Rebraining My Brain

I need to rewire my brain, that’s the conclusion Lindsey (my counsellor) and I reached after my last session. I don’t like saying rewiring, so I made up the term rebrainig (which is not really a word, but I’ve decided to use it for my specific goals).

Remember my obsession with X & Y?  It was concluded that my dislike for these people comes from the thought that they’re the representation of all the anger and disappointment that Canada has given me during the 10 years I’ve been living here. 

First, let me explain what I mean b reward the lazy, the I’m lucky, not matter the poor choices I make. This makes me angry because, in Mexico, you cannot hang on to luck that way. Sure thing you can be lucky in Mexico, but there are limits. I guess the first world lucky limits are way better than third world ones.

It’s not that I don’t want Y & X to on a vacation, it’s just so incredibly unfair that they go on vacation with the little work they do. Yes, I’m judging them based on my standards of hard work, standards which are highly influenced by my own experience and the honest hard work of the Mexican poor and middle classes.

Y & X are not even one-quarter as educated as some people I know, yet, they live a stress-free, relaxed and privileged life. On the other hand, my brilliant hard working friends and acquaintances don’t enjoy international vacation or drinks every Friday. Some people will call Y & X talented. Are you kidding me? I know real talent and hard work. I know the meaning of sacrifice (despite my own privilege). I also know people’s sacrifices. Oh! But that doesn’t matter because most of the times we’re* not even acknowledged at the most basic level (welcome to the real world of *racialized minorities in Canada!)

Y & X  could not have the lifestyle they have if they were in Mexico. This drives me crazy, it makes me angry, frustrated and disappointed.

Canada has taught me that your skin colour matters in how you’re treated, in your job opportunities, in how people talk to you. And yes, part of  X’s & Y’s  luck stems from their whiteness.

X & Y also represent the fakeness I’ve encountered in Canada, the of course I care about you, but not really, the I love you, but I’m not really interested in who you are, the I know your culture better and I’ll appropriate it by celebrating Dia de Los Muertos and sharing my salsa tips with you.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want nor wish X & Y any suffering or misfortune. I don’t want the life they have, not at all! I’m not jealous of their accomplishments, I wouldn’t trade my SAD tears for their weekend gateways at all. I pray for them constantly, because I’m no better than them. I feel bad that X & Y  ended up being the representation of how Canada has failed me in some many ways. But here we are, and in reality, they indeed represent my many disappointments throughout the years.  How is rebraining going to help me overcome my anger towards them? Well, I have very legitimate reasons to be angry at them. The problem is that many small little things that make me upset or angry, lead me to (no matter what the origin is) an angry mental association with   X & Y. A few days ago, I simply couldn’t wake up at 5:25 am to do my morning exercises, and again, within seconds, my anger was about X & Y (they’re probably sleeping, the don’t need to exercise, they don’t work hard enough). Lindsey told me: do you realise you invited these people to your bed that morning? I don’t want that! That’s where rebraining comes into place. That’s when I’ll start reciting the alphabet (in English) backwards, in order to dissociate anger with Y & X. My brain now connects any kind of anger and disappointment to them,  and I need to stop those synapses.

Hopefully this year, I’ll be able to do dissociate Y & X from my sadness and anger. Please pray for me, pray for the group of people that X & Y represent.

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My Two Instant Thoughts

When small things crush me, this is what I immediately think:

I’m simply not meant for happiness

&

Why do X & Y never have any failures like mine?; they don’t work hard at all and things go well for them.

Not Meant For Happiness

I’m aware that my first thought is clearly connected to depression. Deep inside of me, I know I’m meant for happiness; I know that’s what God wants for me. I know this is a symptom of depression because getting a watery London Fog from a coffee shop doesn’t mean at all that I’m doomed to unhappiness. I know that when small things crush me and make me cry, it’s not really because I’m a failure; I feel that way because I have a mental imbalance. Despite my knowing of all these things, it’s very hard to see otherwise when I feel devastated.

But, but…X & Y Don’t Work Hard Enough, Yet…They Do All These Things

My second thought is an angry thought. My husband and my confessor can confirm that this thought has haunted me for years! (oh! I always wanted to use the word confessor…it makes me believe that I’m in the way of sainthood ahhahaha).

The last time I had a major failure (and this was a real one, a big one), within minutes my anger shifted from its original cause to my classic but why X & Y never have any failures like mine?  It was obvious that this obsession was becoming ridiculous. It’s not jealousy (I could write a post on this), it’s me, judging these people and thinking life is not fair.

I didn’t know what to do, so I prayed and prayed for X & Y. Somehow my prayers brought me consolation. But overall I was still upset and angry. I think both of those feelings were legitimate and reasonable considering the mistake that led me to all this. My anger, however, was not focused at the mistake, but at X & Y who had nothing to do with this at all. And despite my efforts, I couldn’t let it go…and I cried for days.

So I decided to go to counselling. I’ve been going for years –some periods more often than others. It had been over a year since my last visit. Lindsey, my counsellor, is great.  I love her very much and she’s helped me a lot through the years. My session was very helpful; I loved how Lindsey was on my side and she started to become angry at the people I’m angry at.

