Hey friends. It’s 5:31am on this Tuesday morning. I wish I could say I was doing well… but lately, I’ve been consumed with thoughts of regret, constantly wondering whether or not my past decisions were valid. Living in the world of hypotheticals. Wondering, “What if I had done something differently in my life? Would I be better off than I am currently?”
I’m drowning in my own thoughts. Suffocating. Living in the past and not appreciating the present.
Another source of my worry and negativity is the midterm I’m taking today at 3:30pm. It’s for my Psychobiology of Sexual Behavior class. Never have I felt so unprepared for any exam. I am still behind on two whole lectures and have not completely mastered the three other lectures I’ll be tested on. A big reason why I am so behind in this class is because for the past two weeks, I’ve been putting all my resources into my two other classes that had midterms last week. On top of that, I had a dance competition in Santa Barbara this past weekend, which took away from my study time. I tried my best to study over the long weekend, but my depression came back full-force, rendering me completely unable to focus on my studies.
I am sinking. I am in disbelief at how much I’ve regressed since coming to college… in terms of self-discipline, social confidence, and dancing. My college journey is ending in a little over two quarters. I really thought I would grow so much more than I have. When I first began college, I was hungry for self-improvement. I was determined to break free from my former shell. And break free, I did. I excelled academically and was the most confident I had been in my life. I was an unstoppable force, powered by rocket-fuel. I felt as if nothing could stop me from my rapid ascent towards success.
I am not 100% sure what happened in my life that brought my progress to a halt. I suppose it all started with the bipolar diagnosis. When I realized that most of my freshman year of college I had lived in a state of hypomania, I questioned so much of my identity. I didn’t know how much of my past actions and achievements were attributed to mania, and how much was the actual Belicia talking. I questioned EVERYTHING. Everything I thought I knew about myself may have been a lie.
Perhaps it was the identity crisis that drove me to bury myself in all sorts of vices during my sophomore year of college. A part of it was a normative part of my development as an individual– delayed rebellion, shall we say. I had lived such a disciplined life before college, it was almost inevitable that I would snap, at some point. Gradually, I lost my self-discipline. I began to party and drink to excess. Thus came my second identity crisis. All my life, I had identified as as hard worker. Sophomore year completely changed my self-perception. Who was this new person who, once so pure, was poisoning both her body and mind on a daily basis? I lost a big chunk of myself, sophomore year of college.
Add to the mix my utter lack of life direction in terms of career plans. Sophomore year, I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. Medicine, dance, psychology, writing… What could it be? Instead of facing this psychological dilemma head-on, I found it much easier to avoid it. For the first time in my life, I chose the easy way out. And gradually, the easy way out became a pattern. I started drinking to suppress my anxiety and depression, when really, I should have been seeing a therapist and dealing with my mental illness in a healthy way.
I gained a significant amount of weight during my sophomore year of college. As a former gymnast and dancer, body image is something I have always struggled with. I don’t know a time in my life where I loved my body. I place so much weight (hah… pun intended) on the way my body looked that when I gained a few extra pounds, my self-confidence plummeted. The summer going into junior year of college, I refused to step foot in my local dance studio for fear of being judged by those who had known me back when I was thinner.
I watched my dance videos from this past competition and am shocked at how far my dancing technique has regressed. I mean, what could I expect? I haven’t been taking lessons or training regularly for almost a year now. But to see how far a step backwards I’ve taken, I was… shocked. Regretful that all my past hard work had been wasted.
I am sinking, guys. I’ve dug myself into a deep hole with no idea how to get out. I am seeing a therapist next week (literally had to book an appointment two months in advance). Perhaps I should turn to God for help. Go back to church. Surround myself with a kind and loving community.
The one light in my life right now is figure skating. I am picking up the hobby once more and find fulfillment in my rapid progress.
I’ll also be going home for the next three weekends, which is another thing to look forward to. Perhaps being back with my family and roots will do me some good. I definitely need to get out of the school environment and all this academic stress. Yes, I do believe a change in scenery will be good for me.
Alright guys. It’s time to continue cramming for this exam. As much as I don’t want to study this stuff (it’s literally all about cells and hormones and molecular biology), I can’t avoid it.
I need to change. I need to rebuild healthy habits. Regain my focus. Build up my confidence from scratch (oh, if I had a penny for every time I had to do that in my life).
Have a wonderful rest of the week!