Niall’s virtual diary archives – June 2000

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8th June 2000

My formal education comes to an end!

19th June 2000

Hot summer days ...

29th June 2000

First entry to recognise that I am losing my mind ...

Thursday 8th June 2000: 11.50pm. So it's all over at last, I have finally finished my degree! I had my last exam today, it went okay I suppose, I should have passed. This week has seen me sufficiently stressed to the point of near losing it - I had a bad trip on Sunday which left me shaken for the start of the week when the pressure really began to mount. Not only was I finishing my degree, I lose my home on Saturday and I have nowhere currently to go. I aim to stick around until September for the one resit I currently have, then head for an initial visit to Spain for a few weeks. The summer, supposedly, will while itself away as I learn Spanish.

Anyway, things are a lot better now I've got all the uni stuff out of the way. Tomorrow I must tour yet more places of potential abode and go through three years worth of stuff which has accumulated and chuck out all the stuff I don't absolutely need to take with me (quite a lot). I also need to pay a the first half of my residence fees which will leave my cash reserves just a little bare.

So, I'm still ticking along. I can't believe I'm already twenty-two, it's the year 2000 and I am soon to graduate. I remember thinking about what it would be like now when I was a little kid. Oddly, it's not far off what I thought it would be, but it's also not the same. I understand things differently now to then. But it still has to be said it's a case of deja vue.

Okay, I'm off to start into some washing. I hope everyone's happy enough, I'm okay if a little in awe of trepidation, but I'll live. Be happy!

Monday 19th June 2000: 10.47pm. Boy it's been hot recently - I've spent a lot of time recently just lying around in the sun getting stoned. Can't complain I suppose, but it has been limiting how much productive stuff I've been getting done. A lot of people have gone home by now, but it's still been fairly busy surprisingly. I think it will probably die down a lot come July when almost everyone is evicted. This said, if the weather's anything like this for the remainder of the summer, I'll be getting little done.

Well, I've found a place to live, I'll be looking after the house for some friends for the summer (and feeding their cat) and hence get to pay only a tenner a week which is perfect for my meagre budget. I have spent the last few days setting up home, getting an internet connection working and getting the machine ready to finish off Flow, my game.

Once the game is done, I plan to start attending university regularly to learn Spanish. If all goes to plan, that should be around the start of July, giving me two full months to learn the language before my supposed single resit in September. Looks pretty peachy from here.

Right, I'm off to eat some delicious sandwiches and see if the cat has come back. It (called Milly) came in this evening as usual, then gacked up all over the floor in the hall resulting in me chasing it out. It was liquid unfortunately, which means we'll have to let it dry before we can properly get the smell out. Bastard cat! Anyway, it'll starve if I leave it out there any longer, so I better go let it in.

Umm, expect an update when I finish Flow or so. Maybe in about a week. Meanwhile, have fun and be happy till next time!

Thursday 29th June 2000: Written over two days ... 7.56am. Hehe, no it's not me being an early bird, it's me coming towards the end of my night working on Flow, my new little project to clear my university debts. It's nearly finished, I've kinda scheduled it to be launched at the end of this month as by rights I really need to make a start at learning Spanish by the start of July. Only have two months left until the exams!

Unfortunately it looks like my new place of abode is no longer. I have a few more weeks here, but will have to move mid-July. Some suitable friends should have returned by then, so the question becomes how long after that until I must move again? Well, probably not very long given my pitiful ability to pay rent :(

Umm, what else has been up recently? Well, I've remained adequately busy, although I notice that occupations tend to fill the available time rather than leave excess free time. Hence, one stays busy. Nevertheless, I spent three hours waking up this morning (which is just perfect really). It's nice being unemployed.

<hang on, let me roll a joint of this very heavy indica stuff ...>

Time is passing surprisingly quickly, much quicker than I thought. Indeed, in some ways, it's almost like university hasn't ended - and I surprise myself at how independent my lifestyle has become from that of the university. I can see now how many students with a similar lifestyle finish university and before they know it, they've been here for maybe five years. Time could tick onwards very very quickly. It already is really.

Do you know that my graduation is on the 12th of July? I of course won't be there officially having failed exams, but I'll be there to see all my friends. And I think it will be a strange day for all of us. We have effectively now "run out" of education, something most of us have been doing since we were at least three or four years old. For me, some eighteen years of solid education have passed. And here I am, at the end of it all. With my whole life ahead, and with lots of choices to make.

I of course have already made many of them. It is in many ways frightening to know that soon all that I have known for three years will soon come to an end. I will break with the friends, culture and society of now and transport myself into a completely new and alien society. There I shall place all the experience and knowledge I have gained during my life so far to use setting myself up for the next phase of my life. Third level education has now gone. Now comes what's next, whatever that might be.

I dearly hope that the fear which has beset me of late will vanish with this new transition. When I came back from last summer's holidays, I was in some ways at a peak personality wise - I had confidence and aspirations. At the time of the death of the society, I went through a wracking time as evidenced by this diary. But as I concluded during the immediate aftermath, it proved my solidity. In some ways, I was at my best at that time.

But since Ruth ended things over the Easter break, and with help of the large quantities of acid I was taking around that time, my mental state had been much more to be asked for. For a period of time, I fought the insistent feeling that my friends were turning upon me which culminated in me really losing it the weekend before term end. I had this terrible sense of impending doom, that at any moment dark forces are to come to perform some terrible evil upon me. And that they would come not obviously, but through friends or trusted ones perverting my trust.

This is of course classic acid-induced psychological trauma which I have seen happen in many friends of mine before. Acid can be something which reflects yourself at yourself so if one has a deep-seated fear or worry, it can be manifested to the mental and physical senses which for obvious reasons can be harrowing. It's good for clearing out mental cobwebs, but it can leave you in some state afterwards.

And some state it has left me in. In many ways my recent decision to stop taking drugs wasn't as arbitrary as it seemed at the time. In fact, as I can admit now, I was fighting hard voices telling me some atrocious things which put the fear of god in me. It seemed sensible to stop feeding fuel to the fire, so I stopped. And I miss them.

So how am I now? Some days I feel fear for absolutely no reason, sometimes when I'm walking along the street at night I nearly crap myself. I didn't used to be like this. Once upon a time I was self-confident, capable of anything. Now I fear, I fear all the time. And I hate it. I hate what it does to one's self-esteem and image. I hate sitting in an empty house fearing someone or something at any moment coming to get me, no matter how I lock myself away.

Obviously, none of this is rational. It's all classic symptoms of insecurity. I suppose what happened really was that when Ruth split with me, I lost what I had had for around a year si healthy, and before I leave here I want to fix all these problems. I don't want to feel afraid anymore.

I think the key to the solution is determining exactly what is the root of all my recent mental troubles. That, I have realised after much recent thought, is that now I feel vulnerable, all the time. I didn't so much, not so pervasively before. I feel so vulnerable on so many fronts, whenever I take drugs, hang out with friends, go for a walk, etc. Maybe that feeling of vulnerability comes from the acid twisting my head, or my recent activities, or my split from Ruth? Or maybe it's because I'm ending my time as a student, facing into the whole world of unknowns and it's coming now, not sometime in the distant future as it has always has been up until now.

I don't know exactly what is causing this feeling of vulnerability. I think the fact I am finally able to write all this down is a very good start. It shows I'm finally doing something about it other than repress or ignore it. And that means, hopefully, I'm onto some sort of solution.

Okay, I'm off to publish all this stuff. It's taken two days to write, but I needed to get it all written down. I'm not sure when the next update will be, but until it is, be happy and hope to see you next time!

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