writing

Sorry Girlfriends

I am not a good friend because I don’t know how to be one. I spend a lot of my time alone and when I am not I am usually getting shut out.

 

I was currently trying to give my Etsy Shop’s Instagram a makeover when I thought to myself, “Irma you should message all of your previous promoters and ask them if they would like a package shipped out to them.” The first person that came to mind was someone who I strangely built a friendship with. The last interaction that I had with her was at an almond orchard photoshoot. I took photos of her and never sent them to her. That’s another issue I have… I am my biggest critic. I took these photos of her back in February and at that time I was making my boyfriends sister’s 15 invitations along with her decorations. Along with that… well I have PTSD and that time of year is the most traumatizing for me because that’s when my life took a huge turn. I was in a really bad state of mind that I began to look at all of my abilities as weak. I didn’t like how I was shooting but since I was being paid by most of my clients I had to deliver the photos to them. Whereas this girl was the only one who I never charged. In my mind I thought, well since she didn’t pay for it then I don’t think she would care about not receiving her photos. She didn’t, which I understand. Day after day she would message me and I just remember reading her messages in my office while laying on the floor next to a hot glue gun, scissors, ribbons, RSVP cards, etc. I am so sorry. I guess a part of me was still mad at her. Previous to that shoot we had a photoshoot in her bathtub where she wore a bra and underwear. Her boyfriend was in the apartment while this shoot was happening. When I left home, I received a message from this girl saying I had to delete all of the images. Every single one of them. Her boyfriend was calling her a “slut” for doing that photoshoot. I was forced to erase every single image. I had already began to edit them… exposure, saturation, teeth whitening, making her skinnier, making the water more clear, etc. I had to erase them. I purchased the supplies to make the water along with the gas that I wasted to get to her apartment. My time- that’s priceless. A part of me was furious because I thought I had finally found a friend but reality is that someone who doesn’t value what I do doesn’t care about me. It made me so mad. She was promoting my shop at the time as well. I was letting her into my life. I sit here on my bed writing this and I am thinking.. this is all of my fault. Had I not suggested the photoshoot.. had I told her not to wear the bra and underwear into the bathtub… had I sent her the photos… had I been a normal friend.

Every week I look forward to seeing my boyfriend on Friday/Saturday. I don’t have a “girls night” out or go and get my nails done with my girl friends because I can’t seem to build strong friendships with anyone. I make a female friend and as soon as I get the feeling that I am annoying them I start to distance myself by cutting them off.

At night before I go to bed I go on my Pinterest board and always look at my private ‘Wedding Day” Board and I think.. “Irma you will never have bridesmaids at your wedding”. I am currently in the process of accepting that.

I’m still to young to be thinking about marriage but they say that you will meet your closest friends in college and well… I take online courses. I don’t ever leave this house. I genuinely think I am going crazy and who wants to be friends with a crazy person??

I messaged her and let her know that I am the worst human being. Along with the question of, “are you still going to want to promote my shop because I am sending out Promoter packages with new designs by Friday. If not let me know. Thanks”. I will be home alone tomorrow again when I read her response..

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

Psalm 25:16

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Dear... · writing

Dear God,

Sometimes I find it difficult to reach out to you. Do you hear me like I hear myself talking to you? Do my prayers reach you? Can you hear me?

I’m having a really hard time trying to ground myself. I feel like part of the reason why you can’t hear me is because of my thoughts. How could one of your creations feel so negative about herself.. I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for all the negative thoughts in my brain, I can’t help but to feel. Suicidal. A feeling that nobody takes serious. A feeling that once it is said out loud people seek help and you get about one hundred medications thrown inside of you and you get locked into a room. I’m claustrophobic and already about so many medications running through my veins.

I feel like nobody wants me here. I’m trying to find someone that loves me as much as you do, but I can’t. Does my boyfriend really love me or is he with me because he feels sorry for me? I’m sure you have been watching me from up there, I am not like everyone else. I’m different. I talk so much and I feel more than most people can.

