Friday, September 16, 2016

Lost at Sea, or How to Stay Afloat

My stomach is in knots as I try to begin this post. No, there won't be any announcements (good or bad), no ultimatums, no heart staggering confessions to be made. This has been weighing on my mind for so long, it feels like a ball of yarn that keeps getting tangled. Trying to untangle it seems like an impossible task. Since my last real "post" in April, something has shifted in my writing style. I grew tired of being curt, simply to the point with my posts. A lot has changed since my constant "food posting" cycle. I moved out of a place I lived for almost 5 years, into a new place with someone I really care for, I've struggled a lot with my health, I've been terrified, happy, content, upset, stressed, crazed, anxious. I've tried to find some balance in my life that people always talk about, but I can't seem to figure out the equation. I'm not here to confess anything except what I've been thinking and feeling. I'm not here for "answers", whatever that might mean, only support. I can't ask for anything else.

I have technically had my physical college diploma since December, but have not been in physical classes for over a year now. I remember the exciting, bustling movement of all the students and professors as we headed to class. I loved observing everyone on my walks across campus. I would always wonder, What will these people become? Then, What will I become? I didn't feel like I was truly living until college, a place where so many thoughts and ideas got explored, it was almost overwhelming in the best way possible. I was so sick during highschool that I never appreciated it. However, college will always feel like a placeholder for me, a sort of purgatory before you enter into the real world. 

We all had ideas of what we could be, what the world itself could be, we relied on each other, people relied on me, I was accounted for, I lost sleep over papers but reveled in forming new theories. It was a chaotic time but it always maintained the ebb and flow of sound waves; I loved it. I miss it. I envy those who are still stuck in that time where they don't have to figure things out yet. I could easily slip into grad school, but I would be lying to myself. It's an easy and plausible next step, but it would be fake. It's not really what I want.

I work roughly 36ish hours a week to cover all of the things I need - rent, gas, groceries, electricity, water, etc. This is my first time being totally responsible for everything, which I split with someone else, and it hasn't been that bad. Today is my day off before spending a long weekend out of town. Today is my day off from a job I've been doing off and on for almost 9 years - something I started when I was 16. I'm still doing the same things, making the same drinks, having the same conversations, but things feel different. I feel out of place, but I don't know where I fit at the same time. It's an incredibly odd way to feel. I struggled with anxiety and depression for most of my life, minus college, but now it's back again. 

The title of this post is pretty much how I'm feeling - lost at sea - yet I'm trying to "stay afloat." Do I know how to accomplish this? Of course not. Everyone keeps saying "Oh you're young! You have time!" or "Don't rush it!" blah blah blah. For one, I've learned to stop comparing myself to other people's accomplishments, and that only so many Pinterest quotes about "success" will keep me from breaking apart. I can't bullet journal my way into peace of mind, I can't calligraphy my heart content, I can't write this post and suddenly be cured of this feeling. Every day I feel like a kid on their very first day of school - Where do I begin? 

I remember how much I looked forward to graduating, even as I laid in my hospital bed with an IV and hospital gown, I cried at the possibility that I may not be on that stage. I emailed my professors and texted my classmates - I'm sorry. Somehow, I did make it onto the stage that day, and that is something I will carry with me forever. I spent a scant 5 months teaching students that I - did not know how to teach, who didn't seem to care what I was teaching, and in a constant, terrifying whirlwind of anxiety. I went back to my old job and got into a cycle of comfortable pay, working a lot, not seeing a lot of friends, and in my free time, trying to comprehend this whole "adult" thing, or whatever you want to call it.

I could certainly write for an entire day just about this, whatever this is. Even I don't know. But I keep trying to find solutions to it - Yoga? Exercise? School? Journal? Therapy? Meditation? Drinking enough water? It's silly. Last year around this time, I sat in my GI's office as I told him about my graduation day - the worst day of my life. I've had a few close calls in my life, but this one took the cake. I thought about how well everything was going, and then tried to figure out why it was happening. I called my parents crying, I called 911. I called my boyfriend in the ambulance, and wished at that moment that he wasn't miles away in Raleigh. I tried and tried to make sense of it. What on Earth was happening? The doctor told me, and he gave me medication for it, that actually works. After 23 years, someone had answers for me. I still have episodes on and off, but now there is a back-up solution if I ever do need it. It was such a relief.

I have more than I could ever ask for at this time and I've been seriously lucky to find out about my illness before it turned into something even worse. I have very supportive friends and family. Mostly, this post is for me - I'm trying to just figure myself out. Admitting that I'm struggling is not hard for me, and I kinda hope that maybe someone will find comfort in this post. And if by this word you say, Well, this post didn't make a lot of sense, then maybe it doesn't. I don't know. But if you did make it this far, I'd like to thank you for reading. There might be more to come on this, but for now - thank you.

2 comments:

  1. The few basic truths for me tonight that I want to share, perhaps comforting...1.Today is temporary. 2.No matter how much I screw up, nothing was permanent or on purpose, so I am forgiven. 3. With prayer, yoga, walks and my Gu, I am a lioness. Without them, I am a tired old woman. 4.Life is precious, and I am grateful for the gift of another day. 5. I don't have to have a purpose any greater than smiling at someone to make them smile. 6. I know nothing except that a friend hurts, so I try to help. :-) Sending love and support.

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    Replies
    1. Janice, thank you for your truths! This means so much to me. I'm so happy for you and Joe, thank you again.

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