Ifs.

**WARNING: FEATURES LA LA LAND SPOILERS**

What if?

That phrase that will be the death of me. Today I watched La La Land in theaters and despite it being a good movie like all the reviews say (with issues of the character development and stereotypes aside), it didn’t WOW me as much as it brought me to a very emotional state – reminding me of the everlasting question of “what if?”. 

Although they ended up being happy in their own separate lives, what would have really happened if they actually met the first time they saw each other (like the film previewed), or if after she filmed the movie they were to get back together, etc. etc.

Thinking about these questions brings up the issue of the million intricate possibilities in life. The many decisions that we make and the many things that are brought to use by fate. So many things are based on spending that extra second to get ready or a split-second decision. That doesn’t mean that bad decisions don’t sometimes lead to amazing outcomes – they are decisions. I often imagine myself in these scenarios (maybe I already am in these situations and just don’t realize it) and think “darn it, what would I do?”.  But this is real life, and there are no replays or flashbacks to tell me.

Much like they did, I probably just have to smile and be glad that the other is happy that they are both successful and doing well. However, it still pains me to think about the infinite possibilities that we all have. I highly doubt I will ever be exactly in Mia (Emma Stone)’s shoes, but what if somewhere along the way I let go of someone or something that could have been amazing? I will never know. Something about that just feels wrong to me, but then again, nothing ever really feels 100% right (at least I haven’t experienced it yet).

Personally, many questions of what if came up often after my injury. Questions of What if this didn’t happen? or What if just did this instead – could I have prevented? still often haunt me. What I have started to realize over time – especially after this movie – is that there’s nothing you can really do to make the best decision every single time because even if you did, you may still be missing out on something you didn’t realize could exist. Who knows? Maybe this whole experience was meant to be – for me to go on this path to see things that people could see or to feel emotions that I wouldn’t have otherwise felt.Who knows?

And who cares? Maybe if we stopped thinking about trying to live perfect lives we could see the perfection within our lives already. Don’t get me wrong, I am a very anxious person, but maybe if we learned to realize that nothing is concrete and there are multiple ways to happiness then we will eventually be able to find our happiness – with no ifs required.

 

 

Anxiety.

As I pick-pick-pick at my acne and obsess-obsess-obsess over little things that I know I shouldn’t worry about, there are very little things that I can productively do to combat my emotional struggles. I got rid of my gaming habits (arguably too well, I can’t even get myself to play those games anymore), I unsubscribed/unfollowed so many channels and pages trying to get myself to concentrate that scrolling through social media is no longer interesting to me, and as much as it pains me to say, I already finished all the shows on Netflix that I want to watch and cannot risk starting a show that will take too long to finish anymore.

The only things that I CAN still do are listen to music and read – things that take concentration and getting into. Unfortunately, the anxious thoughts always come flowing back to me except when it’s the middle of the night – in darkness. But it’s still sort of hard to read in the dark.

 

Over the break or holidays, if there is something that’s on my mind, I tend to overthink about it even more rather than simply enjoy my time. So obviously, it will be a lot worse over this break when it’s the break where I await university replies and a final exam when I return. On top of that, I have a test to hand-in, as well as a rather different and riskier article for the school newspaper likely being published.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that I’m at a point when I am worried about these things rather than something related to my health. But, could worrying about this be negatively affecting my health? – Mental + Physical?

I’m terrified of not getting into a program that I love – especially since feel as though I am already in a way “settling” for something not as difficult. Staying back another year would be tedious and unnecessary, I’m starting to worry that this year is already too difficult for me to handle. I am so tired of my friends not being here with me at school, and myself – eating lunch alone, spending my time studying by myself in the library during spares, and missing out on all of the fun things about being a high school student (the things that I used to do). Things like sports, an assortment of clubs, the music program, etc. are the things that made high school worthwhile and interesting, but now that I am struggling to keep up with so many things, I feel like just as much as I cut out a lot of the unproductive social things done in my spare time, I also am unable to do as much of the fun interesting stuff (either because of time, or physical limitations now). Maybe, a part of it is also the mental aspects of it – I just don’t know how I fit in with the crowd anymore. I may have lost my place in the school.

