“It is therefore with great regret that we must notify you…”

December 22, 2016

“It is therefore with great regret that we must notify you that you have been academically dismissed from the University.”

Here I am a couple of years shy of 30 and I don’t have a college degree, not even an associates. I have a pretty decent job, I’m actually quite surprised where I am considering I don’t have a degree. However, I know I can be in a much better place if I have one.

Last year I was in a bad place, mentally and physically. Was I suicidal? No. But, even though I wasn’t diagnosed, I was battling some form of depression. My pain was slowly getting worse and I was feeling like my health was failing. The pain was all I could think about and couldn’t concentrate on anything but that. I was still being passed around from doctor to doctor, so of course that didn’t help me mentally either. I was scared.

Even though I was dealing with that, I still tried to manage to show everyone that I had everything under control. I would continue to take classes. I would even try to take multiple classes. I overloaded myself thinking the more classes I took, the faster I could graduate. I had every intention of trying my best to pass. I would complete homework ahead of schedule because I knew some days I just wouldn’t have it in me to do the work. A couple of weeks into the class, my best would turn into barely keeping up. I couldn’t focus. And even though I knew I couldn’t, the drive in me kept me going. That drive would end up not being good enough and I would eventually get kicked out of school.

But why didn’t you talk to your professors for help? One word: anxiety. My brain had already made up an entire scenario on how my professors would say “Oh well, you’re an adult.” And when your anxiety has you convinced, it’s hard to go against it.

I was crushed. I called my mother in tears. Every time I would talk to her, she would ask how school was coming along. I was lying to my mom semester after semester. There I was knowing after that current semester I was going to get kicked out of school and I had to tell my mom. I was disappointed and embarrassed in myself that I had got to that point. I thought I had failed my mom and she wouldn’t be proud of me. My mom reassured me that she was not disappointed and that I should not feel like a failure. She told me that we would take 2017 to figure out what was going on with my health, and that’s exactly what we did.

It’s only been a week since I’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia but, that drive has already come back. Of course the diagnosis hasn’t changed anything; I’m still in constant pain and I still have trouble with focusing. However, the stress and fear of trying to figure out what’s wrong with me is gone. A weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

So here I am getting ready to start this journey again. I have to write a letter to the reinstatement group to see if they will accept me back. I’ll probably work on it this weekend. This won’t be easy. I’m going to struggle at times but, now I’m better prepared. Maybe not physically but, definitely mentally. No matter how long it takes, I will get a degree.

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