So it turns out that spending a year being homeless and on the edge of suicide isn’t an effective therapy mode. I know, I was shocked too, but you’re going to have to trust me on this one. On Wednesday, I went in to meet with two of my professors in their office hours. The first meeting went well; I updated/reminded my adviser where I was in the process, got some clarity about how to proceed with the rest of the quarter.
Then I had a nervous breakdown. A full scale sobbing, keening, wailing, slamming-my-head-into-the-wall-over-and-over-again breakdown, right there in the bathroom. I ended up curled up in the corner of the large handicap stall, doing my best to fit in some quality hyperventilation with the sobbing. Somebody comes into the bathroom and I shut up, hold my breath, watch the feet walk to the urinal and hope they don’t know I’m here. Standing in front of the mirror a few minutes later, I practice looking like I’m not a shattered wreck of a person and hey, it looks pretty good. It lasts until about four minutes into the meeting with my second professor, where I admit that I wasn’t able to do the work I said I would, and begin sobbing right there in front of him. He suggests that I should consider pulling out of my classes and focusing on getting healthy before I try graduate school again. He’s right. I can’t do this yet. My relief is unspeakable.
An hour later I find myself standing in line with a pair jumbo pot noodles (low quality carbohydrates, it’s what’s for dinner) thinking What does it say about me that I feel best about myself when I’m running away?
Now I’m not inclined to believe in God sending me signs, but I am inclined to believe that the Universe revolves around me, so when later that day Portland got hit with two inches of rain and hail in the space of an hour and a half, I figured that of course it was some kind of cosmic reflection of my state of mind. I felt wonderful and terrible. I hadn’t really wanted to go back to school, but it had seemed like the thing to do. Get back on the horse, and all that shit. I loved my class, it was the first truly exciting intellectual experience I’d had in years, but I hated and feared my workload. This post isn’t maudlin enough yet, so I’ll go ahead and say it: it was like the rain washed away my anxiety, while reflecting my grief at my defeat. (Yes! High score! Nobody does overwrought like a tranny. Nobody.)
On Thursday, I went back to school to drop my classes. It was the right thing to do. I wanted to do it. And when I got to the page in the web portal that drops classes, I couldn’t bring myself to do it for a half hour. I came home, truly sad and feeling deflated. The enormity of what I’d done, of giving up, pressing me down.
There was a box on my doorstep. My friends had mailed me a blender. When I finished wandering around my apartment, laughing and sobbing deliriously, I made myself a smoothie.
I have the best friends.