Over Mayterm, I took a poetry course which included running the poetry festival, interviewing and interacting with poets and writing our own poetry. Helping with the poetry festival was no problem, and actually, it was kind of fun, but when it came to the interviews and interaction with the poets, I was an absolute disaster and could barely talk to anyone. The poetry composition wasn’t a problem because writing poetry is relatively simple for me. Plus, I already had some written that I wanted to share with them, and they said we could turn in writings we have done before the class. The way the professors graded annoyed me because we had to see a minimum number of poets, but we also had to work at least twenty hours to just pass the class which was almost physically impossible for me to do because the things I signed up for for work didn’t produce many hours.
We also had to interview poets and write our own poetry within that time and there were just not enough hours in the day to get it all done. Now, put that onto an overly socially anxious and depressed person, and you have a depressive episode waiting to happen, which of course did happen. And since most of my friends hadn’t stayed for Mayterm, I was really lonely and that lead me to spend most of my nights contemplating suicide and giving in to urges to cut. I couldn’t cope with anything and then when I wasn’t able to meet for a session on the last day I was there, that sent me into a downward spiral and seeing my family and having to deal with them was overwhelming, not to mention that I was up the entire night before.
Looking back, I was a disaster for the majority of Mayterm, all except for the last week when I spent most of my time with a few friends from Cru including Matt. He and I got to spend a lot of time together, and we got to talk some. I feel like we are closer friends now, and I’m really happy about that.
At the festival, there were several poets who ran this website called VoxPoetica, and they told us students to submit our poetry to be published. I submitted one of my poems, Putting the Pain in Painting, and they said they will publish it, but they have yet to do so. They said they would almost a month ago, yet they published one of my classmate’s poems soon after they responded to my email. They post a poem a day, so I figured that I would have been published by now.
For one of our assignments, we had to write a minimum of two hundred lines or five poems, and I followed the directions, but I barely got a C. I submitted my best work, my best compositions. Two of my non-English major/non-writer friends scored higher than I did. Two well accomplished writers scoring my best poetry as below average hit me so hard. It made me feel that my poetry wasn’t good enough, that my writing wasn’t good enough, and that maybe I wasn’t cut out to be a writer. Maybe I should give up on writing, on my aspirations to be an author, on my way of expressing myself. That grade was a majorly discouraging, and I’m still struggling with it. Because I submitted my best work, I began to think maybe nothing I have written is in the slightest bit decent. I barely got a passing grade in that class, and it has discouraged me so much that I considered dropping out of school.
Once I got home, I avoided looking at my grades, and I still haven’t completely looked at them. All I know is that I kept my scholarship, which now leads me to the topic of my financial struggles and how I haven’t been coping well with it. I’ll be working two jobs for my internship this summer, which will amount to forty hours a week starting June 24th and lasting for six weeks. This only puts a dent in my tuition for fall semester, and somehow I’ll have to come up with the rest. I’ll probably get another job so I can work weekends and pray that God will provide some other way for me to pay for school and all my medical bills. My mother and I have talked quite a bit about our financial situation. She’s said that she wants me off these meds because she says they make my brain dependent on them. I was talking with her the other day about financial issues and expenses, and every time we discuss this she brings up how she wants me to do EMDR therapy with a counselor/clinical psychologist/therapist who goes to our church (who is also my grandmother’s boss and the director of the program my internship is through).
My mother keeps telling me that I need to get past this trauma and anxiety so that I don’t have to keep going to therapy as often as I do and that I need to get off the meds I’m on because they’re not good for me and they’re just making my mind more dependent on them and that once I’m off them and better, that will also cut down on expenses because of how much prescriptions and appointments with my psychiatrist cost. She has also asked me several times if I feel like the medication is actually helping and if I feel better being on it. I always respond by telling her that they do make a difference. (I’ve noticed if I miss or skip a dose of meds, within just a couple hours, I feel the effects of withdrawal, tremors, worsened depressed mood and anxiety, very low energy that’s almost non-existent, and self-injurious and suicidal thoughts.
Lately, if I consistently take my meds, then I’m fairly stable and can function, but if I miss just one dose, then it’s downhill from there. At the last appointment with my psychiatrist, I expressed to her my concerns about some of the side effects, so she told me that we could lower the dosage of the Effexor from 187.5mg to 150mg. It has helped both with the side effects and with the amount I have to pay each month for meds.) My mental issues are hurting me and my family so much that I can barely deal with it anymore. These things aren’t going to be “fixed” or better any time soon, and if I had just kept quiet about all of this to begin with and kept my problems to myself, I wouldn’t be hurting or burdening my family this much. If I had just gone through with my attempt last year, none of this would be happening.
All of this is taking a toll on me, and my mind is telling me that my family would have such better quality of life without me and my stupid mind sucking the money out of them. I’ve also been considering dropping out of school to save money to try to “fix” my mental illnesses, but then I’d feel like a complete failure even more than I already do, though school hasn’t been the problem; my home has. I can’t get better here at home because I feel as though I’m constantly being criticized and judged, and I don’t have anyone to talk or be open about my mental health with. My mental health always goes south when I’m home from school, and I don’t know how much longer I can keep going.
Over the past couple months (May-June), I keep thinking about all the different ways I could go, and I have been obsessing over how I can find or get a blade. Since I got rid of mine, I’ve been so obsessive about them that I cannot stop thinking about where and how to find one. I found one at a family friends’ home while I housesat for them. I was looking for a screwdriver to fix my computer when I saw that they had a package of ceramic break-away blades. After hours of contemplating, I ended up unable to resist the urges to cut and gave in (Jun 12). It was the first time in three months or so that I used a blade, and it was so calming and relieving.
I have found another way to hide cuts on my wrist with bracelets so that when I’m around my family in summer, it won’t seem suspicious and so my mother won’t ask about it. So far, it has been successful, though I haven’t needed to hide as much as I thought I would. I haven’t really been in the most stable head space which I’m sure is because I haven’t exactly been taking meds like I’m supposed to. I keep forgetting to take them, and then when I do remember, it’s difficult to make myself take them which then worsens how I feel, and so the self-destructive cycle continues.