Sunday, June 21, 2020

BIRD'S EYE

Dear Adam, the night we broke up for real, you had a panic attack and I was very worried about you. Seeing the political movements in New York City reminds me of you sometimes. I hope you are doing really well with your partner and I really hope you cope in the most stable way possible, even with everything going on around you.

Dear Ben Glaser, often when I do things in Singapore, I see little spots of where we did things together. Those moments have always remained and will always remain uniquely ours. I remember how insanely fast we got to saying I love you, and to this day, that remains true. The museum, the takeaway food, when my mother pretended to feed you mango while we had a video call. You are different from anyone else, and I will always remember pigeons in New York with you.

Dear Bennett, when I met you I remember how comfortable things felt. For the first time in a long time I felt how easy it was to connect with someone just by being myself. Nothing I said had to be contrived. The cat, the board games, the food, and the books. I will always remember our first date in Central Park, and how you made me only believe in Hinge for dating apps. I think you are a wonderful person and I hope you know that.

Dear Joey, I didn't know you well enough to have all the feelings for you, and yet I did. Who knows how? Certainly not I. I have always made qualifiers for you, wanting to believe you to be a perfect person that no one is. Oh, maybe he's changed, oh but maybe he does believe in defunding the police, maybe he's also out there protesting, maybe he really was busy, maybe his words from long ago meant something different than what I thought it meant. I don't know if that's love, but that's what my mom does for me, and she says she loves me so, I suppose I've inherited that from her.

Dear Lucas, I love you very much. You have been the source of much of my happiness this past year. I'm afraid of being in a long-distance relationship with you because I did that with my ex from school, and it didn't pan out all too well. You're a brilliant person, and I wish I had all my issues sorted out so you didn't have to constantly be the one stable person in this relationship. I want to give you your raving opinions of Better Call Saul but instead I am only Breaking Bad. I don't know how you have stayed with me through this entire season, but you make me laugh when I least expect to. Thank you.

Dear Tina, I miss you so. I loved your random statements (of fact or opinion) while we walked around, popping into every other shop just to get out of the cold of winter. "People always think that rising divorce cases are a bad statistic, but they don't consider that women used to stay with their cheating or abusive or incompetent husbands because the women had no means of supporting themselves. We've now progressed to where women are independent enough to do better for themselves that they can leave their husbands." At times like tonight, I do wish I could talk to you about the mess that is in my head, and listen to your sage words that might make me cry, but somehow feel wise and better afterwards. I know, however, that you have your own things to process, from being in New York, from all the things happening there, from life. I just hope you know how much I miss you.

I feel a love for people, and learned it's called agape. This means that I don't have to be remotely related to or acquainted with someone for me to care about their safety and well-being in society (inasmuch as they also care for other strangers). I hate it that all the people I loved, I've lost them as friends. 

WAVES

There are several things that have happened this week, most of them good. However, my feet have been consistently numb and I feel dizzy when I move or turn my head to do anything. At the end of last week, I got really worried I was going to die on that night and I could not, did not go to sleep till 4am. When I read them all together, they could be a panic attack but I'm not a doctor so I'm not sure. They could all be isolated. I might need to get on medication. I've taken anti-anxiety meds before (in 2017) but they didn't make me feel very good and so I stopped. I don't even remember which drugs those were. Sometimes I get a little paranoid and worry too much about things, then I talk about the symptoms and it goes away, like some ailments that plague the average human being in life, so I hope this is one of those times. I went for a run and it didn't send away the symptoms, so I doubt it has to do with exercise.

I've had two meetings with the mental health collective. In the first one, we watched Short Term 12, which starred Brie Larson, Rami Malek and Stephanie Beatriz. They work at a sort of halfway house for children and the film was very well done, in my opinion. We then discussed our thoughts about the movie and what moved me during that meeting was there were close to 40 of us watching the movie (over Zoom) and we agreed that we all cared about the same thing and we could make a difference if we all worked together and with each other. It was a nice important moment.

At the second meeting, we discussed our agenda. One of the proposals we wanted to make is to have vending machines in visible locations across Singapore, to dispense important mental health resources to distract anyone who might be suicidal, or even to lift the moods of anyone who might be having a bad day. My task is to do research on previous initiatives that have been taken by any other organizations to see if there have been barriers, etc. Tomorrow is our next meeting. Generally I feel that the more of such resources there are around the island, the easier it is for someone to recall that there are people who care for them when they're down and out, especially for those who don't have strong support systems in their lives. If you have any feedback regarding this situation, please reach out to let me know.

A few days ago, I received an email. I'd sent an email to a person I'd seen in a Netflix documentary, and she replied! She sent me well-wishes and a small donation towards my studies. It made me elated because these small things really make me feel that other people care and motivate me to go on this path, as tough as it is. I've written her a thank-you email. I feel very strange asking people for donations to my study fund, especially because I know there are so many things to worry about. Do you worry about Yemen, or Uyghur Muslims, or Black lives, or climate change, or Indigenous lives, or any of the thousands of things you could be worried about? It's okay if you do, and if you choose even one cause to champion for, that's enough.

I'm extremely worried that the panic attacks, if that's what they are, will get more frequent and debilitating, as the date draws nearer, and the financial responsibilities loom larger, and all the things happen. That's why I'm trying to acknowledge and verbalize them all so hopefully that means I negate some of the fear, and some of the paralysis. Therapy seems to be helping, though. I may need to ask whether people see their therapists more than once a week. 

We'll be okay. We will be okay.