Loopy, Lonely and Lost

Posts Tagged ‘plans

Plans

Posted on: August 27, 2013

Optimistic Laura

I’m going to move out. I can buy a house, or a flat. I’ve been looking on property websites, and there’s a flat for sale in almost the perfect location for me – a short walk or bike ride from work, close enough to home for me to visit occasionally, for Sunday dinner or DVD marathons, but too far for my mum to walk over and cry on me when she’s annoyed. I can afford it, or something like it. I could buy it, get a mortgage sorted, live at home for a few weeks and go round to decorate and move in furniture, then I could move in and be surrounded by my own peace and silence.

Then I can start studying again. I’ve been looking at Open University courses. I’m interested in so many things, I just want to find stuff out, I want to get new skills and knowledge. Start small, don’t make too big a commitment until I know I’ll be okay with it, but just do something, a few hours a week, to make me feel like my brain is still working, like I really can learn something new every day. I can do other things, too. Maybe relearn the musical instrument I used to play as a child, and join a gym, and learn to cook. Tentatively, I might try writing again, like I used to always want to, although I’ll do it with the knowledge that even if it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. I might learn a language. I might volunteer for a charity that helps people.

Every day, the not-getting-the-job thing gets easier. I can say it without the stabbed-in-the-heart feeling now. I didn’t really know if I wanted the job, so I can’t be surprised that I wasn’t really considered for it. But the whole incident has shed light on my life. I was right when I said it: everybody needs something. More than one thing is best, in case the one thing falls apart. I want to fill my life with activities, things that make me feel movement and progress. So even if work, or anything else, isn’t going particularly well, I can carry that with the strength I’ll gain by all the other things. I can build skills and knowledge and confidence and independence, and that’s happiness, for me.

I can write a timetable for every day and a budget for every month, and I’ll be happy. I don’t know what job I want to do, I don’t know where my future lies, but you build your future in the present, and that’s what I need to do. In the words of Malcolm Tucker, “life is just a succession of five minuteses”. If each five minutes is the same as the next, and they’re all dull and empty, then that’s my life. I need to stop worrying about the long-term, if I don’t have a plan for it, and focus on making now work.

 

Pessimistic Laura

The perfect opportunity is coming up. I need to take this time to withdraw money from my bank account. Small amounts, consistently, so I can build them up. Once I  go, that’s it. I don’t want to be traced by my card transactions.

I have an old friend, who lives in a different city. I can say I’m staying with her. I haven’t seen her for ages, but I used to go to visit her regularly. My parents don’t even know she’s moved, so I could say I’m going to stay with her in the city she used to live in, to cover the trail further. She wouldn’t have to lie for me, my parents don’t have her number, so they wouldn’t be able to contact her. She wouldn’t have to know. 

I’ll leave it open-ended, say, “a few days”, so they won’t be expecting me back at a particular time. I’ll take a bag and say we’re going to sight-see and have a few drinks and just hang out for a while and catch up. Then I’ll go to the train station, and get on a train in the opposite direction. I’ll head to the coast. My mind is full of sea and horizon and cliffs, and that’s where I want to be. I could stay for a day or two, get my head straight. Breathe fresh air and cushion myself in quiet, and think properly for a moment. I could send a postcard, maybe. Not a note in the traditional sense, just something to let them know where I am. Maybe an apology.

Jumping off a cliff seems a simple way to do it, but there’d be other methods available too, if for some reason that doesn’t work out. I will end it there, or else move on and find somewhere else to do it. No turning back. I want to be in a place where I’m a stranger. Somewhere calm. I will run until I can find it. No-one will mind, no-one will care, because no-one will know me.

 

The awful truth

I’ll probably do neither. Lately, I’ve been believing both of these things, pretty much at the same time. But this is me we’re talking about. I can’t change.

I’ll stay at home, doing nothing, and let my brain rot. Too scared to make my life better, too scared to end it. This is it, this is me – forever.

I wish I had the courage to do one thing or the other.

