Something From Nothing

In some sort of superhuman feat, I woke up 12 minutes before my lecture this morning and six minutes later was leaving my room in a half-asleep sort of zombie state to go and listen to an hour of physiology. In my defence, we usually have those lectures on Tuesdays, and I had been up until 4am on the phone to my friend (more like BROTHER because we were so close) from sixth form. We hadn’t messaged for over a year, and he dropped me like a hot potato in our last year of sixth form when he got a girlfriend, but he’s broken up with her and he was in a bad place… And I just wanted to go back to old times.

I forgot how well he knew me. At uni I have to explain the past to people before they understand the way I am now, but he lived through the past with me, he knows me so well that it was spooky but SO NICE for someone to just see through everything and just know how I work and… Who I am (nobody here really knows, I put a guard up that I cannot take down, and I’m always away from them). We started off talking about how he was, then how I was, then we had a big long catch up and then we just ended up hysterically laughing for hours. We reached a level of immaturity that we both admitted we hadn’t been reduced to since we last spoke (and could not display around any other human), and it was amazing to be able to talk like that right away after so long not speaking at all. It was the familiarity my brain has been craving, it was like going back to sixth form, and we laughed and talked about all the funny stuff and how we used to drive our biology teachers mad by just laughing all the way through lessons. He wants to meet up over the Christmas break, and damn it I’ve missed his hugs. We are SO close that he was basically my brother. He always used to say he loved me like a sister, and his family are so nice even when we’d play darts and mine would bounce off the wall and nearly impale us all.

After lectures I did something I’ve been meaning to do for ages. I filled out an extenuating circumstances form to officially declare all the work I’ve missed. It was such a faff, but it’s not even that I’d been consciously putting it off, I just hadn’t been able to find any importance in anything enough to take action. I was kind of anxious that in putting it all in writing I was giving the university bullets to end my uni life with. But I missed a tutorial and still produced the essay that was set in it so… I feel like I’ve done myself a favour there. SC Uni Friend sat with me, and we had a fight with one of the many huge printing machines to make it photocopy the medical evidence I had to provide, but after an hour long battle with the entire process, I went and handed in the stupid thing.

And then I’m not really sure what happened. I went back to my flat and planned to wait until it got dark in the afternoon and go and see Kew Gardens at Christmas or something. I decided that I am going to go to the Hunterian Museum tomorrow (it’s a museum at the Royal College of Surgeons that is just FULL of preserved anatomy specimens and surgical equipment, including some pretty AWESOME and significant stuff) because going to the Natural History Museum yesterday made me realise that I was mostly specifically there to see the preserved brain and spinal cord, and I feel that now I’m all adult and anatomy obsessed, I should seek out a place that my brain will find as awesome and mind blowing as it used to find the Natural History Museum’s basic human biology exhibit.

One minute I was sat on my bed trying to plan these things… And then all of a sudden I was waking up feeling drugged and slow… and it was 7pm. So… That went to plan (not).

I’m trying to get out and do something every day because I’m mostly just trying to switch my brain back on and taking myself to places that I’m hoping will ignite some sort of ANYTHING. I don’t want to shut myself off and just stew in the stagnant state I seem to be stuck in. I’m just trying to figure out how to fully function again, because at the minute there is no importance in anything.

I realised last night when on my super long phone call, that this Tuesday was the first time I’ve ever missed a lecture just because I couldn’t find motivation or importance or… A care in the world. Usually the only occasion on which I will miss a lecture is if I physically can’t get out of bed. Although it’s basically a rite of passage for any student, it should probably be a huge deal. It means things in my mind are probably worse than I thought, because my reason for living and getting out of bed in the morning… No longer gets me out of bed. Honestly, for the last year and a bit, university has motivated me and been my reason for doing anything really. Not only can I now not feel any interest in what used to be at times the only and most important thing my life, but nothing matters. At all. And I should probably have some sort of feeling about that, but I don’t.

