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Name: Locut0s of Borg
Gender: Male
Hometown: Vancouver
Home country: Canada
Current location: Canada
Member since: Sat Jan 1, 2005, 10:08 PM
Number of posts: 6,154

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Sorry for worrying everyone with my recent cryptic posts. Having major issues...

Sorry for worrying everyone with my recent cryptic posts.

I've been having little breakdowns over these past few days. I've had major ones and minor ones in the past, these are pretty major though I have felt slightly worse. As many know I have a LONG history of anxiety, depression and the like.

The progress I made over the summer was significant so I thought perhaps I had most of my issues beat but I neglected to realize that I'd really never even touched my real issues, the perfectionism, self hate, and the like. Moving into the dorms here was really rather uneventful for me which was good as I was worried I'd have difficulties with the socializing aspects etc, this shows I'm better there than I thought. BUT I also thought that it would help solve my anxieties surrounding school which it did nothing for at all really.

As the days have gone by I've found myself getting more and more overwhelmed. Assignments cause me to panic, I look at the material and because I don't understand it right away or there's stuff that looks difficult my mind just shuts down instantly and I don't think. I come back to my dorm anxious and exhausted from being stressed out in class all day and I don't have the mental fortitude to look at the material. This of course just creates a negative feedback loop where I get more anxious because I'm now getting behind others because I'm not spending enough time on the material, which makes me more anxious and less able to concentrate on the material. Snowball effect.

I was bad enough that last couple of days I would hide in the washrooms between class and cry uncontrollably due to the stress. It took everything I had to not show anything during class, which of course further saps my ability to focus. Part of the reason why I clam up like this is I just completely shut my mind off over the summer while I've been working on myself, weight loss socializing getting out on my own (these were all very good), I didn't think about school or the work I did last term for one second and now I find the material distant and hard to access. Some other students meanwhile have been still working on the material over the summer, some had jobs programming, some took summer courses, some just played with code. I'm not the ONLY one who did nothing of course but I'm probably one of the few who so thoroughly shut their brain off, I didn't want to think about something that gave me stress in the past. So I now find accessing some of this material I learned previously more difficult than it should be.

But of course this shouldn't make me freak out as much as I do, the bigger reason for that is my life long habit of absolute perfectionism and taking everything on mentally all at once instead of working on things one step at a time (something I've never managed to learn to do). Logically it makes no sense to be stressed out to the point of tears and semi suicidal thoughts (not something I'd act on) but there you have it that's how my brain works. I'm more than intelligent enough to handle the material, I got a 91% average in the first term and something like a 89% in the second. But perhaps not emotionally intelligent enough. One thing that HAS surprised me that I've managed to do is to pull myself away from the brink of quitting twice now. In the past I would just quit, full stop (I dropped out of university 4 or 5 times in the past due to these exact issues) but somehow I've managed to not pull that trigger even at my worst, YET anyway.

Today I saw my program head and managed to get my course load reduced by 2 courses this term. That MAY help a bit but I'm far from optimistic about it. It still leaves me with 5 courses, and they assign more work in each than your average university course. One thing this university emphasizes above all else is SHIT loads of work, they cram 3-4 years of work at other institutions into 2 years here. Lots and lots of stories of people working 8AM to midnight every day for the whole term. There are some benefits to this place though, they work closely with industry so job prospects are much higher out of this place. But it's not really the place for someone like me, but now that I'm a year in it's difficult to switch, credits here don't transfer easily and besides I'm in the dorm now. One other thing that prevented me from quitting perhaps is the fear of embarrassment from yet ANOTHER failure in my life. I've walked away from so much else but this time I'd have to clear all my stuff out of my dorm here, I don't think I could face my dorm mates and other class mates doing that. I'd also leave my fellow students hanging since we work in groups here. I seriously don't know if it's a good thing for my health to stay, since I still feel like I might lose it, but I know that it's the better decision if I COULD handle it. I've relied on my parents for far too long for everything, including hiding my previous messes when I burned my bridges, I don't want to do that again. Yet I don't exactly feel strong enough to get through this crisis either. I'm exhausted by the effort of just trying to hold myself together.

I have talked to my psychiatrist and have been on meds for years, many different ones, but these efforts have been of minimal impact. I really should, as others have suggested, see someone almost every day plus therapy (some form of CBT). But that takes a lot of will and effort in it's own right. I could do that if I weren't going to school but with school I neither have the time nor energy to do both (CBT gives you daily exercises, self reflection, it's a lot of daily work). I see my psychiatrist again next week so I'll definitely talk to him and see where I should go with this. I'm kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. It's not like there's no hope. With my reduced course load it's POSSIBLE that I can squeeze through mentally, but I'm not confident. I seesaw a lot from optimism to complete desperation, many times a day. It doesn't help that every fibre of my being is screaming at me to do something totally stupid and fanciful like run away to some lala land and forget about the world. Living a sheltered life with enabling parents where you never have matured properly instills this kind of thought pattern in you. The "what if I could just hide from it all" thinking. It's a fantasy world but not something that's easy to undo after 30+ years of thinking this way. The world seems a lot more harsh and unforgiving than it actually is when you aren't prepared with the tools to face it. It's extra difficult if you have to cobble together such tools when also faced with other major stressors.

Sorry for the whole Encyclopedia Britanica, just thought I owed people an explanation should they care to read it.
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