home Features The week of 10,000 words – a slow decline into insanity

The week of 10,000 words – a slow decline into insanity

If my friends are to believed, my worst vice is taking on too much. I do have a nasty habit of signing up for too many things, borne out of the years as a teen social outcast, when talking to me was akin to catching the ‘uncool plague’. Now I have a terrible fear of missing out, which manifests as my crippling inability to stop myself from saying yes to things. For the most part, it’s great; I get to do so many things and meet so many people. I’m very lucky. But trying to keep the show on the road while maintaining grades, a social life, a relationship, a job, extracurriculars and a chronic illness? It’s definitely a challenge. Sometimes, there are weeks when everything comes together like a hurricane and all you can do is keep your head down and keep going. More than once someone has asked me what on earth am I thinking, doing all of this. Here is an insight into the constantly-racing mind of a girl under pressure.

Sunday – 8pm

Ok, just home from work. I can do this! I’m not tired! I’m not tired at all… oh god, I’m so tired. No. NO! Your assignment is 1 week late, it has to be in before 11am or you’ll be docked 10%. Yeah, but I’m already being docked 5%… I can’t afford to lose another 5%, but I really need sleep. You know what is your friend here? A can of monster and your sunlamp. Yeah, it’s for Season Affective Disorder, but it’s all about replicating sunlight, so it’ll keep you awake! Circadian rhythms be damned… I’m a terrible neuroscientist. Thank god I left. I love my college work now. Well, most of it. Well, some of it. Actually, I’m too tired to love anything right now. Why do I have that bloody job? Oh yeah, rent is due next week. Fuck, must remember to insure my car too. Ugh, ASSIGNMENT MAEVE, COME ON, stop getting distracted! Okay, I got this. Here goes nothing.

Monday – 1am

I spent the last 3 weeks researching and preparing one of the titles, and I just decided to change to the other one. Jesus Christ. Why do I do this to myself?

Monday – 10.58am

Aaaaaaand it’s in! Phew! Hang on, blackboard did accept it, right? It did, oh thank god. Ok, food. The key to a good all-nighter is a constant supply of carbs, both simple and complex, to keep your energy levels constant. I’ll just sit down for a second and watch some Netflix first, and then I’ll make breakfast, do laundry, clean room and meet my mom for tea.

Monday – 3.50pm

Okay, so I didn’t get to the laundry and I have literally no clean socks left, but at least I got see my mom. God, I haven’t been home in weeks. I miss home… ok, stop that. Back to work. And I have a lecture now, damn. It’s only ten minutes to the CEC from my house, though, right? I’ll make some tea and take my takeaway mug with me. Be grand.

Monday – 4.12pm

Why do I keep telling myself it’s 10 minutes when it’s always been 15-20? Okay, be cool. Oh, it hasn’t started yet- phew!

Monday – 7pm

What date is it? When are those works awards due?! No no no no NO! Fuck. I’ll start now and finish it tomorrow. DAMNIT, I promised my editor I’d have the piece in for Monday. Ok, so do that now, I had notes… Where are my notes? WHERE ARE MY NOTES? Okay, breathe. You can do this from scratch. Inhale. Exhale. And type like your life depends on it.

Monday – 11pm

Scene; woman in her early mid-twenties (I’m young at heart, okay?!) sprawled fully clothed across the bed. Laptop for a pillow.

Tuesday – 7am

Is…is that… is that birdsong? What time is it? Why do I have the imprint of a keyboard on my face? Oh yeah, okay, works awards. Yup, I got this. I’ll start in a minute, I just need to rest my eyes for a second…

Tuesday – 11am

I blinked, how did I fall asleep for 4 hours?! Okay, works awards. I have to get them done for 3, because I’m meeting ‘L’ for tea. I’ll have breakfast first though.

Tuesday – 12.30pm

Ok, I’ll start now. Or soon, definitely soon. I can feel a migraine starting, but I really can’t be sick this week. Where are my painkillers?

Tuesday – 2.30pm

Ok, first one mostly done. How many ways can I say I’m employable? Especially when I’m not? No-one will ever hire me. Oh my god, why am I doing this to myself?! Ok, positive thoughts. The keys to happiness are an attitude of gratitude and prosocial behaviour. I’m very grateful I’m going for tea with one of my best friends soon. Actually, now. Why do I have no clean socks? And where are my fucking keys?!

