Truths

To Dorm Or Not To Dorm, That Is The Question

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I often get overly excited.

What do I mean?

Say there’s a writing contest. I put some effort into making a submission and the only reason I do is because I’m convinced I’m going to win.

Confidence? Not always.

9aedcc109bd77477f891be956d46de0af181954fMore like I’ve convinced myself in some weird fantasy world that I’m the absolute winner. I’m the Kanye West of competitions. Something like that.

It fills me up with a bunch of nice feelings and I think about grand prizes and I start planning what I’m going to do with the money. I spend days like this.

If I don’t win, I’m not crushed, I’m just confused: who the fuck turns down Kanye West? 

It happens with everything. And there’s only one thing that can stomp and squeeze and ravage the good feeling right out of me: my own brain.

I’m not getting any younger over here people, and with only one class left to finish my degree I’m going to be transferring soon.

Assuming I can even start that class without having a mental breakdown.

I haven’t taken any “Communication” classes, or any Economics, so State School applications are pretty much a no-go. I did that on purpose. 1) because there was no way in hell my social anxiety would let me get through a speech class without me having a break down and 2) I don’t want to go to a state school.

I’m not trying to sound snobby. There are some really good ones in my area, I’ve just always had my eyes set on a few private universities. I like the class sizes and the personal attention you get. Everyone says “holly hell, that’s going to 40k how are you going to pay for that?”

I tell them I don’t know.

They stare at me like they’ve just caught me banging their mother on their childhood bed.

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There are always ways to make things happen. Always. I will eventually get through that last psych class. I will eventually take some sort of speech class, or at least a class with a lot of speeches in it. I can and I will. Can I do it right now? I don’t feel ready for it. I also don’t feel ready to pay 40k to a school.

But everything always works out. I’ve never lived through anything so horrible that I haven’t bounced back from it, that I haven’t found a way to solve the problem. I usually have several solutions. I give thanks to my anxiety and hyper-vigilance for that.

brain_locked_up_md_wmI am my worst enemy. I tear myself down more often than anyone. I often feel my brain and I are separate people, and we communicate as such. We’re disconnected until we’re in moments where we need to be connected. He works with me when he’s in jeopardy, I should say. He’s a pretty selfish thing. He’ll lie to give excuses for the things the anxiety  or depression made him avoid, the things people needed him for. And then he puts the guilt on my shoulders because his are already smothered in it.

What he forgets is that guilt isn’t a bad thing. It’s telling you that you can do something better, it’s telling you there’s more you can do than just wallow in it.

Today I was thinking a lot about my future. I was thinking about life after the college I attend now and how it will all go down with my boyfriend. He’s planning on attending one of the better state Uni’s in the area. The University I want to attend is 13 minutes away from his, by car. What a coincidence.

Anyway, these are things you have to think about at some point. Where to live? A room in a house? A studio apartment? Dorms?

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Hit up San Francisco State and These Are Your Dorms. I’ve Done A Tour. I Went Into A Dorm For Four Students . . . Couldn’t Walk Through It Without Turning To The Side. It was Literally Room For Four Beds And A Clock.

Anyone been to Cal Poly San Luis Obisbo? DAAAAAAAMN their apartments are FIRE SON. Better than most ones I’ve lived in. I was jealous when I went there.

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I probably won’t do dorms. They’re already getting 40k from me (by me I mean the government and banks) just so I can sit in a fucking classroom for this chapter of 2 or 3 years before moving on to Med School which is going to require my left arm, my right ear, my left leg up to my knee, plus another 50k, there’s no way in hell I’m giving them money to live on their campus.

My boyfriend and I haven’t talked about living together indefinitely, which is a good thing, no one needs to be rushed into something we might not be ready for.

Regardless of whether we do or not, I’m going to need a job up there. Which means I’m going to need some work experience down here. Because, um, I can’t be earning minimum wage part time and expect to pay rent, utilities, and food. I’m either going to have to starve in the dark under a roof, or have no roof but have food while

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Obviously I’ve been looking, and I’ve filled out a lot of applications and now that Christmas is over, I’m expecting at least one person to call me back.

But I get to fantasizing. I get to thinking how awesome it’s going to be for once in my life to be out of this house and worrying more about myself than my parents. I’ll have a crazy amount of freedom. I’ll be working with my own money and have my amazing boyfriend (unless he decides he’s sick of me) and be taking classes that lead me towards medical school and I’ll be geeking out in science and spending my little free time writing and enjoying my life how I want to.

It feels so nice to think about it.

Then my brain reminds me I’m not like everyone else.

Having a job, going to school, and dealing with all the personal responsibilities that come with living on your own is really going to tax my system. I’m an introvert. I can’t handle a lot of time around people. Being in a movie theater and then walking around downtown for maybe an hour or two is enough to hold me off from needing interaction with the outside world for the next five days. Maybe even a week.

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I know getting control of my anxiety will help me tolerate people longer, but that’s more work than I can handle while simultaneously attending classrooms and doing internships and projects and working and socializing.

