About Me

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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Scary study pressure till March and thanks for all the encouragement :)

I am under a lot of pressure due to exams on 22nd 25th of Feb and 1st March and every act of kindness, however small, can move me to tears of gratitude and every carelessness or unkindness stemming from others unconsciousness can be a blow I feel absolutely. I am so grateful for all the kind things people have done for me or said to me in the past. It is at times like these when memories of all the nice things said and done are hugely significant. People wish me well, say encouraging things and genuinely try to be helpful, and that is the best thing in life I know. Kindness is a beautiful thing.
I have to exercise every day and eat really well to keep my emotions manageable when there is a seemingly impossible pile of work to do, because I am a lot more vulnerable and my emotions are much more readily available when the going gets tough, so to speak. I am much more affected by the actions of others when I am under pressure. I have to be strict to keep things from becoming overwhelming. The Taoist Arch comes in handy when it all seems a bit much. I have to be honest; I have to not eat sugar, bread, or pasta, (it makes me REALLY tired). I have to drink plenty of water. I have to try to be helpful when I get the chance. I have to restrain myself from saying irritable things if I am at the end of my tether. Or let someone know they have been cruel when they say something unkind to me. (It’s too emotionally draining to confront them about their ‘stuff’). I have to do things that stabilize my mood such as helping others in whatever limited way I can till things settle down. I have to maintain a good intention toward others, and try to use my life to be of service. I need to wear life like a loose garment, not take myself too seriously, and try to do the work ‘lightly’, as opposed to a heavy duty power drive, ? white knuckle act of will. I need to fit meetings in, but be disciplined to get straight back to work instead of chatting to everyone after the meeting. Not easy!

I am not afraid of drinking, but it is more an emotional ‘white water’ expedition lasting till March which I am required to manage. I have to do stuff every day to keep my balance and keep myself functioning well enough to get as much study as I can do each day till then. I cannot afford to get overwhelmed to exhausted to the extent that I am unable to study or take things in.
I think of all the other people that are going through the stress of these examinations, and I feel a sense of solidarity with them. I also think of the people who managed to do well, who found it difficult just like I do, but managed to figure it out and that helps.

Being a long time sober means although I feel the stress more readily, (I am not suppressing it or denying it) I am almost too good at being ‘comfortable’, and can end up not applying myself with the same urgency I used to when I was a drinker. I can be too ‘yeh whatever’ and not be galvanised. Exams on the other hand scare me to ! death so I find urgency then, (thank God) but urgency does not arise without a terrifying looming deadline. Another ‘disadvantage’ of being long time sober, is that nothing seems terribly obvious. I see exceptions everywhere, and that makes it hard (for me) to be simple and practical, and focus on a few relevant details. Perhaps I am making excuses here and am just not very good at this, but I am unable to tell objectively at this point.

I cannot really tell at this point whether I know enough to pass these or get a decent mark, but I do know that I am sure that the prospect of passing or getting a decent mark (never mind a distinction or whatever) seems hopeless EVERY year, so I hope that I am as wrong this year as I have been in previous years. But I am not kidding. This is not an easy year. Not for me anyway. Being submerged in a new and (relatively) much more competitive culture compared to last year has been difficult to study in. Some of the tutors seem downright fierce and dismissive. Survival of the fittest seems to be the attitude. And it is much more practical than the esoteric philosophical tangents I studied before. It does not help that I am nonconformist, and although cooperative, have no desire to tow the party line to score extra points, as this comes in very handy when you need feedback from the tutors. Basically I am useless at sucking up to tutors. Oh well. Perhaps I can apply these new approaches to the 2nd 6 months of the year. I hope so. I don’t want the 2nd set of exams to be as disturbing as these ones ☺
Basically it has been a very humbling six months. I have used private tutors in the past to help with exams, but I am not sure if that’s what I need this time. The hard thing this year is simply remembering the mass of data, and bringing the dry facts to life by imagining their significance in real life scenarios. Otherwise I can forget them very !!! quickly.

I also tend to study in too much detail and so waste time on details I will not need in the exam, because I cannot see the wood for the trees till AFTER I understand the thing. Others seem to be able to pick out the salient points from the mass of data more quickly, and think in much more practical terms.
It has been a very difficult 6 months in a lot of ways and there are another 6 months to go, so I hope this works out, as it is an expensive and necessary career step. But as this is only a stepping-stone, I do not mind that it is not to my liking as it does not dictate what I decide to do afterwards.
These academic challenges are strange rites of passage. They seem to push you beyond what you think your natural limits are, and from that point of view they are like going to ‘any lengths’, which I suppose can only be a good thing, even though it doesn’t !!!! feel like it at the time ☺

Well thanks for bothering to read that. I feel much better for writing it.
So anyway, I suppose what I am saying is thank you for all your kind words or thoughts of support, because I do appreciate them, and I think of the things people say and I feel a connection with those people in a way I cannot really explain. But for me these things are very meaningful, and for me kindness is the most valuable thing in life. So thank you, and I hope you are have a lovely weekend.