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  • ritasuszek

Reader, I

I stopped having a particular vision for this blog. I used to write weekly. I used to write monthly. I used to write daily. I used to write.

I let the domain expire, I have no clue about what I want to do with this thing, but I still like to write, so let’s go with that.

Story time: once upon a time I was a first year student at Polish Philology specialising in Film Studies in Poznan, Poland. Outspoken in class (whether or not I read the text, I always had something to say) I was known to my lecturers. I can’t really say 100% how I came off, but in a class that was very Into Film I probably read as very Into Literature, so my Lit profs were bound to like me for that alone. Later on I’d be given a “brilliant but lazy” pigeonhole, simultaneously very wrong and very right. Anyway. It was my first year. I have been excited about starting uni. My medieval Lit lecturer allowed me to write about representation of witches in Sapkowski’s writings as filtered through feminist critique (if you don’t know, none of this is very medieval. She was a badass). And then autumn came, winter came. Turn-in-your-essay time came.

I was a month late. And barely passed my exam.

I am grateful to her to this day, because she asked me what was going on. I gave her a garbled explanation of some kind, including a potential health issue and being unable to leave the house – I’d been skipping lectures at this point. She gave me a B for the essay (not an A, because it was so late, she made sure to say), a C+ for the exam and then we walked out of the uni building into the fragile spring sunshine. At the crossing she turned to me and said:

– Look, you may be depressed. It’s normal. If it happens again, just get a therapist.

The combination of these words, having actual money independent of my parents for the first time in my life and absolute fear when next autumn I started skipping lectures again (to this day, the minute my mood goes, leaving the house becomes Difficult) made me get therapy. And honestly? This journey isn’t even close to over. Even now, looking back at myself, I can’t help but heave a sad sigh. If I knew then what I know now… I still wouldn’t have known all that much, even with all that I’ve learnt. I am sad, because I probably suffer at least a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder, vitamin D or not; because I left university and changed countries in a bid to change my environment, but my psychological issues endured. I am sad, because I haven’t been successful the way I wanted and haven’t changed all that much.

I am sad, because at times I can’t help but look at my life and see wasted opportunity. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last 15 years self-isolating (buzzword of the week), anti-meditating, trying to blot out the uncomfortable feelings that I couldn’t deal with. So much wasted time, trying to live up to my “potential”, as defined by other people. So much time thinking that I was “brilliant but lazy” instead of depressed, unhappy and not particularly well-adjusted, not to mention probably undiagnosed something or other. So much time spent craving validation of others instead of figuring out what’s going on with me.

And this blog post is not even a declaration. It’s not The Last Stand of any kind. It is not about to say “I’m mad as hell and can’t take it anymore”! Even though I am really mad, and I have taken a lot of shit. I know better than to make declarations like that. I know better than to make definitive statements. I changed my name and changed my country, but couldn’t change where I fundamentally come from, so I’m learning how to work with it, day by day. And it’s hard, Reader. It is so hard.

So this blogpost is not a summary or a fiery stance. It is simply another day.

I’m very tired.

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