Withdrawn

Dog woke me up early by barking to go out and have breakfast. I couldn’t get back to sleep, too plagued by anxiety. At the top of the list was fearing I might miss the deadline to withdraw from classes and receive a grade reflecting that I withdrew, rather than a failing grade – the latter of which, in addition to hurting my pride and GPA, might get me kicked out of school. I checked and sure enough, the deadline is TODAY.

I’m disappointed. Part of me was hoping that, if I talked to the instructors for the classes, I might be able to receive accommodations that would enable me to complete them this semester. I already have an appointment with one today, but the one who acts as my adviser can’t meet with me until tomorrow. And to be honest, considering what I need the accommodations to be, I really feel like I’d be shortchanging myself and my field if I completed the courses with them – what, to make this whole process easier and more convenient for me? Bah!

So, I went ahead and withdrew. 3 clicks, and the “withdrawal” grade is already on my unofficial transcript. I only have 2 classes this semester, classes that are awesome. I don’t have to jump through bureaucratic hoops, and I don’t have to take a medical leave of absence. I don’t even have to keep my appointment to take a midterm this afternoon.

It isn’t a scary thought anymore, it’s reality. I’m waiting for the whole world to start crashing down on me. But until it does, at least I can experience a small amount of peace.

Bad Day Blues

Thursday was just a Bad Day. A prime example: I accidentally spilled crumbs on my laptop keyboard when I was initially getting ready to write this post, and even hours later my keys keep sticking. I have to press very hard, often multiple times, to get certain keystrokes to register. It makes every word I type painful.

I woke up – or so I keep telling myself, maybe I didn’t really – feeling tired and completely unmotivated to do anything. I was sad for most of the day. I didn’t have fun playing a game I usually enjoy. I wanted to do something, but nothing seemed appealing enough to be worth the effort it would take. I kept falling asleep, having weird vivid dreams, and waking up feeling disoriented. I felt frozen with fear and stayed very still for what felt like long periods of time. I didn’t want anyone to see me, so I hid in my room and stayed as quiet as possible. My thoughts wouldn’t organize themselves.

I realized human interaction might help, but I didn’t feel comfortable reaching out to anyone. Quite the opposite: I wanted to withdraw from everything and everyone. I wanted to die. When I’m at my most vulnerable, interacting with others is like walking into battle without armor. Even the most well-meaning people want something from me, and in those moments I have absolutely nothing to give. I need a hug and permission to be miserable.

I scratched myself, leaving a solitary long thin red line down my left forearm. I tried really hard not to do it, to use non-harmful pressure and rubbing instead, but those sensations couldn’t cut through the depression fog. The pain did, at least partially. At least temporarily. Everything became clearer; I was in the world again.

None of the strategies I’ve developed or had suggested to me were even relevant. How can I refute harsh thoughts when they won’t form themselves into words? All I had was feeling sad and lifeless. How can I direct anger outward when it’s barely glowing ashes that refuse to form a flame? All they do is gnaw at me and hurt. How can I use tools when I don’t even have the strength to lift them? What good is it to think about what I can do, if I lack the energy and motivation to get out of bed? All those choices just overwhelm me and I end up doing nothing – and feeling worse.

All I could do was give myself permission to be a bum all day. To feel miserable. And if I did manage to get myself to do something, I picked an activity that would get my mind off my emotions. It sucked.

But at the end of the day I’m still here. I’ll be really impressed if Friday manages to be worse. It’s a lot more likely to be at least a little bit better. That gives me some hope.