Scars

I haven’t responded to a Daily Prompt for ages. Ages and ages. Today I stumbled across it when I came here to write a post. It fitted my thoughts and feelings perfectly. It summarised what I wanted to write, so I am using the Daily Prompt today. It means I have to think a little less, and that will help.

I am revising for exams at the moment. One of my units is, essentially, about the brain. That of course means studying mood disorders: depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, the list goes on.

I find the brain so engaging and interesting and mind blowingly cool (excuse the unintentional pun). But that doesn’t make some of the topics any easier, when I have to revise them over and over again. Studying the brain makes me revisit memories, scars, I guess that you could say. It makes me remember things that I try my hardest not to think about. It pulls at my heart and pushes me over, and it breaks me. I’m trying not to let it break me. This is science, and it doesn’t have to involve looking back at the things that hurt me, but it does. I just can’t help it.

Leavers dinner, afternoon’s in coffee shops, summer drives, tears, late nights, fear, worry, love, pain, friendship.

It hurts. I’m trying not to cry. I have to take an exam on this. I have another three weeks of revision to get through before that exam. But memories are impairing my revision, and I need someone so badly to come and hold me and tell me that I don’t need to worry about the past. I want to be safe, and I want everyone else to be safe. But nobody is ever really safe. Everyone is haunted by their past, scars never go away, mental illness doesn’t go away, and it makes me fear for so many people in my life.

Happiness High

I’m on a complete, utter, and wholeheartedly uncontrollable happiness high. And I love it.

I know, it’s crazy, isn’t it? It’s exam week, for goodness sake! How on earth can I be happy, buzzing, or excited!? Because despite the stressful revision and panic attack-inducing exams, I’ve taken time to have fun, too. Oh, and there’s been some absolutely FANTASTIC surprises along the way!

So, I take you back to Tuesday. For the first time in nine days, I left campus to go for pizza with some course friends.

Thursday, after my exam, my best friend skyped me. She was pretty cryptic for the whole two hours, checking flights and not really saying much. While I wanted to chat and chat, and was a little disgruntled, I had my suspicions as to what she might be doing, and so I didn’t moan too much. I was right. Just after she left, she sent me an email with her flight details. We’re spending a night in London for my birthday, as a surprise. I’m so excited! I slept the best I have in weeks, and I was still buzzing the next morning, bouncing around my room like a bunny.

Yesterday, I got a parcel. Weird, because I knew I hadn’t ordered anything. It was my best friend again, this time, she sent me 300g of milka. Beautiful. She’s really fabulous, that girl. Honestly. Out of nowhere, my mum offered to pay for Les Mis tickets, so we’re going to see that in London. I booked them at 11.30pm. I’m beyond excited, and another absolutely AMAZING SURPRISE!

I also sat for two hours with my floor mates and had tea and hot chocolate and a catch up, which was beautiful again. Good chance to break free of these same four walls for once!

I found out today that my home bedroom has been decorated, and I can’t wait to see it!

Now it’s Saturday, my last exam finishes on Tuesday, and that same best friend is then coming to stay with me at uni for FOUR DAYS. Yes, I’m excited. I’m very very very very VERY EXCITED! And she’s going to get a massive hug, because she’s made my mood go from all time panic and disgusting low and sadness, to on too of the world and crying with happiness. For that, I’m very very grateful.

I’m still having blips and turns, I still slip and slide, but I’m trying to be positive. I’m exhausted, but if in the next few days I can get my head down, work hard, not send too many texts and don’t allow myself to be distracted, at 2pm on Tuesday it will all be over, and fingers crossed I’ll be laughing in my best friend’s arms, not crying.

It’s All Over

So, Christmas Day is over, the fun and festivities have gone. We’ve opened presents, we’ve drank champagne and eaten far too much food. We’ve played games, watched awful TV, and fallen asleep on the sofa. I don’t feel as happy as I know that I should though, and it’s beginning to grind on me. A lot. An awful, awful lot.

I’ve had some lovely things. A pandora charm, a candle making kit, perfume, chocolate, and alcohol. No, of course I’m not complaining! In fact, I’m extremely pleased, and surprised. I’ve been well and truly spoilt.

