My dad was vacuuming the stairs when I told him I wanted to switch majors from marketing to psychology. He made a joke of it at the time and I felt miserable. Now I wonder of its the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life.
This isn’t the first night I’ve lost sleep over how long it’s taken me to finish my undergraduate degree, but it is the first which I’ve posed that particular thought. I spent the past five-ish years just destroying my life, not doing well in school because of ADHD or Bipolar episodes or that HORRIBLE year long agoraphobia which kicked it all off. I basked in hiding and avoiding and got really good at it. When it came out that I completely SCREWED myself no one was happy, but I was forgiven by my immediate family (The extended family is still wondering wtf my problem is). Watching my GPA fall for no good goddamn reason other than I’m a complete mentally ill screw-up (Chris likes to point out how bad I am at life which doesn’t help my self-hatred) the past few years has been heartbreaking.
I just worked up the courage to do something I’ve been avoiding for nearly a year: e-mailing my school councilor in the department to see if I can make an appointment and see what I have left to graduate. I did it a couple times over a year ago and then ended up getting too terrified to go to those appointments. I’m PRETTY SURE it’s just the Capstone project and the senior lab class…but they both give me insane anxiety. Firstly, I wasn’t properly trained for the SPSS program that gets used in the lab class and I’m terrified it’ll screw me over and secondly I have no idea what the hell I’m going to do for my Capstone. I looked into what classes I would need to finish my undergrad in Anthropology (my minor) or Marketing, but I seem to have several classes left to complete for either. Shit, I was amazing at History in community college, I should have gone into that. I wouldn’t have a Capstone to complete in any of those fields. This fucking Capstone is eating at my insides. Just the IDEA of it has been haunting me the past couple years.
I spent this semester off looking for a job. Well, I’m still unemployed. I have a phone interview coming up for a position as a Behavioral Therapist at an entry level which is INSANELY AWESOME but I’m so run down from being shot down from all the jobs I’ve had interviews with that I feel like there’s no reason to get my hopes up. It won’t stop me from doing my best to get the job though. Being a therapist for autistic children or troubled youth has been something I’ve felt would be rewarding and I’ve been trying to get into. I figured with my degree I’d work my way into being a high school psychologist.
I think maybe I should be able to sleep now getting all that out. All I want to do is win the lottery and never have to think about all this pressure to graduate and make a legitimate living for myself as soon as possible. Some days it feels like I just want to be dead so I don’t have those problems, but I’ve learned that I really don’t want to die, so by default I’m screwed…
Facebook is funny. It reminds me how afraid I am of forgetting. I remember when Myspace was still king and only college kids could use Facebook. I was working a summer job when my friends there helped me set one up and I barely used it. Now look at me. One of my go-to time killing, brain numbing activities. Usually facespace is a ride into the past. Like how I clicked on my friends profile whose e-mail I haven’t gotten back to in a month because my brain is moosh and I was having a mixed episode (I should really get on that e-mail). I poked around on her page, saw a ghost of a name post something on one of her status’.
I’m beginning to sound like a teenage girl giving gossip about some really obscure person my best friends dog’s neighbor knew, but bear with me. As I clicked on Kevin’s page I fell into the overly emotional ocean at the end of memory lane. Good thing I’m doped up on mood stabilizers because nostalgia makes my eyes wet. Kevin’s in a field that put what he went to college for at work. He’s still good friends with Adam and his twin. Adam still does Kung Fu and apparently had Cancer. Click. Click. Click. Going through the rounds of all the faces and names I remember and for the sake of never wanting to forget anything have to write down, if not just the names. (Without access to a journal at those times I cringe).
That was the old ‘crew’ from my early college days when I would visit my then boyfriend at his school. It was an hour away from home and a beautiful trip on a long strip of highway with no lights. I’d listen to Jimmy Eat World at 3am with the windows down, trying to stay awake and contemplate my future and struggles. That was the time of parties and booze and dying my hair fire engine red. I wasn’t that anxious in those early days, that was before my diagnosis. Being manic at a college party and crashing at your boyfriends apartment is fun as hell, let me tell you. It wasn’t all fun and games, but it was a chapter of my life I don’t want to forget. (Mind you for a good while I did.) I feel like things then, and really at any other time in my past were more eventful than they are now. Even being agoraphobic in my friend’s basement for the good part of a year was more memorable than the here and now. That early college chapter set footing for another and one after that and now Jimmy’s married and in the army and I’m here…wherever, “here” is.
I figured I was finally coming out of my slump. Then I saw slump at the check out line of the mental grocery store.
“Hi Barbie!” he said. “Hi slump.” I said, and he followed me home like he tends to do. Slump was interested in what was going on the past couple weeks so I started the story here:
Every night I’ve monologued while I’m in bed with my mind racing thinking about how I should approach blogging about my emotional distress. I let so many thoughts fill up my mental recycling bin that they started to tumble into the mental dumpster next to it pretty much losing a lot of material I would have otherwise written wistfully about. I would watch movies and be so energized I’d glow with wide eyes obsessing over them. I read a book a day. I was in the middle of a mixed episode that was pulling at me in all directions which seemed to end when I caught this godawful virus that has me laid up the past two days. The goal is to pump as much vitamin C into my body as possible without overdosing so I can be back on my feet by Thursday.
Before I played air hockey between the poles, I was having a rough time dealing with the idea of talking about things that are bothering me. Why talk about what’s bothering you when it won’t change anything and will only make a situation feel crappier because of it? I’m aware I can’t change what said man does or wants to do with my mopeyness over how I feel about him thinking about him doing A, B, or C on his vacation. Things happen maybe once a month that I have no control over that send me into Zombie-Barbie mode, but I was afraid that as his trip was getting closer I was becoming so much of a zombie on the daily that maybe he just figured that was my new personality. Who wants to hang out with a zombie? “I’m fine. Nothing’s wrong. It’s all cool yo, whatever you wanna do today is fine by me.” Smokey Robinson sang it this way, “Now if I appear to be carefree, It’s only to camouflage my sadness, In order to shield my pride I try, To cover this hurt with a show of gladness.”
Slump only really pays attention to the sad stories, so this next part won’t interest him much, but there’s one more chunk of story left to tell, and it started on a dark and stormy day:
I went to Riot Fest and had a goddamn blast. I remembered how much I love Punk Rock. I crossed off a ton of things on my bucket list I didn’t even know I actually had on a bucket list like hearing The Offspring do “The Kid’s Aren’t Alright” and hearing the hits by The Cure. I struggled with the rest of the masses to walk through stages of mud from wet to mushy sticky clay and managed not to abandon my shoes. I played mini golf on a pepperoni pizza hole and watched burlesque girls dance naked in the same wrestling ring I saw luchadors pounding each others faces in the day before. I saw fire breathers and zombies outside the haunted house, I went on carnival rides and ate messy fair food. I saw a dude dressed as a bear and tons of freshly dyed hawks. I stood and walked so long every day the only after show I went to was the Advil one. It was the best festival I’ve ever been to and felt like a genuine vacation for three days. Now that it’s over I’m feeling pretty shitty about where I am in life again. Damn you reality.
I suppose the last thing that could be said right now, is that in the spirit of punk, FUCK YOU SLUMP.
This weekend got busy…which is when I was planning on blogging and catching up. I have a lot on my mind and I apologize in advance for subjecting you all to it. However, I’m still freaking busy, which means I’m obligated to entertain you with a quick still from the 90’s cartoon “Rugrats” which completely sums up my life at this very moment. Enjoy!