How Did I Get Here, And Where Is The Next Turn?

Greetings and salutations to all who deem this worthy of your time...

Brought up Nov 28, 2012

Turning a Corner

Yesterday, I think I finally came to a place of some peace in all the turmoil swirling in my head. Part of me had to let my small manic phase run its course, I guess.

See, I have actually had two I guess you would call nervous breakdowns in my life. I also have what I think of as manic times two or three times a year when I am seriously stressed. Most of the time, I know these are happening, and am able to work them out on my own. They have to run their course, though, and they are scary times for me, and those around me. As I have gotten older, they are fewer, and farther between episodes. Sometimes, I know the triggers, and am able to head off the worst of it all, but sometimes they come from no where, or hit so suddenly, it's impossible to stop them.

My first breakdown was in college. It was the reason I dropped out. I had decided to take summer classes that year, after changing my major, to catch up. That meant an entire year of school with barely a break between semesters. I was working two jobs, living off campus, cut off from most of my friends, and carrying a full load of classes. It was a disaster waiting to happen.

It started small. I was working long hours at one of my jobs, studying where I could fit it in, trying to do what I felt others expected of me instead of what was good for me. I had a room mate who was involved in drugs. She had been married straight out of high school, pregnant, and the baby died shortly after birth. Divorced, she decided to go to college. Her H S guidance counselor was the sister of the family I had lived with when my dad and I could not get along, who asked me to 'look after' the girl. Right. I was barely making it myself.

The semester started with her accidentally taking the only key to the apartment with her the first night before I had returned. I ended up spending the night with one of my professors and his wife. It went down hill from there. By mid semester, I had forgotten I had one of my classes and stopped going to it. My adviser taught it. You would have thought the man would have noticed before the week before finals, but he didn't. I received a letter telling me about the marriage of someone I cared for deeply. It was the last straw of many that had been stacking up for many years.

I drank heavily. I smoked pot, and did many other things I am not very proud of. My grades were still passing, actually decent, but the rest of my life fell apart. I had days when I existed on two or three hours of sleep, and days when I would sleep sometimes 12 hours at a time. The room mate and I barely spoke, rarely even crossed paths. I had two friends by this point that I had not shut out of my life. All the rest, I nudged away.

When I went home for Christmas break, I talked with the mom of the family I still lived with on breaks, and decided to not return to school. I planned to take the year off, then return. I never returned to college.

I spent most of that year working at my old high school job, nights, and drinking myself into a stupor. It wasn't pretty.

I finally got some counseling when the mom of the house saw how bad it was. I reconnected with a boy I knew from church, and married him.

Over the years, it has not been easy to live with me sometimes, I know. This past week, being stressed over the what ifs has been tough. I think I have a handle on it now, though. I guess after all of it is added up, I am stronger after each of these episodes. I make it through, and hold my self just a little bit straighter, my chin out, with a 'see there? I didn't break.' attitude. But, those times really suck for all concerned. Two days, and we start getting answers.

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