Doubt, Choices

Running home running home running

-Bon Iver, For Emma

I might have a decision to make.  I say might, because it might be too late to make the decision.  When I was de-hospitalised, the English department gave me the option of taking this semester’s courses next academic year instead.  Keep the grades I already have, and take another semester from September.  First I considered it but I was worried about my funding- I have the AHRC, and there’s only one, and so nobody knows what the hell to do about it all.  Then I went Up, and decided I could catch up, no problem, it’d all be okay.

It’s not okay.

I can’t concentrate, reading is hard, it tires me.  I haven’t finished a book since January.  It is reading week this week and yes, I have read, but I haven’t finished a single book.  Not for want of trying.  So I wonder… if it’s still possible… whether I mightn’t stand a better chance of getting a distinction with a fresh start.  Maybe now isn’t the right time.  It’s heartbreaking.  I feel like a failure, I feel like I am unable to deal with anything, which I have always suspected anyway.  But if I leave it until next year, even if I don’t get a distinction, at least I am on an even keel.  If I try to do it now, and I fuck it up, I will regret that choice forever.

I feel so lost.

Everything is adrift… because actually I have never known what I wanted to do. I want to read and write.  At the moment, neither skill is forthcoming, and so everything else is thrown into doubt.  Do I want a PhD?  OR is it just that I’m not capable of a job?  Some people have said, if I can’t get a distinction now, why should next year be different?  See above for  my logic.

Where would I go?  Back to London for seven months?  I can’t stay in Canterbury but could I reasonably live with my parents?  Twenty-six.  And jobless, and lost.

My mum and auntie have been helpful to talk to but at the end of the day (and also at all other times of day, stupid turn of phrase, that) it is my decision.  And I doubt everything I do, think, say, write or feel, second guess my own second guesses.  So I get increasingly frustrated, sad and unhappy, as the term ticks on and I lose the chance to choose.

Y said I should stay, and I think she just doesn’t want me to go.  And I get it, I do, and that is exactly why I promised myself I wouldn’t get entangled in a relationship this year.  I need to be all alone to get this distinction.  I need not to be with anyone, not to lean on anyone, not to call anyone when I am lonely because I shouldn’t have time to feel lonely.  I only have time to get my work done.  But I’m not getting work done, so it’s easy to try to forget that, to go out, or stay in with somebody.  Friends are getting fewer and that is probably ideal… but it makes me call her, and I hate that stupid thing where you get into a relationship and it becomes too intense because there are no satellites.

And then I think about it and I clutch up inside and I am angry with her and that’s horrible, because it isn’t really her fault.  My choices, my decisions.  I was like this with N, this frustration, this anger… but so much worse, so so much worse that I am scared to be with anyone, still.  Yes, I was ill.  But some things are inexcusable. I am better alone with my own rage.

(I am actually losing track of the number of people the last few “episodes”/ drinking problem have cost me. It isn’t that they’ve all been big arguments, or even lost friendships necessarily. Just a slow slipping away. Sometimes, I know I do this deliberately- isolate myself so I can get on with my own sadness, alcohol abuse, unpredictability. This isn’t that. This is the worst I have been. This wasn’t a choice, conscious or un-.

Yet. I’ve started a new relationship. With someone who upset me a lot before, and who I hurt also. It’s probably a stupid idea. It’s probably fair on neither of us, to expect me to be anything but unreliable, drunk or unwell.)

Sorry, end tangent.


Lamotrigine has always helped a bit.  So now, feeling like this (again) is making me scared to tell anyone.  I just don’t want another med change or another med.  I don’t want to be pushed around between different ideas.  I don’t want to be told nothing can be done– in a nutshell (God, what is with the ludicrous phrases!) in a nutshell, I am terrified of being told that it’s just me, that I am just a shit person who can’t deal with life effectively, that no medication in the world is ever going to make me feel better because I do this to myself.  So I am keeping quiet for now, about everything, and for as long as I can keep a smile on it, I will.

I wonder how much of this sudden bleakness is due to alcohol reduction.

I wonder how much is uni related.

I wonder how many more times I can take these blips in stride.

And I doubt.


There is the most horrible space, rib to hip.  Vacancy.  I know you too well.

(And I can see in my writing style that my mood is going somewhere and I am too exhausted for whichever place it is.)


2 thoughts on “Doubt, Choices

  1. “But some things are inexcusable. I am better alone with my own rage.”. Even in the hospital as I’m isolating myself I have a tiny voice inside me that says that it is NOT ok to isolate. (I’m doing it too, thus making me a hypocrite). The medicine crap sucks – my son is bipolar too and they keep having to change his meds – but in the end they will find SOMETHING that works. I have to believe that for me AND YOU too. We have an illness. There is hope – you know it because you wrote on my blog. Try hard to hang in there – I take lamictal too – it didn’t work enough to keep me from getting here. So they are trying new things.

    School will be there. Take care of yourself first. If that means staying – good, if it means waiting – good. Do what you need, reach out, FORCE THEM to find the right meds – if a doc tells you there is nothing they can do find another doctor.

    – tremendously bad hypocrite off (wishing I could tell myself all that)

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