Trigger warning for anxiety, OCD, and violent intrusive thoughts
I have been so anxious lately and nothing has been helping. Everything makes me anxious. Talking to people makes me anxious, being near people makes me anxious, people’s expectations make me anxious, and even thinking about those things makes me anxious. Knowing how behind I am in school makes me anxious, and thinking about how I’m disappointing people by not being my normal self is making me anxious, and feeling like I have no one who really likes me at school is making me anxious. It’s making me anxious that my birthday is coming up, and I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when I become an adult next year. Even being alone in my room makes me anxious because I’m just avoiding my anxious thoughts and the thought of having anxiety makes me anxious.
So yeah, literally everything is making me anxious.
My obsessive thoughts are not helping. Most of it is stuff like people are going to die because of the socks I picked out, my family will get into a car crash because I used the wrong color pen, or that I didn’t step on an equal amount of cracks with both feet and so now my leg is going to get amputated. I get super anxious about everyday actions causing harm to people I love or to myself. I can’t avoid the anxiety even if I’m not thinking about other people and their thoughts of me, because even my brain has turned against me. It’s really hard to keep the obsessive thoughts away, and not doing the compulsions that come with them gives me so much anxiety that it’s overwhelming.
Basically, it feels like I’m in a sinking ship and nothing is working to help me learn to swim and nobody is hearing me when I ask or scream for help and everybody hates me. Anyways.
After this week, I have four weeks left. I don’t know how to describe my feelings, but it all just happened too fast. Because of the pandemic, I didn’t even feel like I’m a high schooler and I’m about to go to college. For half of my high school, I’ve been staying in my house and doing homework. During the other part of my high school life, I was still busy studying and getting ready for college. I wake up, study, gym, and sleep every single day. My high school year has been very different from my expectations. I thought those things that happen in high school movies are the things that are going to happen to me, but I guess it’s just a movie, right? Time flies by way too fast. It’s really hard for me to take it slow and enjoy the moment. Even the bad times I’ve been through are going so fast.
When I was 4 years old, I lived away from my parents for the first time as I went to a boarding school for kindergarten. At the age of 11, I moved even further away, to a foreign country on the other side of the earth. Through living independently (not completely independent, I had to live with a host family or in a boarding school) at a relatively young age, I’ve experienced both positive and negative sides to it.
I can have a lot more freedom since my parents are far away, and I can do whatever I want in my free time. But this also brings the major downside— the loss of self-control. I always had a hard time with time management, and after I started to study abroad, the situation became worse. I didn’t know a lot of English, so I didn’t understand anything in class, I tried to take notes without knowing even what they meant, but it didn’t work, and I still can’t keep up with my class. Being the only Chinese student, the overwhelming foreign language and environment smacked me. I gave up doing any school work, resulting in a row of Fs on my transcript.
Although I don’t regret anything about my experience, my suggestion to parents who are considering sending their kids to another country is: to make sure their child knows what they are doing before sending them off to a place full of strangers.
I have taken Spanish casually for 9 years now and at no point have I thought I have been good at it. I never really paid attention until high school, but completing workbook pages in Spanish was my least favorite homework. The work I was assigned was habitually tedious and boring. On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoy listening to music in Spanish and speaking Spanish with people who speak the language.
Last year, I hated Spanish 3 Honors. I hated learning tenses and rules, what even is the reflexive? This year I am in AP Spanish, which is more conversation and application-based, which is the first Spanish class I have really enjoyed. My speaking ability has improved immensely, and I have a good grades without feeling like I am slaving over the work. This has given me confidence in speaking that I never really had before.
I have also started speaking mostly Spanish to the new girl in my grade from Spain. I have talked to her friends who only speak Spanish for hours on the phone and have gotten only good reviews.
I am very proud of how far I have come in speaking Spanish and feel like I can have a decently fluent conversation with just anyone.
I got a cold. It came on last week Thursday, with a dry throat. I suffered through two days of school, then went home, where it got much worse. I tried to hang out with a friend on Saturday and just felt horrible and fell asleep. I was in bed from then until Friday morning.
Being in bed all week actually gave me some much-needed rest and relaxation, but the looming stress of schoolwork hung over me, making it less enjoyable. I managed to get my work done, but I couldn’t turn a corner on my cold. I was, and still am stuffed up, even though I feel better now (Sunday).
I pushed myself to drive to school on Friday, an hour and forty-five-minute drive both ways which in retrospect I should not have attempted. I was still sick, so I woke up late, got to school late, went to two classes, and halfway through the third, decided to go home. I did take my important stats test and finalized a journalism story, but it wasn’t great.
In addition to my fatigue, I got denied from my top school, which sucked. I spent the weekend resting, which was great, and I hope to catch up on my work this week, slowly climbing up a mountain of papers, tests, and materials. 9 more weeks soldiers.
