Since its the last day of 2019, I thought it was a good idea to recap the year. Last year on New Years Eve, I did that in my journal and I enjoyed having to reflect on the past year – the good, the bad, the okay and the funny. I still plan on doing a more specific and personal in my journal but I really wanted to share some moments of this year here. So grab a drink, maybe a tissue and here goes…
- A new year means a new term and new classes. I spent my New Year with my grandparents and then went back to Canada after school had started. I remember that week being busy. The night after I landed I went back to school and had a busy week. And at the end of that week went out for dinner with my friend.
- I got sick in the second week I was back. Thats what happens when you go from 30C to -10C, without giving yourself a break. I also became homesick and depressed, which made it hard to catch up with school since I was behind. Plus I needed to apply for summer internships
- The night before I left home, I had a feeling that something bad would have happened. Something that would have broken me. I did not know how to explain it, but it was there.
- During that month, my mental health got so bad that there were days that I could not get out of bed. I was depressed, home sick and my anxiety started getting worse. It didn’t help that I was behind on school work and midterms were coming up. Thats why writing those exams were hell. My anxiety put me in so much pain, that I started hurting myself as a distraction. Because I didn’t want to have an anxiety attack during the exam, I dug my nails into my skin or dragged my pencil into my skin, trying to break the skin. And that was the point where I knew I needed to get help because that could not be a solution to my problems.
- Also at the end of that month, I got sick again
- I started out that month finding out I had bronchitis. It was a painful experience. Everything hurt when I coughed. And as much as those puffs are expensive, they worked and I felt better in a week. Hopefully I never have to get this again.
- This was the month I went on antidepressants/SSRIs for my anxiety. I started out with 25mg of Sertraline and then a week or two later, it was increased to 50mg. It was difficult at first because you feel worse before feeling better and I was constantly tired especially during classes. After that initial month, it became okay and my body got used to it
- I got my midterm grades back that month, and let me just tell you, it was bad. I think a part of me was starting to get burnt out so I really wanted to drop out. I couldn’t do it anymore. And I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do a summer internship so at that point I did not bother and did not care, because I had given up on my dreams
- Oh yeah, a week after I got better, I became sick for the 3rd time
- One day I cut my hair. Just got rid of the rest of the damaged ends.
- Finals. The most stressful part of the term. Somehow I talked myself into not giving up, but I ended up getting burnt out. Looking at my notes, made me want to throw up. Thankfully, my anxiety medication started kicking in because I became more confident and didn’t want to hurt myself when going to write an exam. I also got into my school’s internship program.
- I met up with someone that I had been speaking to from Reddit for the first time. It sounds scary meeting up with someone you’ve never met before from the internet, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
- My grandfather had a mini-stroke of sorts. I remember one night during finals when something felt off. I couldn’t place it, but I knew it was there. When I spoke to my grandmother that night she told me my grandfather almost had a stroke.
- I met up with 2 more people that I had been speaking to from Reddit. I had fun.
- I also started learning how to embrace my curly hair, and be able to deal with it. And that is when I started finger curling my hair. Those curls looked bomb.
- I got to see a Canadian citizenship Ceremony. It was interesting. In a year or two, thats going to be me. And the person who officiated it, was not a judge, he’s a chem prof at UofT. But he’s really nice.
- My uncle died. I’m not ready to talk about what happened and how he died. His death was hard on me because was an older brother to me and was not able to say goodbye. I was all the way in Canada when everything happened. His death broke me. Remember I said I had a feeling that something would break me, well that was it. That same day we found out, my mom and I booked a flight to leave the Sunday [because there are only flights on Sundays]
- I got into an argument with a pastor because we have different thoughts on anxiety. I’m very respectful but I’m also stubborn.
- Even though it was a shitty month we went to the beach.
- I turned 22. For the first time I enjoyed my birthday
- Arristella launched and I don’t regret it one bit yet.
- I got offered a job only to be told that it was a complete mistake.
- My grandparents needed to go get their eyes checked and we made a family day out of it. In times like this, just being with family is all you need. My grandparents love bickering with each other and left me stranded while I went to do an errand for them. Though it wasn’t entirely their fault.
- My other uncle was hospitalized.
- I went back to Canada.
- And this was the month where my anxiety spiralled out of control. I had anxiety about going to the dentist, about travelling. It was a complete shit show.
- My grandfather turned 70years old. I was a bit sad about not being there. Not many people turn 70.
- I went to the Lion Safari in Hamilton as a late birthday present. Plus we invited my friend. And it was a good time. I was in heaven that day. Really really happy and felt like a child
- I had my first and second psychiatrist appointments. Honestly it wasn’t bad. He was really nice and it didn’t feel like he was judging me when I told him my story. He increased my Sertraline to 75mg because my anxiety and depression had gotten worse and the medication no longer helped.
- Started my 4th year of university. At this point I didn’t want to go back to school. Wasn’t ready, and still don’t think so. But I’m almost to the finish line, so just need to get through it.
- I went on my first date in 2 years. Kind of. It wasn’t anything special and so I don’t really consider it a date. But it was the first time I had gone out with someone in a while where we weren’t friends. We just went to a river trail and then planned to get pizza after. The pizza did not happen since they needed to pick up their friend from the airport. Perfect timing eh? Let’s just say he ended blocking me on snapchat a few days later, so that didn’t really go anywhere which I’m not upset by.
- I started volunteering at a firm in downtown Toronto. It was the best experience that I could have taken for myself and I got to meet Abner. She belongs to one senior managers and comes into the office about once a week. Also there is always free treats. Doggies and treats, oh yeah.
- Another set of midterms. And lets just say getting the marks back for one of those exams, give me a really bad anxiety attack. This class turned out to be hell.
- This was the first time that I really had to do group projects and lets just say it wasn’t fun. I ended up doing all of the writing. At least they were able to do the calculations.
- Once again the breakdowns continued. Turns out I had put my grief on a side and it came back to haunt me.
- This was the month that I became confident in myself to present. I am not a good presenter, but I was able to do my presentation for my research class in front of community partners, with a bit of sass obviously. And it wasn’t that bad. I seemed confident.
- I lost a friend of mine. He didn’t die. Its just that he got in trouble with, his parents and they didn’t want him to speak to girls anymore. He is 20 years old but his family is religious. I miss my friend.
- I went back to my grandparents for the holidays because Christmas is my favourite time of the year, though this year feels different. Before I left, I went out and met with my friend, that I have known for a year right now. We met through reddit [once again], have watched lots of movies together and lots of voice chats, so it was about time. He lives in the US, so it was nice that were able to meet up when he came to Toronto.
- Finals came and went, you know that horrible time of year. This time I had 4 exams with a 12 page paper. I always get shitty exam schedules and doing that paper was miserable. I also got a “D” in one my classes. Thats a story time by itself, but lets just say I believe in my heart that there was either cheating or bias involved in the grading, so I am not surprised. I have spoken to an advisor about it and I am not the only one who felt that way.
- And the best part of December was the date that I went on. It was fancy, planned out and special. The weather ruined a part of the plans, since slushy snow and an outside activity does not go together, but we still enjoyed the time anyway. Before leaving and during finals, I was able to make time for him. There may not be a 2nd date, but he has set the bar for everyone else.
I know it was a long one, but this year has been rough so, had to put it all out there. Hope you enjoyed it anyway.