what did you expect

I have been swinging in all directions lately, trying harder and harder to figure out which way to move, and the only thing that seems at all appealing right now is leaving town, heading north and not calling anybody to explain.

I’ve been daydreaming about secluded cabins, cottages in pine forests, shacks on the edges of lakes covered in snow. A fireplace for heat. A blanket of ice. Frost patterns marking the motions of winter all across the windows. An impenetrable place.

A place like that would let me be alone with my thoughts and help me learn to understand my disappointment. Because that’s all I seem to have. That’s all I seem to be: disappointed.

I’ve been trying and trying to cut to the root of the mood swings that have been eating me alive, and that’s the biggest truth I’ve been able to find. I am disappointed that I haven’t accomplished anything yet. I’m disappointed that I’m struggling, that I’m not fixed, that I’m not cured. That even if I corral myself into working hard, studying, attending class, participating–even if I do everything right–even if I eat healthy and sleep well and keep my place clean and remember to spend time with my family–even if I do everything right I can still be sabotaged.

My own brain can short out on me at any moment. I thought that getting out of that house, that school and that town and getting into care–a doctor, a psychiatrist, a therapist–would change that. I thought it would give me stability. I thought I could achieve things once I got here, once I had resources at my fingertips. I thought I could make myself into something, and I thought it would feel worth it to try.

Instead I feel skeptical of everything. There’s no idea I don’t have a reason to reject, no compliment I can’t turn down, no positive I can’t spin into a negative. The committee of judgmental jerks in my head who scoff at everything have never scoffed louder.

I have been sitting here in Sylvia Plath’s plum tree for years now, feeling like the most disgusting caricature of myself possible. Nobody has ever actually made a derogatory comment to me about how I am this walking Damage Girl With Vague Literary Ambitions stereotype, and yet my head is full of them and I can’t shake them out.

I hate who I am now, and even if I follow all my ambitions to their hypothetical ends I’m not sure I’ll like myself then either.

I also don’t think I can get there, because I keep getting bulldozed by depression and then set back by the waves upon waves of emotional and social fallout that come with recovering. And the symptom list is growing, not shrinking. Yesterday I had some kind of anxiety attack, the likes of which I’d never experienced and didn’t understand.

And yet, who knows? I may wake up tomorrow filled with joy and motivation and enough ambition to surpass all the garden-variety immature inability to delay gratification in exchange for hard work. I might achieve things for the moment. But in my overzealousness I will sign up for things, make commitments, make promises, begin projects, and I will never, never be able to fulfill anything once the pendulum swings in the other stupid direction.

I feel like I am building myself a future of constantly setting myself up to fail.

I feel like I am feeding a cycle of disappointment.

I am so, so disappointed.

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