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Things are getting more and more tense and the stress is oozing from every pore of every social work student. We work together on group projects and can feel the energy: tension, stress and fatigue. Finally, in a moment of truth, I confided to my fellow students that on Nov. 12, I decided I was quitting. I couldn't do this anymore, I couldn't keep going at this crazy pace. Interestingly, many of the other students reported having the same experience, yet here we were, forging ahead despite the challenges.
I used a lot of my self-care strategies: morning journalling, temple attendance, scripture reading and pondering, consulting with my Savior, letting His strength and wisdom fill me, listening to music, spending time focusing on others, spending time with family, seeing my wonderful counselor, talking to friends, etc. etc.
Still today, after having had a headache for two days, this pressure turned into a migraine during class. My vision was blurred, smells became very intense, and focusing on the presentations became impossible. I made many trips to the bathroom, sure that the nausea was going to turn into something greater, but thankfully, it remained as nausea. Two ibuprophen helped nurse me through the remainder of the day and soon enough I had made the drive home and was curled up in my warm bed.
When the migraine symptoms of the headache finally abated, I came downstairs, still overwhelmed and unsure of whether or not I could really continue this race. I went on facebook, another coping technique(!), and this is what I found:
a personal message from an old friend (no, she is not old, I have just known her a long time and we have not seen each other for years!) telling me of her schooling adventure:
"Going back to school at this point in life does come with some challenges (kids, life, housework, etc) but I sure am enjoying learning again.
Stay strong, the semester is almost done :)" Wow, how did she know? Just what I needed to hear today. And then, another boost from an unlikely source, a birth story from a friend's daughter:
"I can't handle this for much longer.
[almost done this semester] Eight centimeters is encouraging to hear.
But also I don't really care."
"The best advice I ever heard:
When it gets too hard,
When you feel like you can't do it any longer,
Then you know it's almost over,
You've already made it.
To that I add my thanks: to friends who help without even knowing how far and wide their words will swim to help buoy another who is sinking ever so quietly under the burdens to fellow students who help and lift instead of throwing each other under the bus to family who put up with short temper and crankiness and still keep on loving. It is almost over