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One minute, I was standing in the bathroom, looking myself straight in the eye in the mirror. Face it, I told myself, in crystal clear silence, you’re never going to kill yourself. Stop pretending you’re going to somehow develop the guts to do it, and find a way to live.

The next minute, I was sitting in my room in darkness, crying and Googling suicide methods.

Every time I try to close a door on it, it barges through as strong as it’s ever been.

I can’t help but feel that my birthday would be the day to do it. It means people only have to pretend to give a fuck once a year, doesn’t it? And it has the handy advantage of being less than three weeks away. (Incidentally, less than three weeks to go and no-one in my family’s mentioned it. I don’t usually do much for my birthday – just a couple of cards, a cake, maybe a cd or dvd – but no-one’s said a word and I think they, like me, just don’t want to admit I’m getting older. The longer I live, the more of a disappointment I am.)

It’s better to die, as soon as possible, than to keep dragging this out. The awful reality is that if I don’t take matters into my hands, I might live for decades after now. I might only be a third, or a quarter of the way through my life. And that time I might have too left, it’s too short to put right the mistakes I’ve made, and too long to live with so much shame and fear.

I need to get real. Stop living in some fantasy world in my head where I am someone else or there’s a time machine I can use to go back, back, back, right to the beginning of my life, and choose to do everything differently or maybe to just not be born.

I’ve backed myself into a corner. I’ve told myself, live like this or don’t live, and I’ve fucking tried, but how long can I carry on like this?

I can’t do it. I can’t make myself feel better so the only thing to do is find a way to make myself stop feeling anything.

My mum’s friend’s husband might be dying, and it is my fault.

The reasoning that led her to that conclusion is so convoluted that the tiny slice of my brain  that still operates in reality (the bit that does maths and solves problems and knows when people are talking bollocks) is laughing. It’s that fucking stupid. But that tiny slice…it’s nothing. The rest of me is consumed with panic and guilt and an overwhelming urge to self-destruct.

I cannot live under the weight of all this shame. Not just for this, but for every thing, large or small, that ever goes wrong. It all comes back to me. If you think no other person could be as cruel as the voice inside your head, that’s because you’ve never met my mother. She manages to find guilt it’d never even occurred to me to feel.

I want to jump off bridges and drown in ponds. I want to tear my flesh apart. I want to burn and crush and obliterate. I want to walk as fast as my legs will carry me to the train station, get on the first train and just stay there, watching the world fly past, just keep moving until the restless agitation stops.

I want to get drunk, so paralytic I can’t feel my legs. I want to pass out and forget.

There’s a part of me that’s been considering asking my friend if I can stay with her for a few days. She lives in a different city, and I could get time off work, and she knows, at least a little. But we haven’t spoken in months, and I’ve managed to crush the urge for self-preservation so thoroughly that I simply can’t think of a way to ask her that doesn’t make me want to lie down on the motorway. Besides, it’s not even really her that I want. What I really want is a small room, empty and quiet, where I can lie down and curl up and pretend not to exist. I can’t interrupt someone else’s life (with her house and her job and her boyfriend, all shiny and happy), just so I can do that.

It’s probably not a good idea anyway. Work is still helpful. I feel vaguely normal there. I laugh with my colleagues and my manager praises me, and there’s enough of a challenge to keep me going, but very little pressure (I can’t handle pressure anymore. Not at all. Place responsibility on my shoulders and I crumple like a house of cards).

I’ve become exactly the kind of person I hate, which doesn’t help. I’ve pretty much completed my life’s work: becoming a person that doesn’t ever express emotions. I suppose it helps that I’ve been practising for as long as I can remember. I’m practically robotic, now. And I don’t have any sympathy. I don’t want to hurt people, but when they’re hurting nonetheless, I get impatient. Have to keep biting back “pull yourself together”s, and I feel like shit for it. But I don’t let me cry or complain or express discontent in anyway, so why should I encourage other people to do so? I find myself vaguely resenting people, as if it’s them stopping me from one day just sitting down and saying “you know what? I feel like shit.”

