Loopy, Lonely and Lost

Posts Tagged ‘life

Something must change.

I don’t know what, and I don’t know how.

Read the rest of this entry »

There’s a part of me, a tiny little part, that thinks I have some sort of future. There’s a person inside of me that believes I can stay alive, not just on a short-term, make-it-to-next-week basis, but for decades, for an entire natural life.

That person, she makes plans. She wants to find a house, get a mortgage, live alone. She wants to push on and succeed at work, do some volunteering, join a gym. She wants to create a little haven of calm, a home in which she’s not always watching the door, waiting for someone to barge in. She wants to learn to cook properly and paint some walls and organise her life. She wants something to organise, expenses to budget for, a diary to arrange and a life to keep in order. She dreams, vaguely, of writing something. Not for publication (even the dreamer in me is slightly realistic), but just an exercise in creativity, something to uncover her childhood enthusiasms which have been buried for so long.

But a dream is all it is. I fantasise about being a functioning adult human the way a child fantasises about being a film star or an astronaut or a Barbie doll. Having an actual life is about as realistic an aim for me as growing an extra arm. Read the rest of this entry »

The past doesn’t seem real anymore. I think about events in my life and they strike me as things that happened to someone else.

I feel like I never went to uni. I talk about it, sometimes, about funny or interesting things that happened while I was there, about the people I knew, and it feels like a dream or a story someone once told me.

And really, I might as well have not gone, hadn’t I? I mean, I know that if I hadn’t, I would have regretted it. I would always be thinking, I could have done that – but I’d be wrong. I know that now. Four years of my life and I can hardly remember most of it, and I’m no longer in touch with the people I knew (what is it people say? The friends you make at university will last a lifetime), and I don’t even have a degree to show for it, letters I can put after my name as proof that I did something, proof that I was there. All I have is a gap in my employment history that to explain would mean to admit failure.

I feel like I’ve betrayed the person I used to be. I think of myself, all those years ago. All the aspirations I had. I was going to write books, or if that didn’t work out as quickly and as successfully as I hoped, I’d become a teacher. I was going to fall in love and be a mother. I was going to have a house of my own, and lots of friends. I was going to achieve something, even if I wasn’t quite sure what.

It’s stupid, isn’t it? Nothing in my life ever gave me any indication that I’d be able to do the things I dreamt of, and since dreaming them life has emphatically proven that I’m incapable.

In a way, I know that I’m being premature. Giving up too early. I’m 22 years old, and there’s still time for any or all of those things. But I can no longer see any of them happening, and I’m not even on the right path anymore. I know that, if this were a story, and I were the hero, I’d be more determined. I wouldn’t give up just because there were obstacles in my way. But it’s a long time since I’ve felt I’m the protagonist in this winding, plotless tale, and I’ve never felt like a hero.

I’ve never known how to try again. I’ve always been someone who tried once and then, on failing, quickly moved on, pretending the thing I’d tried for was worthless. If I fail once, I take it as a sign that I am neither capable nor deserving of success. And by that method I close every door, I cut off every path that’s available to me, and I stand in this same place, unable to move on.

I sit and wait, watching life trickle away, too quickly to change it but too slowly for comfort. I see my life as another thing I’ve tried to do, some task I’ve set myself to. And I failed, so all there is left to do is pretend it doesn’t matter and refuse to try again.

I’m not even sure any of that makes sense.

I don’t even really know how I feel, or what’s happening in my life.

I know that life at home is easy in all the ways that really matter – food on the table and a roof over my head, and I don’t have to worry about money. And I know that life at work is probably better than I had any right to hope for – not too taxing, relatively interesting, and surrounded by people I suppose I get on with.

But home is a struggle, always (and even back when I hoped to become a mother, I wonder if I’d ever be so selfish as to go through with it, knowing that there’s a chance I’d end up like my own, who sees her children as adversaries and inconveniences – lingering unpleasantnesses that she’d hoped to be free of long ago). And at work, there is too much time for chat, and it makes me uncomfortable. Already, I can see their puzzled glances. I’m never who I was the previous week. Everything I say and am seems to contradict everything they already know about me, and they have questions that I don’t know how to answer.

I sit in the dark and cry. I wake too early and fall asleep too late. The mask is in place permanently, and I have no time to be myself, to fall apart, without the fear of discovery. I’d call it a good thing, the enforced routine serving as a crude sketch of a life that maybe one day I will learn to live, but I feel myself becoming exhausted by pretense, and irritable with the people in whose presence I have to pretend.

I feel the weight that pushes down on my shoulders, and I see the walls that pen me in. I force a smile and carry on, and everything twists, and more parts of myself become irretrievable, and every day is another day I’ve lost forever, and another day I get to tick off in the excrutiatingly slow countdown to the end of my life.

It’s all I can do now, sit and wait, having neither the courage nor the energy to either end or change my life.

Everything just feels a bit fucked up.

