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And now, just for y'all, my own personal breakdown - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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And now, just for y'all, my own personal breakdown [Feb. 4th, 2006|11:30 pm]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |depressedcrushed by life]

Oh. My. God.

I have no idea how I am going to survive this semester. I spent the bulk of today studying, and still haven't finished my reading assignments for next week. I have research to do, and no idea how I'm going to accomplish it. If I can't even get through the reading assignments without being completely burnt out and exhausted, how am I going to find time to research?

It's three weeks into the semester, and I'm in an abject panic. I can't imagine dragging myself through all this. It's like hot coals and pokers, and it hasn't even ramped up yet.

Intellectually, I know that I will find a way to make it. That is all that's keeping me from completely falling to pieces, because as a practical matter I can't see how it can possibly get done.

It does not help that Ferrett is away. Generally you all don't read about this because I weep it out on his shoulder while he assures me that I will get through it. Without his reassurance, I'm a panicky mess.

But he did help me today. He called and I told him that I had not worked out since Wednesday and didn't think I was going to find time today. I expected sympathetic agreement that I was too sick, too busy, too fried for it. Instead, he urged me to go and get a workout in. And it did help.

I have a wonderful hubby.

And a bad case of burnout. I've hit the wall. I just want to crawl into a hole and hide. I just want to read novels and watch movies and not be responsible for 20 cases in Corporations. I don't want to research anything else. Ever.
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[User Picture]From: fax_celestis
2006-02-05 04:49 am (UTC)
Well, the first option is to just give up. That is a distinct--albeit depressing--possibility.

The second option is to cut back (if possible). I do understand that paring back a semester (especially after three weeks) isn't always the easiest or best thing to do, but is it really necessary to do everything you're doing this semester in this semester, or can you do it next semester?

The third option is to soldier on, and from what you've written it sounds like that's the option you'll go with.

It's also probably the most effective.

Think of this as the storm before the calm. It helps.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 05:10 am (UTC)
I can't do it next semester. This is it. I am scheduled to graduate at the end of the semester, and I can't drag it out.

Soldier is the answer. But by god, there will be whining!
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From: s3nsational
2006-02-05 04:57 am (UTC)
A trick I try is to imagine who I will be after the semester. If I live through it, which is quite likely, I will have done whatever needed to be done from now until then. And you will have done it. You will not quit. I can feel the determination in your post.

I suspect that small pockets of time will open up during the semester, little windfalls that you would not appreciate if you were not so strapped for time. President's Day, or Ferrett deciding to take a day off to clean house and make lunches, or a professor who decides to make an assignment a bit easier.

You're almost there. Keep going. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 05:27 am (UTC)
I'm trying, but I just feel very deep in the trenches right now.
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[User Picture]From: calamity
2006-02-05 05:09 am (UTC)
I'm glad that he urged you to go work out, instead of letting you vege. Everyone gets tired, and I know you are over due a rest. Just a little bit further though and then you can rest.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 05:29 am (UTC)
Alas, Corporations is a class of 8 - highly unusual, since it's generally a class of 30-40 - so he calls on everyone every week.
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[User Picture]From: cieo
2006-02-05 05:27 am (UTC)
Dear Zoethe,

This entry just sounded like an echo of my thoughts this past semester. It is indeed, burnout, and it feels awful. I'm not saying that everyone goes through this, and all that bull. No, I'm trying to let you know that you're not alone in this, and in that, you should take comfort. I have every confidence that you will manage to get through this, because you just have to. Because of this necessity, you will find a way. You may have to give up even more sleep, you may have to cut a few corners in terms of the reading, you may have to feel extra tired for the next couple of weeks. But the fact remains that it will all get sorted out and there will come a time in the near future when you look back and see this hard time in the past.

Look forward to that day, and try to enjoy your studies a little along the way. Good luck, and I hope your days will be productive.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 05:31 am (UTC)
I have marked the weekend of May 13-14 as a weekend of sleep - after finals, before commencement, before Bar Bri.

But it feels like a long way off just now....
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[User Picture]From: astridsdream
2006-02-05 07:11 am (UTC)
*hugs* I'm cheering you up with this icon (that I didn't make, but is gankable with credit to the owner, whose username appears on the first panel). Be cheered! Go go!

The last semester is second only to the first (where you're getting used to the workload) as far as suckitude goes. But you've made it this far, so this last little bump should be a piece of pie. Or pi, whichever, but I find pi leaves a weird aftertaste that I don't much care for. *shrugs* Your mileage may vary.

