Category Archives: depression

A bit of an update

I knew it had been a while since I updated this blog, but I hadn’t realized it had been four months. Sorry, everyone. I’ve been meaning to write for a while now, but every time I tried, something else would come up, or I’d realize I didn’t really have anything interesting to say, or I would have a great goal for the next day, so I would want to wait and write about whatever marvelous thing it was that I was sure to do.

Now I’m forcing myself to write something because four months is way too long to go without writing something.

So far, I’ve failed almost every one of my goals for the year. I haven’t been writing every day. I haven’t even thought about writing every day. I haven’t added any fruits/veggies to my meals, at least not on a regular basis. I haven’t started exercising, at least not for more than a week at a time, and that only happened one week. I’ve technically lost 2 pounds since the start of the year, so I guess that sort of counts as a step in the right direction.

Really, the only goal I’m actually making progress with is my reading goal, which is 30 books this year. So far I’ve read 11. Three have been New Adult books, which means I’m ⅗ of the way to that goal. I’m reading my first of what I hope to be five non-fiction books. I actually bought 25 books at a library book sale this past weekend (and it only cost me $11!), 5 of which are non-fiction. I’m reading the first one now, a book called “Quarterlife Crisis.” It’s not as helpful as I was hoping it would be, but it’s nice to read about other people’s problems and know I’m not alone in thinking my twenties aren’t the best time of my life.

I also got four books on depression. This isn’t the same as getting help, which was another one of my goals, but I’m hoping they will still help a little bit. One of the reasons I’m hesitant to get actual help is because I’m not going to have this job (or therefore the insurance) after, like, June (maybe September since I think I’m covered through the year), and I’m hesitant to start something I won’t be able to continue.

As you all can probably tell from that last paragraph, I haven’t been feeling much better lately. In fact, this was a hard weekend for me. I did my taxes (first time on my own! Well, with only a program and my boyfriend, but still – progress!), and I was looking through old credit card statements and found a charge for the Kroger down the street from my parents’ house. And I started to cry. And I was sad all day over that fact, and I got teary and choked up when I was trying to tell my mom about how silly I was being.

I really hate living in Virginia. I love the area, but I hate being this far away from my parents. My parents are my best friends, and I hate that I can’t see them all the time. I knew moving out would be hard, and part of why I wanted to move to Virginia in the first place was because I was afraid if I didn’ get a job far away I would just live with my parents forever, but I didn’t expect it to be this hard. I thought it would be like when I went away to college – that saying goodbye would suck but then I would be happy the rest of the time.

But it’s not. I hate my job, which is a huge part of it. I never should have gone into teaching. Everyone who knows me said this was a stupid decision. I hate kids. I mumble when I speak because I don’t have the confidence to speak slowly and clearly. I don’t have the confidence to tell kids to shut up at and listen to me, at least not in a way that would have them actually listen. And worst of all – I can’t teach. I have no idea how to teach people anything. I thought college would help with that, but it didn’t, and now I feel even worse than last semester because now I have kids who are actually trying, and they deserve so much better than what I’m able to give them.

The good news is that there are only 9.5 weeks of school left until the end of the semester. I’m just about ¾ of the way through with this nightmare. I’ll still probably be trapped in Virginia for another year, maybe more (until my boyfriend finds a Latin teaching job in Georgia), and I’m not sure how we’ll make it work without my salary. I don’t want to find another job because then I wouldn’t have the vacation time to go and visit my parents like I can now, which still isn’t enough, but I’m afraid if I don’t find a job then we won’t be able to afford living here.

Every time I try to think about the past or the future, I get sad and my head hurts, and I feel like my brain is running in circles through a dense fog. But I can’t even really think about the present, either, because that is so upsetting, as well. My hope is that Camp NaNo, which starts in about five hours, will help me focus my mind on something else. So far I haven’t had the greatest success planning for this, but maybe something will come of it.

How have the rest of you been? Anyone doing Camp NaNo?

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Dreams, backup plans, and a confession

It’s been two months since my last update. Sorry about that. Between finding an apartment, moving ten hours from home, and starting school, it’s been a very hectic two months. I can’t even believe it’s only been two months. I feel like I’ve been doing this forever. At the same time, I feel like I’ve just started.

But I’m babbling. I should start at the beginning.

Our apartment is nice. We’re paying way too much for it when I think about what we could have gotten in Georgia for this money, but it’s not horrible, especially since my boyfriend and I are both working full time. We haven’t seen our first paycheck yet, so we’ve been living off brand new credit cards with zero interest until November of next year. Yay credit cards.

The teachers I work with are also nice. Exceptionally nice, actually. My mentor is super helpful, and she always listens when I complain about things and offers advice. She shows me how to do everything I need to do, which is awesome because most of the time I feel silly asking for help. And then there’s the teacher whose room I’m in fourth block. See, I don’t have my own classroom, so I float between three classes. Since I end in this one teacher’s room, I generally stay there while I prepare for the next day. She listens to me and the other new teachers rant about our day, and she offers advice and words of comfort. I don’t know what I’d do without her.

