It’s 4am and I’m wide awake because apparently my body has decided to resist sleep. I’m usually a sound sleeper. I’m the kind of sound sleeper that will sleep through a fire alarm and refuse to get up, even whilst knowing that there is a minor fire in the apartment building. True story, bro.

I’ve been having restless nights the past few months and I think it’s in direct correlation with my anxiety about my thesis. God, I’m so tired of saying thesis. I sound like such a broken-record. Also, it has now become a taboo word for me, like Voldemort. That’s right, I’m a Harry Potter fan. To be clear, I am a fan of the books. They defined my childhood. The movies will always pale in comparison. Wait, what was I saying? Oh yeah, thesis.

I’m sitting/sleeping here trying to figure out my game plan for the day. I’m slowly coming out of my funk from the past few days, which means that it’s time to get down to business. I still have those overdue library books to return. Don’t judge me and my hermit ways. For the record, I think it’s cruel to charge money for overdue books. Damn my mind and it’s tangents. Anyway, I need to go to the university to return them, which means that I should probably try to get some work done while I’m there. I refuse to waste bus money on just returning books – I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.

I just took a break from writing this to look at pictures/gifs of Chris Pratt. Just thought you should all know. Also, I was on the Chris Pratt bandwagon before he got ripped. He’s just the most adorable and lovable fool on Parks & Rec. If you’re not watching, get on that immediately.

You know it’s amazing how much I write for these posts but ask me to open up my thesis document and my body becomes paralyzed with fear. Perhaps I should treat my thesis as a blog – it is essentially academic ramblings of a nobody (that’s me!). I’m going to go ahead and presume that’s half-way to an “aha” moment. I am desperate and reaching but I don’t care. Thesis = blog. I will put this new mindset to use and report back.

As for now, I’m going back to sleep. To be honest, I will most likely spend the next few hours watching celebrity interviews on YouTube. I have no shame.

– Jane

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Inspirational quotes

You know that moment when you’re so desperate that you spend your time going through inspirational quotes hoping that one of them will just jar you awake. It never happens. I just spent the past few minutes doing that and it did the opposite of what it was meant to do. Instead of making me inspired, it just made me angry.

“Decide to be happy.” That quote was written by someone who has never experienced depression. You don’t think that I want to be happy? Do you think I want to spend my days just emptily staring at the wall? Do you think I want to binge eat my way through the day just so I don’t have to feel all that I’m feeling? Do you think that I want to feel empty and hopeless all the time? Do you think I want to be stuck in this perennial personal hell that I’ve created for myself?

Those are all rhetorical questions because obviously the answer is a resounding “No!” I want to be able to wake up and feel happy but it’s not as easy as just deciding to do it. If you think that people with depression just choose to be unhappy, then we definitely have a problem. We have a problem with how depression is understood in society. No one wants to be depressed. It’s not a fad. People use the term depression so casually in their lives to simply just mean that they’re upset or in a bad mood. That is not depression. Depression is not a bad mood that just goes away. It is debilitating and it holds you back from living your life.

The casual way that “depression” is thrown around in society makes it much more difficult for those with depression to articulate to people its seriousness. I have depression and I have not yet told my boyfriend about it. First of all, the fact that I have a boyfriend is novel in itself. Opening up to someone and telling them that you’re depressed is a frightening notion. My first worry is that I’m going to be judged. The second is that he won’t take it seriously because in looking at me, you couldn’t tell that I’m depressed. That’s the most startling thing I’ve found with depression. It’s easy to hide. I’m not crying into my pillow everyday. I just feel empty and I try to escape that by mindlessly distracting myself with everything on the internet. So really, I’m your typical person. When I’m with people, I can put on a great performance. No one would be able to tell. However, it is exhausting having to live that lie. When I’m with my closest friends who know what I’m going through, my emotions are momentarily suspended and I can genuinely have fun for those few hours. Then I’m back in my hole.

I don’t know what I hoped to achieve with this post – I guess I just wanted to rant. I’ve had a rough past couple of days and I haven’t been able to look at my thesis. It is the furthest thing from my mind and at the same time, it is the most persistent thing in my mind. I’m just hoping to ride out the storm soon.

– Jane

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Other People

You know who I hate? Other people. It’s not for the obvious reason that humanity in general tends to suck (although, on some days, there is also that), it’s that other people obliterate what little self-esteem I have mustered up for the day.