And that was my attempt at humor to cheer you up. If I have failed, I apologize, and if I have succeeded, huzzah! Either way, more *hugs* from a stranger that you probably wouldn't be scared to meet in a dark alley way, given that I am small and unimposing. *nods firmly*
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 02:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks. The only real cure is time, but that will inevitably pass, now won't it?
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[User Picture]From: happydog
2006-02-05 08:49 am (UTC)
I can't say anything more encouraging than YOU AND ME BOTH!!!! AAAAAGHGHGHARGHARGH ARGH

but I may try again tomorrow.
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-02-05 12:03 pm (UTC)
I know you can and will push yourself through this, but I guess that's not much comfort at this point of time. Try and find small opportunities to be good to yourself between the studying and exercise. The Ferrett will be back soon and I am sure having his broad shoulders to lean on will make the burden feel a little lighter.
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[User Picture]From: darthfox
2006-02-05 12:05 pm (UTC)
... the thing is? i feel like i've seen you get to this point with each semester so far. and you've come out in one piece every time. you can do it!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 02:19 pm (UTC)
But usually it's later in the semester! Not at the beginning!!!

But, yeah, you're right. I will because I have to.
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[User Picture]From: ba1126
2006-02-05 12:16 pm (UTC)
My recommendation is a study buddy. We had a particular prof who made us work by the fact that he taught next to nothing and in no particular order, but wanted it all on the paper at test time. We would each study the text and his sketchy notes, then come together an hour before class and hash out together what it all meant. We all passed, most of us with A's!
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[User Picture]From: kathrynrose
2006-02-05 12:48 pm (UTC)
Yell and cry and kick as much as you need to, and know that we have complete confidence in you. ::hug::
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[User Picture]From: nuala
2006-02-05 01:53 pm (UTC)
You seem to go through a little of this at the beginning of each semester. Ya know: "Oh Crap! How will I get it all done?! This semester is a beotch!" I think that because this is your last semester (very intimidating, overwhelming, can't come quickly enough), it's obviously hitting you a bit harder this time. Which could be the class load, or a combo of all of the above.

But I know you'll do what you always do - you'll just get on with it. Sure, you'll use your support network along the way (friends & hubbies are good for that), but you will get it done because that's what you do. You're a very strong and determined woman. And I think that's awesome. You are absolutely amazing and shining pillar of... um... wowness.

Hang in there. You're almost done! :D
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 02:21 pm (UTC)
"shining pillar of wowness"

That made me giggle. Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: roadnotes
2006-02-05 02:02 pm (UTC)
Deep breaths, and you've done this before. You'll make it through, and we will all celebrate with you. Remember to sleep, exercise, and stay hydrated.
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[User Picture]From: heathrow
2006-02-05 02:19 pm (UTC)
You can and will do this. You have made it so far, and this semester will not be the exception.
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From: genuinechris
2006-02-05 02:26 pm (UTC)
Well, I'd hire someone. My MO is to throw a little cash at any problem.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 02:38 pm (UTC)
While I appreciate the sentiment, I don't really see where paying someone to do my work for law school is gonna really help [g].
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[User Picture]From: apostate_96
2006-02-05 03:43 pm (UTC)
I can relate way, way too well m'self. At the same itme, given how much you've been able to do so far, I've got faith you can find a way to manage this. Take it a day at a time, remember to keep taking care of yourself, and keep clear on what the priorities are. You're smart and tough and dedicated enough....and have enough wonderful supports around you...that I reckon you can do it.

*hugs*
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 03:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks. Like I said, I know I'll get through it, but when the path is this obscured it's really frightening.
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[User Picture]From: sisterwolf
2006-02-05 03:45 pm (UTC)
I had my breakdown of the semester last Monday night. I've got you beat by almost a week.

This has never happened before. I'm actually still a it worried.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 03:55 pm (UTC)
Hang in there. We'll all get through it, though I've no idea how.
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[User Picture]From: listenshesings
2006-02-05 04:01 pm (UTC)
sounds like my last semester. it's a little different, I'm an art student and a lot of people think that's the easiest shit in the world, but it's seriously easier to study for a test than it is to finish a huge project. you can study anywhere, but I can't do projects behind the desk at work (at a hotel). granted my panic was at the end of the semester when all my final projects were coming due and I had just started the hotel job and I was training and working a lot because one guy quit right before Christmas. and then were was Christmas. ahhh. I was only carrying 15 credits then and this semester I'm down to 12. doesn't sound like much but when 9 of those credits are 3 different studio classes that meet 5 hours a week each but expect at least 5 hours of outside work per week. anyway, I scraped out with 2 A's, 2 B's and a C, and the C was because I'm just not good at it, not for lack of trying.

