Where am I headed?

I don’t know where I’m heading with my life. Others have goals, aspirations. I used to have them too. Now I’m just drifting. Drifting, drifting along in life until ‘Bam!’ I hit a brick wall, there’s no where else to turn and it all comes to an end.

A few days ago I found out my score on a multiple choice test worth 25% of our unit mark. My result was 33%. Appalling. In a class of 138, my score was in the bottom 8. A year ago, it would’ve taken me days to get over it. I would’ve felt the need to punish myself, I would’ve self harmed, I would’ve cried for what a failure I am. This year, I got upset, cried for a bit, but was over it in less than an hour. Didn’t even cut over it. At first glance it may appear as progress. When you look at the bigger picture though, and you look at why I’m not troubled by it, it points to the contrary. While self harm is an unhealthy coping mechanism, it at least indicated that I cared enough about where my life was heading to realise that my marks determine whether or not I’m going to successfully graduate from University to become a pharmacist. Now I feel as if I’ve given up on life. My mindset has become that it’s going to end sooner or later, possibly sooner and by my own doing, so why try?

I’ve become indifferent. I have no direction in life. I don’t see a future for myself. I can’t imagine becoming a pharmacist, having relationships, getting married, moving out of home and owning my own house, having children, having grandchildren and growing old. That’s talking long term. In the short term, I can’t see myself graduating from Uni or even passing my units. I’ve been turning a blind eye to the increasing possibility that I may fail pharmacy, instead choosing to ignore reality. I dread to think what will happen if I do get terminated from my course. Going to Uni, studying to become a pharmacist gives me the guise of actually doing something with my life. If I’m not going to Uni, I don’t know what I’m doing. Then there would be the terrible shame in being a Uni dropout. Bad enough for everyone else, worse if you’re Asian.

It pains me to remember the days where I was said to have a bright future ahead of me. What was expected of me is that I would get into Uni, pass my units and graduate without any major hurdles. Those days are long gone.

These days, nothing much is expected. Or nothing great anyway. Yesterday for example. My father has been finding empty blister packs of paracetamol and codeine tablets on our front lawn. Now being aware of my ODing tendenices in taking medications with alcohol in an attempt to harm myself, he suspected it was me. Not knowing that I was home, he voiced aloud to my mother that it may possibly be me, abusing prescription medication. For the record, it wasn’t. It’s just my luck that someone has been leaving empty blister packs lying around on our front garden, so soon after the ambulance came and my parents found everything out. Thank you, anonymous pill popper.

I could blame this all on mental illness. Yeah, it’s the mental illness that makes me this way. It’s the mental illness that makes me act irrationally and do things like steal medications from the pharmacy I work in, to go OD on later. It’s the depression that’s taken away my energy, motivation, memory and concentration. It’s the depression that’s affecting my ability to do well at Uni. But really, that’s just me making excuses for my shortcomings.

On a positive note though, I went to the dinner with my workmates last night and I actually had a good time, ignoring the fact that I purged afterwards. I chatted, I laughed and I enjoyed myself. I’d been isolating myself so much that I had forgotten how important it is to your mental health to spend time in the company of others.

8 thoughts on “Where am I headed?

  1. I think it’s brilliant the way you coped with the test result, and the fact you went out for dinner with workmates. You are taking positive steps, and you know what, it’s ok not to know where you want to go, I’m still not sure what I want to do, and I certainly wasn’t sure at uni. Remember you are coping with alot of other stuff besides the workload at uni, and there is more to you than grades or exam results. It’s awful that you feel so much pressure in this respect – just out of interest, is being a pharmacist what you WANT to do, or is it what you feel you OUGHT to do?

    I found it helpful in recovery to think about what I actually wanted, rather than what other people wanted me to do, and I ended up giving up a PhD scholarship to take a risk and try doing something I would truly enjoy…just a thought, I know this course of action isn’t for everyone…

    Sorry I should really shut up now, this comment is getting too long!

    Sarah x

    • I’m not sure really… I don’t mind being a pharmacist but I guess I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t do pharmacy. I agree that it’s probably better to do something you’d enjoy… I just don’t know what I’d enjoy really…
      Thanks xx

  2. thats exactky what i felt like when i was at vet school-i failed everything, and just didnt really care.i didnt ned to self harm, because i was just so indiferent and didnt care at all twoards the end of the time i was there. and al lot of it was prob because i didnt actually WANT to be a vet-i just felt i had to.

    im not for a min suggesting this is how it is for you-just kindsa interstting point sarah made.

    im glad you enjoyed the meal

    take care chick

    love vics xx

    • Yeah, I think you’ve described how I feel right now about pharmacy… Problem is that I dont know what I’d want to do instead…
      Thanks xx

  3. To be honest, I think if you asked a large number of 18 year olds what they wanted to do with their lives, a significant proportion would have absolutely no idea. Or they might know they wanted to go to uni but not what they wanted to study, or they might know what subject they wanted to study but not what job they would do from that. When I was studying for A levels I knew very few people who knew exactly what they wanted to do. Even now, most of my friends have got degrees etc and still don’t really know what they want to do!

    Mental health problems do make things harder, without a shadow of a doubt. But maybe Pharmacy just isn’t right for you. And there is nothing wrong with that. You might feel more motivated to work at uni if you were doing a different subject, that you enjoyed. Or maybe uni just isn’t right for you at the moment, and you would be better having a gap year and travelling, or even just working. There are lots of options though.

    xxx

  4. I really relate to your feeling of being in college (uni) and feeling that it at least makes you look like you’ve got things together. I feel that way a lot. I feel like I’m constantly trying to keep up the facade that I don’t have a mental illness. I realize that in some ways that’s a facade for myself too.
    I think there are a lot of changes that go on for young women between High School and College. We have to start learning to self motivate. It’s really tough and often doesn’t happen automatically.
    I think overall young adulthood is increadibly hard these days. So many more opportunities than we had generations ago but at the same time it’s hard to figure out how to succeed at anything and feel that we’ve succeeded. There is no absoulte success anymore and a lot of us are raised to acheive success. It’s a bugger of a situation.
    I’m glad that you don’t feel like self harming as much now as you use to when you don’t acheive things. It sounds like you feel that means you don’t care. Maybe you’re starting to mature into different ways of caring though. Maybe you’re letting go of the old things that have motivated you, like shame, and opening yourself up to more mature ways of self motivating, like looking for what’s meaningful for you.
    Yes, I think the depression makes it hard for us to figure out what’s meaningful to us. It’s a issue I deal with every day. As a way of dealing with that, I’m trying to learn to be okay in the moment, regardless of where my future is headed. Am I at peace in this moment. I’m sure that’s a hard stance to take in college because it’s so much about the future. I think your going out with friends and enjoying it is an example of being at peace in the moment.
    I look forward to hearing more about how it’s going for you.

  5. I’ve nothing particularly meaningful to add really, but I just wanted to say that I completely understand this, and I’m in my late 20s now! I know how frustrating it is to be an articulate, intelligent person and end up completely devoid of ambition and aspirations.

    But like someone already said, you’re taking positive steps and your result towards the test score is very encouraging. Hope is not lost 🙂

    Take care and hugs

    Pan x

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