think or hope that I ever will be. The world isn’t black and white. But… more? I want more? I want better? And I know I can achieve that. I don’t know if I deserve it, but I know it’s out there. It always is.

So when can I stop? When will it be enough? And when I get there, how will I know?
This sounds like an epic intro for a deeply poetic reflective piece. But it is not. It’s just going to be me complaining about my housing experiences. So, I (mostly) lived with my parents all my life until I left for university at almost 19. Life at home was great as a kid and stifling as a teenager. For the usual reasons and some unusual reasons. For a few months I lived with family or friends (about three or four different families) and I just wanted to go back home. I didn’t care that I’d be alone at home and I was ten years old. I wanted that.

When I did get to live at home by myself, I liked it. I still got super excited to tell my mom all about my day when she got home late at night, but I did well by myself during the solitary evenings. Sadly, that’s probably been one of my favorite housing situations. Top three for sure. :/

Other than that, it’s just been me living with my brother and parents. It was suffocating as a teen, but most of it didn’t have to be that way. I could have fought back, rebelled, changed my life for the better. But I didn’t. I didn’t go out. I didn’t invite over my two or three friends I had during these years. It was a stifling lonely-in-a-crowd feeling.

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Now, I wrote that amazing intro in the summer of 2019. It’s now a couple weeks from spring in 2020. I didn’t finish writing it because I think I didn’t want to deal with such a heavy question at the time. I had pretty much finished my first stint into education after a bachelor’s degree and an internship. I was ready to slow down. Or so I thought. Now I’m starting to realize that I can’t. For me, it’s either stop or go. There’s no in between. I used to think, and I still did when I wrote the prior section, that it was equally my fault and my parents’ fault that I didn’t enjoy my teenage years living under their roof. Maybe it’s the fact that my mother’s friend just condemned me to God’s wrath for being a rude and disrespectful daughter to my mother, but I don’t believe my unhappy teenage years are equally my and my parents’ faults. I do think there’s more I could have done. I could have rebelled and done what I wanted to, like I said above, but how was I supposed to know that the good outweighed the bad?

Continue reading “Where is My Home? [with Audio]”

Posted in My Life Now, Texas- Living with Parents

Weeks of January 20th and 27th 2020- Work Woes, Weight Woes, and Workout Woes… Then a Reawakening.

Yeah, it happened again. I was really sad. I skipped a week and almost another of blogging. Yep. It’s going to keep happening. But I’ve decided to do a joint recap instead of try to piece together whatever that mess was. Here’s the important bits:

 

Week of January 20th 2020

 

  • I found out I’d lost a pound of weight since the week prior.
    • I hadn’t really done anything to make that happen except being more conscious of my snacking and not being excessive with that.

 

  • I applied for a job at a hospital.
    • I’ve been really mentally blocked for a long time and just can’t bring myself to move forward in my life. Now I finally have my dietetic license and can apply for jobs in my career, but my heart hasn’t been in it. I’m so tired of being rejected. (Not from jobs per se, but in general. Especially since my internship, but also in recent personal matters.) Axyl gave me the real-talk chat I needed and I mustered up the energy to apply for one job. Still waiting on word from that hospital.

 

  • I replied to a health food company. 
    • This company seemed interesting and though they reached out to me to work for them as a cashier (well below my abilities now that I am licensed) I genuinely wanted to learn more about the company and network. I decided to meet with the CEO/ founder later in the week.

 

  • I met a guitarist in my piano class. 
    • He didn’t have his book, so I offered to share mine with him. We got to talking and it seems he’s also from a different discipline like me. Because of his experience with guitar and my experience with singing, we both know the very basics of music like notes and rhythm and such, so the class went pretty slow and we spent a lot of it chit chatting.

 

  • I didn’t go to the gym most of or the whole week.
    • I can’t really tell from my bullet points from last week. I think I didn’t go a single day…

 

  • I met with the founder of the health food company. 
    • He was not like I expected. Very stereotypical. I won’t even go into detail. Let’s just say, I’m glad I’m not working for him.

 

  • I got really sad because of that meeting. Vented to a friend. Had a fallout with said friend.
    • Tears in my cereal the next day. I’m not even joking about that. : ( Axyl gave me a pep talk and I felt better. I decided to let that relationship go. At least the way I was going about it. Why put in effort to be told to back off?

 

 

Week of January 27th 2020

 

  • Found out I’d gained 5 pounds in the last week.
    • Officially obese category II (BMI 35). New highest weight I’ve ever been.
    • That’s what being very sad and giving in to emotional eating will do to ya.

 

  • Opening up more in sign language class. 
    • It’s easier now that there’s only like 10 students instead of 30 last semester. I think I surprised my professor since he and the rest the class are used to seeing me as the quiet, smart kid. That’s the way I usually present myself in most places. A lot of people don’t get to see my dark, funny side. Ha, this class won’t know what’s coming!

 

  • Getting bored in piano class. 
    • It’s very much a beginning piano class and apart from some much needed practice sight reading. It seems I know the basics. Didn’t even feel like chatting with the guitarist.

 

  • Decided to start eating healthier one step at a time instead of trying to do everything “perfectly”
    • I know how complicated nutrition can be, but I also know how simple it can be too. I decided it doesn’t matter what I think about myself or how scared I am to be skinnier. This has gotten out of hand and I can’t keep putting it off and gaining 5 more pounds every time I get knocked down by life. There’s not next week, or starting Monday, or maybe if I feel like it. It’s now. It’s starting simple and building on it. It’s slow, but steady. It’s Wednesday. I started eating healthier on a Wednesday. I decided to start with the most basic thing. I know there are more than two dozen essential vitamins and minerals, but take it one thing at a time. For it to be a lifestyle and not a diet it has to be maintainable. Start with what you know you can do and that you can do consistently. So I did.
      • Maybe I’ll write a more detailed post just about this later. Or maybe not. I’m not trying to influence anyone into following what I’m doing for a healthier lifestyle. That’s different for everyone. Maybe it will help some, maybe it will hinder others. I’ll think about it.

