I took the night off work so I could study for a test that I have in lab in the morning. It was a hard decision to make because all though I wasn’t going to have many tables, I still do need to make money. I wish it were more of a no-brainer for me to prioritize school over a job serving food to people, but damn, money is tight right now. I walk in the house to find baba, whose dismay was apparent from the creases in his forehead that I had returned home much earlier than my normal time. Mama sat in her usual pose at one end of the couch; her left arm on the armrest and the other arm to her side with her fist in a ball resting on the cushion. I don’t greet her nor did she greet me. With her eyes still fixed on the Urdu talk show playing on the television she passes a comment in a bland tone stating that since I took the night off from work tonight she would not have the money to pay for her expired prescription medication at the clinic tomorrow. I continue walking uninhibited to my room, ready to take off the heavy load of my book bag still clinging to my shoulder. Upon entering the room my face is flushed with frustration and sadness. Frustration and sadness: two emotions that I have become accustomed to over the years of living in this house. They are as common as flies in a blistering summertime heat. My mind goes back to the fact that I feel that this burden of my family has been placed unjustly on my shoulders. I feel disappointment burgeoning in my veins when my family is tight for money. I work five nights a week and attend school for two of those days in the afternoon, and the other two afternoons are spent at clinical taking care of patients. I am twenty-two years old. I know I’m not unique; other people my age may have the same family and financial struggles. My circumstances, however, are completely unique to my situation.
I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I cannot punish myself for feeling overwhelmed or weak. For the longest time I would hurt myself, in fact, I still hurt myself. Sometimes physically, but mostly with my thoughts.
I want to get drunk. I want to drive somewhere, get drunk, and scream out my frustration and sadness at the top of a cliff.
I want to enter an abandoned house and trash it with all of my rage, let it splatter the walls in a frenzy.
I want to destroy something. I’m just tired of being the something.
I am sitting in Perkins right now with a half-empty Coke can and an array of unused pens and highlighters on the desk. A little cube of neon Post-Its to my right and an open book directly in front of me. I’m sitting here trying to absorb information about the nursing process. The words are transient; one by one they go into my eyes only to fall out in a matter of nanoseconds. Truthfully, I am bored as hell by this shit. I am not enjoying reading about decision making as a nurse or what the nurse’s role is in administering drugs safely. It’s a shame, isn’t it? You would think that I’m disrespecting the field of nursing, but I’m really not. I appreciate so much what nurses provide to us. They work grueling hours with shitty coworkers and sometimes ungrateful patients. They are reservoirs of information, they know more about the patients than the scurrying MDs who frantically walk in and out of patient rooms every morning. But my head is not in the game. I am bored, restless, tired, anxious, and very, very, unappreciative.
I want to be a nurse not because I have an affinity for it, but because right now it just seems like the most practical and attainable way of having a degree and a guaranteed income. I hate my current job waiting tables, and I thought I would do anything to get out of it. But right now I am just feeling weak and unable to go on with it. I have a test tomorrow, and I’ve barely done any studying in preparation for it. That’s why I’m in this library right now at 1:30 a.m. I am so unmotivated.
I would like to run away. Just run the fuck away. Live a nomadic life in Europe or something working a humble job somewhere. I never thought I would be the person who would say something like this. I used to dream about a big job and success and exaltation and proud parents and cheering friends and you know what? I’m fucking falling apart. I am not living up to my own expectations and that is breaking my heart into tiny little shards. What went wrong? I don’t do drugs, I’m not in a toxic relationship, home life is better than it’s been in the past. I don’t get it.
I’ll refrain from letting this become a self-deprecating existential rant.
It’s so hard to be optimistic when you’re depressed. In that moment of despair when you feel inconsolable, like nobody truly understands what’s wrong with you, it’s extremely difficult to imagine yourself being happy and able to function in the world. You don’t care about yourself, you have no consideration for your well-being, because you feel that you are already so low that absolutely nothing, physical or emotional, could possibly bring you down any further. So you lay there in your bed, or go for a walk with your headphones in, knowing that you’re missing out on something but you just don’t know what it is. Others tell you that you should just try to see the positive in life. They don’t mean you any harm, they just think that there is a big, shiny button in your mind that you can press and suddenly you will feel like a part of the world again.
I know that feeling well. I once felt ashamed to share these things about myself because I was convinced that in doing so I would be wearing my vulnerability and my weakness on my sleeve. In retrospect I can see that being able to speak and write about my experience has helped me in ways far greater than I would have imagined during the points in my life where I felt saddest. There are people who you know that are struggling with depression right now as I’m typing this post. They are in your family, in your friend circle, at your workplace. They live very different lives, and you may be shocked by finding out what really goes on in their minds. I have found that on the exterior, we are all masters at appearing to be fine. We appear professional when needed, sociable when it is appropriate. We can all laugh at a joke and smile at the flash of a camera. We are essentially programmed to do these things.
