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So let's see, what have I accomplished in life?

Posted by Tillit , 11 June 2014 · 78 views

Okay, so this is another blog post that strictly speaking has little to do with SA, but it helps me to get these things off my chest, so if you have two seconds to spare and don't mind reading about other topics, then feel free to read on. Posted Image for SI, SU
 
So I grew up in a small village and was bullied from late kindergarden throughout, well, into high school. During middle school, possibly in part because of that, I skipped school a lot. My parents both worked, but my mom left after me, so I would leave the house and go to an abandoned shack with a view to the road and wait there until I saw my mom leaving for work, then I would go back to the house. My grades in first year middle school were abyssmal even though I was not by any means stupid, I just didn't care to do homework or study for tests. I got better throughout middle school, but the grades were never anything to write home about.
 
Come high school, we moved to the US and a severe depression hit, about the same time I learned I would have to retake a year because I had failed math and chemistry. Nobody had prepared me for this (nobody had told me I was at risk of having to redo a year, or, when summer break came, that I would have to redo a year), so this came as a huge shock on the first day of school after summer, and added to the depression and feeling of hopelessness. It didn't help that people, among them my dad, had imprinted in us that we had to do well in school to succeed in life. Young as I was, I actually believed this, to the point where I believed my whole life was ruined and that it'd never get better (this may of course have also been due to my depression and whatnot Posted Image ).
 
Long story short, just before my 18th birthday I printed my diary and put it on my bedroom desk. I had promised myself that when I moved to the States, it'd keep a diary about the experience, but it never happened, until I got really really ill. The "diary" became a two week or so very dark and open journal about just how badly I was doing, and mentions that I had tried to kill myself. Finally, after ignoring so many signs for the longest time, my parents realized how badly I needed help. I was rushed to a psychiatric hospital and stayed there for a week. It was one of the best weeks of my life.

Up until then, I had a bleak and very wrong image of what such a place was, and when I was being registered there I was more scared than I had ever been in my life. And to think that it turned out to be such a great place, and I made such fantastic friends there. I had heard stories of how soldiers form incredibly close bonds during war time, and now I think I know what that means. I bonded more closely with the people in my two inpatient units, in those few days, than I ever had with anyone else in my life, before or after.
 
Fast forward a few years, past the two years when I was barely in school. I finally admitted to myself that I had to finish high school part-time, which took five more years (yes, I spent nine years finishing high school). I graduated with good grades (two exams with top grades, in fact), and went on to a year of contemporary circus in folk college (pretty much directly following the event that led me to seek out this site) before I started a bachelor degree in social work in a small town. This was the best time of my life -- I was studying something incredibly interesting and meaningful to me, made fantastic friends, and had great fun.
 
Then another depression hit. Then I realized social work didn't fit me. So I dropped out, during my practice period, and went home. It was a very heavy blow. So I went to folk college again and did horse riding for a year to "recharge" and whatnot. Graduated this May.
 
So, here I am. I'm turning 29 this year and haven't ever had a job (though I've done a fair bit of volunteering, for fairness' sake), don't have an education, have other problems I'm not ready to talk about here and possibly won't ever be, and I'm watching friends graduate and raise children all around me. I'm in the part of my life where I'm "supposed to be" fully educated, in a fulltime job, possibly with a house and family and I don't even know. There's a reason for this, I know, I've been busy fighting my own battles and part of the reason I didn't finish high school sooner is that I pushed myself too hard and didn't admit I needed to do it part-time... but I also know I could've pushed myself more in other areas. Right now, for example, I'm sitting on my butt instead of applying for jobs in part because of social anxiety, but also because I'm afraid I won't get a job, or that I will get a job somewhere and that it won't work out for me. I know it's irrational, I know I gotta give it a chance and "jump into it", but I'm simply scared -- and sometimes I'm so fed up with my life, with myself, with everything, that I think it would be a blessing for it all to end.
 
Whew. Actually felt good to get all that out. I suppose I should take my own advice and start looking for work online again.
Words of encouragement of any kind are very welcome. Love all of you. You're the best.
 
Tillit.



Hi, Tillit,

I'll admit, just seeing the title of this blog made me massively anxious. Trust me, you're not the only one that feels unaccomplished. And it sure does weigh heavy...

On a good day, when I can be kind to myself, too, I can see that lives are not necessarily linear. Sure, other people finish school, have kids, get married (oops, other way around!), but I've never been a fan of predictable.

So trauma has a way of throwing us off the standard path, and because it's so standard, it's easy to see what we've 'lost'. But maybe (and forgive me if this seems a bit unsure, it's something new I'm still mulling) we've gained something else - the freedom to cast around for other things, for instance. Folk college is probs experienced by few people, I solidly expect to be going back to uni in my late thirties in some manner, I've worked all sorts of random jobs because of various depressions which have sometimes proven immensely fulfilling and challenging (I'll bet volunteering does that too), and now I'm on this healing path, I find myself shrugging at the idea of a 'career' and thinking a series of interim contracts could help me give myself time to prioritise me and also to potter in the garden in the summer, paint or volunteer in the winter.

In short, normal can be as much of a trap as 'other' can be. Everyone's stage of life, whatever it is, is equally valid and while the grass is always greener, telling yourself there is no cosmic checklist is the way forward, I think.

Hope that helps - your comments about what hospital treatment could be like has certainly helped relaxed me about what I've seen previously as the calamity of needing such a step, so thanks,

Q

Thank you :) . I liked what you wrote about how there is no cosmic checklist. That actually helped. I'll have to remember that.

your comments about what hospital treatment could be like has certainly helped relaxed me about what I've seen previously as the calamity of needing such a step, so thanks,

I was shocked myself at what it was like. Hmmm, think I'll actually turn this comment into a separate blog post, others might be interested in it. One sec.

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