Sleepless in Vancouver
It was August 2017 when my sleeping pattern began to change drastically. At first, I thought it was just one of my usual "midnight owl" phases where I get really creative and paint, write, or sing 'til I get sleepy. But then, two weeks past, my 1:00ams became 3:00ams, which quickly became 5:00ams during a work night. I was not sleeping... And sadly, I have not slept well for about two and a half months.
About two weeks ago, I began feeling anxious and felt weird palpitations and difficulty of breathing. That week of restlessness and sleep deprivation was when I experienced a real panic attack. I broke down with uncontrollable sobbing at work. And as if things couldn't get worse, my father dies two weeks later.
These recent events forced me to rethink not only my goals as a migrant worker but the living and working conditions of foreign workers that predisposes us anxiety, depression and other forms of mental illnesses. Being a migrant worker sucks. Family separation, isolation, exploitation, financial responsibilities and debt are just some of the things I worry about on a daily basis.
I've tried yoga and other physical activities but even that gave me a little bit of anxiety. Self-care can get really pricey. But the people who need it the most are those below the poverty line. What a huge WTF.
So, to many more sleepless nights, to abused migrant workers (and refugees who have it worst), to empty pockets and bellies, and to comrades fighting for a better society, I offer this blog as a window to the daily blows of being a migrant woman of color. I hope that sharing bits and pieces of my daily struggles will be relatable for others trying to roll with the punches.