Posts Tagged ‘struggling’

I’m back from home now and have a week until I start my final year of medical school. I know it’s going to take me a while to bounce back, as it always does, so have been thinking about how to get through the next few days. I’m feeling a bit numbed to everything, a bit crowded out, and have a feeling it’s going to be a tough session. There were some good things last week, as I caught up with my oldest friend, who, after thirteen years, is more of a sister, and also a male friend I was very close to (read: desperately but sadly unrequitedly in love with) in my last few years of school – they were both really encouraging, and it was good to talk about stuff with people who have known me since childhood. I love them both a lot.

I was back in counselling again this afternoon and am feeling pretty frustrated. L and I talked a bit about this week and family stuff in general and at one point, she asked who had supported me when my dad was drinking when I was younger, who I turned to and talked to, and all I could say, was, ‘no-one’. Until my ill-fated first encounter with a counsellor in my second year of medical school, I hadn’t really told a soul. I’d done it alone. I was too afraid to tell anyone, too ashamed. I’ve never really thought about it – aside from wanting to help make sure that other kids don’t go through that, some how. And it wasn’t the answer I gave that hurt, or the realisation I get now that I wasn’t that old to be handling as much family stuff as I was, or the sadness I sometimes get now, that my family aren’t the supportive group I’d like them to be, who accept me, warts and all, through thick and thin – it was the look of intense pity on L’s face that really broke me. I don’t want pity, I don’t want any of the ‘poor little you’ comments, or that look on someone’s face that suddenly makes you realise that things were pretty crap to be honest, a lot crapper than most people’s time growing up was, that look that cements what you’ve suspected for so long, that somewhere inbetween the birthdays and holidays, as you grew taller and older, you were broken and damaged by the world around you, in a way most people manage to escape.

Sometimes you have that moment where you just know, that you’ll remember that slice of time forever, and that’s how her look made me feel earlier, as though it’s burned in, branded into my memories. I keep waiting for things to get easier, to find some release from all this, for counselling to start to heal all those wounds that have become such a part of me, and it’s yet to happen. I know I feel raw, at the moment, and tired of it; I know I feel as though I’ll never get through this, that my wounds will always be open, that my heart will always be covered in a layer of dust, cast in shadows (aware this is slightly hyperbolic – sorry, may edit later). I’m feeling like a bit of a hopeless case at the moment – that I’ll be someone who always gets through on paper, most likely very well – but that behind closed doors, I’ll always be falling apart, I’ll always be on the verge of destruction. I’ll never find rest or peace. I’ll never gain the freedom I’m meant to have, through Jesus. I need to get better at figuring out which wounds are able to heal and which aren’t, and accept them. I’ve got three weeks off now, and am kind of angry about it – I want to get through and over this, and this just draws it out for another few weeks, but there’s nothing I can do, and it’s no-ones fault. Must learn patience etc.

I’ve got lost of positives to focus on this week – I’m meeting a doctor I really respect to talk about this extra project, and on Friday it’s the learning disability church group I help with – I’ve missed the last few meetings due to exams, and am really looking forward to seeing them all, they’re so easy to love, and it’s always a real boost to my faith, if only because who doesn’t feel close to God after dressing up in a sheet to act out one of the Parables, as Jesus, to help someone understand more about who he was? The week can only get better.

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I went back to see L yesterday and it’s ended in a bit of a nightmare. I had rallied myself up for it, thought about what I needed to talk about, set my teeth and prepared myself for a painful hour, but what did happen, while not exactly unexpected, was unanticipated. I hadn’t quite factored in that going home leaves me completely numb and drained, every single time. I hadn’t quite cautioned myself that I feel a need to withdraw completely for a  few days, after every trip back, and as soon as I was sat in that chair, I just caved in. It was too much for me. My walls literally caved in, and all those intentions and topics disappeared like smoke. And I sat there, knowing that my tears were on full show, knowing that thanks to the neutral decor, there was nothing to fix my eyes on so I didn’t have to look at L, and knowing that she was looking at me with that carefully trained eye giving no chance of escape. A strange tableau indeed; two young women in a room, one crying, one silent.

Sometimes I wish I was better at shifting words from my mind, to my mouth. I’m crap at counselling, and knowing that for L, our sessions must be like pulling teeth, makes me feel even worse. I’m pretty crap at recovery from depression in general, to be honest.  Something just clamps down, and my sense of self preservation rises up and I lose my words. I go blank. I can’t get them out. I can’t bring myself to throw them into the air and let them hang there out of my control. Today, I just sat and cried, quietly, resignedly, and L kept trying to find a way in and it just wasn’t working, so then she started reading all of the Psalms you would predict in this situation, giving me no choice but to listen and feel as though the writers were so far from me, them with their constancy and courage, and I, whose faith seems to dwindle daily, and relies on hope flimsier than cotton. The words fell on the silence and just seemed to lay there, dead weights and meaningless, and then finally, I gave in and admitted just how awful I’ve been feeling, and the places my mind wanders to when I leave it unchecked, and this disclosure didn’t feel like a weight off, it felt like another nail in a coffin, another flame gone out. Like coming another step closer to dying. And now, I have to go back and face her again and I don’t want to. I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to do any of the things I’m supposed to do – I don’t want to have to go back to the GP’s, I don’t want to meet with The Dragon, I don’t want to meet my supervisor, I don’t want any of this. I’m sick of the hurdles. I don’t want to jump over them anymore. I just want the world to stop.

