Part of the problem with coming out of a depression is that I have to go back into the world. There are lots of issues that crop up when this happens, especially since I haven’t been interacting with much of humanity for a while. This is compounded by going to school and being around loads of undergrads all the time. AND it’s the middle of winter. So basically this is the perfect storm and there is no way for me to avoid getting sick. I knew it was going to happen last week when my lecture hall started to fill up with sneezes and coughs, and the girl in front of me spent the entire time blowing her nose and coughing. I was doomed. There was no escape. My immune system is woefully unprepared to fend off incoming viruses because it hasn’t been building up a tolerance.
So here I am, sneezing, tired, with a headache. I knew it. The grand thing about getting sick when you have mental health issues is that, for me at least, it removes a protective layer of sanity. It’s like I become raw, like most people, and my emotions bubble to the surface. I am less mindful, less apt to be able to deal with my feelings in a productive way, and much more likely to give in to negative emotions. The first thing that goes is my willpower. I suddenly don’t want to do anything or see anyone. I just want to curl up in bed and watch nonsense (or TED talks more likely) and snuggle with the dogs. Instead, today I’m required to go to a TWO AND A HALF HOUR session on being smart about sexual safety, because apparently I’m 17 and need to be taught what Columbia thinks are the rules of life. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate the initiative that they are taking to educate young people, but for older, wiser students this is not only redundant it’s sort of infantalizing. And now I want to go even less because I don’t feel well. Time to see if I can get out of it.
Case in point, I just sent a snarky e-mail to my math TA because after our exam he sent out an e-mail that said, “Hey, hope you guys did well on the exam…but if you need more help here are all the resources the school has.” I get it. Find extra help, and sometimes that’s really necessary. But I also think that’s kind of a cop out and pretty insulting. As if to say, “Sorry we can’t teach you what we’re trying to teach you, so go have someone else do it or do it yourselves.” Paying what I am for this course, I kind of expect more effort from the teachers themselves. I realize he was attempting to be helpful in his own way, but he doesn’t come to our class, I’ve never seen him before this week, he doesn’t know any of us, he hasn’t watched our professor teach, he gave us conflicting and flat-out incorrect information, and then he has the audacity to say, “Go teach yourself so you can pass this class.” PSSSSSH. So, because I have no filter right now, I sent him back an e-mail that basically said, “Or the class could be more informative and the homework could be more closely related to the exams.” Snarky, maybe. True, definitely. There is so much that could be improved about this class if they only tried, just a little. But this goes to my point about being raw. I had the thought to send that response the other day, I just didn’t. But now, on poor sleep and a bad cold, I just don’t have the filter.
I feel bad about what I say and do when I have no filter, but it doesn’t happen until later. In the moment I give zero fucks. It doesn’t help that I fell asleep before I could take my meds last night so today is going to be weird. Thanks for the cold, you asshole kids.