Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Last post didn't really live up to it's title did it? That was partly because I was constantly interrupted by the Terror wanting help with his games and then I cut it short because it was lunch time. So let me ramble some more.

First of all, I'd better admit that I'm well aware that my own assessment of myself may be coloured by a depressive illness and the negative filters associated with it. I agree with my SO and my GP and not with the psychiatrist who apparently is the expert that I do in fact seem to suffer from clinical depression and some form of social anxiety which may be the root of it. I know that this means I'm likely to forget positive memories and concentrate solely on the bad stuff and I'm in the habit of not trusting my own critical facilities on many issues, not least of all "me". Having said that, while it's easy to recognise a thought or statement issuing from within me as possibly unduly biased, it's a lot harder to replace it with something more balanced. Not least because I'm the only one with inside knowledge to what goes on in my brain and thus have a slightly different perspective on my actions to everyone else.

So...what is it I really wanted to say about "ennui and the death of ambitions"? There's these lines from the Del Amitri song "When You Were Young" which keep preying on my mind: "Look into the mirror/Do you recognise someone?/Is it who you always hoped you would become/When you were young?" I guess we all fantasize about how things are going to turn out - what we're going to be when we grow up, etc - but I've spent so much time doing so it was really only a few years ago I realised I was always looking to the future and not paying attention to now. This is my life, it's not going to start at some point, it's happening right now and...I've missed a chunk of it. And despite not even being thirty yet I can't help but feel I've missed the best part, I've done nothing so far and it's too late. It doesn't help when you start seeing people younger than you achieving wonderful things. And yes, a large part of my unhappiness is this bitter envy I feel towards many, many talented and creative people. I used to want to be a writer but I've pretty much given up writing because I'm too lazy to stick at it and even when I do manage to hack out something it's always mediocre at best and I'm so disillusioned I just don't see the point in trying harder. A similar thing is happening with my academic work.

Of course, a lot of this laziness dates back to school when I didn't really need to try very hard at all. When you're clever and everyone tells you so you just assume you don't need to work, and often you don't. It comes easily, why try harder? If you complain that you're bored, your mistakes and faults are pointed out or you end up lumped with even more boring work, so you just learn to drift by, getting top grades with only as much effort as you feel like putting in. So when things got harder (around GCSE time) the doubts set in and you begin to think you're not so smart after all. And because everyone expects you to do well, it really doesn't mean much when you do. Or worse, you don't do as well as expected. You should have worked harder. Same thing right the way through university as well - sure everyone said they were proud and pleased that I got a First, but if I hadn't they would have been disappointed as everyone (me included) knew I was capable of it. So here I am struggling to write-up, determined to keep going only because if I give up now I'll have wasted a lot of people's time, money and effort. I have no faith in myself anymore. I know I'm lazy and bursts of writing like this are only possible occasionally and only when I let myself write instead of trying to communicate exact ideas - not any use for a thesis. But other people, more optimistic people, people in a better position to judge maybe, believe I can do it. And maybe I will. But you know what? Even if I do manage it, even if I do hack out a hundred pages or so that somehow pass muster, even if I do actually turn up for my viva and manage to say something - yeah, sure I'll be happy, I'll celebrate and I'll be a tiny bit proud. But it won't last long. I'll still feel as though I don't deserve it. Because I'm not as good as I want to be. Because I didn't work as hard as I should have. And because I was expected to be able to do it. The very best I've ever managed to do is live up to people's (including my own) expectations of me. Mostly though I fail to even do that. Talk about running to stand still.

In other areas of my life I ought to be happier. I have a wonderful, loving man who wants to marry me and an adorable healthy son. But I don't feel like a good mother, despite everyone telling me I'm doing fine. I don't like playing with my son, I'm too selfish to be a parent really. (You can't deny I'm self-obsessed, given the length of this post!) And while I spent much of my life pining after the wrong man and believing I'd be happier in a relationship with someone I love, I discovered the obsessive crushes didn't stop once I'd settled down. And that led me to almost ruin the best relationship I've ever had, and I badly hurt the person I profess to love. So I have a hard time believing I'm a nice person, despite what other people might think, and can't help but feel they'd both be better off without me. As that isn't a realistic option, I keep having to pull myself back together and try and become the person they deserve. But, frankly, I don't want to. I fail to get out of bed in the mornings because I don't want to have to go through the motions of yet another day pretending to be someone I'm not. I try and suppress all thoughts about what I want to do precisely because they don't involve my family and my family has to come first. I had ambitions but they were unrealistic and now I can't afford to think about the future too much because even the present is causing me problems and I can't imagine it getting better.

I think I've rambled enough. Time to get on and do some work. Which I don't want to do anymore, but I have to, because I have nothing else to do.

While writing this I listened to: Hangnail - Nickelback, Reject - Green Day, We're Not Going To Take It - Donots Welcome Table - Dan Zanes with The Blind Boys of Alabama, Lucy - The Divine Comedy, Seven Days - Sting, Black Night - Deep Purple, Catch the Sun - Doves, Be My Downfall - Del Amitri, Come Together - Robin Williams feat. Bobby McFerrin, Whisper - Evanescence, Don't Pay the Ferryman - Chris de Burgh, Eyes of a Child - Michael McDonald

1 comment:

imma said...

*hugs* well done writing all that down, so much stuff, mostly sad, but with some glimmers of hope (i hope that's what they were, anyway)
You know i've always been surprised by your ability to write stuff like this down, much better than me. Never could write much myself. Still, if you do want a hand with work/stuff in a way i can help with, or just a chat, i'd like to help ;-)