You see, I sometimes feel like my boyfriend doesn’t want to be with me. Is it just my thoughts interfering with my life? Is it my anxiety? I have nobody to talk to about my relationship… because he’s my rock. He’s the one I go to for everything, so when I need to talk about him… do I tell him? Do I ask him if he still loves me? Do I pretend to be okay?

Life has been good, but it’s still rough. I don’t have to tell you that though, you have my whole future laid out. So is this all happening for a reasoning? Did I work so hard in high school just so that my future at San Francisco State would be a waste? Did I work so hard to cry over not being able to take my lab course? I can’t sit in a drive thru line for longer than 20 minutes without having a panic attack. How am I suppose to sit in a 5 hour lab course? How?

I feel this hatred towards writing now… but you know that. I keep stopping after every word that I type and tell myself to close my macbook. I keep getting F’s on my papers in my english course and all of the negative feedback that my english professor at SFSU comes crawling back. I have been running through obstacles when it comes to writing. Nobody likes it but I love it. My blogs are always all over the place because it’s just me writing as my brain poops out a thought but my essays.. they’re good. I mean I think they are. I work so hard on them and it’s like my professors grab a microscope and look for any mistakes possible.

Photography. I hate it now. I can’t believe I said that out loud. I hate photography. My brother used to make jokes and say that my instagram and facebook page name “IHxPhotography” stood for “I hate photography”. It’s weird how life has a way of doing shit, right? It sounds dumb, but it has just become more of a job that I hate going to rather than a hobby that I speed through yellow lights just to get home and edit. I have 7 photoshoots sitting in my SD card waiting to be edited. Seven. I have prom photos this Saturday as well as 4 senior photo session this coming week. I am so behind. I love that people appreciate and like my work and that my clients are recommending me but I need a break. I feel like if I don’t get a minute of having empty SD cards and being able to sleep before 12 am I am going to end up in the hospital again. I am doing to much. Minutes before opening up my laptop and writing this really bad blog post I told myself that I was going to cancel on the quinceañera sessions that I have booked for June, the 2 in July, and August. I physically and mentally cannot take on such a big project. I can’t. For all those people reading this that have the mindset of “everyones becoming a photographer” or “being a photographer is easy”- I want to see you try. My feet hurt 24/7. I spent up to 18 hours for a photoshoot where I was on my feet all day. I got drunk before the day ended of course, but I still had to go home and spend the next two weeks editing those photos while still booking more clients during those times. And God, I am not complaining for this amazing job that allows me to work while trying to handle my anxiety- BUT I AM MAKING MY ANXIETY WORSE.

This is what I missed about writing. Before writing this blog post I was very suicidal, i will even say that I was going to cause some real damage to my body. Everytime I get towards the ending I remember to not take life so serious. We all die in the end and nobody will remember us, because they will die too.

Diosito mio, gracias por escuchar mis problemas.

When you wish to talk to someone, talk to Jesus, He loves to hear you speak.”

Daily Entries · writing

January 21, 2018

I’ve always been the type of girl to read ahead in a book just to see what happens. When watching movies I look up spoilers or skip to the end to see the truth be revealed. In life, I don’t get that option. I am straddled down in a car takin on every bump on the road as I head to whatever destination that awaits me. Man, has it been a bumpy road.

My spring semester of college begins tomorrow and boy am I afraid. First of all, I will not be receiving any aid to help with the costs of my textbooks, transportation, and personal expenses. Due to transferring to my local community college in my hometown, I probably was seen as a student who was enrolled at SFSU with 0 credits. Meaning, no financial aid for Irma. It frustrates me how I received no help from my community college nor the counselor at San Francisco State. I don’t know anything and I am going into a new school blank. I still haven’t withdrawn from San Francisco State, because I want to make sure I receive some sort of grant so that I could buy my textbooks. I registered in 5 courses so you can imagine how worried I am about the book situation. I still haven’t received the “okay” from my therapist to go out and get a job, so man am I praying for a miracle.

I am afraid.

