Sixteen

The build up of Saturday morning before a party consisted of an warm unpleasant feeling in my stomach, a heavy pressure on my chest when I inhaled and a tingling sensation in my legs, my arms, my fingers. I’d vomit multiple times before lunch had hit, making me weak and shaky. I’d be yelled at to eat something constantly- repeatedly. Pacing and pacing the house I try to contain the increased panic in my mind. Checking the time panic would fade with distraction from chores and cleaning and then increase with the thought of what might happen later that night.
Being at a party or generally being around people, I worried that they would laugh at me or that I’d be left alone or that someone might want to talk to me. All of which I learnt to calm myself with by a flood of negative insults towards myself. I breathe deeply reminding myself that nothing can happen if I don’t speak, I won’t be humiliated. I remind myself that people might not notice I’m there so I can be assured no one will look at me- so no one could laugh at me. I remind myself that if I stay out of the way, I won’t do anything wrong and I won’t have to feel scared, so there can’t be any expectations of me. I tell myself that I’m not pretty enough for a boy to like me or notice me, so no one would kiss me.
It was all this negativity that I fed myself, to hate myself, that calmed and rationalised me going anywhere with people my age or older.

I sit on my bed tapping my pressure points, reminding myself that its okay, that I’ll be okay- but only believing it because I had lost all hope that I was going to see friends, to meet new people, to meet boys, to have ‘fun’ and laugh and drink and dance…
I was focused solely on getting there, getting over getting there, being there, dealing with where to sit to not involve myself to, to how to stop myself from vomiting and how I was going to get through this and be okay.
It would always get worse when I had to get in the car with my mum. I would become an emotional bubble waiting to burst. I would get so violently angry, trying to hold in all of my anxieties for what my parents thought was a fun night. I’d feel faint from not eating for 24 hours, in hopes I wouldn’t then be able to vomit to settle my mind. My leg would shake in the car, constantly tapping on the floor, my body would heat up trying to make me vomit again and again. I’d put the air conditioner on full, with the radio off- I’d snap at noise and sensitivity towards repetition of sounds and anything related to the cause of my anxiety. The closer I got to my friends house, the closer I was to being sick. I’d clench my jaw shut with the driest throat, I could dry retch at any second. Getting to the destination I’d always feel like crying when I got out of the car, so in turn I gave anger and frustration instead. I feel sorry that my parents had to deal with that every weekend, the same routine, I was so on edge.
My friends always made everything better, I love them for accepting me and I tried so hard to learn from them, to cope with these situations. I seen how excited they were, how fun this would be, but I always slipped back into my mind, of what could happen and the questions of my anxiety. And for what could have been hours of me not saying a word out loud, felt like a few seconds inside my head. I would disconnect myself from others just to address the panic in my mind, to calm myself of the worries, the what if’s and the nerves that I had built inside of me.

I can recognise now that it was and is humiliation and rejection that I constantly feared. I became so fixated on trying to deal with the anxieties that I pushed people away.

The more insignificant I made myself feel, the more comfortable I felt around people. To me the more I convinced myself that I wasn’t worthy of good things, the more I convinced myself that I was unattractive and fat and boring and a shit person, the more accepting I would be if anyone was to tell me that is what I was. I wanted to prepare myself for what people would or could think of me, so that I wouldn’t be humiliated or ashamed or embarrassed, I’d be okay with the thought of being seen as ugly and fat and sad and anything else ‘bad’.

Because everyday I persuaded myself that its only me, no one is looking at me. Its only me, no one will be interested in me. Its only me and I don’t need to let anyone in.

 

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The Price of Self Education

The price of University defined by a non professional unistudent

Everyone loves discussing University prices and HECS debt and University fees in Australia. I personally don’t want to think of my HECS debt because it will be ridiculous even as the prices stand today. Understandable though that the government needs to work out a solution to the amount of unpaid HECS debts, because I can see how it’s an issue as I’m only in my second year studying arts/commerce and bam say goodbye to probably roughly $15k, commerce being the killer with units costing close to $2,000.

