Mental Breakdown Aftermath
For my life being in shambles, things aren’t half bad. Ever since I decided to withdraw from this semester at college (a process I’m still going through), a sense of calm has come over me. Finally I have a moment to breathe, to process my feelings and my plan for the future without worrying about reading feminist theory I don’t care about or writing a few boring psych papers when I’d rather be learning about actual practices. Slowly but surely, I’m starting to go through the scattered pieces of thought strewn about my brain and am figuring out what I need to keep and what I need to throw away.
It’s like when the CEO gets fired from his big, impressive firm and decides to spend the next week watching Sabrina The Teenage Witch on his couch while attempting macramé. Only instead I’m a college student, suddenly free from feeling stressed out every waking moment of the day, and am spending my time reading books I loved in high school and planning a trip to Central America happening in a matter of weeks. It’s a surreal experience, similar to the time in high school after I quit my first job or the time I began outpatient therapy. It’s the high you get when you realize that you just did something good for yourself.
Not that everything is suddenly 100% a-okay or anything. Nah, I’m still pretty fucked up and clueless on what I’m going to do with my life. It’s just nice not to be on the verge of stress-crying on top of everything. But there’s still a lot to do; there are forms all of my professors must sign that I have to turn in to the registrar office, there’s telling my roommates that we’re going to have to find a summer subleaser and moving back in with my parents (insert gagging face here), there’s replacing my car which is on the verge of crapping out, starting treatment at an outpatient program, and then finding a new job so I’m not completely broke once I move from college town. Oh, and did I mention finding happiness and figuring out what career I want for the future in there? Being in your twenties is not all it’s cracked up to be, let me tell ya.
But I do have a bit of a plan. Last weekend after my three hour drive, I finally arrived at my parents’ house to stay with them for the weekend. After about fifteen minutes, my dad and I were already fighting, and I almost was out the door. But then my mom stops me and says she wants to talk before I leave. So we sit now and I start to cry a bit, and rather than try to comfort me or whatever, she rags on me about letting my dad’s criticisms getting under my skin. And then she asks if I’ve really thought the whole dropping out thing through, followed by “when are you going to start thinking about your future? Maybe psychology isn’t the right major for you.” Dumping on my dreams and grilling me about my future, not to mention questioning my judgment wasn’t what I needed in that moment. Neither of my parents were taking me seriously, and I was pissed and scared that maybe I couldn’t rely on them after all.
So I went to Fred’s place. He was in the loop about my struggles, and heard me out about the fight with my parents. Also it was a place to stay while I reevaluated the living situation with my parents. Living at home didn’t seem like an answer. So I deliberated, and now here’s my plan:
I move back in with my parents TEMPORARILY, and do treatment. Once I’m a bit settled, I’ll find a job somewhere that will hopefully not be in food service, and start saving money. After treatment and my vacation to Central America is over, I’ll start acquiring shit I will need to….don dada don! move out of my parents’ place! The plan is to have a roommate to split the bills with, have a job to pay the bills with, and be mostly financially independent (as much as I can afford to be, really) from my parents. Because I don’t want to hear my dad harping on me anymore about money, and how I’m so ungrateful and take it for granted that my parents have helped me pay for college. It’s complete and utter bullshit, and if they’re going to be paying for me to get treatment then I don’t want them to lord my living expenses over my head. So I’m getting the fuck out of there as soon as I can.
Is it the smartest thing to do? Debatable. Really I should be taking advantage of my parents helping me out while I can, because as soon as they stop my minimum wage ass will be broke, broke, broke. But I have to become independent eventually, and this would be a good chance to get my feet wet in the adult world. After all, eventually I’ll be returning to college to finish my degree, so it’s not like my little living experiment can last forever. What will probably happen is that I’ll find a place with a three month lease and leave it to my roommate once August comes around, unless they decide they want to tag along with me to college town. But living with my parents for five months? No fucking way. I’ll take the three month gamble, thank you very much. I’ve been eating out of cans for the most part anyway. Bring it on.
It seems like everyone these days are putting off the hard decisions—Where do I go? What do I want? Who do I want? What will make me happy? I guess it’s just the hallmark of your twenties to be flailing around in life, bouncing from one impulsive decision to another. I think all of us, whether we are in our twenties or not, are struggling between what is the convenient choice and what will pay off in the long run. So maybe that’s why I’m feeling alright about my life falling apart; it would have been easier for me to just keep being miserable and pushing through school like nothing was wrong, but instead I decided to make a change in my life and try to get better rather than drag myself through the dirt. I made the hard choice to stay alive and move forward, and I feel confident that one day in the future it will pay off.
After all, pain is only temporary…right?