She Can(‘t) Do It All!

I’m sorry sorry sorry that it has taken me forever to write another post. I always feel a little nervous when I write a blog post to be honest. Because I can’t help but wonder how old you’ll be when you finally read them, or what your personality will be like, or if you’ll really care what I’ve written out.

To tell you the truth, one of the reasons I started this blog is because I wanted to find a way to leave some of my thoughts with you in case I’m not around to tell you about them later.

I’ve said it before and I’m not trying to use it as an excuse but I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. Since the start of this new year I’ve sat down and started maybe 2 or 3 different blog posts, but my head was always too cloudy to get down coherent thoughts so I couldn’t finish any of them. As I’m typing now I’m praying that this one will find it’s way to completion.

But anyways, to get to the subject matter of this post, you were born when I was 19. Society has this notion that we respect young moms because they have to work 10 times harder than everyone else. There’s this notion that not just young moms but all moms have to be “supermoms” nowadays — the mom who works a regular job, takes care of the kids, keeps house, and still finds time to be a functioning member of society. Don’t get me wrong, these women (and all women in general of course) are incredible and deserve all the props and respect they get because doing all of those things is hard.

And that’s why I hate it. I hate when people see the load I bear and go, “Wow, you’re incredible you can withstand so much!! I could never do that ha ha ha I guess you have mom stamina.”

Lemme tell you, at the beginning of this year I was working 2 part time jobs, suffering through a full load of classes, and coming home everyday to a rambunctious 2 year old (that’s you). And when people asked me what I was up to I would tell them, and they would look at me with a sense of awe and pity. Now I’m down to 1 job but the rest holds true, but the stress of it all hasn’t reduced in the slightest.

I’m suffering. I’m really, truly suffering. Some nights I can’t sleep because the anticipated stress of the next day keeps me awake. I scratch my skin off and pull my hair and debate the positives of the sweet release of death.

When I put it like that it sounds like a joke, but it’s not. Suicide would not be easy. In fact, it’s the hardest thing to do because I haven’t yet succeeded! To think, people say, “That’s the easy way out.” That’s how you can tell who has no idea what you’re going through, or what you’re thinking. They think it’s easy!

Of course of course of course it’s not easy. It takes so much thought and effort and heartache and suffering. And then people tell you, “Think of all the people you would be leaving behind! How would they feel?” If suicide was so selfish, why do people always make it about them when I try to talk about it? Why is my life so important that your feelings are prioritized above mine?

I would miss you so much.

But I love you.

Think of your kid.

I’ve heard those countless times. I already know that! Why do you think I’m still here? You know what I rarely hear?

Your life is worth living.

Take care of yourself, let me help you, don’t push yourself to the point of no return.

Live because your life has meaning and if you don’t see that now let’s work at it until you do.

I want to completely expose myself when it comes to these feelings because it is so discouraged. I want you to know that these feelings are horrible and valid and I’ve been there and I will listen to you and do whatever I can to help you.

Ember, you are my angel. You are my everything. It terrifies me to this day that you might end up just like me. I have hope that you won’t because right now you are a bright, laughing, happy baby, but of course things change. I just want you to know that whatever you’re feeling, you’re safe with me.

I feel like nowadays, pressure starts younger and younger. People have been asking me if you’re going to enroll in preschool yet and I say Preschool? She’s only 2! For the love of God almighty, let my 2 year old be 2. I don’t care if she’ll be “behind” with the times or what, I’m not putting an infant in school. And I’ve read studies that show the detrimental mental effects putting a kid in school too early causes.

Don’t let school get you down. Don’t let this messed up system take away your love for learning like it did for me.

Don’t let friends get you down. People that pressure you so much that you can hardly stand to be with them aren’t friends, they’re toxic. And it took me a long time to learn that.

Don’t let family get you down. Sometimes you need to be alone, sometimes you hear things you don’t want to. It’s to your discretion what you listen to and what you don’t.

