I don’t want to be here at work right now. Actually, I don’t want to be alive right now. I was fine when I left my family this morning; my two little boys were standing in the yard, waving to me as I drove away. But when I get like this, nothing seems to cheer me up; not even my little sons.
I can’t believe — well, yes I can — that I have a class in 30 minutes. Today is the first day of the second summer term, so this is a brand new English class that I’m teaching at my college. I haven’t prepared anything yet — just the syllabus. I can always let them go early, though.
Usually I try to add some wit and humor to my posts on this blog. You know, “make it interesting and amusing so that readers will keep coming back for more.” Sometimes, however, I say screw it. No offense, WordPress Advice People.
I haven’t been taking my medication regularly because I’m sick of living in a fog, and I don’t have the luxury of taking naps whenever I want during the day. I am, after all, a teacher, so there are always things to be done and courses to teach.
Last year, I went to the campus nurse and told her that I was feeling extremely tired. I didn’t dare tell her about my mental health; if word got back to the dean, I would be forced out of my job probably. She told me to take it easy and go back to my office. Well, I went out to my car (because I couldn’t keep my eyes open) and passed out for about an hour.
Somehow, the dean of Liberal Arts is into micromanaging some of us, so of course she wondered where I had been since it was too early for a lunch break. I told her I wasn’t feeling well and that the nurse told me to lie down (I know. I lied. And this blog is supposed to be my Catholic ministry to help people. *sigh*). She made me fill out a leave of absence form, so basically I had to take an hour of sick leave. I suppose that was only fair, though. I’m still upset that she was on my case that day.
When I get depressed, it’s not just a “woe is me” emotional moment. It’s as if a dark cloud is enveloping me, sucking out my soul and leaving me empty and in agony. For all you Harry Potter fans, it’s the equivalent of a Dementor’s attack.
I can finally feel my Xanax (my emergency drug) kick in. But the problem is, after a few hours, the drug leaves me with such little energy, and I end up falling asleep on my desk. It’s nothing but a vicious cycle: I need the Xanax to rescue me from doing anything stupid while I am down in the dumps, but the effects are difficult to deal with later on. I suppose it’s better to be drowsy in the afternoon instead of jumping in front of a train at the nearby rail station.
I guess I’ll just fake it until my class is finished and then see about going home for the day. It’s summer semester, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
Speaking of teaching, so many people ask me why I got into such a “social” field; wouldn’t standing in front of and educating 25 to 40 students at a time be the worst kind of job for someone like me who is often afraid to show up at parties when there are more than three people present?
I have shortened my response to just one word:
Jim Carrey is a goofball on film, but he’s extremely shy and moody when he’s not in front of the camera. Kurt Cobain was a very talented, interesting frontman on stage, but as soon as his set was over, he retreated into his own private world.
Now that I think about it, tonight is our monthly council meeting at the Knights of Columbus hall. I have to speak to the brothers about the summer youth event that I’m coordinating and my idea for a men’s accountability group since neither our parish nor our Knights council has one. Plus this will be the first meeting since I was installed as an officer last month.
The words of former therapists and psych ward aides suddenly zoom through my head:
Fake it ’til you make it.
God is great.
Don’t give up.
Then I remember a fellow patient, a large African American woman, that I befriended in one of the psych wards getting in my face one day after a group session. “You’re Catholic, so that means if you kill yourself, you’ll go to hell.”
“Yes,” I had answered. “But I don’t care.”
“Well, then I’d have to come to hell and save your ***.” She glared at me before continuing. “And I don’t like heat.”
I had to peel my eyes away from hers. “I got it.”