Reflection of a 31-year-old student #4

Reflection of a 31-year-old student #4

(686 words) 10 Feb 2018

By S.R.A. Markin

I went to counseling today, and I was told that I could breach the confidentiality and post it online. The counselor also said that she wouldn’t say hi to me when we pass in the hallways unless I say it first. So I guess she won’t be saying hi.
I was asked what brings me in. I said that I am sad. I almost laughed afterward because it sounds pathetic, but I didn’t want to say that I am depressed. If I were depressed (which is a serious mental issue) I wouldn’t even seek help no matter how much I needed it (I stayed indoors for almost three years – my dad says longer).
Whenever I played with my ring or bracelet, she would tentatively watch, so I picked the appropriate times to fidget, wondering if she would comment. And she did. Apparently talking about relationships make me anxious. Who knew?
I assume counselors want something to work with, you know, damaged goods. She asked me if I have witnessed anything traumatic in my life. I said I picked my mom up twice after her ODs, and I have witnessed my mom’s epileptic seizure as a young boy (while alone with her. I had no idea what was happening and yet I removed all harmful objects and put her on her side to seize). Also, my dad knocked himself out cracking his head on Christmas Eve. while skating (again, I was the first to attend – I thought he was playing a game because he was snoring – I was young), so maybe? When I told her that I have been in three car accidents, she seemed more fascinated in that I refuse to drive (like I am terrified to drive and I wasn’t driving in any of them) than me saving my mother’s life. I also told her I was bulimic in my teenage years because I was obese and bullied daily, among other things that I do not need to post (suicidal thoughts?). I sat calmly nonchalantly spewing to some hippy looking lady (with glasses I couldn’t stop judging) shit about myself. (Her glasses looked like cardboard was cut out and spray painted teal.) She didn’t seem too fond that I have overcome most of my adversities. She wanted to know what is wrong with me. I don’t drink, and I don’t do drugs, I eat well, I sleep well, I exercise regularly, I am polite, I am an honors student, blah blah. But, I did need someone whom I have no attachment towards to sit there while I talk. I needed to talk.
And I do have to say this, I am proud of myself. Years ago, I walked out on a counselor after she asked me why I am like my father. I told her to go fuck herself, which I know isn’t responsible, and I love my dad, but I was in an unhealthy place in life. And just like the one before, I didn’t get much from this counselor either. She told me to stop talking to my best friend because we broke up and can’t be friends (which seems judgmental in less than an hour session). And I tried it, but then I called Erin later that night to see how she is. (She hurts too, and I am entitled to being a friend.)
The meeting did give me some good things: directing me towards meditation downloads on a website, and school peer workshops, such as Mindfulness, Happiness and Resilience, Managing Anxiety and Worry (which my brother said he needs) and something about Sleep (we all need!). I will be attending some workshops. I owe this to myself (and I would love to be able to help someone else – even if it were by just listening to them). I am scared shitless to talk to people, but talking makes a difference. Talking has saved my life.
Even if you are sad, tell someone you are sad. It is a start to something that can go a long way. And if someone tells you they are sad, listen.

 

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Reflections of a 31-year-old student. #3

Reflections of a 31-year-old student. #3

(438 words) 13 Jan. 2018

By S.R.A. Markin

I have had some trouble thinking about what to write for this blog series. This week was the first week of my 8th semester in university, and I have been finding it very difficult. Although I have attended all my classes so far, and I have listened and taken notes (I often don’t make many notes), I have had this intense feeling of not fitting in with my peers, and not wanting to be in school. I have sat in the back, or off to the side in the classrooms, and hidden away on the third floor on campus whenever possible.
As for the school books, I have found these difficult to purchase because I am unsure how much longer I would like to continue this endeavor (and yes, I am close to finishing my degree and minor).
I have had plenty of time to hang out with my girlfriend because our schedules allow for us to work out and eat lunch together. Unfortunately, I have been unkind to her, and we have been fighting and trying to figure things out. (I am thankful for you.)
This week has been rough because of me. My perception has changed. Maybe all the stress has caught up with me, and I have not responded well.
The satisfaction of being a student has been predominant for me over the last 7-or-so-years. I am a high school drop-out, and there is no post-secondary schooling at the university level on my mother’s side (although my sister has a diploma!). I went back to college (in 2011), starting from grade 10 material, making the honor’s role throughout all of the terms and completing diplomas in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and English while working. I received three awards during my time there. I then worked for almost two years as a manager before being accepted into university. Here, I have been on the honor’s role (Dean’s List) throughout each term, and I have won one award. I have done pretty well for someone who has had a teacher write in his Jr. High yearbook that “Steven sleeps in class, and thankfully he doesn’t snore.” Too bad I threw out my yearbooks.
The point is, I need to care again. This outlook is unfair to me, and especially to my loving girlfriend who has had to deal with me. She tells me to enjoy life, to enjoy school, the gym, writing, and everything else (thank you, love). And you are right. I do need to enjoy life again because giving up is something I have done before. I don’t mind failing, but fuck giving up.
Thank you for reading.

 

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Reflections of a 31-year-old Student: #2

Reflections of a 31-year-old Student: #2

(305 words) 4 Jan. 2018

By S.R.A. Markin

Maybe caffeine and school isn’t always a working combination? But having someone who loves you while in school is.

I would like to be able to relax and not stress out. I am not like that. I sit at an empty staircase away from the busy hallways. My back hurts from slouching and sitting on the hard ground. My face feels greasy and my ears are warm. People walk past and they distract me. I am waiting for my girlfriend whom I just walked to class. We have a class together right after this one. I wish I could say that I am pleased to take the class with her, but I am anxious.

When I started university, I had no friends. I knew no one. My peers in high school either attended much earlier in their lives or not at all. I would find quiet places to sit and read or look at my phone. I would often go for walks outside to cool down, no matter how cold it was outside. In my second year, I would skip the first days to hopefully avoid icebreakers.

Now, I have someone who I am waiting for. She is waiting for me as well. This is our second class taking together, the first was a science fiction class, now we are taking a physical literacy class. I know one day I will look back and be appreciative of having her attend a class with me. I did this with our science fiction class. Why can’t I just learn to enjoy the now?

I will go wash my face, drink some cold water, and try to slow down my breathing. I can deal with the icebreakers. I can’t deal with hurting her feelings and ruining what time I have with her.

I will show up for her.

 

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Reflections of a 31-year-old student.

Reflections of a 31-year-old student.

(155 words) 3 Jan. 2018

By S.R.A. Markin

Classes start tomorrow. I am anxious. This is my eighth term in university. Even the gym is starting to get busy. It doesn’t help that it is the beginning of the new year. New year resolutionist. So many will quit, and it will be back to the regulars, and some new ones. Good for the new ones.

We try to train and groups of new student orientation walk and clutter the track. Are these kids not aware of their surroundings? Of course not. Most of them have little to nothing to be afraid of. They walk spread out and in the way just like they will when they take up space in the hallways, and in the classrooms. So many of them will not give a shit because that is cool. Some will, and they will move on. Maybe even to do more great things. 

I will be here. 

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