Surviving Week 1….
Surviving Week 1 as a new college student for the first time in 22 years was full of challenges, none of which were brought on by the school work. In fact, that was probably the grounding force through the week. I anticipated exactly what I got. Haven’t clicked with too many folks yet; teachers are great, the younger set is cautious for sure, the other “older” students are much more at ease talking to “one of their own”, lol. I know that in time they’ll see me as either a mentor or just another student with maybe a few more gray hairs and maybe a bit more experience that they can draw from to their advantage. At least I hope that is the case.
I anticipated some stress from the changes that would be brought on by such a new schedule, after all, I was introducing at least 16 hours of new faces and experiences into my world. And even though these were by my own accord, it was still “change”, and historically that is still stress. “Good stress” is still “stress’, and I’m all too aware of how that affects me personally, so I had steeled myself for it.
What I hadn’t prepared for was a discovery a few days prior to starting, and that was finding that my biological father had passed away less than a month prior, just on March 11. Without rehashing details, I’d never really gotten to know him, but always wanted to. I read about his passing on Saturday, with school starting on Monday – just enough time for it to “sink in” and be resting in the background of my mind with all this new stuff floating around too.
I had remained in a very up and positive mood and a few financial stresses throwing my finances off for the week, so there’s some extra stress, and then 2 nights in a row of 4 hours only of sleep….and then by Thursday my lower back, ankles and feet were in agony, with my lower back feeling as if I had either a terrible kidney infection going on or I had pulled something, and my feet feeling as if I’d broken something in both of them. It was bad enough that I told Ed to check on me when he got home from work. I even stopped at my doctor’s office to see if they could fit me in, which fortunately they could.
There doesn’t seem to be an infection and hopefully just a pulled muscle and I made it through all my classes just fine. The stress didn’t cause any outbursts or episodes but the worst moment came Thursday night, after my 4 hours of sleep were up and I sat up in bed, choking in panic, about 4:00 a.m. I sat up in the room, in my dim blue light, alone, with only the dogs momentarily looking at me with wonder as to why I’d be getting up at such an insane hour. The room was quiet and still mostly dark, and I thought for a few moments, “Am I about to die?”. It was about a 5 minute period where I just felt disconnected from everything.
It was about a 5 minute period where I just felt disconnected from everything…there was no cohesion, no reality, and I found myself oddly at ease with the thought. There wasn’t a longing to do that thing, nor was there a regret that if that were to happen that I’d be leaving unfulfilled… just a wonder of “Is this what that feels like?”. I certainly still have a lot of things to accomplish and it surely isn’t on my radar but it is what crossed my mind at the moment. It’s a far cry from 9 years ago when that is ALL I wanted to do.
I’ve been out of one of my medications (topirimate) for the entire week due to a couple of reasons, mainly non-notification from the pharmacy that the medication was ready for pickup. I had toyed with the idea of going off meds for a while to see how creativity would be affected and see what happens, but that won’t be happening I tell you now. I picked a direction and intend on staying the course, but dang… what a weird week. You just have to be prepared for it all, and given that I wasn’t fully “loaded” with all my fail safes (meds) for the week, I actually feel that I handled it all right. So here’s to Week 2. oh, and getting my homework finished 😉