I can’t sleep.
As I write this, it’s 7 am, and my mind has been swirling with thoughts, keeping me awake for hours. I’m yawning, I’m tired, but no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to quiet my thoughts. Since yesterday, I’ve been feeling really down about where my life is and where I’m heading.
I mentioned in a post three weeks ago that I never imagined that I would still be struggling with my mental health after four years. I never imagined that I’d be where I am, out of school, out of work, and not sure when I’ll get back.
Don’t get me wrong; I have a plan. I always have a plan — I just don’t know if I’ll actually be able to follow through this time.
As you know, I’m very bitter about my mental illness, and that is part of the reason I started my blog in the first place. One of the reasons that I can be so bitter is because I feel like my illnesses have taken things from me; things that I had worked for, dreamed about, and had a fiery passion for. So maybe this post will just be a eulogy for the life I’d thought I would have.
I have always been fiercely independent, and though this has often steered me wrong, it is such a big part of who I see myself as as a person. As long as I can remember, I have dreamed of being a ‘grown-up;’ to have a career, a family, and a home of my own. I was beyond excited to be moving out of my parents home and out on my own when I went off to university and I revelled in my own apartment once I got there. This was my space. I decorated, stocked, and took care of it however suited me best.
I was responsible for my education, my health, and my life. I drew so much happiness from my supposed independence. Though I still relied on my parents for some things, as you do in university, I knew I had a lot of my own responsibilities.
As many of you know, though, when you get sick, you can’t always stay as independent as you once were. Within a year, I was struggling to clean or care for my apartment on my own and it took me a little too long to enlist the help of my parents. Things deteriorated from there more and more until I needed more help than I could get from a distance. I moved home for the first time.
Since then, I’ve moved out and back home again. Though rationally I know that being at home is the smartest, safest, and healthiest option for me right now, if I think too much, the emotion takes over. I hate not having financial freedom. I hate looking around and seeing my family’s things in the bathroom or kitchen. I hate that being at home makes me feel like a child and that I’m behind where I ‘should’ be in life.
My mental illnesses have put me in a situation where I am not able to live on my own or fully care for myself. They stole my independence. And I’m not sure when I’ll get it back.
Farewell, Higher Education
Like with my independence, I began struggling to function at the level needed to stay in university. I failed courses for the first time ever, hated going to class, and couldn’t find the passion that I used to have for learning. I was so invested in one day becoming a music teacher and helping to improve the program that any other outcome was a personal failure. I felt so strongly that I had to be there and I still struggle with a sense of failure.
I was having difficulty focusing and retaining information, I was constantly revisiting my scattered notes to try and make sense of homework. I sat in exams and stared at the papers in front of me, feeling my mind empty of anything other than fear and dread. I struggled to attend lessons and coachings because I never felt that I had practiced or was prepared enough, it always felt like I was not capable. I felt like there was some mistake and I didn’t truly belong in the program.
My depression was constantly telling me that I was not hard-working or smart enough to be at such an amazing school and in such a prestigious program. I believed him. My illnesses took away what it took me so long to know that I wanted, and after it was gone, it made it hard to even think about music and school.
Oh, all the jobs I’ve had. Administrative, entrepreneurial, sales, customer service, they’ve run the gamut. High stress or low stress, it hasn’t seemed to matter. They’ve always reached a breaking point for me. And now, my resumé is so pitifully sporadic that it needs an explanation from the get-go. My last job, the job before, the inevitable question came up, and honestly? I’d lie.
Who would hire someone with such a strong history of job abandonment? (I’ll give you a hint: no one.) The only reason I was hired last time was that I was the only candidate! Shipped in by a temp agency, and the only competent temp so far, them seeing my resumé was more a formality than a step in the hiring process.
So now, even if I wanted to work, there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that I actually could.
So Long, Dear Hobbies
Passion? Oh, Passion? Where have you gone? I’m sure that those of you who have been sick know the feeling: so depressed, so unmotivated, nothing is interesting. I used to sing for hours a day, until that didn’t bring me joy anymore. I’d hike, walk, or go swimming until anxiety and body-consciousness got in my way.
Even now, as I try to find new hobbies (like blogging) it takes such an intense effort. I have to sit and concentrate, sometimes even thinking, and remember why I like what I’m doing and why I want to do it. This week, I’ve had to try and remember why I love blogging. I know I do, but for some reason, I just can’t seem to find that feeling. I’m just too numb for hobbies.
I’ll See You Soon
There’s way more; romance, friendships, my car all make the list too, but I can’t seem to pull the focus out for any more writing this week. If you’re interested in hearing more, let me know (or let me know yours)!
And I’ll leave you with this: they may be gone for now, but I’m determined to get all of them (and more) back soon.