Don’t let society get you down. It will, because humans are horrible and all you’ll see on the news is terror after terror, but you must block it out. You block it out, or you do something. We can rise up together.

There are so, so, so many things that can get you down and put pressure on you that will make you feel like there is no other way. I still feel like that all the time. But you just have to keep cutting things out of your life until you’re left with what you need.

That sounds like an escape, and it might be, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

These days people have to get straight A’s, they have to do extracurricular activities, stay stylish, be social, work harder than everyone else, they have to have hobbies, a relationship, stay current with shows and trends, be successful and happy.

But you can’t do it all. No one can. There’s this notion that everyone is doing all of those things, but in reality everyone is barely holding it together.

If you ever feel like you can’t handle the load that life has placed on your shoulders, just tell me and I’ll help you unpack it all. Don’t ever let the load crush you. Sometimes I feel like I can’t stand the weight anymore, but I’m still here. And I’ll try to be here as long as you need me.

Advertisements

No Sick Days

I had a HORRIBLE fever for the longest time. It started about 11 days ago, and it was the worst I’ve felt since I had mono like 4 years ago. High fever that didn’t break for almost 7 days, a migraine that absolutely would not go away, muscle aches that left me bed-ridden, and a cough that made me feel like my ribs were going to crack.

12873489_10207413947001331_253559190_o

I kept a medical mask on like literally 24/7.

Shortness of breath. High fever. You name it, I had it. I was so sure it was the flu, but no, just pneumonia.

As a kid, I know I would have loved being that dreadfully ill if it meant not going to school. But of course, adults have it much harder.

I was not only freaking out about all the school work I would be missing out on, but it was stressful just thinking of how I would take care of Ember when I could barely take care of myself. I could barely carry my water bottle without my arm wanting to fall off, so how could I carry a 30 pound squirmy baby?

Thankfully I had the help of my family and of course my baby daddy, but it wasn’t enough. And by that, I mean a mother’s work is never satisfied.

Wearing the surgical mask 24/7 made me realize how much time I spend with her. I couldn’t give her kisses, couldn’t blow on her belly to make her laugh. I couldn’t eat the pretend food she made me, or share my food with her. I couldn’t bite her toes or let her feed me her leftovers, and I’d wear it in my sleep in case she might try to wake me up with good-morning-kisses.

Even though the mere act of standing up made me want to pass out, I kept finding myself automatically getting up and peeking into the other room just to see how Ember was doing. All I wanted to do was sleep, but when she wasn’t near me I felt anxious. I really had to go almost an entire week spending virtually no time with her out of fear of her getting sick too, and I really missed her even though most of the time she was just downstairs.

The thing is that it’s one thing to have help watching your kid. Everyone needs a sitter from time to time. But, just not all the time. I barely got to see Ember all week and it made me so depressed. It just wasn’t noticeable because I was dying of lung infection.

Going on Day 11 and I just finished my round of antibiotics. My cough is virtually gone and I haven’t had a fever in 4 days. I’m hoping I’ll be back at full strength by the end of the week, so I can say goodbye to the mask and play with my sweet baby again.

The Importance of Faking It

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I thought for a while on what I wanted to write about today. I considered writing about your dad and I’s romantic history — a full telling of the Z & B  story. But thought, nah. Then I started drafting out something on the difference between what happens when passionate love turns into companionate love. But thought, nah, you could just google that. Maybe the difference between family and friends and romantic affection? The definition of love and what it means to me?

I’m rambling now. Anyways, I finally decided to make this post on probably one of the most important kinds of love: self-love. This is something you should develop strongly and fiercely at a young age — we can discuss those other loves another time.

So as I believe I’ve mentioned before, I grew up with an unmentionable amount of self-esteem issues. People told me I was ugly, and I believed them. I let those words consume me. I’d stay up late nights crying. I hated myself. I wore clothes to hide my skin and always kept hair in front of my face to hide myself.