A lot of people I know are broken at the moment in the same way that I used to be. They are struggling to cope, but they can function. They are still stressing about things and worrying about uni work which means that they can still find importance in at least something. Buckling under so much stress and being unable to cope is where I was for a few weeks, and it sucked and I hated it and I couldn’t cope… But I could feel. Looking back now, I realise that not all hope was lost, because the fact that I was stressing about things (like uni… And then after a while not uni but just… Not dying) meant that I still attached some importance to them.

And I mean… I’d like to find that again.

I have an assignment due in tomorrow (I mean to be fair I missed the lab but I still have to do the lab report at some point) and one due in on Friday, and then another one next Wednesday along with a test or two that are happening online next week… I have NO notes (I mean, I have some typed notes, but I haven’t made them full sentences and stuff or handwritten them and they are only for about 5 weeks… out of 11…) and also… I haven’t started working or revising for ANY OF IT. And I literally have no feeling about it. It just… Isn’t even a thing to my brain. As coping mechanisms go, this one isn’t so great. It’s keeping me alive and on the planet and most of the time not overwhelmed (unless social interaction has to occur) but… It’s going to wreck my life.

I feel like there is a heaviness in my mind now instead of a void (numbness to me feels heavy and deadened, the void was just light and airy and there was NOTHING in there at all. I can think now, just. I can talk. I can respond. Not fully function, but respond, so the void is gone), which means there is some sort of feeling or thought there, and there’s now enough of that for me to be able to act normal. Words are just sounds, easy to make and harder to mean. I’ve re-learned how to plaster on a tone, and how to make it sound like I’m talking about something when I’m talking about nothing. It’s giving off an illusion that the few people I can deal with being around at the minute seem to have fallen for well. It isn’t healthy, it really is the wrong thing to do, and it means I won’t get the support I need, but it’s literally that or I can’t talk at all and my brain is just all ASDFGHJKL.

I am trying very hard not to do… Nothing.

Processed with MOLDIV
Today’s Christmas jumper (yes I’m sat in bed fully clothed in this picture, don’t judge, my windows don’t shut so my room is FREEZING) People are amused at the amount of Christmas jumpers I own. Is there any other kind of jumper to wear this time of year?



8 thoughts on “Something From Nothing

  1. That’s a good idea to go to places that will try to switch your mind on! And that anatomy museum sounds fascinating! And I’m so glad you reconnnected with your friend from sixth form (just a question, though, since school is different here in America…how old are you in sixth form?)
    You’re honestly doing so much better than I am at the moment. Truthfully, I had an emotional meltdown last night. My husband and I have been struggling with infertility for three years. Since myself and most of my friends are in the general vicinity of 30, everyone is having babies. There have been at least a dozen pregnancy announcements since Thanksgiving. Well, last night, there were three, all in short duration, and one of them was one of my best friends from high school. So I got myself drunk so I wouldn’t be able to feel emotions. I ended up not going to bed until 9 am this morning because I just couldn’t stop thinking about all the failures I’ve had…there will be a blog post coming soon, I’m sure. Sorry to unload all that on you…
    I hope you’re able to get your assignments all ready. And I love your Christmas jumpers! Keep the pictures coming! 🎅🏼

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m going to have to pass on the anatomy museum today and try and find a shred of importance in the work I have to do so that I might actually start it. I’m going out with SC Uni Friend and her partner and a bunch of their friends tonight so I’ll be doing a Christmas thing and getting out anyway (there will probably be pictures).

      Sixth form here is the last 2 years of school (our year 12 and 13, which are actually the 13th and 14th years of education so that makes no sense but… yeah). So 16-18 years old.

      I mean… I’ve been in states similar to that (I can’t say the same, because I don’t truly know what you were going through) and… emotion is good. It feels destructive and it completely tears you apart, but it means there’s something left of you to feel and hurt, and if there’s something left, you have something to eventually build on, something to salvage, even though you don’t feel like you can ever move forward again. A lot of people think I’m doing well at the moment, and although I can’t compare myself to you because I’ve no idea what you’re going through, I can say that I am worse now than I ever was when I was having emotional meltdowns. I’ve reached a place beyond that, and in the brief moments when my mind does re-engage, without even full thought or even full feeling I am hit by this train of something that just makes me sob uncontrollably and ache to do silly, silly things because they seem like the only way. It no longer goes through attempts to mask things from itself, it just skips straight to wanting to end it all. This isn’t my brain moving on and healing, this is it trying to figure out how to care about anything at all or function or feel, and when it figures out how to do all of that, I’ll be in a similar situation to the one you’re in.

