Tell me more, tell me more

I have a lot to complain about, but it's unbecoming to do that in person... so I have a blog, of course!
My birthday.

I'm 20. After christmas, i crashed into a depressive period, stopped going to class, and ended up withdrawing (supposedly on medical leave, as my doctor signed the paperwork, but i never turned it in to the school, because that's what i do. don't tell anyone!) after spending two blurry months in bed. i intended to get back into consistent therapy and get a job and go back to school in the fall, and then coronavirus spread. not to blame the virus for my own failure. i'm sure i would still be having virtual therapy sessions and probably still be working ('essential', huh?) if i had got in when i had the chance, before everything shut down. one more thing i didn't do.

besides all of that, i don't know what to tell you. i float through every day like a ghost of the person i was five months ago. where does my life force go when it's not with me? i know it will come back, and i know it will leave again after that. i can hardly remember what it felt like to be busy and satisfied. how many times did i tell myself i wouldn't make it to age 20? how many times did i let it comfort me? but here i am, just as i have been at the edge of every other precipice in my life, alive. alive. alive. one more thing i didn't do.

i'll be moving again, soon. my room downstairs is full of dust, bugs, and possibly carbon monoxide, but we never found out for sure. the roof in my mother's room started leaking, and we had the drywall and ceiling ripped out in preparation to fix the leak, but now that can't happen because society's shut down in quarantine. we have been sleeping on the couch and loveseat in the living room. the new house has three good-sized bedrooms. clean, each with a locking door, closet, and a window that opens. i'm long since given up trying to feel at home anywhere, but i think it will be nice to have my privacy back.

i'm learning russian. it's slow-going, like most everything i do, but very enjoyable. i love the alphabet. it's so hard to read in cursive though. меня зовут алекс ио я могу пробовать сажа.

and that's it. i wonder how much longer i'll last.

I'm Alive.

not only that, I'm in college. I've been here for a month. I live in residence to boot. I'm drawing basically all day, every day, which is a first. I didn't know I was capable of it. For the first three weeks or so, I wouldn't let myself think about how I felt about being here. It's a bad habit that comes from OCD. I get so scared that being happy or optimistic about anything will make me seem ungrateful, and god or the universe or karma or whatever the fuck will decide I need to be taught some humility and it will all come crashing down around me. Any peace or joy I feel seems so fragile lately. It seems like If I let myself get too excited, I'll crush it like a little butterfly and be left to clean up the mess of powder from it's ruined wings. So I was very tense and guarded for a while.

But now that has subsided (for the most part) and let me tell you... let me tell you. My therapist kept telling me that I would love college. That it's a whole different world. And I believed her to an extent, but now I know exactly what she was trying to convey to me. For the first time in my life I feel truly and deeply motivated. Like I said, I draw and work basically all day every day, and it's exhausting, but it doesn't hurt, as much as I feel like it should. It feels fulfilling. In high school I felt like a ghost drifting through each excruciating day solely so I would be able to go back to bed at the end of it. And it's funny, since I have so much more responsibility and work now, which is what I was most afraid of, but it's not a burden at all. It feels weightless and natural, like it's the kind of life I was meant for. I think, and it makes me tear up just thinking this, but man... if adult life is like this... at all... I really might be in this for the long con. There's of course some difficulties on the horizon; for example, I know I don't have enough money to pay for my second year, so I will have to get a job and save, and I'm not able to see my girlfriend more than once a month, which is agonizing, but for basically the first time ever, I feel like I might be able to handle it.

Made a little progress.

I applied to college.
After having some kind of episode during a codecademy session, where I was convinced I ought to just give up on digital animation altogether, and, hey, the web programming course doesn't require a portfolio, so I can just apply now without any further ado... and in the midst of this trance, I texted my mother and told her I was ready to apply. In a few hours I was panicking... of course... because how could I possibly give up on my dream, when I had the chance of all chances lying in front of me?

So in the next day or so, I squeezed every ounce of effort out of my brain, finished the 3 things I had left to do for my portfolio, and after some intensely unpleasant back-and-forth with my mother, put in my application. Sent my transcripts the next day, and now I'm waiting for them to receive my portfolio and start judging it. So hopefully they hurry up and notice my email.

