This morning on my way to class I did my usual bored out of my mind, please pass the time Facebook run through. The first memory that popped up was a status of mine from exactly one year ago today:
“For the first time since freshman year of college, I completed a semester of college without completely falling apart!”
That last spring semester I was taking two classes. Six credit hours. And I was pumped about the fact that I had completed it without finding myself in the ED’s crisis unit, or some other little hidey hole I was known to crawl into when the going got tough.
This year I am taking fifteen credit hours. That’s right, full time student status *insert victorious cheer!* So as I was saying, this semester I am taking fifteen credit hours, halfway through the semester I was smushed by a mid size SUV and sustained a concussion and chemical burns, and I have performed at work all semester.
With all of that said, I am being your typical college student during last week of classes. As I prepare for finals my eating habits, sleeping habits, and general stability decline, but that is “normal.” I am not bedridden by depression, crippled by anxiety, or tortured by an eating disorder. My OCD is moderate and for the most part, I am a functional human.
If it weren’t for my slow and unsteady attempts to recover from my car accident, I’d be completely healthy. Since I’m not, I’ll ignore the consistent vomiting, headaches, and dizziness and focus only on my mental health. Other than the expected anxiety about driving I am doing great.
Today, I found out that on one of the days I was bedridden by migraine and nausea last week, I missed a test. My professor agreed to compromise and said I could retake it for half credit.
That doesn’t work well with “The Girl Who Gets Good Grades” or “The Perfect Student.” I left his class expecting a total tailspin. I clenched my fists and prepared for the wave of panic.
I got out my phone in case I needed to reach out to my therapist to combat unhealthy urges.
But nothing happened.
Instead, I allowed myself to experience a healthy amount of disappointment. I reminded myself that one bad grade will not derail my entire semester, and I walked calmly to my car.
I complained to my friends and practiced my “why does my professor hate me” speech inside my head. I coped like a “normal” college student.
And as the rain cleared and the sun began to shine, I was filled with hope.
Not the hope of good grades, or glory, or even a strong semester. No, I felt hope for a better life. For the days ahead as I implement my successful coping skills and battle my demons with strength and stability.
Sometimes the biggest progress is made in the smallest moments and I was lucky enough to have one of those today.
Thanks for reading.