Why I’ll Never Kill Myself.

I often draw inspiration from the things around me – people, TV, videos, etc. Whatever it is, I often draw the good lessons from these sources of inspiration. Although, no one’s exactly receiving these lessons, I think I should keep on writing about them either to remind myself, or tell the few people that actually reads these. I should probably write more generally, but it always ends up being about me.

Me. Me. Me.

It’s easy to write about myself, and towards the end of this I’ll make it about myself once again. But for now, I’m going to talk about SourceFed, and SourceFed Nerd, and the Super Panic Frenzy crew on YouTube.

Who are these people you may ask? They are, in the simplest, my friends from another world. The Internet world.

Yesterday, I was listening to their podcast:

I learnt a lot from this podcast, unlike a lot of other SourceFed videos. But sometimes, the SourceFed crew surprises me with a little piece of depth like this.

One thing they talked about first was about labelling yourself, and how that places unfair limitations on yourself. Today, labelling yourself by saying stuff like “I’m a nerd, or “I’m awkward” is the new trend. It’s a way to protect your pride so no one else can label you. They each then talked about their moment of revelation. Each some place normal, and realize something extremely simple, but spectacular.

William Haynes said “if you’re doing life right, you will constantly be changing”. The world doesn’t revolve around you, you have to revolve around it. Later in the podcast, it was mentioned that “Happy is not the goal, we can decide how we want to feel”. You have the choice to make a decision to put yourself in a better place.

I was watching a dumb TVB television drama today called “Raising the Bar”, the 8 o’clock drama on channel 36 right now about lawyers. I grew up watching these dramas. The 8 o’clock and 9 o’clock dramas on Fairchild TV was a good chunk of my childhood. Now, I only watch the few that don’t get me angry enough to give up on them completely. Often times, I get so angry at what they teach in those shows because their values are all screwed up and backwards. I get angry when characters suddenly change personalities, or when people suddenly change their minds and lie. But mostly, I get the most upset when someone doing good gets in trouble for it. When the world is imperfect or “evil” I get upset. I get worked up. I get so angry for things that are just real life. Sometimes melodramatic life, but still, things that happen in real life.

I got particularly upset at the suicide of someone in that show. It was a law student who killed herself because of her failing grades. However, she tried to mask it by making it out to being first about her mental conditions, and then when granted a chance that she didn’t fully appreciate it. She pointed fingers at her teacher for being a rapist. The one who was there to support her and give her chances when no one else would help her. When that failed too, she killed herself with an overdose. The reason that I got so angry at this is not because I expect TVB dramas to make any sense, but because this is what people are used to now. Crazy, fucked up situations like this are the norms. I don’t expect TV to make much sense, but if this is what we are teaching the new generation, then how can we complain when they are making bad choices?

Whilst watching that, I realized that I will never want to kill myself. It’s selfish. No matter how terrible you are feeling, there is no reason to kill yourself and hurt the others that are around you. Even if you are alone, you will affect the people that are in any way related to you or your situation. It may be those that hurt you, but you will only end up hurting them as well. No matter how you argue it, killing yourself is always selfish. It’s always cowardly. It’s always going to be over something that could have been changed if you just kept trying. You may say that’s digging yourself into a pit. An endless pit that has nowhere to go. But, I believe there’s always a way to dig yourself out. Either by realizing you’ve been digging the wrong way and changing your path, or realizing there’s nothing better you’re trying to reach for and getting yourself out.

Suicide is something I thought about a lot, but every time I get it in my mind I think about how it would affect those around me and I could never subject those around me to that sort of pain. The pain of knowing that they were watching someone suffer but not knowing it.

And although it may not have been a regular moment where I realized this (like the SourceFed hosts) my revelation that there’s always a way out of something. In my “about” tab, I labelled myself with the clubs I’m in, and in a previous post I summarized myself with a sentence or two. These are not all the words that represent me, but these are the words that are most important to me. They highlight what’s important to me. That’s all. They are not limitations, more like guides. They are not labels. They are maps. Maps that have a compass- my personality “workaholic, avid participant…” and a target location- “a friend”. Being a friend is a good place to be. To offer others a sort of support and help others feel the sense of belonging. Because in our world today, it’s easy to feel like you don’t belong. We limit ourselves to these labels because it helps us find a place to be in the world. We refuse to be nice because of the examples we see in the media where being nice brings nothing but bad. I refuse to back up these ideas of our world. I often see myself as a pessimist. But I don’t think I’m a person who’s willing to give up hope on humanity just yet.

The thing is, I don’t think I understand mental illness completely yet, but I intend to learn as much as I can and as best as I can. There is a lot of stigma for those with mental illness, and even while watching the ridiculous TVB drama, I tried to put myself in her shoes trying to get herself through law school with only scholarships to support her. It could be argued that it was realistic, maybe a bit too real for me to understand. And although I understand those who kill themselves, I won’t do it myself. I can never put an end to my life knowing that there are people that care and that there is always a way out. For those thinking about suicide, there’s always at least one person who cares. If not, hit me up. I’ll be that one person for you.

