My Zoology Teacher Is A Jerk (How Do I Deal With Insomnia?)

You know what she did? She assigned a 6-page research paper. What about? Anything. We pick the topic. Show her an outline. She’s gotta approve it. Due today. Everyone’s freaking out last night, because us high schoolers are horrible procrastinators. Isn’t in school today. It’s due Friday. Just wanted to see who did it for the day it was due. Nice. Thanks for that.

Anyway, how are you guys? I haven’t posted for a couple days. I decided that I wouldn’t post on Sundays and Mondays because now I take an SAT prep class Sundays for four hours, but takes six hours out of my day in all honesty. I mean, I have to wake up, get ready, eat breakfast, drink coffee, take the train there. About an hour and a half. And then another half an hour to get home–that’s six hours. Then I have to eat (by the time I get home, it’s two), do what’s left of my procrastinated homework, waste some time, eat dinner. So there you go.

MONDAYS: I have dance class/rehearsal after school until 7:45, so I only get home around 8:15, when I have to eat my dinner, and do my homework.

BUT LAST NIGHT, I got home a bit after eight, and fell asleep on the couch in my clothes without dinner. I’ve been sort of not been able to sleep for the past week or so? I assume it’s stress, but who knows?

I guess this is what I’d suggest I do, and what you should do, too, if you’re having similar issues.

1. DON’T LOOK AT SCREENS for at least an hour before going to sleep. Try reading, knitting, doing work off-screens. At least try for half an hour. I know it’s hard.

2. EAT NORMALLY. Like, healthy food, no caffeine!!

3. EXERCISE regularly! It helps with things! I also find that when I exercise shortly before I sleep, it’s easier to fall asleep. I guess that’s what happened yesterday.

4. TRY WRITING before sleeping, or doing something that is a stress-reliever to you. Maybe your issue is too much stress?

5. IF ALL ELSE FAILS, MAYBE SEE SOMEBODY. I feel like this is the final step in anything I could ever write on this blog.

So, good luck in sleep troubles! And wish me luck in mine!

It’s Fri(endship troubles)day.

It’s Friday! TGIF and all that. But not this Friday. I had friendship dramas. Can I just come up with a name for her? She’s the same friend I’ve talked to about my issues and she’s the same friend who confided in me about her self-harming. I’ll just call her Heather. I like the name Heather. It’s like Heaven and Feather combined.

So Heather knew from a while ago how I used to self-harm, and she thought she was picking up signs from me that I might be doing that stuff again. I’m not, just to clarify. I feel like if I were, I wouldn’t be comfortable having a blog like this. But she was worried. She’s been worried. Since Monday. And she talked to our favorite teacher, “Dan” about this. And Dan told her to go to guidance. So she did. She told them both she was worried I was suicidal.

Now, these conversations have been going on since Monday. That’s a school week. After our sixth period class, we both have a free seventh on Fridays which we use to talk to Dan, since we don’t have him for a teacher anymore. Today, she said “Could you give me five minutes to talk to him by myself and then come?” I thought this was kind of weird and rude, but I said okay, and talked to some classmates at some study tables in a hallway.

She walked the hallway a couple times, each time telling me she needed just a bit more time. After about ten-ish/fifteen-ish minutes, she approached me. I got up, walked over to her, saw her look of hesitation and concern, and asked if everything was all right, if she wanted to talk about it. She tentatively told me it wasn’t about her and gave me a pointed look. And I was too slow to understand, so she explicitly said, “It’s not about me, but about you.”

I was surprised at first, then mad when I realized that she was talking to our favorite teacher about some supposed problem I have. I figured that I should at least know what she was concerned about. She told me: “I think you’re going through some stuff and it’s a very stressful time…” She didn’t want to outright say it. She wanted to be careful to as not hurt my feelings, but she didn’t know I was already hurt. “We can go to the guidance office together. I already talked to our councilor.”

The only thing I could think was that she went behind my back and told people that I had a non-existent problem without coming to me first. She didn’t talk to me first. My best friend didn’t approach me about this, when we always approached each other about everything.

So I kind of raised my voice at her. I didn’t yell, but I didn’t hide my feelings and my hurt. And then I walked away with the last word and tears in my eyes. Eventually, after twenty minutes, I went to guidance to clear everything up. The councilor believed me that nothing was going on, and was mostly concerned with Heather’s and my relationship. I talked out my frustrations with her before leaving her office.

1. BREATHE. Square breathing, remember? Breathe in for four seconds, hold it for four, exhale for four, hold out for four. You do this four times to calm down and be in a good state of mind.

