By Rob Heimann
What happened to you last week?
I wrote this Friday the 22nd, I’m not quite in the same place as I was. I found it really helpful, as difficult as it was.
What happened to you last week?
That is more or less what people are asking me.
On Wednesday I told Marc that I was feeling really positive about my creative output even if I wasn’t pleased with my creative execution. It was true I was feeling good, confident even. And it was true. I liked the work we were getting and the creative thinking it was prompting. But things are never easy. My girlfriend (Gamia), whom I value as much as I value my mother, father and brother (I am very close to all of them), was leaving in four days. I was not ready for her to go. We have an excellent relationship despite it being (for now), super long distance. Time we have together is incredibly precious whatever we are doing, even when I’m at SCA, which is the biggest thing to happen to me since meeting Gamia. So, I opted to skip school. But I did it in a terrible way. I ghosted. That decision was about the most damaging thing I could have done to my mental health and my reputation at school.
I don’t know how to explain why I did this. I don’t know, and I am terrified to find out.
In the following days my anxiety grew. I was mentally preparing for Gamia going home while trying to have the best possible time. By Friday evening I had decided that SCA had definitely kicked me out. I was basing this on nothing but paranoia and fear. I was not looking at my email, terror had taken over and my brain and was desperately trying to distract me. I had a lovely weekend with my girlfriend and family, all the while I was followed by my fear and guilt. This isn’t the first time I have felt like this, it’s like holding hands with a shadow that nobody else can see, its grip is tight, cold, and irresistible.
Sunday evening was as good as it could be, which means it was heartrending. I know I can have a wonderful future with Gamia, which makes letting her go (even temporarily), extremely difficult.
I went home and had a few beers and distracted myself with the American office. At least that’s what I tried. I was utterly convinced that SCA would never take me back, that they were disgusted with me. They probably felt some hint of that, but not in the vicious way I felt it. I told myself I would give myself Monday, after that I will turn it around. I didn’t. Instead I let myself be pulled down into the swamp. As the week progressed I gave up on making weak promises to myself and opted for numbness. If I don’t acknowledge it, I can’t be hurt. That built pressure in my mind. That led to thoughts of self harm and speculation that maybe wouldn’t it just be easier if I didn’t have to deal with any of it? But this is what happens when I let myself down. My self loathing bubbles up and pulls me under.
I do not value myself but I value other people and my relationships with them. I am trying to learn how to love myself.
So by writing this I am breaking the cycle. I am contacting Mark. I am taking steps. I am getting better. I am confronting my guilt.
I’m sorry to all the people I have let down over the last couple of weeks. You don’t deserve to be treated that way.
None of this is and excuse, it is a barrier to me being the person I want be.
The copy scores 79.8 in the Flesch Reading Ease test