Merry Christmas…the year all my wishes came true

Merry Christmas, everyone! This was a great Christmas. One friend proposed to a girlfriend of eleven years and she said yes! Another friend gave birth to a beautiful girl! My boyfriend and I are together, again. 🙂 We got to spend Christmas together. And I have a great roommate. I get to see my nieces and my two sisters in two days. I finished four units of CPE which means my badges in hospitals will now say chaplain instead of chaplain intern. I got great feedback on my final paper and terrific grade in the class I was taking. At this point in my life, for everything I could ask for, I got. So happy and feeling great! Thank you, God! Thank you, Jesus!

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sooner or later

Someone commented on my last blog that dating and not dating at the same time (to different groups of people, etc.) was fine for a while but that it got annoying.  For me, it wasn’t annoying as much as undermining self-respect!  I couldn’t figure out what I really wanted.  So I wrote things out.  I heard the voice in me that was there all along.  I want to be in a relationship with someone who accepts me, respects me and can and is proud to tell others that he is dating me!  Bottom line is this: I want to date someone who could marry me, not that I have to get married or that I have to marry the guy I’m dating at the time, but I sure don’t want to be in a relationship where a long-term relationship is ruled out!  It was bound to happen sooner or later that I come to my senses and declare myself single again which feels very self-affirming and I am very much at peace with it.  One thing I know about relationships still holds true: it’s better being single than being in a “bad” relationship.  I feel hopeful and happy.  🙂

the way things were

why is it so hard to enjoy what i have in the present moment and be happy now? i hardly ever have regrets. and i’m not regretting decisions i made in the past. it’s just that sometimes i want a little bit of what i had in the past now, realizing that in the past i chose not to have whatever it is/was in my life (which means i had good reasons for choosing something else). i hate it when i know i had good reasons for my choices, but i miss the way things were, well, not entirely, only the good parts. 🙂

handwriting

i was going to try to keep a journal, meaning write things out by hand. i was wondering if writing blogs and publishing them or writing journals which would be kept private would make a difference on what i write. so i tried to hand write a journal entry. wow. never mind what i say or not say. writing with a pen on in a journal just takes too much physical effort! i had a real bad case of carpal tunnel many years ago. and recently i’ve been having tennis elbow type of problem with my right arm. so too much effort writing is just not going to work out.

so anyway…this weekend i had out of town guests, a whole family actually! my friend, her husband and her daughter stayed over. i met the baby for the first time. she’s only 5 months old! she was a happy baby. she kept smiling and i felt like she and i were connecting at some level. we hung out on our bed while the mom and dad were getting ready in the morning. i sang her some praise songs and she really liked it. most of the time she is fairly active vocally and physically. but while i was singing she just listened and seemed to be at peace! i love having guests over, especially good friends i haven’t seen in a long time. so happy my friends can stop by and stay over at my new place. it’s really a blessing to be able to host guests! i love it. i really do! most of the time friends say thanks for letting me stay over. and i really mean it when i tell them, oh no. thank you for staying over. i love having guests!

i’m realizing that being a Christian isn’t something you do by yourself. you can’t be a Christian just by relating to God or just relating to others. being a Christian involves relating to others based on the way you relate to God. God is really teaching me that. i’m living it.

it’s really strange. i don’t know if it’s a biological clock ticking or whatever. i usually feel like whether i am single for the rest of my life or find someone to share my life with is not something i want one way or another. but during the past week, i started thinking and feeling that if i could be in a good relationship, i would like that more than living my life alone for the rest of my life. it’s not good to dwell on that though. the key is wanting to be in a good relationship. i would rather be single than be in a bad relationship for the rest of my life! so i was really frustrated when i felt like i was missing my ex-boyfriend. he and i were not a good match. for sure, on my end, the relationship was not good. first few months were good. then once it started going downhill, there seemed to be no way to change the course of direction. so you can imagine why i was frustrated that i was feeling nostalgic over a relationship i know in my head and heart was not good for me.

i woke up at 3:30 am today. i don’t like getting up that early. but still as soon as i got up and was able to have a coherent thought, i felt at peace. i’m happy. 🙂 i’m at peace. it is well with my soul. yes, i know “it is well with my soul” is the title of a hymn. i listened to it a few times this morning. i love that hymn. going to listen to it some more right now.

just when you think you know

why is it so hard to figure things out in a relationship? for better or worse, i tell my bf every now and then about things that i’m not happy about. it usually happens in a form of a blog or an e-mail. and usually he has no comment. so i keep going on in variations on the same theme, about whatever i’m unhappy about. i don’t get upset over one particular action. i tend to get upset about pattern of behavior.