      It’s ok to be overwhelmed and to be honest it sounds like you have good reason to be. I’ve done the drinking to not feel thing, and it ends up expensive and also destructive not only to yourself but to relationships with those you care about. It’s ok to do once or twice, but also you made a choice to do that over more harmful or destructive things so this huge negative is also positive. Honestly, it’s ok. It’s ok to fall apart sometimes, and sometimes you have to fall apart in order to reassemble yourself in a way that is better able to deal with the situation you are in.

      I can’t relate to your situation at all because I’ve never been anywhere close to even having to think about infertility. I kind of get upset at the thought that I may never be healthy enough to have kids, but that’s so far in my future that it isn’t an issue to me yet.

      I know adopting a baby really isn’t the same at all – he or she wouldn’t have your features or your blood, and you have to admit a lot of things to yourself before you look down that route… But if you did, think of the hope you’d give each other. A baby to a quite frankly amazing human who is unable to conceive a baby of her own because nature is a dick, and a mother to a child who through no fault of their own has no hope of knowing the love of a parent. I mean… That’s magical. And it’s probably super insensitive and the wrong thing to say, and I’m sorry. I know it isn’t as simple as that. I know it isn’t the same. I know that no, that isn’t what you want at all, you want to get pregnant and have your own baby and go through all that stuff and that in itself is almost as important as having a child. And I’m sorry I don’t know what else to say because I’m not really all there at the moment. I guess just… You can give a child a life without giving it life. You can still be its everything. It will still call for you when its hurt or feels unwell and… I don’t even know what I’m saying.

      Don’t apologise for having feelings, it’s healthy, and its even healthier to let them out somewhere, I’m just sorry I couldn’t react in a more helpful way. So please know that if I screwed up, it wasn’t intentional and when I can feel stuff properly again I will probably respond better.

      Thank you for sharing that with me.


  2. Wow, thank you so much for this awesome and insightful response!
    Ah, I see what you mean about sixth form. Here that would be 11th and 12th grade (also known as junior and senior years, respectively.)
    Thankfully it’s been a long time since I’ve done the drinking thing. I was really bad a year ago. We were doing fertility treatments that were supposed to force my body to ovulate. The side effects were…less than pleasant. I would go from being fine to having a sobbing meltdown to flying off the handle in a fit of rage within seconds. I even kicked a hole in our laundry room door, which we have decided we’re keeping to remind us of our struggle and the progress we’ve made. I also developed four ovarian cysts that were pretty much larger than my ovaries themselves…so that was painful. And I ended up never even ovulating. We came to find out that that was due to the brain tumor I had that was oversecreting a hormone that actually suppresses ovulation. Who knew, right? But now it’s been three months (to the day, actually) since I had the tumor removed (I have blog posts about it if you’re interested, but I understand if you’re not because it’s about hospital stuff.) But I’m still not ovulating, so who knows what’s going on.
    I love your view on adoption. And it’s not insensitive at all! Yours is actually a perspective I never really thought about…I’m not opposed to needing to maybe adopt, but my biggest hangup has been that I don’t know if I can really love a child that’s not my own. I know that sounds horrible. I’m sure it would be different in the actual situation, though.
    It sounds like your emotions are coming back in bits and pieces. Like, you can only feel the really strong ones now (hence the sobbing uncontrollably or wanting to do silly things), but the more subtle ones (and perhaps the most detrimental ones) will come later. Just remember that people are there for you when that happens, myself included.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ok your comments are always awesome. I’m surprised you found my response insightful! I’m on a bus on my way home from Oxford Street at the minute but I’ll reply properly when I get back to my accomodation. And I completely get that you’d be worried you couldn’t love a child that wasn’t your own. Obviously it will take time to build that bond and also I don’t think anybody really knows how they would respond until they are in a situation. Look how attached people get to pets – entirely different species let alone not their own offspring. I’m not comparing a child to a pet, I’m just saying we are capable of an immense love of things that we didn’t bring into this world but are determined to love and develop and keep in this world. I also think you’ll fall in love with the version of yourself a child could bring out in you, the purpose it would give to you when you wonder if you even have one in the world. You’re an incredibly kind individual. Love grows from kindness, and you have plenty of that to offer. It’s a scary huge leap with so many fears. I get that. I’ll write more later


