Full disclosure, I’m well aware that the people I’m talking about, won’t be reading this. But this is something that needs to be put out there, on the half chance you might click and read this one post, even though you’ve never glanced at the rest of them.
One month ago, I came to the conclusion that I could no longer work in the capacity I have been used to working.
Two weeks ago, I called off for my last week of work, and decided that I 100% needed to put my focus on getting healthy, or at least finding a way to manage my pain.
This decision resulted in something no one expected: I medically withdrew from my university.
In the weeks that have followed, however, you’ve bombarded me with your disapproving comments and your blatant lack of understanding.
More family won’t speak to me.
People keep telling me they hope that by being back home, I’ll get healthier and I’ll be able to go back and finish my degree.
I’ll be able to take full advantage of the wonderful brain I’ve been given.
I’ll be able to do this and that.
Yes, I am home to try to get better, but as I walked into my front door and made my way upstairs, I was greeted by a completely renovated suite. Soundproof and all. This isn’t a couple month detour in my life, this feels pretty permanent.
No, I won’t live at home forever. God no. But, my coming home serves as the avenue in which I will reinvent myself around this disease. This disease isn’t going anywhere.
Yes, I’ve been approved for Aimovig. No, I haven’t started it yet. Yes, I’m hoping it will help some, but in the trials for chronic migraine patients, it decreased migraine days by roughly 6 days a month. I have a migraine everyday. Having 6 free days in a month would be HUGE. But I would still be considered one of the extreme cases for this condition.
When you tell me that I need to get healthy so that I can go back and finish my degree, you make me feel worthless.
Like my great achievements in academia are all that I can amount to.
Like academia is the only option for someone like me.
News flash. It isn’t an option.
News flash. I have $12,000 of loans to start paying if I get denied disability.
News flash. I can’t work to have an income to pay those loans.
Academia is a nightmare, and I’m not interested in re-entering that community.
But, then the tables turn.
Now I’m a “dropout”
I’m a failure.
I gave up.
I didn’t push myself hard enough.
If other people can do it, why couldn’t I?
Well excuse me, but last time I checked my academic standing I was the top of my class.
I wasn’t struggling to get good grades.
I wasn’t spending hours and hours studying and then failing exams.
I was the only student in most of my classes that did all the readings. I was the obnoxious student in my 8 AM Literature class that would literally just have a discussion with one other student and the professor, because no one else was even awake yet.
The only thing stopping me from graduating Summa Cum Laude was the shooting pain, the glaring light, the complete inability to pull myself off the couch. Being in the Emergency Room when I should be taking an exam is a problem.
Trying to take an exam when I can’t see isn’t possible. But oh I’ve done it. Remember when I failed calculus after I was a tutor for.. calculus? I’ve given presentations blind, with a peppermint breath-mint wedged in my cheek so I wouldn’t throw up or pass out during the presentation.
Yet, I’m a dropout.
Because medically withdrew makes you uncomfortable.
The first day of classes about 15 people reached out with concern. Not one of them had spoken to me all summer, but I’m in the wrong for not personally letting them know.
Now you’re back to wanting to fix me. You’re back to not knowing what you can do to help.
But you refuse to actually ask. You just continue to belittle me and act as if my medical issues somehow burden your life, even though we’ve never had a conversation outside of a goddamn twitter DM.
You’re angry with me for not reaching out to you. For not telling you that I wasn’t coming back this semester. (It’s a two week old decision cut the crap)
So, yes I’m confused.
I’m just laying in my bed.
Maybe I’m writhing in pain. Maybe I’m just laying here conserving my energy knowing I’ll have to use it later.
I don’t understand why you can’t see that I’m more than some degree. I contribute more to society now that I’m sick than I ever did when I was healthy.
The only reason you’re uncomfortable, is because you’re part of the problem.