As yesterday turned into last night, my exam stress turned into insomnia. I lay in the dark listening to the trains rattle past my window until the trains stopped running, and I was awake when they started up again. I think I managed to sleep for an hour and a half, at least, that was the amount of time that passed between the time I last looked at the clock, and the time at which I gave up on trying to go back to sleep and opened my eyes again, completely wired (that would be exam stress rearing its ugly head). I made the most of this situation, and decided to panic revise. Never in the course of all of my efforts to revise has studying been so efficient! This calmed me, a little.
My friend (and future flatmate), and Winston (if you don’t know who Winston is, please see yesterday’s post) accompanied me to the room in which I will sit all eight of my exams (thanks to my health I get 25% extra time and use of a computer, so I’m not seated with everyone else). In my mind it was the room in which I had convinced myself the entire world was going to fall apart. I entered it shaking. The invigilators were awesome. They were really friendly and even told the four of us that were in there that we were welcome to bring along snacks. I hadn’t eaten or drunk anything because I’d been too busy freaking out, and I suddenly remembered that humans kind of need food and water to function well. I started to crave sliced melon. Don’t know why. Anyway. The exam.
At the sight of the exam room I had a complete brain fart. I finished the entire paper within 20 minutes (it was easy thanks to the revision I had done; I knew the answers… I just couldn’t for the life of me remember where I’d stored the knowledge I needed! Frustrating!). I then put my elbows on the desk and my head in my hands, and was clearly so relieved that I was finally able to completely relax. How do I know this? Because I. Fell. Asleep. I mean seriously, what even is my life? I found this quite amusing eventually. When I woke up, I went through my answers approximately a million times, but the ones I couldn’t remember didn’t come leaping out from the recesses of my brain. I could even see a mental image of the pages of my notes the information I needed to remember was written on, with helpful gaps right where I needed them not to be! I now refuse to check my notes or I know I will end up hating myself.
And I already hate myself.
All I wanted was some support. I didn’t’ know where to turn to, and I didn’t know what to do. I’m not re-explaining the situation, I’ve already bored those of you who have read my recent blog posts with details of it. Do you know what, I don’t even have the heart to write this. All I can say is that support was too much to ask for, too much to expect. Instead of a request for some advice about exam stress, my email was interpreted as me looking for a way not to sit my exams. I was told to ‘go and see my therapist’, who is actually meant to be dealing with all the health stuff, and has no idea about university exams. I was palmed off again. And I just gave up. Right there. I somehow held in tears. I somehow contained this weird emotional pain that tore through me. I took another bite of the pizza I ordered to reward myself for sitting my exam, and I told myself that pizza was the answer instead of ceasing to exist. My friend eventually left (she’s coming back tonight so we can go to the pub, not that I can drink, I just need to get away from here).
I curled up on my bed with a weird kind of despair aching inside of me, and comforted myself to sleep by thinking over and over and over, that one day this will all be ok, because one day there will be no tomorrow. It’s weird how people can make death feel like your saviour instead of your enemy. I just wanted some support. From someone. Somewhere. And in all the places that I found it before, and all the places in which it is supposed to be provided, it is gone. I am reaching out, I am asking for help and I never ask for help so that means I’m definitely struggling… And now I know why I never did. If you don’t depend, you cannot be let down.
I found an email sent to members of staff about me at the start of the year asking that because of my health problems could they please offer me extra support, more than they would another student, due to the emotional difficulties I was likely to face. I laughed to stop the tears then. Because that would have been nice. The only thing that has my back right now are the metaphorical knives that have been wedged in it. And they are paralysing me.
I made it to that exam. And I made it there on my own. I fought to get there on my own. I surfed a wave in the ocean of tears I have cried to end up on the sandy shores of what I deem a minor victory. Those tears could have been prevented. I wish that fight hadn’t been alone. Right now I want to leave university. I want to throw in the towel on so much more than this degree. I am done. I don’t know how to do this any more, and ‘this’ is so much more than juggling university with major health issues. I don’t know how to survive two more years of this… This hopelessness. I have never felt so alone, so let down, so unsupported.
When dealing with big things, it is the little things that bring us to our knees. It’s the even littler things that keep us there. I was meant to use my free time today to revise for my next exam on Thursday morning. The fog of a temporary hopelessness seems to have obstructed my view. Instead, I am sat typing emails that I don’t know who to send to. There is nobody left. Does anybody around me even notice that they are one (wo)man down? I feel like somebody has pulled the plug on me and my entire self drained away. I feel like nobody is willing to be there for me any more.
I don’t know what to do.
Anyway, one exam down, seven to go.