As of late I have strayed away from really writing in my blog for awhile.
of it is a sheer lack of time. The other part of it is a feeling of
sadness, and being so overwhelmed and confused, that sitting down to
write just seemed an attempt at futility. How can I possibly sum up into
words the massive amounts of emotions that have been rolling around
inside my heart and soul for the past several months? And how can I
possibly explain the crazy chaos that is my life to most of the world.
Even to those of us in this nursing program, it's impossible to relate
each individual's experience of the program to another as we all have
different facets at which we come into this program, different support
systems, priorities, attitudes, etc.
Admittedly, I've had a desire to sit here and let the keys take me away like they normally do, and I've started writing several times.
But then I read it, and I read how inaccurately I was capturing what I wanted to say. The wrong words for indescribable emotions and feelings. And the sheer lack of positivity that I could bring into those words. And I would hit the delete key and erase all the words that I had just written, feeling it better to remain in silence and in my own head than to make my thoughts public. I've sat down with my written journal, only to look at my pen with sheer exhaustion. Not possible and too overwhelming. So much time, so many events, and so many thoughts. What would I write about? What would accurately reflect this past few months in my life? What would others think? How could I incapsulate the negativity accurately, yet also show the incredible experiences I am going through and what I am slowly learning?!
I think another
aspect to staying away from pouring out any part of my soul was that
this has been a rough time for me and I've been concentrating more on
getting my head/heart back to a solid platform, one where I could
actually start to put words to my thoughts, once I had translated them
and figured out where they were coming from.
The only way to look at a higher point is to be at a low, the only way to come back up is to first look up, to take a look at where you're going. So how do you do that when all you can see in your way is tons of boulders? And how can you possibly start climbing up when the boulders are taller than you, you have no climbing gear, nor a fellow climber to help you out? Well that's where I was. Stuck at a low point, surrounded by boulders taller than me, "unmovable boulders", with no way to see where I was, where I needed to go, nor any way to get out.
One thing I have realized in the past few months is I have been depressed. I started slipping into a depression somewhere before my first break from school. If I really start looking at when it started creeping on, it was probably more sometime around the end of last year/beginning of this year, with some very mild signs. I've always been very good about being positive, and looking on the bright side of things, but when life becomes preoccupied with one thing, without any way of maintaining my outlets, that has a tendency to go away. I think the reason it didn't affect me earlier was I loved my job (which is what was eating up so much of my time) and had a great support system there, I was looking forward to nursing school (and preparing for it), and I wasn't completely consumed by something I didn't really enjoy with people I didn't particularly care for.
Then I started this program, and the newness combined with how demanding it is occupied most of my emotional capacity. I was so busy, that I didn't have time to really think about how I felt, or the emptiness that was starting to be felt inside of me. Being in this program, I'm with some very intelligent and competitive people. Being a natural introvert, who hates too much competition, and with a somewhat lower self-esteem, this program started eating away at me. I can't handle too much negative stimulation, too much unhealthy attitudes/personalities. And that's what a lot of this program is. I don't thrive trying to prove how good I am, I thrive off doing and being surrounded in something that betters others. Not focusing on myself.
I wish I could say I could thrive in this dog-eat-dog sort of environment but really I just can't handle it. If everyone was more positive, supportive, and genuinely supportive that would be a different matter but as it stands, I hate how competitive it is, how everyone has to be right or better than everyone else, and how there's just an over-arching lack of genuine support. I do rely on having some personal fulfillment from my surrounding environment. And that's what I am attracted to. If something is not healthy for me, normally I learn to let go and find an area that is more beneficial. This is an instance where sacrifice wins out over happiness...nix that, it's mandatory. So here I am surrounded in a world of competitive negativity, where we battle each other to see how we can compare with each other, but never really making a difference in the lives of others, or doing something that can be a continual deed of good.
Couple that with the sheer exhaustion of the rigors of the program, coupled with still working at least one day a week....and I'm a melted chocolate chip cookie most of the time.
I hit an incredibly low point last month. I'm still not at a great point, but I'm not at an absolute low like I was. I don't think that will change too much until it gets closer to the end of this program. But I believe I have found a point where I can find a temporary area of contentment.
Once I hit that huge low point, I started facing the facts. I am in a depression. And that has been hard to admit. But I can't let it keep going. I absolutely am not a huge fan of man-made medicine (go figure...) so I put myself on some natural anti-depressants. Are they miracle workers?! Absolutely not. But they take the edge off the despair and anxiety that lives inside of me on a pretty consistent basis anymore. I don't think the depression will go away until my life really becomes my own again. So I have to sit still and wait for that for a little while.
But things have been getting slowly better. I withdrew from some of the things that get to me and have been trying to take care of myself. That basically has meant I address the first and second tier of the hierarchy of needs and have isolated. I try to catch up on sleep, I'm trying to focus on eating healthier (as I have gained quite a bit of weight since I started this program and need to start focusing on my own health), and if I am in the right state of mind, I will meet one friend a week to catch up. That's about all I can handle currently. Isolation to take my own personal breather has provided the best outlet for me.
So while I may not be out of the hole, I found some rope snuggled in between my boulders and I am looking up, with my foot on the first foothold, and I'm trying to climb up towards the light. Here's to looking up....and to taking control of my depression, and finding some resources to battle it.