Getting Out of the Biggest Slump Ever

Hey friends! It’s currently 1:51pm on this Thursday afternoon. I’m sitting inside Kerckhoff Coffeehouse, sipping on my raspberry Italian soda, feeling drained after my intimate relationships class.

The rest of this week is pretty chill. I’ve finished midterms for this week, and have one more on Monday. After I finish writing this blog, I will get started on studying for Monday’s abnormal psychology midterm. But, let’s no think too far ahead. What is on my mind, in the now?

I guess I’m just wondering how the hell I’ve let myself slide so far down, in every facet of life. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Psychologically. Morally. Everything seems to be slipping. I’ve completely lost touch with myself, and I’ve grown mentally weak. A part of it may be the depression talking. The larger culprit is the series of bad decisions I’ve made these past few weeks. I feel like freaking Dorian Gray, the title character of Oscar Wilde’s tale of a pure man corrupted by the evils of worldly pleasures.

Could it be delayed rebellion? Curiosity? Whatever it is that’s prompted me to choose hedonism over school, dance, writing and self-care, is beside the point. The most pressing matter at hand is to figure out how I can get out of this slump, and back into my flow.

I need to realign myself with my goals and ambitions. What matters to me, and what steps must I take each day to get there? I need to find direction once more. I mustn’t get distracted by boys… the right guy will come, naturally. In the meantime, I must focus on my own self-development.

A short post this was, but it served its purpose. I feel a dead weight lifted from my chest. I am ready to get into my study flow and attack Monday’s midterm with full force.

2/17/18: Checking In With Myself

Hi guys! Hope you all have been doing well. I haven’t posted in over a week, largely because school has been kicking my ass. I have two midterms next week and do not feel ready for them, at all. So that’s what my Lunar New Year / long weekend will be comprised of– studying, and more studying. Fun fun.

Lately, I’ve completely lost touch with myself, my morals, my discipline. I’ve stopped dancing. I’ve stopped going to skating class. I’ve been skipping lecture. Stuffing my face with whatever food I crave. Partying to oblivion. Feeling… lost. It’s interesting, because just ten days go, I was manic, riding the wave of the high, feeling on top of the world. Now, I’m coming down from that high, and the low is slowly sinking in. All of my deviant behaviors this past week have been a manifestation of my mood disorder.

This is what I’m telling you guys– bipolar is a bitch. It’s a double-edged sword. The highs are amazing and dangerously exhilarating. The lows… those are the worst. But it’s good that I’m keeping track of my mood patterns, so that I’ll have a greater sense of awareness for future bouts of extreme mood swings.

I’m planning on giving a talk about bipolar disorder at this year’s SPIEL– basically, a TED talk event for students, put on each year by UCLA’s Regents Scholar Society. Did you know that bipolar affects only 1-2% of the U.S. population? So many people are in the dark with regards to this mental illness, unaware of what this mood disorder entails. In speaking openly about my illness, I aim to bring more people into the light by being vulnerable and sharing my personal struggles with bipolar.

I don’t want my life to be governed by my illness. I must regain control of my mind. The first step is being aware of when I am sliding down the slippery slope of depression. This often happens even before the symptoms of depression manifest themselves; my lows always start with my highs. Upon realizing that I’m not okay, I harness a strong set of coping mechanisms to get me through the rollercoaster ride, until it finally stops, and I regain a transient semblance of stability and control. And then, when the rollercoaster starts back up again, as it inevitably does, I must dissect the trigger that kickstarts my mood swings, and be wary of them in the future.

Next thing on my mind I wish to discuss– hookup culture. Coming into college, I spurned the very idea of hooking up. I found the act animalistic, insensitive, and ultimately pointless. It’s true that the human sex drive is quite strong at this age, but why seek out another person to satiate your physical cravings, if you can take care of it yourself?

But, as is often the case when immersed in a culture, you get caught up in it. And soon, I found myself partaking in the very thing I had once eschewed.

These past two weeks have been, let’s just say, wilder than I’ve ever experienced. I thought long and hard about sharing the details of my private life, before ultimately realizing that the insight I’ve come to transcends the inevitable judgement I may face from many of you guys, in all my vulnerability. So, here goes.

Through my experiences, I’ve realized that the root of many people’s drive to engage in meaningless sexual activity stems from LOW SELF ESTEEM. So worthless and empty you feel within, you turn to the outside world for validation. Soon, the external validation becomes a drug– you’re constantly looking to others to bolster your self esteem, because you don’t know how to feel good about yourself intrinsically.

During sex, individuals feel wanted by their partner. Desired. At least in the act. It’s not so much about the physical pleasure of sex as it is the emotional and psychological reinforcement sex provides many people with. To be able to give your partner physical pleasure is enough for you; as long as you feel your partner wants you, you are fulfilled.

That is, until you are finished. It’s after the act is over that the cruel nature of hookup culture rears its ugly head. Your partner leaves you. Cuts off all ties with you. Pretends as if the physical intimacy that happened between you two, never happened. In the end, you’re left feeling emptier than you did before. Drowning your sorrows in alcohol is only a temporary form of relief. Eventually you’re left feeling downright shitty about yourself, longing for another means of validation.

And so, you seek out another partner. Same thing happens– ego boost in the moment, downward spiral immediately after. It’s one step forward, ten steps back. Soon, you find yourself caught in a dangerous, toxic cycle, unable to stop.

I’m grateful for my dear friends who’ve helped me cope through this emotionally tumultuous time. They’ve intervened, and I am now turning to healthier means once more– namely, writing and dancing– to cope with my low self esteem. I am slowly finding myself once more, and learning to love myself wholeheartedly. I am holding myself to a higher standard; not throwing my body to any person who shows me the slightest bit of affection and validation. My body is my temple, and I must cherish it.

