In which I find myself in the red, both financially and emotionally

I guess at the end of the semester most of us are focused on exams, but there’s another problem that’s got my stress level up – finances. It’s the beginning of the year, rent’s due and I don’t think I can cover it… but let me back up.

I had an e-mail from my parents on Tuesday morning asking for £1,200 for this term’s rent, as my Uni debits them and I pay them back when my student loan comes in. Trouble is, the loan was about £1,000 and I don’t have all of that left now, I reckon I can give my parents £850 to leave myself enough money for groceries, plus a little extra just in case of emergency or whatever, until I see them next weekend. They said to let them know if that would be a problem, but I didn’t. I don’t know why I’m so scared to tell them, I just am. It’s very frustrating!

I’m thinking of applying for a second student bank account; I’ve pretty much maxed out my first one thanks to ridiculous bank charges, though I’m hoping to get them back. My Dad explicitly told me not to do that, but I figure if I stick to the 0% overdraft then it’s not a problem, or at least, it’s not an immediate problem. Figure I may as well apply for the account online; it’s not like I have to put any money in it before hearing what the bank has to say.

Again, it’s a problem with communication… I probably should have just said there was a problem, but I couldn’t even face logging on to a computer and checking my balance until yesterday morning. I think my parents will probably be able to cover the difference, but it would obviously have been better if I told them earlier. They’re currently planning three mini-holidays between now and the end of August, and have just bought a new TV and Nintendo Wii. I guess I should have bitten the bullet, but I know that eventually we’ll have a confrontation and I’ll deal with it when it comes. Once again, I find myself saying “Fuck it” and going back to bed.

It’s kind of a bummer feeling like this because I just upped my meds a couple of weeks ago and was just feeling them working last weekend. It’s amazing how much of a difference they can make, it’s like coming up from underwater and everything is just clearer, sharper and lighter somehow. Adding to that good feeling was a massive surge of adrenaline on Monday evening after nearly getting hit by a car that ran a red light – the green man was lit and I was more than halfway across the road, and this car raced past behind me on the lane where I was just walking. It’s weird how something like that can focus you.

I guess the other thing I’m feeling this week is loneliness. It’s funny, I only just realised this last couple of weeks that I don’t really have any friends in my flat or on my course. That’s not to say there’s any bad feelings between us, only that I’m existing as a spectre, walking the corridors unseen and unthought of.

I’ve never had a girlfriend, which has never really bugged me before, because hey, you can’t miss what you never had, right? However, the last couple of weeks I’ve been feeling a real desire to be close to someone… not sex, necessarily, I’m still pretty much holding out for the right person on that score, but to touch someone, physically and emotionally… to make someone happier. I guess I’ve never really felt like this before, or at least I’ve never acknowledged these feelings. To be honest, this is the lowest I’ve felt in a long time, which I guess is understandable with exams, finances and now this loneliness to worry about. Actually, writing all this out it’s clear that this isn’t a desire for physical contact, though that would be appreciated, but rather a desire to open up and be comfortable with someone, anyone, rather than keeping all this stress to myself.

To those reading this who have depression but mange to keep a place in their life to share with that special someone, well done, I truly don’t understand how you do it. I’m sorry if this post seems melodramatic – in my head there’s a voice screaming “Waa! Nobody loves me! Waa!” because that’s how I process emotion, but there’s a part of me that finds these emotions very valid, and I guess I’m worried that some stupid part of me’s going to take over again, though I’m determined not to let that happen, and as pathetic as I seem I still feel I could lose the little I do have if I do self-harm. That is not an option for me.

I feel that this blog has veered off into a very strange place, and is also an incredible downer. As stupid as this sounds, I guess that some of this comes from hearing last weekend that someone took out a hit on Jon Cryer, the sidekick from Pretty In Pink. I know that’s ridiculous, but I guess I’ve always seen myself as a Duckie Dale, having girls that are friends but never throwing my hat over the wall and going for it. I’m certainly no Andrew McCarthy. Furthermore, yesterday I heard the news that J.D. Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye, died on Wednesday, and let’s be honest, what depressed young adult doesn’t see a little of Holden Caulfield in themself?

