Today is a not so great day. For numerous students today, today it is a happy, joyful day, full of relief and excitement for what lies ahead. Many of the people are started college with — including one of my ‘close’ friends — is graduating from undergrad today.
And while I’m happy for her/them, and proud of her achievements, I can’t help but remember that I was supposed to walk across that stage today, too. I was on track to graduate today when I started school; my migraines were under control, my depression was almost non-existent, and I had motivation to succeed in each of my classes.
However, that all changed the beginning of my fourth semester. Becoming quite ill with what seemed like mono, my chronic migraines were kicked out of control. Gone were my wonderful, happy, motivated days of concentrated effort and ability to function for long periods of time. I began to lose my grip on classes. At first, I thought I was only going to lose a semester. Fast-forward to now, and my chronic illness has taken two years of my education from me.
Why didn’t I just drop out? Financial reasons–if I could barely make it through class, there was no way I could handle a job to pay my student loans. On the other-hand, it was a risk to continue school because there was a good chance I’d end up throwing money away. Catch-22, if you ask me.
So as I woke up nauseous, in pain from my head to toes (literally), and my general cognitive lacking, I’m reminded yet again how the plan failed.
I know that everyone has a different path, and there is no right or wrong way to reach your goals, but just once I wanted to reach an accomplishment the way I felt I should be able to. Since the onset of my daily chronic migraines, I’ve had to lower my expectations for myself countless times just to find the positive in something. But how much lower can I go? Will I ever accomplish a goal on my terms, and not with this chronic, miserable pain hanging over me?