I Beat It!
My chronic illness, depression! I beat it! It's gone! People say you need to be on pills for the rest of your life with depression, but actually you just need to get into grad school and know what you're doing with the next two years of your life. Getting into grad school solves every problem you ever had.
(I'm still taking my pills, concerned friends.)
It reminds me a lot of the time I didn't get into grad school. Would you believe that was a real blow to my self esteem? Also because it wasn't even an impressive program. I got that wait list letter and I was like, "Oh you mean motherfuckers." But now that I've gotten into grad school I can say with great peace and wisdom that the world works in mysterious ways. I have been guided onto my path. And it just took almost killing me over and over and over. Thanks for that Universe.
(No, really, thank you Universe, don't take this away!)
That happened during the worst month of my life, which would you believe happened 2 months after I had decided I would definitely not kill myself. You would think after a decision like that the universe would reward you with some money for food or something. No. I went 2 more months without ever getting a spare 20 dollars for a grocery trip (it sounds like an exaggeration, but it isn't!) Then I finally applied for food stamps, which meant I waited in this line that wrapped around the building the food stamp office was in before the office opened. Then when they did open, they made us wait in this big empty room with motivational posters where all the chairs are turned in the same direction. It took 3 hours altogether. I got 60 Link dollars from that meeting, after meeting with a nice lady who I have no complaints about.
I blew through that 60 dollars in 2 trips. (Tip: Do not buy fruits or veggies when you're poor. Stick with pasta.) Luckily Nellie was letting me crash on her couch, because she lived by my work and work was a 45 minute bike ride away from where I lived, and I just kept getting flat after flat after flat on my bike. I would lock it up at night and in the morning I'd have a flat.
Also, I had bought a breakfast sandwich at a 7-11 near my work, and had already heated it up, and then when I went to pay my card wouldn't work. I told the guy I would come back with the money, but no, my account was deep in the negative, and I never ever came back with the money. This was extremely disheartening.
So in the midst of this I get the letter saying I'm wait-listed, and if I want, I can be on some kind of priority list for the next year. But it was already clear if I stayed in Chicago I would not be alive in another year. So I'm like, ok, let's make the date with my mom to move me back home to Cleveland, where there is food a-plenty, and I'll just hang out at Nellie's until that happens.
While I'm at Nellie's I get some really weird emails from a friend of mine, who I know has a family history of schizophrenia, and I'm like, cool, I'll do the responsible thing and track down his family and they'll get him care. That didn't work out. Instead he killed himself. And when I called his mom and she told me, it didn't even register. I said something about being glad to know him and how she should take care of herself, and all the while my voice is getting higher and higher and higher. THANK GOD NELLIE WAS THERE WHEN I MADE THAT PHONE CALL. I got off the phone and everything was so normal, except my friend was dead and because I had tried to help him. And literally I thought, "I can't think about this now. I'll think about it in Cleveland because I don't even have the necessary caloric intake to process this."
So then rent is due in the apartment that's 45 minutes away from my work, and I don't pay my phone bill so I can pay rent. Oh, and as background this ex-boyfriend of mine, who I had had a terrible tumultuous shitty relationship with (largely because I'm actually gay and I was incredibly poor while we dated and he wasn't, and that shit will break you up) asked if we could meet before he went to Europe for two weeks because by the time he came back I would be moved away. And he wanted to give me a card.
Reader, I was not in a mood for any damn card. I did not want any fucking cards. I wanted money for groceries, and a bike that worked, and my friend to not have killed himself, and to have gotten into fucking grad school. I did not want a card commemorating this shitty relationship and the many poor decisions that had led to this spot in my life. So I said, let me think about it.
I biked to the old apartment to drop off rent. I'm there for 30 seconds before that guy walks in the door. Because my room mate had gotten him to come over to walk her dog, which normally I would've done but I'm at Nellie's now, and my room mate can't give me a warning he's gonna come over because my phone's dead.
Oh reader. He gasped when he opened the door and I called out "Hello?" Then he said "I'm sorry," and I said "Just take the dog." They left and I left the money and I gathered up a bunch of clothes I wanted to get rid of before I moved, including a sweater of his that was soaked in dog pee. (Other things in my room that were soaked in dog pee: my bed. That was the other reason for camping out at Nellie's. That dog loved me in a vindictive, controlling fashion.)
So then I get the FUCK out of there because I want to be LONG GONE before he comes back. Because I am so GODDAMN FURIOUS. I'm furious that I am so humiliatingly poor, that my bed is soaked in dog pee, that I have no money left on my Link card, that I'll never pay that guy at 7-11, that I'm not going to grad school, that someone turned to me for help and I did the wrong thing, that the only friends in town I have left are Nellie and Mary because they're the only people who can handle what a mess I've become, that everything ever has gone to TOTAL SHIT. Oh I didn't mention also I had pink eye and an ear infection.
Yes. I had pink eye and an ear infection all through this. Nellie had to buy me an eye patch. That was actually sort of a highlight.
But this guy doesn't know what's good for him, and as I'm walking quickly down my street to the clothing donation bin with his dog pee soaked sweater he's walking back to my apartment. (By the way, I do feel bad about putting a really nasty sweater in the donation bin. I hope that's not an official crime. But it should be.) And he says something to me, it might have been another "I'm sorry," and I say "FUCK YOU YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN A FUCKING BASTARD" and let me tell you, I meant it. Every shitty thing he'd ever done, and every shitty thing I'd ever done, and especially every stupid, stupid decision I'd made I wanted off the memory books. I wanted to blow us up to pieces and have us rain down in flaming bloody chunks all over Logan Square.
In retrospect, I made a lot of stupid decisions in order to be in that relationship, but they weren't really for him at all. The relationship mattered because it was proof I was lovable, but I didn't really ever do much for him. The whole time I resented him, because the thing about him was he was a boy. Which was clearly his fault, he should be held responsible for that, no doubt, but what I'm saying is it would have been a terrible shit storm of a relationship no matter what boy was in his place. It would have been more accurate to yell "FUCK YOU YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN A FUCKING BOY."
And you know, I wrote him an apology email for that, but I never really regretted it. That's weird, it could be because of the antidepressants. Or maybe any semblance of a friendship did need to be blown up. Maybe you go through shit with people and what you really need after is to have a tall, strong wall with spikes at the top up between the two of you for a long long time.
Or maybe I've just gotten more comfortable with my innate asshole nature.
Then I went to Cleveland and there was food everywhere and I chatted with Nellie every day and I paid off my credit card and volunteered at the gay center and took some classes and now I get to go to grad school. Actually there were still some bad times to go through, but nothing, nothing like that month.
Thank god for Nellie, amirite?
Labels: depression, dog pee, heterosexuality is a phase, Nellie to the rescue