Wednesday, August 28, 2013

To New Beginnings and Regrets

I was diagnosed bipolar when I was 25.  My mum always thought something was wrong with me.  I had seen shrinks from the time I was 5 until I stopped going at 15.  I had been medicated, hospitalized, therapized, and re-medicated.  Yet I wasn't properly diagnosed until a decade later.  I later found out, that while I was in the hospital, they bandied about the "BIPOLAR" diagnosis, but for some reason it didn't stick.
   I'm hurt by that.  I have a terribly spotty job history, 125+ earned credit hours from 3 colleges but no useful degree.  I have very few long-term relationships.  I would sabotage everything.  I failed out of aforementioned colleges because I would stay awake 3 days in a row, then crash for 18 hours.  Or just skip class for weeks because I could barely get out of bed.  I would stop showing up at work because I wanted to watch movies, or something equally stupid.  I ticked people off and kicked them out of my life on a whim.  10 years of chaos and disorder that I can't ever get back.  10 years of disastrous, volatile living that I can't forget.  I feel sometimes like I got cheated.  What could I have become?  Who would I have ended up as?
   I don't know why the system failed me.  I don't know why my parents failed me.  But here I am, at 27, trying to start over.  I've been thinking for the past year about going back to school. I'm finally on good meds and have been stable for over a year.  But for the last few weeks, I've been dreaming about college.  And yesterday, I decided on a program I want to pursue at the local community college.  Today I applied for admission to the Spring '14 semester.
   And I'm scared.  I'm scared they will look at my transcripts and say "What the hell?"  I have classes ranging from Theatre II to Calculus 3 and Organic Chemistry.  I have always been so all over the map, and I'm afraid that that will count against me now.  But I really want this.  I want to do something with my life.  I'm tired of sitting around the house hoping that soon we'll get foster kids, yet feeling like I'm just so damn smart and I'm wasting my life.
   I'm terrified that even if, by some miracle, I'm allowed to take classes, that I will stop going midway through the semester.  Like I have for 80% of my college history.  I'm petrified that this endeavour will be nothing more than another crazy scheme that doesn't work out.  I don't want to disappoint my husband, or waste money.
    I can tell myself that this time will be different, and I'll actually do my homework and show up.  But the truth of it is, I just don't know.  And not knowing is what freaks me out most.

8 comments:

  1. Congratulations on over a year of stability; that takes work and support. Also, HOORAY for going back to school!!! A community college should be a great choice because they should be able to work with you and help clean up some of that disjointed transcript. Make sure you get in to talk to financial aid people and also see if the college has resources for mental health.
    Have you talked to your husband about being afraid of disappointing him? I don't think you could.
    Telling yourself this time will be different is important but perhaps you could take some time to sit down and brainstorm what can be done to make it different. I've always found that planning for the worst case makes me more confident that everything will be fine until it isn't but I can take care of 'not fine' when/if it happens.

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    1. My husband was the one who kind of reminded me of my previous attempts at college. So we talked it over, and we're just going to see how things go. Kind of a no expectations thing.

      But thanks. :)

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  2. Good for you! Piggybacking on Kat, community colleges are used to people who have disrupted college transcripts. It's really the norm for them. I doubt anyone will bat an eye. In fact, you have previously completed classes so you're not as much as a risk as someone who has never completed a college class.

    The same work, support and meds that have helped you enjoy your year of stability will help you be more successful at college. I know from personal experience: I was diagnosed with major depression and generalized anxiety my freshman year of college after suffering from depression for about 5 years and anxiety since I was a kid. You've gotten a fresh start thanks to your work and focus. Enjoy the new start!

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    1. Thanks! It's nice to hear CCs are used to crazy transcripts!
      I hope things are better in your head than they were. :)

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  3. It sounds like you've really come a long way in the past couple years. I hope you're duly proud of yourself. As other people have mentioned community colleges are generally pretty forgiving of one's past. Around here they admit absolutely anyone who applies although sometimes they may require a probationary period until you've proved you're serious. If you're worried though I'd suggest contacting and admissions advisor to explain your situation. At the very least they could tell you how open their requirements are. Congratulations and good luck!

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    1. Thanks! I set up an appointment with an adviser today.

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  4. Insane they never diagnosed you properly. You don't have to transfer your transcript. You could just start over. With the medication, you will do much better this time.

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