this past week, having sent my e-mail to my bf about stuff i’m unhappy about, i didn’t hear from him for an entire day! i started panicking i guess because i started bracing myself for being single again, you know what i mean? it’s nice to think that i’m independent and don’t need my bf for anything. i mean, who wants to need someone? that’s always been my way of thinking: avoid getting into a situation in life where i really need someone because they may not be there for me and break my heart. and i’ve tried so hard for so long that i’m perfectly happy being detached from entanglements of emotions to friends and family for the most part. it’s not the best way to live. i know that. but i don’t totally isolate myself. i just remain detached from emotions, as much as i can, as much as possible.

but then earlier this year, i met my bf. i don’t know if he would agree, but i was sure we would never end up dating. so i was unguarded and somehow opened up myself without all the protective gear i put on. strange thing is that i wasn’t scared. i wanted to be with him more than i was scared to be heart-broken. so this relationship is kind of a milestone kind of relationship, the only relationship where i wasn’t afraid to be in a relationship and the first time i was in the relationship because i wanted to be in the relationship.

i guess though, over time, as one would expect, i discovered little by little that my bf isn’t perfect. who knew? i guess i knew but it didn’t really register. so now, 9 months into dating the same person, willingly, i’m realizing that it’s time to work together or call it quits. that’s what it seems like to me. either i get better about communicating and let him know how i feel about some of the things he does that make me less than happy. or it’s time to walk away.

i’m an expert at walking away. i mean, i need to borrow someone else’s hand if i wanted to count using hands how many relationships i walked out from, unscathed and untangled, effortlessly. so this past week, i’ve been on my eject mode, like push a button, like on batman’s bat-mobile, and i pop out of the relationship, i mean the car, just like that.

i wasn’t going to call my bf after sending him a quarterly report about what i was unhappy about until i heard from him first. well, i had high hopes for about a day. then my bf called to see how i was doing. then later that night we had a conversation where i was trying to articulate what i wanted in a relationship and ended up sounding like i was in deep deep fog. i really don’t know. i mean, i do know somethings about what i want in a relationship and that my bf and i aren’t there right now. but it’s really hard to put my finger on it.

then as i was saying things even i couldn’t make sense of or why i was saying something, i started missing my bf. oh i don’t know. i just wanted to see him. and hearing his voice and the way he thinks and talks, well, these are all the things that made me fall in love in the first place.

so i’m thinking now that maybe before one throws out the baby with the bathwater, it’s worth the effort to try to make things work. it’s just like buying a lottery ticket. well, not exactly. maybe it’s like applying to harvard when you don’t think you’ll get in to the school. you may or may not get in to the school. but if you don’t submit your application, then there’s no chance at all that you will get accepted. and if you apply and get rejected, well, you haven’t lost anything really. but if you get in, well, then you call up the financial aid office and negotiate a sweet financial aid package. hehe. ok, if you get in to whatever school of your dreams, then you go to the school and live life. that’s all. simply live.

so i’m changing gears. instead of bracing myself for popping out of the car, i’m going to buckle up and keep my eyes open and stay in the car. after all, it’s the only relationship i wasn’t afraid to commit to. so maybe i’ll be surprised. here’s to taking chances in life!

the other shoe

i’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. i’ve been going out with my bf for about 8 months now. and things are fine, more or less. i’m doing a lot better over all. successfully moved and starting to settle into new place in nyc. don’t really miss boston too much. but then was i waiting for something bad to happen? for a while everything was perfect, well almost perfect. then i started crying on consecutive days and not due to my reproductive cycle, thank you very much. and couldn’t stop crying even when my bf was with me.

so all that to say, is happiness really only a phantom of the imagination? maybe it’s something disney and hallmark and the marketing people at various places conjured up so they could sell movies, cards, chocolates, flowers, etc.

i was always unhappy. i was depressed. totally utterly in despair. that i can deal with. well, except when things got really worse then i couldn’t cope anymore. so then when i started feeling better after 5-6 years of really bad depression, i was skeptical at first. many changes took place that could explain why i was feeling better. i stopped working with the therapist i had for about 5 + years without miraculous improvement or anything. doctors on my treatment team tweaked with my medication. i started dating my current bf. i hadn’t dated anyone in over ten years before i started dating him. i mean, i dated. but i didn’t have a boyfriend for i don’t even know how long actually.

