mercredi 3 octobre 2012

Cause she used to be a pearl.

I've been trying to write this entry for many times, but I just can't seem to find the right words. I don't really know what I want to say, and what feedback I expect to get. Probably, do I hope that some people will find the words that I can't find myself.
I've always been a very paradoxical person. I tried for the most part to think it was alright, and that didn't bother in most situations to be honest. I just had to think, oh well this is life! Not everything can be logical.
But this past year, I've been fighting with myself. Fighting for two reasons. Fighting against this anxiety that has been growing and growing in me. And fighting because I was pretending it was alright, pretending it couldn't be, because it was not logical.
But now, I somehow have to face it. 
Nothing dramatic, not that much of a big deal but something I can't try to hide anymore, or disguise into something else. 
I really hate the sound of these words, I hate having to admit it and I hate this sentence that I'm about to write. It seems that I have social anxiety disorder. Or at least I have many symptoms that say so. It grew bigger and bigger during the past year or so, and prevents now from doing many things.
The main one being going to school. Attending classes at uni has become something almost impossible for me now. It sounds ridiculous and stupid, and I'm the first one to think so. But it is true. The worst is obviously public speech class. I haven't attended any since I entered uni to be honest. Somehow I managed to pass the tests of the first year, and am now in the second year of studies.
I love japanese, and I love learning. But I just can't go to uni. It started with normal stress, or just being annoyed by classes. Then it became anxiety, fear and now it is almost panick. 
There were so many times, I woke up, dressed up, took the subway for 40minutes, and waited in front of the classroom to attend the curse. And then it goes wrong. I feel hot and cold. So hot that I sweat a lot. It's gross but I sweat so much that I can almost feel it on my face. My stomach hurts, I feel like crying and I sometimes can't even see well anymore. So I leave. 
And the rare times I actually force myself to attend the curse, if I have to participate in any way, I'll be so tense the whole time that I feel exhausted at the end, I just want to sleep. I blush all the time, I feel so hot and  being around these other students, in a closed room feels really uncomfortable.
Lately I noticed it started to happen in other places and situations. In the bus or the subway for example. I also feel dizzy when going down the stairs. Sometimes I'll look outside by the window, and eventhough I haven't been out for a few days, I'll just think ' oh no I can't go out alone. It's going to be too bright, too noisy, too many people..."
So here I am now. I don't really know why I'm writting about that on here. But I hope you'll understand.
I may or may not have to see a psychologist. Or someone that will help me go back to my old me. The one on these pictures. The one I still am times to times. When I talk to strangers without any embarrassment. That's the person I am and want to be. Not this stupid and weak girl that can't deal with stress.

9 commentaires:

  1. Ca ira Emy, crois moi, ça va aller. Je comprends ce que tu ressens et j'aimerais tellement te montrer que ce n'est rien et que tu vas t'en sortir. Crois en toi.

  2. This is Tomona. I'm painfully aware of how you feel.
    That's because I used to feel so depressed and hurt myself everyday. I hardly could go to school so decided to see a psychological counselor. Now I can live without big mental problems but I really understood how you feel. please don't take it so seriously and try to see a counselor.
    I'm sorry for my bad english and I couldn't make you be relieved but I really want to be your help. Please feel free to send me a message.

  3. Dear Emy,

    I did not know about you up until a few weeks ago. I was searching for new recipes online to supplement my protein intake as I am also a vegetarian like yourself. Somehow after a few mouseclicks and keystrokes, I happened upon your youtube video for your first Natto experience. Admittedly, your charming, honest and whimsical personality won me over and inspired me to check out your other videos, all of which were so very enjoyable. It was actually surprising to me to discover that we had things in common such as a long time interest in Japanese culture, preference for juice over coffee, love of Korean food, predisposition to myopia, to name just a few.

    Through your vlogs and posts, you have had the bravery to share many personal details about yourself, some of which were about difficult events. Your candidness, kind & gentle spirit is truly a constant source of inspiration and a reaffirmation that good people do exist amidst what often appears to be a mire of negativity on the internet.

    So after reading this latest post of yours I wanted to do my best to try to let you know that these feelings that you are going through are more common than you think. To be perfectly honest, I have struggled with these similar feelings throughout my life from childhood till present day. Feelings that you are somehow always being judged by others or that you are being looked upon in a negative light. That if you don't do things just the way you have imagined it should be, that you have somehow failed. It probably didn't help very much that I was teased quite often from a very young age because I couldn't speak much English at the time, I had a different name that others couldn't pronounce and I was also smaller than my classmates at the time. Perhaps that was the impetus for me to excel at studies. I needed to show others that I was someone of value and I could be of note in some way.

