It is with this term that I begin the attempt to claw my way out of the pit created by my breakdown almost a year ago. In this term, I begin taking the classes I need to make up, the ones that took my GPA from a 3.89, to a 2.8.
I have a lot of thoughts about the sources of my breakdown. A lot of things went into it, there wasn’t just one thing I can point to and say, “That was it, now I can focus and move on.” And that’s an important thing to remember, because I am a person who looks for solutions.
Along with summer school, comes the inevitable change of therapists one has to endure when one doesn’t have the money for a professional. I have to go through a school program and I went through two other “therapists in training” to get to this one, who has been extremely helpful–finally.
There is a lot of stress that comes with picking yourself up from the muck. American culture is pretty insistent on us doing it all on our own. The myth of the self-made person is still persistent despite how the Left tore apart Howard Schultz during his pathetic attempt at a presidential run.
None of us is self-made. It is the height of arrogance to say we are, and the height of inhumanity to insist others must be. But it is the world in which the suffering must navigate. And, ultimately, I am a realist, so I know I must check my natural optimism with the reality of the world I live in.
I am fond of pointing out that American ideals, based in an American interpretation of the King James Bible, are the biggest detriment to people in any kind of need. We are not individuals, as we are so wont to believe, as we are told from childhood. We are more of a collective. I might make a decision to do something, but there are other people in the world who may make decisions that will prevent me from doing just that thing. None of that is my fault, but I must live with the consequences of their decisions. Then force myself to come up with a new choice, and repeat the process
However, in comparison to how few decisions I could make when I was under the control and sway of the church, I am utterly free. The church was a prison. They taught that there is only one reason women were made and that was to serve their husbands and push out babies to populate and take over the world. (OK, they don’t all say that last one, but I did know a high number of people who put it just that way, including pastors.)
Now, I can make decisions that I think will benefit myself and my kids without the authoritarianism of the church. There is push-back, to be sure. There are others who do not support my decisions, and still others who actively engage to thwart them directly. But it is still far more control than I once had.
What will happen? No one knows. Life is, truly, a crap shoot. We never know how the dice will roll, and luck is never a lady. And that is something I have to learn to live with. Idealism is pretty and it makes for a good feeling, but reality is, well, reality, and that is where we must all live.