It’s only been a month or two but it feels like years have passed. So much has happened. I’ve experienced despair, love, frustration, happiness to the extremes. I don’t even know where to start this messy chapter. I’m just glad that it didn’t end there. And a new page is always waiting; the next chapter.
Finals came around and it was yet another stress-filled month of April. Thanks to the wake-up call from failing a final the term before, I prepared for everything much earlier. I made notes for everything in advance and was able to go through all the notes at least twice! *applauds self* I don’t remember the last time I studied twice for something. And it paid off. I didn’t have to pull all-nighters and passed all my courses! *more applause* Although I had failed to continue regular exercise during that time, I felt pretty confident about life.
Then as always, there was that plot twist. Ah, I should’ve know that it would happen. “The higher they are, the harder they fall.” And boy did I fall hard. I had an unfortunate 1st week of practicum which people have described as on the verge of abusive and in the end, it drove me to a place that I hope I never have to go to again. I had to study like crazy that weekend in order to “catch up” with the “level of knowledge that I should have” but I couldn’t. I spent more than 20 hours that Saturday sleeping, feeling like I was falling in and out of consciousness. The dread of failing the practicum made dying seem like a better choice. Sounds stupid thinking about it now, but at that time, I believed that. I guess when you’ve spent your whole life studying and all, failing seems like the end of your life. Sunday, I knew that I needed to get help. I couldn’t get my mind out of the gutter and like a waterfall thoughts kept pouring in about suicide and dying. I knew I wouldn’t go through with it, but I didn’t know what to do to get rid of those thoughts. I felt so zoned out, I couldn’t focus on anything, couldn’t even concentrate on what people say to me. I knew that I wasn’t okay and needed help. So I told my family about it and we went to the ER. After lots of waiting and meeting nurses, doctors, and psychiatrists and retelling my story many times, we went home and then came the mess to sort out since life goes on. But all in all I’m glad I went. There’s always someone there for you at the “end of the road” whether it’s the ER, suicide hotline, or friends and family. I wish there was a “pause” button on life where I can just put everything aside and replenish my energy. But there isn’t.
So after emails, phone calls, and trips to school, I was able to get my life back on track. I worked harder than before to fix my life. I had given myself a second chance and I was going to take that second chance and make use of it to the fullest. I began exercising everyday again and went to the weekly anxiety management groups at school. It was a hassle, but this isn’t something that can be fixed with the push of a button. For any kind of success, foundations of hard work underlies it. I made an effort to meet up with friends and spend more time with family. I tried not to let what happened stop life from going on. I wouldn’t say that I was able to do well in that area, but I tried my best. I pushed myself to work and take on more shifts, covering for a colleague. And though I would have vivid nightmares and thoughts of what happened, I tried to look forward. Because I couldn’t let that one event define me.
So as I prepare to start my new practicum placement tomorrow, yes I’m anxious. The memories pop up so vividly. I don’t think I’ll ever forget what happened. But life goes on. I determine whether I’ll be chained to that memory or not. I don’t have to wallow in fear of the same thing happening again and limit myself from what I know I can do. I can believe in myself. I believe that going through this has and will only make me stronger and that I had to go through it only because I was strong enough to get through it. Stories are full of plot twists and surprises, but being the author of my own life story, I can always change the outcome.