anyway, my point was, I know enough to know that law school is harder than most things on the planet except maybe med school. you can do it, but feel free to bitch to your heart's content. unless something catastrophic happens, my breakdown post will probably be somewhere toward the end of April but I know I'll be doing plenty of my own along the way.

also, congrats on all your weight loss, you're an inspiration to me :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 04:30 pm (UTC)
I have to say that this semester is highly front-loaded - the two research papers and all the transactional stuff means that when finals come I will have precisely one to deal with. And this is A Good Thing. But right now it's very overwhelming.

12 credit hours and a job is a lot. 15 and a job is insane. Hang in there.
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[User Picture]From: elbiesee
2006-02-05 04:21 pm (UTC)
Isn't Spring Break just around the corner?

Get out of the house. Remove yourself from the situation, even if for just a day. Get refreshed, cool your jets. Hang out with your hubby. And your kid.

I get that way, too, and I don't go to school (yet). I am the queen of "I Need a Break, and I'll Take One, So-Called Responsibilites Be Damned!"
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 04:28 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to balance - going to a Superbowl party this evening. But the work does not get done in my absence.

I need elves.
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[User Picture]From: cinema_babe
2006-02-05 04:41 pm (UTC)
[Administers gentle pat of the back and glass of the beverage of your choice]

I have a great deal of empathy for you. What you are experiencing is "LastSemesteritis" and some 80%-90% of people get it at some point during their last semester in school. I went through the same thing last semester. I only had one class and it was a writing class, which are usually a slam dunk for me, and I was so concerned that I wouldn't pass. I even began to have nightmares that my final project got lost or destroyed.

The bad news: you will likely get these flashes once in a while till the final grades are in.
The good news: Just ride the wave, they'll pass

I made it to the other side; and if someone as neurotic as I can do it, you can too.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 05:57 pm (UTC)
I've avoided the nightmares up until now. I hope they don't start surfacing.
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[User Picture]From: kalieris
2006-02-05 05:38 pm (UTC)
Do you schedule in regular breaks and little rewards, or do you just slog through until you're done?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 05:59 pm (UTC)
I try to do the reward and break thing. I had coffee with a friend yesterday, and I'm going to a Superbowl party today. I just don't know how I'm gonna get everything done.
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[User Picture]From: parodie
2006-02-05 06:02 pm (UTC)
I think breakdowns are par for the course, especially with your workload, and especially in February. It's gray out, everything seems dismal, and you're swamped.
I have two favorite coping techniques, for what it's worth. I figure I may as well share 'em, obviously you're free to ignore them.
The first is simple: give yourself a time limit (say, 30min) and tackle the most overwhelming task. Just 30min, just to see what you can do. Often, I have forgotten how much I can do in just 30min of solid work, and that little trick helps me get back to work.
The second is psychological (and I've read elsewhere that this is an actual honest-to-goodness-skrink-approved trick! Who knew...): I imagine the worst case scenario. E.g. ok, I fail EVERYTHING - then what? and I come up with some weird contingency plan with how I'd get back on track if everything that I fear actually happened. Somehow, realising that the worst possible outcome would be something I could deal with is reassuring.

Good luck with the final stretch!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 06:09 pm (UTC)
That is a good plan. Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: mishamish
2006-02-05 07:08 pm (UTC)
Uh-huh, and I'm sure that 2.5 hours you spent with some yutz discussing spirituality helped OH so much, too. :-P

Seriously, lass, you shoulda cut me off somewhere around the 45 minute mark!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-02-05 07:40 pm (UTC)
No, actually, it was a tremendous relief to get out for a while. I needed it!
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[User Picture]From: fictionalizedme
2006-02-05 07:19 pm (UTC)
Aren't internet meltdowns fun?! You know you can do this, I won't tell you anything on this point. Remember to breathe, treat yourself to some GOOD chocolate when you finish a bad part, and love your hubby a lot.

Oh, and throwing cans of soup at squirrls is fun, too. In case you're into that kind of thing...
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[User Picture]From: ladyhawke_wings
2006-02-06 03:17 am (UTC)
Have faithe, Zoethe - you can do it!! And the pain you're pushing through now will make it that much sweeter...and feel that much more confident when you graduate.

And if I'm gonna read the whining....I darn well better read about graduation! ;-)

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