 

  • First aerial silks class
    • We are in pairs for the class. My partner seems very nice and super extroverted. She made the class so much fun, even though I only successfully was able to do one of about 5 moves we were taught and it was basically hanging upside down. 🙈 I wasn’t able to climb the silk or do a pull through. (My arms are dying. >.< I need to build some upper body strength!)

 

  • Went to the gym for the first time in about 2 weeks.
    • I took my brother with me before sign language class and he also did a bit of exercise. That was cool! I used the stationary bikes. Why this gym positioned the spin bikes right in the middle of all of the weight machines (read: with my butt directly in front of a couple of guys), I have no idea. It was awkward, but I still got a short bike session in before class.

 

  • Went swimming for the first time in about 3 weeks. 😬
    • I almost didn’t go because my mom and brother didn’t want to swim. (They said it was too cold and they would rather do some other form of cardio.) But, I did my swim session without them and it felt refreshingly nice to just concentrate on myself. (Usually, I keep an eye on my mom and brother because they aren’t the strongest swimmers.)

 

  • Cousin’s birthday party!
    • Cousins invited me to join them for some bowling. 🙂 It was so much fun! I hadn’t seen all of them in a very long time, but they were very welcoming. I’m so glad I was able to go. (Even though I suck at bowling, haha!)

 

Next Week:

  • Last poem about someone I’m over. Just want to post it because it was something that hurt me deeply and I felt strongly about and now I don’t. I’m all about transformation and letting go of that is definitely a positive change in my life.
  • We’ll see how maintainable this healthier lifestyle really is. It’s been 4 days and it feels great. Hopefully I can say that after a full week. Otherwise, I’ll have to tweak it and make it more manageable.
  • Will I muster up the courage to apply for more jobs? I hope so…

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Note:

Picture is of my crappy little mountain bike that I’ve outfitted for future triathlons and indoor training. It’s not much, but it’s all I need. Such is life. I make do.

 

Posted in Texas- Living with Parents

Fall 2019- Being Sad then Doing Something About It (Overall Summary of the First Six Months since Moving Back in with my Parents After 5 Years Away at University and Such)

A lot has happened since summer when I wrote my last “weekly” blog, haha…… so before posting that this weekend, this is the shortest version I could bring myself to write about the highlights (and lowlights) of the last six months since I’ve moved back in with my parents.

 

Lots of Sadness with One Glimmer of Happiness for someone else, not me (of course!)

Continue reading “Fall 2019- Being Sad then Doing Something About It (Overall Summary of the First Six Months since Moving Back in with my Parents After 5 Years Away at University and Such)”

Posted in Personal Poetry Collection

Guide me Away from Here – Personal Poetry Collection

I’m going a bit insane here. My licensure exam is in four days from the time I write this and though life has gotten much better since I moved back home about six months ago, I feel as though if I fail this exam… I feel that if I pass it, I can say this half a year of moping and, frankly, recovering from the time away were worth something. If I fail… that just confirms my fears that I’m a waste of space and ultimately a burden on my family.

It’s unbelievable how much support I’ve gained in those five years. My life and myself changed drastically and (mostly) for the better.  I have some amazing people behind me, but recently, I’ve been thinking about the first friend who believed in me. I call him AJ on this blog. He was my first and best mentor, in the truest sense of the word. I meant to pay tribute to him in my previous post, but got a bit off topic. He told me to never stop sharing my poetry, so here you go… for AJ.

 

Guide me Away from Here

December 22, 2019

2:48 AM

Papers, pens, and practice.

I’d rather toss some dice,

but a friend told me twice

(at least), “We aren’t mice.

Work past your vice

and cut yourself off a slice

of success. Being nice

is for the lice.

 

You are wise.

Youth only a guise.

So, pick a bigger fight!

Someone your size,

now that would be a sight.”

 

 

He is right.

Yet, on this height

lays my kite

string binding me tight.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Happiest I’ve Ever Been

I have four unfinished drafts. I haven’t written in four weeks… or more. I get four new ideas every sleepless night. There’s too much and not enough going on in my life. And I can’t take it anymore. I’m writing at 3 am and decided to publish whatever word vomit I create. A friend of mine once suggested (likely out of pity) that my readers must like the honesty that these sad writing sessions are born from. He said this after I expressed confusion that one such word vomit post did infinitely better, views-wise, than a post I spent upwards of eight hours on.

 

Audio of this post:

 

The Best Four Months of My Life

 

Living on my own, therapy, love, and more…

I want to write. I do. I used to fight for myself. I did very well- surprisingly well- the first semester I moved into an apartment on campus by myself. Sure I had apartment-mates, but I saw them each no more than three times that whole school year (they were worse recluses than me!). It took until finals time to falter. That semester in group therapy I gave more advice than sought it. My life was great and I ran with that. Literally. That was when I started running. I wanted to do a 5K. About two months in I was pushing myself and that was the only area in my life I would not be satisfied with. I wanted to continuously improve and did.

I loved my life that year. It was the best semester of my life. Best three or four months of my life. I did things because I wanted to and that was that. I tried the whole vegetarian thing. I was looking into studying abroad. It was glorious. And, of course, I was in love. My first boyfriend. That’s pure. Completely the wrong person for me and that became blatantly apparent in the next few months, but for that brief beginning… it was glorious. I didn’t know I could be so happy.