Work’s mostly going quite well. I’ve learnt by now that the best thing for me is structure and just the right amount of pressure – if I feel like I have to do something, or I’m letting people down, then a lot of the time I will do it, which means yeah, I’m getting out of the house, and yeah, I’m getting through the day. I’ve got something to do, and that helps, it really does.

It’s not always great, though. I’m expected to be friendly, socialise with the people I work with. And that shouldn’t be hard, they’re all really nice. But everyone I ever meet seems to want to analyse me, seems to want to tell me exactly how I appear. It’s nerve-wracking and worrying and I don’t really see anything of myself in the words that people use to describe me. That frightens me, a little. The thought that I have so little control over how I come across. The thought that I’m not how I think I am.

I can’t afford to fall apart. But the pressure is mounting, from all directions.

Every time something goes wrong at work, my heart beats a little faster, I start to panic, thinking it must be my fault, waiting for someone to tell me I’ve done something appallingly bad. Every time someone asks me a question about myself, I close off and feel deeply ashamed for doing so, because the questions they ask aren’t invasive or overly personal, but they feel like it to me.

I don’t know when I stopped being able to disclose anything. I don’t know when I started being so terrified of letting anything slip. I know that I was a secretive child, and I know I’ve always kept some things to myself. But lately, I don’t even answer questions about my preferences in music or film or tv or books. I don’t even answer questions about how I like to spend my spare time, or what I do when I’m with my friends (not that I ever am anymore), or what I’d like to do with my future. It shouldn’t be hard, letting all that stuff out. It should be easy. It should be a simple, pain-free route to making new friends, but I guard all that information so fiercely, and feel myself panicking whenever I’m asked about it.

I don’t know when I started living entirely within myself. I don’t know what it was that made me trust people so little that I feel uncomfortable with them even recognising my face.

I know I will spend my whole life alone and terrified and sacrificing everything I have for the protection of meaningless secrets.

I don’t think of myself as depressed anymore. When I think of depression, I think of the way I thought it would get better. I think of my complete and utter naivety in thinking that just telling someone, and doing everything they said, even when it hurt, would be good for me and make it go away. I think of depression and I think of an illness, or a phase, or a blip. Something I thought could be overcome, as long as I was strong enough, or brave enough, and just kept trying. Depression was always something that could be beaten – I rarely believed I was capable of beating it, but that was because of my own weakness, rather than the strength of the depression.

I know better now. I’m not ill. I’m not going through a phase. I haven’t stumbled off the track or had a few problems or needed a bit of help.

I have become it. It’s not a layer on top of the real me anymore. It’s all there is, all the way down. And there’s no way out because it’s who I am. I called traits symptoms in an attempt to separate myself from them, but it didn’t work, and it’s not true.  I can’t distinguish myself from it anymore. If there was ever any good in me, it was consumed a long time ago.

It’s too late to go back, and there’s no going forwards.

Maybe I could have chosen another route, but I can’t anymore.

Every day, I am less.

Posted on: June 16, 2010

I’m struggling a little bit at the moment.

I’ve been working for the past couple of days, which is a good distraction, but my sleep is completely fucked anyway, and it’s hard to get up at 6am after two hours’ sleep, then work 9 hours (trying to motivate teenagers, at that), then go home and be exhausted but still not sleeping anywhere near enough, and then get up the next day and do it again. But yeah, it’s been a distraction, and I sort of made friends with the person I was working with…it feels such an embarrassingly long time since I actually made a friend, so it actually feels like a big thing, when all that happened was I met someone with a few similar interests and we chatted a lot (I wish the small things didn’t seem so big. I wish it could be like the old days, when it all came so much more easily).

I’m finding it hard to calm my anxiety. It’s not full-on panic yet, just a sort of dread that I can feel rising in my chest. I’m pretty sure I’ve failed my degree (I’ve done the maths. Any kind of half-decent grade is unlikely, verging on impossible). And I don’t know how I’m going to explain. To my family, who have always been so unjustifiably proud of me. Or to my friends, whose opinion of me is so out-of-date that they still think of me as “clever”, because last time we studied together was at college, back when I could do anything.

I mean, what do I say? How can I let everyone down like this? I’m going to spend the rest of my life saying, “yeah, sorry, it turns out I’m stupid”. It’s always going to be there. I’ll never be allowed to forget it. Every single job application. The whole of my life, making excuses and avoiding eye contact and shrugging. It’s hard enough to get a job these days even as a graduate with a first class degree. How the fuck will I manage, having gone to university and made nothing of it? Four years, down the drain. Thousands of pounds of debt. Nothing to show for it. It’s a fucking waste and I wish I hadn’t bothered.

And I think, briefly…maybe I don’t want to lie anymore. Maybe I just want to hold my hands up, say “I can’t cope”, burst into tears and wait for someone to come along and make it better. It’s naive, and weak, even to think it. To consider, even for a moment, that this is something that would be easier if people knew. It would just be a different kind of difficult, and not a kind that, really, I’d ever be able to cope with. I know I’m not really coping now, but at least I have privacy. At least no-one feels sorry for me. It’s a small comfort, but it’s pretty much all I’ve got, and I’m not going to give it up because of some instinctive desire to just hand over the reins and let someone else steer my life while I have a bit of a nap.