So I like my apartment and my colleagues. I just hate my job. I spend way too many hours thinking of ways I can get myself fired, since I can’t quit because I’m signed with them for a year. I would never actually do something to get fired, but it’s still nice to think about. I’m just not cut out for this. I thought I was, but I’m not. The kids are out of control, and I don’t know how to fix it. It’s not fair to the few kids who are actually trying to learn, and I know that. They deserve better. I’m just not sure I’m capable of being better. I’m going to try to write more people up this week, but if that doesn’t work then I don’t know what I’ll do.

I think my biggest problem is that I don’t really want to be a teacher. I never did. Whenever someone asked what I planned on doing with an English degree and suggested teaching, I would laugh at them and say no. Hell no. Because I have no patience. I can’t explain anything to anyone. I hate people, especially children. Especially stupid children. So why did I end up as a teacher, you ask? Funny story.

It started in 2010. I graduated a year early from college and returned home, to my parents’ house. I had no job, but I wasn’t concerned yet. I thought I had time. And then I couldn’t find an editing job, mostly because I didn’t know where to look for them. I also couldn’t find a job doing anything else. I applied to gas stations, coffee shops, restaurants, and smoothie shops. I couldn’t find a job. I eventually ended up working for my mother as a school photographer. I made $9 an hour, which works out to about $10,000 a year since it was seasonal work. Not enough to move out on, especially since my boyfriend was in college still and didn’t have a job either. So I stayed with my parents, hating my job and my life because I felt like a failure.

There are several reasons why I started thinking about teaching then. Part of it was because my boyfriend was going to school to be a teacher, and I liked the sound of the classes he was taking. Part of it, a bigger part, was because I was already in schools every day. I figured if I was going to be around kids all the time anyway, I might as well be a teacher, where I’d make more money, have a respectable sounding job, and still have summers and weekends off. Plus I could get my Master’s and still use my English degree. I liked that my first degree wouldn’t be useless, that I could pretend it was just a stepping stone to my new goal. I still didn’t know anything about teaching, but I figured that was what grad school was for.

Except it turns out I was wrong. Very wrong. You don’t go to grad school to learn how to be a teacher. You go to grad school to talk about teaching-related issues like standardized testing and the Common Core standards. I learned how to write lesson plans but not how to help children learn when they don’t already know the material and can’t learn by simply taking down notes. I didn’t learn how to manage a classroom. I didn’t learn what to do when I have 15-year-old students who think “sleepy” is a verb and don’t know how to count five or seven syllables in a haiku.

I don’t know how to be a teacher, and my kids are out of control, and I’m losing my mind trying to fix it. I want to be better, but I also just want to curl up in a ball and cry and never go to school again. This wasn’t my dream. My dream was to be a writer. Ever since I was six, I wanted to write for a living, but I knew a I needed a practical goal. So I tried editing. Not novel editing. Just copy editing. I wanted to edit grammar. But I couldn’t do that. And I couldn’t find a job at a coffee shop or anything. So I turned to teaching.

Let me tell you something – teaching should never be a backup plan. This isn’t a job you can do when your heart’s not really in it. Well, I guess for some people it is, but not for me. I started realizing this was the wrong choice last semester. My boyfriend would get all excited when Latin teachers followed him on Twitter. Most of his Twitter feed comes from fellow Latin teachers, actually. Mine isn’t filled with teachers. It’s filled with writers. That’s what I want to do. I thought I could teach to make an income and then write in my spare time, but it turns out I don’t really have that much free time, and what time I do have is spent freaking out and trying to postpone what feels like an inevitable heart attack, stroke, or nervous breakdown.

My chest hurts all the time, like someone of my height/weight (which, trust me, is quite large) is standing on it. Or like there’s a rubber band around it at all times, stopping my lungs and heart from moving properly. My head generally feels like someone’s squeezing it. I’m worried all the time. I haven’t had any fingernails since the move, another sign I’m freaking out. I’ve been eating like crap, worse than usual. I’ve done like 15 minutes of exercise since school started 3 weeks ago. Every single night I have at least one dream that involves school in some way. I wake up at least once a night, sometimes more. I’m tired all the time. I can’t remember the last time I was excited about something. Even this apartment and the cold weather and the Starbucks salted caramel mocha frappuccinos aren’t doing it for me. They make me smile a little, but that’s about it.

Hell, even the thought of NaNo isn’t making me happy. I’m just worried I won’t have time to do it, and I can’t work up any enthusiasm for any of my novel ideas, not even the new one that sounded like so much fun back in early July. It’s like this move and this job has sucked all the joy from my life, and there wasn’t even that much of it to begin with.

So, yeah, that’s been my life for the past two months. I’ve started seriously wondering if I have depression, and at least six Internet tests say that I do, in fact, suffer from severe depression. When my health insurance starts in October, I think I’m going to try talking to someone. I’ve felt like a failure since I graduated college, but it’s just gotten so much worse in the past couple months.

Sorry for the long, depressing blog post. How has everyone else been?