Random Speculations on the World

What do I do?

Things haven’t been going well. School hasn’t been going well. Friends haven’t been going well. I have major depressive disorder, paralytic anxieties, zero self-confidence, and I feel like I’m constantly drowning in work.

The worst part is, I know what I should do. There’s no point in (figuratively) killing myself with school work while I go through this. I won’t be able to get anything done. Grades will get worse. I’ll get kicked out of the program. But I’m honestly not enjoying it. I can’t stand going day after day after day like this, just stuck.

If I take a medical leave-of-absence, of I can go home. I can have better access to treatment for my depression and anxiety. I can work on building myself up. I’ve thought it out, too. I wouldn’t have to stay at home all the time. I could volunteer at the library down the street, could ride my bike there in the mornings. I could get a part-time job somewhere close to home. I wouldn’t be at school, and I would miss it, but I kind of think it might be better to focus on myself before I focus on schoolwork.

Logically, this makes the most sense. This is what I should probably do.

But should I do it?

My graduation date is in 2015. My sister graduates high school in 2015. My parents help a great deal with my tuition, and they’ll do the same with my sister. The plan was that when I go to grad school, I’m completely on my own. We don’t have enough money to support two students at once. If I take a leave-of-absence, I’ll graduate in December 2015. That’s a semester of overlap that nobody can afford to cover.

I have no idea how to talk to my parents about this. I have no idea what it will do when I go to apply for grad school. I know that’s exactly what they’re going to bring up, too. I’ll probably ruin my chances if I do it. I could lose absolutely everything I’ve worked for.

But I’m drowning. I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking that I just want to fall off the map. Just stop existing for a while. Just until I get my head on straight. There are people telling me, “oh, that’s normal, it’s near the end of the semester and this happens to everybody,” but I don’t think it does. I legitimately do not want to be here. But I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do because I know that if I do it I won’t necessarily have the support of the people around me. I have people telling me that I just need to talk, I just need to speak up. But with no self-confidence and increasingly severe social anxiety, I can’t. I feel like I’m taking the easy way out, that I’m just giving up, even as I know that I’m trying to live in a way in which I can’t sustain. And I don’t know what to do about it.

Being Invisible

Being lonely is the worst thing in the world.

That’s saying something, I think, because there’s a lot out there. There’s something to be said for having someone to talk to, for having someone you can trust. And it’s easiest if they can be there, physically, because otherwise even though they’re there, kind of, it doesn’t really feel like it. And that hurts, this feeling that you’re all alone. You’re surrounded by people who never seem to notice, never seem to care, never ask questions. You know, it’s funny, in a way–here we are, told that we should stand up for people who are bullied, people who are harassed, people who are victims of hate crimes, bias, and assault. And I agree. I agree to all of that. Bystander Syndrome is something that really needs to be stopped, and that’s where it starts, with standing up. But there’s more out there than violence. Sometimes, the thing that causes the pain is on the inside. It might start externally, but it’s on the inside where it really kills you, where it makes you feel like you don’t even exist.

Nobody wants to be invisible. That’s what happens, see, when nobody notices. When nobody asks you what’s wrong. When nobody bothers to stay long enough to hear the answer,

There’s this symptom of depression called derealization. It’s the feeling that the world is flat, that it’s gone all grey and colorless. The world isn’t real because it can’t be real, because you’ve gone all invisible and the world’s gone all grey and nobody notices. It’s turned into a world without you in it, where you can’t participate but you can observe. You can observe and wander listlessly in a world that feels like it’s turned to stone, completely and utterly alienated from those around you, simply because nobody noticed.

It starts to get to you, too. You start to wonder if you’re even yourself anymore, if you’re not just invisible but actually not anymore. You’ve gone past invisibility–you’re your own invisible friend, just a figment of your own imagination. Now not only is the world flat, but it’s like you’re stuck in a dream, as well. You’re no longer grounded, you’re just fighting to feel the floor under your feet, feet that you don’t even know you have anymore. Maybe you don’t have feet, maybe the world really doesn’t exist, maybe you don’t exist, maybe this is all a dream and one day soon you’ll wake up and the world won’t be flat and there will be color and people will NOTICE.

I don’t want to be invisible. I don’t want to float away.

But sometimes, I’m afraid that I won’t remember how to stop.

Insert Number Here

What’s the point in getting attached to people if all they do is leave and not come back?

Seven

Thing’s I’ve learned on this trip so far:

-From the sky, Chicago looks like a red, brown, and gold forest.

-Chicago’s O’Hare airport has a dinosaur.

-It also has the most sanitary public bathrooms I have ever seen.

-The earth is pretty when you look at it from cruising altitude.

-Chewing gum on a five or six hour flight hurts my jaw.

-Denver is about one thousand feet higher in altitude than back home.

-That persistent headache and lightheaded feeling I had from the time we landed to the time I went to bed yesterday was altitude sickness.

-The smell of marijuana gives me a headache.

-MOUNTAINS ARE AWESOME.

-Standing at 11,000 feet on the Continental Divide is PRETTY AWESOME.

-Not getting to hike after being promised hiking is not awesome at all. It is in fact the complete opposite of awesome.

-Not having free internet in my hotel room is extremely annoying.

I’ll probably elaborate certain points separately in upcoming posts. In short, Denver, and Colorado in general, is amazing. I definitely have to come back at some point to do more hiking. And now I really want to climb a mountain. I’m finally getting over my altitude sickness, which is nice because I don’t particularly feel like being sick for the conference. I’m just too excited right now to make a really good post. This week is going to be AMAZING.

Six

Things I realized yesterday:

-I’m depressed. I probably have been for the last two or three weeks.

-I have a friend at school who I see on a regular basis. Maybe two. But most definitely one.

-This human emotion called friendship* is the best thing in the world.

-I really like World of Warcraft.

The feeling of being depressed is horrible. But today I’m feeling like pulling myself out of it. So I’m making a list of things for which I am proud. I don’t know if this will help, but right now I think it might so I have to do it.

Today:

-I got out of bed this morning.

-Even though I completely forgot about course registration, I managed to get into all the classes I wanted to take (Gravity and Abstract Algebra FTW!).

-I went to Classical this morning.

-I identified an ODE as non-separable.

-I identified that same ODE as inhomogeneous.

-I realized that having a friend means I have someone on this campus who actually believes in me and cares about me.

-I realized that even though I kind of hate myself for not catching on to the fact that I’m depressed sooner than I did, the fact is that I DID catch it, and now that I know I’m depressed I can do something about it.

-I resolved to turn this semester around. It might have started out pretty crappy, and it might feel crappy right now, but it can get better.

 

What are you proud of today?

 

*Points for guessing the reference.

Five

Last weekend I went home so I could go to a corn maze with a friend. We appeared to find the exit in less than an hour (it was really the entrance), realized we hadn’t yet walked through about half the maze, and continued exploring for the next two-ish hours. Then, exhausted, we managed to stumble out the exit less than a minute before the actors came to haunt the maze. There were lots of wooly bears and conversations and giant standing puddles of water. It had stormed the night before. Petrichor is one of the best things in the world. Right there next to the smell of cooking squash. It was definitely a bright day, whatever color it was.

It was the best weekend I’ve had in a long time.

Four

My glasses fell off my face in the middle of my Quantum exam.

Maybe I should get that checked out.

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