I have an emotional break down every time I see other people’s lives progressing while mine remains stagnant. I’m sorry but I am not evolved enough not to do that (a double negative!). Damn Facebook. I am usually genuinely happy for people, but it does make me realize that my life is a desert. It’s just nothing. Maybe a tumbleweed now and then.

For some people, it does come together a lot more easily than other people and there’s no use in denying that. It is particularly heartbreaking when one of those people happens to be a close friend because you love them and you want them to be happy, but it also makes you wonder why it can’t be the same way for you. It’s very frustrating to have to accept that things will be that much harder for you. There’s no Disney fairy tale in my future. At least give me a bad rom-com. For the record, cynical though I may be, I love all rom-coms, even the super cheesy ones because a part of me just wants to believe in that magic.

So, that is why I am sitting here on my bed, lamenting about the existence of other people. I just need to go and live on an island. An island stocked with food, books, and a WiFi connection.

For the record, my day did not go well in terms of productivity. At this point, I’m just hoping there’s a thesis genie out there somewhere. Sigh. I suppose there is tomorrow.

– Jane

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Day 1…sort of

So, I’ve decided, just this morning in fact, that I’m going to make a post everyday until I finish my thesis. That’s about a month and let me tell you that I have not quite started my thesis. My inner panic mode has set in. I have too many voices and thoughts overwhelming my mind, so I need to spit it out in some form and this may be the perfect way to do it.

Ok, let’s see. How do I feel today? I’m feeling a little optimistic at the moment, mostly because I’m writing this post and I’m hoping that it will kick start my day. I have six overdue library books that I was supposed to return today but I’m too lazy to make myself presentable for the world, so I have postponed that until tomorrow.

Making yourself presentable is such hard work. Is it just me or is it just way too difficult to get yourself to take a shower in the morning? Unless I have it planned the night before, I find it too emotionally taxing to take a shower in the morning. Afternoons, evenings, and even nights are fine but mornings are out. It’s strange because I’m very much a morning person. If we were living in caveman times and we found a watering hole in the morning, I bet I would refuse to bathe. Well, there you have it – a completely ridiculous rant on my bathing schedule.

So, the plan for the day is to get a solid idea of my methodology. I don’t know why this has to be so complicated. Why can’t I just find a book or an article that just tells me, step by step, what I need to do. Instead, I have to read through a bunch of preamble about stuff that is completely useless to me. Researchers just have to insist on being “meta”, don’t they?

Here’s hoping that I can wade through the “meta” and make sense of it all.

– Jane

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Still here

It’s been more than a year since the last post and it’s frustrating to admit that I’m still in the same place. I’ve hit the aforementioned low point several times since then and I feel like nothing has changed. It’s a tough pill to swallow to realize that you don’t just recover from depression. You live with it everyday – some days are better than others. I guess I thought I could be cured of it.

I’m sitting here today with no purpose and no motivation but a ton of work that I need to get done in a very little window of time. I can’t find it within me to do any of it. Some days I can sit down, focus, and get a modicum of work done and other days it just feels impossible to even start. I’ve spent most of the day trying to get myself to try to start. It’s 8pm and I haven’t started.

I can’t get myself to think of a life where I don’t feel this way – hopeless and destined for nothing. I don’t want to live my life and at the end of it think, “Is that all there is?” I want to live a full life but I can’t seem to get past this moment. This moment that has lasted almost 7 years. This moment of feeling so completely helpless and lost. This moment of feeling overwhelmed by it all and at the same time, feeling nothing at all. There are too many voices in my head and I am drowning in them. I read a quote today that was along the lines of, “This is just a moment in your life. This is not your whole life.” I’d like to believe that but having been here for 7 years, it’s hard for my mind to grasp the possibility of a life where I no longer feel this way.

In these 7 years, things have changed in my life. That’s the thing about life, it still goes on without you and it manages to drag you along. Most of these changes have been unwelcomed by me because they don’t reconcile with the life that I wanted or the life that I want. That’s the most frustrating thing about all of this. I still don’t know what I want. I had it together for so long and then all of a sudden, I lost it and I don’t know how to find it again. I don’t know how to find that person within me or if that person is still there.

It’s hard to put all this aside and just work. I marvel at people everyday who are able to live their lives. The people who don’t have a mind that keeps them anchored in depression. Sigh.

Here’s hoping that a mug of tea and an episode of Nashville will help.

