Easter! Two thousand and fifteen. That makes it twelve years since the Easter when mid-semester study break began, and the world dissolved. How time flies!
Twelve years ago, I was at university in Melbourne, and doing well, when I started suffering from irrational fears that I was going to fail my course. I knew they were irrational – logically, there was no good reason for them. I was getting near-perfect grades, I had always done well in my studies before, my health was good, I had good friends and an active social life. I knew, rationally, that the work was all well within my capabilities.
But I also knew that sometimes I was prone to over-stressing, and I assumed that these odd fears were a symptom of that. And I knew that exercise, a healthy diet, and a good balance of study and leisure – the usual list of things doctors and psychologists and school counsellors recommend – were good for stress. I was already eating perfectly healthily, and I thought I had a pretty reasonable study/leisure balance, so I made sure to get more exercise. Running, in my case.
I got up early and ran in the mornings before breakfast, but still the odd, irrational fears persisted.
As always, Drama Llama has an insightful take on Elizabeth Day’s article on mental health stigma (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/24/robin-williams-stigma-mental-illness), which antagonized a lot of people. Since at the moment, I have no time to scratch myself, let alone write blog posts 😦, I’ll settle for re-blogging what Llama has said.
Also check out Charlotte Walker’s excellent post about the article, “A more accepting age? Why stigma is nowhere near a thing of the past”:
I received a query from an undergraduate student whom I’d agreed to mentor, asking what they could do to improve their chances of getting vacation work this coming summer, and mentioning that they’d applied to several very large and well-known companies.
Definition of Loving
Thank you for love, no matter what its outcome,
that leads us to the window in the dark,
that adds another otherness to others,
that holds out stars as if they were first diamonds
found in a mine that had been long closed down,
that hands out suns and makes us ask each morning:
What else do we need, picnickers in time? Continue reading
The spendthrift, disinherited and graceless,
accepted his pittance with an easy air,
only surprised he could escape so simply
from the pheasant-shooting and the aunts in the close;
took to the life, dropped easily out of knowledge,
and tramping the backtracks in the summer haze
let everything but life slip through his fingers.
At least once every second, I find
Impious thoughts enter my mind
Whereas true piety consists, so it’s reckoned,
In thinking such thoughts only once every second second.