Failing at School, Failing at Everything Else...

Discussion in 'Support' started by walkthroughwalls, Jan 20, 2016.

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    1. walkthroughwalls

      walkthroughwalls Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      possibly noise
      I feel incredibly, paralyzingly stressed and depressed. T is just a minor nuisance now.
      I've come to hate the university I go to. They don't care much whether they provide education or not, it's all about having to hand in an endless list of assignments. I feel like a dog in obedience training, rather than someone exploring and gaining scientific knowledge.

      My biggest achievement in life has been that I've developed myself into a somewhat critically, autonomously thinking individual, even though I grew up in a 'intellectually poor' environment. Now, the only way to advance seems to be to throw all of that out and become an unquestioning homework-robot.

      Generally, as I said before, life feels like driving down the highway. You can see your destination and all the possibilities, but in the here and now, all you're doing is avoiding a million drunk drivers.
      I'm so tired of being forced to be subject to all kinds of irrational whims and arbitrary systems. Trying to negotiate my way through, with people not interested in having a conversation.


      I haven't been able to study properly in months. I work for a little bit, get frustrated/sad/angry/stressed/disgusted, quit for a little while and then I continue to punish myself again. This is no way to live...
      I actually like the topics taught, but this just ruins it for me and I feel like a fool for 'playing along'.

      This morning I undoubtedly failed an important final exam, which means I'll have to take the (harder) resit in a month and keep up with two other courses. If I fail any one out of these three, I'll be forced to leave school and throw away a lot of time and money :( :(

      My thoughts keep going to suicide, which seems more and more like a reasonable option. It's not that I want to die, it's just that the alternative is worse.


      All thoughts and advice are welcome...
       
      • Hug Hug x 5
    2. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      My first thought is you're lucky to live in the Netherlands. Try living in a poor rural area in the States. I can't leave yet because of personal commitments to others, but I'm working on it.

      My second thought is I understand exactly what it feels like to be a failure. Whereas you are young and can still turn things around, my life is on the other side of the hill and I'm running out of options to succeed at anything. I was very good at my job as an audio transcriptionist, but after a year and a half of tinnitus, I had to stop because it ramped up the volume too much. Probably concentrating on listening and transcribing every nuance on an audio file is antithetical to tuning out tinnitus.

      You have the same problem that every intelligent, noncomforming student has in an educational institution. Just go ahead and play their "games," even if you feel like a cog in a great big wheel. In the meantime, work on a plan so that when you do graduate, you'll be able to call the shots. Statistically speaking, you will definitely have more doors open for you if you obtain a degree than if you don't.

      Whatever you do, make a decision on what you want to do (not suicide!) and stick with it. Don't second guess yourself and don't look back.
       
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    3. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      I can feel your frustration. I was in university too and graduated with a Summa Cum Laude honor. At times I felt the frustration that my professors and the system were not giving me the kind of education I prefer. Oh well, at least I attended a university and count my blessings.

      Perhaps try to look at people who have worse lots in life will help. At least we live in free and affluent countries while others are fleeing their war-torn homelands with friends and love ones dying around them, with no tomorrows to dream for, not to say attending a university. At least we have food on the table and roof over our head and no bullets and bombs everywhere. Every time we walk by a homeless person or a handicapped beggar (so many of them outside of the industrialized world), or some one with deformity, we can pause for a moment to reflect on our blessings in life. This lady's radiant positivity brings me teary eyes, considering she was born without legs and abandoned by her biological parents at birth, and trying to be a gymnast with her birth defects, even with her real biological sister as a famous Olympic gymnastic champion. Quite a remarkable story of positive attitude. Have a wonderful day!

      The Jennifer Bricker Story - Inspiring
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    4. ceauses97
      Speechless

      ceauses97 Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/12/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud music/chemotherapy/hypercalcemia
      @billie48 damn almsot teared up reading your comment. So inspirational. you're right. I think many of us takes life for granted. yes we might suffer ourself, but atleast we got eyes to see with, legs to walk with, bed to sleep in, and most important of all: We have freedom to choose what we will do today. maybe we should be focusing more on all the little things that usually go right instead of the big things that could go wrong. thank you for your comment, it really opened my eyes. take care man!
       
    5. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Thanks for the kind words. You are so right. Sometimes we just need to count the little positive things in life.

      Regarding failure, we just need to keep trying despite the odds, despite repeated failures. You have not failed if you get up every time to keep trying, to keep fighting. I learn a lot from Michael Jordan's story. He succeeded because he failed in basketball. Yes no kidding, he failed initially as a young man on the court.

      Today, he is considered by many the best basketball player ever. And yet he wasn't that good initially, and in high school he failed initially to make the junior varsity team. Had he gotten discouraged and given up, he would not have reached the lofty status he is now. So @walkthroughwalls , I hope you don't give up trying despite the hurdles you are facing. Climb those hurdles, get up if you fall and keep running. Here is Jordon's story.

      http://behindthehustle.com/2011/09/michael-jordan-succeeded-because-he-failed/

      Then the story of the shortest man to play professional NBA basketball, who at 5 ft 3 inches playing among the giants and every critic said he wouldn't make the team for high school, university, not to say the NBA. This is Muggsy Burges's incredible story of not yielding to failure and stereotype, freshly posted on CNN today:

      http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/19/sport/muggsy-bogues-nba-shortest-player/index.html?eref=edition
       
    6. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      I've done three degrees and they were all a bit like that. It isn't just about the joy of discovery and expanding your mind, it is also an endurance test to see whether you can keep on thinking and producing a reasonable standard of work under pressure. Towards the end of all of my degrees it felt very much like a war of attrition - just trying to hang in there long enough to get to the end in one piece. I think you just have to find those moments when you have the chance to do something you enjoy and offset the long, hard slog to some extent. On the upside, when you have finished there is a great sense of achievement and hopefully of having grown a little as a person (or a lot). And if you have chosen your degree a bit more sensibly than I did then hopefully it will lead onto a rewarding career and a life spent doing something you get a kick out of. But I'm probably starting to sound like the brochure there.

