07 6 / 2013
31 5 / 2013
Hi there, you’re great, I mean.. the concept of you is great. Having professionals to guide us in our learning journey, plus the books and all that stuff, I love it! I’ve always loved the smell of school supplies, fresh books, the crinkly paper after soaking it in inky words. I love reading course listings and having big dreams of all the topics I could learn about. All the possibilities excite me, but they also paralyze me with fear.
Educational system? Hey. You weren’t set up for people like me. The system does a disservice to those of us who have mental disorders/illness, depression, anxiety, learning difficulties and disabilities. I can only speak on the conditions I have, I hope you’ll hear me out. Maybe this post can spark a conversation, maybe there’s a big one going on already that I haven’t found yet. Hear me out? Please?
This is my third attempt at post-secondary education. I got through high school just fine, hell, I was valedictorian (based on my speech, not my grades.) But, I pulled through with decent grades despite the beginnings of my struggle with mental illness. I took 3 courses my first year of university, and within 2 months of attending I had my first major depressive episode. I was 18 and I couldn’t leave my bed. I was ashamed and confused about this, I hid it from my parents the best that I could. When I did make it to class it actually felt like people’s lips were moving with no sound, everything was in slow motion. I felt alienated by my classmates, and I wasn’t even a blip on the radar in the eyes of the Professors.
So why bother?
There was no motivation to get out of bed anymore. I was already being called lazy by my closest friends and family. Irresponsible. Nobody took a moment to ask me if I was okay. I never saw any information at the school about depression or anxiety, although to be fair at this point I did not know what was happening to me. The only time I felt the University at all acknowledged such things was when I heard from several sources that Reading Week was being held in February because “it’s the month with the highest rate of suicide.”
Is that really how we address things like this?
I eventually missed so many classes that I all together stopped attending. I received an academic probation and never walked through those doors again.
The next few years I went through my personal battles, finally found some information on the things I was feeling, but in truth it didn’t make it easier for me.
I decided to attending night classes at the local college a few years after my first attempt at school. I was passionate about helping others going through problems so I began the Applied Counselling program 2-3 nights a week. This became an incredibly difficult process as the course requires you to delve deeply into your own personal problems in order to help address others. This became problematic for me because I felt like having to discuss my depression and anxieties was required for the course, and being put on the spot for things created an unsafe environment for me. My teacher put on the movie Wristcutters: A Love Story without any sort of trigger warning or preface that this deals with suicide and self harm. One of the first scenes involve self-harm and for the next two hours I had to fight off a panic attack. I felt absolutely sick. Not to mention that when we had a group discussion about self-harm the teacher asked why we thought people did it and the man behind me chirped up For the attention! I eventually left the program for a number of reasons (one of them being the aforementioned point) along with issues with the college itself.
Now I am attending an online university. I had hoped against hope that not having to physical go to class would eliminate at least one obstacle keeping me from my education. It’s true that it did, but the truth is, depression and anxiety do not just exist outside of my house. When I have a depressive episode or panic attack, nothing is going to get done. All I can do is grip the seat and try to make it through moment to moment, day to day. I’m sorry but how the fuck am I going to write an essay using correct sources, how am I going to take the time to carefully read pages and pages of complicated notes, have the cognitive ability to interpret them and then explain it in my own words? How? I am trying to fucking survive here. The school assigns tutors for each course you take, they essentially are the ones marking your papers and giving feedback. Nobody ever checks up on students. I’d be shocked to hear of any post-secondary educational facility that helped their students mentally and offered support besides grading papers.
I don’t know what to do at this point, I managed to complete one of four of my classes, and it took everything out of me to push through it. Now I’m looking at looming deadlines that I keep paying out the ass to extend, I haven’t finished an assignment in almost 2 months. I am dealing with layer upon layer of guilt, self-worth issues and anxiety.
The world has always told me that without education you are nothing, you are doomed to an unfulfilled life where money will always be a struggle. If I fail again I will meet the disappointment of all those around me and then what?
I know my suggestions sound idealistic but… whatever
- Stop massive student debt. You tell kids that the only way up is through higher learning and then you make sure they have tens of thousands that they need to pay back. The thought of this stops in me in tracks and makes me wonder if it’s something I can live with. I want to learn, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life paying for it.
- I want every single educational facility to have a support system for students. Counselling, treatment information, info on mental issues in general, a safe place for people to come and talk about their issues. I want this to be readily available, and I want it advertised so that every student is aware of its existence.
- I want to stop the pressure of deadlines. This isn’t about laziness and I can already hear the protests of “special treatment” being shouted at me. Explain to me why things need to be done in a certain amount of time for those who lose huge chunks of time to their mental illness. Does it fucking harm you as a person who has the ability to go out and do things without crippling depression and anxiety, for other people to hand in their stuff whenever the hell they finish them?
- We put everyone on the same track and assume we all run the race the same way. When we acknowledge that this simply isn’t true, we can build an educational system that can serve it’s people, not take from them, and in return, the beneficiaries of this system will give back to society. That’s what I want. I’m not putting limitations on myself, I’m doing this the best way I can. You’re limiting me. When the course contract date comes nearer and you tell me “if it’s not done by this time, you’ve failed” You are trying to stop me from giving something back to this universe
- I know maybe this whole thing sounds very group-hug like. If that’s what you’re thinking I guess I would challenge you to just try to be empathetic. If you got through the educational system just fine and you feel like you’ve got a good job or you feel like you EARNED it and other people who are struggling aren’t EARNING it like you did…. Can you maybe just try some empathy? Ever failed something in your life? That hurts right? Okay now imagine you’re trying to study for this test and the words aren’t in a language you recognized and everyone is looking at you telling you:”They are clearly in your language. Can’t you see it? Look, we can read it just fine. You’re just being lazy, work hard enough and you’ll see that it’s in this language that you know. If you don’t get your act together and realize that you know exactly what this says then you’ll never get where you want to go in life.” Does that make sense?
- This isn’t about people just trying harder, getting their shit together, developing better habits, getting more exercise, eating healthier, turning off the tv, no Please. Listen. This is about mental illness. This is about a struggle that you do not have. I cannot think like you think no matter how hard I try. I’m just trying to find my passions in life, I’m trying to have a life that I deem worthy of living. I’m trying but it’s not set up for a mind like mine.
29 5 / 2013
Person: Hey Jessica I know a guy you would really like. I showed me a picture of your tattoo and he wants to talk to you. Here’s his number
Me: Oh hey what’s up dude?
Guy: Not much, just buying some camo shorts. I love Camo shorts.
29 5 / 2013
IF I EVER MISGENDER YOU FEEL FREE TO CORRECT ME!!! YOUR GENDER IDENTITY IS NOT SOMETHING THAT YOU SHOULD REMAIN QUIET ABOUT AND I APOLOGIZE FOR ANY SCREW UPS I MAY HAVE DONE/MAY DO IN THE FUTURE
I WANT YOU TO BE COMFORTABLE TALKING TO ME
21 5 / 2013
Is it okay if I fall asleep:
Are kisses allowed:
Are pants required:
When are you available for cuddles:
My place or yours:
Will you play with my hair:
pls fill this out and leave in inbox preferably if you can deliver thx
now accepting all applications
08 5 / 2013
When my depression stops me from doing something I had planned to do:
What I think will happen: Oh my god I am a fucking failure, I need to go over every mistake I’ve made and re-punish myself for them. I may as well just lay here and cry because that’s all I’m good for. Why bother trying?Why bother living anymore? Quit school, quit relationships, die unhappy and unfulfilled.
What usually ends up happening: Just fucking try again tomorrow.