Wednesday, February 09, 2005

just to keep you up to date: head and neck is over. neuro is over. it was brutal. i have no idea how i did. in the end, i calculated that i had to get just over half of the questions on the second exam correct to pass, and that's how low i aimed. in the weekend before the exam, i couldn't think of anything but neuro, i couldn't speak. the evening after the exam felt like postpartum depression. i haven't felt this exhausted, emptied, and relieved since my undergraduate thesis. i'll find out how things went later this week or early next. cross your fingers for me.

there's a complication, of course. something to make the bad worse, or perhaps just more complicated. somewhere in early-to-mid os-1 (that's organ systems 1, ie, head and neck and neuro), i decided (?) i had a crush on one of my classmates.*

(let me pause for a second. howell, if you're reading this, i want you to know that i intend to talk about this with you, but i wanted to do it in person. i hope this is not the first place you'll hear about it. i wanted to wait to tell you first, but i really, really just need to get this out, to think about it.)

so first things first. i am deeply in love with howell. if there were only one person i could spend my life with, it would be him. words are insufficient to describe the the way i feel about him and the way i feel about myself when i am with him. there is nothing i would change about our relationship.

except for the distance. he is a hundred some-odd miles away, and there's no getting around it. he's in school, i'm in school. we're both committed until at least 2008. and it should be fine--a hundred miles isn't that much, especially when you have a car. and it's only 3 1/2 years now.

the problem is me. i want to be touched, i want to be held. i am goddamned motherfucking lonely, even though i have made some really good friends. but they're still new friends, relatively speaking, and we're still feeling out each others' boundaries (e.g., can i tell her x, or will she think i'm a huge freak?). and we're all so busy that it's hard to pin someone down when you need them, or even to be there when they need you. and, like i said, it's been an extremely difficult two months, academically. stress levels have been through the proverbial roof, mine included.

i mention these things because i think they play into why this crush-thing is happening here, now, and to this ridiculous degree. and by ridiculous degree, i mean: can't eat, can't sleep, check my email compulsively, sweat, behave irrationally. it was fine when i just had occasional thoughts about fucking him, but this is out of control. i haven't made myself this crazy about anything for a long, long, long time. admittedly, it's difficult to separate out the crush from the school stress from the generalized emotional stress, but the combination is terrible. it's to the point where i suspect i might be doing actual physical harm to my health--not intentionally, but as a result of being in a constant state of psychological upheaval. my eating habits are terrible. i'm pretty sure i've lost weight--not tons, but i neither want to nor can particularly afford to do so. i feel nauseated all the time. my sleep is fucked up. i can't concentrate.

can i also mention that this whole mess is almost entirely independent of how i feel about howell? i have no desire to "find someone else" whatsoever. it may even be independent of my crush. they're attractive, goddamned smart, have an appealingly fucked up sense of humor, and are interesting to boot, but i don't really know how much that has to do with how i feel.

when i step back and look at myself, i wonder if i'm taking the anxiety i feel about school, the isolation and loneliness, my feelings of missing howell and needing to be touched, and putting all of that into the attraction i feel towards this person. i wonder too if the spartan quality of my first few months here is finally coming back to bite me in the ass--could this sudden drama be a backlash against the ascetic calm and quiet? for all that the emotional turmoil is unpleasant, it also makes me feel passionate and emotionally alive. it lends a certain electricity to my days. i don't know--i'm just grasping at strings.

what i do know is that something's got to give. i have to stop, and i'm not sure how. but i have to be a grown-up about this. there's a friendship and a partnership and my gut and mental health at stake.



*interestingly enough, this seemed to be a fairly common phenomenon. at least 3 of my female friends also developed crushes of varying degrees during os-1, which would offer support for the hypothesis that it's a way to channel stress into something else...

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