    1. Eventually I became the nerdy 'smart kid' all the way through high school. Of course I finally gained some respect with the title, but I never really felt fully accepted and I suppose those old feelings comes back in times of stress or difficulty in my life. I know we're supposed to have it all together all the time and put on a brave face for others, but it can get so overwhelming when the shit hits the fan especially all at once. What's more, since you see people as the trigger to your physical and emotional distress, you try to avoid those situations by eventually withdrawing and going into seclusion. All it takes is for a friend or family member to make a dumb remark to shatter your trust in them, and its amplified even more. When I get into these funks, it's just an endless cycle of re-examination of what I have done wrong and regrets and missed opportunities. Basically I beat myself into a submission of guilt and worthlessness. At this point it's just delivery only for me. Don't want to go out grocery shopping, don't have the desire or energy to cook or wash dishes or even check the mail. Don't care, go away, let me wallow. The house goes to pot at that point until I break outta my doldrums. And with the curtains drawn and lack of sunshine, it just becomes a vicious cycle. Really quite amazing the effect direct sunlight and physical movement can have on a person's well being and outlook.

      Like you, I felt that I was all alone with these strange feelings, and that I was somehow weak to feel this way. I didn't know until a few years ago after watching a Japanese anime "Welcome to the NHK" that there are others who go through these emotions and that it is in fact a very widespread situation in Japan as well as in other asian countries. Perhaps you have come across the terms Hikikomori & NEET during your travels to Japan? In North America, we use the terms Shut-In and Recluse. I'm sure in Europe they have their own terminology for it. Regardless, it just shows that it is a global occurrence. In some strange way, watching that anime made me feel better, just knowing that there are others who understand. Well, plus it has some very funny moments.

      But I believe you already been practicing the proper lifestyle to prevent these feelings from overtaking your life, which is try to immerse yourself in activities that you enjoy and surround yourself with positive people who can take your mind off your troubles. Your girlfriend that you have traveled with seems to be a fantastic friend and confidente. You are lucky to have someone that you can laugh and share such special times with! Look at all you have accomplished in your life in just the past few years, having travelled to so many countries, seeing your favorite music artist live on so many occasions, speaking such fluent and beautiful Japanese, so impressive!!! So when you start to tell yourself that you are weak, you need only to recall these moments of strength and accomplishments and know that you are anything but! OK? :)

      If you decide to seek professional help, I also think that is a strong and smart decision. Although I have not yet had the courage to do so myself. I suppose mainly because I have been able to function at work without much issue. But I do catch myself sometimes asking myself is functioning enough?

      Whatever you decide to do Emy, I will be here to support you in your journey to a happier state. If you ever need to talk or vent your feelings, do not hesitate to email me at


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    1. Bonjour Emy, cela fait longtemps que je suis maintenant tes postes et tes vidéos et si je ne me suis jamais exprimée jusque-là j'ai été très tristement émue d'apprendre ce que tu traversais en ce moment. Saches que tu n'es pas seule. Je sais que ces ressentis sont par expérience durs à affronter parce qu'ils épuisent et demandent une grande force mentale pour essayer de les maitriser. Le plus dur étant peut être justement de les dissimuler et de les cacher commme tu essayais apparemment de le faire.

      J'ai vécu à peu près la même chose lorsque j'étais en seconde et j'ai dû faire face à de nombreuses crises de panique: de la simple pensée que je devais aller à l'école à celle de devoir m'asseoir en face d'une table et d'un bureau me faisait angoisser à l'extrême. Cela s'est étendu au fait de me retrouver en pleine foule puis à la simple idée de devoir sortir de chez moi. Je suis allée jusqu'à vouloir me descolariser, à tout arrêter car je n'en pouvais plus de cette pression que j'avais de plus en de mal à gérer.

      J'ai eu aussi du mal à exprimer ce que je ressentais car la plupart du temps je sentais que l'on ne me comprenait pas, que l'on ne me prenait pas assez au sérieux. De même j'estimais que tout ceci était de ma faute, c'était moi qui l'avais engendré, cela ne concernait donc que moi, c'était mon problème et moi seule pouvait donc essayer de sortir de cet engrenage que je ne comprenais même pas.

