Dawn over Moreton Bay-1=

I think it’s probably not a good sign for my insomnia that I’m starting to recognize certain bird calls at 5am because I’ve heard them so many times in the last few weeks. There’s one in particular that I’ve heard every time I’ve dealt with this sleeplessness, and I’d like to think that he and I have become good buddies over the last month or so. That said, summer is probably the best time (if there’s ever a good time) to be unable to sleep – the sun rises early and sets late, and it feels less miserable than the long nights of winter. Of course, I’d still prefer to sleep like a normal person, but I have doctor’s appointments this week to look into things!

There are so many things that have gone on over the last two weeks that I don’t even know where to start. I’m officially on my two-week mini-break between semesters, and I’ve never been more grateful to not be in school. This “semester” (the spring session) was the worst I’ve ever had. I’ve said it before about other semesters, but this one takes the cake.

I’ve been very sick for the last few months especially – enough pain and fatigue to keep me at home and in bed (or a hot bath) for days at a time, and it’s been especially difficult dealing with that and my depression and my anxiety at the same time. I’ve got an appointment with a specialist for this coming Monday, but I don’t have hopes of figuring everything out at that point – it sometimes takes years to diagnose things like I’m dealing with. I also have an appointment with my regular doctor on Wednesday, so I’m covered on all sides – assuming I can figure it all out. Between the fatigue and insomnia, I feel like a zombie. I either don’t sleep for two days, or I sleep for 12 hours straight, and I can’t find the happy in-between that I used to enjoy.

So, being as sick and down as I have been, I’ve taken my “health first” approach – meaning I’ve stayed home when there were classes that I could miss, so that I could take a few painkillers (just over the counter things like ibuprofen or Aleve) and curl up with a movie or a TV show or a book. Apparently, one of my professors took issue with that – he announced in front of the class that I would not be allowed to do the final project and thus would not be able to earn credit for the class. This was the final straw for me – in four years of doing entire group projects by myself, I have proven that I’m able to do my work and keep on top of things. However, this particular professor decided to tell me that he would not allow me to “be carried on the backs of the other students” and I snapped. I immediately emailed everyone that I could to find out my options, and after quite a few anxiety-inducing meetings, I’m taking a retroactive medical withdrawal with a refund on the class. Not as good as earning credit, but better than having to deal with him face-to-face again or failing the course. My other course went better, I think, but the final exam is worth 50% of the grade, and I’m not feeling totally confident that I did particularly well. We shall see.

Something that the associate dean said to me when we were meeting was that he understands that “you can’t have medical or health issues on your own time” and it’s so true. I’m working on getting things sorted out, but I’m so close to graduating that I’m just going to have to continue to be tough! I will make it through eventually, but I need to remember that my health and my sanity come first in all cases.

We’re also struggling with the whole finance side of things lately, too. I’m expecting to have reduced student loans in the fall because I’ve withdrawn from this course (even though I will be receiving a refund, they’re not refunding my living expenses or anything like that, which will likely be taken out of my next application), so I’m trying to make sure I have a bit of money in the bank to cover that. But Mark’s hours have been slashed to the point where we’re now living off one part-time salary until a few things change at his work, and it’s so stressful. We’ve dealt with sticky financial situations in the past and it isn’t the end of the world, but oh my goodness, this is rough.

At this point, I feel like all I can do is keep reminding myself that this time next year, I’ll be graduating and getting a job, and the things that are plaguing us at the moment will be history. I know we’ll still have issues – nobody has a perfect life! – but it will be different than what we’re going through now, and we’ll definitely be more financially sound than we are at the moment. Now, to survive the next year with my sanity intact! Fingers crossed…

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