A few words about School

There’s a certain sinking feeling when you look at the classes offered that you can start registering for tomorrow and you see you don’t meet the requirements to take any of the labs offered, that being your last real hump before you can graduate. So I may need to take Social Psychology so I can jump in the Social lab next semester. I have to tell my family, which is going to be the brutal part, it’s taken me forever to get through college with one setback or another thanks to what’s offered or good old bipolar, and now I may be behind by one more semester.

One hump that I did overcome was this past Friday. Thanks to my social anxiety I told my professor I wasn’t ready to present an article to which she encouraged me to anyways and said I shouldn’t let fear get in the way of accomplishing something. I then presented even though I was a minor train wreck about it, and she e-mailed me the next day to say “You did a good job yesterday, I’m proud of you.” I didn’t imagine she’d say something like that, and because of it I’ve felt like a champ all weekend. I have a medal around my neck and a new appreciation for my professor as a human being.


5 thoughts on “A few words about School

  1. wow that great that you presented your article! i’m so nervous about going back to college next semester. this semester i took off because of my anxiety and i really want to go back in the spring to finish up my basic classes, but i’m terrified. i have social anxiety and bipolar as well so it makes it very hard. i don’t want to let fear stop me from accomplishing what i want.

  2. You know, I threw my bipolar away about 5 years ago (or thereabouts) and so far, I’ve believed myself. I pass myself off as normal to lots of people and they believe me too. [insert cheezy grin here] I got to a point where I grew tired of an authoritarian on the subject telling me that I was “this” and “that”. I began to question his (or her) validity simply because of their college degree. I mean, have they actually ever HAD bipolar disorder? Have they ever been locked away on the psych ward, given a string of medications- 10 in 7 days, to be precise- or an array of psychotropics and antipsychotics? It began to dawn on me that every time I had a psychotic break (6 times, or 7, over the years) that I had been up for 6 days, no less- and hadn’t eaten or drank anything- “hot mess” doesn’t even begin to cover that territory. By day 5 of no sleep, a person is already hallucinating, so, by the time they pick you up from the highway and cut your frozen clothes from your body (from sinking to the bottom of the creek) and give you oxygen in the ambulance and admit you to…you guessed it- the psych ward- are they really diagnosing YOU any more, and all of your broken parts, or are they merely diagnosing the effects of not sleeping and eating for a week? And that’s what bothered me after pondering on it for several years.

    So, I decided to go to college and do the unthinkable: get my degree in Behavioral Sciences (and certification in Substance Abuse). Could I really go to college and get a degree in the same stuff that had driven me bananas in the first place? I mean, wouldn’t that like…set off a million triggers and force me to reckon with the sexual abuse I suffered as a child? Wouldn’t it make me even crazier?!

    Quite the opposite. It’s been a long four years, but I have learned to be my own psychiatrist and more importantly, therapist. Through a steady diet of psychology and sociology, I have learned how to put a warm blanket around that “broken child” inside and really, I got tired of baby-sitting all of the childhood ghosts- I sent them all away. (No time for you, “crazies”, I have schoolwork to do!)

    I’m in my final semester and will be graduating December 7th. I’m not going to lie, Public Speaking kicked my butt entirely, and while I’ve been able to master every psychologically challenging area- well, public speaking freaked me out entirely. And, like you, I had a few major humps before I could petition to graduate- one of them being my Social Psychology class (which I’m currently taking) as well as my lab core class- being a distance education student. But, I worked it out and so you can too. You’re ALMOST THERE. I want to encourage you to embrace your education MORE than your disorders. We’ll always be “different”, but I’ve chosen to minimalize my disorders by not making them my focal points, and to instead maximize what I’ve learned through Behavioral Sciences- it’s definitely been an upgrade.

    Good for you for getting that assignment done! For others, facing their fears and going to college is like climbing a few rocky hills barefooted. For people like us, it’s like climbing frikking Everest- so yes, GOOD FOR YOU. :0) Hang in there, dig deep- and push harder than ever before- you’re almost done. xo

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