Loopy, Lonely and Lost

Posts Tagged ‘volunteering

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.

I couldn’t get to sleep until 2am. I know, I should be thankful. That’s an early night for me.

Then I woke up at 3:30am. I couldn’t get back to sleep.

So I stayed up. Not really doing anything. Listening to music. Reading, a bit. Watching stuff on youtube.

Then I got out of bed. I showered. I had breakfast. And I went to volunteering.

And I felt…alive. I felt like everything made sense. It sounds stupid, doesn’t it? It’s not really cool to have rewarding experiences. It was challenging and frustrating and exhausting, but ultimately, I spent every minute of it feeling like I was in my element. I worked my socks off all day, and when, at the end of it all, the person running the scheme turned to me and said, “thank you”, it felt like an extra. Like the day itself was reward enough. I must be getting soft in my old age.

Of course, with every positive comes a negative. Lately I’ve been scared of checking my email. That’s a really stupid fear, I know. But I was emailed about missing things, and a few days ago I managed to summon up the courage to send a brief reply, with an apology for the absences and “I’ve been depressed”, which feels like a lie every time I write or even think it (other people get depressed. Me, I’m just stupid, and weak, and pathetic). Anyway, I’ve been dreading the reply and as such generally avoiding opening my email account.

The reply was nice. Of course it was. “I’m sorry to hear that”, and a list of people I can speak to, ask for help.

I’m always scared, when I manage to make these brief gestures towards telling the truth, that the reply will be something more like, “you’re not depressed, you pathetic, lying bastard. You’re a fraud. There’s nothing wrong with you. Stop your fucking moaning and get on with your life”. Maybe I want that to be the reply. Maybe if someone in my life told me to shut the fuck up and sort my life out, then I’d be able to do it. Maybe all I need is a kick up the arse.

I’m too tired to really feel anything at the moment. I’m going to try to stay awake for a few more hours, so I can sleep at night. Maybe it will suddenly click and everything will make sense. Maybe pigs will fly. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Got out of bed, despite only having slept for about an hour.
  • Showered.
  • Went to my seminar, in which I had to do a small part of a presentation.
  • Went to my volunteering meeting.

It’s not much, I know. I went to one seminar, but missed the other. And in the one I did go to, I spent a rather embarrassing amount of it either gazing into the distance, or seeing other members of the group talking and immediately thinking, “THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT ME”, and wondering whether it would be more productive to confront them or run out of the room weeping. I did neither. I just felt very uncomfortable and hurt and I left as soon as the seminar ended so that I could get away from ‘those nasty people’.

I can’t help but feel that what I’ve managed today is far too little, far too late, but the fact remains that it’s been easily a fortnight since I’ve been able to do anything.

I hope that this change is a sign that things are going to get easier.

For the first time this term, I’ve been writing things I’m going to do in my diary, as if there’s a decent chance that I’ll be a) alive and b) capable of actually doing things.

I considered, again, making a counselling appointment. Another failure on that account. Because a) if things are getting easier, then I’m not depressed, so I don’t need help, and b) there’s a part of my brain that’s screaming “CANCEL!” before I’ve even made the call. I know that the correct response is a) Laura, you are a deluded imbecile if you think that, even if things are getting better, they won’t get worse again in the forseeable future, and perhaps it’s better to get help when you are actually capable of speech and movement, rather than when you are once again utterly paralysed by depression, and b) “SHUT UP!”. But ‘knowing the correct response’ isn’t quite the same thing as ‘immediately extinguishing all worry and doubt’.

Maybe I’ll call next week. Maybe I’m a stuck record. Maybe I’m never going to actually listen to the sensible part of my brain. Being sensible, it is of course very quiet; a problem not faced by the screaming, irrational part of me.

I don’t even know that I’m going to stop being depressed. I mean, yes, okay, I managed to do some of the things that your average human manages on a daily basis. But that’s hardly a shining indicator of a future – however short – without depression, is it?

That said, I do feel a bit more…normal. I mean, with regards to the things I listed above, I could – and should, if I wanted to be accurate – have included “had a little weep” in between each of them. It’s not like things are good.

But I’ve been sarcastic. I’ve been scathing and cynical. I’ve been ranting, a little, to a friend online. I feel a bit more like myself.

In different, but related, news, I continue to be completely and utterly exhausted. I napped, earlier, for about half an hour, and I when I woke up, naturally – I hadn’t set an alarm or anything – I felt like I’d been awake for about a week. I’m pretty woolly-headed, my vision keeps blurring, my legs feel weird and tingly, and I keep almost falling over because I seem to have forgotten what vertical is. This is of course a worry, but I genuinely don’t know what to do about it.

