Left in my own head, I quickly become my own worst enemy. I become prone to dark spells and a feeling that the walls are closing in around me. This year, loss has been a pretty major factor in my life and so I tend to find myself in my own company more often than not. Wasted opportunities, regrets, and self-criticism are three themes that seem to circle around in my head. I reach out often, and require more and more from the people around me.
I can be a handful when I’m forced to spend a whole day in my own company. There’s nothing more stark of a reminder that you don’t particularly like yourself when you can’t stomach the idea of spending an entire day on your own. It always goes the same way. First there’s the boredom, then that gives way to tangents in your head, which quickly leads to worries and a feeling of total aimlessness. Then the panic sets in. What am I doing with my life? How am I going to pay off all this debt? When am I going to find a job? Where will I be a year from now? Who can I speak to about this? Why do I seem unable to control my own emotions?
2016 has been a roller coaster of emotions for me, and most of the time that roller coaster has barrelled downwards faster and faster. It feels like it’s just a matter of time until the screws come loose and the ride goes flying off the track. My way of approaching this has been to try and keep myself as busy as possible. I try to fill my days with activities, schedules, ‘being productive’. It doesn’t really seem to work. That’s because doing things for the sake of doing things doesn’t fix anything.
For the last three months, I have been living back home desperately searching for a job so I can fulfil my ambition of moving to London. I have this ridiculous idea in my head that London is this promised land full of strange, interesting, pretentious people – and that I can somehow find my calling there. I’m a walking cliche. I don’t really understand this notion that people who spend their lives unemployed doing nothing have a great life. It feels like torture most of the time. There is absolutely nothing worse than having no direction in your life – and it’s even worse if you possess the self-awareness to know you have no direction, but have no idea how to actually find any.
It’s easy to feel like a burnout, and it’s even easier to sit around feeling sorry for yourself (I’ve spent plenty of my time doing that). The real challenge is in trying not to just cure your boredom with quick fixes – booze, fags, drugs. The real challenge is in trying to really apply yourself to something you’re passionate about and stop telling yourself it’s all pointless.
I always have gotten attached to people very strongly in the past, and I always imagined that loss would lead to a big mental breakdown where I would be sabotaging my own life and my relationships with everyone else in my life. A friend of mine pointed out to me not so long ago that that’s a fantasy you see in TV and movies. The truth is far worse. I’m just bored. Bored and going no where. What do you do at a time like this other than just try to keep trucking on?
I guess there’s just points in your life where you have to accept everything is a bit shit, and get on with it. Live day-by-day. That’s never been me though. I’m a planner. I have to keep busy, I have to feel like I’m doing something. But right now, as much as I try, I’m not. At least, not really. I’m just existing. Going through each day, ticking off my to-do lists, and continuing to frantically search for employment. But I’m not really doing anything. I feel like I’m wasting away.