Lindsey suggested that perhaps these people I’m angry and obsessed with, they are the representation of all the anger and disappointed that Canada has brought to my life during the almost 10 years I’ve been here.  When she told me that, I paused, thought about it, and said: yes, you’re right! As usual, I was surprised I never came to that conclusion by myself.

Neither Lindsey nor I are sure that knowing the reasoning behind my obsession with these people will help me let go of the obsession itself. We’ll have to wait and see. But so far, I think it’s helped me a bit. After my appointment, I’ve had a bunch of small and medium size failures (some exaggerated by my depression, others not as much), and my anger, sadness and disappointment, didn’t translate right away into a direct made-up anger towards these people.

I guess now I’ll need to explain in a second post, what I mean by the representation of all the anger and disappointment that Canada has given me during this 10 years.

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It’s Easier

Yesterday, I was sitting outside the Art Gallery at 9:10 pm. It was dark, but not too cold. I was waiting to be picked up by my Muñequito because my class ended early.

So I was there…sitting on a cement bench. I didn’t feel exhausted like I felt back in February when I was taking a different course. And while looking at people around me, I started to sing: Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…

Yes, living is much easier now than a few months ago; so much easier! I arrived home at 9:30 pm and was capable of having a conversation. I went to bed at 10:30 and I didn’t feel like I was going to die.

My living is easy…my days are easier (even the difficult ones). Praise God for that.

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The Good Dad

I think he’s a great dad. I smile everything I see him around the neighbourhood. The good dad.  He looks like one.

I met him at the bus stop with his little daughter. He wears a black faux leather jacket, and you can tell he’s cold. He looks loving and caring. He is short, a little chubby and bald; he wears glasses. He carries his daughter’s pink backpack. The little skinny girl talks to him. She’s cold too

I see them at the bus stop every morning. It’s very early and still dark, but I guess eight months of the year is dark in the city.

Time passes…years

She’s no longer a little girl. I think she even wears make-up. She’s now taller than her good dad.

 

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With Tears…Again.

I wish there could be a week in which I wouldn’t cry,

a week in which I could only feel happiness.

In fact, I don’t even want happiness,

I just don’t want to feel any despair or anger.

I want to get rid of this painful and consuming knot in my throat

that only sobbing seems to take away.

 

I’m tired of me more than anything.  It amazes me that my husband loves me that much. I’m tired of myself, and I wonder how he can be so good to me.

 

Sometimes I’m not sure why I cry anymore.

I cry because…

I’m good,

because I try and fail;

because I’m smart;

because I dislike people

because it’s unfiar…it’s so unfair!

I cry because…

I don’t care to judge you,

because I don’t want to judge you;

because I wish I could choose love all the time.

 

 

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It Will Be Summer, But Then, Fall Again!

This year, I’m afraid of summer. I’ve never had this feeling before, and it scares me. I’m usually happy when spring arrives. Who doesn’t the love cherry blossoms? I don’t even like birds, yet I love hearing them communicate in the morning (I don’t actually think that they’re singing; it sounds more poetic to say so, but in my opinion, it makes more sense that they’re talking).

This past fall/winter has been terrible. My SAD was particularly bad. There were a few things that I was really looking forward to, things that kept me slightly motivated, but when they happened, they were nothing close to what I was expecting. Overall, I never felt OK. It is true that July’s Silvia is nothing close to January’s Silvia, but after the first weeks of October (where pretty much I want to die and I wonder if I’ll be able to make it), I eventually feel decent. It wasn’t the case this fall/winter…I felt awful throughout the whole season.

Precisely because of these bad past months, I’m not looking forward at all to enjoying summer. I know that summer will be over and the fall will come, and I don’t think I have the strength to handle it.  This probably sounds ridiculous and extreme to some people, but if you’ve suffered from depression and anxiety, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

I don’t like this at all, and I don’t have a real plan to solve it. I’m already slightly anxious that I’ll be anxious in August (which is after July, and if June is almost here: it’s over!!)

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The Darkness In My Heart

There is darkness in my heart,

A storm of anger that feeds

by soul with judgment.

 

It comes from the flesh, from a place of darkness.

It’s a feeling that consumes my heart.

 

And I’m ashamed to ask God for help.

Not because I doubt His love or mercy.

I know He loves me precisely because of my faults.

 

It’s different when I’m sad, and I fail…

My failure comes from choosing love and finding it hard.

I mean well.

Although I fail,

I  surrender myself and ask for love and peace.

And I receive compassion because my struggles and sadness come from a place of love.

 

But when it comes from this dark place,

how can I ask for help?

I’m ashamed to ask Mary to sit down with me and hug me,

Because I  know my suffering comes from my judgment,

from my anger and obsession.

 

So instead I pray that light and love may replace this darkness growing in me.

Because I cry over my shame and weakness. I cry because I feel angry and because

I’m still judging those I judge; disliking those I don’t like.

But I don’t want this darkness in my heart, so I’ll continue to pray for light.

 

 

 

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