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Why can't I handle life?


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It seems that as soon as I stop being completely on top of my health game - exercising every day, eating mostly veggies, scheduling lots of down time, etc. - I start having some kind of symptoms. I moved less than a week ago for an 8-week language program, and I'm already having abnormal mood lability and agitation that is leading to dangerous thoughts (SI, self-harm, etc.). 

Why can't I can't I handle real life? I should be patient with myself, but all I feel is anger towards my inability to function outside of my tiny little bubble of safety. Is it even possible to be symptom free and be part of the world?

Not sure if this is a question or a rant. Maybe both.

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I'm sorry you're starting to feel yourself go symptomatic. Can you get some sort of schedule going that includes the self-care that seems to help? I imagine a move like that is hard on you. 

As to the question, I don't know. I'm sure it's possible; I just don't know what it takes to make it happen. 

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I can relate.  Every change in my life seems to be destabilizing--I'll get some decent momentum and stability going for a short while and then BAM!, along comes my symptoms to fuck everything up.  It's SO incredibly frustrating to feel like you're constantly on the BP roller coaster and that any change, even seemingly positive ones, could trigger a mood shift for the worse.  Take good care of yourself and hang in there.  

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I think you've been stable for such a short time that it makes sense you'd flip back to residual symptoms quickly.  Hopefully that's all that they are.  But I honestly think it may be a lot of stress for you right now that you'll have to figure out how to handle while you're in the language program.  I hope you can.  You deserve symptom-free.

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I know it's hard to be patient with ourselves- sometimes we're our own worst critics. I can't remember a time I've been syptom-free longer than maybe a week. I feel ya. Any little stressor (or perceived stressor) really knocks me out of my groove. It's impossible to eliminate all of them, though. 

Anyway, not sure I was helpful, but keep on keepin' on. 

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I was once told that I had two speeds--0 mph and 100 mph--and that I needed to find some compromise position between nothing and every single thing possible at once.  I don't know if that's applicable to your situation, but I was wondering if it might be since the program is really cool but also a big jump.  Also--this usually doesn't work for me but it does for a friend--would it help at all to acknowledge the degree to which this is a big change and the various smaller changes you've had to do to make it work?  For me it makes it add up and seem worse, but for her the acknowledgement helps with acceptance and more self compassion.

one other random thought--is there any sort of pressure (internal or external) to perform at a certain level or do extremely well or something like that?  If so, is pass/fail (if graded) or lowering your expectations for yourself in recognition of all you've been through a possibility? (That might be joined with the professors knowing about the health condition piece.)  when I took a semester off from college, I took one course at my local state college to try to at least have something going on (I was in a not my state school five hours away and wasn't ready for that).  Strangely, I realized after the first class that going to every class, reading every book, and completing every paper just wasn't going to be possible--even with an amazing teacher and subject matter I was interested in (impressive for my brain in a depressive state).  I met with the professor and switched to pass/fail with the assumption being that I would do as much as I could and that would be enough to pass. 

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@dancesintherain I can totally relate to that. I keep mentioning my health problems to my professors and they are blowing it off. I'm talking with the disability services office on Monday, so hopefully they can do some of the work for me. Honestly I just want to survive this summer with a B (required for my fellowship).

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Ugh to professors who don't get it.  I don't know if they get jaded by people claiming a sickness that is minor so they can't recognize that there are actual chronic issues that really do impact you.  Or if they just don't get it. I just happened to get really lucky the two times I needed it...with the course at the local state school, I got a professor who had a close family member who'd just had a depressive episode.  With a music history course once I returned that had a really early start time (so I had a really bad attendance issue), I got a professor who's actually had depression himself.  Luck of the draw, I guess.

I hope your conversation on Monday goes well and they help negotiate something that's more manageable.  You probably know this (disclaimer that this isn't legal advice ;-) ), but in case you haven't stumbled across it before--if you are US, which I realized I don't know, reasonable accommodations under Section 504 are really, really broad.  It can't put a huge burden on the school, but beyond that you can really get creative.  That include things like reducing the total work requirement in a class or other things that take a big chunk off your plate but still let you participate and be involved.  For the required B for your fellowship--is it required in this course specifically or is it maintaining a B average/taking a particular language course and getting a B?  If the second one, any shot a pass/fail option now with having to get a B later would be on the table?  (I could also see that as a reasonable accommodation to be honest.) I don't know if that would help lower stress, but thought it might be worth checking. 

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