This is a new chapter in my life. A chapter that I would have never found myself in. Irma in a community college. A part of me is happy that I am still doing everything in my ability to receive an education regardless of my situation. But, at the same time I am embarrassed. Now, I feel like I need to explain myself on this, not for those reading this but for myself. When I say I am embarrassed I don’t mean it towards other people, because I don’t have people in my life. By people I mean acquaintances- in high school, for example, I had peers who knew me and I knew them, but now I don’t have that. It’s a good thing. The person I am embarrassed with is myself. I am one hell of a critic when it comes to my education. A part of me asks, “why couldn’t you love science? You would’ve been at UC Davis and not on anxiety medication.” So many “what-ifs” that I find it hard to think about reality. Reality is, I start my online courses at Woodland Community College tomorrow and I have my first in person course on Wednesday. Reality is, I need to stop caring so much about people who aren’t even in my life. Reality is, seeing people you went to high school with on campus should mean nothing to you because they hold no role in your life. It’s not healthy to feel like this. It’s not okay to be trembling and being afraid of driving across town to receive an education. It’s not okay, Irma. This is why you are how you are. You get anxious over nothing and create scenes in your mind, of shit that is not going to happen.

It’s time to heal those wounds, Irma.

College at San Francisco State was a real bitch. You were alone and it wasn’t the good kind of alone. You chased a friend that acted like you weren’t standing right in front of her. You were unhappy at that school because frankly, you’ve never thought about college or your “dream school” up until decision day, your senior year of high school. You have never imagined yourself attending a university because reality being, that wasn’t in your dreams. You were filled up with depression, that you didn’t even think you’d make it. Guess what? You’re on your second semester of your sophomore year and it’s time to grow up. You are no longer in San Francisco. You are no longer living in a rat and ant infested apartment. You are no longer working 3 jobs. You are no longer alone, Irma. Take advantage of every learning opportunity because you have one right in front of you.

12:31 AM

Today, I am a student at a community college. Today and forever on, I am okay with that. Today also marks one month without anxiety. Today, is a perfect day to start that new chapter, Irma.

“How would your life be different if…You stopped allowing other people to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions? Let today be the day…You stand strong in the truth of your beauty and journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others”

My Trip To Mexico · writing

Mexico: The Food

I have been waiting to make a blog post about this subject and now that I am officially writing it.. I don’t know where to begin. Most of my blog posts are always ALL OVER THE PLACE and have no sense of organization so you can only imagine how this is going to go.

Let’s talk about food.

Ice Cream

Everyday that I was in Amatitan, Jalisco, Mexico I went to el centro and got ice cream. It became a bonding moment between my cousins and I. It’s weird because walking to el centro to grab an ice cream is a lot more fun than driving to Baskin Robbins here in the United States. Saying that to another fellow latino/a they would tell you, “no shit”, but to those who have never been to Mexico, this is for you. Going to grab ice cream became my favorite thing to do while I was in Mexico. We would leave our house (my sister, 2-3 cousins and I) and we would arrive to the ice cream shop being 6-8 of us.Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 11.47.58 PMEveryone knows one another and the vibes are always positive. Here in the United States, you can’t look at someone without them thinking that you have bad intentions. Making small talk with a stranger can be considered weird, which I am not here for. I inserted a map of the walk we would take to get to the ice cream shop. It was a 15 minute walk that felt like a 2 minute walk. We would get so caught up into talking and eating our ice cream that time literally flew by.

Chasca, Salchipulpos, Elote y Mas 

Shortly before leaving Mexico I discovered a Chasca-Fruta. If you don’t know what that is, I highly recommend you find out and you try it. Well, once the discovery was made, I WAS HOOKED. As for the churros and papas… they were made right in front of me. The ice cream was too, but I didn’t see it of course. Right outside of the church, a lot of people sold food. They had chips, churros, corn, tostilocos, salchipulpos, elotes, hot dogs, hamburgers, shasca, and a lot more. I was in heaven. In the first photo above, you will see me holding a chasca, papas, and churros. I purchased all of that in a matter of one night. I devoured it pretty quickly and right after I got tacos. I had to take advantage of the good not processed food. You know?

