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A safe space to share stories and ask questions
trouble with schoolwork during emotional times 
15th-May-2007 06:19 pm
buffy (between)
I was really sick the beginning of this semester, and by the end of the semester issues from the rape had started resurfacing and making it impossible for me to concentrate. I have two incompletes - which means, as long as I turn in the final paper by the end of the summer, I'm fine. There's one 10 page paper and one 4 page paper; the topic of the 10 page paper is the same as that of an extensive class presentation I did earlier in the semester.

I cannot, for the life of me, even get started on these things. They should be so EASY, gah. I just feel upset and stressed out every time I even think about them. I do want to get them done sooner rather than later because I will just get more and more stressed out over them as time passes.

Have any of you struggled with motivation in terms of schoolwork/job performance? It's not just working through the aftereffects of abuse, in my case; I have a chronic illness for which my specialist is still trying to establish an effective treament, which has been handled very poorly (read: not at all) by the disability coordinators & health program at my school. I wish there were something more that I could do, but I am just spent for the moment.
Comments 
16th-May-2007 01:06 am (UTC)
Have you talked to your professors? When I was in college, they helped me quite a bit when issues from my rape reared their ugly heads...and they can help advocate for you to others around campus.
16th-May-2007 01:59 am (UTC)
Yes, they've been pretty understanding, but the fact that the disability center has not been very accommodating has kind of kept their hands tied.
16th-May-2007 01:51 am (UTC)
Would it help to break everything down into smaller bits? For example, do a quick outline of what you need to actually get started on the project. Then, the next day, look the list over and get everything in place to start. Then just put it aside again and instead, make a list of what you need to do to complete the paper. This might involve research, so you figure out where you'll go to do that research, and what books you might need. Then just put it aside again for another day. Go back again later, and go do the research or whatever you've decided the next step is.

Keep doing it in small bits like this, and you'll be surprised at how much easier it is to do. It should be a lot less overwhelming that way. You have enough time right now to do it in increments like this, and that way you only have to worry about whatever that day's increment is, instead of focusing on the whole thing all at once.
16th-May-2007 01:57 am (UTC)
This actually sounds like a really great suggestion. Thank you so much!

I already have outlines and all the works I'll be citing together; things will probably come together much easier once I pace things out instead of going "OMG TOO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT!"
16th-May-2007 02:00 am (UTC)
Also, Alan Rickman icon == yay! :)
16th-May-2007 02:31 am (UTC)
Definitely - when my ptsd symptoms were up, I had almost no motivation, and would have a lot of anxiety even starting to get papers and such done.

Something that helped me was to write, hand-write, out an outline, or even the ideas I wanted to put into the paper. For whatever reason, seeing my hand writing it reminded me of the little aspects of the paper - like the opener or the facts I wanted to use, and I could focus on the small pieces one at a time instead of tackling the whole paper. Sometimes deconstructing a bigger task can trick our brain into letting us do it
16th-May-2007 07:54 am (UTC)
i have managed to get myself in a similar pickle at uni. Between my bulimia, self harm, constantly thinking about incest issues and a knee injury (i do sports science), i lost all motivation and concentration and let everything pile up. I had a major stress yesturday morning but when i calmed down and looked at it, it is humanly possible - sleep is so over rated any ways right :-)

I ditto the breaking it down into small parts, and it doesn't seem so overwhelming. Also at our uni they have something called special consideration, if you are ill or have family or emotional problems - they will ask for a letter from your tharapist or doctor and then take it into account if you don't perform so well. Duno if you have anything like that but might be worth looking into.

Other than that i just wanted to say i understand what you must be going through, with work n stuff.

Take care and good luck with those papers
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