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So very stressed- feel like I can't cope anymore.

(21 Posts)
wigglytuff Mon 26-Nov-12 00:21:59

I get stressed a lot not just by normally stressful stuff but things that don't bother anyone else. I don't handle being stressed very well but what I do seem to have learnt to do is hide it well. In fact I'm so good no one really knows about it, even though I would really love to tell someone everything.

The problem is i am really bad at talking to people in person(I am trying to find out if online counselling is a possibility) and I often fail to communicate my problems effectively and make the other person understand. Added to that I have been pretending everything is ok for so long that I don't think other people will believe me either sad

So i just have to carry on by myself and this makes me even more stressed. I have a huge amount of college work that I can't concentrate on because I'm so stressed about other things. But I get so angry with myself about it that just makes it worse. Then every where I look everything is all about xmas which is the time of year I hate most and cause stress for me for a number of reasons most people don't understand.

I feel like I am working so hard just to stop my life falling apart, but even that is not good enough. I really don't think I can carry on with it this way for much longer- I feel like I just can't cope with all this stress anymore.

ClareMarriott Mon 26-Nov-12 09:03:30


If you can take a step back, can you let us know what exactly you are stressing about ? If you are doing college work, how old are you and do you have parents and siblings ?

wigglytuff Mon 26-Nov-12 10:06:12

ok I can try to explain all the things that make me stressed but it could take long time. Also even though I am at college I am a mature student in my 30s, so I don't live with my parents and siblings also have all left home too.

College stuff that makes me stressed: I have loads of assignments this semester, I have 3 more that are due before the end of term on 14th dec. 2 are fairly big reports (approx 5000 words) and one is smaller (aroung 2-3000 words) plus I still haven't finished the last assignment that was due 2 weeks ago. Finishing that one is delaying me starting the others so I am getting behind and also struggling to keep up with the reading, lectures, notes etc I need to do for the whole course. i can't do bits of each one every day, I need to work on just 1 piece from start to finish before I can start the next. Also I can't do them out of order as that would make me even more stressed- like I said before things like that bother me when other people can do that no problem.

I find writing the assignments very difficult. Not because I don't understand, it just takes me a long time to work out what to put down and I need to break it up into smaller sections. I got told last year this is because I have a specific learning disability and I should be getting extra help and more time, but because the psychologists report wasn't worded right they won't fund this help so I don't get it. I have been told they are getting the wording changed so it will go through next time but obviously it won't be very soon, so not in time for these assignments. Also they want me to see a specialist to get a diagnosis but again there is a waiting list and I got told it probably won't even be before my final exams in june.

So this is just some of the stuff that is stressful about college but there is loads of other things. The only way i can deal with it is by ignoring it, pretending its not happeneing. So I waste the time I should be working by doing other stuff which is not helpful and I know it isn't but I just can't stop. Then when I do work I have lots of rules I have to follow about how I do it which makes progress even slower but not doing it causes me more stress- again no one else understands this. So I get even more stress as I have less and less time left, making me want to block it out even more and it makes me even stop doing other non college things that are important and I get to the point where I feel like I can't cope with it all. I just want to hide in a dark corner untill it all goes away but I know it never will.

ClareMarriott Mon 26-Nov-12 10:55:55

Ok, taking things one at a time. Is the course you are following going to allow you to move up the career ladder or are you doing this for pleasure ? If it's for your career, do you agree that you have a learning disability ? If so, how did you deal with it in the past. Going to college is stressful for everyone, however much freshers weeks and all the other social things are lauded , so I think you need to find a strategy that works for you. As the end of term is approaching and you say you need to do the assignments in order, can you make yourself a list of what you need to do tied in with the rules you have to follow and then tick off things as you complete them. Good luck

wigglytuff Mon 26-Nov-12 11:50:50

Its neither for a career ladder or for pleasure. It is a degree level course which I am doing because the alternative would be being unemployed and on benefits. Also because family expects me to have a bachelors degree at least because they think I am so clever. I'm really not but that is my fault they believe it, by pretending to cope for all these years.

