One thing’s for certain: nothing is ever certain. No matter how many times I acknowledge this fact, the uncertainty of life, certainly impacts my daily life and sometimes causes moments of deep pain. Expectations versus reality are perpetually in tension as I go about my day, often ranging from the most mundane to the most traumatic and always leaving me battling it out at various times. Life is hard, that is for sure, and being a student adds a whole other layer of complexity, but it also is very predictable, structured, and certain. I know what I need to do each day, what is expected of me, and even know all the assignments I’ll be doing months in advance; I like that feeling because it is secure. Other aspects of school aren’t so comforting and when am stressed, I believe my perseverance to see it through the hard times, has shaped me to be the more resilient person I am today. I am not the type of person to give up easily because I desperately want to feel better and to be happy.
I can say that I’m a resilient person because I am still here; I am still breathing and living. There are ‘countless’ times in which I’ve wanted to give up and stop trying, but thankfully there are more times in which I chose to face issues, rather than ignore them. I have to admit, however, that often I feel thrust into facing life’s challenges because I am so sensitive to my surroundings. I have Asperger’s Syndrome, it is on the autism spectrum and it affects my daily life. Being an ‘Aspie’ is often too over-stimulating, as sensory inputs such as lights and sounds that don’t bother others, often cause me intense distress and anxiety. Being in class and having to interact with others of often quite stressful. I am also a very sensitive person when it comes to emotions and change, as I often don’t know how to deal with them in the moment and I sometimes panic; over time and in the past, this has caused me to become depressed and it used to be a challenge to even get out of my bed. One thing that helps me overcome the feeling of being so overwhelmed is following a schedule and making lists. I feel reassured when I know what to expect for each day and this gives some degree of certainty and predictability.
As I finish my program here at UOIT and move towards graduating… I am filled with joy and grief. Joy, because I know I have accomplished my academic goal, but sad about the change and having to move on into the unknown. I try not to let my thoughts overwhelm me, but I have to say that I am really struggling to keep it together. I know with time, things won’t feel so new and I’ll move onto other things, but for now… I am just trying to live my day, one step at a time.