Transitions. They are the worst, whether it’s going into vacation or transitioning into school. The lack of routine and structure bothers her much, and she has been feeling anxious about it. There has also been a lack of motivation and energy to study or do anything productive. She would lie in her bed till 9 or 10 every morning and still feel tired. She would stare blankly at the chemistry notes for half an hour. Too much free time makes her addicted to her devices, surfing the net until her eyes hurt. In her mind, she is feeling lost, angry, empty, sad, confused, and anxious. The change is too great, too sudden, too much unstructured free time, and she is not used to making her own schedules because someone else makes them all at school. The routine is no longer simply Danbing, bus, classes, lunch, classes, bus, homework. She still does not know what it is, because it is different every day.
Transitions into the summer also affect her mood so greatly that she feels like it is the worst week of the year so far, even though there have been tough, stressful school days. Without the good support system at school, she feels utterly alone and insecure, having no counseling office to go into and figure things out, or a safe place to cry. She hasn’t been able to cry and relieve some tension within. The buildup of emotions causes her to physically hurt. Her heart is aching from within. She tries to breathe in deeply, but her chest feels heavier, stomach pumped and legs numb. She is screaming inside her mind, “Help! I’m hurting everywhere.” But she hesitates to reach out to others because they are supposed to have a restful summer with their families and could not possibly care. Wouldn’t it be hypocritical when she wishes everyone HAGS before school ends and then they don’t because of her complaints?
She tries to cope with it alone.
Things that did not help her this week:
- Sleeping in and going to bed late. It is better for her to keep the regular school routine.
- Being immersed in social media and chatting with friends. It certainly does not help to see her friends (half of them are already abroad, enjoying their vacations with blue skies and cool weather), while she is stuck studying for SAT subject chemistry all day.
- Attempting to make a clear structured schedule for what she is going to do in which hour. Sometimes, she lacks organization skills and fails. Other times, depression/the lack of motivation stops her from functioning.
- The dreary weather.
- Having body sensations that may be associated with the possible sexual assault. Trying to process it on her own and panicking that it cannot be worked through until her counselor comes back.
- Attempting to think positively. What positive? It simply did not work for her. Depression is too strong for her to fight against.
- Feeling anxious when people do not reply immediately (within 24 hours) to her messages for help for unknown reasons (busy, resting, traveling, apathy, anger, or did they disappear from the face of the earth?), which increases her loneliness.
- Praying. It made her angry at God.
Things that helped a little:
- Playing piano. It helped her feel something other than emptiness, numbness because of the pressure on her fingers. Kind of grounds her and stops the negative thoughts.
- Getting noise-cancelling headphones that reduces sensory issues.
- Having blankey with her.
- Taking deep breaths.
- Going to church to sit silently. It helped her feel more peace even when prayer was seemingly impossible.
- Walking outdoors or pacing around on the balls of her feet in her house.
Things that may help:
- Turn her phone off after supper so that she does not constantly check it whenever there is a notification.
- Schedule going out somewhere in the morning so that she doesn’t have to sleep in.
- Try harder to make realistic schedules that actually work.
- Plan an outing with friends who are still in the city.