    • Ok and now as promised the rest of the response (yes, there’s more). It doesn’t sound horrible to have thoughts like that at all, its natural and to be honest with you understandable. It just shows how much you care and want to do right by the child you could potentially adopt and make sure that he or she has the best upbringing they can have, and one that is fair to them. That doesn’t sound horrible. Because it isn’t. It’s natural to question your capabilities as a human being, and I guess in being unable to have your own children it is natural that a part of your subconscious would naturally question your ability to mother a child that is not yours and may be a daily reminder that you were unable to conceive your own children. No love is just there, it has to grow. You clearly have a huge capacity to care and that’s what love always blossoms from. I guess you’d grow together, learn together, develop together and… fill roles in each others lives that each of you thought would never be filled. And maybe not. But who knows?

      Brain tumour… Damn. I feel like I should have more ability to think before I try to words about that. Also, three months isn’t as long as it feels. Especially if your body hasn’t been ovulating for a long time. Although medical textbooks have statistics and time frames and stuff, these are mostly based upon averages, and you have to remember that this means there are outliers at either end of the spectrum. Medicine often gets it wrong. Bodies surprise us in a lot of different ways and do weird things. Maybe this is it, but also maybe your body is just taking time to kick itself back into action after ovulation has been suppressed for so long? I guess this is a toss up between pessimism and optimism because nobody knows what the realistic situation is, even doctors – they can guess, but at the end of the day they still give pessimistic or optimistic predictions. And that sucks, because right now you want cold hard fact, you want truth, you want realism, you want something to hold onto and just to know I guess? And sometimes the not knowing lets your brain throw all sorts of outcomes into your mind, even going as far as “am I doing something wrong?” and “is it my fault?” The answer to either of these things is no, but we look for blame too, maybe blame is the wrong word but we look for reason, and at the minute you found a reason and don’t understand whatever one there may be now, so yes you’re going to meltdown, and all these emotions will bubble to the surface, and subconsciously you’ll panic and the world will crumble because you found the reason and dealt with it and things still aren’t working out. I may be miles off the mark, but I hope I’m not angering you. Stress and stuff can also impact that sort of thing, unfortunately.

      It’s hard to find motivation to do anything at times like this. It’s hard to cope or to even see through the fog at all when your mind is so focussed on something that it wants so much. Recover. Not just physically, but emotionally. Let things settle, and yes, that means let it all out. Grieve. This is a grieving process. You have lost life. In not being able to have children, you have lost the lives of the ones you dreamed of and that hurts just like the loss of any living person. So it’s understandable for you to be impacted by baby news in the way that you are – it’s like being faced with a memory of something you never had, only in your mind you’ve probably been in those situations so many times more than your pregnant friends because you have probably imagined them a lot. It’s a bereavement of different terms and it will effect you the same way. Let it. Let it strip you bare because it has to in order for it to subside enough to let you function again. And then rebuild, slowly. That’s where the recovery will start, after the storm has passed that’s when you try to rebuild things because if you do it right in the middle your efforts are useless. If this were a hurricane you wouldn’t try to fight it, you’d batten down the hatches and wait until it was over and save the things you could. So do the same here. And when the worst has passed and the rains remain, focus on something that isn’t that. I know that’s impossible to do, but perhaps look at it in a different light? I don’t know, maybe just try to do something that may not be helpful or constructive at all in reality but that makes you feel like you’re doing something. Maybe focus more on blogging, or on trying to cook amazing looking healthy meals. Just throw yourself into something trivial, something that doesn’t matter and that you don’t have to think about, but that takes your attention. And do it in the name of hope. It sucks and I know it is so easy to write, but sometimes for a while that hope is all we have until something takes its place.