The best thing you can do for someone who is depressed is to just listen when they want you to listen. Don’t offer unsolicited advice or pep talks, it won’t help unless they want to hear it. Whatever you do, do not be judgmental, especially since they are confiding in you with something very important.
Not sure why I wanted to write this post, but I’m glad I did.
I’m in a relatively good mood today. I actually feel like I had a productive day, even though all I did was go to Durham Tech to continue working on my financial aid. I’m proud of myself for preemptively making the decision to get all of the technical work done so that I won’t have the mental burden later on around school, but more importantly I’m happy that I’m taking seriously the fact that I can’t pay for school without help. I’m looking forward to being able to pay for school this fall, and I’m so excited to be back in academia. I have a love/hate relationship with learning. I want it badly, but when I feel overwhelmed I resent it.
I’m going to take a 200 level English course, a foreign language, a physical science, and one other elective. That’s probably more than what is wise to take given my work schedule, but I need to stop moving at snail’s pace through school. I’m ready to bust out some classes and get the hell out of this city.
This song by Radiohead just came on Pandora, and it’s strangely related to my fears of the future. It’s called No Surprises, and I think it’s about doing something only because it comes easy to you and trading ingenuity for familiarity.
The weather’s gloomy, kind of just makes me want to eat chocolate and watch a movie.
First and foremost, I understand websites are attempting to protest the government’s recent censorship laws but the “censor” blocks over everything are kind of annoying. Now…
First post of the new year! I’m kind of excited about the prospects for 2012. If all goes well, I’ll be out of the house, studying something I enjoy and wouldn’t mind doing for 65% of my life as a career, and I’ll be back on my healthy diet and exercise regimen. If all goes well. Right now I’m sitting in the Duke Perkins Library, struggling to concentrate on some math problems. I’m re-taking the SAT in March, this is something that excites me and turns my stomach all at the very same time. Why? When I took that test way back in high school I would never have envisaged taking it again… 4 years later. It’s kind of like a bad nightmare that won’t go away so easily unless I face it courageously. And that’s exactly what I plan on doing come test day.
I’ve been outlining a very rough list of schools that I’d like to apply to. They’re all in the state, the furthest one being only two hours away from the city I’m in. I figure it’d be prudent to stay somewhat clsoe to home, especially considering that this will be my first time living away from the comfort (I use that term extremely flexibly in this context) of my own home. If I ever need to retreat or things don’t quite work out the way I want them to, then getting back home won’t be as big of an issue as if I were living hundreds of miles away in Seattle (I’d actually love to live there some day in the future).
I have a few ideas for a story I’d like to write. I’m actually torn between writing fiction or writing a memoir. I think my ideas and language exude a flamboyance and vocabulary better suited for some sort of fantasy epic. I definitely want to write a nonfiction memoir about my life, though. Some people say that they can expound on their inner-most feelings and emotions solely by writing made-up stories, but I personally feel the need to write a raw, uncensored, factual account of my life as it has happened throughout the past twenty years.
Pardon that little tangent. I’ve got to make this year a good one. I have been rendered dumbfounded by how fast the years seem to evaporate into thin air. I feel like I’m in the ocean, going wherever the current desires to take me. That doesn’t have to mean that I can’t enjoy the swim, does it? Nope. It doesn’t.
If there’s just one thing I can always count on in life, it’s that no matter what negative circumstances I find myself in, I can always find a small glimmer of hope and understanding in a big, nasty swirl of darkness. Just like our galaxy is dark, vast, and seemingly endless; yet still it is aflutter with iridescent stars that shine just bright enough to break up the darkness. It’s like that.
I’ve been trying to get some anatomy studying done. I have a test coming up on Wednesday, and frankly I need to do very well on it to lock in that “A” I’ve been striving for. I haven’t gathered the motivation to study yet, but I better start sometime within the next few hours. After all, it hasn’t helped that I just sit in class thinking about what I’m going to have for lunch afterward. Dr Alekseev also hasn’t been particularly successful in garnering every string of my attention… but you can’t really blame the guy. He has to lecture about sensory perception to somebody who has a very limited space for information and selective hearing. I’m sure I can cram, though. It’s worked for me in the past.
Time is wasting away!
today i woke up unabashedly late at 3 pm and then went straight for a run. came back, ate an apple, then went grocery shopping. came back from that, went for another run, and now i’m at my friend’s apartment, on her laptop. the weather was beautiful. it was a cool day and the sun wasn’t scintillating like it has been all summer. we’re approaching fall, and i couldn’t be any happier. fall is my favorite season.
the trees have a bright orange hue, and the cold air carries a beautiful murmur that can’t be replicated anywhere else. the sun rises quietly, and it sets quietly. i love the feeling of fall.