Answers to your other questions:

-Do I agree with the learning disabilty?- yes, my cognitive processing speed was at 5 centile when I was tested and I was relieved someone noticed at last that IT TAKES ME LONGER TO DO THINGS

-How did I deal with it in the past?- At school I cried, refused, ran away,hid when faced with stuff that was too stressful. As a teenager I started self-harming to cope. Since being at college I have tried asking for help with work and I have been promised I will get some soon, but that won't help with any of the other non-college stuff anyway. Sleep deprivation is the only way to attempt to get everything done.

-Can I make a list?- yes, I make loads of lists everyday. I can't do anything else it is on a list. I spend hours writing lists, sometimes for so long there is no time left to actually do the things on the list. If something happens to interupt or disturb me and I go off list or get forced to do it out of order that makes me more stressed and if I don't get a task completed on time on the list I can't ,move onto the next thing, I just get stuck and more stressed and start the whole ignoring thing off again.

I don't think I am managing to communicate this properly- you say everyone finds college stressful except freshers week and social events. I'm trying to explain how it is more stressful for me and how I can't cope like everyone else, but I see like everyone else you don't understand that. And for me freshers week and social events are not stress-free in fact they are worse than writing essays and so stressful for me I do not attend them ever.

wigglytuff Mon 26-Nov-12 14:05:18

Want to add that it is everything that has the list rules not just my college work. So a big stress issue for me is housework as I never seem to have time to do it all and I mainly have to focus on kitchen/bathroom room as priorities. I do manage to make sure that my kids have clean clothes every day and I can manage to do the washing up every 3-4 days (I can't cope with cooking too often right now, so this isn't too bad as we eat out/have take away a lot) but still i feel this is not enough and i should be achieving more.

Ok let me give an example. Currently there are several plates with food and empty wrappers etc. on the kitchen worktop. I have been in the kitchen a few times today seen them and know they need cleaning up. Some have been ther 2 day and I know it is bad and I don't like it or want it that way. But I can't put them in the bin because I have no bin bags because i haven't been to the shop. i haven't been to the shop because that is on today's 'to do' list after finishing part of my coursework. i can't do my coursework because i am stressing about missing the deadline and also about the mess in the kitchen. I am 'stuck' and in 'ignore mode' even though I don't want to and know this makes it all worse and cause more stress for me.

Another example is about an hour ago while making a coffee, I spilled some on the floor. I should just wipe it up but wiping floors is not on the list for today so I can't. It won't get done until I write it on a list to do (probably tomorrows as today is full up) and actually get to that point on the list which doesn't always happen as I explained before about interuptions. Yet it will cause me stress until done as i know it is wrong to leave it, and then because I know I can't do it i will get even more stressed about that too.

Does anyone actually understand all this? I feel like I am some kind of weirdo or a lunatic or something by explaining the way things really are for me. I'm sure other people will just say its easy why don't I just do it- and I want to but I just can't and it makes me feel so bad. I am stuck in some kind of stress loop and I can't cope with it but don't know how to make it all stop.

wigglytuff Mon 26-Nov-12 19:34:26

I guess that's a no then, no one understands what I'm on about. Maybe I was right and I am just some weird crazy person sad

amillionyears Mon 26-Nov-12 22:03:25

So sorry you are going through all this.
You sound in a right panic.

How many hours sleep are you getting each night?

I do have other questions, but I think perhaps we will do them one at a time.

amillionyears Mon 26-Nov-12 22:06:40

btw, I dont think you are a weird crazy person, just someone who has too much to cope with on her own right now.

wigglytuff Mon 26-Nov-12 22:44:36

Last night I slept from 2am to 7am so 5 hours. That is too much time to waste on sleeping when I could be doing other things. I would love to get more sleep than that every night but I just can't justify it when I am not coping with everything else at the moment.

amillionyears Tue 27-Nov-12 10:10:48

You do need sleep and rest, but I appreciate that you do not have much time at present.

