hour spent, shut, into a classroom – terrifying tomb in plain clothes alongside a dozen other adult learners – their eyes on the paper mine on the shuffling blinds as the open windows lets in some relief 45 minutes to go i should concentrate one of the questions that one, no too difficult pick another q2? no, don’t like that one either an alarm vibrates the air shaking us all from private places by the root the fire bell, brilliant told to forget our bags, no chance and leave the building we file out mixing in with other pupils
I was thinking about enrolling on a part time college course in maths and English next year. People say you shouldn’t compare yourself with other people, but … I feel I will never catch up with my peers. I left school at fifteen. I hated the place, I was so depressed suicide was on my mind twenty-four seven, and naturally I got zilch in terms of qualifications. At that time you start thinking about what you want to do for a career, going to uni and writing your CV I wasn’t. Depression was telling me all kinds of shit and I didn’t see I had a future. So now I think uni is gone, I’ll never get to go to uni even if I wanted to and as for a career, lol. I’m not too optimistic I will be hopping from one low paid job to another until I retire at ninety-nine.
Of course, I know I can still achieve my goals, there’s no time limit etc but it’s hard to believe that. Mental illness has fucked up a good solid ten years of my life and I’m not going to get those years, those opportunities back. What do I do from here?
College seems a logical step.
It’s strange because I grew up with my parents and my teachers telling me how smart I was and how well I was doing with my schoolwork. This was down to two things, one I couldn’t get enough of reading books, and two I loved doing my homework. It means I’m a knowledge sponge and can retain a good amount of knowledge. I don’t think this makes me smart though. I feel like I’ve been betrayed by all those adults, telling me a load of crap. Especially as when in secondary school my grades fell off a cliff and suddenly those same people were piling in on me, asking why I wasn’t being ‘good’ and basically doing as I was told. Like any teenager, I was trying to be my own person. I ended up concealing a lot of who I was, wanted to be and that’s why I don’t really know who I am, or who I’m supposed to be performing for anymore. Depression stigma means you get quickly labelled as trouble.
I know this is petty and I was lucky I had a good upbringing in that I didn’t want for anything, but I would trade my books for a life where I’m emotionally in a good place, and living my best life (T) or … would I? I don’t know. Anyway I want to go to college. I said this last year and I wimped out. I’m terrible at committing to anything because I overthink everything and when I’m getting too close to things I distance myself. But my maths is terrible and I need to do something because
hour spent, shut, into a classroom – terrifying tomb in plain clothes alongside a dozen other adult learners – their eyes on the paper – mine on the shuffling blinds as the open window lets in some relief
45 minutes to go
i should concentrate one of the questions that one, no too difficult pick another q2? no, don’t like that one either
an alarm vibrates the air
shaking us all from private places by the root the fire bell, brilliant told to forget our bags, no chance and leave the building
we file out
mixing in with other the pupils
(from Put me Down, I’m Terrible)
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One of the things I try to find in a book that is memoir is how that person, from great adversity, turns their life around. Whether that is from a childhood of neglect, or a kind of addiction, or something in later life that causes trauma. Often I don’t think anybody can pinpoint the turning point, because scars can run deeper than surface wounds, and regaining your self-worth, and achieving your goals, can’t be done with a snap of the fingers. With Redeemable A memoir of Darkness and Hope by Erwin James I felt that arc was easy to see. He had an unstable childhood, without any boundaries, after the death of his mother, and then he had problems with alcohol. His life spun out of control. Some of the passages of his years as a young man were harrowing. Eventually Erwin was arrested and sent to prison for murder. It was in prison his attitude began to change. That’s when therapy, talking to someone, and writing about his experiences while in prison helped him to make peace with his past, and himself. I found it inspiring. It’s never easy to change.