First of, I am grateful for everyone who’s checked in on me today, either on my blog or through email or both. Whenever I feel like I’m hitting rock bottom, there are friends who remind me that they are looking out for me. I can say that at least this time, I can feel the support and care surrounding me. It’s more than I could have said ten or fifteen years ago. It’s not because I didn’t have friends who didn’t love and support me back then (indeed, I did. Some are the very same friends I have today). It’s because back then, I felt worthless all the time. The blog entry I wrote yesterday would have been tame back then. My extent of self-loathing and sense of worthlessness was so deep, there wasn’t anything anyone could tell me to convince me that I deserved to take up space on this earth. I simply could not grasp why I should be alive.
Now, it’s different. You see, I’ve tasted real life, and I know how sweet it can be. I can look to my blog and to FB and realize that yeah, people want to be friends or read what I write. The fact that I have people reading my blogs is a constant source of amazement to me. The fact that friends of friends see my posts on FB and want to be friends befuddles me, but also flatters me greatly. I am pretty stubborn (no shit, Minna), but even I have to accept that people find something valuable in me. In me. Not in something I do (though writing is something I do, indeed do, it’s also something I am), but in the person known as Minna Hong.
I am humbled by the knowledge, and I am heartened at the same time. For most of my life, I have labored under the belief that whatever worth I has is in what I can accomplish. I had to earn whatever good will I could get directed my way, and I had to constantly re-earn that good will. I couldn’t rest on my laurels because any minute I wasn’t proving my worth was a minute I was falling further into debt.
This time, the newer me just simply will not accept this any more. It’s a small kernel, to be sure, but it’s quite mouthy (not a shock, apparently, to anyone who really knows me). It’s saying, “Look, that shit won’t fly any more. You’re not stupid, Hong. Don’t pretend that you are.” The new me believes in tough love, you see. It’s most likely exactly what I need.
So. Thank you all for jarring my mind out of its rut. Now, I have to figure out what I can do on my own when I slip down that path. One, humor. It has saved my nonexistent ass many times in the past. When I start going down the road, I need to exaggerate the voice until it sounds patently ridiculous. Two, friends. In the past, I didn’t want to bother anyone with my petty problems. Who the fuck would want to listen to me whine about my pitiful life? Now, I am a bit more comfortable with reaching out because of that loud newer me voice deep down inside of me. She’s not about to let me go down without a fight. Three, sex. I believe that sex is life-affirming. Plus, it’s a hell of a lot of fun and good for your health, too. Four, less politics. I have realized that the more I consume politics, the more depressed I get. Now, I am not advocating that I plunk my head into the sand and pretend that the world around me does not exist. No. What I am saying is that there is a limited amount that I personally can do to affect politics. I will do that, keep up with the latest news, and let the shit that I can’t change (or won’t be changed) simply go by me.
In addition, and this is the important point, I need to cut back my caffeine consumption until I am not drinking any at all. I gave up caffeine in college after I had upped my diet pop consumption to six cans a day. I quit cold turkey, and while I had an intense headache for fifteen hours following, I was better off in the long run. Now, I’m mainlining it in order to keep myself awake, but then it impedes my ability to sleep. It’s a vicious cycle. So, once this 2 liter of pop is gone, no more. Once this bottle of iced tea is gone, no more. Once the coffee I has is gone…um, I’ll cut back.
Also important, I need to quit buying junk food AND go back to my dairy-free, wheat-free diet because when I eat like crap, it negatively affects my mood. And it makes me fat. I hate that, too, because when I’m fat, that negatively affects my food as well. It’s trite, but true. When I eat healthier food, I feel much better.
In addition, I have to give myself a fucking break when it comes to sleep. It’s something that I’ve struggled with since I was a kid. There’s no way in hell that I could fix it just like that. Instead of berating myself for not being able to sleep (and reminding myself amidst heavy glares that I NEED to sleep), I will just sleep when I can and don’t sleep when I can’t. I have to take out the value judgment that I tend to inflict on my ability to sleep. It’s the same moral judgment that I make on what I eat and, yes, on how I have sex. No matter how much I rail against my upbringing, the ramifications of my childhood religion continues to linger within my psyche long after I gave up the religion itself.
As whabs said, there is no Palin gene in the Hong bloodline. We are not quitters. We are anything but. I come from a longline of overachievers. I am an underachiever myself, but I am alive, damn it, and that counts for something. Believe me, it counts for a lot.
So. I am putting my nemesis on notice–I am not going down without a huge-ass fight. Bring it, bitch.