An Open Letter

A digital journal


I went and hit 225 again today, and I celebrated a bit more but still didn’t really feel that joy. Music is starting to sound somewhat nice again, but I miss how it used to hit me.

I’m at 835/1000 right now, but I’m a bit afraid once I finally cross 1k will I even feel good? I know I’ve said this over and over again, but the only thing I really remember from my senior year of high school weightlifting was working my way up to just the bar. For comparison, the weightlifting standards for bench are as follows:

102 lbs 144 lbs 196 lbs 255 lbs 319 lbs

This goes from beginner, all the way up to elite. After half a year of lifting, I was around 50 lbs.

I went from 115 to 225 in about 7 months this time. That is a ludicrous achievement, especially given the context of how weak I was. Why do I feel no pride? I almost feel contempt for myself. I wouldn’t say I hate myself, but I don’t know what else to say right now. I hate where I am right now, there are so many people above me. There are 15-year-olds lifting 315, and at 15 I couldn’t even lift the bar. How am I not supposed to hate that person? I don’t give a fuck if that 15-year-old is a genetic freak, on steroids, or some world champion. I was not even close to that. I wasn’t even close to the average weak kid. If I don’t hate who I am, how would I change?

I see people online talking about how they’re fully grown adults who have been lifting for a while still not hitting 225, and how they’re happy. I see people congratulating people for hitting 225 on Reddit all the time. Hell, I’ve had people try to gas me up in person about it. It all somewhat disgusts me. I hate myself for saying this here, but how could you be happy with that? I think I hate something here hard enough to push myself past whatever my limits are. My left wrist has been sprained for ~2 weeks now, and I still did it today. Something hurts so incredibly sharp in my left wrist, that it makes me drop whatever is in that hand due to the pain. I finished my workout with that.

I think I hate how depressed I am. I hate how I feel no joy, no pride, no happiness, no pleasure, no nothing. That’s what I think of when I think about myself, and that’s what I hate. I guess I do hate myself. I think if I hurt my body exercising, that’s the same as me hurting the version of me I hate. I feel nothing but disgust looking at that part of me, and I want to do whatever I can to kill it. Fucking pathetic.

Situation: I hate myself for being depressed

Thoughts: Do whatever it takes to destroy that part of you. Doesn’t matter what.

Feelings: I feel motivated, and I feel a sustained and calm rage.

Behavior: I progress in things incredibly fast, because I put everything I have into it. I also feel miserable with all of it.


Thoughts: I will fight to win against that part of me, but this includes all parts of winning this fight. It’s not a win if I’m miserable.

Feelings: I feel a little less motivated, but I feel like I’m not falling for depression’s trap.

Behavior: I’m no longer just recklessly hurting myself, but still pushing myself past what I think I can do. I think this is more motivation based on loving what I do rather than hating what I am.

I know, I know, I know. Love you <3

So I realized I might as well use this daily journaling to tell the daily updates I have. The friends I’ve been having some insecurities/issues with were hanging out today, and I was invited but I said no because I wanted to recharge my social battery. I was feeling pretty upset, as I had felt like an afterthought, and not someone they actively thought about while planning hangouts. I was generalizing this to my other friendships, and I was feeling pretty shitty overall.

At the same time, I had two people ask me to go to the gym, one person asked me to study together, and a girl asked to come over and cuddle and then some. The next day, the same friend I was insecure about was drunk texting me trying to get me to come hang out with them. I was insecure about everything for virtually no reason. I think a more important thing I realized was I don’t necessarily see those friends as close friends anymore, but rather as people I might hang out with occasionally.

I finally got a chance to go to the gym seriously again today, and I pushed myself super hard to the point where I had to stop at 3 separate points to avoid a cramp. I finally got that sweet sweet endorphin rush again, and it was nice because while recovering from these injuries I haven’t been able to really work out, and I had been losing the motivation to continue. I’ve been pretty afraid of that, so I’m glad I had a good day at the gym today.

Oh well! CBT time:

Situation: I am avoiding making a hinge, even though I am getting validation left and right currently.

Thoughts: If I make a hinge and get no matches, I will feel like nothing has changed since the last time I made a hinge, meaning that I have not “glowed up”, and I am still undesirable.