 

Friendship, Healthier Coping, and Constant Support

That was the semester I began a friendship with one of the most caring people I’ve ever met- Mariah. I’d never had such a close friendship with someone before. It’s incredible she’s still my friend. That was also the semester we both turned 21. Every other weekend we’d get together, just the two of us (well with her boyfriend playing video games on a nearby couch), at her apartment to hang out and try different types of alcohol. Not the wildest college drinking stories. Not even close. But the best I could have asked for.

I’ve had issues with emotional overeating since I was about 10 years old. That semester? Not until finals time. It was like I imagine nicotine cravings are. Awful. Constant. And gnawing. Obviously, it wasn’t without a couple slip ups, but until I gave up during finals week… it was amazing. I sang so much that semester. Constant music. That’s what they always say. Therapists and other positive role models I’ve had: replace negative behaviors with positive ones. It’s so difficult. Sounds simple, but a song isn’t as effective as a donut for me. Not at first. That’s the semester I learned to be okay with crying. I’d been told crying isn’t shameful since I’d started therapy two years prior to that semester, but on my then boyfriend’s shoulder I accepted it.

It was my first semester as manager at a little food shop on campus. I met my coworkers I’d be friends with for the remainder of my university career. I was so nervous about my first leadership role. The boyfriend was constant support through anything and everything that semester. I’d never had that. With him, my therapists, my friends, and a pinch of belief in myself I learned I could be happy. I didn’t have to keep punishing myself for something I felt I deserved.

 

Beginning to Like Myself and Learning to Enjoy Life

I can’t underestimate this next part. I’ve hated the way I look, especially my weight, over any horrible thought I’ve ever had about my intelligence or other abilities. I never in a million years thought I’d look at myself with anything but disgust and shame. That semester, sometimes I’d wish I looked like someone’s reflection or shadow I’d catch at the corner of my eye then I’d realize that reflection or shadow had been mine. It was extremely confusing and alien at first. I began wearing tank tops for Pete’s sake! I liked how they looked… I almost can’t believe I got to that point. I was by no means skinny. I’ve dreamt of being skinny for more than a decade at this point. I didn’t weigh myself that whole semester. Maybe once for a class, but I think I refused to look at the time. Yet, I’ve never been happier with my body. Sometimes I would look in a mirror (I hate mirrors) and like how I looked! Actually looked at myself and felt good- confident even!

Unbelievable! That whole semester… And I enjoyed the heck out of it. As I experienced it I knew it likely would end. I was terrified. Like an unsavory indigestion I kept swallowing down. Yet, I pushed it aside and had the best three or four months of my life. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re used to wallowing in sadness sure that that’s all you’re worth- pain and disappointment- four months is infinity. I regret nothing. I lived. I loved. And I sure as hell made the best of it.

 

Where Am I Now?

Wow. That was certainly not the direction I expected this to go. Usually when my mind wanders it reminds me how unhappy I currently am. Getting creative, Brain. You jerk. Well, since I doubt I’ll finish up those other four drafts anytime soon, here’s the summary.

  1. I used to publish just whenever I was inspired on my old blog which was about once a month. I’m done making promises I won’t keep. Not to be rude, but I can’t keep disappointing myself. I’ll publish when I publish. Sorry.
  2. I hate living at home. My friend offered to let me move in with her, but she lives in West Texas about six hours away from where I currently live. I said no. I regret that at least five times a day. Okay, maybe only three times a day.
  3. I’m codependent without anyone to be codependent with. That’s what those four drafts said in a nutshell.
  4. The fourth kind of overlaps with the friend offering her home thing. It was a pros and cons list of moving out or living at home with my parents.

 

I hate my life right now. I have plans to make it better. I hope I follow through with them. It’s kind of difficult at the moment to find motivation. But what choice do I have? It’s fight for myself or be miserable. I know I’ve written something like this at least five times before, but that’s what I’ve found life to be: a repetitive pep talk where I have to convince myself I’m the most qualified person to care and put in the work to make my life enjoyable. I don’t know what else I can do.

I’ve given up on people before and I will never forgive myself for it. I’m terrified of what will happen if I give up on myself completely. I’ve seriously let myself go, but I know there’s some line I’ve never crossed. I know I haven’t reached rock bottom. Things can be worse. And I’m afraid. I don’t want to get there. I won’t get there. Stupid pep talk after stupid pep talk- I won’t let myself get there. Thanks, Fear. Thanks, Unhappiness. I will only let my life get better because of you.

Posted in Uncategorized

Week of April 8th 2019- Chronic Disease Prevention (Wow. This was Worse Than the Renal Rotation.)

Monday, April 8th- Waiting for the Pain and Getting Bananas Instead

Woah! I’m being responsible and writing for my daily blog post on a daily basis instead of at the end of the week or worse yet, more than a week later…. Wrong! I mean, it is Monday, March 8th as I write this, but the only reason I’m here is because I don’t want to work on other responsibilities of mine. Woo hoo! Welp, this week I’m in a rotation with a name something along the lines of prevention of chronic diseases. Really, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s just a super work heavy rotation. Ah, and it’s individual. Gia is at the food bank while I’m here. (I was at the food bank when she was here about a month ago. I’d much rather be at the food bank since that was all manual labor and no homework, but eh, I had my time.

People complain that this is the worst rotation. That the preceptors are super rude and crush any and all self esteem you may have. As of yet, it’s not that bad. Hopefully they’re just drama kings. Yes, the guys have been the most complain-y. Maybe us girls are just more used to constant criticism to our character and self worth. …that was a super stereotypical joke. That I do not apologize for because from my experience (I am female) it rings some truth. It doesn’t matter anyway. Suffering is relative. There is no greater or lesser suffering. It’s all just suffering.

