A Kingdom of Isolation: A Personal Essay Just For You, My Darling Readers

Sometimes, I feel like I owe all of you more than
what I’ve given.

The past few years have been rocky and uncertain.
For the first time in my life, I really didn’t know what I was going to do.

I applied for grad school at the very, very last
minute as I was finishing up my last semester of undergrad. I had never even considered
it until earlier that year.

And I dunno… but that’s not really ……. me?

It was spontaneous. Pretty much anyone who knows
me outside of this blog can verify that I am—in any way, shape, or form—not spontaneous.

I don’t regret going to grad school. Really, I don’t.

But something changed. Well, a lot of things
changed. I moved off campus and lived with people besides my family for the
first time. I had to juggle groceries, rent, classes, work, personal
relationships, and a hundred other little things.

I wasn’t prepared.

I had never been that person before. I always
adhered to what I was certain was best for me, up to that point.

But there were so many factors involved in moving
out and everything that a lot slipped through the cracks.

I ended up in the hospital after eating something
that I didn’t know would cause an allergic reaction. The crappy part is that I
knew there was a possibility. But I was getting impatient with my food not
cooking fast enough, and a certain ingredient made my throat close up and burn.
I got stuck in the hospital by myself for hours, hooked up to all sorts of
equipment, when I was honestly fine by the time I got there because I’d gotten
enough oxygen. I ended up having a massive panic attack when they pulled out a

I genuinely struggled for time to get everything
done for class, in addition to working 15 hours a week as a tutor, with an
extra class slot going to talking about tutoring with my peers and overhead.
Big projects and big responsibilities.

Then I moved into an apartment right before the
school semester started and began teaching. Just weeks after moving into the
apartment, I dealt with the fallout from a breakup that destroyed my self-esteem
for a while (everything worked out in the end, but it didn’t feel like it

A lot of what happened after that honestly feels
like a blur.

I swallowed my permanent retainer (which is
basically an unfolded paper clip, in terms of shape and size). I developed an
interest in an online friend, but I got cold feet and freaked out because I
felt like I’d been manipulated. I fixed a lot of the damage I did. But it wasn’t

I started on a new pain medication that made me
gain weight and feel super-groggy. This affected my ability to teach my morning
classes, grade papers, and just function as an overall person. I didn’t really
know exactly what the issue was at the time. I just knew something was off.

I struggled. I’m a fighter. I fight for everything
and do my best to earn everything I’ve ever had. For the first time in my life,
I had lost my fight. The worst part was that I didn’t even know it was gone.

I was miserable. I didn’t want to do anything when
I got home from work. My roommates were stressing me out to an extreme degree,
and my work-life balance was extremely skewed. It still is. I heartily
apologize to anyone I’ve ever had to turn down for conversation or company
because of my issues.

I found myself slipping into a massive fountain of
negativity. A lot of things sucked.

I ended up having the rug yanked out from under me
in terms of a job that I thought I was a shoe-in for (particularly since I was
told it was pretty much a certainty). That’s something I was very much not
accustomed to.

My negativity snowballed. Then I found a substitute
for the job I thought I’d get. I found a way. I found as many ways as I could.

But I slipped again.

And that’s how I’ve been. I get absorbed in the
things that bother me. I obsess over everything. Seriously, everything. I latch
onto childhood dreams that make no sense anymore.

The further I go, the harder I find it to work.
There’s just some horrible mental barrier that often prevents me from doing,
well, anything productive.

In the past, I was able to balance this. I was
able to take breaks and eventually get tired of procrastinating.

Now, I find it hard to put my fingers to the

As much as I want things to be easier, I also kind
of want them to be harder. I don’t feel like I’m being challenged the way I
used to be, and yet, everything feels like a struggle.

I have a ton of issues with chronic pain,
including a recent diagnosis of degenerative disc disease. But I would rather
have a different sort of challenge, the kind that doesn’t make my head sink as
I wonder whether I’m capable of doing anything at all.

I feel like I’ve let go of so many things that are
important to me. I want to be better, but I don’t know if I can. I hold myself
back in so many ways. I don’t know what it’s going to take to get out of this

I want comfort and security. Those are my top-2
priorities. Those are the things I want most.

My relationships cause me stress when I don’t feel
secure in them. Now that I feel more secure about my relationships with other
people, I have one stress off my shoulders.

But freelancing—especially when I stare at Microsoft Word for hours and wonder
why I even bother doing anything, ever—isn’t super-profitable when you’re depressed
and dealing with anxiety and health problems that your insurance doesn’t give a
flying crap about.

And even now, I wasted a lot of time writing this
instead of working. It’s good to get things off my chest, but I’m not sure if
this was even the right way to do it.

I am so, so incredibly fortunate to have the
support of the people who do have my back, even when I don’t have my own back.

If you have ever encouraged me in any way, please
know that I appreciate it.

I once said I could make a compliment last me for
months. I was fine as long as I got one every few months. Now, the compliments sometimes
start to sound like white noise, like they’re not actually for me, like I didn’t
earn them.

The people who love me are so important to me
right now as I fumble around in these trying times.

The security of the people who love me… I couldn’t
ask for more than that. Comfort, though? I don’t feel comfortable financially
(despite being supported in that way as much as possible by my parents), which
means I don’t feel secure in my own future. I am not 100% comfortable with my
lack of effort in my relationships, but I’m working on it. I want to be better.

Be better. Do better.

This is the rawest version of myself. I’m going to
go ahead and post this before I change my mind.

It gets better.

Feeling generous and want to thank me for my work
on this blog? Then please click here and donate to me via PayPal!

You can also become a patron of me on Patreon. (Literally
no one has done so yet. I’m not sure why I’m including this anymore.)

I edit blog posts for $5 each via Fiverr. I’d love to help
you out!

Don’t have a dime to spare? That’s totally fine!
🙂 Thanks for your support~!

Click here to get a random “Why Aren’t You Writing?” post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.