Egglaying Arm Greenwich Conspiracy

My shoulder is not speaking to me, nor my arm laying eggs, but I would very much like the fairy godmother to fix the mental problems that I have been avoiding for the past four or five years: depression, low self-esteem, zero confidence, inability to function outside of fantasy - before I have to actually finally face up to them myself.

Facing up to them seems to amount to 'snapping out of it' or 'knuckling down' as various voices have told me whenever I've tried to express to others how I feel, which only makes me feel like a greater failure because I cannot. Things that others find easy, I find hard and even impossible. And vice versa, for some reason.

As a kid I always found it easy to do trigonometry, algebra and physics, but hard to speak to people, to make friends and be happy. The trouble is that it turns out to do the first lot of things you need to be able to do the second lot first. I think for a proper job, as opposed to silly dream distant future job, like being a writer, I would quite like to have done something with physics. I liked physics. I really did. I just couldn't do it - not because it was too hard, but because I could not do it, the way a prisoner could in theory run chasing after birds but is stopped by the prison bars. I had no energy. I couldn't do anything at all except read books (about fifty in that one year). I was too unhappy.

So I gave up. I expected to just cease to exist then, somehow, but of course it isn't that easy. Instead I ended up doing a Computer Science degree at a third-rate university, because I could do it without even trying. Only now that's over, I have a first in Computer Science, still without having to do anything, without having to try and learn how to make my own energy or happiness, without having to engage with reality on anything but the most superficial and abstract levels.

And now, to use my degree and take control of my finances, I must get a job in IT. I can't imagine anything worse. I wish now that I had become a physicist instead, but that's not possible, not until I'm fixed: turned somehow into a normal person. And I have no idea how to do that. I want drugs and therapy, but I'm afraid that I'm not actually depressed or avoidant or any of these things I think I might be. I'm worried that the only thing wrong with me is that I'm a useless person, that I am like Lord Jim: simply 'no good', and the only solution is to snap out of it or knuckle down and because I cannot, then... I don't know what. Turn myself in to the Life Police. Confess to being a failure in the first degree.

I'm not sure that I should post this. I'm in a bad frame of mind and this is so fucking LiveJournal, but here it is. The history of what is wrong with me, submitted to the internet like an error report from HijackThis.


zhoen said...

Get a good behavioural therapist. You know what you need, what you want. Your problem is actually knowing how to do that. You may or may not need drugs, but you certainly need counseling to teach you the skills to get started.

It's not too late. Life is long. Give yourself another chance. A real one this time. It's like being dyslexic, and everyone assuming the ABC's are easy. Go learn those fundamentals of starting a task, then following it through to the end. It's only obvious once you have learned how to do it. Start by looking up on the internet a good place to learn life skills, behavioural therapy. Get a librarian to parse out the proper search term. Start somewhere and keep pushing buttons until something lights up. Or explodes.

You have every right to be confused, when the term "knuckle down" is the only direction offered. Sheesh. (Drag fingers on floor? Huh?)

Pacian said...

Thank you Zhoen. I've had a talk with my mum, and had a good cry, and things may get better for me now.

Geosomin said...

I'm glad to know you're OK...ish.
Please don't give in to those that tell you to "snap out of it" and "knuckle down". Take the time you need to figure out what you feel and think. Sometimes with me it's just finding something I enjoy and pouring myself into it for a while to give me a focus to help me put a perspective with other negative parts of life. I mean, life must continue on...but life is a process where you learn, you struggle and hopefully get better as a person in the end. It can always start again and move forward...even just a little bit. I'm sure that no matter what I say it will come off as placating or all happy drivelly...I have been there when life creeps up on you to make you feel that way and I agree with Zhoen: only you know what will make you happy. And it *is* surprising how many people will help if you ask and help to start to figure out what you need. I mean *we* think you're cool...for what it's worth :)

zhoen said...

Pacien's comments always make me laugh.

Michelle said...

I know that "snap out of it" doesn't work for me. I agree with zhoen about the therapist, although I personally prefer cognitive therapists. Perhaps they're not so different.

There were things that I didn't do because I didn't think I was smart enough. I now know that I could have chosen to learn them.

I had to also learn how to deal with people. For *lots* of us, it is not something that comes naturally. I ended up copying some of the mannerisms and behaviors of an older professional friend. She "taught" me how to function in the professional world.

I think that words are powerful, which is one reason why I haven't written much this week...so much negativity in my mind. That said, I'll be a hypocrite and tell you that telling yourself you are a success, a valuable person, etc., while corny, does work. I do it. It helps. Don't tell anyone.

I wish I could draw as well as you!

tinker said...

I'm glad I saw in the post above, that you're feeling better now - though I'm still feeling bad I didn't check in earlier to see this post and lend my ear or elbow or just a shoulder. So sorry. *sigh* I do much better typing to people than actually talking to them, myself...
I hope it helps to know that many of us here in Internetland, think you are so articulate, so very thoughtful and sweet and funny, and enjoy your writing, Pacian. That's more than can be said for a lot of other people I know - physicists included (ok, so I don't actually KNOW any physicists, but I know a statistician and a physics student - trust me, you've got them both beat). Sending loads of (((hugs)))- even if you don't need them any more right now - tuck them away somewhere in case you need them sometime. :-)

Diddums said...

Geosomin said: "*we* think you're cool...for what it's worth."

Yes. :-). Without being patronizing in any way (well you know me and where I come from, so you will have an idea it's not meant so) - look at the way you stand up for your mum - you get on the phone, talk to people in shops and banks, and you see how tough it can be for her and others... You sound to me like someone who will fight and put plenty of energy and oomph into things when they matter. Perhaps, at heart, you've come to the conclusion that there isn't all that much that matters in life any more, when everything is operated on such a huge scale - the sheer size of civilization has gone beyond most of us now, and things that used to be good and important (like your physics and computer science) are now no longer fun. Too many rules, too much paperwork, too much fuss, too little privacy.

I don't know if any of that makes sense or if I just have some weird ideas, LOL.

I'm off to walk a dog, trying hard not to have to talk to other dog-walkers...

Pacian said...

@Geosomin: I doubt you could be happy drivelly if you tried. Thank you.

@Zhoen_x_2: I one day hope to make you laugh so hard that you remember how to spell Pacian.

@Michelle: I shall whisper sweet nothings to myself and see if my condition improves.

@Tinker: Please don't feel guilty. My happiness is not your responsibility, but your words - whether here or on your own blog - always make me feel better.

@Diddums: Have you ever read anything by Kafka? He wrote about that sort of stuff.

Diddums said...

Not yet; I will have to get hold of Kafta once the current book-shrinking exercise has finished. :-).

zhoen said...

P A C I a (no, no, wrong last time, has to be the other letter, E (is that right? I'm tired, no, wait, I thought I hit A, what did I hit? ) N.