Not much for me in this rotation yet. The director of my internship gifted me about 15 bananas. That one isn’t a joke. She just asked if I wanted to make banana bread and gave me a bag full of bananas! Not a bad day…

 

Tuesday, April 9th- Wow. That was quick.

So, it’s bad. I spent the day in the Department of Health working on assignments again. At this point it wasn’t so much the word she said, which weren’t rude, so much as the tone she chose to say those words in. I’ve never been a very self motivated person. So I arrived on Monday with the minimum amount of work done and the next day I arrived with a bit less than the minimum. I got home and procrastinated then set to work late and didn’t sleep much. Not much sleep=even less energy.

At this point I was sure the preceptor thought I was a lazy slacker, which… eh, partially true. Her tone just reinforced my negative thoughts and this was the fateful beginning of a downhill snowball week. :/ Gosh. I know if I thought better of myself and didn’t let my fragile self confidence snap at the ugly gaze of an uncaring stranger this week it wouldn’t have been bad. Maybe it is just me. Maybe it’s just in my head. Maybe there’s no such thing as depression. Or maybe there is, but that’s not my main problem. Maybe I’m just a “self indulgent little girl” and that’s the cause of my problems. That’s a quote from my favorite movie (Girl, Interrupted).

I don’t know what to think. The facts are these. I spent the day re-working and re-doing two powerpoint presentations I was responsible for presenting to high schoolers and middle schoolers the next day. I also turned in the radio skit I’d been slaving over the previous day. When I’m sad, stressed, self loathing, depressed, whatever you want to call it those feelings will manifest in different ways. I feel like they are inevitable. That I can’t fight them, so I don’t. But maybe I can… I don’t know. Two big ones now are that I’ll be extremely tired. I was falling asleep as I worked. Also, I hadn’t slept much, which didn’t help. Another is that I’ll work/move much slower than normal. I wonder if it is all in my head…

 

Wednesday, April 10th- Presentations at a High School and a Middle School

My dream is not to be a dietitian. I studied for that career path for my Bachelor’s degree and am currently in an internship to become a dietitian. But this isn’t my dream. My dream is to be a teacher. Specifically a high school teacher. When I tell people that’s my dream job they look at me like I’m crazy. They don’t understand that I want to teach high school because I feel like that’s a deciding time for people. That’s when a supportive teacher who believes in students could change lives. It’s when students are still kids in the sense that they are still growing up, but are close enough to adulthood that they don’t have to be babied. That’s the way I see it.

Under any other circumstances, I would have been stoked to present an educational topic to a library full of high schoolers. But not this day. This day I had to present a topic I didn’t even know anymore after so many revisions. I looked for so many sources and between working on this presentation and the other one and the radio outline plus my heavy feelings of self pity… well I couldn’t even explain the things on the slides well. Much less make them entertaining for an audience of blank faced Puerto Rican high schoolers. It was completely embarrassing and a waste of a morning assembly. But I was comforted by the fact that I’d likely never ever run into any of these island dwelling teens after I completed my internship and moved back to good ol’ Texas.

The dietitian supervising me gave a short presentation to make up the rest of the hour I was supposed to fill when my presentation ended too soon. For my presentation she chidingly told me to make it more engaging and take up the whole hour. This one had only been corrected once and honestly, I didn’t know it in much detail. It was about the different food groups. How was I supposed to talk about why you should eat your fruits and vegetables and stuff to middle schoolers for a whole hour?! I just nodded my head and jumped into it blind. It went a million times better than expected. The kids were interacting and (expect for the usual lulls in teenage attention spans) they paid attention. It was amazing! The first presentation broke my heart and began cracking at my dreams of being a teacher, but this presentation, it renewed my convictions.

 

Thursday, April 11th- Yesterday, I Spent the Afternoon in the Emergency Room (not the patient) and Today I was on the Radio.

Yes, so yesterday after the school presentations I was working on assignments at the Department of Health when the director got a call from Axyl. It was a medical issue and one that he should be in the emergency department for. The director dismissed me from the last hour of my day to go with him. If you guys have read my older weekly blogs, you’d know that most of us interns from abroad do not have family here in Puerto Rico. You would also know that Axyl had a falling out with a couple of other interns too, namely Robin and Karen. So…that left me. I’m the closest thing to family he has here and the director knows that. I met up with him then headed to an ER (emergency room) where we stayed until around midnight when they dismissed him, saying his abdominal pain wasn’t anything serious. Oh well. Good news, I guess.

At the rotation I was supposed to be on the radio in the morning and then do a supermarket tour in the afternoon. Well, I didn’t get to work on the supermarket outline of what I was going to say because other than being sad and unmotivated, I was in an ER the whole afternoon. I bumped into the dietitian I am with this week when I arrived at the Department of Health. She greeted me and asked how I was. I was visibly tired and replied “So-so, something happened.”, then proceeded to explained how I’d come to spend the previous day in the ER keeping my friend company. You know what this grown, insensitive woman’s reaction to that was? She asked me “but did you get to finish the assignments for today?”.

I’m not going to get into it here, but I know that dietitian and Axyl have bad blood. Regardless, that’s just cold. Okay, moving on. This is making me mad all over again. We went to another town to do the radio show with her and her (slightly nicer) dietitian co-worker. The radio bit was fun. It was probably the thing I was least nervous about this week and I’d be delighted to do another radio show someday (with different co-hosts, of course!). In the afternoon the heartless dietitian I’m with told me I was lucky she and her co-worker were free the next morning so that I could do the supermarket tour then. Of course, (“this is important!”, she said) I would get points off for it being late, so I’d have to do a great job tomorrow or the points wouldn’t add up and I would not be able to pass the rotation. It’s not the first time she “hinted” at my not passing the rotation, so eh, it didn’t faze me.

