I’s wide open

I’m writing this post as I lie awake at nearly 2am. Sleep hasn’t come easily to me of late.

My mood has been swinging more violently than in the past, when it was more of a constant low punctuated with trips to okayness. These months of 2020 have brought with them intense shifts, between the usual depths and sharp periods experiencing something similar to… doing well, despite everything?

That can’t be right. I’m not bipolar, surely.

The lows have been low, for sure, and frequent. The year feels cursed.

I’ve lost my dad, to which I can’t add more than to say that the loss still regularly overwhelms me. I’ve lost both of my film projects for the year that were my desperate hope for positivity in 2020. I’ve lost my best friend as a housemate in favour of living solitarily, for the time being.

Additionally, I’ve just found out that uni is removing my ability to attend extra classes for different film skills in the upcoming semester, reducing the chances I’ll get to see my peers, learn more and be more ready for the industry by graduation. How disappointing.

2020 has also featured the climate crisis looming inexorably over our heads with the bushfires. The stupid COVID responses from many, including recent news of parliament shutting with no favour of telecommuting it, despite telling the rest of the country to open back up. The upcoming state election has the major parties cramming themselves down my throat more than usual. Gag.

Any news from over the pond (any pond) tends to be bad as well. I’m a deer in headlights. I can’t shut the trainwreck of the world off, then I’ll be left with little connection to the outside whatsoever.

I’ve also had to deal with painfully obtuse government policies with Centrelink recently, having my student allowance cut off with no notice (for “taking too long” to finish my degree). Having gone broke to buy groceries and medication, I’m now left with the choice of which meagre savings account to drain first: my filmmaking account for making the aforementioned canned projects; or the account saving for eventually getting FFS (facial feminisation surgery) to help relieve my dysphoria.

Help on answering that last question isn’t required. I’ll sacrifice the money towards FFS in favour of keeping the money for those films a little longer. Those stories matter more to me.

I know my sense of self, of individuality, is diminishing. I wish I could look in the mirror and see a featureless grey space not-staring back. To divorce myself from physicality, experience joy without weight.

“I’m coping pretty well for all that!” I’ll say to anyone who’ll listen.

It’s not like I’m so depressed that I don’t want anything, or that I don’t have a degree of illogical optimism about me, occasionally. I want a lot of things, some attainable, some not.

I want the energy and motivation to get healthier. I want the resources to make the shorts I was otherwise going to be making this year.

I want to sit in the warmth and read a book without a stress in the world. I want to breathe and feel the air rush clean into my lungs. I want to climb mountains. I want to go back to Japan and see Europe.

I want to play video games and DM D&D. I want to find work after graduating. I want to write my screenplay and a novel. I want my dad back.

I want to feel like antidepressants aren’t the only thing between feeling this darkly and outright suicidality. I want people to care about the world at least as much as I do.

I want to know what mask I’m wearing. I want others not to see it.

I’m fine, right?

… I want to sleep.


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