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University and Life Choices

Posted 06-12-2015 at 06:03 PM by Phylum
So I talked to people about my depression. I went on meds. I've now come off of some of them. I'm in the process of weaning off the last of them now completely. It's only the beginning of dealing with this, and we need to find the tablets that work best, but I feel good. Everything is a lot clearer. I still have ups and downs - I'm still a person - but I don't spiral into horrible dark places any more. If I get stressed I can deal. It feels good.

So now there's just everything else left to deal with. The second half of this semester at uni has been hard. Really hard. My health is pretty rapidly declining again. Going to uni takes all of my energy, and I spend a lot of my time at home in bed feeling like shit. I'm in pain a lot while I'm at uni. I get breathless, I struggle to focus, and because most of my work is practical (flute playing) it's getting harder and harder to perform up to standard.

I've entered this shitty cycle of moving between scraping through at uni and crashing in bed. I don't leave the house for anything else. I haven't interacted socially outside of uni in months. I want to walk, or to run, or to go somewhere new. I want to do something exciting. I'm feeling more and more trapped.

I got taken up to hospital the other week. I'd ran for a train in the morning, and had an attack of something during the ride. The running had made me feel really unwell, but when I got up at my station and started walking to uni I was dizzy. I had to sit down, and I thought I was going to vomit. Then I started getting pins and needles all over. I could feel it tingling in the tips of my fingers, and even around my lips. It was terrifying. I got taken into hospital, where they monitored my everything, and eventually confirmed that I was fine. They said my body had just freaked out from the strain, possibly because I'd just recovered from a chest infection and was still a bit weak. I was checked out after a few hours, and the staff were all lovely, but it wasn't how I'd planned to spend my morning.

I haven't done enough work in the last few weeks. Practicing flute is getting more and more impossible I'm lucky I managed to do 90% of my work for this semester in the first half, otherwise I'd be fucked. My only problem now is stamina. I need to make sure I can actually play well for my entire 15 minute performance exam.

I don't know what's going to happen in the future. I've been underplaying my health to my friends and family for now. I'm going to finish, and pass, this semester, no matter how skin-of-my-teeth it is. Then I need to make decisions. A practical degree like music just might not be right for me. The constant expectation to be spending 3+ hours a night practicing is crazy, and completely unmanageable in my state. I think I need to be realistic and say that this just isn't working.

I'd like to take the rest of the year off, and focus on my health. Eat well, exercise, re-establish friendships. I could work on some coding projects, and maybe actually finish something for once. Then next year I would start a new degree. Music doesn't really support half years well, so if I dropped out now I wouldn't really be able to go back into it easily. I would always still be a musician, even if it wasn't my day job. I would still be able to make use of everything I've learned over the last 2 years, and I feel like I've gained a lot of wisdom from developing my understanding of The Arts.

So I might become a computer scientist. Or do something maths-y. They're both fields I feel really at home in. Hell, they're both fields I get really excited about. I've been doing some Project Euler problems in Python on my phone to and from uni lately, and while they might take all day to compute on my shitty hardware the thrill from getting the right answers is incredible. I love learning about new technologies, developing new skills and just seeing all of my work tie together. I know that I wouldn't get that excitement all of the time if I wast working in CompSci, but hell if it's something I'm good at and can do in spite of my health then maybe it is the pathway for me.

Everything is really confusing and hard at the moment, but I feel like now that my mental health is a bit more managed I can start to make some decisions to move in the right direction. Or maybe dropping out of music will be a huge mistake that I'll regret for the rest of my life.

Maybe I could just try to get a job. Do something boring from 9-5 every day, but then actually be able to come home and rest. No constant expectation to work all day and then continue to work at night. I could actually make some money and have something to my name. Right now earning even a penny is so far out of my sight.

The world is my oyster. My big, scary, uncertain oyster. I have so many options that all seems slightly wrong for one reason or another. At the end of the day, as long as I do something I'm mildly happy with I'll be doing better than a hell of a lot of people. I definitely feel like there's something out there now, though. It's a speck on the horizon, but it's there and I'm going to fucking get to it. I don't even care if it's just a massive "Fuck You", I'm going to work my way out to it and I'm doing it on my terms. No more coasting, no more indecisiveness. All in for the thrills and spills.
Posted in Random Crap, Crap
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Comments

Old
Crashpunk's Avatar
Taking a break could dramatically help you. So I think you should do it. Whenever you can of course.
Posted 06-13-2015 at 12:37 AM by Crashpunk Crashpunk is offline

Old
Phylum's Avatar
I have an exams on Monday, Wednesday, and then a third slightly after that then I'm done for the semester. Then I have about 3-4 weeks break, and 2 weeks back at uni where I can drop out without being charged.
Posted 06-13-2015 at 02:54 AM by Phylum Phylum is offline

Old
MA's Avatar
go for it. glad to hear you're feeling a bit better. make sure you don't underplay how unwell you can get though, that would be a mistake. just be honest. the only reason i say that is because if you start feeling really bad again you'll regret having underplayed how bad you felt. it's for the best, you want all the help anyone can offer.

i've been going through it myself too recently so i can relate if you ever want to chat, my friend. i understand how scary things can seem, i've been feeling that same fear. anxiety. the feeling of restlessness. honestly dude, just send me a PM or message me on FB if you ever feel alone or if you just want to talk and forget about your troubles. much love to you. <3
Posted 06-13-2015 at 07:13 AM by MA MA is offline

Old
Phylum's Avatar
I'm not going to play it down forever - only until my exams are done. It's just less stressful if my parents aren't worrying about me. I have enough going on for now.
Posted 06-14-2015 at 02:53 AM by Phylum Phylum is offline

Old
OANST's Avatar
Biggest mistake you can make: I'm feeling better so I can stop taking the meds now.
Posted 06-16-2015 at 07:54 AM by OANST OANST is offline

Old
Phylum's Avatar
This is very much in collaboration with my doctor, in regards to finding the right dosage of the right tablets. I actually think I feel better on my current lower dose than I did before, but it's hard to be completely sure.
Posted 06-17-2015 at 04:06 AM by Phylum Phylum is offline

Old
OANST's Avatar
Well, that's good then! And yes, lower dosages can help. It's definitely a fine tuning process. I had to come off the Welbutrin I was taking because as it settled into my system it began to change me in really horrible ways. It helped for about two weeks, and then all of a sudden made me about a 100 times worse. It's definitely not an exact science.
Posted 06-17-2015 at 06:07 AM by OANST OANST is offline

Old
Phylum's Avatar
Yeah, there are some pretty weird stories of my dad when he was going through different medications to help him cope with his bank holdup PTSD. One tablet really calmed him down, but basically turned him into a zombie who would just follow mum around all day. Mum says that at one point she was moving things around and handed him a broom, so he just started sweeping. He'd basically do whatever you told him.

But he was on much higher doses of weirder tablets than I am, obviously.
Posted 06-17-2015 at 02:37 PM by Phylum Phylum is offline

Old
MA's Avatar
best of luck to you.
Posted 06-19-2015 at 11:30 AM by MA MA is offline
Updated 06-20-2015 at 05:14 AM by MA

 

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