– Fine, Adelina. Now, let me ask you about your economic situation.
– What do you mean?
– Is it stable, do you have a steady income, at least modest savings?
– I don’t have any savings. Irregular income, fixed-term contracts.
– And how is this situation influencing your sense of security and stability?
– I should go to the dentist, but the mere thought makes me feel nauseated. Actually, recently every time I leave my house, I feel nauseated and weak. I thought that my bad teeth made my whole body sick. So I felt weaker and weaker… But maybe leaving the house itself turns my stomach? Of course, I also feel a lump in my throat. But considering I’m tired, frustrated, and in constant stress, I’m not surprised by that lump at all.
– Adelina, if I understand correctly… The reactions of your body and mind are completely normal and understandable. I can prescribe you some drugs that will help you survive this difficult situation. Probably they will numb all emotions en masse, so pleasures will become less pleasant too.
– I see, that’s fine.
For a completely different conversation with a psychiatrist, lasting about half an hour, I paid 250 PLN. The first visit is always more expensive – it’s like a membership fee for people in crisis who can afford to still be in crisis but experience it less drastically. The conversation was relentlessly, yet gently, heading towards describing the state I was in. “Depressive” came up, as well as something about obsessive-compulsive disorder – possible, uncertain. Two prescriptions, one for so-called psychotropics, the other for anti-anxiety pills, for so-called “emergency support”.
It’s the beginning of December, exactly two years have passed since that visit. I’m no longer – using that nice phrase – in therapy, I don’t take any medications. The rest hasn’t changed much, irregular income, lump stubbornly sitting in my throat. Almost every day, more or less consciously, I strive to lie and watch TV series for as long as possible, maybe read a little too, but it is exhausting after all, all these good articles about the pathological job market, about the sophistication of the masters of greenwashing, or about another developers and their ecological investments. Fine, I get it, I’m breaking down again and I’m not shocked at all.
So what? Nothing, I’m still lying. If I felt good, that would be very strange.
I feel the most energetic when I’m pissed off. I can move mountains in this state. I don’t have to look too far for things to be pissed off about. My heart rate goes up then, breathing speeds up. I’m looking for something tough, something I could punch hard. A bit of screaming, or talking through clenched teeth, or both. A stream of shitty resentments. I feel relieved for a second, then comes a wave of guilt, then some writhing around, another tea, until something comes up and I keep going. Sometimes I think I should go back to therapy and solve my anger issues. Become a manager of my emotional life. Then I remember that when I have some more money and a job I like I’m not so angry and I don’t feel like puking every time I leave the house. And my heart rate becomes irregular when I only think that my well-being, ability to manage my anger or stress reduction are all goals of the industry that sells mental health, personal fulfillment and generally (how sexy it sounds! Sic!) emotional make-up.
So, things never change, only get worse every time. Every time, in that particularly mean way, they catch you without a prior warning.
Regarding what is below – the same as above. Except that the old boyfriend is new now.
Adelina Cimochowicz (b. 1992) – visual artist, working with photography and video, engaged in activities with the community and in the kitchen. She researches borderline emotional states and nervous crises. She graduated in architecture from the Bialystok University of Technology and the Media Art Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.