With my full-body eczema, I felt hideous. Being a lil chubby, I had a horrible body image. I thought nothing about myself looked good, and it tortured me. There is so much pressure on young girls to look good, and I felt the entirety of that weight constantly pushing down on me.

When I was finally old enough, those thoughts of self-hate turned very, very destructive. I think from middle school to freshman year of college, suicide would cross my mind almost daily. Some days would be worse than others, and I’ve made my share of threats and attempts. I saw nothing good in myself. The negativity I felt towards myself was not just about looks, it spread to doubt in my abilities and everything. I felt like a wholly useless being better left for dead.

It wasn’t until I was pregnant with you that something in me clicked. It wasn’t until I found out I was having a daughter that I summoned all the emotional strength I had to think positively and work to be a better role model. I was not about to let you grow up with a mother who would teach you self-hate.

Kids learn from their parents. That’s just a fact of life. There’s some weird trend where people take turns pointing out their insecurities and it’s just… awful. Why can’t a group of friends get together and sit around talking about how gorgeous everyone is? Why do we sit around and talk about our weight issues? Our skin problems? Our jealousy over what other people have? Why don’t we relish in our own beauty?

Now, depression does not just go away with positive thinking. There are still moments where I sink to scary, dark levels and those bad thoughts come back. But I’m trying to fight them. I’m trying. Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes I’m not, but I’m trying.

Now for the name of this post. I did a lot of faking it.

I walk around talking big. I talk about how gorgeous I am. I talk about how my makeup is perfect, my cute chubby belly is perfect, my thick legs are perfect, my short green hair is perfect. At first it was sarcasm, but it turned into something else. I talk about how I’m beautiful, I talk about how smart and creative and funny and overall good I am. And soon, somewhere in all that talk, it stopped being sarcasm. I believed it. I do believe it.

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT.

That certainly doesn’t apply to every aspect in life, but in this case it does.

I want to fill you with so much confidence that no one can ever knock you down. If you believe in yourself, everyone else will. If you believe in yourself, there’s nothing you can’t do. If you believe in yourself, you’ll never pine for anyone else because when you’re alone you won’t feel lonely. That might not make a lot of sense now but it will.

val

Ember’s second Valentine’s Day!

Ember, you are only 1 but you are already so smart and kind and funny and friendly and beautiful and strong. All and none of those words define you. It’s up to you to decide who you’re going to be in this world, but you’ll never reach that potential if you don’t have confidence in yourself.

A lot of people say not to make your child cocky because they’ll be obnoxious in school. Well, to those people I say, worry about your own kid.

There’s a difference between a kid saying “I’m so smart” versus saying “I’m the smartest one here”. There’s self-love and there’s arrogance.

The thing is that I would much rather teach Ember modesty than teach her to stop hating herself. Because self-hate is something very difficult to unlearn. I’ll show Ember through example how to love yourself, and I hope that fierceness will transfer over and she’ll instill unbridled confidence and power in her friends too. Self-love is a movement that needs to catch fire and my baby will be the first of many flames.

My parting words are this:

Love yourself. If you don’t, fake it till it’s true.

Fight or Flight

One thing I’ve learned in several different classes is that humans have this instinct known as “fight or flight”, which means that when we face a struggle we must choose to either fight it or run away.

Ember, you are just over 10 months old now and you are starting to walk! I am so proud of you! You were crawling around 7 and 8 months, and now you are up on two feet!

Okay this is a really bad quality picture of you standing up by yourself but you did it and I'm proud!

Okay this is a really bad quality picture of you standing up by yourself but you did it and I’m proud!

I guess I’m not writing in a very coherent order right now, but I’ll try to explain what fight or flight has to do with this post.

So I recently started school again after a year of a few online courses. The thing is, it’s not the classes that are bringing me down, it’s my inability to socialize.