– Jane

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Low point

Well as the title implies, this post is about hitting my low point, which literally happened minutes ago. I typed in Tylenol and suicide into Google. I thought I should be vague about my search on the off chance that someone discovers my laptop and looks through my search history. This is really where my mind goes. Anyway, the point of this search was to do research on how many pills it would take to commit suicide. Writing that out makes it very real and all the more scary. For the record, I read a few accounts that it would take a large number of pills (in the hundreds) and it is painful. Having read that, I really don’t think I have the patience to be swallowing that many pills. If I wanted to go, I would want something immediate and painless. Now, I don’t mean to be comedic about this issue because it’s not funny in the least. This is a serious issue and I’m just trying to find ways to deal with it. I guess my mind adds in some humour as a coping mechanism. I read several accounts of people’s attempts and it was truly saddening because I cannot even imagine the pain that gets people to that moment. I say that because although I think about it, I don’t think I could ever do it. I don’t think I could do that to my parents and put them through that. I think that is ultimately what is stopping me.

I think I can diagnose myself as being depressed and I don’t say this lightly. I have been thinking in the past few months that I would not care if I were to die.  I don’t think that my death would be a big deal, since I’m not contributing anything to the world by inhabiting it. There is no part of me that is holding onto this life. I am not living anymore. I am just a shell, mindlessly wandering through life. I do realize that this is my low point but I am not entirely sure how to get out of it. I wish that I could magically find a purpose in my life – if only it were that easy. That’s the problem – I try to look for the purpose in my life, but I try to model it after what other people do. I am not looking inside of myself and perhaps, I am too scared to do that. I know that I need to make some drastic changes to my life. I am going to see my therapist this week, so hopefully that will help. In the meantime, writing this blog has been strangely cathartic (although it’s only 3 posts old) and it’s helping me to sort out my thoughts. I just need some time to think. Hopefully my next post will be more cheerful.

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I get it – I’m a failure

The past two months have been terrible. I am constantly reminded of my failure and more importantly, that I am the only one failing. Everyone one around me seems to be succeeding, whether it’s in their personal life or in their careers. I, on the other hand, have been relegated to the friend that does not move forward. Of course, my friends are great and they have never once implied this, but this is the conclusion that I have come to all on my own and one that is sadly very true. I keep being reminded of everyone that is moving on, while I am alone in my time machine that refuses to go forward.

In fact, I, and everything around me, is a time capsule that represents a time and place that apparently I have never outgrown – high school. I cling to this time because that is when I was the most successful and that, in itself is a depressing thought. I was by no means popular or going on tons of dates. However, I was successful in the avenue that was important to me – academics. Yes, I’m a nerd – let’s all move on. Looking back on that time, I can’t even comprehend my tireless work ethic because I knew that if I worked really hard, I would be successful (I have revised this notion now. I think success if 50% work ethic and 50% connections). At that time, success was getting a 90% average, getting into university and then ultimately becoming a doctor. I was able to do the first two with no problem.

However, when university hit, I began a downward spiral from my second year until the end of my undergraduate degree. I no longer had the motivation or the confidence in my self and I gave up my goal of becoming a doctor. In retrospect, I gave up that goal too hastily because I was only too quick to assume that I would fail. This attitude resulted because I had received a few bad marks and looking back – it wasn’t even that bad. I was able to bounce back and retrieve my GPA and I graduated with distinction. However, at the end of my degree, I had no goals. I fumbled around for a year and applied to do teaching and two years later, I am a teacher with no job (because the job market sucks) and still no clue as to what I’m doing.

A part of my brain is still clinging onto that old self who wanted to be a doctor. I have never let that go. Perhaps I need to move on or perhaps I need to give it one last try because right now, I feel completely empty – devoid of goals, passion, and a will to live. I want to escape my own life because it is not what I had in mind. I escape to my fantasies where I am successful and then I come crashing back to reality, knowing that I have stayed the same and that other people have moved on. I don’t know what to do with myself anymore. I am constantly screaming inside my head. I don’t know if that makes sense but it’s as if, I can’t get out of my own way. I sabotage anything that takes me forward. I don’t know exactly what I am afraid of. No, scratch that. I do know what I am afraid of – it’s the one thing that has haunted me my entire life – the fear of failure. It has paralyzed me and I don’t know how to get out of its hold. How do I move on?

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