Well, that was 2008, the year I was convinced I would not see coming to an end. With the most certainty one can have about what will happen in the course of a few hours, I will in fact be making it to 2009. In a sense, it scares me. This is for several reasons. One is the fact that I’d pretty much pulled myself through the year by holding on to the idea that, no matter how hard life would be, it’d be over before the end of the year. Of course, the idea that I’d die before the end of 2008, also scared me, because I was supposed to focus on the future so much. This was particularly in the spring, when there seemed to be soem perspective on the future, but I knew it to be relatively distant in time – too distant for me to oversee.
However, in a sense, I pushed away my suicidal thoughts, that had been with me since late 2007, in early 2008 by thinking I’d die before the end of the year anyway. Some depressed people use an imminent death as a reason to become suicidal, but I used it as a reason not to be suicidal. This caused my life to improve in some ways, in that I gained privileges, was enabled to go home and connect to the Internet again. In fact, objectively, my life from around the summer on should’ve been quite enjoyable: I have a boyfriend whom I see at least twice a week, I have plenty of time for my hobbies and interests, and I can do my Open University psychology courses (which is really just one of my hobbies, I’m not likely to enroll in the degree program anytime soon) in a relatively manageable pace. And indeed, for a while, I learned to find enjoyment in my life activities. After all, if I truly were going to die before the end of the year, why was I wasting my precious time worrying about it? How would I like to spend my life if I had only this limited tiem? Well, it’s pretty much how I ended up spending my life – except of course the future planning that I have to do. I, however, tried to pretend that there is some future when doing planning with the social worker, and just have as much enjoyment as I could the rest of the time, but I still failed mostly – in both ways.
In October, I suddenly realized that maybe my life wasn’t going to end in 2008, and I alternated between impulsive plans about my future and feeling depressed and slightly suicidal (as in wishing that I would get into a car accident or something and reading about death online, but never really planninf to actively kill myself) for the next two months. From early November on, it was mostly the latter, because it was made clear to me many times that my plans were not going to be followed through on: going home was not an option because student housing would kick me out, Werkenrode doesn’t want to plan for me living with them in any way at all until I’ve changed enough, and I have not and am pessimistic that I ever will, and I was turned down by the mental health living assistance agency. This meant that I was back at the point where I was in December of 2007, only it was one year later, and this was not a positive thing.
Of course, you would say, there were some enjoyable aspects about my life in 2008. As I said, I started dating my first boyfriend this year. While this is a good thing indeed, I find it particularly hard to see that. Similarly, in 2007, I had more social contacts than I had before, for example with people in the student housign complex. However, I was still overwhelemd, depressed and eventually suicidal. It is kind of strange: when I look at how I’d want to live my life, I wouldn’t change much, but I still feel overloaded.
Overload. Is that the thing I’ve been writing about ever since 2004, and each year writing my review and resolving to change that in the coming year? I’m not sure, since I didn’t discover the word till 2007, but I think it is. Maybe the correct term is different – after all, in 2001 and 2002, I referred to it as “compensation”, ie. compensating for my blindness -, or maybe there is no correct term at all, but I think it’s pretty much the same. Maybe it is due to a problem in executive functioning, as the psychologist at the Deventer training center for autistics hypothetized. Maybe it is due to something else. Can I change it? I’m not sure, but I’m currently quite pessimistic. I always ended my yearly reviews with the hope that I’d improve my life (in this respect) in the next year, but I can’t say that now. It’s all just too unclear for that. And that is probably the hardest thing about living past 2008: each year, I was certain that in the next year, I’d be taking steps to improve my life and thereby lessen the feeling that the world overwhelms me, and I knew at least partly which steps to take to achieve that goal. I always had some belief that within the next year, there’d be some important change that would improve my situation in this regard. Not anymore: while 2009 is going to bring at least one important change – in that I will leave my current ward -, I’m pessimistic that it will change my mental status for the better. And, after all these years of resolving to change and not achieving the goal, I feel that this time it’s just, well, not really going to get any better – and I’ve lost the hope that any turn of the year, to 2009 or else, will do something about this stuff.