I haven’t made a blog entry in I don’t know how long. This past year I’ve adopted a one-track mind focused entirely on working hard and earning money. I’ve ignored all my creative instincts and shut down my ’emotional’ intelligence, because of how unreliable it has proved in the past.
Four nights ago, I suddenly started suffering from insomnia again. Rationalising it, I can put it down to three or four factors: the fact I’m looking to move house again and the anxiety of wanting to get the move perfect; money, or my perceived lack of money; work, and my feeling of having not got everything ‘perfect’ during my time at my current school; and my utter lack of desire to spend time by myself.
So I thought it’d be good to talk about it. And to talk about the ‘dirty’ word depression, and how I’ve come to stigmatise it more than I ever used to. A dominant part of me felt if I could rationalise my thoughts and feelings, I can just vanquish the feeling. Of course, that is a stupid belief for one so intelligent.
So, moving house… I’ve made the decision to buddy-up with someone I found on spareroom and find a tenancy together. The search has been plagued with problems, from landlords not accepting pets to us both looking for slightly different but irreconcilable things. For the past three or four weeks, I’ve been attached to my phone, ringing every letting agency. I must have viewed twenty properties. We’ve finally found one we both like and tomorrow we find out if our application has been accepted. I’m scared the tenancy won’t work out. That we won’t manage to co-habit well together. That it’ll all end in disaster, because I’ll have one of my depressive episodes one evening and ruin any good relationship we’ve built up.
And that links to my next thing. My desire to buy a house. Which means scraping together every – damn – last- penny. I don’t want a house as a status symbol, or because all my friends can afford to buy whilst I cannot, but because I want stability in my life. I want a place to live that nobody can take away from me. Living with my parents is no longer an option, as both my parents are in a more dire mental state than I am. It’s hard to go to them for help when I know that even the slightest extra emotional baggage might tip one or both of them over the edge. So I need to buy somewhere of my own, that can root me down and give me an anchor in my otherwise fluctuating world. When I am going through one of my hyper states, I dream of flying off to Australia or New Zealand – working as a ranch hand or as a barmaid and just spending my spare time in the sun with a notebook in hand. Money? What does that matter. I would only need a portion of my current earnings, to pay for board at a local hostel and cheap beach food. But I know in reality that running to the other side of the world isn’t going to help me escape my greatest enemy.
I have the opportunity to run away, since I will be changing jobs in September. This school was only a year contract, the History department is over-staffed and I made the rational decision to find somewhere else. I didn’t regret the decision, I still don’t. But I regret that despite my utmost hardest efforts, I won’t be leaving the school with a straight A report, so to speak. I cocked up two weeks ago over booking details for a school trip – and the fact I made such a foolish mistake hit me hard. My pride hurt bad. I felt incompetent. Whilst everyone else seems to have put it behind them, I know it’s one of the reasons why I am feeling over-anxious coming back to the school for the final term. Which is stupid. This isn’t my last school, where I very obviously had a bad relationship with my line manager and head teacher. This is a school that cares and recognises good work and hard effort. I just fear now that I’m spiralling downward and my work life will be affected, if I don’t sort something out quick.
Which comes down to the underlying issue, I guess. Which is that I am struggling to manage my ‘down time’. I very rarely come straight home from work and switch the TV on. In fact, I rarely just go to the horse and then come straight back. Today is a prime example – driving straight from work to pick up some furniture I bought on an irrational impulse, followed by an hour of time-killing at Katy’s (which was a lovely social relief, but did nothing to relax me), followed by an hour’s tutoring. Then home, dinner, bath, bed. During this whole time, I must have sent at least 100 texts to various people about various things (did I mention I’m trying to sort out somewhere to live?). No wonder I was unable to sleep.
I am scared of being by myself. When I’m left alone, I feel low. I dwell on how meaningless my life is. How I’ve been able to find a boyfriend, a place to call home, a permanent workplace, or a friendship group that is there for more than a few months. It’s not just this inconsistency in my life – it’s the fact I don’t write any more, the fact my spare time is spent working or thinking about work, then blowing my spare cash on nights and meals out, just to feel even guiltier about money. I feel guilty spending money on my supermarket shop, my diet is poor, and I’ve stopped enjoying the things I used to like riding, swimming and cycling.
I joke that dating has become my new favourite hobby. But I would estimate I’ve been on about thirty first dates in the past year alone. And only two second dates. Most of the guys want to see me again, they get sucked in by my witty humour and my seeming confidence. I don’t give them the chance to see the emotional wreck beneath that. Friends keep telling me to take a break from dating, but it’s become an addiction. It’s a vanity exercise, if nothing else. I still hold this waning candle of hope that one day I will turn up and stood there will be my perfect man, who will sweep me off my feet and kiss all my problems away. Oh wait… That happened eighteen months ago! And that landed me in even greater shit! No, maybe I should stick to dating as a vanity exercise.
I suppose the best thing to come out of this half-hour long purging of exhausted feelings is that I need to learn how to live with myself again. I need to spend the summer prioritising activities I can do alone, or with the horse, so that I can live with myself before looking to co-habit with others. I’m going to try and go to the doctor’s tomorrow and ask to be put on antidepressants. Cognitive therapy doesn’t work on me because I’m too good at rationalising my problems. I just need a fucking drug to control my feelings. I need to be able to put my problems back within the context of the world and appreciate that a) I do have friends and family that love and support me b) I have a career, along with a job for at least the next six months c) I earn enough to save a little each month for that dream house and with a 5% deposit it may come sooner rather than later and d) I’m not a bad person, others want to spend their days with me, so I should want to be around me too!