As this first semester draws to a close…

School drives me more than a little crazy. Finals have been a problem for me since I started taking them in middle school. Even when I’m not actively enrolled and taking classes finals time makes me nuts. Every Christmas and every May I lose track of who I am, what I’m doing and, most of all, my sanity. Sometimes it’s better than others, but this year it has been a disaster. This semester is a perfect storm of crazy for me. For posterity, here is what cooperated to make me a puddle this year:

  1. I was off my medication in the beginning to protect Beastly from extra deformities
  2. My insurance is difficult to navigate, resulting in no psychiatric help until Christmas Eve.
  3. My previous insurance was cancelled by my job in June because I was unable to pay their high premiums. This was because I was fighting to get paid since they were trying to deny my long term disability. This resulted in no medication help all summer.
  4. I’m not at all comfortable in my home life. I still don’t know how to behave, or when I need to participate and when I should stay away.
  5. I moved to an entirely new location where I still feel like I know nothing around me, including where it’s safe to go when I really need an escape route.
  6. I am navigating a whole new school, complete with new disability services.
  7. New teachers, new friends, new everything.
  8. I’ve had my first experience with failure where I felt I was capable of doing better.

Honestly, this whole experience feels like it’s left me scarred. I know deep down that that’s not entirely true. I’m at the end of my rope, terrified of failure, and cleaning like a crazy person. Someone told me the other day that I was entering the “nesting” phase of Beastly’s arrival. I laughed because that’s not true. I clean when I’m neurotic. I clean when I’m stressed. I clean when I feel like I have too much on my plate. Why? Because I have complete control over the cleaning even when I don’t have control over anything else, including my brain. It’s the same reason I used to give myself for cutting. The thing about it is I don’t really have control. Not over the cleaning, and I didn’t have control over the cutting either. My brain makes me do it. It’s like a nervous tick. Today I am actually going to go to school to study so I stop cleaning so damn much.

Over break will be different. I’ll be nesting then, by choice not by neurosis. Mostly because I know next semester will be almost as bad as this one, and I want to not worry about Beastly’s arrival in the middle of it. As a result, the room and hallway will be clean, organization will be figured out, and when it gets messy I don’t have to think about it and Terry can put things back where they need to go.

I can’t wait for finals to be over.

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