It’s always going to be there: that’s what my brain is telling me. I might get more comfortable with people as time goes on, but I’m never going to be carefree like other people. I’m okay with that. Life might not be. It’s going push me hard. It’s going to throw a burlap sack over my head, tighten a rope around my neck, tie a cement weight to my ankles and toss me in the river.

'I'm thinkin' this sleeping with the fishes option ain't best practices.'

Some how I’m going to have to swim to the surface.

Doing therapy, pushing myself in social situations, getting out of the house–this is my way of preparing for the up and coming war.

The anxiety doesn’t worry me as much as my depression in this situation. If I feel like I’ve failed, that old buddy is always there to comfort me, put a cold arm around my shoulders and convince me the pain I feel is loyal.

That’s not a lie, it is loyal. It just really impedes my life.

We all know living on your own at first is tough. I’m expecting that. I’m expecting it to feel awkward and weird but relieved and validated. I’m expecting to be stressed trying to juggle work and school. All of that is a given.

But add the terror that is my brain to the equation and it’s a hell the majority of my coworkers and “friends” and classmates will never understand.

It’s hard when you know how difficult you struggle but no one else seems to give you acknowledgement for it. You acknowledge them when they make accomplishments, you’re proud of them and pat them on the back and say way-to-go.

C'mon it's not that hard!But if you do something like go into a grocery store or talk on the phone or start a conversation with a random person on the street or not cut yourself or not burn your self or not or not blow your head off or not panic or whatever, no one says way to go! Awesome! Because they don’t get that it’s hard. It’s not hard for them, why should it be hard for anyone else?

So be proud of yourself. Be proud of what you make it through. That’s how I’m choosing to talk to my brain tonight. He’s been hounding on me a lot lately, particularly today about how the problems I have now are never going to be completely erased, it’s going to be easy to fall back into old habits and it’s even going to feel good. He tells me I should stop fantasizing about what life will be like in the next year or so, leaving home and being on my own without any real tools, but he’s just trying to rob me of looking forward to something, of having a goal, of feeling some type of raw happiness. That’s all he ever does. 

I understand. He doesn’t want to lose his best friend to a life of her own.

I choose to ignore his advice. He gives horrible advice. He’s like that one kid at your high school who sat underneath the bleachers in his faux leather jacket and Elvis hair cut, rolling a joint and always pressuring you for a hit.

That being said, this song explains our thoughts much better:

Oh, before I go.

I‘d also like to give a shout out to the dumb motherfucker who tried jimmying the lock on my car. Now when I turn the key it sounds like metal against metal and I have to jerk it to the left to unlock the door.

Never parking on the street again.

Just a month ago one man bought a new car, had to park it on the street because there’s no parking in this complex, and that night it was stolen.

A word of advice to this stupid fuck, the one who messed with my car. NEVER try and rob a naturally paranoid person. 

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I already have my eyes set on security cameras with wifi capability, motion sensitivity, and apps so I can keep track of it on my phone. I told my mother the moment I hear the alert on my phone, I’m running out in the street with my hair fluffed, my clothes on backward, and my crossbow and I’m going say very calmly “you have five seconds to get the fuck away from my car”.

Then when he’s running, I’m going to shoot him in the back. 

They’re rubber tipped, chill.

 

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I’ll Be Watching. Sleep Tight.

About AlishiaDee (372 Articles)
Alishia D. is a blogger, a beginning novelist, and a counselor at 2nd Story Peer Respite house where diagnostic labels and the culture of mental health is long forgotten. She's a mental health peer who has bounced through as many labels as she has doctors, and enjoys being sarcastic when she can. She also hates writing in 3rd person.

5 Comments on To Dorm Or Not To Dorm, That Is The Question

  1. First off-congratulations-one more class! Yea! However, the biggest class will be setting foot outside of what you call “home.” I can’t imagine working and going to college. I got lucky in that I had been divorced and had a son or dependent. As such, I was qualified for more in pell grants and loans. I also received scholarships. I lived on those three resources for nearly three years…I only had four classes left; but then, I crossed the line somehow and flipped into my deep psychotic state…

    Yet try to remember one thing: change is the only constant AND this INCLUDES your brain. What you feed into “him” is what your gonna get out of him. You know, like a self-fulfilling prophecy, your anxiety and depression will always be with you if you keep believing that.

    I know for a fact that recovery is possible…I’m not saying you won’t have ANY ups or downs, but hopefully with some positive cognitive thinking and working with your therapist, you will be changing all those different hats with confidence and security because YOU are NOT just your brain…you have a spirit as well as a personality…don’t stand yourself behind a bunch of negative labels-I know you can do this…it takes practice and patience, but I just want you to know I do believe in YOU and not just your brain. Sincerely, LaVancia

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re doing great! I’m happy to be your cheerleader any time you need it.

    I, too, have problems floating in and out of time. Either my head is in the past, stewing, or in the future, mulling. I’ve taken to talking aloud to myself, telling myself I’m HERE, that’s not happening NOW. I also tap a table or something to try and ground myself. It helps.

    So vicariously proud of you for facing all of your challenges and making a choice to keep fighting for happiness. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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