It’s self-care day, in the most bizarre way possible.

For the past week, specifically, I have been overwhelmed with work and people. As usual, whenever I emotionally cannot take all the stress, my brain will try to overpower it by “just pushing through”, assuring myself the best course of action is not to be meek or make a fuss out of it “because it really is nothing”. This is obviously a failed attempt because when I reach my limit, it is the body that shuts down the whole system. It doesn’t help because the brain is still screaming deadlines and to-do lists while I am physically just too weak to get up and go to work.

My mind then shifted to thoughts about how work and life have been for me as of late. So I started to think of how I internally have not been dealing with crisis too well. Inside, I am frustrated and upset more than I can count, but I know I will never be able to publicly display it because (1) it is not helpful for anyone, and (2) people at work won’t take it very well because they might think it’s a personal attack and I still need to work with them for at least another year. Moreover, even I don’t trust myself to use the best words to express these complaints I have, so I have no choice but bottle it up inside and just put up my business-as-usual face. This isn’t healthy, I know, but I truly have nothing else up my sleeves on how to deal with this while maintaining a “professional facade”, which people seem to find more important than one’s well-being.

When the migraine was somewhat more bearable, I decided to sit up, have a cup of coffee and read–trying to find hints about how poorly I have been responding to things at work while it has been a huge improvement from the last. On one hand, I figured (and admitted) that my tendency for being self-sufficient, inconspicuous and detached from basically everyone actually has a fancy term–“withdrawal due to neurosis”. While people who have these traits may also wish for people to just disappear, mine is more towards being left alone; at least that I wish I can only surround myself with people I can trust and am comfortable with. This, in turn, explains why I can be very undiplomatic, to say the least, towards people I find difficult, usually the aggressive types. In a culture where people seem to prioritize over being non-confrontational–being “civil” is just not enough–even when the other party was the one who is being rude, you just cannot let them have a taste of their medicine either despite being in the right. Just thinking about it drains my energy already. Sheesh.

Another slap on the face was how it seems like I haven’t fully captured the essence of not internalizing the bad things in life. At a glance, I do agree that shit just happens sometimes and it doesn’t mean my whole life will be shitty, but I came to realize that this is not the case when I am in negative circumstances myself. There is always a little part of me who would be saying, “Why me?” or “See? Good things are fickle; it is the bad situations and difficult people that are given in life. You should’ve expected it. Still think that one day, things will become easier? Dream on, kid.” The way I cope with stress is by basically just expecting the worse out of everything, but what is worse is that I somehow believe that those are the only things that will happen in my life. “Because, really, have you not seen how things have been in your life so far? Not much of the better ones, no? Also, after the good ones, the bad ones are already lurking in many directions to hit you.”

They say it’s irrational to think that way. Rather superstitious. Needless to say, I am shooketh.

What is rational, then, is to believe that “the world holds infinite possibilities for us”; that “we are in control of our own destiny”; and that it is “we who upset ourselves by believing people and things can upset us”. I am trying to grasp these ideas as I’m typing this, but cannot seem to do so. I mean, surely people are such dicks at times even when they mean well, I get it, but “really? Will things not repeat itself? These patterns of disappointments, are they not an indication? How is that rational?”

Hence, another round of migraine.

It’s not that I am scared of opening this Pandora’s box. If you hadn’t noticed, my head is rather impatient when it comes to solving things, even when it hasn’t been able to fully comprehend something. I don’t understand if it is really me in control of certain things and whether I have what it takes to expect the best, that everything will work out just fine. I also doubt if this irrationality in me can somehow be fixed.

…maybe that means I am scared, after all.

Nevertheless, I feel more intrigued than terror-stricken. Identifying scars is still a form of self-care, no?