Usually I'd be freaking out along with everyone else. I've never taken exam stress well. Well, at least I don't think I have. I tend to perform well in exams, and even though right now I'd say that I don't think exams stress me out BECAUSE I perform better in them.. I remember having a conversation with my mum about this a few months ago and she stared back at me with disbelief- I'd clearly forgotten how ill I'd been as a result of the pressure last year, and that doesn't surprise me. Your mind blocks things out, at least mine does. It blocks out painful memories, and as cliched as it sounds, it's true. Because I came out of last year with a 2.1, I seemed to have forgotten how bad I was around exam time. This is the same thing that happened with my GCSEs and my A Levels. And of course, I promptly forgot how ill I was during those exams too, because I came out each time with good grades.
Things were so bad last year I considered dropping out of university entirely. Then I told myself to wise up, because it wasn't like I had a part time job or anything I could do for a while.. I'd literally be going from university to nothing- which is what is definitely needed in some cases, but I didn't think I was ill enough to have the only thing I 'do' be therapy. I'm used to being busy all of the time. I just know I wouldn't have been able to do it- although saying that, I do think I should have maybe taken a few gap years before coming to university in the first place.
Because of the new medication and the short term medication I'm on at the minute, my memory is fucked. Short term memory, that is. So I wouldn't be able to revise (psychiatrist's words, not mine- I actually initially thought they helped me revise, just because they cleared my head). So then I decided to try to do essays instead of exams. And for once in their lives, my school were actually relatively good about it all (my school in the university- ever since I've arrived at university I've had to constantly jump through hoops in order to get what I need disability wise, in terms of provisions etc., it's been an absolute fucking joke) and it got sorted pretty quickly. Instead of three exams, I'm writing three essays.
The first two are done, and I've just begun working on the third. I had roughly a week to do each of them, which factored in time for bad days etc., and I knew I'd be alright. And so far, I have been. This is the least stressed-out I've been around exam time, ever. Even though I can't remember specific details of exam times in the past, I know that much. I've so far stayed on schedule, and gotten the first two essays done within the first fortnight, leaving me a week for the third. So technically, everything should be grand.
I'll give you another account of the last three weeks. Whilst everything has stayed on track (to a degree) in terms of my university work, my health is all over the place. I've lost weight, because I keep forgetting to eat- which then makes me scared I'll revert back into old unhealthy habits in regards to food, just because I've remembered what it's like to lose weight. I either sleep little or too much. When I started my newest medication, I couldn't even pour a cup of tea without spilling hot water everywhere, my coordination was so bad. Sometimes I've lay in bed for fourteen hours because I don't have the energy to pull myself up. I've ran back, literally and metaphorically, to ex-boyfriends, because whenever I get lonely and depressed I try to remember where I ever found any source of comfort or affection and try desperately to cling back at it. Each day I've spent in the library, I've had to take some form of tablet to help me concentrate enough to do work, and then worry about the stares I get when I lift out said tablet to take it. Then it makes me sleepy, so I have to have caffeine to make myself wake up. It's a vicious cycle- especially because amidst this, I've forgotten to eat a meal, so my energy levels aren't what they should be. I come home to an empty house (my house mate has caught the horrible virus thing that's going around and now that her exams are over it's understandable she'd rather be at home), turn on the heating, and sit in bed freezing for a few hours before I take more medication and send myself off to sleep. I keep looking down at my hands in disbelief, I just can't see them as my hands any more and I don't know why. And whilst trying to manage this, I'm also trying to do three essays, do what I can for NUSUSI, and battle with my university and students' union in regards to provisions for disabled students amongst other things.
It is exhausting.
But it's half past midnight, and I'm not exhausted, even though I had to get up early today for an appointment, because I think I remembered to have breakfast but I don't think I managed lunch or dinner, and there comes a point where a lack of food gives you an odd manic energy that you can't quite explain. I've told my doctors about this, I'm doing all that I can university wise, and I was a little worried they would try to admit me this morning at my psychiatrist appointment, so the fact that I'm writing this is in itself a good thing- what an odd thing to be proud of on a Monday night.
But it's Monday, and it's over and I should take my tablets soon so that I don't sleep for the entire day tomorrow. I wasn't admitted and I can't make a meeting I really wanted to go to tomorrow morning, but I suppose I can live with that. I have to, I don't have another option.