Do you ever feel as though you’re standing against the world alone, impossibly small? I try to tell myself that God knows what He’s doing, that nothing doled out is beyond me – but at the moment, everything seems completely beyond what I’m capable of. I feel completely overwhelmed. I feel like I’ve fallen past the limit of grace. I feel like I’ve fallen off the face of the Earth. I’m rising on the wings of the dawn, I’m settling at the far side of the sea, and it doesn’t feel like God, or anyone, is there.

Out of the depths, I cry to you, O Lord.

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I am really quite angry today. I had an argument with one of my flatmates, F, yesterday, about a completely trivial issue – her street at home is planning a party for the Royal Wedding and she invited me and our other flatmate, A, to go for the weekend and join in. The problem I have is that the following weekend, my older sister is coming home for a visit (she moved out to Melbourne in January for work) and I want to go and see her –  she was mugged at knifepoint on a business-trip to Beijing last week and the whole family is quite shaken – all three of us kids are pretty gung-ho when it comes to travel – we’ve all done quite a bit of ‘0ff-the-beaten-track’ backpacking and aside from the scary time I got stuck on the wrong side of the Cambodia-Thailand border, it’s always been fine, until now. She’s fine, but shaken and needs some TLC. I have so much to do right now in terms of academics, and probably because it’s been such a long week (I’ve been in the hospital everyday either from 8am-6pm, and until 9pm on two days), I’m feeling really stressed out and worried about everything at the moment. I said I might not go to F’s for that weekend afterall as I need the time to get stuff done, and she completely over-reacted, and massively piled on the guilt – yes, it’s just a weekend, but I don’t have that many weekends until everything has to be done and handed in, and it’s my choice anyway. I know she’s excited about the street party, but I need to put my deadlines first, and if it’s a choice between seeing my sister and going to a royalist party, I know which I’m going to chose.

She tried to apologise when I started crying, and I accepted it but told her I needed some space for a bit, leading to her getting cross again and storming out. When I’m angry, I don’t want to be around people, I need to sort my head out, and I really don’t like people in my personal space.  I had plans to go for dinner for a friend’s 21st birthday, and after crying for a while, got ready, pulled myself together and had left before she came back. I was angry enough that quite frankly, I felt like seeing how much I could drink before I started to forget, which was not an intelligent idea as I’ve not drank alcohol for months. It feels quite churlish to say that actually, I had a lovely night with friends, drank too much wine, and it felt great, to get that ‘I don’t sodding care’ attitude that drinking gives me, when I’m already feeling grumpy and flippant. It felt great to feel a bit tipsy and slurred, to have a few of those silly conversations you only have when both people are a little bit disinhibited, and feeling that for once, the world slowed down a little. There’s been a lot of times in the last few months when I’ve really felt like saying, ‘shove it’ and going and drinking until I fall asleep – and I’ve never, ever given into it, partly because I don’t have time for hangovers, and also because I refuse usually to ’emotionally drink’ – as a daughter of an alcoholic, I’m all too aware of how slippery the slope it. Last night though, it felt great. Superficial, perhaps, but at least that’s something. And I know I should be ashamed of it, but I feel rebelliously defiant, which is probably not a good thing at all, but right now, I just do not care. No doubt I’ll change my tune in the next few days.

I’m hurt and angry – our other flatmate has ‘sided’ with F (it all seems so juvenile) and neither of them are really talking to me, and I don’t see what I’ve done to be honest – but everytime there’s even a hint of friction between us (which is very rare as usually, they are my best friends), A pulls out the ‘well, as you’re mentally ill, your judgement doesn’t count as much’ card, not overtly, but quite clearly there, and it (really trying not to swear here) completely annoys me. Just because I’ve got depression doesn’t invalidate me. I think I’m slipping again, and I’m getting that familiar feeling of feeling like I’m up against the world, alone, battling against all the med-school politics, and counselling, and placements, and everything else, and I could really do with them being allies at the moment, and not being ridiculous about a stupid party when no one actually cares about the royal wedding anyway. I could do with a few people onside, and at the moment, just feel let down and alone.

Sometimes, I just want to be selfish, and do what I want, or chose, and not have to worry about hurting people’s feelings. Sometimes, I want to be bloody difficult and stubborn, and bad-tempered. Sometimes, I don’t want to be the one sending a text asking if F is ok, I’d rather be throwing the mother of all hissy fits, stamping my feet, shouting at the top of my lungs, and preferably breaking some crockery, if we had any to spare. But being depressed sometimes feels like shackles about me – people in the know just put my moods down to the depression, not down to the fact they’ve actually acted unfairly and riled me up. I can’t win at the moment, I can’t win at all, and I’m so fed up of it. Depression – it tars me with its brush and pulls me down every single day. It clothes me in ire and drowns me in tempestuous waters. It just does not let go.

Sorry about the rant, I’m finishing some studying and am then going for a long run to get rid of some of my angry energy. Hope you’re having a less miffed day than I am.

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