But I’m still trying to find it…

This post originally appeared on my other blog, Scattered Thoughts. I’m reposting it here as well, partially to explain why it’s been so long since I’ve last posted. But also partially because I’ve been thinking of merging the two blogs into one, but more on that later. I’m hoping to get back into regular posts on QtM soon.

There’s an Oscar Wilde quote at the beginning of Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End that really resonates with me. The quote goes, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all”.

I’d like to say that I’ve been busy living the last few months, but to be honest I feel like my life lately has been nothing but existing. Sure, in the last seven months I’ve had moments that felt like living, but I’ve also found recent months to be some of the hardest I can remember.

I had a bit of a breakdown in early September and had to withdraw from school for a bit. I’m back now, having started my final course in January. I’ll now finish in April and graduate in June.

Actually, I think saying a “bit of a breakdown” is a stretch. I had panic attacks, several of them, something that’s never happened to me before. I froze whenever I tried to do anything. I cried. I got mad. I got scared. Things got dark. And for one very, very brief moment, I honestly thought I’d rather be dead than keep going.

That’s when I knew I needed a break. That’s when I knew I needed to step back. And while I know taking the break was the best thing for my mental health, I also feel that, had I just been able to get through, I could have graduated by now.

I saw a counsellor who reminded me that I’ve been successful at so many things in life and that this is just a setback, but I still can’t help but wish that I was finished instead of still having another few months ahead of me.

At the end of August, I moved into my very own apartment for the first time. No roommates, just me and the cat. And as much as I absolutely love living alone, it’s been a struggle financially. Working a minimum-wage retail job makes it hard to get by some weeks. Another reason why I wish I was finished school. But as hard as it is, I’m happy being on my own, and I wouldn’t do anything to change that.

I still find myself in a rut though. Most days I barely have the energy to leave the apartment. If it wasn’t for work or class, I don’t know if I’d ever leave, to be honest. I don’t know if it’s because of the anxiety issues that lead to my breakdown or what it is, but I just don’t seem to be enjoying life as much lately.

There’s a Taylor Swift lyric from her song All Too Well that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. It goes, “I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it”.

I’m still trying to find my old self too. I keep telling myself that this is just a low point and things will get better in the coming months.

I know they will. It’s just going to take time. So for now, I’m just existing. But soon, I want to start living.