That’s what today is. That’s why I’m writing this instead of starting the problem sheet which is due in tomorrow, and it’s also why I don’t really care. When I see my friends at dinner later, I’m going to tell them it’s just one of those days and they’ll nod sympathetically and then the conversation will move on. What I probably won’t tell them is that sometimes – like now, for example – it feels like every day is one of those days. I’m staring at the sheet, I’ve looked through notes and textbooks and theorems and old sheets and still nothing comes to mind. This is a fairly familiar experience, so you’d think I’d be used to it by now, but somehow the crushing sense of hopelessness by which it is accompanied feels just as harsh every time.
I’m a perfectionist when it comes to work, but because of the depression I don’t have the energy to be perfect. For some perverse reason the perfectionism makes me sure, even after dozens of half-hearted pieces of work and their disappointing grades, that next time I’ll do it, next time I’ll get close to full marks, next time I’ll be able to concentrate for longer than a few minutes at a time without flicking onto Facebook in the hope of finding evidence that someone cares about me. This problem sheet is just one example of such a piece of work, although for the first time in over three years I’ve swallowed a morsel of my pride (another accompaniment to the depression – clearly it’s my fault that I can’t cope, and I don’t have the right to offload my problems on some other more fortunate and capable person) and asked someone for help. That’s just a nail in the coffin really, though – I’ve finally had to admit to someone other than myself that I’m a complete failure. They’ll probably laugh at me.
I’m sick of this. I’m sick of almost perpetually having experiences which are occasional and even novel for other people. I’m sick of feeling like this when everyone else seems to be fine (of course, it’s not worth considering the possibility that half of them are in the same boat as me, just putting on a brave face because of some misplaced conception of the link between their worth and how well they’re doing). And it’s so convenient having the work as a scapegoat, because then I can pretend to forget that even if I was acing every assignment I’d still be feeling crap. For now that’s immaterial – I’m too tired, I can’t concentrate and even question 1.a. part i. is a mystery to me. It must be because I’m not trying.