Loopy, Lonely and Lost

Posts Tagged ‘university


Posted on: July 1, 2010

I don’t really know what to do. I think it would take considerably more strength than I have, to grit my teeth and say “I’ve fucked up again,” and deal with questions and concerns and worries and interferences and keep trying, keep doing all I can to get something out of this whole mess.

It’d be okay, if I was the right kind of person. If I could grit my teeth, stick my chin out, stride with purpose and do whatever it takes to actually achieve something. The kind of person who could spend the next few decades looking family and friends and employers in the face and saying that all those years in the Doldrums, it wasn’t about weakness or stupidity, it was about perseverence and inner steel. But I’m not that kind of person, and if I was, I suspect I wouldn’t be in this situation.

My parents keep talking about how proud they are of me. I’m going to break their hearts, again. Either I do it by raising the courage to be honest, and admitting all of my mistakes and wrongdoings and secrets and lies, or I do it by giving in to the persistent and overwhelming urge to kill myself. It seems to me like the only real difference between the two options is that if I kill myself, I won’t ever get the opportunity to disappoint them again.

When I was in Year 7, my form group did this thing, where you write your name on a piece of paper, and pass it to the person next to you. Then, with every piece of paper you get, you look at the name and write a complimentary word or phrase about that person, and pass it along. Eventually, your piece of paper comes back to you, and it’s covered in a list of all the good things about you.

There must have been 20-something ideas on that piece of paper. About half of them said some variation on “funny”, the other half “clever”.

Eleven years old and I’d already narrowed down my personality to two traits. And I was so sure of myself, back then. I glanced at the list, felt a little thrill that people had actually written anything at all, and then felt vaguely disappointed that no-one had said anything new. I hadn’t learnt anything about myself: the adjectives that people used to describe me were the adjectives people always used to describe me and, if I could be sure no-one was going to call me arrogant, they were the words I’d use to describe myself, too.

But still: at the time, and for years afterwards, it was enough. Maybe it would still be enough, if only it was true.

I don’t make people laugh anymore. I mean, sometimes they laugh at me, or out of pity, or because I’m churning out over-used old jokes in an attempt to avoid engaging with the conversation. But I don’t feel quick, or witty, and I don’t feel like anything I say is new or original or side-splittingly hilarious, like it used to feel back when I knew how to deal with people.

And today – it’s today now, already past midnight – I’m going to find out my degree results, and prove once and for all that “clever”‘s a misnomer too.

There were two good things about me, and they’ve faded away. I suppose that means that either I’m horrible, or I’m nothing.

Such a simple, two-dimensional personality, and it’s gone. What little character I had has faded away, and the empty shell that remains is hardly even human.

Every time I relax my mind, I see my death. Vivid and violent, myriad methods and endless, excruciating detail. Images bursting unwanted into my head, indelible traces etched on to my mind. I think my brain is probably trying to tell me something. Make a point.

I hear it loud and clear, of course. I don’t know what the immediate future will bring, but I know that if I decide to die, my absence will be an unimaginably small dent in the world. About the size of my presence.

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.

Not so much, anymore.

One minute, I’m sat with my parents, watching tv, feeling pretty good.

The next thing I know, they’re asking me questions. Repeating, over and over again, asking me what grade I’m going to get, how well I’m going to do, what I’m going to do with my life.

They always say it doesn’t matter, but how can it not, if they’re always asking?

All they want is a daughter who will make them proud, and I can’t even be that.

Moments later, I’ve locked myself in the bathroom and I’m perched on the edge of the bath, crying silently, digging fingernails into flesh and furiously whispering “shut up, Laura. Stop fucking crying”.

I go upstairs and try to be calm, try to recapture some of my hope, but then my mum’s coming upstairs and saying, “why are you being like this? Why are you upset? Your eyes are all red, stop being miserable” and it makes everything indescribably worse.

I can’t feel anything without feeling guilty. When I’m here, it’s all I hear: don’t be sad, don’t be angry, don’t be annoyed, don’t be silly (‘silly’ means happy, or cheerful, or enthusastic). And every time anything forces its way through my mask to become a visible emotion, they comment on it and all I can feel is overwhelming guilt and shame because look, I’ve failed again. Letting my emotions get the better of me.

