It seriously did - start with a chair, I mean. Or rather, things came to a head when I got an email about our refurbished, med students-only lecture hall. The short version: the old version used to be pretty comfortable. Now I can't fit my legs in the seat and the desks are pull-down trays like in aeroplanes - and, also like in aeroplanes, you can't get out unless everyone puts theirs up. The sheer design ignorance of people who probably never had to sit for six hours straight in lectures is mind-boggling. And then they had the nerve, the utter fucking cheek, to say they were 'disappointed' that we brought food and drinks into this 'beautiful' new lecture hall.
I threw up a little in my mouth. And then I thought, quite calmly, I can't do this any more.
Most of the ‘real’ reasons are quite boring, and to explain them I'd have to explain the whole, stupid, hierarchical, incestuous med school system. Suffice to say that, since term started nearly two months ago, I've been drowning in misery. Oddly enough, when I told the people closest to me, they said, "But you're miserable all the time - you'll be miserable no matter what you do. It's your nature." One of those people was my mother, who is kind and generous with her sympathy but has been listening to me whine about how my life sucks since I was fourteen. It's still a pretty horrible thing to realise about yourself. I always thought things would get better if I did this or bought that or met such and such. I always thought my sadness stemmed from what stood in the way of getting all these things. What stood it the way was me, and I can't get out of the way. So! Suck.
(I remind myself so much of Elizabeth Wurtzel in so many ways, it's scary. My mom also said she could never have imagined that having a smart kid, one who was obedient and considerate and wasn't addicted to drugs and didn’t sleep around or do anything crazy or stupid, could still have such problems.)
I'm sick on despair. Sometimes I can hardly breathe for it. Other times, I function almost normally, although I know I'm standing on the precipice of a huge dark hole stretching out behind me - one misstep and I'll fall back in. The worst times are when I can see the person I'd be without it, and it hurts.
I’m not sure a pill can cure this, and I know too much about psychiatrists to trust to their efficacy, but I'll be getting on it all the same. It wasn't actually the point of this post.
I'm thinking about dropping out of medicine. I've been hunting down my supervisor, who can advise me on getting accredited for a Bachelor of Science as a replacement degree - not that I want it, or that it will be of any use, because I didn't really do science at all, but better that than nothing. She finally got in contact today, and now I'm nervous. None of the reasons why I should stay have anything to do with my enjoyment of the course, or ambition for the future - but is it sensible to rate something as ephemeral as happiness so high? (Particularly in my case - me, the eternally miserable.) AND there's a recession on.
I don't want to go back and do another course. I'm through with academia, with learning for the sake of learning. I've done that my whole life, to the point where I can't do anything else, and I've become so socially inhibited I feel I should tape my mouth rather than speak to other people and I go out of my way to avoid going into shops. The whole actual socialising, with the aim of meeting guys or whatever? Forget it. I have a fear about it as great and as senseless as a fear of the dark. (I'm also afraid of the dark - deathly afraid. Go me!)
What I would really like is to get a job in retail - best case scenario? a bookshop - and for them to let me stay on in some semi-permanent capacity. Like the dude in American Beauty, although I don't know if I could stand McDonald's. (Do you hear me? Like they'd even employ me.) I've been scouring shop windows for Christmas employment notices, which go up at this time - I even asked, once, which blow of courage left me gibbering for the rest of the day. But in this financial climate, my chances of permanency are nil. Also, who'd hire me? I have a blank CV.
Everywhere I look is dead ends.
But I have to get out. I keep hearing the starling poem, or the bit in the Fellowship with the drums in the deep. I'm scared. I'm sad. I'm useless. But I have the best mother in the universe - she said she'll support me no matter what. I'm most scared of wearing out her patience. Such unconditional love astounds and humbles me.
And there are no snakes.
And now, I think, bed. I was stuck in the maternity hospital till 9:30pm, only to find my usual exit closed for the night. I don't think obstetricians ever go home.