the difference is….


What a Difference a Year Makes

I was trying to come up with things that are new and different about me when I was out for sushi with JP this past weekend. We only see each other two, maybe three times a year, so there’s always catching up to do. I was having a hard time of it, though, beyond griping about taking the GRE and applying for grad school.

I did eventually come up with something good and positive though: “I’m not depressed as hell this year!”

He took that in stride instead of snorting at me, which I appreciate.

It’s true though. This time last year, I was revving up for another low period. The holidays have been harder since Dad died. I guess that’s probably stating the obvious. Every time I would surface for air, I would hope that it was the end, but by the end of last year, those periods were fewer and further between. Not only that, but I’d mostly forgotten what it felt like to feel normal; I was so mired in being depressed I couldn’t remember what it felt like to be not depressed.

What a Difference a Few Months Makes             

It’s really been the past several months that have helped immensely. I made some tough choices, and I finally listened to the folks who care about me and insisted I needed help and that there’s nothing wrong with going to a counselor.

And there isn’t. I was terrified of it, terrified of admitting that I needed that help, but I rather enjoy it now. My counselor is a pushy woman, and that’s a lot of what I need.

I was in a rut. A very deep one, worn down in a gigantic circle over the past several years. A lot of it was from my own denial of what I need/want to do with my life, and my refusal to accept that I’m going to end up teaching. Look, I don’t relish the idea, but it’s not the end of the world. So I’ve got direction now. I know what I want, and I’m working towards achieving it. Which is kinda weird and sounds platitudinal even to my ears, but it’s true!

And damn has that done wonders for my mood. Also, Zoloft helps.

What a Difference Two Days Makes

I was a wreck all weekend. In fact, I’ve kinda been a wreck for the past two weeks. I told my counselor that I would be completely finished the application process by the time I see her next (which is December 9). Not only that, but in case you haven’t heard, I took the GRE the other day.

I put off studying for it. Part of it is due to my own procrastinatory habits, and part of that was insisting that I wasn’t worried about it because I test well, and part of it was stupidity. Oh, and another part of it was being pissed that I actually had to study, to prepare. I hate studying. I’ve never been good at it. Never really learned how to do it properly.

So I put off studying, and then when I finally started, I came to realize that I’m a bit out of critical reading practice. So I scored much lower than I was expecting to on the Verbal section in the practice test. Freaked me right out. So I spent a sizeable portion of Sunday in tears, and a lot of Monday morning as well.

After that, the stress abated for the most part. Well, except I couldn’t eat much. And I kept getting nauseous. And my ears hurt. (I don’t know if that last one was stress related, but I suspect it was.) And I had a headache for three days straight.

But it’s over now. I’ve taken the blasted thing. I didn’t do as well as I had hoped I would on the verbal, but I did much better than I was afraid I would on the math. And I’m pretty sure I rocked the essay portion right out. So we’ll see what happens.

I feel as though a great weight has been almost entirely lifted from my shoulders. I will breathe a huge sigh of relief when I’ve submitted the last of those applications.


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