Unfortunately though, there was a couple of things that ruined yesterday. I felt fairly sick all day, and slept awfully on Christmas Eve. Although I stomached all four courses of Christmas dinner, I couldn’t move afterwards and I kept getting a completely overwhelming feeling that I needed to cry from the pain and sickness (top tip, deep breathing). That sucks, because nobody wants to be ill on Christmas Day, do they!? And on top of that, as the night drew in, I forgot how to enjoy myself, my brain overcrowded by feelings of failure and dread. My first exam is in twenty days, and I’ve not been revising hard enough. I don’t know enough, and at this rate, I’m not going to do well enough. I’m supposed to be going out with my family today, but then I’ve got to go to London all weekend, and I know that by Monday I probably won’t be able to cope if I haven’t done any revision. It’s crazy.

On top of that, all I want to do is say Merry Christmas to one person. I can’t text or call her as she’s currently abroad, and while the first Facebook message was seen (but she never replied), subsequent ones haven’t even been delivered, even though she’s been active several times since I sent it. I’m trying not to be ridiculous, but my brain is slowly beginning to think that I’ve done something wrong. She doesn’t have to reply. She doesn’t have to read it. Facebook is allowed to muck up so it doesn’t deliver. But my brain doesn’t work like that, does it? All I want is to say two little words…

Merry Christmas. And Happy Boxing Day. I’m still deciding if I should enjoy family time, or revise. The dilemma is huge, and seriously, it’s killing me. It may not seem like much, but it really really is.

The Last One

It’s been a bit quiet over here on treasurethememory for a while, and that’s because I’ve had to face the trauma of A Levels. Most days, I’ve been revising from 7.30am until 10.30pm, and blogging hasn’t even crossed my mind. Tonight however, I’ve stopped in order to get a good nights rest. Tomorrow is my last and most dreaded exam, biology.

I’ve been worried about biology for a long time, because my teachers picked up in January that I was underachieving, and I’ve really struggled this year. I need to get the grades for University, and right now, it’s a bit touch and go if that will happen. I really hope so.

I’m going to go into that exam tomorrow, and I’m going to have a positive attitude. I’m going to bring down the world, and I’m going to prove all those who have doubted me wrong. I’m going to fight the panic and the stress, slap a smile onto my face, and it’s going to go well. I’m going to get my A, and I’m going to go to university.

And most of all, I’m going to remember that at 11am tomorrow my three months of work free time begins. I cannot express how excited that makes me, I have so many plans. I’ve dreamt of the summer for months, and now it’s in touching distance. All I’ve got to do is jump this one last hurdle as high as I can.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

It just hit me.

The panic of exams just hit me. Just 88 hours to go. Come and hold me. Please, come and make it all okay. Please, let it be over.

Let the fun commence. Let me be normal. Let us be normal.

Here’s to summer afternoons, holidays, Skype, and wine. Here’s to watching late night movies and eating cake. Here’s to camping in the rain. Here’s to train journeys and day trips. Here’s to exams being over. Only then will summer begin.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

Murky Mud Brown

I can feel it again. It’s building, slowly, but surely. With the knowledge that my next exam is only eleven days away, the panic is due to set in any day now. I’ve already got the characteristic exam season neck pain, and although thus far I’ve managed to avoid a breakdown, I can feel it beginning to flitter in the corner of my brain. These are the exams that really count. I don’t want to let anyone down, and I just want to please everyone. Hell, I don’t want to let myself down. Too often I’m an embarrassment to myself, and this time, I just don’t want that.

So the flittering continues. The bright spinning colours are slowly being overtaken by a murky mud brown colour. For now though, I’ll keep fighting the panic. I’ve learnt to identify it, and slowly, I’m learning to cope with it. They’re just exams, I’m not going to let them bring me down.

Secretly though, I’m not sure how long it’ll last. These aren’t just any exams. And it’s not just exams that I’m worrying about, and I’m really not sure how long I can fight the feeling. Eventually it’ll drown me. For now though, I’ve just got to keep on swimming.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

The World Is Spinning

The bad thing about my slightly OCD revision timetable? I can’t cope when for whatever reason I’m unable to stick to it. It kills me. And then I’m weakened, and everything else starts to grind down on me. More and more of my brain space is taken up by worries and stress until I eventually wind up in bed in the dark with blurred vision and the headache from hell. Oh yeah, that would be like right now then.