Are you living in student accomodation?
Is there anyone who can and is able to some and help with practical matters, why you get some rest, and would then be able to get on with some studying?
fwiw,I have had some children go through Uni, so I understand a little about it.
And, how many children have you got with you. If you can manage it, you do need to get the coffee of the floor.

wigglytuff Tue 27-Nov-12 10:48:35

No I live in my own house. They don't do student accomodation for people with children. All the private rents nearby are expensive cos they can get more from students who share but I freak out whenever I try living with other people. So I have to live 15 miles away in a cheap area and that makes travelling in everyday stressful and I am late a lot. Also they have temporarily closed the car park I always parked in so i have to go in another. Its no difference in cost or distance but just because it is different makes me stressed and that is another thing other people don't understand.

There is no one I can ask for help from. I don't have any friends and family don't live nearby and I wouldn't tell them about my problems anyway because it would just cause a whole load more problems and not actually solve anything. Also I said before that I don't like other people being in my house very much and I would definitely get very stressed if they came in and started touching my things and moving them or doing stuff with them. That would probably cause me to have a total breakdown. Even just thinking about that happening is making me feel sick.

So I can see that sounds like I'm saying I can't cope but I also won't let anyone help, so its all my fault and I cause things to be this way but I really don't want it like that its just the way i've always been all my life and I don't think its possible for me to change who i am.

amillionyears Tue 27-Nov-12 10:53:56

What are your finances like, as in, would you allow a stranger to come in and help with practical housework?
What happens to your children while you are at lectures?

wigglytuff Tue 27-Nov-12 11:32:58

No I wouldn't like a stranger in my house at all and I said before it would make me sick thinking about someone touching my stuff and moving it.

My children are at school mostly when I' at lectures and if they are late ones they can go to the after school club.

amillionyears Tue 27-Nov-12 11:48:38

What happens if you dont or cant make your assignment deadlines for this term?

wigglytuff Tue 27-Nov-12 11:57:09

basically I would fail those assignments, which mostly make up 50% of the grade for those modules, and unless i get fanatastic grades in the exams (very unlikely as i am worse at most types of exam than at the coursework) that would mean i fail the modules. There is a chance that if I do complete the work but miss the daedline I can put it in with mitigating circumstances, which they might (but don't have to) accept as a good enough excuse and allow me a grade for those assignments. Otherwise I fail those modules so I could be given the chance to do extra work in summer holidays instead (would be very difficult for me) but if I fail too many modules I will just fail the whole year outright. I am already on my second attempt at this year so unlikely they would give me another chance plus i would have to fund it myself which I can't afford.

amillionyears Tue 27-Nov-12 12:14:14

And how much assignment work have you managed to do in say, the last 3 days?

fwiw, and from what little I know Unis can be quite good and relaxed about mitigating circumstances, though it might be a bit different as you are on your second attempt.

wigglytuff Tue 27-Nov-12 12:43:38

in the last 3 days I have written about 200 words of a 5000 word report that was due 3 weeks ago

amillionyears Tue 27-Nov-12 13:06:06

That is what I thought you would say.
So resting or sleeping would have been better for 2 and 1/2 days of that.

I can pm you to talk some more about this if you want, or we can continue on here if you want. Someone else may join in?

amillionyears Tue 27-Nov-12 13:08:35

Any idea how long you may have to wait for the Uni support?

wigglytuff Tue 27-Nov-12 13:26:42

no if I had slept for 2 and a half days I would only have written about 30 words by now. No one understands this, that I am just slow at writing my assignments.

I don't know how long.Last week they said they were asking for the wording to be changed so I could reapply. That usually takes about 6 weeks I think once they get a newly worded report. If they don't accept that then I need to wait to see the specialist which I was told is at least 8 months, so not before July next year.

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