On a positive note, it’s easy to look at your life and see all that’s missing; friends, partners, money, faith. But I’m grateful for other that which I do have; parents, happy memories, a comfy bed… Fuck it, am I right?!

If any of the other bloggers have tips on how they juggle social life, academia, love, finances and whatever with their day-to-day living I would be interested in their comments! How do you stop it from getting to be too much?

 

Comments Posted

Comment by Rees posted on Sun, 07/02/2010 15:48

Thanks for the great tips guys – that thing with the boxes sounds like a good idea. I’ve spoken to my parents and met up with this weekend, so I might post about that tonight/tomorrow. As usual, the problem wasn’t as big as I thought it would be but I made it worse by keeping it to myself. I guess I tend to be afraid of the worst-case scenario and that fear stops me from acting at all – if I do nothing I don’t give the worst situation a chance to rear it’s head. I know this is stupid and illogical but I expect a couple of you out there will be familiar with this phenomenon!

Comment by Aron posted on Sun, 07/02/2010 12:29

As for the debt thing – can you see if your university has an Access to Learning Fund? They have this at most universities and they can help you out financially where your loan hasn’t been able to. Check with the union at your uni to see if this exists for you.

Comment by Aron posted on Sun, 07/02/2010 12:27

Hey Rees,

 

Hope you can get the money stuff sorted with your parents and figure the banking stuff out ok – I despise banks in all forms!

 

As for your final question: How to juggle it all? Well, I can give you advice from a medical student perspective. At any given time we have a shed load on our plates. You know you have to deal with it all, so cue ‘time management skills’ (we had a module called that….everyone hated it but the lessons are incredibly useful)

So here is what I learnt:

Step 1: Take an A4 sheet of paper and use a + sign to divide the sheet into four (you are creating four boxes on your page)

 

Step 2: In the top Left hand box you write the following heading “Urgent, Important”

In the box below (bottom Left box) you should write “Important, not Urgent”

In the Top Right box write “Urgent, Not Important”

In the Bottom right box write “Not Urgent, Not Important”

 

Step 3: Ok, now, assign taks accordingly. For example I do this weekly. So I’ll write in the Top Right box (Urgent/Important) Mon: Go to bank, deposit money; Tues: Class at 2pm; Wed: Meeting with Personal Tutor

Now, in the Bottom right box (Important, Not Urgent) I’ll write stuff like “Wed Night: Watch friend in Football match”

My “Urgent, Not important” box doesn’t get loads of use. It will this week – I have to buy a Euromillions ticket – the prize is £113,000,000. I could use that. But it isn’t important really if I were to forget it (I’m not likely to win, am I!)

In my “Not Important, Not Urgent” box I like to put things like “go to town and buy stamps” or “check out summer jobs when free”

and so forth…

 

If you do something like this weekly you might find it useful in keeping yourself organised and on track. Things can be difficult to classify, but once you assign it to a box you know just how much of a priority something is. So if it’s urgent and important, get it done! If it is Not Urgent and Not Important, then you can leave it be and not worry if you don’t get to it.

It’s one method – but I suppose it’s always important to be realistic. Don’t try to be superman! Just be and do the best you can.

Comment by Greta posted on Sun, 07/02/2010 00:25

“If any of the other bloggers have tips on how they juggle social life, academia, love, finances and whatever with their day-to-day living…”

Social Life: Wearing a mask is easiest. Being yourself is hard.

Academia: Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate, concentrate, concentrate.

Love: There will always be someone more perfect in your dreams than the person you are with or want to be with in real life. Accepting that is the key. You can feel lonely even in a loving relationship.

Finances: Im the last person to ask lol – Im in debt and probably will be for a long time. Life is hard and expensive. Financial problems are the root of quite a bunch of my problems…