An injury in general impacts a person greatly. Now, make that a brain injury during a crucial part of one’s life that has left someone still physically and mentally impaired in many ways – well, that’s just gosh darn unfortunate. I probably would have still felt the anxiety I feel right now, but at least I wouldn’t need to feel as self-conscious and afraid knowing that I am going through this with everyone else I knew. Sometimes I just find myself feeling so alone – then again, who isn’t?

 

 

“It’s Nothing, But There’s Something”.

*Paraphrased*

“It’s nothing that’s clearly a problem right now, but there are 2 spots that are possibly a concern.

There’s nothing we can do now; come back in 6 months. Everything else seems ok, so there’s nothing we can do to help right now.”

But in 6 months, I would have applied to all the universities I wanted to apply to, maybe even accepted into some.

In 6 months, the plan for my next few years will be set, and all at the same time whatever showed up on the scan could be growing – becoming a new problem I will just have to learn to live with or do more treatments to fix.

How am I supposed to cope with waking up every morning trying to figure out if my headache is just a side effect of my life or is it a clue into what is happening inside? Every time I am over a toilet regurgitating my last meal, I begin to question what is causing this. Am I just going insane? Am I physically sore from whatever is happening inside me or am I just sore from being sore?

My god, what am I going to do? How am I going to get through this?

It seems sort of dumb that you’re ok for now actually has brought on more stress for me. I guess it’s because it’s not a 100% clear, it’s a mixed answer.

And I always hated mixed answers – unsure responses that raise more questions that answers.

 

Random Thoughts #4.

“Oh my god, I am so tired of not being able to do things; not being able to think, and not being able to be me.”

  • I’m sick of it. I’m sick of being stuck on one question forever. I’m sick of being trapped in my own pool of lost memories and mixed emotions. I’m sick of being mindlessly confused even when I may not really be that confused. I’m sick of it. I’m sick…(of it). I don’t want to feel lost. I don’t want to feel out of place, but here I am: lost in a sea of trying to figure out how to calculate LIFO and FIFO inventory amounts and having to calculate what are the chances that something is really going on with my goddamn broken brain. Hell, I am mad. I am emotional. I am unstable, and all I can do is rant about it to people I know in person and here. It’s absolutely horrendous that I cannot think of good things to write and express all these emotions in a productive way. Spending all my energy trying to memorize and organize my mind just to have it all be gone seconds after I complete the test. There is no way this is normal. There must be something wrong, or at least something I’m doing wrong.

Random Thoughts #3

“I miss the days when washing and blow-drying my hair was not an emotional and physical struggle.”

  • I used to not  wash my hair often because it was tedious, and I had other work I could have been doing during that time. Now, I don’t enjoy it for that same reason, plus the fact that when I wash my hair, I have to feel the ridges on my scalp and have to deal with the fact that I will have to dry it. Blow-drying my hair means holding up a blow-dryer for a long period of time as it aches – reminding me of the fact that I still am not fully there yet in terms of arm strength. As I struggle to keep my balance against in the slippery tub slicked with conditioner and fear clouds my brain when my eyes close to rinse, I am somehow transported back to the various stages of my recovery and shudder. I guess there’s nothing left to tell, at least not right now. So I might as well go back to actually drying my hair now. Oh boy, wish me luck.

Me, myself, and I.

I need to take time for me.

I need to take time for myself.

I need to take some time to be who am.

I had a dream, a dream to be the best me I could be. As I was neared what should have been my projected “peak”, I was suddenly hit with something that drove me all the way down – crashing through expected new levels of low.

It took away everything I knew about myself, and all the years I took adapting to being in school and finding what worked best for me was suddenly irrelevant. I was introduced to a whole new world; one that I cannot seem to find my way in.

