So, I haven’t taken a class on campus in years. Mostly due to scheduling and also because of my situation as a caregiver, it’s just been much easier to do everything online. Now that I’m having to take some more serious courses though, it’s not as much of an option plus I just needed to get the hell out of the house so I decided to take Statistical Methods of Psychology at UCF at the Orlando Campus.
Well, I took my first exam in an actual classroom which I probably haven’t done in oh, I dunno, maybe twelve years or so and I actually got a 35%. Yup, I got half a fucking F. I was given the exam, and I just stared at it like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming Mack Truck. Now, if you’re an intelligent person, you can’t say “Oh, yeah, I’m very intelligent.” You just sound like an ass, but I’ll say, I like to think I’m somewhat of a smart guy. This was the first exam in the class, I prepared, I studied, the material was difficult but not 35% out of 100% difficult.
So, because of the hurricane, UCF extended the add drop deadline for the class to November 8th-ish, meaning that I can continue to take the class up to that date, and if I don’t get my course grade back up into at least a C or 70-ish% (right now it’s an embarrassing 53%) I can drop the class and it won’t really hurt my academic record. It won’t look great for grad school but I can explain it away as the hurricane pretty much screwed up half of the county I live in and for some people it’s easier to get back on their feet than others. Being in my situation, it’s just been more difficult.
So, I met up with my therapist and explained the whole situation and she recommended I see a hypnotist. Seriously? A hypnotist? She said she had done it when she was taking her examinations for the GRE and a few other exams when she was finalizing actually becoming a LMHC and it helped with her test anxiety quite a bit. I really don’t know if it’s worth the money or not. I’ve never really thought much of hypnotism or heard of many people doing it but who knows. Seeing as how I’ve never failed anything this brutally on my fucking life, I’m really not in a position to toss any ideas out the window.
I have studied more and harder than I ever have before though. I’ve been meeting with the TA’s in the class on a regular basis, doing extra practice problems as much as I can and really I’m not sure what else I can do.
I feel terrible though. I’ve been so wrapped up in all of this that I didn’t even realize my dad had started a new chemo. He doesn’t need me ALL of the time and he’s seen me struggling with this class so I know he’s been giving me some space or at least not depending on me as much. The other day I noticed he was just really out of sorts and he told me he started a new chemo, it lowered his white blood cell count too much so they had to stop and it just caused him to not feel that great. God dammit. How could I have been so wrapped up in my own shit that I wasn’t even paying that much attention to my dad? We did discuss that this semester was going to be brutal on me and a few months ago we did have it out pretty bad about him “not needing me,” and all that but deep down I know he doesn’t really feel that way. Especially now more than ever. What a great time for this to all go down. I tried explaining all of this to my professor but there wasn’t much of a reaction more than an “I’m sorry you’re going through all of this.” And that’s exactly the reaction I should get. There shouldn’t be special considerations for what you deal with at home when you’re in big boy school. Everybody has their shit they have to deal with, some more than others. I knew going into this, as in going back to college and going into this semester it was going to be tough. I also knew that there would be a possibility that the longer I put these more difficult courses off, the higher the likelihood that my dad’s health could go downhill while I was attempting to take them. She did ask me if it would be better for me to drop the class now and try again later when things were better. I just explained to her that it was unlikely that things were going to get better. Things don’t get better when you’re dealing with terminal cancer.
I’m frustrated, irritable, exhausted and disappointed in myself but at the same time I have to give myself at least some credit for acknowledging the fact that a lot of shit is happening at one time, I’m still staying clean/sober and at least I keep getting out of bed every morning. I know full well 3, 4, 5 years ago I probably would’ve just woken up, hit the bottle and then would’ve gone back to bed with a big “fuck it” sign on the door.
That’s just not an option today. Or at least I won’t allow it to be. I think that’s part of sobriety, part of growing up and checking yourself in general not as much as being a caregiver though. That I don’t think is as acceptable but at least I’m aware of it, I’m more focused and if anything, the worst thing about stress is that in the moment, it’s easy to forget logistics. It’s easy to forget priorities and go into survival mode. Once you’re able to take a step back and get a sense of self or a sense of reality again you begin to once again prioritize and see things logically again instead of running purely on adrenaline and caffeine.
Anyways, I’m caught up for the moment. I don’t have any homework due. I don’t have classes today and my dad doesn’t have any appointments, prescriptions to fill, the house is clean (enough) and I think today is the first day since the hurricane I actually have almost nothing to do. Well, there’s always something but you know what I mean. I’ll study a little bit, watch some tv, and of course, blog.
Remember, you are never alone, nor am I.