      Mais Emy s'il te plait ne reste pas seule enfermée sur toi-même, tu es entourée par apparemment de formidables amis essaye d'en parler à l'un d'entre eux même si cela peut être difficile pour "x" raisons. Peut-être as-tu subi trop de pression ces derniers mois/années et tu n'arrives plus à la faire redescendre.

      Cinq ans après cela je dois dire que je ne fais plus vraiment de crise de panique mais il m'arrive encore d'avoir d'énormes angoisses qui surgissent et si j'arrive à mieux les maitriser elles sont parfois toujours aussi intenses. C'est pourquoi récemment j'ai décidé d'aller consulter un psychologue. Non pas parce que je me sens comme mentalement atteinte mais parce que j'avais besoin d'un avis extérieur et critique et qui selon moi pourrait mieux comprendre objectivement certaines choses. Mais comme il te l'a été dit plus haut, cela doit relever d'une décision personnelle et toi seule peut savoir si tu veux ou à besoin d'aller "jusque-là".

      J'espère sincèrement que tu arriveras à t'en sortir; déjà je pense que le simple fait que tu le postes montre que tu es sur une bonne voie. Continue d'écrire sur des carnets (par exemple) tes ressentis négatifs afin de les coucher sur papier et essayer de les extérioriser de ton esprit. Tu as vécu des choses formidables Emy, tu as eu la chance de visiter de nombreux pays comme le Japon, tu poses pour des photos ce qui te plait énormément, tu sembles pouvoir être entourée par de très bons amis. Dans des moments d'angoisses et de doutes rappelle-toi toutes ces choses positives, celles qui te font avancer dans le bon sens. Continue de faire ce tu que tu aimes afin de pouvoir te focaliser dessus dans les moments difficiles, fixe-toi des objectifs faciles à atteindre et tu verras qu'au fur et à mesure tu arriveras à t'apaiser petit à petit.

      Bon courage à toi Emy, je pense à toi,
      Emeline =).

  5. Hey whats up again?! it's D. I wrote some time ago on your blog haha. Hmm social anxiety... I think everyone has it to some degree, no? It is always nerve-wrecking to speak to, or be around unfamiliar people, and those that are good with handling it have come across the situation many times. Whenever I face something like this whether it is doing an interview, going to a party, or giving a presentation I always bring down the intimidation of facing people. I imagine the person I will speak to or the people that will be there and really look at how fragile he/she is, because humans really are delicate beings. I will look at someone and picture him or her as a child, I can look at someone and see how he has had many embarrassing moments in his life as a teenager, or maybe that girl over has her own fault in listening to people, she may be a great speaker, but she is insensitive and only thinks of herself. Either way, I always see others as fragile as myself. We all have our faults no matter how hard we try to hide it.

    I sympathize with that, I laugh at myself, I even did it out loud at my interview last week! My throat was dry, i wasn't looking at the interviewers in the eyes, I mumbled, and took really long pauses for my answers. I just looked out the window and thought of how human I was. I thought of how there are other people who have felt what I am feeling in this situation. It allowed me to be honest, and just be myself, even if I was not doing very well. So what if i didn't have an answer? That was what I said, "I don't know". I think they could feel that and respected me for it, and I was luckily offered the position. I start next week as a Director of the Student Life organization at the college I attend.

    Of course you need to put the effort to go out there and expose yourself, but really I think it helps to step back, look at yourself and just see how human you are. Think of how when you are on your deathbed the situation will be nothing, think of how fifty years from now the specific situation you are facing is of no value or concern. Anyways good luck!

    ps I also never went to class my freshman year, and a bit my sophmore year. I don't know why, I felt lost I guess. It was a little relieving for me to hear that this student in France was just like me! That someone has been in my situation, and faced similar frustrations as I've had. If you want to have a conversation about life please hit me up! I'd really like to hear about student life in France and I can tell you all about student life in Austin, Texas.

  6. wuaah I love you pictures, you looks so pretty and that outfit is très chic! :) My little sister had similar syptoms and I didn't know if I should believe her but after I read your entry I believe it and can understand why she doens't want to go to school.. I know some of the feelings but I could never walk out of class like my sister once did for example.. I get really hot and red but that's all so I guess it's not so bad (and most important, I know why it happens and how I could avoid it)... anyway, I hope you can find a way to fight this feelings of faint regarding groups of people. No, I'm sure you will! がんばってね! uni is hard but also ok ;)

  7. This is so comforting, i know exactly how you feel. I'm in high school and there's so many times i have faked sickness to get out of school when i have any sort of group work or public speaking to do. It's horrible to feel so out of control and self conscious. Fingers crossed that you can overcome it quickly!!