Sunday October 28. 2001

it gets worse before it gets better

I'd forgotten just how exhausting crying is. Not just a few tears dripping down your face, but big gasping sobs that leave your head stuffed and throbbing. All I can do is lie on the couch and watch the Eagles be clobbered, or sit down, open my html editor and type some more nonsense into my own personal void.

John's been reading this book calling Feeling Good. I don't remember who it's by, but he swears by it. And he gave me a depression test that's in it, 25 questions you have to answer from 0 to 4, 0 being "not at all" and 4 being "all the time". I scored a 40, which according to the book makes me moderately depressed. I don't trust self-help books, in fact, I hate the lot of them (maybe that comes from working in a bookstore), but this is what I told my parents today. This is what I told them, while gasping and crying and generally making an ass of myself. I am depressed, I am stressed, I haven't relaxed in two years, I hate myself, I can't sleep, I am a failure, I feel guilty for making you spend so much money on my college education, I feel like nothing, sometimes I want to die.

The one thing from Prozac Nation that consistently sticks in my mind is when Elizabeth Wurtzel said something to the effect of "You have to get worse before you can get help and get better." And I think I finally understand that.

So, amid all the crying and yelling and snottiness, my parents and I sat down and discussed the options. Everything from taking a semester off, working full time, moving home to Lebanon, taking classes at Temple Harrisburg, going to Rome, not going to Rome, staying at Tyler, not staying at Tyler. And we came to a conclusion, I guess. I'm not going to Rome. I'm going to stay here and take classes as usual and maybe go to counseling and not work as much and try to get my life back into some resemblance of order.

I can't quite believe it. I can't quite believe that I'm giving up a chance of a lifetime. Part of me is yelling, "Buck up and quit whining!". But another part of me knows how disorienting it would be to leave this country, my family, my friends, my boyfriend, my school and everything that's familiar when I'm in this messed-up state. I don't know anyone that's going to Rome, I would be essentially left to make friends in a country whose language I can't speak, all while trying to make the most of my artistic experience. I'm not up to that right now.

I don't know if what I'm about to do is completely stupid or completely right. I wish someone would tell me.

One Year Ago:
"Once in Utrecht, I pretty much sealed my fate as far as this next painting is concerned. The stretchers I selected were 68 inches and 44 inches. As in, taller than me. I am going to paint a painting TALLER THAN ME."

Two Years Ago:
"I still haven't learned the appropriate time to shut my mouth, but that's a lifetime goal."