Alrighty guys! This was one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written. You know I’m all about vulnerability, as my aim in sharing my story is to humanize the day-to-day struggles we all know and love. Some parts of my life are easier for me to admit than others, though, and these past two weeks have not been my proudest of moments. But, they provided me with tremendous insight and growth, and I hope those of you going through similar struggles with self-esteem could learn something from my experiences.








I’m Manic Again

Hi friends! It’s currently midnight and I’m listening to “Rude Boy” by Rihanna whilst sitting at my desk, typing away this post. Tonight, I hopped on board the manic train once more, and it feels amazing… exhilarating. I can practically feel the wind blowing my hair back, catching my breath and instilling vitality into my soul.

But my feeling of euphoria is sobered by the thought of the impending depression that inevitably follows such highs.

I know this mania is the illness talking. If only I could feel like this every day of my life. For there’s nothing truly as beautiful as the view from the cloud of mania. It’s intoxicating. Addicting. This is the very reason why people suffering from bipolar disorder are so reluctant to stay on their medications, for the very drug that is saving them from going under takes away depression’s seductive twin sister. There’s a cost that comes with tempering the illness. And it’s a cost that some are not willing to pay.

My manias are always triggered by some external event. According to my abnormal psychology textbook, “a somewhat different, more positive, set of stressful life events seems to trigger mania. Specifically, experience associated with striving to achieve important goals, such as getting accepted into grad school, obtaining a new job or promotion, getting married, or any goal striving activity for popularity or financial success trigger mania in vulnerable individuals.”

In my case, the trigger was my newfound goal of pursuing psychiatry. Whether this is just another of my many whims, or a genuine long-lasting goal, has yet to be seen. The point is, once I set my mind on this new goal, I went straight into manic mode.

I thought to myself, gotta fill up my schedule with five classes a quarter. Graduate early. Get a post-bacc. Do really well in my classes to be a competitive applicant for medical school. Continue my growth as a competitive Latin dancer. Improve in hip hop. Take on a research position. Get a job. 

So many goals inundating my little brain… Sleep is out of the question. I am completely restless. My heart is racing. Palms sweating. The ambition is consuming me.

I don’t know how to get off this high, nor do I necessarily wish to. This is the side of bipolar disorder I LOVE. I am sick. I need help. But seeking help would mean sacrificing the mania. I don’t know if I am willing to give it up just yet.




Slipping Into the Underworld

Hi friends! Hope you all are doing well.

I wish I could say life was all good… but as of right now, I am not in the best of places. No, it’s not the depression. My mood stabilizers have effectively kept the lows at bay– and the highs, for that matter.

My current struggles center around low self-esteem and wavering confidence, with the root cause being, presumably, my boy troubles. As I told you guys in Rejected, Yet Again., I was recently rejected by a guy I asked out. A little update on that story– shortly after I wrote that post, this guy replied my message, saying he would be down to grab coffee with me. When I clarified that I was asking him out on a date, he said that unfortunately it couldn’t be as a date, for he had a girlfriend already. Goodness… just writing those words is enough to send a cringeworthy tingle through my body, starting from the chest cavity and permeating through my being. My god, was I was embarrassed! Of course, I had no way of knowing he was off the market, but still… I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed that this guy is taken. We agreed to hang out, though, but just as friends.

Besides this guy, I’ve been asking out a couple other guys on casual dates. I’m eager to start exploring the realm of dating and intimacy; I am of the age where the hormones are raging and curiosity consumes my mind. While I’m not looking for anything serious at the moment, I am eager to see where dating will take me. It’s definitely a scary thing, putting yourself out there and opening yourself to the judgement of others. Rejection becomes at once your best friend and worst enemy.

I don’t think I’ve been coping with rejection in the healthiest means possible. I feel myself sinking. Sinking into the underworld of hedonism and sin. Making bad decisions. Wasting away all that latent potential within me… What a shame, isn’t it? I’ve come so far from the innocent girl who first entered college– eyes bright and focused, discipline intact, clear goals and a burning fire of passion and drive raging within.

I feel as though my life of late has been lacking in direction. My self esteem is faltering tremendously. Every day, I look at myself in the mirror, and all I see are the glaring flaws and insecurities staring back at me. I’ve become so great at putting on a confident facade, that I’ve effectively duped everyone around me, save for my closest friends and family, into believing that I am a shining star exuding confidence and radiant energy. My confession to you all– I couldn’t be further from such, in this moment.

So, to cope with my emotional turmoil, I’ve turned to the underworld of partying, drinking, and other physical pleasures as a means of escape. I feel the motivation to pursue the myriad of goals on my plate, slowly slipping away. What happened? Who have I become?

I must get my ass back on track. I need to focus on myself, my character, my goals. I must regain the discipline and structure that I function so well under. My mind has grown weak, succumbing to temptation and instant gratification. The road to success is but a slippery slope. It is so easy to slide downward, and so difficult to pick yourself back up and continue the upward climb. But, I must have faith that I can get regain my focus and direction, morals and work ethic. It will happen, guys, if only I believe in myself.

I hope you aren’t disappointed in me. I feel as if, in sharing my current struggles, I am letting down a lot of people who look up to me and believe in me and my story. But, as I always say, my aim in sharing my story is to present to you the many contours of my life, in all its triumphs and pitfalls. No hiding behind rose-colored lenses. We all slip up and have our down times. It is the strong people who are able to rise from the ashes and continue forward.

I thank you all for continually keeping up with my journey. Sending so much love and positivity in your direction!