So $2,000 what does that give me.
Honestly..
$2,000 is 11 weeks of lectures..
Lectures whereby many students watch online in the comfort of their home, rather then attend the actual live lecture.
Lecture that has someone speeding through important relevant people and parts of text and graphs and diagrams via a slideshow. That is summarised and sometimes a clarification (NOT ALWAYS) of the week’s topic. Then chuck in a few examples and you either finish confused or vague on what the focus of the lecture was, or unsure on the definite conclusion, or overwhelmed by what’s been crammed into a 1-2 hour ‘educational performance’.
So then you leave and look at the notes maybe once and never again and possible forget the roots of the lecture. Feeling unsure you think there will be clarity in a class environment later in the week. This is sometimes get into groups do activities relating to this weeks topic (that you can do on your own at home). Or its a big group discussion, or its a wannabe lecture whereby the tutor hasn’t crammed enough into your head that week, so you listen more and more and watch more related videos and get thrown more readings and relevant material and more and more….
And the readings required for that class…
It can be silly the amount of required reading you are expected to analyse each week of uni. On average probably 100 pages per unit per week with the additional four prescribed texts on what could be summarised in two sentences. It’s just an exaggeration of the week’s topic, a heap of repetition and re-wording of the same shit and for no purpose at all considering 80% of people probably never read the whole text and pass anyway, additionally there’s always that stupid reading that’s completely off topic and which the tutor hates, disagrees with and states it’s not relevant.

So once you’ve been to the class and the lecture, so you’ve listened to someone tell you things and you’ve talked about a reading or chapter in a text book.
And you get home to start ‘the 10 hours per unit per week required of ‘personal’ study’
And you read and read and read
To then re-watch the lecture you didn’t follow in the theatre.
To start an assignment
And to “contact the staff via email if help is needed or if there are any concerns”

For 11 weeks, you are given slideshows of summaries, and required readings to make summaries – to sit an exam and summaries and to write an essay of complete summary and regurgitation of the readings.
11 Weeks is apparently worth $2,000 dollars.
When it’s me buying the additional $170 text book, and printing out readings, and reading countless confusing misleading documents online to decipher what the tasks are. To sit at home and read and study and ask the tutor via email and find outside resources and find outside study support to finish the assignments and summaries the information and present it at the exam.
University does not need classes when they tell you to find it online- that is not teaching.
What the hell am I paying for if I’m teaching myself and you’re supplying the slideshows. Slideshows worth $2,000 ???
I’m paying $2,000 a unit, one 11 week small step in my course, to teach myself buy the required books and be thrown resources upon resources.
University might as well just be a heap of books, because what I’m saying is there isn’t really a service rather a giving of a list of resources.
step 1. please read
step 2. please summaries
step 3. graduate

goodbye $30k –
welcome the job of non-existence ‘no search results for ‘philosophers’ in your area’
the job of speciality ‘necessary 10 years of experience in area with speciality of x y and z’
or job with no need in overpopulated area or field ‘unfortunately with a large pool of applicants you were unsuccessful’
or job and career that doesn’t involve uni degree at all, that might not give you a solid income for your lifetime and that might be replaced by computers.

I can see the need to help pay back the university debts as many are going un-paid at all.
But I can see that you’re paying for something, that might not in today’s society, get you a job to pay that back in the first place.
And what I mean by that is for example, if you want me to pay $800 per unit per trimester to study philosophy for three years but which time holding onto huge HECS debt and I get into the workplace and theres no jobs out there looking for a student fresh out of uni with a philosophy major, so I get a job at a retail outlet and try and survive by that and re-plan my life. What I mean is that well known idea that if you go to uni you’ll get a good paying job and that’s why you pay so much for uni, isn’t really true.
Because there isn’t going to be a million  jobs requiring sport science degrees or anthropology or painting majors. You end up paying for something you can’t use or won’t use.


