Monday, November 12, 2012

Attending School With A Chronic Disease

Today is Day 12 of WEGO Health's National Health Blog Post Month Challenge and the topic of the day is
"Call BS on something. What’s something that is just ridiculous?"

I am calling BS on myself.

Yes, this is me. And I am calling BS on myself.

I Failed College

I've been taking online classes for about 2 years now. TWO WHOLE YEARS. When I first started my online classes, I wasn't sick. I did not have lupus, yet (or rather it was hiding out in my body just waiting to step into the spotlight). I was living with a boyfriend and I needed to work and go to school, somewhere that was reasonably priced. That's why I chose as my college. I figured after I got a basic degree I could then do some small graphic design jobs so I could pay to go to my dream school, Art Center College Of Design in Pasadena.

When The Problems Started

A month after starting my classes through Penn Foster, I triggered my lupus. (Check out my bio to find out how) For the next six months I focused completely on this mystery illness. I had no idea what was going on with my body because it took six months to get diagnosed. For a long time I honestly believed I was going to die, which is partially why I ignored my schooling.

It seemed like I always had an excuse why I wasn't doing my homework. 

"I'm in too much pain to concentrate." 

"I'll do it when I feel better."

"I need to focus on getting myself better."

Plus a million other excuses. At the time, they looked very valid, but looking back I see that it was all BS! And when I finally started to buckle down I had 11 of 29 tests completed and less than six months to finish it all. Plus, I had started my new job so I was working 5 days a week or more. "Waiting until I felt better" turned out to be a stupid reason because as soon as I got reasonably healthy, I started working incessantly. I had created this mess that I had no idea how to get out of.


I am lazy. 

I didn't realize how hard that was to admit to myself, but wow, that was hard to say. Just writing that released the emotions from the little wall I had built inside myself. I have no more fake excuses for my behavior. It was pure laziness. And for my laziness I must accept the consequences. I AM A COLLEGE DROPOUT.

This has to be my biggest regret in life so far. I shouldn't have left my schooling fall to the wayside. I was in bed most of the time, how hard would it have been to do my homework? I've been using my illness as a crutch. Oh god, I just want to crawl into a hole.

I don't think I can express how disappointed in myself I am. I can feel my disappointment in my toes and fingers and everywhere in my body. I'm trying not to get too disappointed because I don't want to trigger a flare. But then that disappointment turns to anger. Anger in myself for not doing all that I could. For using my illness as an excuse.

And now I'm feeling a new emotion. Sadness. Just...sad. I'm sad that I had to experience this at all. I'm sad that I let myself get in this situation. I'm sad that I wasn't as honest with myself as I thought.

What Happens Now?

I'm sure they'll give me another six months to try and finish this, but that doesn't stop me from being angry with myself. Or disappointed. Or sad.

But what if they don't? What will I do then?

Are you having trouble with school? Has your chronic illness gotten in the way of your education, or like me, use that as an excuse? Please let me know I'm not the only person.

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