‘Yes, it WAS worth it’

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Back around the New Year, Enise (uni MH advisor), asked me: ” I wonder, when you look back now, if you think it was worth all the stress and effort?!!”.

I finally had the confidence today to write as a reply: “It’s taken me a while to decide, but I think that it was worth the effort, if not the stress, last year! (sometimes even find myself missing university and the strange landscape architecture studio life!) Thanks again.”

It feels good: It took six months from my last appointment with her, last June, to feel I could reliably thank her for helping me feel more positive and sorted. It’s me taken a further six months to decide that yes, persevering with uni and staying where I was living was all worth it. It may have been a flipping long ‘blip’ (as my friend tried to reassure me it was), but it feels good to look back at the good memories of the last few years and enjoy them, and also know I’ve learnt a lot about what I can do for myself in the future!

When I read Celine’s CBT competion letter to me, I was at first a bit miffed that, despite feeling she got to know me quite well, she’d just sent me a bog standard letter: “continue to work on your new rules for living – getting better balance in your life with work and play, sleeping well and having fun”. Then I re-read it and realised quite simply she was speaking directly to me, referring to my own silly little saying she helped me make:  “Don’t lose heart, Don’t lose sleep, Put fun in wherever I can”. I’m grateful to have discovered that three such simple things (in idea at least) can have such a powerful effect. I haven’t perfected the art of it yet, but seeing how quickly I can slip when I stray from those three things is enough incentive to make a conscious decision to keep trying everyday.

With that, good night x

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Putting things in perspective – a year ago

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As I sit at my work desk copying up my timesheet for last month, I’m quietly frustrated (a la silent tears and digging fingernails into face) by my obscene slowness. (A task for how to hide away the 9 or 9 ½ hours I can regularly spend each day being so slow when the client will only be billed for 3 or 4 hours max?). However, as much as I hate filling my timesheets at work now, I came across my old time sheet diary things I filled in when I saw Celine last year, and am refreshed and reassured to see the clear change in tone between then and now, and it helps put things in perspective a bit:

This time last year

Still messy but ticks at least give illusion of positivity

Last week.

 

I’m a graduate!

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Graduation. PGDip (Dist), Landscape Architecture. All good though I wish I'd brushed my hair!

My other major exciting thing recently (now already over a week ago), was my graduation ceremony last Tuesday!

It was fun seeing friends again, and I was really happy my mother flew over to England for the ceremony, so she could meet them, and my lecturers/tutors from the past two years. She’s heard all about them, and I suppose it’s better late than never to meet them in real life. She was pleased to thank them for all their looking after me too.

There were times this year when I couldn’t imagine actually getting there in the end. Though I’m embarrassed by the total drivel I found to worry about. But somehow, with lots of support, I (I should say ‘we’) managed it. And with a usefully selective memory, which I noticed before when I re-visited my uni last time, I even have fond memories to boot!

Mostly Picture-less weeks

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It’s been a strange couple of weeks, since I’ve done a ‘Week in Pictures’ post, or even since my last entry – a mix of day-to-day normalness (really a giant win in the grand scheme of things for me !) that was not particularly photogenic, and some really exciting things that could not be condensed to a single picture!

As I still haven’t got my head round the big things – uni graduation ceremony shizz, finding out I somehow managed to pull of a distinction in my PGdiploma, and being offered and accepting a permanent job that will entail me becoming a country bumpkin – here is picture summary of my day-to-day stuff:

Flip flops on the Weekends

Flip Flops in Autumn (same flip flops, same jeans, slightly more chipped nail polish the next day)

Commuting on the Weekdays

Commuting

Faffing with hair most days

Camera-mirror

 

Happy Uni Times

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For the first time since handing in my final piece of work, I re-visited my old uni yesterday. It was brilliant catching up with friends still there, and seeing the tutors and lecturers again, all without the stresses of deadlines and panics of having no idea what I was meant to be doing (or so I told myself at the time). With my brain pleasantly clear of those and other stresses, I was able to do so much:

  • Having already received my grades online, I was able to go to the assignment room without the normal feelings of fear and trepidation
  • Able to have a jolly conversation with tutors without tears
  • Able to go to the loo, like a normal person, without dashing in because of streaming tears or scratched blood
  • Able to enjoy going to the Student Union, like a normal person, without guilt or forcing myself to work til wee hours to make up for a pint
  • Able to pass the Help Zone without stopping in for help
  • Able to float along the corridors without feeling weighted down
  • Able to look across the studio with fond feelings, not full of fear, anxiety or through tears

A Week of Freedom

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It’s now been exactly one week since I officially finished my postgrad university course (after several extensions and having dropped the MA dissertation component) <– struck through as I’m really trying to be a bit less pessimistic – no ‘excepts’/’yets’/’buts’, I Am A Post Graduate!

