The University Diaries : dude, what the hell?

Oh gosh. Where to start?!

I am so, so sorry for vanishing off here and twitter. At the moment, it's just too much for my vastly over-exhausted brain to manage right now. I have a little bit of time today to check in and update on what's going on and when I'm likely to return. 

I know I'm only in my first year, and the level of stress I'm experiencing is probably way out of proportion to what the actual pressure I'm under is, but I can't exactly control what stresses me out... or I haven't acquired that particular skill yet at least! 

The end of February and the entire of March is coursework. Deadline after deadline. On 6th March I had 3 pieces due in. So far, I've handed in 1 of 3 from that set and even that was a day late. My other completed piece was 5 days late. So obviously, I'm struggling. It's not so much the work that's the issue, it's writing and getting the information out of my brain and onto paper in a coherent manner. 

For neuroscience I had an essay to write on Aplysia with a maximum of 800 words and no referencing as it was all from a paper. It took me a day to write 750 words, but almost a week to pull that out of my memory. Thankfully with neuroscience I already have a pretty good head start so that part is the least stressful of this year. Plus you always learn the subjects you love the easiest...

The problem is statistics and lab reports. I am flying blind and it is terrifying beyond words. I really enjoy being in the lab, but I am such a novice and it really shows. Cue lots of tears, stress headaches, IBS flare-ups and insomnia. 

I'm trying to pull my attendance up but thanks to chronic fatigue, it comes at a price. If I am on campus all day, I will come home and pass out for about 3 hours. When I wake up it is just impossible to function. Some might say don't let yourself go to sleep then; trust me, I've tried everything to keep myself awake but it is just impossible. I have had a couple of episodes of blacking out and near fainting which is a bit scary.

There have been some absolutely awful things happening within my extended family which I won't go into now in any great detail, but it has been a huge PTSD trigger and emotionally very painful to manage. This has definitely been one of the final straws in the amount of stress I can handle. It's woken up my addiction behaviours - because my stupid brain is still not working right - so now I have absolutely vicious cravings for alcohol and benzos, and urges to self harm. I haven't acted on anything, but it's there.... waiting to grab me and pull me back into the abyss.

The worst thing is just feeling so utterly lost and scared and overwhelmed and just..... I don't know what the word is. A pretty constant thought/feeling is that I am really not cut out for this and I should just quit now before I embarrass myself even more. I'm so, so stupid and slow and there's so much anger and feeling inadequate. I sit in the library and wonder what the hell I'm doing.

My CPN thinks this is a giant psychological block from my childhood, which is probably right, but what confuses me is that on an intellectual level I know that the bullshit I was fed back then was exactly that, but at the very root my being, it's still there and I don't know what it's going to take to make it go away. People that tell me I'm doing great and coping incredibly well just make me angry, which again pretty illogical.

So in a nutshell, my emotional state right now is far from stable. I know I'm withdrawing and I know I am depressed. There are just 5 weeks left of school before the summer break starts - which feels as ridiculous as it sounds - so then it's a few weeks of study before exams, but the dates haven't been released yet so that part is very up in the air. 

It is getting harder and harder to keep dragging myself along, but so help me God I am not ready to quit just yet. The sad thing is, I need every single piece of energy I have to claw my way through these final weeks so sadly things like my blog and keeping in touch with the world on twitter is just using brain power I don't have. This first year really has been a pretty brutal one!

The plan is, from the middle of April I should be fully back to normal service and pouring my efforts into making the blog even better. I'm totally open to guest posts so if you fancy it, just drop me an email! 

In the interim, I am working with my CPN to keep myself as safe and stable as possible. My mentor is helping me keep on track with attendance, planning and all things school related; and the boyfriend is enduring a lot of tears but has been an amazing source of strength and support.

Thank you all for sticking with me through this and I'm really looking forward to getting back to the quiet days of twitter and blogger!

Samantha Nicholls. Powered by Blogger.

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