Its a Dark Place for the Too-Often Unemployed-Mature Student-in Crisis
It’s time I told the truth about me and about my life. While I think of myself as an accomplished actor (as I cope with family, relationship, and social stresses), I think that the effort has begun to exhaust me on an untenable level.
I say this as I have just paused, midway through locking my apartment door, mascara’d and girdled and polished to the best of my ability in a July heat wave (fear of wilting threatening to distract me from my once stellar focus) about to head out to a job interview. I paused, then stopped. I felt anxious in a quiet, half deflated way, in my best dress, yet. I feel, lately, 5 months into benefitless unemployment, anxious, depressed, fatigued, angry and frustrated in a way that resists the now common labels we toss around so carelessly, leaching them of their meaning. Too slippery to pin down my feelings. Once I try to pin it down with this or that label, it changes and hides under a different rock in my psyche: am I just fighting a summer cold? Upset stomach, something I ate? Insomnia’s resulting side effects? Bored, tired? Functioning the way I do and have for so long wears the labels out. I complain as little as possible but the excuses are so repetitive that it becomes a middle-aged, annoying hum to the ears of those in my life.
I am trying to “unpack this” as they said so often in University. As they say in therapy. As intelligent, detached folks say about ideas and theories their own or that they wish to deconstruct, their fetishes or sometimes their most loathed area of specialty they have been saddled with teaching for a term. They “unpack” ideas or theories because it sounds exciting; because it’s academic slang. For me I am trying to unravel a bundle of wires that represent my emotions, my mental pain, my confusion, my lies and my survival tactics that may or may not be killing me slowly and maybe need to be shaken out, maybe even exploded, in the service of the deeper and higher needs of myself, my well-being.