The Body Keeps the Score : Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma
At some certain points in our lives, we will have points where we find ourselves muttering, ‘Man, I need a reset’ or in my case, a break. When I was twenty-four, I was frustrated with my job and my financials. Seeing how freeing it is to live separately from my parents without fully weighing the pros and cons and with the incessant encouragement of someone who used to be a friend, I took out a huge loan so that I can move out on my own. My friend at the time was not entirely to blame as when I was regaling her with my woes from my parents’ place (six people in a 350 sq.f. flat, hello!), I did not tell her about my finances. I think it would have been a different story altogether if I did.
Anyway, at the height of my debt, 2020, loan sharks kept calling me. On bad days, I would glance at my phone and see a log of 100 missed calls and the businesses here have thug-like practices where they will harass you on the phone as well as lurking around your building which, thank God, did not happen to me. (For reference: check this Bagel Feud happening in Hong Kong). After a few months of breaking down both from work and from my bad finances, I came clean to my boyfriend at that time. Now, you know why my parents told me that was one of the reasons why he left me. At this point, that might be true and there is no point in thinking about it but 2020 was just full of ‘I need a break. ‘
After 2020, I was able to pay all of my outstanding accounts and find a new job. Truly, I thought I was about to get some rest because I was planning on just saving up for my big move then, lo and behold, at the tail-end of 2021, the breakup happened. Stress levels were at an all-time high because I have been looking for jobs in the UK, applying without any luck then all of a sudden, everything went down the drain. Out of a job, I applied for a job that I still think would help me transfer to a different country, and amidst my heartbreak, I would quickly wipe my tears, go for the interview, and then resume crying.
As I have written before when I get stressed and overwhelmed, I tend to go overdrive. I poured all of my energy into exercise and my job. For ten straight months, my schedule has been jam-packed. There’s barely any time for doing nothing, true rest and relaxation – a sabbath if you will.
Now, sitting here in a half-empty Starbucks place in Time Square and listening to a podcast, it hit me, ‘I need a life reset’. I have already talked about what kind of goals I have set for the latter half of 2022 but I do not have a set plan on how I am going to achieve said goals. Having the realisation that I need a life reset means that I’m feeling burned out and I am not living sustainably. Just think, barely having energy for the physical activities I set out for myself, having no focus at work, and this sinking feeling that it would be better if I was temporarily unalive for a month are clear indicators that something is wrong at least, for me.
Two of the highlighted lines I
Anything is preferable to that godforsaken sense of irrelevance and alienation.page 115
What cannot be communicated to the [m]other cannot be communicated to the self. If you cannot communicate what you know or feel what you feel, the only option is denial and dissociation... When you don't feel real nothing matters, which makes it impossible to protect yourself from danger. Or you may resort to extremes in effor to feel something - even cutting yourself with razor blade or getting into fistfights with strangers - page 121.
| 6 month goals|
1. In before end of 2023, I apply for my Master’s and take some time off from working.
With the help of this book, I am learning more and more about compounded trauma, its effect, and maybe that there is something that I can do to help myself. I am trying my best to reframe that feeling of not being good enough – for anyone and for myself. For anyone, because I got dumped then it must be so, and for myself because I let it affect me so much. This much needed life reset, I hope, helps me slowly get myself out of the pit that I find myself in and find the much needed equilibrium that has been lost due to the events that came about over the last five years with the breakup being the straw that broke the camel’s back.
As my week-long vacation draws near, I am hoping to write more, rethink and update this post with my priorities, and last but not the least, clean my room.