So I’ve been on and off about writing this entry over the past week. It’s been somewhat difficult to collect the thoughts together that led to the point in which others around me made the decision that I needed more help than they or my coping skills could provide.
It seemed as though that burying myself in work over the summer leading into freshman year had the perk of masking all the baggage that I was burdened with. Therefore, I moved to Paris under the presumption that all was well and that I had a fresh start. As I reflect now, though, it appeared that the fact that I took longer than most to adjust to life in this new city and to college in general was not normal, and was probably attributive to the unresolved issues (in particular, the close-but-not-quite-there-breakdown) and lack of coping mechanisms.
But with that said, things did eventually fall into place and I functioned well enough to make friends and to get decent grades in school. In spite of that, the usual slow descent that I experience (which one would usually associate with school fatigue), every now and then in terms of mood, occurred yet again; however, this time it pulled me further down than ever before.
After the spring semester concluded itself, and as I awaited for the summer semester to begin in Paris, I progressively found everything around me to be dragging and tiresome (i.e. the proverbial downward spiral). I knew what was happening – I could feel myself being weighed down by this episode, but there was little that I could really do. I did my best to keep myself busy by taking walks around various arrondisements and visiting museums. The problem, though, was that it often took me quite some time to muster up the strength to leave the confines of my apartment where it was easier to stay in my pajamas and stay in bed. I’d only leave the apartment at 4PM, only to return two or three hours later as stores and museums closed.
To highlight the positive outcome out of all of this would be the fact that I guess this is how I really began to learn how to cook. In order to occupy my time (and because I had a convection oven), I would try new recipes every day that I found on TasteSpotting so as to keep me busy even at home. Despite the summer peaking at 35˚C, I kept on attempting new recipes, some of which worked well, some of which were complete disasters, such as the matcha green tea cake and cookies. In any case, that was the excitement I had managed to inject into my life – the anticipation of whether or not the next cooking endeavor would be an edible success.
And amidst this waiting for classes (which I ended up doing fairly well in) to start and “culinary experiences,” I saw the shrink. It wasn’t really my choice, the decision to see one was made for me by an academic adviser who telephoned the said shrink in front of me and used my conscience to guilt me into keeping my appointment.
So it began – I would see the shrink once a week from then on until the end of the summer in hopes of working through my issues. With there being a tantamount of them to deal with and a Good Will Hunting type of resilience that I upheld (Matt Damon casts a barrier between his character and Robin William’s for quite some time, which notably, is to no one’s benefit), we lightly touched on some things and worked more on other problems. All of which I took into consideration and managed to patch myself up somewhat in preparation for the fall semester, where I wound up becoming all too familiar with the Student Health Center.