Sunday, March 14, 2010

I'm having a hard time being nice to myself right now

Long talk with my (favourite) professor yesterday, and we decided that a "strategic withdrawl" from this semester, and from academia in general, is a good thing right now. I just can't do it. I'm smart (I swear) but my brain is covered in some kind of clingfilm. I just... I can't absorb academics right now.

I bombed at Public Speaking class- and that's, essentially, what I *do* for a living, and what I *want* to do for a living, so there went *that* class before I turned myself altogether, and then this month-long stint of hiding in the house, hiding from everything, and I just can't come back from that right now- I could promise to, but I wouldn't be able to follow through.

So now I'm sitting back and looking at my options- I've applied for some jobs, I'm using my networks. I might even be able to work in disability advocacy, which is where my heart is right now. I won't lose the apartment, that's secure, and I just... I need some time to find myself. I haven't told my Mom, or anyone, yet really, except Lady.

That's so hard. I wish I could explain to you how smart I used to be. When I was little, school was a *breeze*- I was literally smarter, by 4 or 5 grade levels than everyone else . Whatever was going on at home, abuse, the fighting, the locked doors and the days when Mom would come in and take me in her arms, holding me tighter than I needed to hold her, ever, and tell me that *everyone* was having a day off from school today and we'd curl up in the big bed because my bio dad had hurt her worse that day than she could hide with make up and a smile. All of that didn't matter- once I was in my desk, I was in *the zone* and I was top of the class, every year, for 13 years.

First two years of university were easy too, but I was *so* young. I was 18 years old with no real idea of who I was in the world, or what I wanted to be.

And now, now I'm just going through the motions and the anxiety is crushing and those last 10 courses seem like a long, tortuous road that I'm never going to find the end of, and right now I just can't.

But everyone else expects me to be *so* smart.

And it's just not enough anymore.


Anonymous said...

I can so relate. My brain has been covered in clingfilm this last year s well. I feel for you, Ashley.

Lisa said...

I can relate too. This is basically what I've been feeling for the past few months and it's unbelievably hard. Maybe we're both right in the middle of a miracle.

You're still smart (brilliant) even if you're taking a break. Being an academic doesn't define you. You're just taking the time to heal yourself and that's a good thing.

Do the things you need to do to heal and find yourself. I keep reminding myself of that old question. "How do you eat an elephant?" One bite at a time. Of course sometimes I have a hard time finding that elephant in my living room. :D

My darling friend, I am sending you lots of love, light and positive energy.


Linda B said...

Ashley, take the time you need. Who says you have to know what you "want to be" must happen now? I think emotional health is way too important to stuff back down and cover up with academics. You still are a smart person, the same drive and soul are within you. I don't know if you have written this before, but have you thought about counseling or a therapist to help sort things out? I have depression and at times feel so foggy and overwhelmed that it's paralyzing (no pun intended my dear). I really don't want to leave my house and can't lift a finger to help myself. I'm glad you talked with your professor. Taking a break is a healthy thing. Keep writing. I miss you.