 

Friday, April 12th- Shopping Tour Disaster

As you may gather from the title of today. The tour didn’t go well. I didn’t dilly-dally. After the radio show it was as if all my self doubt was magically lifted. I didn’t feel the heavy pull of sadness and self loathing on my limbs. I felt light and able! I felt awake and up for the challenge! I read through material convinced that it’d be better if I knew the material than simply taking notes to read aloud. Seems I was wrong. But it doesn’t matter. Anyway I prepared for this, I know it would have been a disaster. I had notes for the first section. I supposedly had knowledge for the second.

I was her face. Both dietitians came, but it was my preceptor’s face that disturbed me. From the first fruit I discussed (a wretched pineapple [one cup of contains about 133% of the vitamin C you need in a day, by the way]) she had this concerned face. If it had been disgust or doubt maybe I could have pushed through, but it was concern. Like she was watching a train wreck and just couldn’t look away. It was awful. From then, I stumbled over my facts and promptly forgot what I’d studied and not written down convinced I’d remember. It felt like I was being dragged around the grocery store being poked and prodded for facts and knowledge nuggets I did not have. *sigh*

“Well, I failed this rotation.” Those were the first words I spoke to the director when I returned to the Department of Health after that pitiful supermarket tour. She told me not to worry about it, probably thinking it couldn’t have gone as bad as it did. I didn’t argue. I had had enough. I’ve been through so much criticism throughout this internship. From preceptors (dietitians that are supposed to take us under their wing and teach us, a new one each week), fellow interns, even the director of the program herself.

Preceptors have told me I have no initiative because I’m quiet. My internship partner has told me I’m a bad human being and a terrible partner. The director assured me three times in the course of 20 minutes that if I wanted to leave the program that she would understand and support my decision as if she were urging me to get out of her internship. Those things hurt, but I thrived. I proved them wrong. I’m still here. My partner has since told me I’m a good partner and thanked me for helping her in anything I can. The director has since had a change of heart after seeing my renewed spirit when I didn’t let her bully me out of her internship.

But this dietitian with her concerned face by the rack of pineapples broke me. I spent the afternoon holding back tears and gulping down the lump in my throat as I worked to finish the last few assignments for this nightmare rotation. I wonder if self confidence would have made as much of a difference as I suspect. Maybe. The mind is a powerful thing… but mine’s a weakling.

 

Saturday, April 13th- Brooding

Another Saturday that I spent laying in bed amongst my filth of granola bar wrappers, mounds of clean unfolded clothes and random papers piling up in the crevices.

 

Sunday, April 14th- Delayed Dad

My dad was supposed to arrive this afternoon. He’s coming to visit me for Easter. Why Easter? Well, we got the week off. No rotations! So I have time to show him around the island that has been my home for (almost!) the past year. However, the corrections for my assignments from hell week are due next Monday, so I have to work on that this coming week while he’s here. :/

Not sure how, but he missed his flight and instead of arriving around 3pm, he’d arrive at 3am on Monday. Surprise 12 hour change of plans. :/ It’s fine because that gave me time to laze around in the morning, pick up the key to the Airbnb we’ll be staying at until Wednesday, and clean. Yes. I finally cleaned! It’d been at least a month of stressful living in the mess of my creation. But I know the mess bothers Axyl, so before leaving for the week I made sure to clean everything. I tidied my bed area, dresser, mini fridge, and desk. The only thing I didn’t do (it was 2am by this point) was wash the remainder of my dishes. I’d swing by the next day to do so.

At 2am I left for the Airbnb and waited for my dad’s taxi from the airport to arrive. When it did at 3am, I began to excitedly plan out the week’s events before falling asleep, satisfied and at peace for the first time this week.

 

Coming up Next Week!

  • Easter week off!! Hooray!! My dad is here to keep me company. 🙂 I’m so glad to have him here. I want to show him everything, but he’s getting old and can’t keep up like he used to. Let’s see where all I can take him. 😀
  • Working on assignment corrections from this week’s hellish rotation. Ugh. :/
  • Maybe getting volunteer hours at the food bank with my dad? Maybe? heeheehee…. I’m too lazy for my own good…
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My Experience with Self Harm (Don’t Worry, I’m a Wimp)

It Started Again with a Zit

I had this monstrous zit, almost on the tip of my nose, this past week. I’m talking massive, like the size of a reasonable thumbtack. A zit that my roommate kept bugging me to pop. I have a bit of a problem with picking, so I’d been restraining myself from doing that. Plus, I know every time I’ve popped a zit in my life, it’s gotten worse and taken longer to heal than when I’ve left it alone and let it go away on its own.

He kept bugging me about it. I popped it while he was asleep. Pus oozed out. Then blood. A lot of blood. I felt there had to be more pus. Why was there so much blood? I wanted all of it out. Like when I pick at an ingrown hair with a needle until I manage to get it out. I needed all the pus out of this enormous zit. So, I told myself not to, but I got out my pack of needles. And I start stabbing holes into this blemish then squeezing out more blood.

Eventually, some clear liquid comes out, but it’s still mostly blood. I keep picking with the needle, going around this slow forming blood clot and squeezing until only the tiniest drop of clear liquid is struggling to come out. It was oddly satisfying to pick at my face with the needle. Sometimes it hurt, but at the tip of this zit I couldn’t feel anything and managed to essentially pierce from one side of the zit to the other. I pulled up, but the skin I’d pierced was too thick to rip apart. I was slightly paranoid my roommate would wake up and find me with a needle to my nose, and the two bloody tissues smeared with blots of blood. He was sleeping naught two feet away from me, but he didn’t wake.

