My whole life, I had been my worst critic. I was my own judge, jury and executioner. I strove for perfection, sought validation and felt that I have to compete for everything in order to deserve something. This is a result of people - most especially my family- criticizing me, telling me in many different ways how I was not good enough and how I need to be different and do better. Undoing that damage is neither easy nor quick. The solution was both simple and complicated but I am now peeling away the ugly layers that covered up my true self.
Everywhere around me, I see stories upon stories of people who want to become full-time writers publishing their own blogs or authoring books. As someone who wants to make writing a way of life, this is very discouraging. I feel like a drop in the ocean and ask myself, “Will I even make the cut?” How in the world do I even break through this thick crowd of pros, semi-pros and wannabe writers (like me)? I feel like standing in front of a jam-packed subway train in Tokyo reluctant, hesitant and unwilling to board but there’s these otherworldly white-gloved ‘pushers’ that are cramming me in there when it looks like it’s already full. And I kept wondering, in this very saturated market, is there really room for me?
The words ‘marital rape’ never even occurred to me until it happened to someone I care about. It’s not only hard to hear it happened to her, but it’s frustrating when you feel powerless to do something about it; especially when she tells you in confidence and you don’t want to betray her trust. What do you do with this kind of information? What do you do when she feels too embarrassed to even talk about it, simmering in her own feelings of denial, betrayal, anger, guilt and shame?
Anyone who has gone through depression—whether their own or someone they know or care about—would know it is such a dark place in which to find yourself to be. Many people suffer from emotional “dips” from time to time and others go through temporary episodes like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or post-partum depression but there are those who have been suffering from it for most of their lives. But whatever is the case, not only is the experience the very description of internal hell, its social stigma as a “mental illness” makes it even worse for those going through it. Being classified as mentally ill is terribly isolating as you are made to think that you are not “normal” and that the only way to sanity-land is by way of medication. My experience tells me different.