29 April 2011

Not the way I wanted to end the semester...

Next week is the last week of classes, and after that is final exam week. I should be preparing for finals, but I'm really not. I've missed so many classes this semester that I'm seriously behind, and so I'm asking my professors for an Incomplete in each class.

There a few interconnected reasons for being at this point. Two of the classes I've been to the least have been in basement classrooms where desks are inches apart. If you're ten minutes early, you really are late because it's hard to find a chair that's comfortable (against a wall, near the door, at the back of the rom, etc.). Early on I started thinking that "hey, I'm gonna be late... crap... I don't want to go and be hemmed in by lots of people, that doesn't feel very safe" and that snowballed into me missing those two classes on a regular basis.

I started this semester much like I did spring semester last year-- I had so many things going on over the break that I didn't get much opportunity to relax and recharge.

The first couple of weeks of this semester were okay, but sometime in February the wheels wobbled and came off. I quickly reached a state where I didn't want to leave my apartment. The crowds of other students scared me, when they hadn't before. Things I'd normally do, like go to the library or the Vets org office to study, stopped happening. I was getting more and more isolated from the world outside my apartment.

In February, I went to talk to the disability resource center folks, and they were able to provide me with a letter explaining that I have a disability that affects my classes. Further, it says that documentation is on file that I have this PTSD thing. I've given a copy of that letter to two (out of my four) professors. I'm most intimidated by the two professors whose classes I haven't been in all semester, and most worried about how fast I might be able to catch up with the work I missed. I'm thinking I'll be working on completing classes until the end of June, but nothing is official yet.

Little things become big things very quickly. Try to make changes, get help, or whatever you need right away-- and follow up right away. Do as I say, don't do as I did.

Of course, when you're dealing with the little things, you don't realize it at first. You don't know you're getting anxious and depressed and triggered until you are, and then it's harder to get help.

My rule, which I'm not yet able to follow every time, says that if things aren't feeling quite right, something's going on. I always ask myself in the morning how I'm feeling. A good indicator of my out of whackishness (yes, it's a word) is when I answer "y'know, kinda crappy" for several days.

Good luck with finals, all.

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