My aunt picked me up from my university town last week, and we managed to get all my stuff into her car in 3D jigsaw/Rubiks cube fashion.

I’m off sailing aboard tall ships this coming week. I have my fingers crossed that the last year/two years have just been a blip…a long blip…and hopefully a summer of doing completely other things will allow me to come back in the autumn raring to go and able to apply for jobs with confidence. Fingers crossed at least.

Where has this week gone?

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Not sure really what has happened since last week. I’ve been feeling a bit all over the place and not getting anywhere with anything.

After last week’s day of self-sabotage, I saw Enise. I’d had been stuck the previous week and had emailed her, but she only phone me back last week. By then I had had the second slip, so she said I could go over and see her. In fact as my tutors were the ones to tell me I needed to let up on myself and take an extension, I didn’t need a medical note again. But Enise was useful for generally letting me know my various options for support over the summer when I will be away from uni and this town, and what to do about signing on to another GP practice, or rejoining my existing one as a normal person (students are another species or in a parallel universe it seems). I guess that puts my mind a bit at ease, though that has never been one of my worries (thankfully), I just figured things woud sort themselves out over the next few months.

Basically support options over the next few months boils down to a cCBT course (called livinglifetothefull.com I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet. Not really convinced by it. It all seems like too much ‘all good in theory, but in reality…’, which was how I found the guided self help I was initially offered by the IAPT service), and some more Books on Prescription. I pointed out that I’d looked at quite a few and hadn’t really ever identified with the case studies, so hadn’t found them very useful. She told me about a series called ‘Introducing…’ which as more like workbooks that just stories,  so  I would make them my own, rather than reading about other people (I sound so selfish…), but then that comes back to the same ‘all good in theory…’ again (I must be sounding so dismal). I might give them a try, and they’re not very expensive (£2.65, free shipping) though I can think of a lot of other things I’d rather spend my pennies on!

Enise did say she’d push to make sure I got as many more sessions as I could with Celine while I’m still in the university town. I’m happy for that as that is the one thing I have found useful, except that most of the sessions have been either just focusing on the deadlines I was pressed up against, or just skimming the surface of  deeper issues and helping ‘solve’ them on a theoretical level. The things I’ve come up with so far (such as the previous worksheets I’ve mentioned) have all been good and hunky dory, but have not really helped (at all) on my day to day moods, deadlines and slumps I keep having.

I saw Celine again last Thursday, session 8 by now. She was pleased with the stuff I’d come up on with on my last worksheet, of identifying the goods and bads of my ‘rule’ and how I could change it so it would be useful to me. The result of the session was a reworked ‘rule’, and homework to come up with a six month plan and a year’s plan and goals. On the one hand I know that as these sessions have to come to an end, more because of me moving away than having used up an ‘alloted’ amount of time, so it is good we’re looking twoars the future, I’m also scared that with still having so many little difficulties every day, that I’m running before I’m crawling by just focussing on the big stuff. I’m reminded of the saying, ‘look after your pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves’. If I could manage all the little things better, and not keep tripping up on them, then maybe everything would work out ok anyway. There is the danger there (which Celine has also said), that it will just keep going as I am like that, and always be about to trip, or spend my time avoiding trip ups, whereas really I need move on to a whole different plane to avoid those trip-ups altogether. But at the same time keeping on tripping up while just thinking loftily about bigger stuff isn’t helping me on a day to day level. I think I’ve just said the same thing about five different times. That’s how I feel about everything. Just the same things going round and round all the time. Saying things in different ways but nothing ever developing or changing.

I think I did start out with a point of this blog post in mind, but I can’t remember it anymore. I’ll think of it again. Anyway I guess this is just a summary of who I’ve seen, what they’ve recommended, and me just going round and round in circles with the same boring thoughts.

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