Friday, August 6, 2010

Always Guilty

I awoke this morning at 4am to keep my promise that I would finish an essay before I left for Delaware.
I am guilty, always guilty when it comes to my schoolwork.
In class, I function great. I am a relentless note taker, I excel on tests and quizzes, I participate often, and almost always find myself in friendly conversations with my teachers.
Anybody who saw me in class would think I'm an amazing student, even maybe a teacher's pet because of my enthusiasm and comfort level around adults.
Outside of class, I am a wreck.
I procrastinate away every last minute I have for my assignments, and when the due date approaches, I sit frustrated and upset, paralyzed with guilt.
I end up not completing a course because of one or two essays or assignments, take an Incomplete, and grapple with my dysfunctional inability to get work done across the span of a whole vacation.
Most likely than not, I end up waiting until the last minute once again, and the process repeats itself, this time with me finally completing the work after an excruciating amount of effort and pain.

Though stumped at first, my psychiatrist told me I basically have a handicap.
Being used to excelling at academics to an incredible degree up until the beginning of high school made me practically obsessive-compulsive about my quality of work...
I either hand in the best example of work possible, or I hand in nothing at all.
My constant failures and depression in high school created such a fear of failure that I become "paralyzed" and unable to work under stressful situations, like incoming due dates.
I have a lot of trouble focusing on things I don't like or that bore me, which resulted in a diagnosis of ADHD, inattentive type. It basically means that things that bore me can't hold my attention, even if I know it's important. (I also have a cluttered room, yet know where everything is.)

All of that stuff combined creates a recipe for disaster whenever an out-of-class project is assigned.

I live with such guilt and frustration over this.
Years of struggling to make things easier hasn't worked.
Psychotherapy, organizational skills, counseling, medication, you name it.
Sometimes you just can't change the way a brain works...
...and I hate it.

So every school year, I end up getting a high GPA, which people marvel at and congratulate me on.
I smile and thank them, but once I'm alone, I cringe at the pain and suffering I have to go through just to even complete a class in the first place.
And I'm always guilty.

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