Coming in, I had this image in my head that I could be more outgoing and I could socialize and talk to people and join clubs and make lots of new friends. I thought I could be different than who I’ve always been, but it’s hard. My social anxiety takes a huge toll on me, and I’ve almost been reduced to tears several times already, and we haven’t even started the third week of school.

On the first week, I went to the first meeting of the Filipino club. Because hey, I’m Filipino, sounded like a good place to start. I walk in, see the room is jam-packed and nearly overflowing, and I freeze. Right in the middle of the room. I look around, desperately trying to get my legs to move. Desperately trying to think of something to say, for someone to say something to. I stand there for at least 5 minutes (though it felt like 5 hours), frozen, wanting to leave and go home and cry at my own weakness.

But, sure enough, I find my way to a table of girls and introduce myself. My heart is racing and I feel like passing out, but I do it, and I made friends with them.

The next week, I heard there would be a dance workshop over the weekend. I drag your dad and one of my other friends with me, thinking, “Oh, I love dancing this should be a fun way to make friends.”

As soon as we get there, I freeze in front of the door, and I start to panic. I sat at a table outside and hummed to myself and played on my phone, wasting time while my friends waited for me to make up my mind on whether I really wanted to go in or not. Of course I wanted to go in, but there was this nervousness and anxiety that prevented me from doing so. I probably paced around the door looking in for 20 minutes, on the verge of tears, before finally getting pushed in. As soon as I was in I thought, “Okay, not so bad…” But after we started I was gone after the first 10 minutes.

Yet another example of how anxiety was holding me back.

My last story is of this past weekend. I hear that there is another dance workshop over the weekend, but it’s with the Filipino club. I think, “Okay, I can do this, I can do this I’ll stay and I won’t leave I’ll make friends and be happy I can do this.”

The morning before leaving I think about just staying home and being a weenie, but I force myself to go, and I had a really good time! This time when I went, there was very little hesitation. The group I was with was very small which helped a lot, and I did dance and I did make a new friend and I felt really happy afterwards.

I guess what I’m trying to say about these stories is that I exposure-therapied myself? Which means I kept forcing myself to go to social gatherings, and I gradually became more okay with them.

During my gap year, I spent most of my time at home by myself. In that time I gradually forgot how to talk to people, and all the progress I made overcoming my social anxiety during my freshman year in college was pushed aside as a new wave of fear overwhelmed me.

Okay, now it’s time for a change of scenery and mood in this post.

EMBER, YOU ARE WALKING! Okay now to try and tie these stories together:

You love to be chased and tickled, you think it’s hilarious. Your Lolo keeps making scary sounds, and you laugh and you run away and it actually gets you to walk!

You somehow use your sense of flight to make you stronger. But I guess it’s not truly flight because you’re not truly scared, you’re just playing around.

I’ve spent most of my life in flight. Only since I’ve hit college have I started choosing to fight. By the way you constantly tackle me and bite me and slap me in the face, I can tell you are already a fighter (and I mean that in a nice way).

I don’t want to keep running away from people. I want to make friends and enjoy my life. I don’t want to keep holding myself back, and I would never dream of holding you back.

I hope that as time goes by we can fight together.

New Year New Me??

Apparently I haven’t written a blog post in 2 months, which is awful. I have ideas constantly running through my head, but I find myself lacking the time and/or energy to write them out.

Anyways, I’m 20 now! Yay me!

I came out to have a good time and I'm honestly feeling so attacked right now.

I came out to have a good time and I’m honestly feeling so attacked right now.

The title of my post is usually something said during New Year, but I’m applying it to my birthday. New year, and technically new me?

If I went back in time and told little weeb 14 year old me that in the future I would chop my hair off and walk around wearing green lipstick, I would not believe it. If I told myself I could give a presentation without shaking or crying, I would not believe it. If I told myself I could go shopping and talk to employees and ask questions without first pacing around the store for an hour filled with anticipation, I would not believe it.

