Class Registration, Last Week’s Blog Post, and Ativan Withdrawal

I’m going to rant. Probably. So for the last two weeks I’ve been on edge because of several things: starting new semester, having an identity crisis over my blog’s goal, and experiencing Ativan withdrawal symptoms.

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10.09.2020 – Listening to Stray Kids’s “Hellevator”.

I’m going to rant. Probably.

So for the last two weeks I’ve been on edge because of several things: starting new semester, having an identity crisis over my blog’s goal, and experiencing Ativan withdrawal symptoms.

First thing first. College actually starts next week on 14th. I am extra nervous because it is going to be the first full semester we’re having online classes. I don’t feel comfortable using video conference app etc because there are so many things that could go wrong: my internet connection, my slow laptop, the bad video/audio’s quality, and the possibility that I will lose the neat structure of an offline class (many of my professors/lecturers are not exactly technology-friendly too). They’re mostly things I cannot control though, so I’ve been telling myself that there’s no use in worrying about it.

Today though, another problem comes up. In our college, particularly for this specific semester, we have three different periods of class registration. The first week of September is when we can add and drop class. The previous three days is when we can only drop class. And the next two days is when we can only add class.

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In the first week of September, I had chosen a sign language class. It is a very popular class and by the end of the week, I already found out that I was outside the quota. So yesterday, I dropped the class. This morning though, I added a new class (The History of Indonesian Maritime), checked that I was in quota, saved the registration, but then… suddenly I was outside the quota. Probably someone chose the class at the same time I did, but (s)he won it over.

That is so frustrating. I wish blaming my internet connection can be of use, but it’s not.

I just messaged my academic advisor, knowing that there is nothing I could do right now. She said to wait it out. Either the class increases its quota or I will be forced to drop it (and therefore not able to take any elective course this semester).

Well, as I am writing this, suddenly the problem doesn’t seem that big anymore. After all, there is nothing I could do.

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Second thing next. About blog post.

If you haven’t noticed yet, I usually upload at least one post every week. Last week though, I didn’t post anything. I actually already scheduled to post a review of a book I read in August, but then decided against it. There are two reasons: I didn’t like how the review turned out and I feel like reviewing books or movies doesn’t align with what I want this blog is about. I’m still figuring out what kind of blog I want to write. These last few weeks I’ve been focusing on writing fictional story or poetry, but the process is kind of long. I don’t want to rush a story every week just to fill in the schedule (even though I know it will also have some benefits, mainly improving my writing habit). But I also don’t want to let my blog be inactive for longer than two weeks. I have noticed that I feel less and less motivated to write (and in life) when I don’t manage my blog regularly.

Actually this week is supposed to be another book review. I wrote the review in March and scheduled it for September (I don’t know why, but that’s how my schedule says). At first, I was thinking that I am going to write a journal entry talking about the book casually, but then I just want to rant. The last two weeks have been crazy.

For now I plan to upload all drafts I still have for this blog while figuring out what to do about the content. I am thinking about moving my review contents to Instagram (I usually talk about songs there) and making this blog as a pure portfolio blog (which means mainly stories and poems) or mixed personal blog (which includes more journal entries). I am still confused.

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So, the last thing. Ativan withdrawal.

I’ve been taking Ativan for almost half a year now. My doctor has begun to wane it off since three months ago, gradually decreasing the dose, but on 24th last month he said I could begin to stop taking the medicine. He said if I don’t need to, I should not take it anymore. The problem is even if we had begun to wane it off for months, when I stop taking the medicine, it still affects me. For the first two weeks after my last appointment, I have been having difficulty in falling asleep at reasonable time. You could find me still awake at 3 or 4 in the morning and only took two or three hours sleep afterward. Even when then I decided to take the medicine. For someone who’s diagnosed with bipolar disorder, this lack of sleep can be fatal. My mood was terrible. I had nightmares, headache, nauseous feeling, and tremors. Plus a lot of anxiety. Thank God for the antidepressants and mood stabilizers. If not, I probably couldn’t survive through those days.

For this week, I find that I can finally be able to sleep earlier (at 9 or 10 pm) but wake up just as early (2 or 3 am). It’s still an improvement from the previous weeks, so I take it as a good sign that I’m getting the hang of the withdrawal symptoms.

In two weeks I’ll be meeting my doctor again. I think I can manage without Ativan in the future (or at least he can give me less tablets for next month). We’ll see.

Update (01/07/2021): I did survive the Ativan withdrawal and feel so much better now. Just want to give some notice in case there are people wondering (and maybe worrying) about it. I have no trouble sleeping now. I am still on antidepressant and mood stabilizer, but no longer need Ativan to stay asleep.

BTS & Me, In Steps and In Time

 

Two weeks prior to uploading this post, I felt very anxious. This post feels both too personal and too unnecessary, too trivial and too attention-seeking. It feels more like a childish rant, and I hesitate on whether I should post this on my blog or not. But despite the childishness, this one tells a part of my journey. And someone might need to read this. So here it is: a story of my connection with one of my favourite artists, and how their journey filled in my journey as well.