I didn’t know that it was possible to shut your eyes and still feel like the world is spinning. But then again, I didn’t know until a few years ago just how ill I can make myself through stress. Revision is just unhealthy for me. Exams are unhealthy for me.

I had a fabulous night last night as a leader at my Rainbow Unit’s annual sleepover wakeover, but I’m exhausted. I was on my feet for hours, bedtime was hot and stuffy curled up on the floor, and the kids quite simply didn’t do much sleeping. The last one went to sleep at gone midnight, and the first was out of bed at 5am. I came home to be welcomed by a pile of revision and the realisation that in 20 hours all I’d had to drink were a few sips of tea and orange juice. On the hottest day of the year.

It’s led to this. It’s 8pm, and I’m tucked into bed. I have been unable to concentrate all day; all I’ve thought about I’d the texts my friend sent me last night, and her impending exam in the morning. I’ve thought about our little rainbow whose mummy is very ill with cancer, I’ve thought about the emotional state of another friend who appears to have had a difficult few days, and I’ve thought about how on earth I’m going to get through the next two weeks while my parents are away.

I’m lucky though, a headache is nothing. The neck pain and nausea hasn’t hit yet. Nor has the inevitable weight loss that comes with the stress of the exam season. My first exam is on Friday. We’ll see how it goes.

There is the potential that my friend may be staying over on Friday night to watch a DVD and go running. That would power me through the week, but I won’t get my hopes up. The feeling of being let down will just make me fall further into the pit of darkness.

Here’s to it all being over. Here’s to June 20th.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

All I want to do is pass A Level biology.

‘I haven’t done any revision yet!’
‘All I’ve done this holiday is sleep.’
‘It’s four weeks until exam leave? You’re joking, right?’
‘How was that party?’

Those are just four of the conversations that I heard on the first day after the Easter holidays as I walked from the school entrance to the girls toilet. That’s maybe a thirty second walk. And the worst bit? They were all sixth formers. All people who have A LEVEL EXAMS coming up! Surely you’ve got to be mad to have that attitude at this point in the year?

Or maybe not.

Maybe I’m wrong.

Maybe I’m the mad one.

The last few days have been pretty eventful at my neck of the woods, and there have been a few exam related arguments here and there. For a while, they upset me, but I’m not sure that they do now. In fact, I think they’re just spurring me on, making me more determined to do better. Firstly, a neighbour and my own mother spent a good half an hour politely talking lecturing me about the importance of getting a job. It ended with the neighbour getting particularly heated about how people can do ‘perfectly well without A levels’ and ranting of about how her two nieces have jobs and they’re both younger than me and the older of the two only has GCSE’s and she’s doing just fine at college. You don’t get it, do you? That’s not what I want. Besides, since when was it your right to comment on my decisions!? The ‘conversation’ ended a good half an hour later when I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I ran off with tears in my eyes and the parting phrase of ‘All I want to do is pass A Level biology, please stop knocking me down.’

Next of course is when we get back to school, and I’m lectured by my friends about my revision antics. I’m not even sure how it started, but of course when you’re in a friendship group that ranges from ‘I did nothing’ to ‘I’ve got an offer at med school’, there is always going to be a difference of opinion.

Okay, I’ll admit that seven hours a day nearly every day for the two week break was maybe a little excessive. But honestly, I don’t think it’s that much of a big deal. I’ve been finding school really hard, and I know I’ve got to work my little socks off to make up for it. I didn’t go to Rangers tonight. Again, I received stick from another close friend, because apparently I need to ‘live a little’. You’re joking right, there is twenty six days until my first exam and you’re asking me to LIVE A LITTLE by going to play board games. No thanks, revision and an early night seems much more sensible!