All I can think about now is dying. I don’t know why this is my automatic response, but every time I feel a little bit uncomfortable or sad or whatever, all I can think is “okay then, I’d better kill myself”, and I try not to think about it. I hold my breath and bite my lip and count to ten and tell myself in a very stern internal voice not to be so fucking stupid, but still, all those thoughts are there, and all I can think is that I have to die before graduation, because nothing is as humiliating as being surrounded by people who are successful, and knowing that you’re a failure, and having to watch you parents come to terms with that.

I can’t fucking do it.

I just found out that a piece of coursework that I handed in a few weeks ago has been marked, and I got 73%. Which is, and I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, a first.

This is something I feel I should be happy with. Proud of.

But mostly I feel a sort of lingering regret that it means nothing because I haven’t done enough work. It emphasises the idea that I could have done well, if only I hadn’t been so lazy. If only I’d done my work. I feel stupidly guilty that, maybe if I’d done more, pushed myself more, completed more things, perhaps I would have similar marks all across the board. Or at least, you know, marks.

I’m also a little suspicious. Perhaps I’m being paranoid, but there’s no way that essay was worth that mark. I hardly went to anything for that module all term, and I wrote the essay in a matter of hours. How on earth could it have been good? I get the feeling that maybe the department’s being over-generous, giving a high mark to balance out all the stuff I haven’t done, in an attempt to keep me from messing up their statistics.

I’m trying to stop thinking that. Even if it is true, I have the mark now. I might as well just be happy with it.

So, I’ve been lax with my revision.

I set my alarm for early this morning, but – not having got to sleep until about 7am – failed to get up particularly early. It’s now just gone 10.

I have an exam at 2.

This morning was going to be my last minute cramming session. Not particularly advisable, but trust me, necessary. I’ve been finding it hard to concentrate or focus or remember. Cramming in as much as I can a few hours before the exam is pretty much all I can do.

I went to log on to my modules’ website. Where all the lecture presentations are, and the links to reading.

And I can’t log on. It says I don’t have an account.

Now I’ve got to trawl through textbooks, trying to remember which bits are relevant to my course, and which aren’t. I’ve got less than four fucking hours.

I’m not panicking. But I rather suspect I am failing.

Posted on: May 24, 2010

Today, I had an exam. It went very badly. On my way to the exam hall I just kept thinking about my family and how disappointed they’ll be. How much they must wish they could trade me for someone better. And I started getting a little watery-eyed. Read the rest of this entry »

Too late.

Posted on: March 17, 2010

I’ve messed up. I’ve really, really messed up.

I’ve been looking the other way while my life falls apart. I’ve been ignoring it, for months. Averting my gaze and distracting myself and vaguely believing that sooner or later I would stumble across a way to make things right.

I’ve failed my degree. I mean, I know there’s a couple of months left, but it’s pretty much a given that I’ve failed. I’ve missed too much. Haven’t handed in essays, or done presentations, or turned up for tests. I don’t deserve to pass. It wouldn’t be fair on all the people who do their work.

I got an email from my course co-ordinator. She says that she is worried and I don’t know how to respond. My automatic response to worry of any kind is to pretty much scream “I’M OKAY” in people’s faces. But if I’m okay then there’s no excuse.

Maybe there’s no excuse anyway. Maybe it is just all laziness. Stupidity.

And even if I was honest, what good would it do? It’s too late now. There’s no fixing it, no sorting things out. I pretended it wasn’t happening and now it can’t be stopped.

I’ve handled things so badly. Why am I so scared of everything? Why do I have to lie all the time? Why can’t I just fucking cope?

Every time I hear or read anything to do with university, or my course, or the future, I just feel really fucking ashamed. Like I’ve tried, and I’ve failed, and now I have to close off from it; I have no right to even say the words.

What am I going to do? I can’t stay here and I don’t want to go home (how will I explain? I’ve lied so thoroughly for so long, how can I tell them that I didn’t trust them? How can I admit that all their time and money and effort and all the things they’ve done for me are worthless because I can’t achieve anything?).

