Dreaming of ways to get out

I have my reasons to stay

Credit: Artem Kovalev

TRIGGER WARNING: mental health / depression

As always, it has been a while since my last post, and for those of you loyal readers who continue to stay and support me, thank you. I know I’m nowhere near as consistent as I used to be, about a year or two ago — which is very shitty of me. I wish I could say I had an excuse, but the truth is, I don’t. I have lost all motivation, for pretty much everything. It all feels too much and I am drowning in the overwhelming reality of, well, reality.

I’m done with university now. Three years gone. Just like that. I feel like I don’t even know where they went. I barely even remember the first two years. I haven’t even been to campus since February 2020, just weeks after my dad came out of the hospital, when I wrote about my complicated relationship with religion. These last few years of university have been . . . subpar at best. It’s been a tumultuous period of constantly giving up and forcing myself to put in the effort for my assignments and exams, even when I wanted to just slip away into oblivion.

All of my assignments were done last minute, including my very last ones (seriously — I completed them both — due on the same day — five hours before the deadline). I didn’t even bother reading a single book in these three years. How I’ve averaged 2:1, I’ll never know. But somehow, I managed it. Somehow, I’ve gotten through. Somehow, I’m graduating. Somehow, I’ve proved every person in my family wrong.

They all thought I would drop out again. They all thought I wouldn’t keep going. Well, what now?

It’s funny in a way. When people tend to think the worst of you, when everyone expects you to fail, there comes this burning desire to prove them all wrong. And while, obviously, I didn’t put in 100% over the years and I sort of gave up halfway through, I still managed it. The thing is, I wish I knew why I lost that drive, that spark, to push myself while studying. I lost my love for writing, for reading, for everything. Nothing was ever enough. I kept losing myself and being terrified of what the future would bring. And now, again, I am in that very same spot, curled at the bottom of a hole that is Real Life, The Real World, Being An Adult.

I am in a transitional phase of my life, in that mind-numbingly horrifying stage between finishing university and finding That Job that means you’ve Made It.

It is, quite frankly, anxiety-inducing especially when there is a job right now that I want more than anything. I know I’ll be perfect for it but when you find out that the hiring manager thinks you don’t “show” your personality enough or that you’re too “quiet” (please, I speak to everyone in the exact same . . . volume and it is definitely not quiet, nor is too loud — it’s a normal goddamn decibel / volume. like what, do they want me to shout???), it kind of sucks. Especially when they tell you to just be yourself, or that your personality is great, but then want you to act different . . . what the fuck do you want? I’ll be honest, I’ve already done some of the work for the role I want in the role I currently have, even though it’s not in my job description and I am very goddamn competent. Also, pls, just because my voice may not be as “loud” as one may want does not mean I’m not capable of doing my work — having a calm and soft voice (if that is apparently what I have, if that is what they mean by ‘quiet’? What does that even mean????) will enable people to feel more comfortable speaking to me. I can more than do my job and speak to people and help them, I will go above and beyond for people that need support, and yet me supposedly not having a “strong personality” pushes me back.

Why don’t I just kms

Why is it that everything seems like it’s coming together but falling apart all at the same time? This whole career thing is making me so anxious and stressing me out beyond belief, because this job I want right now is exactly the kind of one I’d always wanted to get into in my teens. I mean, I can’t help myself but if I can help other people then that’s something. But my god, I am exhausted. I am tired. I am drained.

I’m pretending to be happy every day, even when there’s nothing wrong but I am just miserable and I don’t know why. It feels like I’m living in the future, not in the present, because I’m scared, I’m anxious, I’m worried. And I can’t not be, when surviving in this world, in this country, means having a secure job and being financially stable, and lord, I have seen hundreds of people struggling in the last few weeks alone than I ever have in my life and it’s terrifying that at any given moment, anyone’s life can be like that.

I can’t bring myself to be wholly in the moment when I am worried about what the future will bring. When I want to move out. When I want to be in a position I don’t have to worry about money. When I don’t have to wonder whether I can afford to pay for therapy or ask my family for money to pay for my bills.

I want to be okay. I want to be happy. But there’s just so much going on in my head and I feel like . . . if I can get the job that I want more than anything right now, a job where I can really help make a difference and maybe make a change in peoples’ lives and contribute to positive mental wellbeing, then at least that’s something I’ve accomplished and I can be proud of myself. And it’s like . . . there’s so much more going on that I don’t even know how to breathe without not wanting to live anymore, but I don’t want to die, and I feel like I’m being torn into two because I’m just falling into this emptiness that is suffocating me. It is so hard to keep going, to keep telling myself it’ll get better, to keep showing myself kindness and trying to move forward when the past and the future and every self-destructive cycle of behaviour is crashing together and stabbing me repeatedly until I just sit there, wishing to not feel anything at all.

Existing is starting to be too much and I just want to do something to get out of it. I have my reasons to stay — the warm glow of the sun on a summer’s day, getting van ice cream during a walk in the park, seeing the biggest and fluffiest doggos, being in love and finding moments of peace, laughing with my best friends, getting the two cutest bunnies, the laugh of my cousins’ kids, newfound friendships and wholesome understanding and connections. But I’m just tired.

Things I’ve written recently:

My Parents Are Making Me Feel Guilty For Loving Someone Outside My Religion
Let’s Talk About PCOS
Breathing Life Back Into Your Relationship: Keeping the Spark Alive
What Happens After The Bidaai: Unpacking Consent In Marriage
Behind The Sex: A Look Into Fucking For Validation
Erasing sex toy stigma in South Asian culture
Racism Among Immigrants Is Real, and It’s Our Generation’s Job to End It
Being a woman in this world shouldn’t mean fearing for our safety every day
I ended up in hospital after the first time I had sex
I was taught to believe solo sex is a sin — but it’s not shameful

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Originally published at http://sumaiyaahmed.com on May 26, 2022.



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