That’s why the SourceFed crew still stays important to me. Even though they went through massive changes since the original “20 Minutes or Less” gang and the first introductions of of Steve and Meg, they still have the same great messages and great entertainment as they do now. A while ago (actually a pretty long while ago), they had someone on for their Make-a-Wish, which I was incredibly jealous of. They had her on a Table Talk and I wonder where and how she is now. The thing about Make-a-Wishes is that they are for people who are “suffering from a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition currently placing the child’s life in jeopardy.” When you put it that way, I am not as jealous any more.

A couple of months ago, I was in the hospital and they asked me what I enjoyed doing in my spare time. “Netflix, YouTube, etc etc.”

They asked what channel I liked to watch.

I stumbled on my words but finally said “SourceFed”. And then proceeded to find a video example because I still could barely articulate words. I think that shows the huge importance of these videos on my life; even via the internet.

I was put briefly on an anti-seizure drug after my surgery. But they took me off it once I started noticing I was having suicidal thoughts. It could’ve been because I was just out of surgery and still couldn’t move, or it could have been because of the drug, or both. But they stopped it nonetheless after I told my surgeon about it. And they sent a team of psychologists to talk to me about it, and they even had an interview with me asking about my personal mental health. So, in a way, I understand how it feels to want to kill yourself, and not know why, or seem to have a million reasons that all seem to jump out at you at once. Talking about it is painful, but it helps. It’s like being the one to pull out the knife. It hurts, but it has to be done eventually.

It bothers me that this is the only place so far that I can be an advocate for others. I don’t want to be one of those people that let this event control their lives, or make their whole life about this one event like those that are professional motivational speakers. But I also don’t want to hide my thoughts away so quickly before I get a chance to make even a slight difference.

So in reference to the pod cast, I’m not trying to make the whole world happy. I just want to remind people that we have the choice to decide how we want to feel.

In the words of Joe Bereta (ex-SourceFed host), right now I’ve decided I’m…

Feelin’ good.

Defining Me.

Everyday, I get asked who do I think I am. Every possible meeting where I’m at involves being asked about how I’m doing usually involves me telling them about my life and the things that I say define me. It usually changes depending on who I’m telling it to. Most of the time I say something like: “Workaholic try-hard that is an active member of clubs such as DECA, PSR, YWM, Volleyball, and Band” (yes, I willingly call myself a try-hard, I have come to conclusions with that).

That’s the most accurate one that used to define me.
But now…it’s not completely true.

I’m still a workaholic despite not having a lot of work, and getting more tired and taking breaks more often, but I am not as active in YWM, PSR, or DECA and not even in volleyball anymore. Yet, everyday I still consider these as being part of who I am. They played a part in building who I am today and who I will be tomorrow and in the future. Being in all these clubs at one point has shaped me to be a leader, even though I can’t exactly lead them right now. As I feel more and more useless in the clubs, I start to realize how much I was involved in the formation and maintenance of them before. How I was actually a vital part of all of these organizations before this all happened.

More so, I realized how I was so involved in the community as well. In my volunteer experiences and my one summer of work, I really expanded my community involvement and expanded me view of the world. And then I remembered when things start going downhill, just like my elementary school teachers warned me about.

Grade 11. The year I was an exec in all the clubs I was in, the year the workload started to get more intense, and the year the tumour started. I don’t know what was the major influence or an equal influence, but I started to lose my bright-eyed view of the world. I was always tired, I was always stressed out, I lost connections with some of my friends, and I felt like I was trapped in my life. However, this also led me to great opportunities like DECA ICDC in Orlando, a more deepened friendship with my DECA friends,  a stronger connection with my band mates, and it was the year I started dating my ex, and many other connections that made it possible to survive that year. Last year put a real-life view of “suffering brings wisdom”.

This year, I was a finalist for a couple categories on the grad survey. Future CEO, Future DreamHack Champion (highly skilled electronic gamer),  and Future Nobel Prize Winner. Which I find particularly interesting considering how I am this year. Not trying to jinx myself, but I realized that I’ve been building up my reputation since grade 9. I was always at the top of the classes I was in, I was always known as a good leader and when I played League of Legends, I sure as hell talked about it a lot. I guess some things just stick to you. Just because you’re not doing it now, doesn’t mean it disappears from your identity. Just because you miss a couple months doesn’t change your entire life, you can always catch up. We were also given the link to the graduation quotes submissions. And as usual, my friend and I are sending each other quotes that are a mix of sarcastic, funny, and actually meaningful. They started out with the typical ones making fun of some of our favourite  teachers:”The palest of ink is greater than the best memory”, “Don’t quote Ferris Bueller!”, “Couple of hiccups along the way”, and then we started quoting things from the books and plays we read in English-“Do it to Julia!”.  Of course we couldn’t have a quote battle without quotes from Nicholas cage movies and terrible songs. But then as I started quoting the words on the posters in my room such as “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”, they sent a quote by Maya Angelou .

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou *special thanks to the momentum plugin on chrome for daily quotes!