Of course, there is always that thought that perhaps I bring it on myself. Today in my free, I’d planned to revise for chemistry. My best friend sat with me in the ‘quiet working area’ upstairs in sixth form, of course, there was no teacher on duty, so it wasn’t quiet at all. Next thing you know, we’re engaged in deep conversation about the holiday and plans for after exams, and I haven’t really done any revision.
‘Its okay, we haven’t seen each other for two weeks. We’re allowed to catch up.’
No. No, it’s not okay. And yes, I know that I’m just as at fault for sitting with her. And I enjoyed catching up, and I’ve missed her, I promise. But it just made me feel so guilty. I’ve been dwelling on it all day. That fifty minutes of revision that I’ve missed out on. What if there is something that I could have picked up on but I didn’t because I didn’t revise? That one or two marks could make the difference between an A and a B, or a B and a C grade. I feel like a bad person, and I feel like it will make me fail. Taking time out will risk my future, and I can’t afford that.

But that’s silly, isn’t it? Fifty minutes will make hardly any difference in the grand scheme of things, I must tell myself. And with my main exams still six weeks away, I can make that time up. As long as it doesn’t become regular, it’s not a problem, right? Revision doesn’t need to rule my life, does it? No. Yes. Maybe revision does rule my life. But if that means that I get onto the University course of my dreams, then does loosing a few months of my life really matter? I don’t think so.

Is this the attitude of most students? Of course not. So why is it mine? Because I care. I care a lot about my future, and I worry about it too. So maybe that chat today was good for me. Some time out, a break. I won’t get another one now until Wednesday night, so maybe I shouldn’t be dwelling on fifty minutes. Because did I enjoy it? Yes, she’s my best friend! It wasn’t scheduled carefully into my revision plan, but maybe it’s time to learn that occasionally taking an extra bit of time out wont hurt anyone.

Maybe I am the mad one, but I think it’s time that we started learning from each other. I’m not going to kid myself though, I won’t be taking a leaf out of the book of others TOO often. I value my grades too much for that madness.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

Why the Dentist Loves the Exam Season!

Revision does make me go a little crazy, I guess. Why is it that being confined to the house for a couple of weeks, suddenly EVERYTHING is hilarious? A lot of people are back to school today, but while I’m going in for a three hour revision session, I’ve still got another week off, and the lack of human contact is making me go a little crazy. I just wanted to share a few moments of madness, in the hope that it might brighten the day of those out there also revising. Be warned, if you’re just the average person, you probably won’t see the funny side of this. At all. You just have to be in the mind frame.

Firstly, I get a message from my friend telling me that she’s sent me a letter. It’s not a friend who I get to see very often, so I’m excited. The letter arrived and completely motivated me until my lunch break when I decided that I could open it.

Filing

ASAP science

Really of course, I’m sure you only came here because of the title of this blog. So, why does the dentist love the exam season? This, of course!

It takes me twice as long to brush my teeth, because I have to read half the cards before I can stop!

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

Hugs Are The Universal Medicine

So, my best friend is away for two weeks.
And it’s the holidays.
And I’m revising.
My human contact is virtually non existent.
And it’s slowly driving me insane.

I’m not struggling, and actually, I know that she’s eating so I’m not as worried as I could have been, but those times when I just got UED in my three most recent past papers, I could really do with some stress relief. Someone to tell me that it’s all going to be okay, somehow.

Apparently, hugging someone who you trust can reduce stress and anxiety, lower your blood pressure, and can improve your memory. That’s because oxytocin is released, and oxytocin is known as the ‘trust hormone’. It can help to relieve social fears by making you feel safe, and it can even relieve pain through it’s anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to improve digestion and metabolism, which can prevent obesity. Really, I’d like to rename oxytocin as the ‘wonder hormone’.

And although I hope that my friend is having a fantastic holiday, and actually, I love it when my afternoon revision is punctuated by her early morning snapchats, and I wake up to a snapchat apocalypse and see her photos from the day on facebook, I do look forward to when she comes home and I catch a quick hug. I know why she finds hugs difficult, and she has perfectly good reasons to hate human contact, but it makes me feel so safe. When I’m finding school hard, a hug and a little laughter can really change my outlook on the day.

Hugs really are the universal medicine, and so I send you all a virtual hug in the hope that you’ll improve the day of someone you love, simply by passing along the happiness.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw