On the ethics of success

Can success be ethical?

What happens when work and money is related to morality?

Today, I talked to my therapist about the ethics of life.

He pointed out that ethical decisions make up a lot of my choices. giving me an example situation as so:

If my child was running a high fever and I had no money, AND the nearest drugstore was closed with nobody at the counter, what would I do?

Me, I would go running out and look for a new one with someone with the empathy to lend me some painkillers.

Strangely enough, I would not go in and steal some medication. Didn’t even cross my mind.

Perhaps it is because I don’t have the guts to.

Maybe, it’s because I don’t have a child yet, and I don’t know how it feels.

Or maybe, it’s a result of my conscience– one that was drilled into me since childhood.

Any how, making decisions that go against my ethics and values is a hard choice. But I find peace in the fact that I can take responsibility in my actions and choices.

Whenever I find that the results of things in front of me are the outcomes of unethical decisions, it hurts me to a point where I lose respect for those involved. Often times, I find that the most desperate to succeed will make unethical decision. Why is this?

Acting like a good person will not make you a good one. Making selfish decisions and sugarcoating it to make yourself look good– well, people will find out in the end.

I believe in the power of hard work, but progress should never be the result of throwing others under the bus.

Making sacrifices for yourself and your career is inevitable. But sacrificing the happiness of others to veil yourself in a shroud of lies– I believe that things will ultimately find its way around.

After all. Karma’s a bitch.

Seeing so many occasions of people losing their morals just for a moment of success makes me sick.

I wonder what it is.

Is losing all sense of morality something that is necessary for success?

Can these decisions and choices be justified with good results?

Should people do all it takes just to be rich– even at the expense of others?

If I choose to be ambitious, will I become this monster that I loathe so much?

To choose between morality and wealth is a hard question, but there must be a place in between.

Hey Everyone, its my 26th Birthday! But why am I sad?

Unlike all the TikTok trends, (knock knock knock, its my birthday! trend)

The hour of my birthday was pretty sad.

I had visited my parents’ house, with a cake and a birthday cone to celebrate with the ones I loved the most.

The result: a crying mom, and a father who had been busy.

Which is not… bad… I guess.

Dad was out with his coworkers celebrating his promotion (that he had not told me about, and found out in the morning) thinking that we would be visiting him this morning.

Easy to mistake. Simple miscommunication right?

Mom was telling me that she wanted to die after this meal (my birthday meal..) because I was old enough to take care of myself.

Somehow, I kept it together during my mom’s breakdown, laughing the tears away. But when my dad apologized for “not being there for my only daughter’s birthday,” it brought me to tears.

Honestly, I don’t know why.

I guess I just wanted to be cared for. And to know that he cared, but couldn’t make it was a big disappointment.

There is something about birthdays that make me want things that I normally don’t expect.

And the more I expect, the more I am disappointed.

I am loved by so many friends and family members. They all congratulate me and send me love, and I know that I have lived a pretty awesome life.

The thing about having a mental disorder is that sometimes my feelings and my head don’t seem to make sense to eachother. I fear things and worry about things that need not be worried about, and get disappointed for things that clearly in my head I know is not personal.

Today is a bit better. I’m taking the day off with my partner at a quiet mountain resort. The air is nice and foggy, just how I like it actually.

I’m allowed wine and beer in the middle of the day, and I pet some cats who came by to get some food. Cute.

Therapy Journal: Getting Better. I hope.

Yesterday was the first week that I had not had feelings of depression after therapy.

I had not cried, felt scared, or lost, or depressed.

When I told my therapist this, he seemed a bit… surprised.

Had we finally found the right amount of medication to suppress my negative emotions?

I was not having trouble sleeping too, which is a good sign.

Honestly, I don’t feel much at all right now.

I feel pretty glad. I think.

I also feel excited that I will be travelling this Sunday.

Hopefully this amount of medication will be just enough to keep me feeling less devastated in the following months.

Wish me luck.

Therapy Journal: 2 months in.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information in this article is based on personal experience. I am not a professional in mental health or therapy.

About my therapist : Calm, quiet man in his 40s? (I’m guessing) He mostly listens to me, and gives full on eye-contact which I mostly don’t return.

About me : Anxiety, Depression, and sometimes Panic disorder. Familiar with depression and sadness, but not so much with emotions like anger or rage. I isolate myself from people in the world, and act happy to keep myself from having depressed thoughts. I grew up in a middle class household, with parents who relied on me a lot both financially and emotionally.

Why I went in the first place : I have been suffering from depression for a long time, but coming back to Korea, I would not be able to ride the subway or full buses without going through a panic attack. The toll that my mother’s illness had on me was a bit overbearing. The final time, I had to get off 3 times on a 40-minute ride. When I couldn’t do these basic things (like getting on public transportation) that’s when I decided to visit the psychiatrist.

What has changed : I figured out that I mother the people around me. I was aware that I am a sensitive person, but I didn’t know that I took other people’s emotions as my burden. I also found that anger was an issue that overwhelms me. Also something I could accept, because I don’t really get mad at other people. Or rather, I don’t express my anger toward other people.

What medications do I take : Xanax was added to my prescription today, just for emergencies.

What’s Wrong? Nothing.

