Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thank You

Today I had my final collegiate therapy appointment.

I broke down sobbing at the end.

My therapist at school is named Dr. Bradley. I first met with her two years ago during my sophomore year when I was stricken with OCD and I really needed help - I was in a horrible place at that time and I swear having her to talk to saved my life. She walked me through my OCD at a time when I was extremely mentally needy, and she kept me alive and helped me survive my sophomore year. I literally would not have made it without her.

Here I am, graduating on May 22nd, and where would I have been if I didn't have her to turn to? I don't even want to think about it. It was her advice and her willingness to always listen to me that guided me through college. I would have been so beyond lost and despondent without her help. I'm scared to think of what I might have been like without her there. I don't know if I would have made it to where I am here.

Dr. Bradley, I really, really love you. You are a huge reason why I'm still here and why I'm graduating soon, and I know I could have never done it without you. Thank you for everything you've done, and I'll be sure to keep in touch with you once I'm back at home! It means so beyond much to me. Writing this is making me tear up all over again because I'm going to miss you so much when I'm not in school anymore. I can't even find the words to put this post together because there's just so much to say and I can't even articulate it. It's hard to put emotions into words anyhow.

So in short, thank you, Dr. Bradley. You're amazing. Keep on doing what you do - you're truly a wonderful woman, and I am so lucky to have you in my life. You've really made such a difference for me and I'm going to carry it with me forever.

Thank you. For everything. ♥

Friday, April 8, 2011

Academia ate my brain

I drew that in my notes during my second trip to the National Archives this semester when I was on a research trip to get some court-martial records from some soldiers in order to write my senior thesis, which is on rheumatism and soldiers who faked the disease to get out of military service during the American Civil War. I've never felt this mentally fried due to scholarly work in my entire life.

Normally, I eat, sleep and breathe academia, specifically when it relates to my interests (military history, baseball, etc.). When you have a limited time to work on things, however, you feel a sudden squeeze and it just grates at you and saps all of the fun out of doing the research and exploring your subject. I love doing research. It's such a gratifying feeling to find a source or a bit of information that helps you prove your point. But when there's so much pressure and you find yourself continually crying and sobbing to your roommate that you're breaking down because of it, it's not exactly as fun. The stress of this was just not okay.

In retrospect, I'm wondering if I could have gone to Disability Services on campus to ask them about working with my professors to help me find better ways to complete my assignments without getting so stressed out. But I'm pretty much done with my undergraduate experience now, so I'm always going to be left wondering. Don't be too proud to try it, though, because you never know what might happen and who could help you. My on-campus therapist, Dr. Kathy Bradley, has been my savior this semester. Make sure if you need support you get it - you'll melt down and end up in a very bad place otherwise.

And now I will go and do my citations. Ugh.