I’ve never been good at handling stress. I think I get it from my mum because she can’t either. As soon as something starts to stress me out, all my focus disappears. All I can do is think about that problem over and over again, on a loop, which increases my stress even more.
I think a lot.
I’m not sure why I do, but I think a lot about everything. Things that make me happy, things that make me sad; I just think a lot about them. I think a lot more about the the problems I’m facing, days on end until they are resolved. But by thinking a lot, I make the situation a lot more difficult to handle. But this happens every time.
That was stage 1. Stage 2 comes with not being able to handle the situation. Frustration followed by rivers of tears, as I don’t know any other way to let out the frustration. Once I’ve cried as much as I physically can, I just sit. In silence. Just thinking. Minutes and hours pass and I’d still be sat in the same place. Still thinking. Stage 3. Depending on how bad the stress is, there are times when I don’t even reach this stage as my migraines kick in, which stop me from even being able to think about what I’m stressing over. I guess in some ways it’s good. But my migraine attacks are quite bad so that’s a pretty big downside.
These stages kind of repeat day in, day out, until the problem either becomes more bearable, is solved, or I find a solution for it and have settled my mind. I’ve been on the same loop for the past few days, and now it feels as though more and more keeps adding to it.
I had been worrying about something small over the past few days, desperately trying to find ways to keep myself distracted (blogging played a huge role in this). I was probably thinking about this way more than I should have been, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t stop. I started to get frustrated with myself, constantly asking myself why it matters to me so much, because I didn’t know why. I slowly started to come to terms with this, slowly started settling my mind and focusing on the things I needed to focus on. I think I jinxed it.
This morning, I went onto campus to do some dancing, in the hope that it would take my mind of the problem I had mentioned. Just before I got started, I sat down in the studio and checked my email. I had received an email from my dissertation supervisor – the feedback from my draft I had sent in two weeks ago. “Great news!” I thought. I had been so convinced I had completed the project and had written up the whole report, so I didn’t expect to have a lot of changes to make. How wrong I was.
As I read the email, I tried keep calm and hold the tears back. The scope of my dissertation was wrong, and I had understood everything wrong. I would have to redo about 90% of it, testing and the write up, ready for submission on the 29th. I have a presentation and a 10 page report due the same day. Things were not looking great.
Then it started. I just couldn’t focus.
For about half an hour, I was sat on the floor of the studio trying to process what I had just read. Occasionally, I got up to try and dance but it just wasn’t happening. The execution was sloppy and I kept messing up the moves. So I ended up sitting back down. The latter half of the hour was a bit more productive in terms on dancing, but I felt like I was forcing myself to. I didn’t feel like I wanted to dance, but was just making myself to do it as I had made the effort to come in at 9am to do so. All I wanted to do was sit and think about this. Think about how I’m going to fix it, though it always arrived at the same conclusion: ‘There is nothing I can do. I don’t know what they want me to do!’
I have to redo all of the testing and all of the writing. I just could not come to terms with this. I took me well over 2 weeks to do this for my draft, how am I meant to repeat it with less than 2 weeks left, without even knowing what to do? Even now, as I am sat inside the students union, I still have no idea how I’m going to get out of this situation. Writing this post about it is helping keep my mind busy and is keeping me calm, but in no way is it helping me find a solution, like I had hoped it would. And I fear that once I stop writing, the calm it has brought me will disappear and I’ll be back on the stress roller coaster again. So I keep writing, and rewriting, editing over and over again – just finding any excuse to not finish this post. It has now been over 3 hours, and I have only just about convinced myself to stop and post this.
I don’t know how long it is going to take me to find a way around this. I feel the next few days are going to merge into one long day, as the only way I’ll be able to get this done is by working nonstop.