And then I realized the things I’ve been missing out on this year eventually won’t matter. It may make this year harder for me to get through, but overtime missing one year of this stuff won’t change my future. However, my attitude towards things will. Today was also my first social work meeting, and when I was calmly (almost jokingly) referring to my rather scary experience in the hospital in a lighthearted way. The social worker was impressed by how well I could take this traumatic experience. Considering that being in a chain of hard to deal with events, I am dealing with it quite nicely. In many ways, I’m trying to make others feel like I’ve been here the whole time; to make others feel comfortable being around me, and at moments forget this ever happened. In brief moments of time, I sometimes forget what I went through as well.

When I was at Jackson’s Point, the greatest moment was when my section-mates thanked me for being me. For my leadership and inspiration (more like competition) that lead them to work harder and get them to where they are today. “Tears are unspoken words from the heart” is another great quote that is rather true. I didn’t know what to say back to either of them. I wasn’t expecting it, so all I could do was cry. Going through my mind was “I wish I was still the girl that inspired you in the first place”, “I can’t believe I made such a difference in their lives”, “This damn tumour ruined my chances to be like that again”, etc. I One thing I didn’t do was return their words with my own.

“Thank you for being my rocks over the last few years. You guys are the ones I can lean onto, count on to hold my trombone when I am getting my music out, motivate me to work harder and practice more, and be happier. Thanks for being a bunch of trolls, you made band fly by almost as quickly as we added jelly beans to our cups at Jackson’s Point”

I guess the definition of me is still in the works – still in the midst of defining, as it will continue for the rest of my life. The next time someone asks me to define myself, I’ll say:

“Workaholic, avid participant in the school and community,  and most importantly a friend”

Focus less on the clubs that will eventually be forgotten, and more on the things that will last. The clubs and teams are just the stepping stones for the way one can make others feel. They are solely the platform for you to make a difference in the people you know, people you don’t know, in a community, in the city, or in the world.

So, it’s okay that I can’t be the girl I used to be. No one wants to be last years style anyways. It’s so 2000 and late (like that reference is).

Searching.

Seasonal Affective Disorder AKA SAD is when someone is affected by generally colder temperatures reducing their ability to feel positive and such. Which basically means you get SAD [haha] when you’re in the cold weather seasons. Or you’re blue when temperatures are in the blue. It may seem ridiculous to some, but if grade 8 research projects have taught me anything, it’s a real thing (at least that’s what Kelvin F said, he did this topic). I, on the other hand, did OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Mainly because people always said I have OCD characteristics, but also because I thought I could have the most variety in my research doing this topic because there are so many variations of OCD symptoms. There’s the germaphobes, there’s the repeaters, and what feels like a million more types and varieties. I guess what I learnt from that project and the millions of others we did in grade 8 are these things…

  • From the African history and Asian history month projects: Everyone has their own talents, we just need to be able to step out of our comfort zone and free it.
  • From the mental illness project: No one can be blamed for their mental illness, it just has to be dealt with carefully. No one can ever be completely cured from it, but they can be taught to cope with it.
  • From the more artistic oriented projects: Even if you’re not a naturally born artist, you can still win the art award with time and effort put into your pieces. [True story]

And from every project, I learn that time and effort equals quality. If you put your heart into it and get enough time, anyone can make anything. The other day I was looking back on my grade 7/8 projects such as my art folder, my Winter Capers project, my study skills handbook, etc. and I though “Wow! How did the old me do all of this?” And I realized, I was able to do all of these things because I put the time into it. I was given the time to do it, and I used every minute of it. I used the class time and used my carefully organized time afterschool and after practices to do this. I had to actively put in time and effort to accomplish this. In grade 9-11, I had to do even more careful planning and make sure my planning fit meticulously into my schedule so it would all work out. Even with all this effort into planning my schedule, I still found myself running out of time as there were only 24 hours in a day, and I was definitely not planning for 24 hours in the last few years of school. I would always cram in my work, sleep less, and do whatever else I needed to get everything done.

Now, I may have 24 hours still, but I really have less time than that. Taking longer to do the same things, feeling tired pretty much all the time, and of course having a million fears in my mind that can only be resolved through writing/talking about it (which of course takes up more time). I really don’t know what else to do. How can I balance my boredom and my tiredness? The workaholic in me says “you can do it”, but the sad me (and my social worker) says stuff like “no, go rest” or “take your time”. I have a project due next week, an essay due next week, a music test this week, and I’m too tired to work efficiently on them. I should be using whatever energy I have left to do those things, but I also need to take time to do this for my emotional well-being. In the end, I usually end up doing both.  Like I usually do. Do everything and hope for the best.

These traits got me to where I am today. Successful in most aspects, but a fool in life and living. I always hear people tell me that I’m their inspiration, their motivation to be more responsible and more hardworking. But they end up doing it more beautifully than I do. Because they know when to stop and take a rest. I guess, this is kind of like this one episode in Modern Family. Phil passes on his creative and carefree traits to his friend and his friend an inventor to businessman ends up being rich and successful through taking inspiration from Phil. The episode then shows Phil’s wife, Claire, being the reason they’re not broke and happy because she’s her rock. She’s the one that stops him from his bad ideas (and Phil has many). I guess I’m Phil. I help others be successful. But now I’m searching for my Claire. My rock.