“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” – T. H. White, The Once and Future King
“There are no stunning words, no eloquent phrases and no grand explanations for what exactly happened this summer or what it did to me as a person. There are certainly no explanations for my mood now either.
I begin so dramatically.
I confirm that no awful event took place to precipitate such a melancholic beginning, rather it was a slow decline of smiles, a series of mood changers and lifestyle adjustments which brought about one feeling and one feeling only: lifelessness.
I have no right to associate myself with that word, I know. I live in a peaceful and monotonous existence with everything I could ever dream of. Food, water, shelter, a caring family. The lot. So lifelessness, indeed unhappiness, is hardly a feeling I should dare entertain.
I have no notion of when it started, no notion at all.
But life unravelled concretely in June. The man I utterly loved, the man who only days before had finally admitted that he loved me, the man I could not be without, left. Emotionally, the relationship continued but, physically, we separated. I was not made to handle things like that. The emotional and psychological pressure built. It had already been building for weeks before but not to the levels it would reach over summer.
Missing him began. Then uncontrollable sadness. Then feelings of self-worthlessness. Pathetic creature that I am. But my life does not orbit his. That was only one piece of the jigsaw.
I quickly became proactive. Some days were rather good. I even went on a holiday and a brief trip. I got into full time employment on top of my Saturday job. But working six days a week quickly added to the pressure.
Life as I knew it involved work, six days a week, from first eye-opening to late night. Nothing else. Just work.
Friends disappeared. It certainly was a measure of self exile; I could not handle a busy social life and six days of working. But still, it felt as though they did not need me anyway. Their life was none-the-less without me. And so I missed out this summer, I missed out on the fun and the frolicking and the happiness and the gaiety and the adventures. I was not there and I did not feel like I was a part of anything or anyone’s story.
Worse than that, it felt like no one had understood how much I missed HIM. How I missed someone who was so largely a part of me. They did not understand. When I had asked for help little came.
And now, after a summer of work, supressed emotions, feelings of unease and inadequacy, rejection and loneliness, disassociation and abandonment, tears and emptiness, a summer of not being there – now it feels as though I am friendless for good. No one understood. No one really knew.
I do not look at people in the same way anymore. I trust less if barely at all. I guard myself strongly to stop from crumbling.
No one knows now either. Apart from all that happened this summer I feel odd now. Summer ended and I was presented with hope. I felt better, I felt somewhat refreshed, I felt happy even.
But now, right now, I am afraid of working and large groups of unfamiliar people. I sometimes cry for no apparent reason. I feel lost or sad or scared or attacked or vacant or nonexistent. I feel left behind, even betrayed by a few. HE is back and it is better than ever at least. HE is at no fault. This is MY problem. I have gained well over a stone in weight, and it happened rather quickly. Sometimes I sleep for hours. Sometimes I have bouts of insomnia leading to daytime sleep. Sometimes I cannot bare to do work at all, a luxury I cannot allow. I feel trapped in stale air. I have to force myself often to talk or communicate or smile.
Many days, although, I am perfectly normal. I just keep to myself. I still laugh, I still smile, I still feel. But feelings are duller and cloudier, cries careless and soft.
This is a broken diatribe, a barely audible whisper. Did I worry for my health this summer? I just worried. Do I worry about my health now? More than ever.”