The Joy of Deadlines

Turns out I don’t do well without a pressing deadline. Just came off of winter break this morning– the two week stretch I’ve been gleefully planning since I began grad school– and by yesterday afternoon, my final day off, I was legit thinking about killing myself. Is my life insurance policy in order? Are certain kinds of deaths (i.e. those performed at one’s own hand) ineligible for payout? Should I make a phone call to see if my aunt will watch Charlie for a couple weeks while I check myself into Sibley? What’s the deductible for checking myself into Sibley? What’s the Uber ride going to cost to this non-Metro-accessible facility? OH WAIT! I owe a client 1.5 hours of work. I’ll do that and see if I still feel like getting my affairs in order after. 

2 hours later, I felt 99.5% better. I was productive and even earned some money for it. Then Charlie and I took a long nap, and I felt 10000% better. 

The holidays have been slow and anxiety-inducing; I transitioned into freelance work this fall, and some work I expected to have in place by now got pushed back into the new year. I still have not signed on the lines that are dotted in these cases, and while I’m cautiously optimistic that things will be fabulous soon, I’m currently out of money and filled to the brim with existential dread and more-plentiful-than-usual self-loathing. I had every intention of using this time, which I knew would be very light on paid work, as an opportunity to enjoy time off with Charlie and take him to the zoo. 

We did not make it to the zoo.

I am currently fine and not fixin’ to do myself in. Yesterday sucked, and in fact things have been dark since I filed for unemployment on January 1. It wasn’t an activity that inspired me with plentiful feelings of awesomeness, and 2016 is not off to my favorite start. But I relate this feeling of kinda wanting to kill myself to how I sometimes kinda want to eat a whole sleeve of Oreos or I kinda want to try heroin or I kinda want to have sex with strangers. Even eating a whole sleeve of Oreos, which I’ve never done but may yet do some day, seems daunting. 

I might like to eat a whole sleeve of Oreos. Maybe I’ll make that happen today. I don’t have any Oreos, nor do I have the car today. I could either walk with Charlie to the Giant, or see if his Grandad will watch him while I go by myself. Do I really want to walk all the way to Giant for cookies? How long will this errand take? Is this the thing that will make me leave the house today when there’s so much other crap to do? How much do Oreos cost these days? How many calories are in a sleeve or Oreos? Will the walk cancel out the non-nutritive sludge? Does health work that way? How will I feel after I eat a whole sleeve of Oreos? Will it give me the energy I need to be a productive member of society, or will it make me feel gross? Probably the latter. Does it turn out that I’m just really tired and need a nap, thereby invalidating all feelings? Yes.

Replace “seek and eat unhealthy number of cookies” with “commit suicide,” and that’s the gist. 

I applied for unemployment once before, coinciding with the Major Depressive Episode of 2005. It was not a good scene. 

Things to note: A) I’ve got mental health professionals and their fabulous anti-depressents working for me and B) School started back up today and I won’t have time to circle the drain. And C) I took a nap and was legit fine after that.

I’m putting this low point on the Internet because I’m aware that a lot of us feel this way a lot of the time, particularly when there are newish children in our lives (who don’t let us sleep as much as we need to), and it’s not something we generally care to discuss. This started as a journal entry on my phone (on my way to therapy, but turns out that appointment isn’t until next week). Then I concluded that not publishing this felt like hiding for the sake of pretending like my shit is more together than it is. 

My shit is together-ish. For today, that’s good enough.




  1. I’ve eaten a whole sleeve of oreos in one go. Lotsa times. I’m a lightweight drinker and have never done drugs but I can down chocolate biscuits like nobodys business. Everyone needs something.

  2. Kate, you are perfect & beautiful, even if you don’t feel like you are. You are an inspiration to me! I love reading everything you write. You are loved❤️

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