      And thank you for your kindness. I’m sorry that I can’t return it right now. And I apologise if this made you want to stab me multiple times with shards of the screen of the laptop you currently want to smash over my head. But I guess when I can be, I’m here for you too.


  3. You are an amazing human being, you know that? I wish I could grab a flight to London just to give you a huge hug!
    Oh yes, getting attached to pets is so easy for me. We actually have seven cats and they are all my babies, although sometimes it’s more like having seven furry toddlers. Then there are days like today when all of them sleep on the bed with me (we had our first snow of the season today, which to them signals that winter napping rules are in effect!) At least the snow is making me happy. We’re expecting perhaps up to a foot by the end of the weekend, which is typical for lake effect snow. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with that phenomenon?
    Oh, the brain tumor…completely freak thing. Amazing what a tiny little 6 mm growth on your pituitary gland can screw up! I was hoping I’d be ovulating by now since my prolactin level literally dropped to normal the morning after surgery. Now I have this irrational fear that, since I haven’t had my level checked since, that it’s back up and preventing ovulation because the tumor is growing back. Even especially because my tumor had this marker called Ki-67 that, in malignant tumors, is indicative of a tendency to reoccur. Now, my tumor was benign, but my neurosurgeon said an ok expression of the marker would be 3-5%, but mine was 10%, which is apparently in the “really high” category. So I need MRIs every 6 months for awhile until he’s sure it’s not coming back.
    I was very much wondering a year ago if I was doing something wrong or if it was my fault. Then the severe headaches started on January 2nd and I knew something was very wrong…but I never thought it would be linked to my fertility! I felt better after the tumor was found because I knew it was the reason. But that was in March and now it’s almost 2017…it’s been a trying year, to say the least.
    Yeah, I have lots of imagined fake memories of having a baby. Cute moments like the ones people post on Facebook, you know. A little baby boy who looks just like my husband. I’ve twice now had a dream of having a boy named Joshua (even though our first choice for a boy name is Jacob.) I’m sure I’ll have real memories someday. But you’re absolutely right; now I need to take some time to grieve. It’s certainly still possible to have a baby, but it was supposed to have happened by now, you know? All the made up memories of having a baby at Christmas time are once again not coming true, for the third year now. I had actually started a blog post the other night kind of letting my feelings out, but I know better than to publish things when my emotions are running high. Kind of like “Write drunk, edit sober.” (Hemingway, I think?) So now I’m going to work on that post to get some more emotions out.
    You’ve been so kind in ways you don’t even know. I’ll say it again, you are an amazing person.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t been ignoring this comment, I just… Yeah, couldn’t human.

      You’ve found a great deal of love for another mother’s children, and they aren’t even the same species and can never tell you that they love you back! It’s natural to have concerns about whether or not you could love somebody else’s child, but you’ve shown that you have the ability and a huge capacity to do exactly that. Each time you bring home a new pet you adjust to living with it and develop a bond with it over time until you have this fierce love for it and can’t imagine life without it. Nothing will be instant, but the same can happen with a human child. And it still doesn’t mean you won’t someday have your own. Adopting I’d imagine seems like a full stop, an acceptance of the thought that there might not be any hope of having your own child and therefore almost an admittance of defeat in a weird way. I think perhaps adopted babies, or the thought of adopting a baby, can represent perhaps an individuals perceived failings at not being able to have a child of their own. But it isn’t that at all. It really isn’t (and it especially isn’t a failure to not be able to have children, as humans we look for somebody to blame and when the answer is nature or health, we blame ourselves because there’s nobody else). It’s finding hope where there may not be enough to hold, and then it’s someone putting a baby in your arms that you don’t ever have to hand back. And you’ll adjust to life with this new human, and it will be a huge change, but you will bond, and eventually you will have that same fierce love that you are capable of feeling for your cats or whatever but… So much more than that. And in your mind that child will no longer be another woman’s child, just like your cats are now viewed as yours. It’s super weird to compare adopting a child to getting a cat, because they are not the same at all, but I’m trying to find a relatable example I guess. And it may not be helpful, and it might irritate you, but erm… It’s all I’ve got right now. When I can human more I’ll respond more.


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