I’d Wanted to Cut, At First, but I’m More of a Picker

I’ve always thought myself a pansy for not being brave enough to cut myself. The two times I’ve tried it, I couldn’t commit. I was too scared. But, I like seeing the blood when I’ve picked at ingrown hairs on my legs in the past. Now this with my nose. I had another instance where I got something stuck in the palm of my hand. I think I fell on the sidewalk or something which pushed some rock or metal into the palm of my hand.

Thing was, there was this diminutive, pathetic bit of something lodged in my palm and I was extremely stressed with the stuff in my life. This was last fall, by the way. So, it was my first semester of my nutrition internship.  That was awful. One day, my roommate, seeing how stressed out of my mind I was, asked if he could do anything to help and what did I want? I wanted to borrow his thin, precise tweezers to get this stupid thing out of my palm. I did manage to get it out. Or I thought I did.

A few days later I went in again, with his tweezers (and then my needle when that didn’t work) to get some black stuff out of the same spot where I swore I’d already taken out the foreign object. Looking back, I’m almost certain that second thing I agonized about, and near surgically removed with my needle, was a blood clot. It just bothered me so much. I didn’t want a marred palm! Especially from something as stupid as falling! It was deep. I thought I might be giving myself a scar with how far I drove that needle into my skin. But I couldn’t stop.

I needed the stuff out of my hand! At one point it did hurt, but I needed it out. My vision was laser focused on that one point in my palm and everything else was blurry. The world didn’t seem real when I turned away from my hand after the job was done. It felt… amazing. Satisfying. I get that way when picking at my legs. I’ve never picked without a purpose. Ingrown hair, thing jammed into my hand or, now, giant zit on my face. But… it worries me that I’ve found a way to make myself bleed that doesn’t scare me.

 

“We all do things”

I’ve been tempted by self harm for years, but like I said, I’m too much of a scardy cat for that. Also, I don’t like the concept of scars. I don’t want to be reminded of how much I hate myself everytime I look at my skin. I don’t like marks or imperfections on my skin, as you guys can probably tell from the hand picking story. So, cutting just never added up for me.

But, as a character in my favorite book, Cut by Patricia McCormick, says, “we all do things”.  Yes, we all find a way to cope with our miserable existence. Some people cut, some people drink, some people work even harder.  I binge eat, sing, and recently, sleep. As calming as picking is, I don’t want it to become a thing. It doesn’t bother me, but I know it’s understandably gruesome. I don’t know what I’m saying anymore. I just wanted to vent about having a big zit on my nose. And it turned into a whole post. Gosh. I suck.

 

Note:

Wow. Okay. It’s a day later, but it feels like much more than that. Sorry if that upset anyone. I am not promoting self harm, just sharing my not so disapproving personal experiences on the topic. I understand self harm isn’t ideal or a good coping strategy. I’m very stressed at the moment and find it hard to make sense. I’m not taking the post down, because it’s more of my story as jumbled and nonsensical as it was written. Also, I’m having a really hard time writing for this blog and a post is a post. Yeahh, sorry again.

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Week of March 11th 2019- Cardiovascular Hospital (Thoughts on Organ Transplants and Bingeing)

Man, keeping up with this blog is getting difficult. :< Here’s a recap of the week.

 

Monday, March 11th- First Day at the Cardiovascular Hospital

I was about 10 minutes late to my first day at the cardiovascular hospital. I never liked my clinical rotations. Working at a hospital is boring and depressing. People are sick/dying and most of them don’t care for a dietitian’s help. Most of them just ended up asking where I’m from because of my accent. It’s like, FOCUS! Geez! You are in a hospital. Let me help you! Gosh.

At this hospital since it’s specialized in heart diseases it was a bit easier. Pretty much every diet was low sodium and it was a lot easier to talk to people. Not a bad day.

 

Tuesday, March 12th- Different Dietitian’s Processes

The dietitian the previous day was very boom, boom, boom, trying to get through her patient list quickly. It’s crazy. They can get up to 30 new patients in a day and are responsible for evaluating all of them. Before this hospital I’d evaluated no more than 4 patients in a day. Here we did about 6 each just before noon. It was crazy but cool.

The second dietitian (the one that would evaluate Gia and I) was a bit different. She was fast, but took it a bit more calm. She’d take about 75% of the patients and give me the other 25% so that we’d finish at the same time and would then chat with me. It’s so weird. The clinical preceptors I’d had were not at all personable. Or maybe I wasn’t as open to it back then. Maybe! HA! I know I wasn’t.

 

Wednesday, March 13th- A Word on Organ Transplants

I saw more patients today. Blah. So I’ll tell y’all one more thing about yesterday. I got to see an outpatient evaluation at the heart transplant clinic. It was interesting to see. Apparently in Puerto Rico, people have to get evaluated in several areas before being put on a transplant list. This includes medical, psychological, nutrition, and social work check ups. I know the U.S. requires something similar, but I don’t know exactly how that goes. It’s unfortunate to get hung up in the process, but I think it’s important because it’s only more suffering and, I daresay a waste, to grant someone a transplant who can’t maintain/ benefit from it.

It’s harsh, but if a person gets a transplant but doesn’t have the physical capacity to heal from the surgery (medical), can’t afford to pay for the necessary medications to maintain it (social work), doesn’t stick to a healthy diet to keep the organ functioning properly (nutrition), or commits suicide (psychology), the transplant wasn’t worth it and the organ should have gone to someone who would have been able to maintain it. It’s tough, but true.

 

Thursday, March 14th- Free Day, Yay? Try not to Binge, Guys. It’s No Fun.

No rotation today! There was a meeting or something, so we didn’t have to come in. Haa… that was kind of awful. I’m so un-self motivated. I spent the whole day pacing my apartment and cooking. Which, of course, meant eating. Sometimes when I’m stressed I just want to eat. It helps distract me from whatever it is I’m stressing about. And, as an added boost, it punishes me afterward.