But it’s me who places the restrictions on myself. I don’t even really know why anymore, it’s just that emotion is weakness and I can’t allow that. I can’t allow anyone to know me. It’s always been the way, but it’s more evident now. Sometimes I wonder if I’m missing out on something, but defence is what’s important.

I worry that, when I die, people will be confused. That they’ll say, but she was always cheerful. I mean, that’s what they say to me now. Always asking how I stay so happy. How do I even begin to answer that?

What is there that’s worth living for, now? Everything has turned to ashes.

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 »

For perhaps a day or two, I have, without really noticing it, been incredibly cheerful and optimistic.

I’ve been looking at PGCE courses again. I even started an application.

I’ve been looking for jobs for when I’m back at uni. I even emailed my CV to one of them.

I’ve been looking at volunteering again. The schools one and another placement. I’ll go, this time, I’ll go more often and really make the most of it.

I’ve been on the university’s gym’s website, planning what I’ll do and when I’ll do it so that I can lose weight, but being careful to pay attention to the costs of it…which lead to quite a detailed budget plan.

I’ve been planning, planning, planning. Listing things I need to buy before I go back. Planning what meals I’ll make for myself. Actually feeling hopeful about getting a decent dissertation topic, even at this late stage. Planning to talk to new people, make friends. Imagining it in my head.

And then, just now, I realised I was doing it. I realised I was looking at the future as it if wasn’t an obstacle, as if it was something fun and exciting, and as if I was running towards it at great, gleeful speed.

And I just feel like…oh.

I only ever really feel good when I’m hurtling towards something…thinking about it so incredibly, but at the same time not really thinking about it. I feel good when I’m lost in something, not when I’m jolted into the present.

It’s not that I feel bad, now. Slightly foolish, perhaps. It’s just that the total, uninhibited joy that I was feeling when I looked towards the future has dimmed quite a bit. And I’m trying to stop the thoughts from creeping in.

You’ll never get accepted on those courses. You won’t get a good enough degree or good enough references and you don’t have enough experiences and the places on them are so limited and who would choose you over anyone else?…You’ll never get a job. They won’t contact you, and they’re not alone. Everything you ever apply for, you’ll be turned down. Even if you make it to an interview, you won’t get the job because seeing you face to face is enough to make anyone realise they don’t want to do it again…As for the volunteering, you KNOW you’ll fail at that, because you failed at it last year. You signed up for it and got all enthusiastic and then you hardly ever went because you’re lazy and stupid and you throw every good chance away…Gym? Are you having a laugh? You can’t do it, you won’t do it, you’ll fail like you fail at everything else and you’re always going to be fat, always going to be unfit and unhealthy and ugly…It doesn’t matter what you buy, because you won’t be using it. It doesn’t matter what meals you plan, because most of the time you’re too scared to even go into the kitchen. You’re pathetic. It’s too late to sort a dissertation, so you’re going to fail your degree. It’s not like you don’t deserve to fail, you are a FAILURE. As for making friends, don’t be ridiculous. You don’t have any friends, you’ll never have any friends because EVERYBODY HATES YOU…

The thoughts aren’t properly there, yet. I have them, but they haven’t taken over. They’re not consuming me. But it’s only a matter of time, isn’t it? I feel so weak. I see them, hear them coming, but I can’t stop them, can’t avoid them, these awful thoughts…they eat away at everything, they eat away at me. They make themselves true.

I want  my optimism back. Even if it’s hopeless. Because at least if I’m optimistic and confident, I will try to do things, try to achieve something. And maybe some of it will stick, some of it will work, and I will be a better person, and it’ll be something to hold, something to use, something to show me and my thoughts that I’m not completely useless.

But it never lasts. All that happens is that I end up embarrassed and rejected and even worse, because I’ve done stupid things and I’m no longer brave enough to cope with the consequences of all these plans and enquiries.

I need consistency. I need stability. I need some kind of middle ground.

I feel like such an idiot now.

It’s officially January 3rd, so – as ever – I am not so much fashionably as pathetically late in anything I have to say. Read the rest of this entry »


Hello

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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