But shit, I never would’ve believed I’d have a baby at 20, so everything else seems so…

Ember, since the moment I found out I was pregnant, you have changed me. For the better, sweet baby.

Every moment before I had you was full of horrible paranoia. I talked about my depression and anxiety, but I cannot stress enough how utterly miserable I was.

Every minute of my life was Where am I going to school? What if I don’t like this major? Will I have to start over? Can I switch schools? How much does living in an apartment cost? What if I fail these classes? What if I can’t make any friends? What if I’m the first person to show up at that meeting and I have to stand there awkward and alone? What am I going to do after college? Will I ever defeat the patriarchy? What if I fall into crippling debt? Do I kill myself? How should I kill myself, so that it will be fast and painless and not too inconvenient to clean up? Where do I kill myself? Will tomorrow be better? Will next year be better? What am I waiting for? What do I have to look forward to?

When I say my heart was devoid of hope, I meant it.

But you. You, Ember. You’ve changed me more than I can ever say.

You’ve taken that hot mess and transformed it into When will Ember walk? What will her first words be? I hope it’s Mom, I didn’t carry her in my tummy for 9 months to let Zach have the satisfaction of getting called first. Okay, I’ll take this one semester at a time and graduate as soon as I can, and I’ll get a good job so I can buy Ember whatever she wants. Anything. I wonder if she’ll like school. I wonder what her favorite subject will be, or what her hobbies or interests will be. I will be the most loving and involved parent; I’ll look up everything she likes so I can talk to her about it. I have the rest of my life to love her.

Not only have you changed the way I think about my future, but you’ve changed the way I think about myself.

I talked about how I was picked on because of my skin. My eczema, my discoloration. People called me ugly, and I believed them. My lowest point was in high school. My skin was acting up, it was bleeding and oozing and I was in so much pain. I felt so disgusting, so horribly ugly, that during lunch that day I looked down at my food and thought, “I don’t deserve to eat. I don’t deserve this food. Eating is for beautiful people.”

I always remember that day. And I wish I could go back in time and hug myself and tell myself that I deserve so much more.

I read an article one day that really changed how I looked at myself. (I can’t seem to find it, but if I do I’ll link it here.) It was a woman talking about how women always put themselves down and criticize their bodies (because hell, everyone else is) but in doing so they’re setting the example. Their daughters will look to them, see their mothers hating on themselves, and think, “Oh, well I need to start hating my body too.”

I will not be that mother. I will not plant the seeds of insecurity in your beautiful little heart. I will fill you with nothing but confidence and self esteem, because you deserve nothing less.

Now when I look in the mirror, I think

  • Eyebrows on fleek
  • Lipstick cute af
  • Highlight / contour game strong
  • Eyeshadow perfect as always
  • Eyeliner sharp enough to kill
  • Hair on point
  • Clothes on point
  • Pretty eyes pretty nose pretty lips
  • Cute tummy cute thighs cute hips
  • EVERYTHING 100% ON POINT
An example of my looking 200% cute.

An example of me looking 200% cute.

What took me so, so, so many painful years to see, is that I am beautiful. With or without makeup, I walk around with my head held high like I run this shit, because I do.

I’m sitting on my bed typing this and you are sleeping in your crib next to me, and I can see in your not-yet-developed facial features that you are beautiful and you are a goddess and you are perfect, and you must never let ANYONE convince you otherwise.

There are people in this world that cannot tell the difference between confidence and cockiness, between self-love and immodesty, but their ignorance is not your problem. Love yourself shamelessly, love yourself before anyone else. Because you are so wonderful and magical and beautiful and worthy of love. You already have all the love in my heart.

Ember, you’ve given me the gift of confidence. You’ve given me the ability to love myself. Because if I was able to create something as beautiful as you, then how bad can I be?

I still have a long way to go, but seeing how far I’ve come lately, I know I can do it.