2. TALK TO HER. Let her know how you feel in a calm way.

3. LISTEN to her as well. Your’s isn’t the only side of this. Heather was just scared for me and was scared I’d have a bad reaction if she had just talked to me first. I don’t think I would have, but I guess there’s no way to know.

4. TAKE TIME AND SPACE to get over it. Don’t suppress it and pretend it never happened. Give her and yourself time and space. As much as she or you need. We each apparently needed an awkward two minutes of staring at the floor between us before bursting into tears and crying and hugging.

5. DON’T HOLD A GRUDGE. After everything’s out in the open, and everyone’s apologized, when you’re ready to forgive and move on, do just that. Hug it out. Cry it out. We did. It worked.

There’s tension between us. But Thank God It’s Friday. Hopefully it’ll all be long behind us by Monday.

I Got Skills: I’m Stressed & How I Deal

The Daily Post‘s daily prompt is “I Got Skills,” and the prompt goes: If you could choose to be a master or mistress of any skill in the world, which skill would you pick?

My answer for this would have been different had I been asked yesterday, and would probably be different if asked tomorrow. But I was asked today, and I’ve had a pretty shitty day today. I would be the master (why can’t this be gender-neutral?) of writing. Essays, math proofs, articles, books, everything. I feel like this would solve all of my problems.

I need to write an essay for school for tomorrow. And then a research paper for Tuesday. And then another essay and research paper for next Friday. And then another essay for the following Tuesday. Finals are coming up, the semester is ending, and all of my teachers are piling so much work on us all. Why do they not seem to realize that giving us big, final projects is cliché and every teacher does it, amounting to so much work on top of all the studying we have to do for our precalculus and zoology finals? I do not know. But it happens every semester. The last two weeks are hell.

I’m worried for my entire future because of the stress I am having today. But it’s not like this stress in new–to me or to you. It’s no secret that students get stressed out. I feel like it’ll be so hard for me to properly articulate my words right now because I don’t know whether to be mad at my school for assigning this much work to me in a short period of time, to be mad at the American school system in which I fear my ability to get into college while I struggle here and now, or mad at myself for blogging instead of working.

I need to get this out, though. Are any of you out there, reading this? Whether you’re a student or just someone with deadlines chasing you down and are stressed about that.

If you read my last blog, “Almost An Addict,” then you know that this would be a moment for me to take an ibuprofen. I don’t know if you know how hard it is for me not to right now.

1. SQUARE BREATHING is when you inhale for a count of four, hold it in for a count of four, exhale for four, and hold out for four. This just calms you down, and helps clear your head. Sometimes that’s all you need. You can lie down on the floor on your back and do this if you need more relaxation.

2. DRINK COLD WATER. If the breathing didn’t do it for you, take a two-minute break to get yourself some ice-cold water. It’ll wake you up, allow you to move around a bit, and then you can get back to whatever you need to do.

3. CREATE A CHECKLIST of what you need to do and all the steps that need to be taken for that to happen. Like, I could write “Oedipus Essay: Choose prompt, create outline, look for quotes in book, write first draft, revise.” When I look at it like that, instead of seeing that I need to write an essay, I see that I need to choose a prompt. Baby steps are key.

4. SEE SOMEONE if you find you can’t calm down. My friend was dealing with anxiety and stress, and she repeatedly tried the first three things, even did some visualizing exercises, but found it did little to help her. So now she sees a therapist and I can see she’s become more relaxed and collected. I’m happy for her.

Well, wish me luck in my stress hole. I’m okay, and I’m going to write this essay now. After a glass of water. I wish you luck in anything stress or non-stress related!

I’ll blog more tomorrow, as well,

A

Almost An Addict

Well, I thought it might be nice for you guys to know why I named this blog what I did. I was dealing with some pretty bad period cramps. So I took a tylenol. Then the cramps stopped, but I took another one just in case.

And then, the few days after when I didn’t take anything, I felt ill. I was stressed about this essay I had to write for school. So stressed, that every time I opened up the Word document to write more, I felt sick to my stomach and was just about ready to throw up. I asked on a Facebook group what to do about it, and a few people suggested taking an ibuprofen. I thought this the best option, because all the others suggested things I A) was already doing, or B) deemed unhelpful. So I took a pill.

I noticed that it became a habit of mine. It happened four times in one weekend: I got stressed, took a pill, relaxed. Four times seems like nothing, but I knew that because I didn’t want to mention it to anyone, that it was something that was wrong.

I like exaggerating issues of mine for the drama of it, but when I legitimately have an issue, I want to keep it to myself. I don’t want to confront it! I don’t want to deal with it! I’m fine! But not really. After my friend told me about her cutting issue of the past, I told her, “I might almost be an addict.” It just came out so quickly and easily. I think I thought that if I told someone, then I could prove to myself it was all okay.