Feelings: I instantly feel sad, because the fact I am so afraid of this means that I believe the fear somewhat. I feel like I am powerless to get into a relationship, and that there is something fundamentally unlovable about me that prohibits me from being in a relationship.

Behavior: I create this self-fulfilling prophecy where I convince myself people can not like me. From this, I end up single for longer – which reinforces this idea.

If I stop being a coward:

Thoughts: Every time I’ve made dating apps, I get at least a few matches no matter what. I have recently gotten an overwhelming amount of female attention, so I should put that to good use and start dating. Also, I have nothing to lose if I don’t tie my self-worth to success on dating apps.

Feelings: Fuck it, just send it.

Behavior: I take back some control of this aspect of my life, and worst case I have one less regret.

Love you Anshuman, even on the days it’s hard to ♥

A girl is coming over to cuddle, so I gotta do this quick before she arrives.

I’ve been socializing an extreme amount, and I’ve realized around some people I feel very drained – and I feel worse afterward. I think this is mostly on me, I need to understand these are no longer really close friends, but rather people I hang out with occasionally. In that lens, things are fine.

Situation: People who used to be good friends have become more of hang-out friends.

Thoughts: I feel like I did something wrong to get demoted like this, and I will start to look for evidence.

Feelings: I feel insecure, sad, and unloveable. I have multiple friends that I feel fulfilled with, but I will fixate on these unsatisfying ones.

Behavior: I end up feeling more insecure, and I sabotage all relationships because of one bad group.

If I take a second to really think about this, I see things through this lens, however:

Thoughts: We’ve gotten more distant, and that is fully fine. I’ve realized we’ve gone in different directions, and they aren’t really people I want to be incredibly close with. I enjoy being able to hang out with them, and I am also fully in control of how much I want to.

Feelings: I feel a bit sad, but also more in control and comfortable with life. This is something unsavory, but a good thing overall.

Behavior: I don’t sabotage myself, and I have more control over the socialization I want to have.

I want to write later about my recent experiences with female attention, but she is arriving any moment now so I should probably wrap this up. I’m glad I did CBT, I kinda wanted to skip it today but I think thinking about this made me feel a lot more in control. I’m proud of the work you do, and I love you Suman. ♥

Hey. Last night I drank way too much and ended up getting a hangover this morning. I canceled almost all of my plans and took the day to recover. I started watching some TV to try to just burn some time down and ended up rewatching Bojack Horseman.

To anyone familiar with the series they probably can see the very obvious parallels, but I started thinking about how I’m a bit difficult to love. The other day I hung out with a good friend, and afterward, we got lunch. At one point she asked me what I was going to do for my birthday. (I need to preface all of this with the statement that I think there is a good chance she also reads this, so I am writing somewhat with that lens in mind.) It made me incredibly happy to think about how someone wanted to celebrate my birthday, but it also worried me a lot. I don’t really know what I want. I feel like I never really got experience with people celebrating anything of mine like this, so I don’t really have any inherent craving for it. Or I guess to be more clear, I have that longing, but I also feel terrified at the thought of it. I feel like no matter what the chance of me crying on my birthday is decent. I don’t want to drag anyone else down with that whole depressing shit, so I feel like I’d rather just go through it alone. I really feel like it’s not that bad, it’s just how life is. I just hate the thought of making someone else sad or uncomfortable.

It’s all shit like that. Someone could tell me they like spending time around me, and it just gently scrapes the hardened shell I have around that thought. I feel like it must be exhausting to have to deal with that. I have a picture of a quote saved on my phone somewhere where it says “I hope loving me isn’t the hardest thing anyone has to do”. I think about it in times like this. Might as well start the CBT now

Situation: I have certain issues which make it hard for other people to intimately interact with me.

Thoughts: I should do other people a favor and make the decision for them to not interact with me.

Feelings: I feel sad, unloveable, and alone.

Behavior: I self-isolate, sabotage relationships, and stunt my development.

A more reasonable thing -

Thoughts: Everyone has issues. These are some of mine, and I am also working on them. In reality, this is just me being a bit more awkward around certain topics, which is fairly harmless. And on top of it, think about the people you know and love – look at all the issues they have. The good outweighs the bad easily. I love them.

Feelings: I feel like I’m not some outlier of a horrible person.