When I’m feeling particularly down I’ll eat until I feel like throwing up. I really hate throwing up, so I just have to sit with the uncomfortably full feeling until it passes. If the stress is bad enough, I’ll still feel the urge to keep eating. So I’ll be on the brink of throwing up and still eating. The suffering will feel right. Like I deserve to feel bad on top of all the stress. It’s messed up.

So I ate all day then ordered pizza and wings to eat late at night. My roommate got a job and is thus not in the apartment a lot so… now I have the liberty to do this stupid stuff again. Ugh. Gosh.

 

Friday, March 15th- Last Day at the Cardiovascular Hospital

Today I got to meet a couple of nursing students who came to the dietitian I was with to learn about the basics of a low sodium diet. It was fun. I wanted to take them by the arm and teach them everything I know. D: I want to be a professor so bad!

Ah, and since it was the last day all the rotation’s assignments were due today. I had a free day yesterday. What did I do? Wait until 1 am to start working on everything? Yes. Yes, that’s what my stupid face decided to do. -____- Gosh. So, today I took a nap as soon as I got back to my apartment. Didn’t do much before going to sleep for the night either.

 

Saturday, March 16th- Procrastinating as per usual

Still wasting my life away. That’s what I say when someone asks me what I’m doing and I’m procrastinating. Augh. Next week is the first of two weeks of my renal rotation. I’m not looking forward to it. It’s clinical and the most complex of them. Of course I woke up at a bright and early noon today. :/ Didn’t want to be awake. And I’ve been procrastinating today. Honestly, I’m just happy to have gotten this post written. I’ve had days where I can’t even motivate myself to write for my blog, so this is good.

The next two weeks are going to be incredibly trying, but I’ll try to keep up here.

 

Sunday, March 17th- Car Renal Madness

I thought the week was going to be over without any major events. HA. That couldn’t be my life. No, instead, Gia and I went to pick up our rental car for our out of town rotations to begin on Monday and were going to be charged almost double. We said, no thank you and looked for other options. We went down a street with several other car rental places and they all either said they didn’t have any more cars available for the day or they charged us more than $300 (for four days, mind you!!).

Ugh. It was a nightmare. We were supposed to pick up the car at 7pm. I didn’t get back to my apartment until 11pm. This was after getting lost on the highway for a long time, of course. It was so dark, and ugh. I’m just glad it’s over. I hope tomorrow goes much more smoothly.

 

Coming Up Next Week!

  • First week of renal rotation in a different city. Stressful!
  • Nutrition conference on Friday.
  • That’s it. That’s more than enough. I’m going to avoid as many people as possible.
  • Hope I survive.
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Week of February 11th 2019- Non-Profit Food Service (Going to Chance’s House for the First Time and More Adventures in Dating)

It is Wednesday, February 20th as I write this. I’m sorry. This time it wasn’t that the week was so awful I didn’t want to think about it. I mean, yes and no. Well, just read on…

 

Monday, February 11th- First Day at the Non-Profit

First day at Community Center. Our rotation this week is at a little non-profit that provides a service to people in need. This includes ready-made food and health checks by nurses and dietitians. Only problem is that this week, Axyl is away for his rotation. I know I depend on people more than I should, but it didn’t become apparent how much I rely on Axyl until this week. Well, Axyl didn’t leave until Tuesday, which meant I made it to my rotation on time today. (Spoiler: I didn’t on Tuesday.)

It was pretty boring. The dietitian in charge of us just briefly explain the goals of the non-profit and made us input some numbers into her computer then sent us home early. That was good because I’d stayed up all night working on the food service binder that was due today. Gia and I stopped at a café after our rotation to finish putting together our binder before turning it in. That’s when I got a call from Axyl.

He didn’t have a ride to his out of town rotation and for some reason he wasn’t able to rent a car. So, I went with him to rent a car then we took a fun detour to Costco with me leading him every which way but to Costco. …I’m not the best co-pilot.

 

Tuesday, February 12th- First Movie Date with Chance

Another boring day. This time, the dietitian assigned me and Gia a ton of work then banished us upstairs to get it done and be out of her hair. From her super early dismissal yesterday, Gia and I already expected as much attention, so we brought snacks and started the work calmly.

After the rotation, Chance said he was going to cook for me before taking me out to a movie. He picked me up and drove me to his house where he began the laborious task of feeding a fellow human being. He made pasta. X) I love pasta though, so that was great. He served the alfredo pasta (sauce from a jar) with these cheese balls he heated up in an air fryer. It was nowhere near a five-star meal, but I saw the effort he put into it. It was really cute how he was flustered at trying to scoop the pasta out.

After that we wandered into his bedroom to eat and chat. Chatting turned to kissing and kissing, well, I’ll stop there. I’ll probably write a full out post about my opinions on intimacy. (No, it didn’t get that far, but it’s an important topic to discuss.) Eventually, Chance’s mom got home and I gave her a quick “hi” before she wandered away. I’m not sure what she has heard about me, but she didn’t seem too eager to speak to me. Chance’s brother, however, was much more enthusiastic. He smiled real big as he shook my hand. His eyes seemed to say, “so this is the girl who Chance was talking on and on about”.

I also got to say hello to Chance’s uncle before going to the movie theatre. There we watched the second Lego movie. It was nice and I got to cuddle Chance’s arm for most of it, so no complaints here. Aw, Chance lent me one of his sweatshirts to keep me warm. I accidentally took it home with me at the end of the night, and forgot the book he lent me, but no matter! It was a very memorable night.

