June 25, 2007

Panic Attacks Are Fun!


Setting: My desk, 3:20p.m. Listening to Scene 1, Act 1 of the Swan Lake ballet. That morning I’d contacted my high school about sending my immunization records to school, wrote a cheerful and funny blogpost about storing my yarn (tonight or tomorrow, gotta get pics posted) and chatted with mom at lunch about the impending school year.

Then it hits.

Without warning.

Without mercy.

The evil thoughts.

You’re going to go away to school and flunk out you know.

Look at how poor the job market is. You’re going to get your PhD and end up working as a receptionist again.

You’re leaving a great job… great money… great people… to chase a silly dream…

Do you know how many years of school you have left? You’ll be 45 by the time you’re finished.

You can’t afford this.

You’re not smart enough for this.

You’re not mature enough for this.

You’re going to flunk out.

You’re going to make a fool of yourself.

You’re going to have to work full time down there to pay for car and insurance and loan payments and cell phone and then you’ll fall behind in class.

You’ll never get into graduate school.

PhD? You? HA!

Normally they show up right as I’m trying to fall asleep. This sneak attack in the middle of the day is no good. At night I can just curl up with my pillow and cry. At work… not good. Not good at all.

Anyone know how to shut them up?


Chris said...

Out, out, bad thoughts!! Um, drugs? Meditation? Lots of exercise, leaving you exhausted? I've tried 'em all.

Anonymous said...

One word - xanax ;)

Peevish said...

Realising that strength and determination is a heck of a lot stronger than evil thoughts. The evil thoughts wouldn't be there at all if they were really sure you'd fail - they just don't want you to try!

Anna-juniorknitwit said...

"Anyone know how to shut them up?"

If a word of encouragement from your best friend helps, here goes...

I've seen you survive more than practically anyone else I know. There's a depth to your strength I think few have seen.

I'm not saying this means you can't or shouldn't feel doubts or fear about the next chapter of your life. In fact it would be foolish not to. It's a frightening prospect and rational fear is useful, even necessary. Our fears sometimes become irrational, though, and that's when they become destructive.

But how many times have others, and you yourself, claimed that you wouldn't get this far? Yet here you are, preparing to live your dream. I have total confidence in you.

But (and here's the kicker) there isn't anyone, myself included, that can take the place of your own sense of self. Ultimately it comes down to this one question.

Is it worth all you've been through, all the hard work and sacrifice, to do what you've always wanted?

I think it is.

But the only opinion that matters, my dear, is your own.

LYL, sweetie,

Anna :)

Diane said...

I think the panic is normal any time you are making a huge change in your life. It's that whole unknown thing that does it. You'll be ok. Just hang in there and rant away when you need to.

mrspao said...

You wouldn't be normal if you didn't have those thoughts. Of course you are going to be nervous - it is all new! I am also worried about how I'm going to cope with a full-time job and a degree and whether it will all go wrong again too.

You'll be ok because it will all be very different when you get to college. Just one step at a time, ok?

Batty said...

I've been there too, it's totally normal. You should have seen me go through the 'I've only been admitted by mistake, everybody here is smarter than me' phase when I got into the grad school of my choice! Go there, work hard, be nice to people, and you'll have a fabulous experience. College is fun. Not always easy, but fun and rewarding.

Tracey said...

You can do this, you will do this, you will look back one day and laugh at how silly you were for worrying.

'nuf said.