When you don’t tell people what you go through, it’s like setting yourself up for disappointment from the get-go. You keep your secrets because if they’re too dark for you, you don’t want to drag them down, too. Those secrets start to meld into your identity, to the point where there’s no use in separating them because you lost sight of the differences. If you finally say something like, “I suffer from mental illness,” in front of people you’ve never let into your broken parts, something’s bound to send you spiraling down.
This is an honest snapshot of what it’s like to feel like you’re trying to fool everyone. I want to illustrate what goes on in my head when I espouse the benefits of living and the words sound hollow in my own ears. These are the times when I wonder if I’m being a hypocrite—encouraging people to smile, to seek help, to live their best life as their genuine self in a do-no-harm fashion, when the clouds descend and I can’t follow my own advice. It isn’t an easy thing to look at, so I’ve put it all under a Read More tag just in case.
Certain positions you’re in are able to teach lessons you never really wanted to learn.
Case in point: Being the child of an alcoholic parent.
When you have a parent who is an alcoholic, there are a lot of hushed words that are never cleared up. Direct communication is waived as a way to avoid conflict, which could actually help the situation if used correctly. Hurt feelings go without elaboration, and wounds become scars that somehow break and fester in the wake of new offenses. It’s tough when the other parent is not alcoholic, because they have had to struggle with this experience years before you were even thought of. You may refuse alcohol, because what if I turn out like them?
I have been lazy for the majority of my summer, and on one hand, I don’t regret it. I took on far too much last semester, and I had resolved to make my vacation between semesters as stress-free as possible.
On the other hand, I’ve been lazy for the majority of the summer. I’ve been waking up as late as five-o’-clock in the afternoon for the past few weeks, and I’ve gone through the same routine. I wake up, eat and/or watch YouTube videos, have dinner with my family, then either get straight back into watching videos or playing an MMORPG. I do sometimes add to the fan fiction I talked about in a previous post, but aside from dates with my boyfriend and errands with my mom, I don’t get out much. That ordinarily wouldn’t bother me, except that now…it does.
I’ve been thinking for a long time about how to put this into words, and it hasn’t been easy. Heck, I’m not even sure the following words will be the best way to explain it. Even so, they’re the only words I have right now, and I hope you’ll be able to understand all the same.
Maybe you remember that time in your childhood when you knew for certain that something you’d done or said was wrong. I’m talking about the immediate feeling afterwards that comes from observing the effect, such as seeing the other kid look sad or start crying. It’s the feeling that tells you that you messed up, and that it wasn’t right that something you did hurt the other person. For me, it’s always felt like a pit that opens in my chest, somewhere above my stomach. It appears instantly, and depending on the situation, the hole may or may not close. It’s the feeling that compels you to apologize, to try making up for what you did. It’s a learning moment, one in which we begin to understand what empathy is.
I spent today trying to convince myself that it was going to be a good day. I had at least gotten my class reading done for today, even though I had totally forgotten about the minor group speech in class. I don’t know how my introduction managed to “blow away” our professor, but I’ll take it. I wasn’t in the mood to do much of anything today, much less talk to other people and present. I know that may sound antisocial, but such is the nonsense of an addled mind—I can be peppy and talkative one day, and run on autopilot anywhere from minutes to hours to a day later.
I asked for an egg and cheese omelette and got mac-n-cheese, instead. Normally this wouldn’t bother people, but for some reason today this had a profound effect. All I could keep thinking were things like: You should have just gone next door for a burger. No, you’ve been eating too many of those; the sandwich stand is healthier. You could have even just asked for the basic pasta+sauce combo and avoided the trouble. It seemed like just another notch in a day I couldn’t put faith into being a good one.
I feel it—the need to complete my work, borne of knowledge and routine. As a college student, this acts as a clock that is always ticking. I know it well, have improved its parts over several years, and since I had to start on an academic schedule that was virtually my own I have felt something else
Procrastination—the desire to do anything but what I am supposed to be doing. At first, I thought it was just a matter of being lazy, of having to get over myself and “hop to it.” I internalized that if I got something done I would feel more motivated to do other things, and that works sometimes. However, it doesn’t work all the time.