(Courage – Superchick)
A couple months ago I brought another big bag of stuff from my parents house to my apartment. To be honest, although I didn’t really want to, by the time I went through most of it I ended up throwing a lot of stuff away, because while it was really special to me, living in an apartment rather than a house, I just don’t have many places to put things.
I could probably make more space – through the entire winter I don’t think there were ever more than 3 pairs of jeans in the wash and I probably only wore 3 long sleeve shirts for the entirety of the winter…but since those actually have monetary value and will eventually have a distinct important purpose since clothes do eventually wear out, it seemed better to throw away papers than the clothes.
Anyway, that is a long intro to say, that one of the things in that pile was an envelope of the things I saved when I moved out of my last apartment. It was also insane how many “necessities that I couldn’t possibly live without” suddenly became trash worthy when faced with packing up. I probably threw out more bags of trash in the last month in that apartment than I had the previous three years I’d lived there. Although, to be fair, I didn’t generate *that* much trash and because the M-stress exacerbated the OCD, especially the first year I lived there I found ways to minimize what needed to be thrown out while home because I was terrified of taking out the trash…
This is the contents of the envelope:
A paper about volunteering at KH (I blanked out my friend’s phone number at the bottom for her privacy). KH was the best part of my school years. I wish I could still be there. I don’t know exactly what I was thinking when I kept this page, but I noticed that I never met the requirements, so I am so incredibly thankful that they accepted me anyway and let me do what I could do and gave me the responsibilities that I needed to thrive. Everyone there was so nice and really cared about me (okay fine, with the exception of one intern who kinda got on my nerves. He never did anything wrong in regards to me, but there was one particular family he always complained about and that really irked me. He thought the kids were annoying, when they were just being kids). I wish I could live there.
Also in the pile, a paper that says “Our City NEEDS YOU” because it makes me feel like I matter. A pretty paper with a verse about taking care of the downtrodden, because I guess it makes me feel like no matter what I deserve care even though I was told so long that I didn’t. A paper about finding joy in serving…because serving is where I feel good. I can’t remember if I was actually seriously considering trying to get more involved, but I am fairly certain that I really wanted to and just didn’t think I could. Some barcode stickers because I for some reason have always liked the idea of having barcode stickers even though I haven’t got a clue what I could use them for. A stamp out stigma pledge and a paper that came in the mail for no apparent reason that says a lot of things about supporting people like “some people just need someone to listen.” Those things are things that I was trying to champion, but I think I also hung on to them, because I really wanted people to be thinking those things about me. A quick note from Kati Morton because it felt really good that she took the time to send that out to everyone with her signature actually written on and the address hand written on the envelope. The M-crisis made me wary of *every* person related to mental health until they had proven themselves to be safe. Very few people were grandfathered in. Kati Morton was one of the few, and I think maybe subconsciously it was important for me to have that reminder of her being good to hold out a lifeline that people in the mental health field were not all horrible people out to take advantage of people who might already be disadvantaged. And some pictures that I cut out of advertisements because they were super cute…
I wish there was more because college feels a lot like a black hole and I wish there were more to represent the time I spent there, but at the same time, there was not a lot of positive there, and what I do have is a good representation of the positive things. I kind of wish I hadn’t thrown away every prayer card from my community group in a rage/cleaning session a while back, but I can’t get those back. I get why I did it though – community group was good, but it also brought with it some memories of the pain in college – the M-stress and resulting exacerbated OCD, the fact that it didn’t really seem like people really understood what I was going through the next year or maybe didn’t even care.
People act like college is like the bestest time of your life…yeah no. There are a few people at school who did what they could to help me survive, but mostly there is very little of college itself that was positive. I adored the counseling center at which I volunteered and I loved serving at church, but there wasn’t much about school itself that lends itself well to good memories. There were some sparks in the dark, but for the most part that section of life is probably better off just not existing and letting me move on with my life.
But it is really hard to move on. Let’s be honest, I am a control girl. I struggle when my life feels completely out of control, and that is where I have been living for a long time. I don’t feel like it is possible for me to ever grasp onto the steering wheel of my life again. I feel stuck. I feel like I am spinning my wheels just getting stuck deeper and deeper into the mud.