A long five months.
As stated in the title, it's been a long fives months.

I finished that essay, handed it in, and passed english class, meaning I now have all the credits necessary to graduate. Against all odds, I actually made a speech (which I will hopefully post here) as part of our final assignment, about my experience in high school. I think I really reached some people. I felt good to communicate from the heart with the class of strangers that I had been spending an hour a day with for a whole semester. and then it was over. It's pretty funny how these monumental events in your life, that you never thought you would live to see, sometimes just sort of... pass. I'm proud of myself in a way, because I know that I did it through my own determination and strength, which I thought was lost forever, which took a year to develop again in therapy. But then the semester came to an end, and I wrote the exams, and it's over. and in the face of the new responsibilities, and progress I have to make, that triumph feels...

like... nothing.

Anyway. Speaking of progress, I've made rather little. My next goal, after passing english, was to get into college. I have to assemble a portfolio to apply, and I had intended to have it done by January, but then things happened, of course... my grandmother died. So then the deadline was Febuary, and then the end of March break, and then by my birthday in April, and now it's May, just barely rolling over into June. My portfolio is about... three fourths done. That strength that allowed me to claw my way through english class has evaporated. Even after moving to a new house, where I don't have to listen to my mother and her boyfriend fight anymore, even with my own room which is quiet and peaceful, even with the safe, supportive environment I am so lucky to have at school, I'm not moving forward. Or, if I am moving, (read: if I want to be more generous to myself) it's at a snail's pace. I hate myself. I truly, deeply, hate myself, ferociously and mercilessly. I wish I could answer when my mother asks me what's taking me so long. Depression. Executive Dysfunction. Disillusionment. Despair. Laziness. Exactly the same reasons why I failed english. twice. Why I just barely manage to talk weekly with the friends I supposedly love so much. Pathetic. But that's life, isn't it? I decided not to die, so I guess I'll just keep clawing, even if it doesn't seem to be doing any good.

Damned research essay...
I feel like I grew up without learning skills that apparently everyone else knows. Or I just learned drastically different things. I feel like I eventually (against all odds) made it into adolescence before I outgrew part of my childhood mind, and I never will be able to. It's like that with English class. I spent so long staring at the wall and believing that I might as well give up on my schooling, because it's hard and confusing and scary to bare my thoughts and feelings to a teacher in any kind of writing, and I'm going to kill myself one of these days anyway... that though I heard and understood things like thesis writing, I didn't practice them at all in grade 9, 10, 11, 12, so now, when I've got my head on straight and quit daydreaming about jumping off the roof of the school, I only have a very theoretical understanding of what's expected me. I've succeeded so far this semester by brute forcing it, just hammering out whatever writing I need to do and passing it in before I can think too hard about it and decide to give up... but now I'm writing a research essay.

and I'm so lost!

I've sniffed around on academic article databases and read tons of essays for research, and I'm being present and focusing my attention on this task... but everything I write seems totally wrong! I have lots of ideas but no refined thesis, and even then when I come up with a thesis statement that's half-decent, I realize that I can't possibly stretch that topic to five pages... I'm just going to aim for three first. The paper is supposed to be five pages, of course, but handing in three pages is better than none...
Accidentally skipped first class...
I woke up feeling like shite this morning, of course. Last night there was some sort of discomfort happening in my right leg, but it seems to have resolved itself. It's a good thing too, because I was pretty darn sure that I must have managed to sprain it or otherwise seriously damage it... maybe I just pulled a muscle? Dearest Toes slept under the covers with me the whole night. As bad as I felt when I woke up, she lessened the pain, as she always does. It's not good to wake up alone, even if you only have the company of a cat. I fell back to sleep almost as soon as I turned my alarm off, but I distinctly remember recording feeling "bad :(" in my sleep app. When I awoke again, it was 9:10 and I should have been at school ten minutes ago. I considered calling in, but eventually got up and got a drive to school from my mother, after fetching lasagna ingredients from the grocery store and getting a cappuccino. As it turned out (and I'm so bad for this...) I missed biology instead of english, and the bell for second period was about to ring- which went I had my free. Huh. Might as well have stayed home a bit longer, or, wait, just checked what day of the schedule it was. Obviously. Or it seems obvious, but I always get so sure that I know what day it is.