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22 May 2011 @ 10:28 pm
Skimming o'er the surface  
I've tried to write this blog for the last few nights, but as usual, it has proven difficult to put down the words.

I've found it difficult to focus on anything of late - my revision has been ok, but not brilliant, I'd say. My understanding of Ancient and Roman Epic is pretty solid - I should be able to answer the exam questions just fine. Whether I have enough secondary to hand is another matter, but I have a few more days to cram that, which is the plan. Roman Love Poetry has been rather more tricky - all the poems have been read, many connections and themes noted, but no secondary has yet been processed.

I've had the time, and there has been no day when I've been inactive, but I've just felt drained, lethargic - slogging through academia hasn't had a great deal of appeal over the last few weeks, you know? In truth, I think I'm slipping back a little into the depression - not massively so, but given the situation I find myself in:

1-Stress over exams, coupled with stress from a parent whose efforts, while laudable, just compound my own problems. I know I'm struggling - I do not need to be told so, and I especially do not need to be told that I'm 'repeating what I was doing in the term'. yes, thanks, that's useful - I am aware of that, PAINFULLY aware. Cheers.
2-I can't exercise - well, I can walk, but limited. The knee is improving, the arm also, but it will be some weeks yet before I can cycle. I can't tell you how irksome this is - I have got such cabin fever, and I just want to escape, yet I can't as the work must be done
3-I feel...lost, again. Geographically lost. I've got a few more weeks in Reading, then the Summer. Work isn't likely to be forthcoming - to be honest I've pushed that way to the back of my mental platter so that I might cope with more pressing tasks. I don't like the idea of going home, as that has attendant stresses.
4-I am worried that I am going to fuck these exams up. But if I worry, that means I work less. It cycles, it spins, and I wind up tripping myself up and over. There's been fleeting moments where the old doubts of whether this is worthwhile have crept back, whether I should be doing this.

Also, I haven't read my reading books in ages - I've got two that have gone stale now. To theorise briefly, perhaps my mindclock, my 'life' hasn't reset after the chaotic rush of the essays followed by the examination period - there has been no time to sit back, assess, regroup. I've just had to barrel on forward. I could have bailed - I'm glad I didn't, as while these exams are going to be difficult, they are far from hopeless. Ancient should be OK, as will RE. Roman LP was always going to be tricky, but I have Catullus on my side there.

I'm not doing great, basically. And most of the above is tried and trusted psychological self-torture on my part, which makes it all the worse. I am very much in Groundhog territory - every day I plan to do X, Y, and Z, but X gets covered only, if I'm lucky. I've always proven too optimistic in my scheduling - something I really should learn to adjust to meet reality.

I just want the entire situation to go away, for me to have CALMNESS about me, to not have a frazzled mind, to not have myself thinking 'hmm, if I pull an all-nighter here...' and whatever. Do I feel that I have let myself down? In a certain sense, yes, but it isn't as if I haven't been trying - I have done a decent amount of work for these exams, and will do so in the days leading up to them. Sure, I haven't stuck quite to the schedule planned, but perhaps that was never to be. In any case, it is too late now.

I would say I feel stupid for letting this wobble take hold of me, but, truth be told, I don't. I am far from happy with myself, but it has happened, end of.


Having vented, I am not going to let this little funk develop into something more destructive. I have two days until the exams, and I am determined to make the most of them. Cake will be involved. I have my schedule mapped out, to tackle the weakness in RLP and secondary overall. It will be tight, the days will be long, but so long as I sleep and eat, I should be OK. After that, RE follows on quite swiftly, so Thursday is epic-epic day.

To turn to the post title- that is how I feel I have been of late - just skipping in and out of focus, into academic mode, and out. I've just found myself led astray, my mind wandering, far too often. At times I wonder whether I can police myself better, be a better disciplinarian - no doubt I can, but I must err away from chastising myself endlessly, as that will get nowhere.

So, despite the hiccups, despite the current problems, I must nonetheless continue. Every day engaged, every task completed is another step forward, another step toward healing. What I want is my life back, on my own terms, free from the current level of scrutiny and personal self-analysis. I want to be reading again, to be writing more, to be taking up the reins that I threw down months, if not years ago.

First things first though - exams
judith_way1960 on May 22nd, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
Right....good talking to coming up!
Stop beating yourself up about everything.Think how WELL you've done considering the circumstances. DO NOT worry about coming home.You can stay here with me,as long as you want or need to, you know that.
Use the next couple of days in the best way you can revision-wise and eat as much cake as you want...we can sort out the weight later if you want to.
Try not to worry too much about loss of concentration it'll only make it worse, just go with the flow of as much as you feel able to do. It'll come back when you're feeling better and under less pressure. I know this from personal experience!
Of course you're doing the right thing and you're in the right place. You are an excellent student and scholar and don't you forget it!!
Go and see the staff at uni and I'm sure they'll be able to help. Also the GP re the arm etc.
Lots of love as always, Mummy (and Bella.)xxxx