Salchipulpos- fried weenies with french fries

Tostilocos- chips with anything of your choice; cueritos, elote con queso y chile, plain

Chasca- frozen fruit of your choice with frozen yogurt and a special machine is used to blend it but that’s about it

Something very common over in Amatitan is fresas con crema. I don’t like crema so I didn’t try it, but my cousins would eat about 2-3 a day. It looks good, don’t get me wrong, but I am lactose-intolerant so it grossed me out. During the tianguis (a street market), it’s almost as if there are more food options such as agua de coco, raspados con lechera y fruta, vasos de fruta (they sold these everyday but on tianguis tuesday they had different fruit options), and more that I don’t remember.

Tacos

I almost forgot about tacos. I had tacos about 2 times everyday. These tacos were so good. The tacos in the United States are not only overpriced and not good, but they aren’t made with love. The taco guy we went to was a family friend who also owned a store. He was the sweetest old man I have ever met. He was extremely funny. I am usually not the biggest fan for small talk, but he made it enjoyable.

Now for the tacos, I wish I could virally send everyone reading this one. You haven’t lived until you have a taco from Mexico.

 

Tejuino

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Tejuino. Fuck, I have been waiting to drink a cup of cold iced tejuino since the day my mother told me we were going to Mexico. It is so rare to find a place or someone who makes them here in my hometown so I took advantage of having Tejuino at every corner. Right next to ice cream and tacos, I had tejuino everyday. I would get my tejuino in a bag in el centro, because I had assumed all the tejuino tasted the same- BOY WAS I WRONG.The tejuino that I had en el centro was good. It was great. It was a solid 10/10. But then on Tianguis (a street market) Tuesday, I was introduced to a new street corner tejuino maker. It was at the end of the street where our family business was located. I actually have footage of this tejuino being made which will be in my travel video (waiting for my camera to get fixed). This tejuino was made by an angels bare hands. Knowing that there was such a great tejuino available to me being made, I was not going to be purchasing from anyone but him. He set the bar and boy, he set it HIGH. I did try a tejuino while I was in Tequila, but I didn’t get the chance to really enjoy it since we were being rushed. I actually don’t really remember it. All I know is that we had to walk about a good mile or so to get to the Tejuino guy and it was not worth the walk. I love Tejuino so much.

Bonding with Food

I truly mean it when I say this.

The food was the best part.

During my visit to Mexico, my stomach did not get messed up. Usually when I leave my hometown I get sick and don’t eat. I get used to a certain type of food and anything that is not exact, makes my stomach turn into a monster. As you can see, I ate a lot. I only mentioned foods that I ate as “snacks” or “to try out”. I did not talk about what I ate for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

In Mexico, you eat every 2 hours. I have come to the conclusion that due to all the high activity of cleaning, cooking, and walking; you eat a lot more in a day. I could be wrong and this could just be my family. I don’t know.

I will be writing about prices and what not but I’m going to slightly be touching this subject in this blog post.

So.

Yes. I was amazed by the prices. The ice cream that you see in the photos above were 17 pesos. Seventeen. Divide 17 by 18.30 which was the price of the dollar and you get, 92-93 cents. The Chasca’s were 22 pesos, which is $1.20. Tacos were 7 pesos each, which is 38 cents.

It being that cheap, I ate so much. I gained 10 pounds. 10 pounds of no regret.

Lastly.

Usually when we walked to el centro to grab food, we would walk to la plaza to consume the food we had purchased. How lovely must it be to live in Mexico. I made so many observations while sitting on the benches. Couples would walk around eating their salchipulpos, elotes, tacos, chasca, etc. while bonding. It’s such a different lifestyle, and it truly is beautiful. No mouth goes unfed. It is true when they say that those who have nothing are the ones that give the most. 

For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

– Psalm 107:9

writing

Bermuda Triangle Lifestyle

12:44am

It’s a new day. Well, more like another day.

I am so tired of reliving everyday. Being stuck in this room but at the same time not wanting to leave these four walls of comfort.

