Monday, April 10, 2017

Existing // Momentum

From time to time, it strikes me how severe my mental health problems are. This weekend has been the lowest I've felt in a very long time. Depression and panic attacks I typically can handle, but being legitimately suicidal again is something that I don't know how to fix. I was horrified to suddenly realize: I am 19 years old, and I want to die. There are so many things wrong with that. I am so young, so full of potential, so excited for the things that will be happening in my life. I have no idea why I want to die. Yet at the same time, my brain has abandoned its biological purpose of self preservation in favor of an overwhelming impulse to self destruct. This is not okay.

With that in mind, it's not surprising that it's taking all my energy to be alive. All I'm capable of is existing — not knowing what to think, not knowing what to do — struggling to keeping moving, going through the motions, clutching my phone desperately looking for a distraction. I've been latching on from friend to friend to stay alive, knowing as long as I am in another person's presence, at the very least, I won't do anything impulsive. So far it's been working, and I could cry over how lucky I am to have friends who are willing to be there for me and care about me when I'm not capable of doing that myself. I know it must be frustrating to want to help, but not knowing how to fix the problem, especially when I am not sure what the problem is. But their existence has kept me existing, and I am forever grateful.


There is so little time left in the semester and so much left to do. I've been trying to catch up on my essays and assignments, but I've been running into a mental block every time I open up my computer and stare at a Word file. Wanting to do more than simply exist in a miserable, unproductive state, I went out for a walk around campus. I had no goal, no destination in mind; I was simply trying to get out of my head and do something, anything. I was hoping it would kickstart my motivation, that after the walk everything would be fixed and I could do things again, but this turned out not to be the case.

Later that day, I ended up at my friend Dana's house. I sat around and played with her cat, Fish, for a bit, but there wasn't much I was capable of doing at that point. A few hours later, she invited me to come with her to the gym. It is true that exercise helps with mood stabilization, but it is useless to say to someone with depression, "You should go get some exercise," which is usually what I encounter. In this case, by inviting me along, I felt reassured that she wanted me around, but I also was able to try something new without having to confront an unfamiliar environment. The exercise in and of itself also helped. I'm hoping starting a new habit can help me restart my ability to do my essays.

I think I have figured out why I can't complete any assignments yet. I had built up so much momentum this semester with everything I was doing. All of sudden, the incidents over spring break brought that ability to perform to a screeching halt. Trying to immediately resume performing at the level I was at before spring break felt like an insurmountable obstacle. I'm trying to incrementally ease myself back into a heavy workload, but without some kinds of accommodations, I don't think it's realistic to achieve the lofty goals I had at the beginning of the semester, grade-wise.

The reality is that I need to have an identity outside of my work, or at the moment, my academics. It is satisfying to accomplish things and earn good grades, but attaching my self worth to an assignment is easily a problem. I may have said this before, but I really need to make self care as a priority. Spending time with friends and doing things I enjoy should not be an afterthought for when I have some extra time. I need to give eating, entertainment, and exercise its proper consideration in my schedule to be fulfilled as a person. ◊

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