I’m not going to be a mother that can’t make a phone call. I’m not going to be a mother that can’t talk to people in public, or cry whenever I do. I’m not going to let social anxiety take over when I have so much to do.

Ember, I’m going to make you proud of me.

The Things We Carry

I’m 29 weeks and officially in my 3rd trimester, yay!

My stomach is so spherical it's like a beach ball or a grape or something else that's very round...

My stomach is so spherical it’s like a beach ball or a grape or something else that’s very round…

I’m so glad she’s almost here, but at the moment I’m more excited to be done with being pregnant. Because being pregnant sucks.

One side effect I’ve been experiencing that’s not so common is “absentmindedness”. It’s pretty much that feeling when you walk into a room but then forget what you were gonna do there, only so much worse.

Sometimes I forget what I wanted out of a room. Then sometimes I’ll be driving and I’ll have no idea where I was heading to. It’s not like I forget how to drive, it’s that I’ll be driving but then I’ll forget where I’m going then it’s like “…crap so do I exit or what?” Then at night, often times I’ll completely forget about my day. It’ll be as if my day had never happened, and all that today was was me in my pajamas getting ready for bed. Some nights I sit in bed frustrated and crying trying to recall what I did during the day, and I just don’t understand why I can’t remember. Then since all I can remember is sitting bed trying to remember, I feel horrible and I get this feeling that my day must have been horrible if I can’t remember it, even though I just know that it was a completely normal day.

I tried looking up if this kind of stuff is normal, and most pregnancy sites say “casual absentmindedness” is common among pregnant women, but it gets worse and more severe in women that have depression, which explains why my memory keeps taking off.

There are a lot of things I forget, but there are a lot of things I remember too.

A few days ago, I went to the mall. I ran into a girl I knew in high school, and when we made eye contact I smiled to be polite as usual but what I didn’t expect was for her to approach me. She congratulated me on my pregnancy and gave me a few kind words, and I wanted to cry. Later on, she sent me a lengthy Facebook message giving me even more words of encouragement, and I cried and sobbed (happy tears of course).

Near the end of my senior year of high school, I was thinking about what impression I’d leave on the people that knew me. Unfortunately, all I could think of was that I was probably “that weird quiet girl”. When I found out I was pregnant, and then when I announced it and started getting a random flood of friend requests on Facebook from people I never knew or talked to in high school, I was afraid I had become a “teenage pregnancy” girl. Which is also something I didn’t want to be remembered as.

Sometimes it feels like I’m the girl from 50 First Dates and I just can’t remember anything. But there are some moments that stick, and this was one of them.

Since I’ve been pregnant, I can’t help but have this special snowflake syndrome feeling that no one can understand how truly frightened and alone I feel. But also, since I’ve been pregnant, a lot of people have been messaging me words of kindness and support and showing me that they’re there and that they do understand or are at least trying to. Every time someone tries to reach out to me, they usually add a “sorry if this is awkward” at the end, but I can promise you it’s not. It’s touching. And words can never express how much I appreciate it. Now I guess I don’t care what impression I’m leaving my peers with, because when it comes to the people I care about, they look at me and call me brave, strong, brilliant, beautiful, powerful, kind — all these words I want my daughter to call me some day.

I also discovered that apparently more people than I thought read this blog, which is touching that you guys are interested in what I’ve got to ramble about. Just so you know, I usually write a lot better than this. Often times when I’m writing a blog post, I can’t remember what I was going to say next, then I kind of start babbling until the post starts making sense.

So what I want to say is this:

If y’all got something to say, say it. Because chances are, even if we haven’t talked in years, I’ll remember what you said. And I’ll be happy that you talked to me. And I want to make memories with you all.

Genetic Trash Can

To be completely honest, before I found out  I was pregnant I didn’t even think I wanted kids. Since my boyfriend and I have been together for over 3 years, of course we’ve discussed it. It’s a natural thing to talk about. And we were both relatively apathetic about the idea, we didn’t really think we wanted or needed kids to make our lives better.

