When the whole world’s trying to eat you alive, take a jigsaw to the fangs. 

The line in the title above was pretty much my mantra for getting myself through college and much of my twenties. (I’m 32 now and still hold the phrase close to my heart.)

College was a very intense time for me, in part because I went to a writing-intensive college. I quickly discovered the only way I could effectively write good college level papers on class readings was a long-winded process indeed. I would have to copy the text by hand, then take handwritten notes from my copy, then handwrite a rough draft and finally find a computer lab with no one in it and make revisions as I typed. I had a few teachers who would accept handwritten work to save me time, but most did not. Many others did give me deadline flexibility. A few did not.

Also during my college years I took on a self-assigned journalism project. I spent a year and a half researching changes in the school’s advertising and values; along with interviewing students, professors, alumni and prospective students on the subject. After all of this I wrote a series of editorial articles that were published in the student newspaper.

I did all of this while being forced to maintain a 3.0 GPA or lose my scholarship funds. I did all of this while watching my grandparents descend into Alzheimers and my mom into a whiskey bottle. I did all of this while dealing with some pretty severe gaslighting from two folks I considered friends. (Though the rest of my friends from that tine have proven to be true and lasting friends.)

I graduated college in exactly four years. I’m still not sure how I pulled that off. What I am sure of is that a month after I graduated I landed in the ER with severely low sodium and potassium having been induced by sleep-deprivation, stress and drinking due to that stress.

This year makes ten years since that night in the hospital. Since then I’ve lost both parents. I have not coped well with that. I’ve never fully gotten over some of the specifics of the hospital experience. I worked successfully from 2007-2013 but have really struggled since.

In the last year I have faced homelessness of varying degrees. I was raped my second night on the streets. I am still not coping well with that. (Thankfully I am now in a safe place staying with friends.)

I am tired. And I think I need to write.

5 thoughts on “When the whole world’s trying to eat you alive, take a jigsaw to the fangs. 

  1. Oh wow, my dear friend 💐💞. I’m amazed by your strength and perseverance. Not just for getting through school the way you did, but the unfair and traumatizing conditions under which you did it. I feel the pain in your words, the wistfulness and grief. It’s good to let it out. I’m in awe of your raw honesty and your powerful insight. Standing beside you in strength and support. Always here for you, too ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m also one of those people that push, push, push in the middle of crisis/chaos. Then when it’s over, BOOM! I believe part of why I’m disabled with fibromyalgia now is because I had to maintain under extreme stress for so long.
    All my blather just to say, I can relate. I’m glad you’re safe now & I look forward to reading your writings.💓

    Liked by 3 people

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