Behavior: I love, receive love, and grow as a person.

I hope you feel better tomorrow. Love you man. ♥

I feel happy today, but I also feel frustrated. I don’t like having to take my foot off the gas, I’ve taken the last two days off exercising to let my body heal, and today I went easy at the gym. I finished all of my homework for my classes, and so I’m basically just waiting till my next assignments come out. I hate this limbo of not doing anything, I feel like I always need that external motivation.

I talked in therapy today about how hitting 225 didn’t feel as great as I thought it would. I genuinely think I was happier whenever I failed 225 before. I think it boiled down to my fear of being perceived I guess. The day I hit it, I was with a friend I love spending time with. They’re one of the only people I want to go to the gym with – but I also felt somewhat pressured. They didn’t do anything, but I felt that pressure of not wanting to scare anyone or freak anyone out by being expressive. I don’t know if anyone I know will ever see how I behave in my car when I believe I’m alone. I wish I was that person around others, but I don’t know if that level of energy is appropriate.

I think the only way that could ever be seen was if I genuinely was caught off guard, or if someone had set that precedent to let me be that person. But even then, I don’t know if it would be performative or not.

I told my therapist I had a plan. I am going to go back to the gym, and try to hit 225 again – and after it, I will gently let out a bit of that pent-up celebration. I think I want to also go to the greenhouse behind my house and scream and truly celebrate. I think I value my achievements, but because I’ve never learned how to be happy for them they mean nothing to me. Sometimes I think about Matthias Steiner’s 2008 gold medal, and I feel like he’s more real of a person than I am. I don’t know if any emotion I’ve felt has come close to that. I chase that feeling I’ve never had. I wonder if any achievement will even give it to me or if I need to change something about myself to feel that joy.

Situation: I hit 225

Thoughts: I could think instantly about how I don’t want to make anyone else feel self-conscious, and I don’t want to make anyone else feel worse about their achievements or goals.

Feelings: I stay fully in my head, and I don’t even for a second think about me hitting my own achievement.

Behavior: I feel nothing, and I shoot myself in the foot in the name of excessive consideration.

It feels pretty obvious writing it out like that

Thoughts: I did it. I fucking did it. When I first tried lifting, it took me several months to be able to lift the 45 lb bar. Statistics on weightlifters say that the intermediate level for my weight and age is 209 lbs. The intermediate level is after at least two years of lifting. It was 6 months for me. SIX FUCKING MONTHS! I know I want to discount my own achievement by saying it’s genetics, but those same genetics were in a weightlifting class for months before I could lift the bar. I have been incredibly disciplined, and have worked incredibly hard to get where I am. This success is due to my own work and determination.

Feelings: I feel proud finally. I feel good about it. When I started lifting, I told myself I would make this personal – I would stick to this and work hard at it. If I didn’t do this, I would kill myself as I simply don’t have the willpower to do anything in life that doesn’t come naturally to me. I proved to myself how mentally strong I am.

Behavior: I feel good. I feel fucking good.

Finally. Enjoy the sweetness of that fruit you planted. Love you man ♥

I was fairly depressed for a while, but I think I’m finally back to being myself. I had a good amount of bad things happen, and I knew I wanted to believe a rainbow would come. I don’t think anything exceptional has happened, and it’s felt like finding 5 things to write down that made me happy each day has been a bit artificial.

But at the same time is it not a beautiful thing that I’m not depressed? I have my relative health, I have my dad, my friends, and Hash. Fuck it, maybe that’s a good enough rainbow for me. I saw something today while listening to an old song, and I wished there was some way to create it without butchering it into a cringy, shameful mess.

There’s a remix of a song I like, and it changes the genre of the song in an unexpected twist, into an intensely euphoric song. I was driving back home from getting groceries, and in my imagination saw colors split from the world. I saw geometric shapes come up out of the floor, almost like a wireframe topological map of the ground coming out. It felt like reality shifted a bit, and for a moment the only thing there was the song. Everything moved in time with the beats, and it took on an otherwordly blue/purple tint. I felt such an intense emotion. Every hair on my arm stood up. For a bit, that was the only thing that existed.

