Dear Diary

November 13, 2013

Small risks and tiny adventures.

Katherine

At the beginning of the week my brain felt like this heated aquarium filled with fat, sluggish tropical fish. Now it’s Wednesday and all the water is gone. It is an empty aquarium brain.

I’m about to start reading Middlemarch for class. I have all afternoon and all night to read 122 pages: 12–14 hours if I need that long. When I was younger I could read a 500-page novel in a night.

I open the book. I know it is dense and difficult and has many characters and story lines. Even though I’ve read and enjoyed longer, equally difficult books in the past, I am afraid I won’t understand this one. I know I won’t.

It takes me 12 hours to read 78 pages. Reading requires an exhausting amount of concentration; I spend six minutes on a single page, reading slowly, getting to the bottom and realizing I have no idea what I just read, and then rereading it at an even slower pace. I am drawn in by Dorothea and Dr. Causabon’s subplot, but reading is exhausting me and stressing me out so much that I have to take frequent breaks, during which I find myself unable to move or think complete thoughts. The only thing that momentarily lifts my paralysis was having to go to the bathroom.

Thursday I have all afternoon to read “Song of Myself.” I try to read the first line but can’t. I feel everyone I’ve ever met reading my mind and seeing that I’m not up to this task. It makes me uneasy that they can so clearly see something that my ego has so far prevented me from acknowledging. I just stare at things and lie down. I’m lazy. And I’m hardly literate. I freak out. Others have already seen me, figured me out, and moved on. I’m the one having trouble doing the same.

Friday morning I feel worse. Friday afternoon, at my brother’s suggestion, and even though nothing’s too serious, I call counseling and get an appointment to see a tall, thin middle-aged woman in a long floral skirts and a fleece vest. She speaks in a gentle voice, and is nice to talk to even though, based on the two conversations I’ve had with her so far, I don’t think she completely understands.

In my mind she does not exist anywhere but in that office, at 10 AM on Tuesday, where she sits frozen until I arrive for my appointment. ♦

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15 Comments

  • martaosbourne November 13th, 2013 7:32 PM

    oh my god naomi that was beautiful

  • Maki Unicorn November 13th, 2013 9:25 PM

    i noticed that many american/english/australian girls visit a psychologist on a regular basis. While in Russia it’s not common at all. i find it pretty interesting.

    http://dinosaurvsshark.blogspot.jp/

  • charlottemh November 13th, 2013 10:03 PM

    I love everything that you write Naomi! Largely because I relate to basically everything that you write about, having moved from my hometown to a much bigger and exciting city for uni. And your pieces about going home to your parents and hometown is exactly how I felt.
    Thank you for putting it into words :)

  • Tangerine November 13th, 2013 10:26 PM

    I relate to Katherine’s entry very much. My depression symptoms have really been acting up this year, and more than ever, the one that is driving me nuts is “fog brain.” It’s nearly impossible to read anything, even for pleasure, and I feel like my brain is encased in tar.

  • julalondon November 13th, 2013 10:46 PM

    Naomi, i can totally relate to what you wrote about London; i used to lived there (wish i still would) and the sentence “London has enabled me to be the person that i feel i am meant to be, while i still hold within me, at my core, a sense of my hometown” sums up my feelings about that city perfectly!

  • Special_Snowflake November 13th, 2013 11:08 PM

    ” I am not controlled by my dark thoughts; they are a balloon tied to my wrist, following me wherever I go, but I am in the lead.”

    This is such a beautiful metaphor, thank you Britney <3

  • taratwinkle November 13th, 2013 11:28 PM

    I feel like that a lot right now Britney.. “I am probably my own worst enemy, and if I were left alone for a week, there would be nothing left of me—I would destroy myself.” Yes. Exactly.

  • Fasai November 14th, 2013 8:14 AM

    Dear Kathrine,

    i’m 24 years old and studying my master at uni. i used to read a lot too when i was younger but now i kind of stopped or it’s more 10-20 pages per week for pleasure. of course i have to read a lot for uni but still i feel that my brain is slowlier than it used to be.

    i realised that the main reasons is not my brain but the books i read. they’re more difficult so they take more time to read. it’s perfectly normal.

    i never went to a counselor and it sounds kind of drastic to me (but then again i’m from germany, it’s probably a culture-thing)

    well what i wanted to say. chin up. you seem alright and not lazy. give yourself a break. you shouldn’t force yourself to do something.

    greetings!

  • JessicaTree November 14th, 2013 9:25 AM

    I feel like I have so much in common with Naomi,
    I am at uni in London and my hometown is warwick in England so I can relate to a lot of your entries and its so good to see a different perspective from a similar experience. this post especially made me feel grounded. <3

  • Flossy Mae November 14th, 2013 12:31 PM

    I love that Naomi…I live in London and have done all my life as I’m yet to fly the nest, and it is literally the best place I know. Ever. The way you describe it, although I don’t exactly have a ‘hometown’ to compare it to, just fits.

  • sloththefifth November 14th, 2013 1:18 PM

    I’m living for Naomi’s diaries lately

  • RockHatesMiriam November 14th, 2013 5:16 PM

    NAOMI its like you can read my mind! I was thinking the exact same thing when i was in brick lane the other day…everything seem so close together in london, and there’s so much cool stuff happening!

    http://boredcouture.bigcartel.com/

  • eesmee November 14th, 2013 5:47 PM

    Naomi, I’m hoping to go to uni in London next year and your diaries are making me sooooo excited

  • Sarah Moon November 18th, 2013 4:04 AM

    Hey Britney,

    Loved this entry! I can really relate to everything you wrote about. I hope you continue feeling good and being creative :))