I want to be someone else. I want to be more happier and go out more. I want to go to church and find a coffee shop that I’ll strangely become addicted too. I want to go to school, physically rather than through online courses, and go to parties after a long week of class. I want to go on road trips or have simple drives to the beach. I want to go on runs and eat healthier. I want to go hiking and create more travel videos. I want to be a 19 year old girl.

But..

I’ve been pushing everyone away. A part of me is hoping that if I manage to make everyone leave me alone I can just disappear. I have been sleeping my life away. I’m not even actually here most of the time. It’s as if I am dead about 70% of the time and the times that I am actually “living”, it’s at 12:51am.

On Sunday, I went to go grab pizza with my boyfriend at like 8ish pm. Normally, it’s a blast and his presence fills a void. That night, I just wanted to go back home. Nothing against my boyfriend, but I didn’t want to be laughing or having a good time. I wanted to be on my bed thinking about the physics behind laying on this bed. I wanted to be depressed.

That scares me so much.

If you know me, you know that I am crazy. A good crazy. If you don’t know me, well yeah, I am crazy. I make inappropriate jokes at complete wrong times to the wrong people. I laugh at my own jokes, those I say at loud and those that I think to myself. I am funny, well kind of. I think i’m funny.

This girl that I see in the mirror isn’t me. I don’t want to be her. I don’t want to keep seeing that girl. I want to be crazy, which is normal to me.

Therapy, weekly visits to the doctors, sleeping all day, scrolling through social media to see what people are doing while laying in my room, etc. That’s my life, wordpress users and twitter followers who decided to click on my link and read this. Aren’t you disgusted? I am.

God, I don’t even think any of this makes sense. I am just waiting for the day that I can look back on these blog posts and laugh. I am writing this in tears.

For lack of a better word and being to lazy to go look at synonymous on Google: I am just so tired.

I think it’s good for a person to spend time alone. It gives them an opportunity to discover who they are and to figure out why they are always alone.

– Someone on the internet

writing

Too Much Sleeping?

Where do I even begin?

Ah, I know. I can’t sleep. Now I know what you’re thinking, insomnia? No. I am actually sleeping a little over 12 hours everyday.

What? Yeah, I am going crazy.

Back in December I was sent to the lab to get blood drawn to try and get an answer as to why I have been so tired. This is what I got:

Glucose- Normal ; Urea Nitrogen- Normal ;  Creatinine- Normal ; eGFR-Normal  Bun/Creatinine- Normal ; Sodium- Normal ;  Potassium- Normal  ;  Chloride- Normal    Carbon Dioxide- Normal ; Calcium- Normal ; White Blood Cell- Normal  ; Red Blood Cell- Normal  ;  Hemoglobin- Normal  ; Hematocrit- Normal  ; MCV- Normal ;  MCH- Normal     MCHC- Normal ; RDW- Normal ; MPV- Normal ; Platelet Cnt- Normal ; Neutrophils- Normal ; Lymphocytes- Normal ; Monocytes- Normal ; Eosinophils- Normal  ;TSH Reflex- Normal ;  Vitamin D- Normal ; Vitamin D3- Normal ;Vitamin D2- Normal

I am so thankful to have good health and that all my tests came out good. On the other hand, I am left with no answers as to why I am so tired. I have incorporated exercise, vegetables, fruits, and more water into my lifestyle. What could be the problem?

My life is revolved around sleeping or being tired and wishing I was sleeping. The issue with giving myself the time to sleep and rest is that I wake up more tired than what I did before I went to sleep.

Last week I had a doctors appointment to go over my results and she had no answers for me. Nothing but, “uh”, “yeah”, and “hm”. She has sent my endless amount of problems over to my therapist, which is where I received some answers. Before I talk about it, I want to mention a small detail.  A while back my doctor told me I have PTSD. She took everything I had told her about my situation and made a conclusion. It was never written down or actually taken serious because it was more of a comment than a diagnosis. When I saw my therapist on Thursday for my last session, or what I thought was my last, she randomly decided to test me for it with a serious of questions. I received the highest score, which would normally be a good thing but not for doctor visits, for PTSD. Due to this new discovery of my long list of problems, my therapist extended my sessions.

