TL;DR - nerves about grad school, work, life, grief, illness, and writing
Tomorrow I start back to Grad School with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign online LEEP program working towards a Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree after taking a year off. I'm only taking one class called, "Community Engagement" and I'm really looking forward to it.
But I'm also nervous. Not nervous like I was when I started since I'd been out of school for several years and it was my first time doing any Graduate classes. But nervous that my concentration / focus isn't what it was due to my grief about Joy being killed, my two cats dying, and other life concerns like Kess having cancer and Bek breaking her humorous, though not her humor, making me feel more fragile than I know myself to be. I've also found, with the help of therapy, that I am mourning my mom since when she died, the family was consumed with making sure Joy was taken care of and I never really mourned her at that time.
This mourning, grief, and worry has stolen my focus, my sleep, given me nightmares, and taken my occasional migraines into the realm of chronic migraines. Don't get me wrong, I am ever so grateful and delighted that my bestie and my sister have both recovered. I am blessed that my job and my school have been so understanding of my circumstances. And I feel ever so loved by family and friends. But I still am grieving and I feel guilty for it going so long since I am just a bystander in all of this - it was not my body being crushed, having cancer, breaking, dying... Then, on top of that, I feel bad for feeling guilty because there is no timeline on grief. It's a vicious cycle of grief and guilt. (And yes, I'm in therapy. My therapist is awesome and helping me through this.) My other concern is that I know I need to make time to write even with work and animal care and grad school. My writing has been vital for me staying above the waters of deepest depression that I nearly died in a few years after Joy's rafting accident. I cannot and will not slide into those waters.
I had hoped to get my room rearranged and cleaned before my class started. But I have been sick and the migraines have kicked up a notch (which happens when all three of my main triggers - stress, hormones, and weather shift - hit me at the same time, especially when I'm sick) so my free time, including the weekend I had off, has been spent in bed. I'm trying to be okay with that. SELF-CARE is my mantra. I also keep reminding myself that yes, I am more than halfway through the MLIS program, I have all 'A's, and, when I started, I was working 2 jobs and taking double the course load, so I can do this.
I CAN DO THIS
I WILL DO THIS