Blogmas Day 23 – The Internal “Meh”

So what was supposed to be 1 day off from Blogmas has turned into a five day social media switch off. I’d say sorry but I really owe it to no one – I’ve not been having the best time over the last few days. Those of you that follow me on Twitter know I had an issue at university with bad feedback, and whilst that’s all been getting sorted I slipped from my perky demeanor to my usual anxious self. This time seemed the worst it’s been in a while.

My boyfriend inspired me to write this post when he encouraged me to sit down and process what I was feeling. I wasn’t really having a strong emotional response to what was happening to me. I got a bad grade, but not a terrible one. However, the feedback given became the straw that broke the camels back on a three month process that I finally had to admit, angrily, I’d been dealt a bad hand in. My academic supervisor for my honours essay (not the dissertation – that’s still ongoing) had been useless, and along with not meeting me, leaving me feeling discouraged, and not really explaining what he wanted from my essay, left me feedback in response to the grade that basically said “This work was a pile of crap. Goodbye” rather than explaining how it could have been improved. Distressed, I ended up complaining to the course coordinator. My grade won’t change, but hopefully next year’s students don’t have to deal with the problems I did.

One thing I got out of this is the fact that if you ever feel that a grade is given unfairly or an academic staff member doesn’t commit to their requirements, leaving you out in the cold, you should complain or at least speak to someone else about it. The uni staff have really been lovely about the whole thing and I know they’ll be improvements because of it, and I will get some useful feedback from it. But this whole process, and trying to see a complaint through, has drained me of a lot of happiness. I think combined with not going home for Christmas for the first time ever, I’m just not feeling it right now. I’m by no means in a depressive state, and I’m still excited for Christmas. But following launching my complaint, as the initial anger died down, I just felt nothing. No strong emotion for anything. When describing it to my boyfriend as he worried about the fact I didn’t want to get out of bed again, I described it as not being happy but not being sad either, just having a bit of an internal “meh”. And really, I just wanted to quantify that today as an explanation. Because in all honesty it’s fine to have an internal “meh” period, so long as you don’t pack up and stay there!

Admittedly, I wondered if it was socially acceptable to stay in bed like I was ill, except I hadn’t lost my appetite and wanted to be bought wine and chocolate rather than medicine and hot drinks, and I wanted Peggy to come and give me cuddles (she was a big help during this time, even if she was more interested in biting my hands and jumping on my feet). Apparently it’s not though, so I had to deal with getting up, dragging myself through the shower and making sure Peggy was fed. My boyfriend has been amazing throughout this whole thing, being very supportive and agreeing with me that the feedback was unfair, encouraging me every step of the way.

I know this will pass – it always does. But that doesn’t make battling anxiety and mental health issues any easier.

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