Ember, if you ever read this, know that we love you. We love you so much. You mean the world to us, and we’re so happy to welcome you into the world and into our arms.

This is what you have to work with. I'm secretly hoping you inherit my nose and your daddy's hair. Any other body part is up for grabs.

This is what you have to work with. I’m secretly hoping you inherit my nose and your daddy’s hair. Any other body part is up for grabs.

But there are two very significant reasons that I never thought I wanted kids.

My genes are trash. I have people on my side of the family that have died from heart attacks and cancer, there’s diabetes and blood pressure problems, your uncle has a thyroid disorder and your grandma had acid reflux. There’s just so much going on over here that I never wanted to go to you.

Then there’s me. There are 2 very specific problems your mom has that have tortured her for nearly her entire life: depression and eczema, which truly go hand in hand though are not completely dependent.

Eczema

I’ve had eczema since I was 3. People don’t think it’s so bad, because for most people it’s not, but mine is horrendous. My skin is discolored from heavy topical medication. Some days I refuse to get out of bed because I’m bleeding and sore and I don’t want to move because I’ll cry. Sometimes when I shower, I had to clench my teeth and my fists and run freezing water, and stand under it trying not to cry and scream because my skin is stinging so bad. It’s like having huge paper cuts all over your body, and walking through a lemon juice storm with salt hail. I spent most of my life thinking I was hideous, and I would cry all the time because I thought I was so ugly. It took me many, many, many years before I ever saw myself as beautiful.

I would sooner be skinned alive than watch you grow up with eczema as bad as mine. There’s nothing I fear more. To see you whine and sob and scratch and bleed and swell the way I did would be torture. It’s heartbreaking just to think about it. Knowing you could inherit my eczema is like knowingly subjecting your child to slow and unnecessary torture.

If you do get it, I’m so, so sorry. It will hurt me more than it will ever hurt you. I will stay by your side and fan you if you start to overheat. I’ll ice you down if you start to swell. I’ll hold your hand if you need to get in that shower and freeze the pain away. I’ll stay up all night and hold your hands so that you don’t scratch if I have to. I’ll do everything in my power to show you how tremendously beautiful you are. I’ll do everything in my power so that you don’t experience this pain.

Depression

Physical pain is one thing, but emotional is another. I’ll never be able to tell you how many times I’ve stayed up all night crying for what feels like no reason at all. I’ll never be able to tell you about all the times I’ve clutched my chest in pain, choking back sobs in the middle of a panic attack. I’ll never be able to tell you how many times I’ve dreamed about staring down the end of an empty bottle and ending it all.

If you ever need to talk about anything, I’ll be here for you. Don’t ever feel like there’s something you have to say that I won’t understand, because I probably will. I don’t pretend that I know everything, but by the time you’re my age I’ll tell you that I know enough. Maybe I won’t be able to tell you how to feel better, but I’ll listen to you. I’ll empathize with you. I’ll take you to someone that can help if I need to. Never feel like there’s anything you can’t talk to me about. Never feel like there’s anything you have to go through alone. Even if you think you can’t talk to me about something, talk to someone else. Talk to your friends, talk to your counselors, talk to your teachers or a pet. Just please don’t hold it in, and don’t feel like you need to do something by yourself.

Right now I’m in college. I’m a psychology major. One day I hope to be a therapist (hopefully by the time you’re reading this I will be). All I want to do is help. I want to understand.

Above all, I want what’s best for you. Even if it’s not me.

Right now, in my 28th week of pregnancy, I have gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, pregnancy induced carpal tunnel syndrome, (more) severe (than usual) eczema, and severe swelling. My blood is far from a genetic goldmine. I’m so unbelievably grateful that there’s no serious illness that runs in your father’s veins, so I have hope that you’ll be healthier than me.

But if god forbid you aren’t, I’ll do everything in my power to bring you happiness.