Statistics

Everyone on my mom’s side suffers from depression. Some members on my dad’s side are alcoholics and suicidal.

Addiction is 50% genetic and 50% due to poor coping skills.

Depression is 40% genetic and 60% environmental.

Due to this, I am 90% screwed.

Mental health is something that has affected my life for years and will continue to.

When I was thirteen I was diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and OCD.

By fourteen I was engulfed in an eating disorder that controlled and altered my life. My eating disorder was a blend of all evils, a coping skill for all my problems.

I hated my body, felt out of control in many aspects of my life, experienced great anxiety around food, and believed people would love me if I was skinny.

Starving myself fixed my problems, or at least I thought it did. I lost weight rapidly. I felt in control when I refused to eat. I got hooked in my ways.

But like for all things, the high only lasted so long… Even after losing sixty pounds, being underweight, and having every rib and bone in my spine visible, I still looked in the mirror and thought I was fat. My anxiety began to get worse, the panic attacks were hourly occurrences, and my heart began to fail due to the lack of calories and nutrients. I felt out of control once again, so I restricted even more.

It was a vicious cycle, and it continued… leaving me falling deeper into darkness, insanity, and sadness.

By the summer of that same school year, I was in the hospital. My struggles with mental health were close to taking my life.

Years have gone by now, and much has changed.

I no longer cope with anxiety and depression by restricting my food intake, I no longer weigh 80 pounds. I’m back in school, back in sports, and am much more emotionally stable.

But some things haven’t.

I still have anxiety attacks weekly, I still hate my body and worry about weight, and I am still extremely insecure and it affects how I act (making me seem full of myself when in reality I just need someone to reassure me that I’m not absolute shit). And lastly, I still feel out of control around food. I am unable to stop myself around certain types of food and it scares me.  I feel like my previous ability to say no to food has disappeared, and it scares me. I feel like I have gone from starving my self to binging. It scares me a lot.

I need to find balance and balance is hard to find.

Due to statistics and my past, mental health is something I am going to have to deal with for the entirety of my life.

I don’t like this, but I can’t change this. So every day I strive to find healthy ways to cope with the way my brain thinks, the emotions I feel, and my general outlook on life because I believe, with effort and dedication,  everyone has the opportunity to be happy, no matter how hard it may be.

Photo via usablilygeek.com
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reflections above the water

the pool, hot on a september slab of concrete. a speaker singing a distinctly weekend song, listing back towards the heat of summer struggling against the onset of school. but we just repeatedly submerged ourselves and lie on hot things in the sun roasting to save a bit of heat, sort of fattening up for the winter. Peter was ripped of course, how could he not have a six pack at 16, he’s just that kinda guy. strong silent type, super cool, badass; also relentlessly nerdy, shy as can be, and definitely one of the guys you have to know well to know at all. he’s perched like a lizard on the high dive rolling over to toast each side, occasionally and jarringly rolling off the diving board upsetting the water 10 feet below and the less fit, less shy, me on the low dive (because heights aren’t my thing.) 

you feel like the sun is shining through you when you lay on a black diving board like that, the surface burns your skin and the sun does its worst on the other side, you lie there. the closest we will ever feel to a cold blooded animal, or a zucchini in the midst of the broiling of a lifetime. we just lie there thinking that maybe if we didn’t move time might pass us by and leave us happily stranded in constant farewell to the pregnant bliss of the weekend. and teal, blues in abundance like a brochure to mykonos, both the sky and the water both are cloudless and still moving.

in those peaceful hours i saw fleetingly like a stag in your peripheral, the adolescence people tell you to hold onto. we did. we savored it. an experience we never talked about partly because it might seem gay and partly because what would we say. in a way it was my connection to the schoolboys i see in black and white, with my white gloves flipping through ancient yearbooks. content to lie on a hot rock by the creek with a friend you have been through hell and back with. i saw a glimpse in that moment, a glimpse of the school we would’ve attended had we been born in 1900.

Peter never chose me. he was content with the friends he had, i wasn’t cool, and i idolized him. terrible way to make a friend. but i just kinda showed up, next door, and i would just come and sit with him, uncomfortable as all hell at first, but within days we became happy to distract one another and would spend study hall sneaking back and forth between our rooms talking about rock climbing season and expensive climbing shoes. like two freshman boys did in a hundred years prior, one running into the others room discussing the intricacies of a new radio. wasting a two hour study period and leaving homework for 5 am the next morning before we went to muck their horses. and tomorrow we’d plan to sleep through study hall as a result of our long day but instead chose to scour ebay for deals on aforementioned climbing shoes.

 we weren’t fast friends, but when we needed to study we could sit in silence and study and that was comfortable. also wasting our time nerding out over lame climbing equipment, but both were necessary evils and a part of our lives. for me silence was always the enemy of friendship because good friends always had something to talk or argue about. but Peter liked to listen, to say nothing, to test if it would be awkward, sometimes it was, most of the time it wasn’t. but now when i see him once a month silence is my enemy again. i want him to tell me everything, tell me the gossip, what’s happened since i left, who’s with who, who hates who, funny stories. and Peter just wants to be with his friend and sit and eat obscene quantities of brie and just exist and pretend nothing happened.

