Saturday, December 11, 2010

The One Where my Brain Betrays Me... Again

This is one of many reasons why giraffes ROCK.
I'm procrastinating right now.  You see, I have some very important papers to write.  The final two papers of my college career, in fact.  And even though I was burnt out on English literature before this semester even started, I have to get through these two last papers.  And then two last exams.  And then I bother both colleges' registrar offices one last time to transfer my grades and BOOM.  Diploma.  Natch.

But I just can't make it happen.  I keep staring at the page, hoping that something will come to me, and nothing does.  Or, something does, but halfway through my thought I start to lose it again...

It doesn't help that stress makes my Lyme flare up, so I've been feeling like crap for the last two weeks.  Which has made me miss work and fall behind in schoolwork.  Which makes me more stressed.  You see what I'm getting at here.

It also doesn't help that when my Lyme flares, mental symptoms like brain fog and forgetting words kick in.  So I'm so close to an idea or a thesis statement but I Just. Can't. Get. The. Words. Out.

But it's more than that, really.  That's a huge part of the puzzle, and it's not making things any easier, but a lot of this is psychological.  You see, I failed not one, but two semesters in a row in 2008.  And that's after leaving early in the Fall of 2007 and not finishing my coursework til March.  So the end of the semester is a particularly stressful time for me, in large part because all of the signals tell my brain we're about to hear terrible news and disappoint our family and ourself and have to go live at home and be depressed and no one will love us because we can't succeed and that's unacceptable.  The pathways of stress for this time of year are so well-carved in my brain that it takes most of the willpower I have (and it's not as much as I wish it were) just to keep from curling into a little ball and sleeping until January.  A January in which I would have no diploma and be in debt, but would have been able to avoid the stress that my brain thinks will absolutely destroy me if I continue feeling it.
Cool stripe tights.  Imma google them.
...Then I'll TOTALLY get shit done.  Swearsies.

It's illogical, of course, but I'm really not sure why I keep getting mad at myself for that.  People are illogical.  And it's not always bad.  Pure logic can have devastating consequences, and there are things that, if they could be explained better, might not be as magical or thrilling... Like love.  Or the universe.  Or God.  Or beauty.  But I do get bad when I'm illogical, because I know I can't trust my emotions all the time, and I want to be able to trust some line of reasoning all the time.  I want an overarching law, something to hold everything else against in order to judge its verity or value.  I want a constant.  More on that later though.  Not this post.

Anyway, these damaged neural pathways are making me do all kinds of crazy things.  For instance, on Wednesday I had my last classes.  At the very end of the last one, this happened:

Professor: ...and that about wraps it up.  Hope you guys have had a good semester!  See you at the final!  Oh, and Robyn, would you stay after please?

Me [outwardly nodding]: Oh dear sweet baby Jesus I won't survive this day.

People begin to shuffle past me, getting in line to talk to the professor about the final.  I do not get in line in case it's bad; if I'm failing, I certainly don't want these nincompoops to know about it.  I wait for what couldn't have been more than ten minutes, but FEELS like an entire class period.  I am in limbo, and there is no time.

Me [thinking]: Okay, you can't be failing.  Most of the grades are the paper and the final.  You've done well on the brief essays.  You've attended most classes.  Ohmigosh.  MOST. What if she has a super secret attendance policy?? What if it's like, you miss 4 classes, you pass, you miss five, YA FIRED.  Oh my gosh what if she chastises me.  What if she tells me I'm not fit to be in school.  "School is for sick people."  Maybe that other professor bitch was right.  Oh dear goodness gracious it is medically impossible that I will survive the next five minutes.  Also?  That could totally be my way out.  Can't fail dead people, bitch.  Owned.

Professor: Oh, right, Robyn!  So we decided you would attend the final an hour late, right?  Since you have another one that morning?

Me [dazed by the rapidness of the clouds lifting and blinded by the sunlight now pouring into my life]: Ye-YES.  YES WE MOST CERTAINLY DID. GOOD DAY MA'AM.  HAVE A LOVELY HOLIDAY!

Believe it or not, it actually felt much more dramatic than that at the time.  Swear to whatever will convince you I'm not joshin' you.

And now I'm going to end with a cartoon from Hyperbole and a Half because she has perfectly illustrated my paranoia.  The rest of the post is awesome too and I highly recommend it.  I have a creepy and unhealthy love for this woman I've never met.  I'd like to say that's unusual for me.  I'd really like to say that.
Link to post-
Oh, also?  Come back later when I reveal the sorts of craziness I've been wreaking on my relationships.  Because obviously it's better to destroy EVERYTHING and at least be thorough.  Right?  ...right?

First two images from Last image from


  1. Your post reminds me EXACTLY of how I felt and thought at the end of semesters... It's amazing how tied together stress & flares are. It never fails that I get flares right as I really need my body and brain to cooperate so that I can get my million and a half things done!

    Good luck! Panic is overrated and unnecessary. You CAN do this!

    Always, Allison, aka (self-proclaimed) "Cripple Extraordinaire"

  2. Paper and finals. Oh my gosh do I remember those days. I always found when I got to I can't do anymore, that I would just put it down and go do something else for awhile or sleep. Then come back to it.

    I will be praying for a miracle, girl! Hang in there! You are almost DONE!

  3. haha great post! best of luck :)

  4. I'm there as well. Except for the doing 85% of the stuff. I do one thing, and that's good enough, until the next day...



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