Hello, Old Friend

I’m driving to school, doing my usual routine of belting and dancing in the car, when all of a sudden I am struck with a strange realization.  For the first time in months, I feel like one complete person.  I’m not exactly sure what it is that has made me feel this way, but I have 6 minutes before I will be parked and need to rush into class, so now is a good time to start figuring it out.  I turn down the music and just start talking to myself.

I may have slept 3 or 4 hours the night before?  I’m not entirely sure right now.  It has been so many nights of barely any sleep that I don’t even know if I have been awake this entire time or if my life is just a dream.  The previous night had been a particularly rough night.  I had stayed up until 3am once again just trying to not completely drown in the amount of homework I had.  It’s only been 2 weeks of this insanely busy, stressful schedule of working full time while taking 18 credits, but it is definitely taking a toll on me.

While doing my homework, I couldn’t help breaking down, time and time again.  I would try to read the chapter I needed to read for my psychology paper, but my eyes would keep shutting because I was too tired to continue.  I would try and work on the song I had to write for music theory, but nothing was coming to me.  The song had no purpose, it was just a bunch of free floating notes.

I couldn’t help but be mad at myself.  If I hadn’t been a slacker on my one day off of work, I wouldn’t be sitting in this predicament.  Yet, I wanted to take a nap because I was completely exhausted and needed a little bit of a break.  I closed my laptop and my books, realizing it was pointless to keep trying because I was just going to keep failing.  That is just who I am.  I turned off my lamp and just allowed myself to sit in the dark, waiting for sleep to overtake me.

I cried a little bit, but I didn’t really have much energy left to cry.  I just sat there thinking.  I realized I was headed down an unhealthy road when it was already too late.  Soon, I was thinking about how much I hated myself, how I wasn’t making my family or friends proud, how my professors must all think I was such a slacker, and how my boss probably wishes I would just quit because I am such a slow, unorganized worker.

I thought about what my therapist would say if she knew I was doing this right now.  She would tell me to not let myself sit alone and wallow in my thoughts.  I needed to talk to someone in my support system, but I couldn’t bring myself to bother any of them with my petty problems.  I just needed to get over the fact that I had allowed myself to get this busy.  Having a pity party for myself really wouldn’t change anything anyways.

Eventually I did fall asleep, and the next thing I know I was annoyed because I couldn’t figure out how to turn my alarm off on my phone.  Once I finally did figure it out, I slowly convinced myself that I needed to get out of bed and get ready for class, especially because I had to leave in 20 minutes.

As I sit in my car, recalling the events of the last 12 hours, it all clicks into place, like a key in a lock.  I feel like one complete person for the first time in months because one of my friends has come back to visit me.  She really wasn’t ever the best friend for me considering she often sent me into panic attacks, and always left me doubting myself and everyone around me; but, she was also one of my most loyal friends for the first year of college.  Her name is Depression.  It was really hard for me to work when she was around last time, but I told myself that I wouldn’t allow her to be my excuse to not do work the next time she came around.

It is now a week later, and I am still struggling to stay afloat.  My big accomplishment today was not crying while doing any of my homework.  I know that sounds a tad ridiculous, but there are days when you have to celebrate the small victories.  I have been completely overwhelmed for weeks, been falling into a deeper pit of depression for days on end, but I’m not willing to let that slow me down.  One reason being my schedule isn’t getting any easier for at least a month.  But more importantly, I made a promise with myself and I intend to keep that promise.  I do not want to have to be depressed to feel whole because this version of feeling whole is suffocating me.

So, Depression:

Hello, old friend.  It’s good to see you again.  I’m going to show you just how much stronger I have gotten since I last saw you.  Yes, you are persistent.  You get under my skin, seem to have the easiest solutions to life, and are definitely tempting.  I know these things and I know you don’t give up easily, but neither do I.  You aren’t going to win this round, just like you didn’t win the last round.  I hope you’re ready for this fight as much as I am.

Until next time,

Aly

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