A Life Update

On depression, education, and dogs.

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I haven’t written on here in a while. Actually, I haven’t written anything in a long while. “Bad Kat!” *smacks own nose with newspaper*

I mentioned in an earlier post that I have difficulty writing when I’m depressed, and earlier this year I switched to the cheaper version of my anti-depressants because I was no longer covered by insurance.

Big mistake.

I knew I wasn’t writing, and that my outlook was kind of listless and numb, but I didn’t realize how depressed I really was until I got back on my proper meds and felt significantly better. It’s crazy (no pun intended) how much medication can alter who you are.

However, now because I’m a student again, my insurance has kicked in, I’m back on the proper medication, and here I am! Writing like the writer I’m supposed to be.

Also, yes, you heard me correctly. I’m in school again.

Since my last post, I’ve picked up my life, left Bumbleton, moved to a university town, broke up with my significant other, and started the education program at the University of Lethbridge. In the immortal words of 21 Jump Street, “Fuck yeah, mother fucker!”

I’ve been doing so well since I got here, and when I say “doing well,” I don’t mean just merely getting by while waiting for something horrible to happen as I have been doing since becoming terribly depressed last year. I’ve actually been happy. Until now, actual happiness has felt like a far away dream; I was grateful for having experienced it at all in the past, but didn’t ever actually expect to experience it again. There are moments when I’m almost moved to tears because of this feeling that I never thought I would feel again. I’ve made new friends. I’m working out on a regular basis (this is a HUGE deal). I’m not sleeping for sixteen hours every day. I’m getting all A’s. I’m writing this blog post which is another massive victory. I’m enjoying life again. What a wonderful and foreign concept.

After much humming and hawing, I finally chose the education program over the Master of Library Information Studies at the U of A for a number of reasons:

  1.  teachers have more job stability and opportunities than librarians
  2.  the pay grade is better
  3.  it is a career that I can travel with
  4.  if I get a job teaching high school English, I will still get to interact with my one and only love, literature. Swoon.

I’m very happy with my decision and my peers in the program are just wonderful; however, this isn’t to say that I don’t still wistfully moan with envy every time I interact with a librarian and dream of what could have been. As for the actual teaching part? You know, that thing that doesn’t revolve around literature? Well, I start my practicum in a grade 2/3 class in elementary school on November 14th, so I’ll really find out then if I’m cut out for this career.

Now that I’m doing so well, I’m a little worried that I will fall into old thinking patterns and sink back into depression again when my practicum starts; I’ve been placed in an even smaller town close to Bumbleton, meaning that I will be living in Bumbleton for the upcoming month. If I become as crippled by my mental illness as I have been the last year, I will likely not successfully complete the practicum. But honestly, I could handle that.

It’s this new state of mental health that I am desperately afraid of losing. For all I know, I might go home and view the familiar streets of Bumbleton with new appreciative eyes, rather than feel the crippling suffocation of a small town that I’ve never felt I belonged to. I might be just fine. I might even flourish.

But I might not.

And that scares me.

I don’t want to get as sick as I have been ever again. It would be like crawling out of hell, letting my broken bones heal and wounds scab over, only to be dragged back in again at the end of my recovery, and have my bones crushed and wounds ripped anew. After all that suffering only to face failure, I may as well just stay down there next time.

But until I am sent home, I am well. And I am going to focus on this wellness and furthering my healing until maybe I am so healed, that it isn’t even possible to be dragged as low as I have been before. When my practicum begins, I am going to continue to take care of myself, and do all that I can to stay better. I’m going to keep working out, and writing, and appreciate the time that I have close to my hometown friends, family and of course, my dogs.

I can do this.

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