Tuesday – 4pm

Library time, gameface on, time to borrow a laptop because mine is almost 7 years old, the casing is a damaged and I’m afraid to take it out of the house. Man, these were a fantastic idea. Wait, why are there no laptops? Damnit.

Tuesday – 5pm


Tuesday – 10pm

Ok, works awards done and dusted, and right on time to go help ‘A’ move house.

Wednesday – 1am

I should go home, but I need a break. Time to go for a spin. God the city is beautiful at night. Except for the lads peeing against the wall. Stay Classy, South Douglas road.

Wednesday – 4pm

Made it to all my lectures today BOOM. I love our work psych lecturer.  Maybe I should do work psych as a career? No, can’t think about that now, finish your practical report! It’s already 2 weeks late, it has to be in by Friday morning. At least SPSS is finally working on my computer, so I can stop traipsing home from the library at 1.45am. I HATE STATISTICS SO MUCH. I’m doing everything the book says, and nothing is working correctly. UGH GAWD WHY. Okay, at least ‘A’ is going to run through it with me tonight, maybe that will help.

Wednesday – 10.30pm

I have been making the simplest mistake all along, and that’s why it wasn’t working. I’m an idiot. Stupid imposter syndrome, telling me I don’t deserve to be here. I used to be so much quicker than this, what the hell happened? I’m so afraid they’ll throw me out. ARGH NO. Snap out of it. Existential crisis later, now it’s time to go home and finish the write up.

Thursday – 12pm

I really don’t feel well. I think I might actually get sick. Why can’t I stop sweating? Stupid hot flashes. Stupid doctor who won’t look into it and told me I just had to suck it up. Niagara falls is flowing down my back.  Ugh, god, gross. Ok, I need to leave this tutorial. I think I might vomit on the floor if I don’t go now.

Thursday – 2pm (working til 5.30 on campus)

God, I missed working for this department. It’s such a pity no one else is here, they’re such fun and they’ve been so good to me. They’re so kind….why am I crying? Ok, crying because someone is nice to me is a sign I’m over-tired, I’ll try to get some extra sleep on the weekend. I really need to remember take my iron tablets more often. And maybe some multivitamins too, I’m definitely starting to look run down again.

Thursday – 5.45pm

WHY IS THE TRAFFIC SO BAD? I’m so going to be late for ‘E’s’ focus group. And she seemed so stressed when she asked me to take part. Damnit, now I’m going to be late.

Thursday – 6.15pm

Made it! Just in time. I wonder what it’s about?

Thursday – 7.30pm

Ok, time for a pint. Prosocial behaviour and some relaxation will do me a world of good. I just need to google this one thing before I put my phone away and be social. Ok, just one more reference… there. Okay, now I can relax. Inhale, exhale. What are we laughing about? God, it’s so nice to sit down and just chat.

Thursday – 10pm

Ok, I’ll just close my eyes for a second. The report is mostly done anyway, I can relax for a bit, right?

Friday – 4am

Did I fall asleep? TOO RELAXED, TOO RELAXED!

Friday – 10.52am

Report done. Hang on, why isn’t blackboard playing ball? Is it accepting it? Ok, never mind, must put finishing reports on essay for that award. NO, must submit report!

Friday – 1.30pm

Ok, emailed tutor and attached copy of the assignment, just in case. Will deal with that later. Now to pretty up my last essay of the week.

Friday – 3.50pm

I can’t write. This is utter tat, oh my god, I can’t do this. Actual journalists will read this and think… I don’t know what they’d think. I just wanted this to be perfect, it could be the start of something wonderful, but I have to go to work and I’m heading straight for the ball afterwards, I don’t have time to rewrite anything… I’m late to work I’ll sort this later.

Friday – 7.20pm

Ok, make up on, jumpsuit mostly on, and my date just arrived. Time to cut loose and actually have fun for once.

Friday – 11.45pm

DID I SEND IN THAT AWARDS ESSAY? Okay, sent. Thank god for smartphones. Why does gmail look weird? Did it send? It looks like it sent? Ok, inhale. Exhale… Did someone say shots?