How Do You Cope?

I was never really one to talk about my problems unless you are someone really close to me. Because really, are you listening because you want to know or because you want to help?

But recently, I’ve felt like I’ve been drowning in a pool of problems. And every time I try to swim back to the surface, some other problem just decides to pull me back in. I’m trapped.

A few years ago, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I never really told many people about it because I didn’t want anyone to start feeling sorry for me just because I have a sick mother. Silly, I suppose, but I just didn’t want the attention. They were able to remove it within the year, however due to many other conditions she’s had (high blood pressure, asthma, etc), it was hard for her to get out of it safely. So she’s been dealing with a lot.

Now, I’m the youngest of three kids. Both my older brother and sister never finished school. They were either so close but didn’t put in the effort, or they were too scared and didn’t want to go. So it’s kinda like I was the “last hope” for my mom. If only she knew the truth.

I started university in 2014. It was before then when this website peaked, but once university started, I was basically a goner. If you had been catching up with me since before then, you’d understand that I was a very academic student. I had protective parents who rarely let me out before university, so it was easy for me to code something up for a site or to study all my notes that I took that day. But I don’t know what happened after that.

I found it hard to adjust into university. And the harder it became for me to adjust, the harder it was for me to feel happy. I felt discouraged, and scared. I would lie to my parents about my grades because I couldn’t even hit anything higher than a C- average. Strange, coming from someone who used to always earn an A.

And then I had problems with money. Student loans, that is. I came into university with two jobs. One being the sports arena I’ve worked at since high school, it’s a very small job with limited shifts. And the other being the burrito place I started at right before university in August. My parents never really had much saved up for me, most of it went to my sister because she believed that she could finish school (it’s been 12 years, and nothing to show for it). And because my mom is sick, she eventually stopped working, which meant I had to fend for myself. So I started a 3rd job, mainly overnights.

Now you’re probably wondering, how did I do it with full time schooling? Well, I didn’t. I worked so much that I ended up dropping a lot of my courses. Funny really since I was trying to work more in order to pay for all these courses. Student loans finally bit me in the ass when they assumed I had made too much money that year and decided to cut me short of my loans. But when you fend for yourself, can you easily say that you’ve got thousands saved up for when stuff like this happens? Don’t worry, I couldn’t either.

So basically, there’s me, now. I’m in debt to school, basically living paycheque to paycheque to try and safely divide my money between my bills and my tuition. I’m also not doing so well in school. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t find myself easily adjusting like I used to. I’ve tried everything. I also became anemic in the last year. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but it really sucks when you’re balancing three jobs and full time school and you end up tired or falling asleep 90% of the time.

And that was just it, all of these things got shoved into this big bubble that’s about ready to burst. And it’s as if that big bubble has been holding together my happiness these past few years, and once it bursts, so will I.

Speaking of bursts, most recently, the veins in my mom’s legs had burst, on both legs, which makes it really hard for her to walk because of the pain. Today, she called me over, held my hand and told me, “I don’t know what’s gonna happen to me after this, but just promise me that you’ll finish your studies. That’s all I want to be happy.”

Hence why I said, “if only she knew the truth.”

Because if only she did. If only she knew just how much I was struggling to maker her proud. Just how much I’ve been struggling with life. I don’t really speak to my mother about my life much because I’m scared of disappointing her or scaring her. When I used to work the three jobs and got sick, she was really worried. And I don’t want her to be any more scared for anyone else than she already is for herself.

But that’s all I feel I’ve been doing recently, just disappointing everyone. I always feel like I’m just not good enough anymore. I’m not the person I used to be and I have no way of getting back to it. I don’t have any way of proving my worth to anyone anymore because I’m in this constant state of feeling worthless. Feeling useless.

But the thing is, my problems seem so minuscule to the rest of the world. Like you suck at school? Study harder. You’re poor? Work more. Whereas there are people out there starving, or on the streets. I am fortunate, but sadly still unhappy.

Which leads to my question. Given that likely everyone will always have some kind of problem, even something so small like being conflicted on what they want to eat, I wonder, how do you all cope? There are people with similar problems to me that makes it seem so easy for them to just be okay. To just show everyone that they’re okay. But I feel like for some reason, I’m not. As though I’m in this constant state of not being okay.

I just want to make people proud again, but I feel as though given everything that has happened and all that I’ve done to myself, there’s no turning back to it so easily. It’s almost impossible to raise my GPA to something reasonable unless I ace every class from this point forward. But how do you ace school when you have to work often to pay for your classes? How do I turn back time so that my mom was never sick and never suffering the way she is now?

I try to do everything I can for her, but I feel like my efforts are never enough. I just don’t know what to do anymore with my life. I just feel like giving up. I’ve been putting up some kind of front for so long that I’m a stable and studious young adult. But we all know the truth here, it’s just an act. I’m far from it. So what do I do now?