spring of 2002 to end of 2008 (my second depression episode) utterly sucked. only thing that was going to make it worse was to be treated with ECT (eletro convulsive therapy). my old psychiatrist recommended that and was banking that ECT was my only hope of coming out of deep deep depression. well, i wasn’t going to have my brain fried. so i fired her. moved on to a new therapist, new psycho-pharmacologist, and continued on with DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy). well, for about a good 8 months i had consecutive days of non-suicidal ideation or urges which had never happened before since the depression of 2002 started.

lately, however, after months and months of not wanting to die anymore, i can smell it in the air. the muse which beckons me to death, to take matters into my own hands, it is slowly but surely making her move on me. past couple weeks, i cried, overdosed mildly couple of times, drank, and thought about whether there is really a point to my life after all. yes. the question that i could not get out of my head for about 6 years, not even for a single day, it came back to me. and i started wondering, what’s the point? why work so hard at recovery? why try so hard to feel better? it’s not going to last anyway. life sucks, right? and being depressed and feeling pain and suffering in life sucks even more!

so today i told my psycho-pharmacologist that i’ve been thinking about what’s the point of my life. i told her i had been dancing with suicidal thoughts. maybe for now it’s enough just to admit that i’m unhappy. being happy for the 8 months or so, well, maybe absence of utter despair is like happiness. but now as i’m feeling better, it isn’t good enough just not to feel pain. i want to have a meaningful life. yes, i want to have a life worth living. a life worth staying alive for. not sure i’m there yet. or that i’ll ever get there.

is it time to give up again? i’m not sure. all i know for sure is that while in the past i was happy just to see my bf, now i cry even when he is there. i cry because i want more. i don’t just want to hang out, i want some kind of certainty that things mean something. i’m not happy just to read some articles here and there, or to just send applications out even on slim chance that someone might look at my resume. i want a job. i want to go back to school.

but wanting things, that’s what leads to disappointment and pain. so i decided i think, subconsciously, not to want any of it anymore. so again i am where i was before this bit of relief found me after years of stormy darkness. i don’t want to be here anymore if being here means i’ll be unhappy and if it means i live to testify to the happiness i don’t have.

nrb (karaoke) for 3 hrs – un/requited love

this past weekend, i was visiting my bf and we went to no-rae-bang (aka nrb = karaoke) for 3 hours!  it was just the two of us.  that means each of us sang for about an hour and a half.  mind you, neither of us are part of a choir or anything like that.  i can’t remember the last time i was at nrb!

it was so sweet that my bf sang couple songs to me in korean.  🙂  i took a break from dating for about ten years before i met my current bf so it’s really strange not to be single.  it’s so nice and absolutely lovely that someone (someone i like) likes me and wants to be with me (at the same time i want to be with them)!  always always in the past it’s bad timing or some variation of unrequited love on either party.  mostly i would lose interest in about a month.  so i warned my bf too when we started dating that i expire in about a month in a relationship.

it’s really strange i must say.  all the phobias i have about intimacy, commitment and whatever else just disappeared.  not scared to get to know someone really well.  not scared someone is getting to know me really well.  not scared that he won’t like me the more he get to know me.  and more and more interested everyday as i get to know him better.  i mean, is this why people stay in one relationship for a long long time?  never knew why people would do such a crazy thing.  think i’m experiencing why anyone would.  🙂

so i’m wondering, i mean, i think the honey-moon stage lasted the first time we had to really figure out now to communicate better.  i wanted to just get off the phone and sleep.  he didn’t want me to just walk away from things we were talking about.  usually i just walk out on the relationship all together, let alone carry out the conversation to the end.  but somehow we talked it through, managed to end feeling better than when we started talking about stuff that was upsetting to both of us, and felt closer (at least on my end) than before too.  but do things really stay this good?  ok, granted it’s not always up and up and up and i’m not constantly experiencing feelings of happiness or ecstasy.  but for the most part, i feel good being with my current bf than not.  i think we’re both better with each other than we are alone or with other people we might be dating.

so anyway, plenty of things to blog about now even though my depression isn’t so crazy bad anymore.  after about 7 yrs of hard-core depression and constant battle with suicidal ideation, being happy for an enduring period of time of any length is just so strange.  i feel like i’m living someone else’s life!  i know i’m not.  i know it’s my life that has taken an absolutely amazing turn for the better.  and that my bf really knows me well, especially at my worst, and still is interested in me and loves me.  but man, talk about radical acceptance!  there are times when i wonder if all of it is really real!  🙂