Posts Tagged ‘studying’

Beyond Panic

I’m in the final 9 days of my final year of my degree. Just typing that is terrifying.

I have 3.5 thousand words to write for thursday evening and only scattered notes so far to show for it.

I have a final year project due on the 29th for which I’ve done little since January.

I am beyond panic. I can’t believe this is possible, but I’ve actually come out the other side of  panic and landed in numbness, where I *know* how important all this is, but I can’t think about it, or feel the terrible urgency as immediately as I should, like some wierd self-preservation thing my mind has in place for horribly overwhelming situations. I’m through the looking glass here! I have to escape the chessboard defences of my own mind in order to shake myself awake, or some other convoluted metaphor I can’t quite be bothered to follow through.

So, yeah. Panic, but not. Intensity, but somehow not. Terrifying, but strangely calm. Wake up, damnit!

At the beginning of this month I kind of had the right idea. Back then I was so anxious I couldn’t sleep unless I spent a really long time thinking about different ways of working out fractions (I am terrible at maths despite my grandfather being a mathematician, so this takes me ages). Back then whenever I closed my eyes I felt like I needed to find a 24-hour trepanning specialist to release the head pressure.
Now, though, I sleep to much. I take long lie-ins and feel tired during the day.
What the hell is wrong with me?

Like many of us with mental health stuff going on, I’ve failed a lot in the past at things which my peers seem to achieve as a matter of course. I won’t say effortlessly, but…yeah, actually, it seems pretty easy for them to finish degrees, and move out of home, and all that rite-of-passage stuff.
For me, up until at least 2007, my OCD has obstructed a great many of the things I’ve tried to do. I’ve dropped out of uni not once but twice (pre diagnosis), and I’m on the fourth year of this three year course.
Yet I’m still unbalanced. I’m still – and I hate to use the word so close to a deadline – failing. Handing in work late. Missing deadlines altogether. Failing to keep to schedules. But I don’t have the excuse of undiagnosed anxiety disorders this year. I’m on medication, and it’s helping. I’ve been seeing my psychologist for nearly 3 years.

I’m so scared of failing now that, apparently, I can’t even process the whole idea anymore.
I really like to think that we aren’t defined by our failures – that we can learn from mistakes and keep striving towards our goals – but that seems to apply to other people in my thinking, not me.

So, sorry for pouring all this angst onto you, I hope you are all well, and coping.
I’d love to hear from other people at uni/ studying, compare experiences, and maybe once this 9 days is over, compile some information/advice that other ‘mentally interesting’ (with thanks to Seaneen Molloy http://thesecretlifeofamanicdepressive.wordpress.com/ who’se blog is awesome) at uni could use to help them get through these hard bits.

Wish me luck 🙂


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