It’s just not fair to put huge prices on education, as if to say its worth it because of the qualification they give, allows you to earn more and therefore pay back the government and live a middle class or better lifestyle.
It’s just not reality. 

my opinions never write smoothly it’s such a jumble of a rant on uni –
kate x
(this hasn’t been edited, just straight pure from frustration)

 

 

 

Understanding The Mind Of Anxiety

No big surprise, but I’ve been battling anxiety as defined by a psychologist and psychiatrist since high school but for me personally it’s been suffocating me my whole life. Anxiety is from my perspective another word that they throw around that just tags alongside depression. Anxiety just sounds like worry and being scared and it doesn’t sound debilitating. It has become very normalised in today’s society. I can respect that there are more and more people being diagnosed, but for the people that aren’t suffering a mental health issue, it’s seen as a ‘label’ for a little bit of ‘stress’. Label though. Important.
Label that other people bring onto themselves to express an exaggeration of their emotional state. Sorry to say, but I know that people do that we can all be guilty sometime or anther of doing that.
But it’s a label to me though that I want to burn, that I would do anything to get rid of. A small label with a huge impact to my life- my life without such label would be wonderful. It could have been wonderful. It would have been everything.

Off track, so my anxiety is something I’m learning to seperate from myself. Almost give it another name, so that it can no longer be associated with me. Because the more that I allow myself to believe that anxiety is apart of me, the more I believe my mind will always remain this sick and the wonderful person inside wont be able to come out anymore.
Every day I write, trying to understand my mind, and the mind of my anxiety. I write about how I know it’s silly, but then how my emotions show I’m in pain that the pain feels real. I write how I know this disappears sooner or later, but that I still can’t think past anxieties thoughts. I write how frustrating it is to ignore anxiety, and almost like human, how it increases in retaliation, getting worse and worse, testing me when everything seems to be perfect. I write because its crazy to hear it with a normal mind what I’ve listened to, what I believed, what I’ve cried for, what I’ve missed out on because of, what I’ve stopped eating for, what I’ve lost people for and what I learn to hate myself for. A 20 year old girl with a voice in her head that says

the basics..
life is too hard
this is too much
how will you get through this
you can’t get through this
why am i so weak
why can’t i deal with this 
this is normal
why cant i make a decision 
i’m so scared
I wont get through this week 
how will i get through this year
how can i be happy

to an increase panic of:
what if even though everything is okay now, tomorrow everyone see’s me for what I am and they leave me.
what if really no one cares
what if really people stick with me only because they don’t want to leave me, to hurt me.
what if i was no longer here would i be missed
what if people laugh at me
what if I’m a bad friend
what if I have no purpose

to an irrational..
what if i spend $50 on a dress, I can’t do that, I don’t have a job – money is important – money shouldn’t be abused – I don’t deserve a nice dress – it wouldn’t look nice on me anyway – i need to lose weight –

then a conclusion of..
theres no reasons for people to really like me
and theres a reason I have so little friends 
and theres a reason why boys don’t talk to me
– i give up

All in the course of 5 minutes. All while I’m sitting on the couch or going for a walk or driving home. All while life goes on around me and everyone is on mute- on pause while anxiety talks to me, letting me know how things really are. Letting me in on what’s ‘the truth’. All because of one small trigger but usually it comes from nothing at all. Ending not with words of insult, but questions, because by that point, I give up, I give in. All while I know this is a voice, but that sometime, this voice makes sense, and if one thing adds up, then maybe the next does, and the next and the next. And it’s hard to seperate myself from this person, or this thing inside my head, the irrational anxiety. But I’m trying, maybe not hard enough, but I don’t like it and I’m sorry for sharing that, that you have to see me in days where it consumes me. Because I wouldn’t like me them days, I wouldn’t know what to do and I would feel like giving up and it’s okay to. I’m sorry because I’m an okay person without it and maybe one day it will let me go.

And people ask me or people question anxiety, and this is part one.