I am holding things together. Just about.

I feel, very much, like I’m one of those people who walks on tightropes for a living. Or for fun (weirdos). You know, all I’m doing is walking in a straight line, it should be easy, but one misstep and everything is irretrievably lost. And every time I actually think about what I’m doing, I panic and start screaming (only in my head, you’ll be pleased to know), “DEATH! DEATH! DEATH AND DESTRUCTION!” Read the rest of this entry »


Posted on: October 27, 2009

Just imagine it; me, running along. Flailing. Screaming. Forever, and ever, and ever.

Coming soon to a street near you. Read the rest of this entry »

So, I got up, today. I’d only had about three hours’ sleep, and much of the morning was spent in a bit of a daze, but nonetheless, let it be noted that I did in fact get up.

I even managed a quick trip to town, although I felt very awkward surrounded by so many people, and kept feeling like I was going to throw up, especially on the bus.

But yes. Focus on the positives. Got out of bed. Went to town. Even did a little bit of work for my lecture tomorrow afternoon. And I went to a talk for the volunteering unit, and I want to sign up, make a better go of it than I did last year, but I can’t help but feel like the same thing will happen again – it will fall by the wayside as I try to keep my life on track.

I also got an email from my department, asking about the things I missed last Friday. They want me to fill in the online form to explain my absence. It’s mostly just ticking boxes, but if you tick ‘Illness’ then you have to explain, and I don’t know how. I don’t know how to explain the damage a night without sleep can do, when you’ve spent three years not getting much sleep and, more specifically, the past couple of weeks getting hardly any at all. I don’t know how to explain the feeling of being so depressed you can’t move, of being so sure you’re going to die that nothing matters, that you might as well miss everything, because you won’t have a future to face it. I don’t know how to explain it in a way that doesn’t sound ridiculous, anyway. Especially not in 255 characters.

So I’ll probably just put the wonderfully vague ‘Personal Problems’ – which doesn’t ask for an explanation – and hope they don’t ask questions. It’s not really a lie, I suppose. In many ways it feels like less of a lie than ‘Illness’ does.

I hate the feeling of constantly having to justify myself, to explain to people that I’m not a stupid, lazy idiot, when most of the time I feel like I am a stupid, lazy idiot anyway.

I’ve got that job interview tomorrow. Then a lecture. Then another volunteering talk.

I just want to curl up and hide away.


Edit: Slept for, I think, two and a half hours in the early hours of this morning. Got up, dressed, went to interview. Managed, I think, to do a passable imitation of myself. Whether that’s good enough, I don’t know, but I doubt it. Tried, anyway, which is something, at least (when the alarm went off I spent about 10 minutes arguing with myself in my head about whether or not I should even bother going). I was going to do the writing task for the other job I’ve applied for now, but I’m just so exhausted, and I don’t think I’m really at my best for it. So I’m going to have a lie down for an hour or so – I know I shouldn’t, and it probably fucks up my sleep even more, but when I’ve reached the point where the world is fuzzy and every time I speak to someone they look at me like what I’ve just said is the least appropriate thing ever (so no, perhaps the interview didn’t go brilliantly), I really do just need to have a bit of a lie-down. Then I’ll get up and do some preparation for my lecture, then I’ll go to my lecture. Then I’ll have two hours – I’ll do the writing task then if I feel more human, or perhaps later this evening. It has to be done by tomorrow. Anyway, at 6 I have another volunteering talk. And some time today I could really do with doing some preparation for my seminar tomorrow.

I am sorry, I am rambling. That’s my update, anyway. My mood has, perhaps, lifted a little, but I’m so incredibly tired that I’m feeling more spaced out than anything (closely followed by the vague frustration of how I can get tireder and tireder and still not be able to sleep).

I’m trying to get through today. Sooner or later I have to start thinking about tomorrows, but I’m trying to get the hang of todays first.


EditEdit: Argh. Actually slept for a little while, missed the beginning of my lecture. As, I suppose, any idiot who was running on more sleep than only that which is strictly necessary to remain alive would know. Good things: did writing task, went to talk. Now I’m going to have food, curl up with a book for the evening, take some sleeping pills, hope they work, and get up in the morning for all the things I have to do tomorrow. Argh.

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.

I have had an excellent weekend. Really, truly incredible.

My friend from home came to visit. Read the rest of this entry »

I haven’t slept. It’s 10:30am and I haven’t slept and I’m not going to be able to even think about sleeping until about 5pm and how the hell am I going to survive today without actually going insane? Read the rest of this entry »

It’s been a day (a few days, really) of mixed blessings.

This afternoon was my first time volunteering in a local high school. 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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January 2021