 

Wednesday, February 13th- Random Stress and Chance to the Rescue with a Hug

Today I woke up at 8am. I go in at 8 am. -____- So, I was late to the non-profit. Gosh. We spent the whole time upstairs out of our preceptor’s sight and mind, so it wasn’t too bad. I told Chance I wanted to go home. He said, yeah, play hooky, but I said, “no, home to Texas.” I may have worried him a bit, because he was going to swing by to give me the book I forgot yesterday and to pick up his sweater I accidentally kept, but now he said he was also coming to give me a hug and talk if I needed to. Why is he so sweet??? It makes me want to cry happy tears…

So, we sat outside my apartment in this little area with benches and a couple trees. He hugged me and I tried to put on a brave face which he could see right through. He just hugged me tighter and told me to hang in there. I am so thankful for him.

 

Thursday, February 14th- Making Cookies with Chance

Wasn’t sure if I was going to see Chance today, since I’d already seen him the past two days, but he came over and finally got to come into my apartment. Before today, I’d made sure to wait for him outside in a public area and wait for him to drive off before walking into my apartment. However, since Axyl is away this week, I figured it a good day to invite him in. We made cookies together. Well… a monster cookie bread thing. Sooo, I used to live in a better apartment. It had a much nicer kitchen and a bigger oven. Now, in my crappier apartment, the cookie sheet doesn’t fit in my much smaller oven. Soo, we used a bread pan. Ha! The result was interesting since it had a crust on the outside, but the inside was still soft and gooey. I may do this again, on purpose. 😊

 

Friday, February 15th- Date with Joseph

Today, I went on a date with Joseph. Okay, let me explain! My two closest friends in this internship are Axyl and Amanda. Amanda recently has been invested in my dating adventures. I don’t want to blame it completely on her age, but she is older and more experienced than me, so she gives me a lot of good (though sometimes antiquated) advice. Either way, I like to listen to it, because I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to dating. I’ve had one boyfriend and had gone on a date with only two different people before trying this dating app. Amanda and Axyl told me to keep dating. Sure, I like Chance, but they said I shouldn’t put other good guys on pause because of that.

I used to think that way too. Before I met Chance. Now, I don’t feel like meeting other guys. Not for romantic reasons at least. It’s a strange thing, but I don’t want affection from people that aren’t him. His hugs and kisses are all I crave. Having said that, I decided to still meet up with Joseph. I met him on that dating app before Chance and I figured it was fine as long as I didn’t lead him on or anything.

I suggested something causal like getting drinks, but we ended up having dinner. The conversation was good. It flowed and he didn’t seem nervous or anything. It was natural. After dinner we walked around Old San Juan. My heart kind of tugged when we passed places I’d seen first with Chance. A little guilt. :/ (I did tell Chance I was still dating other people, in case you are wondering.) At the end of the night, I was just certain of two things. One, that I must visit the Pigeon Park in Old San Juan. Apparently, there’s a guy who sells corn or something to feed the pigeons and it’s a whole thing there. Two, that I clicked with Joseph, but not romantically. He came off as too grown up. He has a starter company and goes to bed at 10pm. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with mature, responsible people, but gosh, he made me sound like a wild child. And trust me, I’m not!

 

Saturday, February 16th- Ehh, Don’t Remember

I really don’t know what I did today. I didn’t see Chance. I didn’t do homework. Must have just been a lazy day?

 

Sunday, February 17th- Date with Santiago

Do I have a problem? I woke up around 10 or 11am then just lazed around. I’m stressed and it feels like my head is full of static, which is not conducive to being productive. Eventually a guy matched with me on the dating app. I didn’t expect that. I haven’t been swiping since I met Chance, but he was one of the guys I had swiped yes on before. He asked me out after messaging not even ten minutes! I wasn’t doing anything, so I agreed. He gave me a place, I gave the time, and two hours after that we met up at a hippie type lot with different food trucks. It was cool.

Ah, maybe this doesn’t need to be said, but I feel like it’s an important detail. He’s American. From Seattle. He’s here for work and it was kind of nice to have a fellow American to talk to about the experience of moving out to Puerto Rico. I was going to say his charm ended there, but he did pay for my dinner. I felt kind of bad about that, since I am not looking for romance. I don’t know why I feel that I have to be into a guy to accept him paying for me. Honestly, I don’t think guys should be pushed by society to pay on the first date. But! That’s a topic for a full out post.

Anyway, after we ate, he suggested we walk for a bit. Since he doesn’t know the area and I did, I subtly led him to the train station, so I could leave once we got there. Instead we sat on a bench and chatted a bit more. During this time a guy came to ask for money. I told him I didn’t have any change (I only had a few coins and I don’t know, but ughhh, I’m not opposed to giving money to those who ask on the street, but I didn’t this time). Santiago does not speak Spanish, so he didn’t understand what was going on when the guy kept asking me. When I explained the situation, he just turned mean! He got this hard look on his face and practically snarled! He said, “No. Go Away.” in the sternest tone. That was extremely off putting.

Sometime after that he told me I was very pretty and asked to kiss me. I gave a small “I’m sorry” smile and shook my head no. He recovered from that well and continued talking. About five minutes later I said goodbye and got on the train home.

 

***

Sorry it took so long to write this. I’m stressed even though I shouldn’t be. The hard part comes soon but isn’t here yet. Oh well, I’m doing what I can. Next Monday’s blog (I do plan to post on time!!) will be about my time at the food bank. Manual labor 8 hours a day. It’s been interesting. The most manual labor I’d done before this was stocking candy and chips at a little store during my university days. Strangely though, I enjoy it. It’s nice to move and work instead of sitting and working. Things to look forward to in the next weekly blog:

  • Manual labor at the food bank
  • I am not making this up. One of the workers at the food bank hitting on me.
  • Another date with Chance. To the mall, a couple bars, and the beach. 😊
  • One more date with Chance. Brownies are planned!