What does this have to do with not being able to sleep?

My exact question.

On February 3rd, I experienced a traumatic event. My world was shifted upside down. From that day up until August, I put everything aside and tried my best to deal with my anxiety. That night, was thrown under a rug in hopes that it would disappear. Of course, nothing just “disappears”. What seems to have happened was I got rid of the rug and forgot about everything I stuff under it that it all started to attack my brain. Not that great with figures of speech, but you get what I mean. My therapist and I came up with some possible answers for not being able to sleep.

I should mention this very important detail. I dream a lot. I have about 6-8 dreams whenever I lay down to sleep and I remember all of it.

For about a good 3-4 months my dreams have been about living in San Francisco, the night at the gas station, being alone, dying, starting school at a community college, where I would be right now if that night wouldn’t have happened, my jobs in San Francisco, and more. Basically, I have been stressing myself out in my dreams that I am not getting any rest when I sleep, which is why I am waking up more tired than before closing my eyes. On top of that, I have nightmares about that night at the gas station and they haunt me. It has been months of reliving the worst day of my life.

It’s January 14th and it is almost about to be a year since that awful night happened. All these memories are attacking my thoughts and draining my mind.

I am sleeping too much but not sleeping at all.

I am tired all the time. I feel like I am going crazy because all I do is sleep. The walls in my bedroom seem to be getting smaller and smaller as the days go by. What do I do? How do I get through this?

Even in times of trauma, we try to maintain a sense of normality until we no longer can. That, my friends, is called surviving. Not healing. We never become whole again … we are survivors. If you are here today… you are a survivor. But those of us who have made it thru hell and are still standing? We bare a different name: warriors.

– Goodwin

mental health · My Trip To Mexico · writing

Mexico: My Anxiety

I feel that before I can start any topic on my road trip to Mexico, I must talk about my anxiety. My biggest fear leading up to the date that I left for my 2-3 day drive was, what am I going to do if I get an anxiety attack? In moments of vulnerability I don’t think about anything but to cry and well… feel vulnerable. My father, my brother, and a family friend was in the car with us. Yup, that’s right. Three men and one girl. None of them being educated with anxiety or have any bit knowledge on what to do if it happens.

My biggest fear.

Where do I begin? The road trip or the trip in itself? Well let me just say that it doesn’t matter because I did not get anxiety. Fuck, that feels so good to say. From the 21st of December up until the 5th of January my body was anxiety free. Up till this day, I have been anxiety free. Thank God.

I should mention though that I had a small panic/anxiety attack at a rest stop one hour into the road trip. Partially because I mentioned that nobody in the car had any clue what this mental illness that we call anxiety is.

I’m still going to write a rather long blog post for it though.

From the minute we left my house, I decided to write on my Notes section of my phone to take note of every time I had a feeling of anxiety. Here is what I have:

12/21; 5:00am: My first anxiety attacked my body. God, put a rest spot in front of our eyes at that VERY MOMENT when I turned to my dad and told him “me siento mal”. We pulled over in the rest spot and I sat in the car as the fresh cold air hit my body. I want to go home. My dad came around the car since I insisted that I wasn’t going to go to the bathroom alone. Once we were away from the man we were giving a ride and my brother, I lost it. Tears ran down my face and I stopped being strong. Vulnerability arose. I was weak. My body was shaking from the cold and the anxiety. I want go back home. I can’t do this. I need my mom. I’m sorry.

12/21; 6:04am: Saw a shooting star and wished for no more anxiety attacks. I ask God for forgiveness for being selfish and using that wish on myself.

12/21; 6:07pm: it’s getting dark and I’m starting to realize that my anxiety is going to start kicking in. I have PTSD and driving at night reminds me of the night at the gas station. I think I’ll be fine. We are on our way to the hotel room.

That’s all I wrote down.