I have two other brothers, and they always did everything better than me; which I always feel so much pressure doing something with them. I always doubt my ability to do anything, like anything. I began the thought of I just can’t do it right. This year, I become a senior, ready for college. You have no idea how much pressure I have on myself. I don’t want to give up and go to random college, meantime, I still keep believing that there is a 1 percent possibility I can make something beautiful. A couple of weeks ago, Penn State needs a requirement of 120 scores for the English Language Proficiency. I spent my own money and took it almost twenty times, my highest score is 115 still couldn’t reach 120. Penn State can be an easy school that most everyone can get into. However, I’m still stuck in that dumb English test and couldn’t think of any way to improve it. Recently, most of the decisions came out, I got rejected by UIUC and LMU. I am not surprised at all because I know those types of good schools won’t accept me. Until this Tuesday, I got an email from Syracuse University. I just want to say, I think I’m dreaming right now. I got accepted! At that time, I told myself that I’m not that bad, not bad. Meanwhile, I’m so thankful that my brother and friends are there always supporting me. I just can’t believe it, really can’t. I can say I am really proud of myself, and I should love myself more.
My golf game is in a perpetual cycle of shit. I haven’t had a great round in over a year, there is always something going wrong. When I am hitting fairways I am not hitting greens. When I am hitting greens and putting well I am missing fairways. When I am chipping and putting well I am hitting snap hook hosel rockets straight into the ground. Nothing ever goes right.
My driver must live in a state of constant fear due to the amount I fucking throw it. I am in a consistently unhappy angry mood on the golf course. Everything is too complicated, grips, swing length, swing plane, swing tempo, shot aim, wind, and lie all factor into one shot. I have decided to simplify the game.
Every golf practice since I have made the change, I begin by hitting 9 chip shots, iron shots for accuracy, iron shots for tempo, then woods and drivers for accuracy, then I finish with 30 minutes of gate putting to drill in my stroke and tempo. I also need to be sure to not overcomplicate swing changes, instead, I need to implement more subtle changes.
I have decided to really buckle down and focus on playing as well as I can and this practice regiment is hopefully what gets me there.
I have discussed this with my friends and feel confident to be on the baseball team. However, after two weeks of practice, my baseball career ends right away. I didn’t practice a lot because I was on a camping trip and then the winter break happened, so I’ve been sitting on the bench for the first couple of games. I started to think about if I should switch my sport to weight lifting instead of sitting on the bench while not practicing for baseball. The game is happening almost every day. I decided to quit baseball because, during the last game, the coach came to me and said: “You will be the pitcher for the next game.” It sounds pretty good, right? The coach is so nice that he is thinking of giving me a chance to play, but do you know it’s impossible for me to be the pitcher. I, as a beginner, can’t even throw a baseball that far or fast and couldn’t catch every ball they throw. Then how do I become a pitcher? Plus, there are only a few practices I will be able to hit and throw. With this short amount of time, it was just impossible for me to be the pitcher. It is kind of him that he gave me hope to push myself more, so I might play in the future. I pretty much enjoy playing baseball and I love it, but I just don’t want to spend the rest of the time sitting on the bench.
Mondays are stressful. I wake up in my comfortable room in my house in LA. I throw all my stuff into a bag, inevitably forgetting something important. This week it was my Xbox. I then jam my various bags of shit into my truck and go straight to school. This week, when I got to school I was blessed to learn I have 3 tests on Friday, and that the 3 English essays I was supposed to be working on were also due Friday. It was also the first day of golf practice. I have blogged on end about the irony in the fact that golf, my leisure activity, doesn’t give me anything but stress.
I made it through the school day and found myself at golf practice, with a deeeeeeeeeep pit of anxiety forming in my gut. I couldn’t focus on playing and left halfway through practice. I had a talk with my friend schmogan (real navraj22 fans will get it) before I left practice about how he has used meditation to feel more in control of his life. When I got home, I was greeted with more stress. I had to entertain my grandparent’s questions they ask every day, “when do you hear from colleges,” “are you warm back there,” “did you have enough to eat.” It’s so annoying. That’s a story for another blog.
Anyways, that night, I did my homework, (none of those things due Friday though), and practiced meditation for the first time. I am using Calm, an app, with a 30-day introductory course. I am on day 4 and it’s going so well. I have been able to manage my stress so much better, and have felt like I am more in control. I got all my English stuff done early in the week and my Friday has been great. I just bombed 2/3 of those tests, but I’m not worried.
This is my second time going to Catalina Island for a camping trip at the little harbor, the first time was two years ago before the pandemic really affect the travel policy. It was a little stressful before I went on the trip because I will be miss a lot of class. After I come back from the trip there will be two days of school and then Winter breaks will begin. In this case, every teacher decided to give a student test before the break started. I just took the AP Statistics test in class today, and I barely study. I mean I am already done applying to colleges, so I don’t think the rest of my grades will affect their decision.
I feel like I went back home when I went back to Catalina Island again. To be honest, there are not many fun activities can do on Catalina Island. We only do hiking and some activities at the beach. However, the place was just so quiet and beautiful which is why I love it so much. It might be boring if you go there by yourself, but going there with your best friends will be a totally different story. I love the places where I can hang out with my friends where no one is around interrupting us and we can truly be ourselves. It’s so nice I can come back again with my friends, and it probably still be one of my favorite places on Earth.