I’ve found something that is bigger than me. You can call it depression, or unhappiness, or pessimism, or just plain old life, but it’s too big and too destructive, and I’ve been holding it inside myself and it’s been eating away, consuming all of me to make more room for it, so it can grow and take over completely. Soon it will be all I am.

I have another counselling appointment on Friday. It’ll probably be the last one. I left it too late for it to make a difference. I suppose it wouldn’t have, anyway. Then again, I don’t really think months or even years of counselling would be able to change my thoughts. They’re too…big. They’re too much of me.

I suppose I might be a little suicidal. Kill yourself, kill yourself, might as well kill yourself. Better get it over with before life catches up with you. Hurry up and do it before things get worse. Kill yourself, kill yourself. Shut up and kill yourself. Over and over again until it’s all I can think, and no amount of superficial think of something else-ing will get rid of it.

I’m scared, a lot. But to be perfectly honest, I’m more scared of living than I am of dying.

It’s just gone half past five in the morning, it’s already not properly dark, and I haven’t been to sleep.

I don’t know what to do. I just keep crying. Read the rest of this entry »

Quelle surprise.

Today: stayed awake all night. Napped for an hour or so this morning. Spent most of the day in a bit of a daze, doing nothing. Then went to training for volunteering – not too bad, although I felt like a spare part all the time because I can’t make anything I say relevant, or useful or even decipherable. Feel like I’ve forgotten how to speak, I just keep stuttering and saying errrrrrm. Came home and cried for no discernable reason. Now it’s gone eleven at night and I should go to bed, I feel like a ghost, I really need to fucking sleep but as ever it doesn’t work. Eyes closed just means eyes closed, it doesn’t logically lead to sleep anymore. My eye is almost constantly twitching from tiredness, and I keep seeing strange, unexplained flashes of bright light, which make me jump like a moron.

Tomorrow, provided I don’t fuck it up: Wake up, breakfast, lots of reading, meeting,  lunch, lecture, reading, meeting, dinner, reading, sleep.

Can’t do it. Can’t.

Even when I actually get motivated to read, I can’t concentrate properly, I don’t take anything in, my mind wanders.

I know from experience that if I go to my department, or email them, and explain, they’ll be sympathetic. But I don’t want their fucking sympathy. I want…a time machine, or a new brain, or a new life…none of which the average university department’s going to be able to provide. I don’t want to contact them and say, “I’m sorry, I’ve been depressed, I’m trying, I promise,” because it feels like a lie, and even if it’s not, it feels like whining and begging and pathetic excuses. I don’t want them to say “Sorry to hear that, shouldn’t you get some help?” (like they did last year, and I deliberately ignored them), I want them to say “That’s not acceptable” and shoot me in the head.

I feel like most of my brain has stopped working. I cannot concentrate, I cannot think, I can hardly even motivate myself to try. I’m alternating between feeling a) spaced out and distant, and b) horrifically miserable and weepy.

I’m not going to make it.

I can’t cope, I can’t live. I don’t deserve to get my degree; I haven’t put in enough work. I don’t deserve to get a job; I’m mind-bogglingly unreliable and terrible with people. I don’t deserve any good thing because I’m incapable of doing anything with them. Short burst of productivity serve only to inconvenience more people when I inevitably fall apart.

I’m stuck, completely trapped inside my head. Like I said above, I can’t speak properly. Not even about stupid, trivial things. The words won’t come out. I can’t communicate anymore. Probably connected to the fact I can’t think, either.

I have to be better than this, but I’m not.


Edit: I just spent five hours lying in my bed. No light, no noise, nothing. Nice temperature, comfortable bed. I didn’t sleep. Not a fucking wink. And my alarm goes off in three hours and I’m so tired, but I can’t sleep, and it’s driving me mad.

I’m so tempted to pack up my belongings, throw away my textbooks and call up my parents and ask them to take me home. Then spend the next few weeks, months, years – however long it takes – curled up in my bed and just forgetting. Read the rest of this entry »

Sometimes, I like thinking about suicide. I like making plans, setting dates, focussing really hard on it. It makes me happy, briefly. Not real happiness, admittedly, but a kind of determined anticipation, a kind of relief: just a few more days, just another week, and then…nothing. I won’t exist anymore. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m frightened, all the time. I’m panicking. I feel it in my chest, like somebody’s sitting on me, or like there’s a hand wrapped around my heart, squeezing all the life out of me. I’ve been grinding my teeth, giving myself headaches. Read the rest of this entry »


My name is Laura. I was once told that I have cyclothymia. This blog is mostly where I write about living as a person with extremes and instability of mood, and the history of a life that led to the development of those symptoms.

I complain a lot, I'm very repetitive, unreliable, and I tend to contradict myself.

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