All I can think about doing is either running away or killing myself. And I know they’re both stupid ideas, but what the fuck else is there? Go home and admit it and be asked endless questions and have my privacy invaded and refuse to show any emotions and cry myself to sleep and do nothing, and achieve nothing, and be an endless waste and a drain on everybody around me. I can’t fucking do it.

And running away’s a ridiculous idea anyway, because I’ve got nowhere to go to, and very little money, and people would find me anyway and that would just make everything worse. And however tempting it is to just pack a bag and run off, now, into the night – you can’t run away from yourself, can you?

But that only leaves one option. It always fucking comes back to that.

Is it the end of the line? Is it time to just properly, fully accept that living is simply not an option? Is it time?

There’s a suicide note on my computer. I wrote it weeks ago. I can’t bring myself to either read or delete it. But it’s there. It’s comforting that it’s there.

I don’t know what else to do. There’s nothing left. It’s all broken. And I know that I will be disappointing people, letting them down, but if I lived I’d be doing that anyway.

It was always going to be suicide. I used to think it, know it, even before I started to get depressed. Couldn’t imagine myself dying any other way, even back when I didn’t even really know how it felt to want to die.

I wouldn’t be killing anything that isn’t already rotting.


Posted on: February 2, 2010

Gaah. That’s what I have to say.

I’m irritable. I’m pissed off. I’m speaking and acting without thinking.

I’m too twitchily awake to actually do anything, but I still thought it was a perfectly good idea to volunteer to (idea, volunteer: rhyme…)

Right. I volunteered to format my group’s presentation for our seminar on Friday. I reckon it’s the least I could do considering what a bad group member I am, always missing stuff etc. and talking too loud (I could see them looking at me strangely, but I can’t make my voice behave).

Last night, I eventually passed out, only to wake up three hours or so later.

I’m very tempted to go to the doctor and say “PLEASE MAKE ME SLEEP”. But then they’d start asking pesky questions about how my mood is, and I’d probably just scream, “IT’S FUCKING FINE. JUST KNOCK ME OUT BEFORE MY HEAD EXPLODES”. At which point they’d probably call the police. And then my head would explode, which would at least prove me right.

I’m aware that I’m kind of all over the place at the minute. I’m trying to calm myself down. Trying to be still and calm, trying to think things through, trying to just laugh at myself when I’m so startled by little noises that I drop things.

It’s just…sleep. I need some sleep.

Edit: I got an email from the mental health advisor, offering an appointment. I burst into tears. I don’t fucking know why. I suppose that means I’m going to have to actually speak about this out loud. Admittedly, probably in the vaguest way possible.

I don’t know how to feel. Part of me is panicking – I don’t want to speak, I don’t want to ask for help, I don’t want anybody to know, I should never have contacted her. Part of me is upset – I feel guilty, I feel like a disappointment, I feel like I’m giving in. And a small part of me is relieved. Just that small, ridiculous, naive part of my mind that is thinking maybe something will change. And of course, that just makes the part of me that’s sad even sadder, and adds a bit of self-hating anger in there, too – I hate my hope, I hate that I can’t cope and am desperate for something else.

It is now just gone 4pm on Monday.

The last time I remember getting any sleep was the early hours of Saturday morning.

This is…odd.

I’m seeing everything through a vague kind of haze.

I have a distant feeling that I’m supposed to be sorting my life out, but I can’t quite grasp what I have to do.

I went to volunteering today, though. That’s a start. I enjoyed it. It’s one of the few things that seems to make sense, although I feel like a fraud, using depression as an excuse for things when for the past few days I haven’t been depressed, and today I spent a lot of time being loud and happy and funny and making people listen to me. I feel a bit like these times invalidate the others.

I got an email from my course co-ordinator, saying that as long as the essay I missed last term is submitteed by the end of this term then I’ll be okay.

I was so ridiculously grateful. And I don’t know why, but losing the pressure made me want to start doing it straight away. I wanted to reply to her and say don’t worry, I’ll get it done in the next couple of weeks. Don’t worry, I’ll get it done today.

But I calmed down.

First things first. Tidy my room. Start going to lectures again. Work out how to restart my life.

Get some fucking sleep.


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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