I’ve been neglecting this space somewhat. I’m drowning in university work which I don’t seem to be able to do. I have all my references, I’ve written out structured plans for my reports and essays, but somehow there is a block when I actually attempt to do this work. I lay out my books, articles, pencilcase and laptop, open a word document… and then nothing. I’ve spent hours sitting staring at the blank screen, knowing exactly what I need to do but not being able to string the words together to form a logical argument.
It makes me feel so lazy. It’s so hard to explain the complete absence of motivation that comes with depression. That I love what I study – I love learning, I love doing well academically, I love piecing research together and weaving ideas into a coherent response. But recently my mind is blank. I close my eyes to try to focus and there is nothing there – a faint buzzing and grey static, punctuated only by intense ideation, primal screaming and violent imagery.
I’m going to need to apply for extensions for these assignments which makes me feel so pathetic. I got through last year without using any extensions, and that made me feel good about myself. I don’t like having to ask for special consideration. I don’t want to be that person. It embarrasses me, and it makes me disappointed in myself. Surely if I’ve managed before I can manage again? I need to keep reminding myself that there is a reason this is happening. I need to get back on my medication. I need some more support so that every inch of energy is not expended on keeping myself safe.
I’m going away for work tomorrow, I’ll be without internet until Friday. I’m not sure how I will cope with my headspace – but I keep reminding myself that I have been away working in far worse states than this, and I got through that. This – medical complications, ideation and strange sensory side effects – this is small game. I can do this. Thankfully I have an amazing job – on an isolated island surrounded by bush. When I’ve been unwell while working in the past, I spend the nights wandering the beach and navigating the island by moonlight. It’s a beautiful place.
The week that I return I have two exams, and when they are done I will be going into hospital. It’s a complicated situation that I don’t have the energy or cognitive function to explain right now – but I’ve been teetering on the edge for a long time, ignoring the signs. I’ve been lucky to have managed to stay out (not including schedules and emergency presentations) this long since returning home, and it’s time I swallowed my pride and accepted more help. Noone is going to change this for me. I have to make these decisions myself, and accept that things aren’t okay. When I can think more clearly I will explain further. For now, look after yourselves, and look after each other.
An elderly Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life…
He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf is evil—he is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego.
The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.
This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.”
They thought about it for a minute, and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win, Grandfather?”
The Elder simply replied, “The one you feed.”
I am not coping. I need help. I have no idea who to talk to, who to ask. I seem to have lost all capability to get out of bed, get dressed, let alone pick up a phone or sit across from a doctor. I have friends, but not friends that I can call to come when I’m sobbing in bed and need someone to sit on my hands and keep me from myself.
It’s scary how fast things slide. At the moment I just want to fade out of the world and disappear. I’m so fucking ashamed that I’m here again. Last night I kept biting on my hands while driving (fast, too fast) to stop me from screaming through my sobs. I need sleep. I can’t do this.
I hate writing this. I’m not good at all at facing up to myself when I’m not okay. My psychologist’s secretary called me three times yesterday, trying to reschedule appointments around so that I could see her – all of which I declined. “I’ll be at university all day tomorrow, sorry”. I have no classes on Thursdays. The day was spent lying in bed, trying to will myself to get up and brush my teeth. It hasn’t yet happened.
Death is everywhere, my head keeps spinning. My eyes stare through whatever I should be focusing on. I’m losing time again in ways I thought I’d surpassed. I should go to my lectures. I should find a doctor. I should make an appointment, and attend. All these things feel more than impossible. I should get back on medication – but even if I do, the next (at least) three months won’t show any effect. Three months is a long time when I’m feeling like this. Completely empty, punctuated by desperate moments of the sensation that I need to rip myself out of my body.
The fog has settled. I try to be all about empowerment and hopefulness, but the words are blurring on my laptop screen. Piece by piece the world, my body and mind move further out of my grasp. Right now, I just want to disappear.