But she pretty much crushed that logic right away by telling me it was a problem I had to address and couldn’t ignore. I tried to convince I was being dramatic, everything was fine, but it didn’t really matter whether she believed me or not. I didn’t believe myself.

1. ADDRESSING YOUR ISSUE is the number one step. It was the hardest one mentally for me to do, and if you do this sooner rather than later, everything is so much easier and less complicated afterward. If you tell a trusted friend, they can help you simply realize that you’re dealing with something that needs fixing. I guess you just need to ask yourself if all that will become is worth it.

2. STEP AWAY from whatever you’re (becoming) addicted to. This is the hardest step physically, in my opinion. I felt insecure, paranoid, physically weak, sore, nauseated for about a week. I wasn’t really hooked on anything, and the Advil and ibuprofen pills had pretty much just become a bad, bad habit. So I got away quickly and easier than a lot of people. I can’t even imagine what it must be like for smokers when they quit, or recovering alcoholics, or people in rehab. All I can say to you is that will power is strong, but sometimes not strong enough. Let yourself lean on others, and drink lots of cold water. I don’t really know what else to say.

I’m still in the process of stepping away. It’s a difficult thing to do, especially when I know that I can make this headache go away by simply walking into the bathroom and opening up a cabinet. I could tell my mother, and she’d prevent me from taking anything, but then what if I actually do need to take a pill? What if she makes me see someone about it? Maybe I’m still scared of confronting this thing, but wouldn’t it be easier to get over on my own? I’m not really on my own, though. I have the aforementioned friend, and you guys, too. What do you think my next step should be?

A

A Little, Little Key (My Story, and Ways to Stop Cutting)

So I guess one of the reasons I decided to create this blog was because I found out recently that one of my best friends has been harming herself for a while. She says she’s stopped, and has been seeing a therapist, but this really struck a chord in me. She told me about this because she knows that I used to do the same thing mid-2013. (Happy 2015, by the way!)

Basically, I was doing really poorly in math, and ten hours of dance a week was killing me. I was constantly sore, and never good enough. I knew this when I was in dance class, rehearsal, when we performed… I felt like I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough, and then too hard that one time I fainted. Yay!

It’s complicated, because even though dance made me feel this way, I couldn’t just stop. My parents didn’t get this when I complained to them. They were growing more and more upset with my math grades as well, while my sister, who was still in middle school, kept bringing home A’s.

I was feeling so many things that I didn’t want to feel, or didn’t know how to feel, and so I tried it. Once. I took out a sewing needle, but it was too tiny, so I used my house key instead. I was actually super neat about it. I washed it with soap and ran it over a candle’s flame before bringing it to my left wrist.

It hurt (duh), so I stopped. But, it turned all of my feelings into a concrete, physical pain that I could register and comprehend. I remembered this, and did it again the next day. Three times. This went on and slowly escalated for about a week and a half, before I realized that this was like an addiction, and it wasn’t a good one. I had to stop. I told my friends, and they were super supportive and very concerned.

One of them even went to the trouble of looking up ways to stop cutting yourself:

1. PILLOWS. Screaming into pillows, punching pillows, throwing them across your room… this is mainly for if you need to DO something. This is the best option if you feel angry or aggression.

2. ICE. Putting ice on where you usually hurt yourself for an extended amount of time hurts, but doesn’t actually harm you. And the pain doesn’t last forever. The ice melts, your wrist/where you put it becomes numb. This helped me the most because it mainly only feels cold, then a brief bit of hurt, and then numb. So even if I would want to harm myself further, I wouldn’t be able to get the satisfaction out of it.

3. WRITING/DRAWING. I wrote a lot while I was getting over it. It’s a way to express yourself, get your feelings out there. I saw it as an alternative because it also made my feelings a real thing that was easier to deal with.

4. DRAWING LINES where you usually cut, if you need that visual. You can also draw or have someone close to you draw something where you normally cut. I don’t actually know why this helps, but it does. I did flowers 🙂

5. WALK AWAY from the place you normally harm yourself. Call a friend or take a shower or take a walk. Sometimes all you need is to clear your head.

I didn’t do all of these at the same time. I started with ice and writing. Which turned into writing and walking away. Which turned into writing and drawing lines. And now I’m writing.

I guess the point of this is to say that I felt alone, and I did something harmful. But I wasn’t alone and that’s what got me out of it. Is this where I say “you can do it!”?

You can do it! But seriously, tell someone you trust about it. And in the long run, it’ll all be okay.

Good luck,

A.