When we pulled over to the rest stop and my father walked me to the restroom, I reminded him that I didn’t feel good. I hugged him and actually broke down in his arms, which I forgot to mention in my notes. I found it very comforting to hear my dad tell me that if I needed anything he would pull over for me and that he would drive at a pace that I felt comfortable. He reminded me that he is going to be there for me just like my mom is when I have anxiety attacks. Hearing those words come from my dad made me feel so good. Not only that but I saw the fear in his eyes. My mother is usually the one that handles my anxiety. He is normally the one that stands by in case of an emergency. Once I got back in the car, it was as if nothing had happened. My anxiety had vanished.

I also took note on how I got through the little bits of anxiety I felt when I had gotten back in the car:

  1. Hug. Asked my dad to give me a tight long hug. Doesn’t make sense reading it but trust me it helps a lot. The comfort of someone holding you does a lot more than you will ever imagine.
  2. Music. Now I usually listen to upbeat music like “electric avenue”, “living in a prayer”, and others. For my anxiety, I knew listening to these songs wasn’t going to be helpful since I am very sensitive. I put some low slow tunes on such as Therapy by Khalid, Not about Angels, feeling Whitney and others. It helped me a lot.
  3. Warmth. I covered myself more and the warmth felt like hugs.
  4. Water. I took a couple of sips of water and it helped settle my stomach. The nausea started to disappear and anxiety tagged along.

54 hours later we got to our destination; Amatitan, Jalisco, Mexico.

I stepped out of my comfort zone a lot during this trip and I don’t regret the slightest bit of it. The first couple of days that we were in Mexico it was just my mother (she arrived on a plane due to work), my father, my brother, and I. Of course there was about 50+ family members there, but I am talking about my siblings and parents. I found this comfort in knowing that my sister was going to be my backbone during this trip. If we went swimming out of the city, to get ice cream, or simply anything and my parents weren’t around, I was going to be turning to her for comfort and help. So, the first couple of days she was still in Ventura, California working. My cousins insisted on taking me to El Centro to get some ice cream, tacos, churros, chasca, etc. These girls are about 8-12 years old so it was quite difficult for me to say no to their little cute faces. I caved in and once we started walking, I had a thoughts and questions at the back of my mind:

How far is this? Would if I get an anxiety attack? These 2 girls are 9 and 12 years old and have no idea what anxiety is. Should I just turn around? Is this a good idea? Irma?! What do I do??? Can’t you just wait until your sister comes home?

By the time we crossed a main road that crosses through Amatitan, every inch of fear that I felt I had disappeared. Everyone in this city knew me. From left to right. People were greeting me and asking when we got to town. I felt safe. El centro ended up being a 10 minute walk from my house. I was going to be okay.

Before leaving to Mexico, my mother had a talk with me. Due to work, she was going to have to fly back home the 25th of December, but she would be coming back the 28th of December. I was dreading this day. There was no way I was not going to have an anxiety attack. No way. On the 24th, we stayed up until 4am, which in California is actually 2am so my sleeping schedule was already used to going to bed at the time. I was so tired that when my mother left the 25th, I didn’t really notice. On the 26th we ended up going swimming and having a blast. My family knows about my anxiety and how I get so the did everything in their will to make sure I was okay. When my mother left, my aunts arrived at the house early in the morning everyday they took care of all of us. From cleaning to cooking to simply making us laugh.

Over here in California or the United States in general, I don’t have a lot of family. I have one uncle that lives in the same city as us which I communicate with a lot because of my cousin, then an uncle in San Jose who I never see, an uncle in Texas who I don’t see often but we do talk, and then an aunt in San Diego whose name I don’t even know. The holidays has become a time of being lonely and bitter. It’s usually my mom, dad, brother and I. Time to time my sister tries her best to come to town, but it’s pretty rare. On top of that I don’t really socialize. I’m your typical anti-social girl. Mexico was an overall different environment and living experience for me. The minute I entered this country it was as if border patrol didn’t let my anxiety pass.

You’ll travel safely, you’ll neither tire nor trip. You’ll take afternoon naps without a worry, you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep. No need to panic over alarms or surprises, or predictions that doomsday’s just around the corner, Because God will be right there with you; he’ll keep you safe and sound.
– Proverbs 3:23-26