Things like this pick me up out of monotony and make me feel like there’s something else other than day-to-day life. I remember around a year ago I had a dream – I don’t often dream, maybe once every few months. In this dream, the only thing I still remember was a girl with eyes so intensely fixed on me. I felt both love, but also like I was actually being observed for once. I felt like they were seeing every part of who I was, past just the one-dimensional view tailored toward other people.

When I woke up, something was different from then. I told myself to never forget those eyes. Oh God, how real they were. I think that may be the meaning of life – I just have no clue what it was. But oh God.

Situation: I am two sides of the same coin.

Feelings: I feel depressed. I am not in control of my life, and things just happen to me. I end up in the same cycle, and the same circle every time.

Thoughts: What else can I do? I am doomed to the same patterns over and over again. I become myself again and again.

Behavior: I was going to say nothing changes, but no. Things get worse.

It could always land on its side:

Feelings: I feel emotion. I feel anger, rage, sadness, euphoria all at the same time. Call me a Borzoi dog, because I will make it mine.

Thoughts: That’s the life I’ve always longed for. I will make it mine.

Behavior: 59 seconds was all it took to do the impossible. That’s how long the first flight was. I think it’s impossible for me to break this cycle, but everything’s impossible until it happens. There is not a single thing I have put my mind to that I have not done. The only thing that matters is if I want it or not, and god damn do I want it. I want it more than anything else.

Love you. ♥

Hey. It’s again 2 a.m. I wanna sleep pretty damn badly. I went kinda sicko mode on my project, I just said fuck it and restarted from scratch. I don’t know what to CBT about, but I so desperately want to stick to this, if not for me but for my therapist’s sake.

Situation: Girl at martial arts seems like she’s into me.

Thoughts: I can be reading into things, and regardless I can come up with reasons why it won’t work.

Feelings: I kinda feel like a coward

Behavior: I end up not getting any extra experience, and I handicap myself in the future.


Thoughts: This is even easier than someone random, you have positive signs. Might as well use it as a learning experience if nothing else.

Feelings: Yeah ur right lmao, but it’s still scary.

Behavior: In the least, I’ll flirt back a bit more, and who knows maybe I’ll ask them on a date or something.

I’m tired dude. I’m hoping your MCL is fine, and your back feels better soon cause damn that bitch hurting. Love ya you goof ♥

It’s 2 am. I’m tired, my knee is killing me when I move, my left lat flares up, and my entire body is hurting. Let me sleep.

Situation: I stop doing this daily CBT again

Thoughts: yay. sleep

Feelings: honk, mimimimi

Behavior: maybe brain feel more sad, little more sleep


Thoughts: thug it out and just do something to keep habit

Feelings: tired sad in short term maybe happier

Behavior: sleepy but stick to it

guh ♥

Earlier today I went and got lunch with a friend, and we talked about some things we should have talked about a while ago. Things ended up boiling over fairly heavily in that group, and it was an unnecessarily ugly thing. It was a very stressful thing to build up to, but the talk itself was incredibly natural and important to have. I noticed, immediately after that talk, I felt like myself again. I no longer felt depressed. I saw a Kia Sorento and genuinely screamed for joy.

I am a big fan of the smoke detector theory of depression. I think I’ve been very depressed for a while because of that, but I think as I get more experience with this consciously.

Today I hung out with two friends I haven’t seen in a while. With a great friend who recently graduated, we ended up playing ping pong and then going on a 4.5-hour walk. I’m exhausted, but I had a fantastic day. I’m honestly fairly mentally gone, so I am just going to quickly crank out a CBT for consistency’s sake.

Situation: I hold internalized resentment towards being Indian.

Thoughts: I can be upset that this is something I can’t change, or wish to somehow be able to change it.

Feelings: I feel insecure and powerless, and ultimately I wish I could somehow change this.

Behavior: I may complete this self-fulfilling prophecy, and also end up sabotaging myself in future situations.

Alternatively -

Thoughts: It ain’t that deep lol. This is more something I’ve internalized rather than something that is widespread or commonly thought of. This only really has the power I give it, and even if it is the case in real life whatever I just move on lol.

Feelings: I feel more confident, and I just accept that it be like that sometimes.

Behavior: I am more of a big chiller, and I can just accept it and move on. This way I let go of a lot of the negatives while keeping the positives of being Indian.

It be like that sometimes lmao, luv you

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