. . .not descriptive my moods nearly as distinctively as my life. It takes a year or two for my depressive episodes to successfully mentally castrate me.
For instance, I became pretty gung-ho about suicide at the ripe old age of 9. Or maybe I was 8? What I know for sure is that I was in the fourth grade. So commenced my long, boring, often worthless/ detrimental life in therapy. However, it wasn't until the 6th grade that I opted to trade off leisure time and my brain-mouth filter for passing grades and freedom from the tyrannies of detention.
5 years after that I quit high school and, over the 7 years to follow, spent my time essentially being a winner at life. I travelled around the US and to the opposite end of the Earth. I followed the Grateful Dead (the *real* Dead) I travelled the Russian countryside "riding the dog" (Russian colloquialism for taking the train without buying a ticket.) I dyed my hair blue, red, pink, and purple and taught college classes without considering removing my nosering. I won over 20,000 dollars in grants, largely for the express purpose of going to study in countries known for hard drinking. I met a fabulous girl and married her.
Unfortunately, in my 2nd year of grad school I was socked in the belly by the most ruthless depression I had, till then, experienced. My concentration was so poor that, not only could not read for awhile, but I couldn''t even sustain attention long enough to make it through a sitcom anymore. I also lost a huge chunk of my appetite; I probably averaged a couple hundred calories a day for about 3 weeks. Oddly enough, I didn't notice that I was getting malnourished until one night in bed I discovered my cervical vertabrae. At the time, I also noted how much money I hadn't spent on groceries.
Of course, cash flow from starving myself ended very shortly. I relapsed with my bulimia in all its former glory. I was genuinely aurprised and secretly proud when I was diagnosed with Anorexia a few months later. I mean, I knew that I could puke my way thin, but this was the first I'd heard my 100,000-calories-per-day habit included in the criteria for AN.
While its true that earned my M.A. that year, and, two years later, was awarded my second FLAS fellowship to spend a year drinking in Poland, I never recovered totally mentally/physically and certainly not intellectually. My flame had burned out, and I slogged my way through the fifth year. Unfortunately, 5th year is when your committee and your advisor seem to expect brilliant ideas to actually be developed and ardent copyediting of every last draft. The ten=day long exam sounds like it would suck, as well. I started getting occasional Cs, whereas in my first term I'd actually cried about A minuses. I always felt like a mental midget in graduate school after maintaining a 4.0 GPA (in my field only) through my BA. While my specialty isn't large enough to be considered a big pond, I did feel that I'd gone from big fish/small pond to small fish/small pond.
It's pretty much been upstream in cold waters since then. I've gradually lost interest/ability in everything that once made me at least minimally sociable and lucky enough to have varying regular opportunities to appreciate singlehood (from taking exstacy to going dancing at the S&M club, to taking random jobs- some under the counter- and leaving them on a whim and dying my hair to clash with my mostly Goodwill couture). My friends were family to me and our fundamental duty to one another was to let the good times roll. Having to quit graduate school did a number on my self-esteem & my work ethic. When I thought nothing could be any worse, 2004 really was spectacularly bad, especially exogenously. (Nearly had my foot amputated, the last year of my 20s, an awful president was elected for the first time to a second term, my wife left me.) 2005 sucked me dry and spit me into the wind as I dealt with the end of my marriage by honestly applying myself to suicide. I just went round-and-round the drain of my own misery, pulling anyone who tried to care about me in to drown, too. To top it off, my eating disorder- which is now old enough to drink, BTW- has managed to mature into its most feral and extreme depths in the past 4 years.
I would really like to grow out of this stage, but I honestly believe that 34 may be too late for me to accomplish a life worth writing about, not to mention worth reading about.
(If you actually managed to read this thing, kudos! Leave a comment so I can single you out on tEEf)