I’ve posted this on my Twitter, Facebook, and maybe my Tumblr (I can’t remember at the moment), but I had to write about it here too because I am so excited about it.
A year ago I was not in good shape. I was still really depressed, was just starting DBT group, had only been in DBT individual therapy for 2 months, and was falling very far behind in my classes at school. I missed class so often that finally one of my teachers told me I shouldn’t bother even coming because the classes wouldn’t do anything for me, since I was too far behind. Luckily, that same teacher allowed me to take an incomplete in the class, which gives you six weeks from the end of the class to finish your work.
I didn’t finish my work in six weeks.
It was a huge struggle for me to finish up that incomplete. I still had to keep up with or finish up work from my other classes, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I wasn’t really motivated or anything. By the amazing patience of my teacher, six weeks turned into six months which turned into a year. During this time I was attempting to take other classes and then, falling behind in some of those, I had to make up that work as well. A year later, I still hadn’t done hardly anything for that incomplete. Sure, I’d read all of the really short Spanish books, but the novels I kept putting off.
This was a recurring problem for me in therapy, the whole school thing. I would skip class often, not have homework done, and would sleep all the time. I was making no progress on that incomplete and it was very trying for my therapist. She started getting a bit frustrated and burned out on the subject.
I think it was about a week ago that I wrote a post entitled “Passion.” In it I reflected on how I found a passion to speak out about mental health and share my story and possibly become an advocate. My therapist telling me that most places won’t accept someone without a college degree kicked me into gear on finishing that incomplete. In 10 days I finished it (I finished this past Thursday) – something that I had been unable to do for an entire year. It felt absolutely incredible. When I finished I just sat on my bed (which was in the living room) and I had no idea what to do with my time. I felt a bit lost, but if felt amazing.
It was so hard and took so much dedication, but I was able to do it. It really made me realize that I can do things that are very difficult if I find some outside motivation and I just stick with it. Deadlines aren’t enough. Consequences aren’t enough. Punishment isn’t enough. Motivation, reward, and passion was enough for me to push through this time. I just had to find out what would work for me.