Boredom and Relationships

Lately, my life has been a series of familiarities, which is both comforting and terrifying. I started looking for a partner – or partners, actually – this February, seven months after that traumatizing excursion into girlfriend territory. I didn’t want someone to get close to emotionally. As with all cowards, I was only looking for surface-level intimacy. It was easier to give myself over physically than it was to open up about myself. I’ve had enough of that.

So that’s how I met M, this guy I am seeing now. It’s not serious at all – he’s silly, funny, and warm, more than what I was looking for actually. But there are moments when I think that I’m letting people in more than I should, and that this is stupid and I should stop it as soon as possible. There are moments where I get bored and want to look for new challenges. I think it’s the novelty that pleases me. I’m not sure how I would fare with domesticity.

But I guess I’ll stick to my original promise – that if it’s fun, it’s still okay. I haven’t developed feelings yet, which is great, and it’s a shit ton of fun and new experiences, which is even better.

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TIL

that I am quite incapable of loving, at all.

Happy New Year, everyone.

The Wonders of Exercise

I always go into a wild emotional slump come holiday season. It may be because everyone else is so happy or because I used to be so happy during Christmas time, and the memory of that strongly reminds me of how broken I seem to be inside. I’ve been lying in bed for days, skipping meals, sleeping through sunrise and sunset, and barely moving. I deactivated all social media accounts, unwilling to talk to even my closest friend, and holed up in the numbness in my mind.

Yesterday was the start of the pick up in mood. I finally had the motivation to eat some semblance of dinner and play a game of Monopoly Deal. I think work had something to do with it, because I had to do work yesterday as the holidays are over. When I have things to do, and am forced to do it, my mood usually picks up in that it becomes a numbness without focus. I just start to generally feel numb instead of rewinding traumatic events over and over in my head without feeling anything, so that’s a good thing.

Today, I forced myself to do one round of yoga for 20 minutes and my mood sharply spiked upwards after. I had the energy to put a coconut mask on my hair, shower, clean my half of the room, wash the electric fan, wash dishes, change my bed sheets, and drink Milo. I still haven’t eaten today but I think that’s a big improvement. That surge of energy tired me out though, and now I’m sitting at my desk (which is also an improvement) finishing up the last bits of work for today.

I also wrote a song. I’m doing pretty great.

Little steps, but still progress. Hope you’re having a better day, dear reader.

Ah, This Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Nothing like Christmas to really get me in a foul mood. Have had anhedonia for more than a week now with only a few hours of respite. I am physically tired – wake up tired, sleep tired, and have headaches from time to time. I’ve been gaming and eating and reading and sleeping it all away. Hopefully it goes away soon because I have to work – and not be replaced by a hypomanic episode.

In good news, 1) I have my period, meaning I’m not pregnant; 2) I deactivated my social media accounts so I don’t have to talk to people; and 3) I finally started writing songs again. If I’m to finish an album by 2018, I definitely have to set aside a week or two and hole myself up in a quiet place where I’m alone.

How are your holidays going?

Choose Your Friends

I never ascribed to the idea of carefully choosing who your friends are early in life. I always believed that anyone decent had a fair chance of becoming my friend, and therefore welcomed a lot of friendly advances from people who may or may not even have had similar interests with me.

However, after years of experiencing first-hand how my choice of companions drastically affects my mood, feelings, thinking patterns, and behavior, I realized that choosing your friends doesn’t mean not giving people a chance to be one, but realizing when it’s time to stop extending your gift of companionship to them.

I’ve been friends with people who needed it the most – people who were broken, needing emotional support, people who were going through difficult times and needed a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. I’ve been that friend a lot. I enjoy listening to people rant about their problems, acknowledge their struggles, and try to help them solve these. Maybe it’s because I’ve been on the other side too many times to count. Bipolar disorder tends to make one fairly fragile emotionally and mentally; having a strong support system is vital to surviving each episode and getting through life without killing oneself. So I strove to be that support for people.

It’s tricky but I can tell the difference between the people who are willing to change, and those who aren’t ready yet. I have listened to endless hours of complaining and whining and crying and moping. I’ve also done my share of going through the same emotions. It’s draining. I know I bring my friends down when I do this. But it’s a healthy way to release toxic feelings, and a good friend will know how to shoulder more than her share of toxicity to help you power through bad ruts in the road. But after all that, I know it’s up to me to learn from events and figure out what to do to avoid the same triggers for my own good.

The other reason I talk to friends during these moments is to get outside feedback. Aware that my mental disorder causes my view of the world to be distorted, having stable third parties tell me if I’m looking at things wrong or not considering a viewpoint is a good thing to have.

After the shit storm that was 2017, I realized that I can’t really afford to overextend myself in terms of emotional commitments. As much as I’d want to continue supporting my toxic friends and try to make them see reason, the toll it takes on me is too much. I can’t do it all the time. I can only do it in short bursts, and then sometimes not at all. Also, as much as people always mistake me for an extrovert, I’m afraid I only have enough energy to keep constantly in touch with a small group of friends. Right now, that’s around 3 people. Even just talking with one person tires me out now. I admit I’m in a pretty fragile state and I can’t handle too much with all the feelings I have to fend off as well.

