Archive for December, 2013

student veterans

Half of Student Veterans Have Contemplated Suicide – the Chronicle of Higher Education

myself, as usual

I suppose that when months go by, and circumstances in one’s life have by any objective standard improved in more than one area, then good sense dictates that continuing despair is a symptom of something other than just shitty circumstances. At that point, one should do something about it, goes the common wisdom. Intellectually, I can admit this; I have been on this merry go round enough times to recognize it. But I have no faith in any of the options, all of which are difficult, time-consuming, risky, and expensive at a time when my tolerance for difficulty is extremely low and I have little time and even less money. One of the biggest contributing factors to my financial difficulties at this exact moment is the cost of insurance, and the need to pay for one semester of coverage for my daughter on top of my own tuition+insurance bill was a large contributing factor to my maxing out a fresh Amex with a horrible interest rate over the last four months (an Amex balance it will take me ten years to pay off the way things are now). I feel trapped by the two areas that make me feel the worst/most helpless and hopeless – the whole depression/meds/psych thing and the income/work/massive debt thing. There’s a limit to what the psych industry and their meds can do though anyway; I have already taken all the pills and done all the therapy. Nothing sticks. At least some of this is just my personality, or my soul, or something. So it doesn’t seem like a good use of my time or money.

Money is a constant preoccupation and I can’t enjoy anything while I’m preoccupied with it, and I can’t afford to do anything but work and work and work. I do a lot of work from home, so I am isolated, as usual, and when I am around my family, it’s my job to put on a good front. I don’t have any support. I do this to myself because I withdraw when I feel like this, and really it’s not my imagination – depressed people really aren’t any fun to be around and everybody really does have better things to do and my shitty outlook really does spoil the atmosphere and frustrate people who do not, themselves, suffer from this particular flavor of crazy. I actually tried to do things a little differently, in terms of withdrawal and isolation, but that didn’t work out and now I am still all by myself with this, crying in the kitchen every night while the water’s running, but now with the added sting of having taken an emotional risk that didn’t pay off (but it only didn’t pay off after I got a taste of what it must be like for people who do *not* keep absolutely all the balls in the air all by themselves with no support. And it was infinitely easier to do all this without having tasted that. To have a glimpse of that and then lose it has been nearly unbearable).

It hasn’t done much to mitigate my sense that the last ten years of my life have consisted of a long series of bad decisions informed by practically criminal naivete. I feel like that person who used to have some passion about her activities and interests, who was energetic and bold enough to set out on the admittedly insane path I set out on because I thought I could beat the odds, is long, long gone, dead and buried. Actually dying would just be a formality, a technicality, a slight shift in horizons that has the one major distinction and benefit as compared to the present of involving a lot less misery for me. I don’t recognize in myself the person that used to have some fight left and I haven’t seen her for a long time. The future just looks like more of the present, and I find the idea absolutely unbearable. Something has to change. Except I keep saying that, and nothing changes.

But I genuinely do not believe there are any legitimate options for being able to get off this merry go round short of pretty extreme things like shock treatment, bankruptcy, or my own death. And I’m pretty ok with that, really, for now. I cry in the kitchen at night with the water running, as usual, and I adjust my brain chemistry with other chemicals on the very worst nights, as usual, and I do some mildly self-destructive things that I can keep mostly secret as usual, and I keep trying to fake it as usual, and I often manage, which is also as usual at least since I started Wellbutrin.

And since I know I won’t do anything except carry on in misery until some things have changed with my family — my daughter, for instance, must be grown before I will seriously act on an escape plan, and that’s still at least two years off, and then I have to make it look like an accident — I figure that continuing to put one foot in front of the other is the best thing to do, and there’s a slight chance that something I can’t anticipate might change or happen, and maybe there really will be some change that offers some additional options. I know intellectually that this is possible. But I have no faith left at all. I’m just keeping up appearances and trying to squeeze in what distraction I can manage when I can manage it. It’s been a long time since I had this many people around me who actually care, but it’s been a while since I felt this utterly fucking alone.