My mental health has not been great lately. For the first time in my life I am having days where I’m not okay. It took me a while to realize it. My life is in a strange place right now. I haven’t had a job for a few months, my bank account is dwindling and although I am putting in tons of applications I can’t seem to get a call. And the truth is, I don’t want to work. Not in the traditional way. I have had so many jobs in the past that made me miserable. Devoting 40 hours a week to a place that would replace me in a second, being underpaid for the work I do, mistreated and disrespected by customers and managers. But the truth is, I have a life to live. And if I want to live it on my own terms I need to finish school. So I have to try to put the anxiety about my classes in the backseat and just do my best. I am only taking one class this session and it’s my last German class which is great because it’s one of the most challenging ones.
I haven’t felt in control lately. In the last 2 weeks I’ve had at least 3 mental breakdowns/freakouts. If it weren’t for my best friend I don’t know what I’d do. It scares me because I don’t know if my mental health is deteriorating or if I am going through a rough patch. I decided to accept a job at a data entry place. It seems mind numbing and terrible but it’s through a temp agency and so I only have to work there for as long as I want until I find something better. It pays decent and it’s steady work so maybe I’ll feel better having some income coming into my bank account.
I just have felt very depressed lately. All the newness and excitement for life just seemed to vanish. I took a short trip to see my mom and I had to get on 4 different airplanes which isn’t fun for someone afraid of flying. Surprisingly it eased my fear of flight but the trip in it’s entirety filled me with anxiety and sadness…it’s a long story but seeing my mom made me feel sad as she doesn’t care of herself and is getting sick.
Everything just seems to be hitting me at once. I am 29, 30 next month. I feel like as a woman when you hit 30 it’s like your expiration date is coming up. If you’re not married/in a relationship by then good luck finding something. I am also overweight and even though I try to accept myself for who I am I find it difficult sometimes. Food brings me joy in life. For the last 2 weeks I have been on the Keto diet and I have lost 10 pounds but it’s been anything but easy. I cheated a bit tonight and had Chick-Fil-A and it was delicious, but food is like a drug to me and I feel like I relapsed. It will be interesting to see if I can get back on the Keto wagon tomorrow.
I guess the older you get the more real life becomes. I just want to graduate and then do something with my life on my own terms. I want a job I don’t hate. I want to write. I want to travel. I want to do so many things and my anxiety is always in the back of my mind reminding me that I could end up like so many others…on their death bed wishing they could go back and do things differently. Sad because they didn’t get to do all they’d hoped.
I want more than that.
And by “here” I mean in this world. In this time. Perhaps I was born in the wrong era. Although I am sure there were assholes even back in the 50’s. I don’t have a thick skin. For a long time I tried to convince myself that I did but the simple truth is that I don’t. I feel too damn much. I am overly empathetic. I let the world eat away at me. I climb into my bed at the end of the day feeling exhausted by human interaction. I bond with people who ultimately let me down. I attract narcissists of all shapes and sizes. I get along best with type A personalities even though in the end they leave me reeling with the frustrating realization that I will never be able to understand them. Or understand why it is people do the things they do at all. I can say that people act the way they do because of past trauma. That they’ve not come to terms with their life, they’ve not overcome the hardships life has thrown at them. I can say it’s because they haven’t accepted themselves for who they are, aren’t comfortable with themselves. Perhaps they lack the ability to self reflect. But that just makes me sad. All of these excuses I make for people who treat others like garbage don’t make me feel better. They just make me feel hollow.
What am I doing in this world?
The keyboard, the paper and pen, those are the things that keep me tethered to myself. Getting my thoughts out onto paper, or typing them out on a screen makes me feel like feeling these things is okay. The mind is a tricky place. It’s full of jumbled emotions and confusion. Everything spins around and around making the perfect storm of self doubt and questioning. I belong in a cabin somewhere. Somewhere beautiful and serene. Somewhere decently far from people, but close enough that I can get my monthly need for human interaction fulfilled at my desire. All I want is this cabin. I just need internet, a Netflix subscription and a laptop. Perhaps a type writer if I really want to get into it. I’d write, and write some more. I’d connect with myself. I feel connected to myself every day at the moment. But the world and it’s assholes seem to always be in the way for that self connection to stick. I need quiet. I need peace.
Or maybe I just need some damn whiskey.
This life can be monotonous. It’s possible for people to go weeks without feeling something. So caught up in work and life that we forget what it is to be human. Then a book comes along. Or even a show or a movie. And suddenly we remember how it feels to allow a wave of emotion to overcome us. To humble us. To make us grateful. Sometimes it makes us angry, or sad. But to me, the entire purpose of being alive is to feel. The older we get the more difficult it is to open our hearts and souls to the world around us. The world can be difficult. It can be unkind. It can be impossible.
So along comes a book. One so well-written it was almost like it was written for you. You devour each page, not even noticing when you turn to the next. You’re in another world. Feeling emotions you didn’t know you still had. Your eyes slide right to left, right to left. Before you know it you’re crying, or laughing or just smiling. And the book is over. And it makes you think. It makes you remember times from the past. It puts you somewhere else in your mind different than where you were when you began. How amazing is it that 26 letters arranged in a specific order can have such a profound impact on your psyche.
Or there’s a show. One you get so involved with it’s like you’re in a relationship. It’s on your mind throughout the day. You feel emotionally connected with it. You feel like you know the characters. You wish luck on some, and harm to others. You’ve adopted a new family as your own. Suddenly you’re left reeling and a bit lost when it’s over. What will you do now? Back to reality.
TV, movies, books…These are all art forms meant to transport someone to a different place. A different mind state. If only for a while.
I want to create that one day. I want someone to read my writing and think “I’m a better person after reading this.” or “Wow. Just wow.”
I cried when The Bell Jar ended. I cried when The Lovely Bones ended. And I smiled at the end of We Are All Made of Stars. I became so overwhelmed when the TV series Hannibal ended that all I could do was sit on the couch and stare at the TV for an hour, thinking. Deliberating. And then a few years later I watched it again and had the same reaction.
What would life be like without these art forms to deliver us from the evil of life? I can’t wait to writing something. One day. That will make someone feel something.
Mads Mikkelsen, I WILL meet you one day. Until then, ich liebe dich. Tschüss