I have never really learned to express other emotions rather than joy and sadness. I cry when I am sad, angry, jealous, tired, and even when I am bored. Most of the time when I cry, I am alone. Sometimes, I am with my lover. Sometimes, I’m just black-out drunk and in the middle of a parking lot. (True story from just 2 months ago)

I always knew I was a sensitive person. But it’s not just about things that happen to me though.

It’s like I have the ability to see through people’s words and expressions, feel their pain, their anger, their shame. And even if the moment passes for them– I am left with a baggage of emotional waste that no one asked me to carry. Who do I go to then? No one. I keep it inside. Sometimes it inspires me, sometimes it drags me down, and sometimes it gets me to trust things and people that should not be trusted.

I often ask myself, why?

Am I that incapable of controlling my feelings? Are my feelings something that just cannot be tamed? What is wrong with me? Why do I always care for other people more than I do for myself, and try to get into things that I’m not capable of handling? Am I an empath, or am I just dumb?

I wonder if there are more people out there in the world who think the same way I do. I would love to join a healthy community where I can share my feelings and emotions with people who understand me. When life becomes a shitshow, would be nice to have a family who go through the same things I do, see life from my point of view, and where I could feel safe and accepted.

There is nothing wrong with my family now, and I love them so very dearly. What bothers me though is that I feel ashamed to let my true self show, even to myself when I’m around people I love. I sometimes neglect the part inside of me that keeps screaming for attention. I also neglect my fears and sadness, no matter how hard I try to face them.

They haunt me sometimes.

Panic Attacks: A Challenge on Life

Going through a panic attack is way worse than it seems. Yesterday, I went through a panic attack that was way worse than anything I ever went through in my life. Of course, there are a lot of reasons to why panic attacks occur. For me, all of those factors were strictly personal, issues with my family, love life, or even stress from work. But yesterday, the panic I went through was more induced by a social factor.

The fear of a panic attack for me is the fear that I won’t be able to breathe. I have always told myself that this fear is irrational, and that there is a very slim chance that this might happen. But with the Itaewon crisis that happened this Halloween, the fear became very real. When I heard 154 were dead in the incident, I was initially grateful that I was not there. Soon after, I was heading home from work in my car and found myself panicking about the fear of death– even in the safety of my own car.

I tried to talk to my boyfriend about it, but naturally, those who have not gone through it rarely understand what it feels like. When the panic attack happened, I ran out of the car, feeling nauseous. I bent over trying to puke out anything inside of me, with no success.

I found myself lying on the floor of our parking lot, gasping for air, trying to breathe, heart pounding so fast I could barely even count. My hands and feet felt numb with a tingling sensation, and my head started to spin. I sat down on the floor, grasping my heart to keep it in my chest, while I ripped my coat open to get some more fresh air. I could hear my boyfriend running out of the car with my shoes, asking me what was wrong.

Sometime between the ambulance coming, I’m pretty sure I was begging for someone to save me, that I was scared, and that I felt as if I were going to die. When help arrived, they told me that there was nothing they could do for me, that I would just need to open my eyes and take a deep breath.

Deep breath in, hold, let it out slowly.

Much harder than it sounds. Taking slow breaths is hard when your body is curdling up into a ball. I remember grasping the steady hands that were leading me through my breathing, and my breath was already returning. Thinking of breathing, and focusing on my breaths, I slowly found my way back. It was as if a plane had landed safely on the ground after horrifying turbulence.

I am ashamed. Writhing on the floor of a parking lot, gasping for air, screaming for help, asking for mercy. I feel powerless and empty. I’m cold. My feet and hands are numb. My eyes burn, and my lungs feel sore. I’m scared. Scared that this will happen again. Scared that I will be scared.

Suffering from Early Independence

For a long time, I have always felt the need to be seen as an independent person. Growing up in a family of artists, everyone in my family had things to do — and taking care of each other was not one of them. We all loved each other. We still do. But my parents were all dreamers with big goals, and they did what they wanted to, when they wanted to.

Naturally, I grew up to be financially and emotionally independent at a very young age. I didn’t rely on my parents for money or help. Rather, I found a way to get my own stuff done. Everyone around me would tell me that I was a “good daughter” or “better than a son” for someone “my age”.

To be honest, I was a little proud of being the perfect little girl at the time. I took pride in the fact that I was able to make a living with my own power, give my parents financial support, and keep a fragile family together by being the emotional support and middle person in my parents’ fights.

People often mistake independence for isolation.

In my second year of college, my body and mind both burned out– leaving me drained of all my energy. I wanted to stay strong, so I forced myself to work and study as if nothing was wrong. I isolated myself from my loved ones and friends, knowing that this emotional baggage would be a burden to them.

Now that I think back on it, the reason I struggled so hard back in those years was not that I was tired. It wasn’t just stress from studying or a specific physical medical condition. The actual struggle was knowing I had no one to trust, no one to rely on.

My independence was a facade, to say the least. I now know that independence isn’t about doing everything myself. It isn’t living with the compulsive idea that no one can help me but myself. For me, independence is the ability to grow and motivate myself, through emotional and intellectual interactions with people who enlighten me. It’s about being able to sustain my own well-being, having enough to share, and being in a state of mind that enables me to give and receive help in friendly encounters.