Sunday Night Football

In boarding school, it is really hard to enjoy Sunday night football. Before moving to boarding school, I was in Dallas with my host family. Even though I did not like living with my host family, Sunday Night Football with my friends was unforgettable. I remember getting really hyped about every crazy play made by the Cowboys. We always had food like pizzas and wings while watching football, or we would go places like Buffalo Wild Wings and watch the Cowboys play and cheer them on with people that I don’t even know. Memories of Sunday night football will never be forgotten, and I will for sure enjoy Sunday night football when I go to college.

Photo Credit: USA today

living in deep mountain

The meaning of life is to try everything that you have not tried yet.

Maybe this is the reason why I am here right now.

I grew up in a big, big city that has numerous tall, tall buildings with lots and lots of people.

Somehow, I decided to come here, the Ojai Valley, a year ago. And I got into a school where there are no buildings that have a second floor with less than two hundred people in total.

photo credit: kcet.org

After living here for days, I am starting to feel that I am part of nature. What a weird thought this is, and I have never had such an idea before. 

Especially on the camping trip, we just slept in sleeping bags, and considered the sky as the quilt with the ground as the bed. 

And with fewer people, there are fewer distractions. I have plenty of quiet time to sit outside in nature, to be deep or lost or sunk in reverie.

Also, I have had the chance to watch the sunset since we have some free time after dinner. This is a really incredible experience to enjoy the sight of clouds and sky change their color and shapes slowly and fast. 

Fine Line

Kindness is a virtue, but some people use it as a weakness.

I try to be kind to people.

Sometimes I stay up late doing work for others so then they’ll be happy.

Sometimes I do things for people that will get me in trouble, but I do it anyway because they asked me to and I don’t want to say no.

Sometimes I don’t say what I feel when I really should because I want to focus on them. People like talking about themselves.

Don’t get me wrong, being and kind and helping people is something I love. But sometimes people abuse it; I don’t know how to say no. It leaves me broke, busy, and feeling used.

Hey can you drive me to Ventura? sure

Could you run to Von’s and grab me some chips? sure

I’m not allowed to have him in my room if it’s just us two, want to come over and hang with us? sure

Could you grab me some water? sure

Could I borrow your shirt? I “swear” I’ll give it back. sure

Hey could you send me the Physics? sure

I like helping people a lot. But there’s a balance. I can usually tell when I’m being used, when someone is kind to me because they want me to help them with their homework or give them rides places. But I usually let that slide; I like it when people are nice to me, it feels nice to think someone cares. But I’m starting to draw a line, if you are going to be mean to me, don’t expect me do your shit. I don’t like being used and most definitely not abused.

If you abuse me, no way you’re using me anymore.

Think before you yell at me and accuse me of things, because I have to draw the line somewhere, so have fun doing things for yourself.

Kindness is not my weakness.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

untitled

I started my junior year one month ago, which I have been waiting for pretty long time ago. I heard this year will be super tough, taking tons of AP courses, preparing for quizzes, tests, exams, and finals that come one after another. Besides, also need to take care about extracurricular activities, social relationships, being a student leader or something like that. All of those things are taking up both my time and energy. 

photo credit: jjhsfocus.com

It has been 4 weeks since this school year started.

What did I do so far? I don’t know. Probably nothing. 

Nah. I definitely did something, not just something, I have done a lot of things.

I wrote four reading journals and rewrote them several times, three short answer questions, two stories, one lab report, took the first unit exams for all my classes…… Almost every day was extremely busy, I got super exhausted every night, and need to refill my energy level back up every morning.

Actually, the school itself, does not seem to be that much more challenging compared to last year. And the challenges I am struggling with now are not really difficult, they’re just new to me.

There are always ups and downs in life. I am happy I have someone to share both my happiness and unhappiness. 

Food in boarding school

Derived from my experiences from boarding schools, food delivery is inevitable. Boarding school’s rigorous schedule is demanding for students. I was wondering if my thought applies to other boarding school kids, and from their testimonies I could say for sure that boarding school’s food is insufficient for students. I believe that to boost boarding school kid’s morale , the school is responsible for better quality of food.

I acknowledged that the food can’t be perfect, but if school at least tries to satisfy students by communicating with them, I’m pretty sure that in result students will achieve greater performances, for instance, in academics, sports, and involvement. Also by better quality of school food, the trash caused by delivery will reduce significantly, which diminishes one of the big concerns in our school. In conclusion, I believe that if school communicates with student for better quality of food, the benefits will outweigh the negative effects.