I also suffered betrayal from people I thought were my friends. Who self-professed friendship with me and told me they wanted to keep me in their lives. Like a naive fool, I believed them. But soon enough, they showed their real colors and caused me more damage than I deserved. It would be stupid of me to let this happen again, so lesson learned. (I’m having heart tremors just thinking about the pain.)

Choosing who I let in carefully from now on.

My Feelings About Singapore Have Changed

Singapore is the country I have visited most often. Due to the number of visits I’ve had as well as the relatively small size of the country, I feel like this is the country outside my own that I am most familiar with. Recently, I took a trip to Singapore to watch one of my favorite South Korean bands, hyukoh. This is the first solo trip I’ve taken outside the country, which makes it something of an adventure for me.

Traveling alone is a different beast altogether. Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert, but now that I’ve experienced solo travel, I strongly feel like I have to do this more often in the future. There’s a different sort of experience that you have when you’re focusing on what’s actually happening in the present then talking to your friends or figuring out where to go next with your family.

Solo travel strips one of all the comforts of familiarity. You don’t know anything here. You don’t have anyone here except for yourself. Sounds super scary for other people but I think that idea is pretty exhilarating.

See, that’s one of the main reasons why I travel. To me it’s a form of escapism. It’s also a chance to get to know yourself better. Some people say they travel to get to know other cultures. But really, what else does that do for you than deepen your understanding of the self, than change your perception about life?

I spent most of my time here in Singapore alone. I didn’t do much actually. Due to recent events in my closest sphere of friends, my heart has been heavy for the past 3 days. It has taken a toll on this trip, and also on my physical and mental well-being. I watched the concert, had fun, and tried my hand at being a groupie, and discovered that I didn’t actually have the patience for that.

I spent most of my time in Changi Airport, which could totally be a tourist destination in itself. It really is the most beautiful airport I’ve been to. For some weird reason, even if I was alone all of the time, I feel like I’ve seen Singaporeans more in this trip then my past trips.

I have always viewed Singapore as a very efficient yet soul dead country. All the people look so serious; they’re all rushing to work with straight faces. Japan is also another super-efficient country, yet I feel more soul and culture in their process. I’ve been thinking of moving Singapore and working here but that perception is the first thing that stops me whenever I try to seriously think about it. In this latest trip though, I somehow feel as if I’ve seen a different side. Instead of going to the big tourist attractions or staying in the busy areas, I hung around some places in Jurong East and did a lot of people watching. I feel like someday, it might actually be possible for me to work here. Maybe in a couple of years? Who knows.

I finally started to appreciate Singapore. It makes me excited to be back again in 2018.

Reducing Bipolar Medication? You’re Crazy

That’s basically what I heard from different “experts” in the field of mental health, who strongly discouraged discontinuing or reducing medication for bipolar disorders. This made me very wary of the journey I undertook a couple of weeks ago to manage my bipolar disorder naturally but anyone who knows me knows how much of a risk-taker I am. The benefits way outweigh the cons, and really sitting down and working this thing out would make me a healthier and more disciplined person.

So I said, “Fuck it, let’s do this.”

I have since adjusted my medication to every other day. At the start, my body rebelled via extreme dizziness and nausea and I was going through wild mood swings, but now it’s calmed down a lot and I feel more stable. Sometimes, during my meds-off days, I’ll pop an Omega-3 pill as a natural remedy.

I also regularly follow my meditation schedule and I’ve started doing some yoga. Now I’ve done a bit of Pilates before (mostly care of Cassy Ho) but yoga is a different beast! Even with simple standard workouts such as doing a Vinyasa flow or Sun Salutation A, I always wind up feeling more relaxed, more open to the world, and more at peace.

My exercise is still a hit-and-miss kind of thing but my upcoming beach trip has all but forced me to watch what I’m eating and get back on track as I’ve let myself go since I started working here. I’ve developed a tummy and have done nothing to combat the fact that I sit for 8 hours a day in front of a screen just being fat. Still working out sometimes is better than never working out, and that’s still a work in progress for me.

I’ve developed a facial care plan and a vague hair care plan and I’m sticking to it. I’m still trying to developed a good hair care regimen because I don’t know how to take care of my dead ferret hair???? But that’s a story for another time.

After next week’s beach trip, I’m planning to continue losing excess fat and reduce medicine intake to every three days because I don’t want to have an episode when I’m around my friends in an unfamiliar environment. It’s best to experiment when I’m in normal settings where I can easily have ways to cope or, at worst, try not to affect anyone else.

I also plan on getting more massages because I’ve noticed that I constantly have lingering back and joint aches (I’m so old huhu) and my last massage experience was pretty damn relaxing and fun!

So far I’m doing well – keeping away from triggers and calming myself whenever I can feel the beginnings of something that might turn into an episode. I’ve only started down that path twice in 3 weeks, which is a HUGE improvement, so I hope I can keep it up!

So much has happened since then, but maybe I’ll talk about that some other time. 🙂