I first knew BTS in 2016. I was in high school and a friend of mine showed me Blood, Sweat & Tears music video, days after they dropped their WINGS album. Many of my friends were crazy about BTS. They persuaded our dorm director to play some of BTS’s songs every morning. They also played those songs during basketball practice in the afternoon.

(Left to right) SUGA, JIMIN, V, Jungkook, JIN
 

For me, I fell in love with the intricate stories behind WINGS album. Then I listened to their previous album, HYYH, and got captivated by their seemingly depressive lyrics. I liked SUGA (one of the members) right away and his other persona, AGUST D. I felt inspired by their aesthetics. I found comfort in their music. I found someone whose stories I could relate to.

Back then, I didn’t know that I was struggling with depression and anxiety. I hadn’t known that I have bipolar disorder. I just thought that I got exhausted easily and felt extremely shy in many social situations. I thought it’s just me being out of touch from people around me and always got swayed by my intense mood swings. Life had been a struggle. But I stayed alive. I survived high school, got into the university I wanted, and one day I knew that I was in trouble. In a city far from the support of my family, I had no one I can rely on. I couldn’t show my tears. I was unable to express my emotions. I was afraid people around me wouldn’t have the capability to understand my struggles. I crashed down, a bit deeper than I usually did, and that was the moment I knew I needed help.

 

It was 2017. BTS’s year, they said. They achieved many things that were unbelievable at first. They released music that I still could relate to. They still sang about loneliness, impossible dream, people who looked down on them, and the support they received from people around them. It was 2017, and I took one step forward. I faced myself, trying to find what’s wrong with my life. I crashed and burned, but I also understood myself a little better. I realized that there were many traumatic events in the past that I never truly addressed. It was 2017. I took one step forward into healing.

But healing was difficult. Healing was feeling a lot of pain. Emotions that I buried deep inside began to surface. Problems that I ignored for years showed their face. I was terrified. It was 2018 and I was so confused. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I didn’t know who I wanted to become. I didn’t know why I was there. There were so many questions. I faced so many monsters, just realizing that they had drained my life energy for a long time. I tried to sever my ties with them, but they kept coming back. It’s 2018, and BTS—whose music had been my pillar of support—had grown so big. It was like they healed so much faster than me. It was like I was no longer in step with them. They had moved on from their struggles. They had lived their life. They had enjoyed their adventures now. But it’s 2018, and somehow, I was still here. I felt left behind. I no longer sympathized with their music because I no longer understood. They were happy and I wasn’t. They had become so mature and I hadn’t. They had forgiven their past selves, but I was still fighting against my inner demons. It was a childish feeling and I might make it sound more exaggerated than it actually was, but that was my feelings. It’s 2018 and I felt so alone.

JIMIN, Jungkook
 

But you know, I gotta stay alive too. So, I welcomed 2019, filling my bucket list with a lot of things, let my mind wander, let my desire take me wherever I want to go. I distracted myself with so many plans, so many responsibilities, so many projects. I tried to feel alive. And maybe I did. It’s the first half of 2019 and it seemed BTS was living their life too. I rarely listened to their music because I felt that the me at that time was still not in sync with their journey yet. I felt like I was still unable to forgive myself yet. So, without realizing it, I was being harsh to myself. I put my energy to perfect an ideal of myself instead of taking care of the current me. So, when August went and September greeted, I crashed. I crashed, fell, and didn’t know how to climb back up. I was angry and frustrated. I was sad and exhausted. I didn’t recognize myself. I didn’t know where my journey leads me to. So once again I screamed for help. I desperately wanted to get out from the hole that’s trapping me. But I was so scared that climbing up would not change a single thing. If my legs still sway, if my head doesn’t clear, that hole will swallow me again. It’s that moment I knew there needs to be a change. That distracting myself isn’t the answer. That pretending I’m okay isn’t a solution. That I am not okay right now and it’s okay to admit it. I’m not okay right now but I will be. I will make sure I will be. So, it’s almost the end of 2019 and now I know healing is near. Now I know what BTS has been through. Now I know what I am going through.

From No More Dream to Persona, it’s a story of pain and healing. Of licking wound and watch it fading. Of being lost to finding oneself. Of losing a dream and being rescued from the darkness. Of suffering in silence to being light up in joy and happiness.

J-HOPE, V
 

2020 will come soon, and I wonder what it will bring. What kind of me I will meet next year? Would I like her? Would I be proud of her? Would she be okay in 2020? What would she discover? Am I near to okay right now?

I don’t know what the future may bring, but I know it’s another chapter unwritten yet. I gotta fill it up with a better me, a near-okay me, a me who finally understands what it is to being happy, to truly enjoy the present moment.

It’s not 2020 yet, but let me tell you what I know.

Things will change, wounds will heal, and I gotta stay alive to see it happens.

 

Depok,
October 24th, 2019

 

NOTE: All the pictures used for this blog were taken from BTS – HYYH Part 2 Album Concept Photo. I took ones that were my favourites, and I apologize since the photos didn’t include all the seven members. It’s neither because of I’m a solo stan or other photos don’t appeal to me, I just took ones that I liked and I thought suit this blog post.