I turn twenty in September. I stand at 5’4”, 123 lbs, and am generally a healthy eater. I played the piano for seven years when I was younger and received copious amounts of praise for my talent. I enrolled in various activities, from fencing to tae kwon doe to art classes. I graduated high school with a 3.96 GPA and seven Advanced Placement courses under my belt. After all that, I was accepted into a prestigious university and ready to blossom into a confident, intelligent, self-sufficient and successful young woman, to break out of my shell, to take on the world.
I haven’t blossomed. In fact, I’ve completely wilted. It’s still difficult for me to fully grasp the predicament I’m in. I have failed out of four classes and one more semester on academic probation means my enrollment will be withheld. My parents still don’t know and if they ever did find out… I blanch at the possible consequences. I still can’t drive on my own even though I got my license two years ago. I don’t have a job. I worked dish-room at my last job in the school cafeteria because I was too afraid to go out to the serving counters where I would have to interact with others. I avoid phone calls or worse, voicemails, and often find my mind blanking when I have to engage in them. The thought of facing job interviews makes me want to cry in frustration.
A lot of times I want to hide indoors, to avoid anything requiring social interaction or effort or ability – simply because it’s stressful. Life feels so empty and meaningless these days. I have never considered a suicide attempt because I’m weak about dealing with physical pain, but sometimes I just think about giving up. It’s such an ambiguous phrase with multiple meanings but I would desperately, blindly accept any of them in a heartbeat. Perhaps it’s the opportunity to move far, far away and leave the past twenty years behind. Or the option to curl up in fetal position, close my eyes, and make everything disappear. Or maybe just… fade away painlessly without any trace that I ever existed.
I’ve found that the way I am just simply doesn’t harmonize with how the world works. And it scares me to live in a world where I don’t belong.
I don’t think I was ever truly happy in high school but it took me a while to figure that out. I was eighteen when I first got the inkling that something was wrong, so I reached out to the counseling office at my school. I went to one therapy session and it was a complete waste of time. My counselor was grad psych student and I didn’t believe for one second that she actually gave a shit. Her demeanor seemed so mechanical, as if she was just going off a set of etiquette tips and instructions for dealing with patients. She told me I had social anxiety and depression and wanted to refer me to a psychiatrist. When I tried to tell my mom about the possibility of depression, she completely dismissed it. With this incredulous look on her face and the slightest hint of a mocking smile. So then, I dismissed it too. And I went about my days thinking I was fine.
It started becoming a problem about six months ago. I was skipping classes every day, sleeping until at least 2 PM. At my worst, which ran its course for about 2 months, I was waking up at 3 or 4 PM every day. I was overwhelmed with the thought of schoolwork and my solution was to escape it with trivial distractions. I dreaded mental challenges. I felt lethargic and emotionless most of the time but I would bawl my eyes out uncontrollably whenever I drank alcohol.
And now, being home for summer is not therapeutic at all. It’s making me feel worse, if that’s even possible. I go about my days browsing the web with very little human interaction. Sometimes I exercise if I’m feeling up to it. This house is just so cold and uncommunicative. It’s a dreary and obstructive backdrop. And the guilt of knowing that I’ve failed my parents makes it even harder to be in the same vicinity as them. I cry myself to sleep at least every other night.
I went for an annual check-up at the doctor’s office a few weeks ago and my doctor informed me that she had concerns about depression. I’ve been in denial this whole time but after seeing failure after failure spelled out for me on paper, I’m realizing it’s beginning to have an evident impact on my life.
Those are just facts. I fucking hate myself for being weak like this. I want to punch a fucking wall. I want to scream at the top of my lungs, knowing that these are all stupid fucking first world problems.
There is more to say but it overwhelms me to even think about starting on that so I’ll just leave it be for now.