How I process the environment around me, my ability to multi-task, and my usually keen ability to focus on one specific task now just seems to drown out in the war zone that is my mind – my new broken mind. It’s weird to think that the dreams you had for the at least 5 years of school are suddenly so dramatically affected, and not by choice. So now, as I focus on my notes and my agenda filled with many and multiple brightly coloured reminders, I wonder if I can keep this up forever. How long will it be until I go completely insane? Or will it last until almost forever?

I think I need to start listening to myself more. Taking the time to somehow block out the bad thoughts, negative emotions, and assignments, tests, or presentations and somehow find something within me that will answer all these questions. I need to stop trying to predict the future and try to find a way to begin creating my future. I must make choices that I wouldn’t have made two years ago, and somehow convince myself that it’s okay.

As I double-checked my alarm before bed at 1:20am, I feel a deep, dark feeling of dread – something that is telling me to stop. To be fine with not doing exactly what I wanted to do, but also realize that some things are better to realize sooner than later. I’m trying really hard to realize it sooner.

Currently, I do not know what I am going to do. I am very lost, and there isn’t a recipe to create a better future or a guidebook to living, nor is there a map to your destiny. My fears go beyond forgetting something I need for a test, it’s forgetting how to get home one day because something went wrong in my head. It’s about the fear of forgetting who some of the most important people in my life are. My mind was already complicated and loud, but now I cannot seem to separate out the thoughts that are important from the ones that are irrational fears.

I looked at myself in the mirror today and was confused at who stared back. I stared at a girl who was lost in herself and lost in her world – fearful of what’s to come and tired of being this way. I hope she finds her way. I can tell she is trying really, really hard.

 

Lost.

School has begun again and although I am in the same school I have been for the last 4 years, I cannot shake off the feeling of being lost.

Lost…in the people I don’t know, in the little changes of the school, in the teachers and friends that I no longer see walking the halls, and most notably, lost in my own mind.

I didn’t realize how difficult it was to go through an entire school-day with a full schedule jammed with sciences and maths on my new brain. The white fluffs get distracting against the white of paper or the black of the chalkboard, and it doesn’t help when there are fewer friendly faces and more limitations.

As hands ache from writing notes, and my brain tries to focus my eyes and ears on the teacher, it becomes evident that I may need to try even harder than I had before. I keep thinking to myself “all I need are two U/M credits, and that’s it, that’s all I really, really need”. However, what I thought I wanted was the chance to do whatever I wanted and open my opportunities; not try to figure out how to plainly survive.

As I stared at my math pre-test this afternoon, I recognized questions like these in the work I did before, but for the life of me – I couldn’t remember how to do them. Working backwards, and taking extra time, I eventually finished it to the best of my ability with the knowledge that I probably did a lot of it incorrectly. I walked with my friend who waited for me as I stayed after the bell and she watched as I spoke to myself and recounted my binders. Again and again, I checked my agenda then looked into my locker. Forgetting what I just read, I had to check my agenda at least 3 times. Second day back, and already I was unsure where I sat the first day. Staring into the faces of some of my classmates that I recognized but could not remember their names.

For once, I felt like I didn’t exist. Like somehow, I was not real and no one saw me. But I knew that was not the case, people noticed me. With my large backpack, my unrecognizable face, and my tendency to sit at the very front, I knew people were looking at me. Whether or not they cared was a different story. You feel like no one can see you, and thus, you don’t matter. Yet, people are always looking, so you are never really off the hook. Although, it’s likely that no one cares and you are just another one in the crowd.

It may not be noticeable to others, but every time I struggle to remember a key part to unlocking a basic concept or find words that I’ve used since grade school, I notice it. I notice it a lot. And as my physical self is just as weak as my “academic self”, I just can’t help that maybe my inner self may be just as damaged and weak.

When I would stare at myself in the mirror and look at my hair, I would see the odd shape of it growing back.  I stare at the pink fleshy scar on my scalp that will most likely never be covered in hair again.  I may have lost my hair, but still, this loss a lot less serious than my fear of losing my mind.