This is not the first time that I’m trying to write a blog post, even though a couple of weeks have passed since the last attempt. The biggest hindrance being my continued inability to express myself – if talking about it poses great difficulty, writig appears an almost Herculean task. So I’ll just try to give a very fragmentary overview in the hope that eventually I’ll be able to express myself more eloquently.
I don’t know how I made it through the semester, in hindsight maybe even less than at the time of living it. In the end, I was so burned out that I pushed all but one of the exams to October, because I wasn’t mentally fit for studying any more, but at least that one exam I passed with an “A minus”.
My husband’s appeal for a residency permit got granted for three years (after that, it’ll be a permanent one). We jumped through all the bureaucratic hoops and in December he can finally start the mandatory German classes, the way there being paved with many frustrations that will require a post of their own.
My old computer broke after five and a half years of faithful service. The power supply unit literally blew up (knocked out the living room’s fuse, smoke curling out of the computer’s back) and damaged not only the PSU, but also the mainboard and processors. It was only because of a financial donation from my mother-in-law that I could buy a laptop as replacement… All my personal data – photos, all my uni files, the templates for the blog charts etc. – still are on the old harddrive, but I hope I can get them back soon.
The last regular therapy session was in April. I had one “on the side” in late June, which my therapist had crammed in between hospital duties one morning, but following up on this, all scheduled appointments got cancelled due to the persisting staff shortage at the hospital, and then August rolled around, which my therapist takes off every year. I was told to get in touch via email at the beginning of September, so I guess by Wednesday (when the first dust of back-to-work-stress has settled) I will contact him.
For about three months, I have argued back and forth with German Telecom over the cancellation of my landline phone back in February: because I couldn’t pay my phone bill all at once, I had cancelled my phone and arranged for payment of the remaining bill in four rates, due in March, April, June and July. In May, I received a letter reminding me of outstanding payments on my landline and when I called customer service to clarify the mistake, the ladies I spoke to insisted that my phone had been turned off because I didn’t pay – never mind the fact that if one calls my old number, an automated message announces that the phone number is not available at the moment. It wasn’t turned off, it was properly cancelled. On top of that, they spoke of the fee due in May, when the payment plan I’d received in the mail clearly stated that no rate was due that month, and claimed that a sum equivalent of three rates was still due when I had already paid two rates out of four.
In the end, I got so worried that I even discussed it with my therapist the one time I saw him, even though his suggestion to take a lawyer to sort this out was rather unsatisfying to me – how would I pay the lawyer? I don’t have any insurance which would cover such a case either, and so I could only hope that one of my emails or phone calls would finally sort out the matter.
These are, in a nutshell, the most important events of the past months. This is the third day I’m “working” on this post, just to give some kind of perspective regarding the difficulty of writing. By the end of June, I was at a score of a whopping 33 points in the BDI-II, which signifies heavy depression, and right now I’m still lingering at around 15 points on good days, or higher on bad days.
The most persistent symptoms are a lack of energy and “emptiness” inside. Not only am I devoid of any kind of esprit or verve, but sometimes it’s even hard to tell what I’m feeling. There’s… just nothing I could put into words. Which is upsetting when my husband asks me what’s wrong, because I don’t want him thinking it’s something he did. It’s just our circumstances, I guess. We’re on a very tight budget and can’t really afford to go out, much less to go on a trip for a while. So I guess part of that emptiness inside is just boredom, being stifled by the ever-same routine. And part of it is pure dread in the face of having to go back to uni in a couple of weeks. Even though I know that I should take it as a challege and one day at a time, the memory of the last semester is too fresh to actually see it this way.
Around this time last year, I thought if I went back to uni, it would take a couple of weeks and then I would get used to it. I thought that if I did not manage 100% productivity, I would reach at least 70%. Right now, it feels that anything beyond 30% is beyond my capacity, and I wonder if I will ever become “normal”, ever be able to finish uni, get a job – and hold it down. How do “normal” people manage?