Saturday, May 26, 2007

Panic Attack, Just Add Water

Excuse me for being AWOL these last couple days, I’ve been busy beating myself up, then drinking my sorrows away, then fervently repeating the process.

To make a long story short, I took the last three semesters off school, because frankly, I was an emotional basket case. I couldn’t handle the classroom setting. My social anxiety would prevent me from participating, and my emotional instability would keep me crying for hours after class.

The time off has done me good and on Wednesday I decided I would resume class in the fall, in the court reporting program, (a program I’ve been interested in for the last year and a half, but have been to crippled to pursue). When I went to sign up, I was informed the program was discontinued.

I couldn’t believe it. What a slap in the face. My emotional instability was suddenly back and my thought process resembled something close to the following: “That’s what I get for being such a procrastinator. I’m going to be stuck in my lowly secretary job for the rest of my life. I’m a loser. My whole life is ruined. I always fuck everything up.”

It was all I could do to hold back the tears for the rest of the workday, and before I got to the car, they were spilling out. I spent the next day in a funk, consumed by self-pity.

Then, I received a call from good ol’ Rey, who had found a reasonably priced, accredited, online court reporting program. Bam! I’m not a loser! I’m not gonna be stuck in my lowly secretary job forever. Saved by the internet!

Out of nowhere, sharp pain in the head and dizziness. Numbness and heaviness in the left arm. I was having a stroke. I was terrified. My chest constricted, I couldn’t breathe. I wouldn’t be able to complete the court reporting program after all. I immediately called Rey, who sarcastically informed me that if I was having a real stroke, I wouldn’t be calling him. Whatever, what does he know about having a stroke.

In retrospect, I see that the discontinuation of the court reporting program was almost comforting. It was an out. I would’ve made a great court reporter, hell, I could’ve opened my own business, if only those bastards didn’t shut me down. It was out of my control. But when confronted with the fact that the program wasn’t gone and I still had the opportunity, panic struck.

Failure is now back on the table. What if I’m not good at it? What if I can’t cut the mustard?

I guess we’ll find out, I start the program in fall.


Michelle said...

Well I can totally relate to that. I start back to school on June 6th and I already found out they shipped my books to the wrong address..Talk about stressing before I post my first paper! Hang in there you will be wonderful!

Sean said...

You will be wonderful Leila! And if you aren't, it'll be because there's something out there that you're better at. And you'll be all excited to figure out what that could be. And stuff.

I mean, shit, you're pretty f'n good at this blog thing. Got me addicted.

Leila V. said...

Thanks, guys! You're too kind.

Anonymous said...

I went to court reporting/stenography school back in 1990-1992 & it was very difficult. But if you're a extremely fast typer & don't mind working through out the night to get the transcripts into the attorney's grubby little hands, then you should be alright. My experience says, think twice! Significant amount of work & stress, my college roommate got Shingles from the stress.

Leila V. said...

Yikes. Thanks for the warning. Seems like any-and-every-thing involving attorneys is stressful. ;) And I just can’t seem to get away from them. I must be a glutton for punishment...

Barbora said...

I have procrastination stories that I’m too ashamed to post even in relative anonymity… Some costly, some embarrassing and some both.

The bottom line is you’ve recovered and made a decision to go forward. Sounds pretty healthy to me. You might actually like the online course better.

Anonymous said...

I have just dropped out of a court reporting program after putting 2 years into it. I can't put in the time that it requires, and it's a lot of f'ing time! I'm at 130 wpm, doing really good actually, but I'll never finish. I also suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and having them every day is too much. I'm done, now I have to deal with being a failure.