      Here is another upside though:
      How you feel while battling with your degree is a temporary issue -you aren't going to be studying for ever and one day this phase of your life will just be a memory. But maybe the perspective it gave you on your t is something good that is worth hanging on to?

      The struggle is yours, but I hope it helps a bit to know that I and others have had pretty similar struggles and come out the other side. No degree is worth losing your mental health over to a serious extent however, so if it really is that bad that it makes you think about suicide then maybe cut your losses and quit. I guess you have to balance the extent of the effects it has on you against what you might get out of it in the longer term. Not an easy decision to make when the future is so unknown.

      I really want to wish you well with this difficult time. And if you ever fancy a chat about something more uplifting then I'd be interested to hear about that Godspeed You Black Emperor! concert you were planning to go to. No worries if that conversation is for another time though - there is always a danger I would solve your current predicament by boring you to death with my memories of the gigs I saw 'em at years ago. ;)

      Good luck my friend.
       
    7. walkthroughwalls

      walkthroughwalls Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      possibly noise
      Thank you all very much! It's so nice to see so many people read, care and respond to me... I'm not really used to that happening, and this all means a lot to me! If it's taken long to respond to you all, it's because I've been feeling absolutely miserable...
      I will watch all videos and follow all links later tonight. I have to take it one step at a time for now...

      It's true that I'm lucky to be in The Netherlands. It could have been worse, although that thought doesn't help me much... There's always worse, but yeah... Oh, and one more failed exam and I'll be on the other side of the hill too.

      I'm aiming to get a degree and then find work where I can be as independent as possible, possibly freelancing, or somewhere where truth is valued, such as investigative journalism. And although I can rationalise that I should just get to work, sitting down and actually doing it is something else. Especially when, every day, I'm reminded that this is not university but 'dog training for humans'.

      I'm sorry to hear you lost the work at which you were very good :( Where are you heading now? Are you managing to turn this all around?

      Earlier this week I spoke to a student who spent six years at the economics faculty and now studies computing science. He said the difference is night and day, and that he'd never seen courses so messy, useless and overall bad as in CS.
      Of course it's still better than nothing... I've walked the streets of Jakarta alone for a couple of days. What you've said it totally true and I only caught a glimpse of it first hand. There are also many stories of the refugees coming into Europe now.

      How did you manage to keep going at uni? Weren't you getting frustrated, like me? Are stories like Jennifer's what kept you going?

      I've yet to read Michael Jordan's story, but isn't his fight different than mine? He wanted to be a great basketball player, they said he won't make it, and now he is one and is being praised for it. I want to think independently and have great original ideas (in science, the arts and ethics). But if I ever achieve it, 'they' will just shrug at these 'useless qualities' and only value those who can follow orders.

      Good points. About the 'sense of achievement', well, I'm not experiencing any right now, even when I do get good grades. Good grades only mean you can 'play their games', and that isn't exactly a virtue in my book.

      I did chose my degree carefully and have music degrees too. I'm also open to a lot of other work (CS students have a lot of choices generally). And I'll take a low paying job at Amnesty International over an oil company job any day :)
      I'm trying to look at the carrot in the future, but... it's still hard day to day.

      Ah, yes! I was going to PM you about that GY!BE gig, I even wrote that in my schedule, but now you know why that didn't happen. In short, GY!BE were great! Musically, but also everything else... it all means so much to me.
      I've always wanted to do a gig myself with no announcements, no interruptions, no rock'n'roll-nonsense and no attitude, just letting the music speak for itself. I was told that it couldn't be done and that the audience won't like it. And here, GY!BE was doing it to great effect :)

      When they started their gig with this drone, I could close my eyes and see the smouldering remains of a world destroyed. It felt like someone else out there had the same world view as mine. I was reaffirmed that the world's in a very bad state. Then, the word 'hope' flashed on the screen behind them. In grainy black and white film. Which happens to be exactly the style of photography I like.

      It was a great, great gig. Somehow dealing with all the darkness -not avoiding it- and still creating something beautiful to escape in. My only regret is that I bought only one LP instead of two :)

      I doubt you could bore me GY!BE-talk and I would like to take up that challenge, but I'm afraid that that conversation is indeed for another time. I'm too busy keeping myself afloat for now. Thanks for everything! :)
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. walkthroughwalls

      walkthroughwalls Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      possibly noise
      And now another update... I had another talk with my psychologist today, and I'm feeling more miserable than usual and even angry, which is unusual for me.


      I pretty much grew up with conformity, prejudice, constant judgement, bullying, (religious) indoctrination and being told what to do. By the time I was 18 to 21, this totally stopped working for me. I crashed and dropped out of the university my parents made me go to for a second time. Being faced with either death or a life of my own choosing, I chose the latter.

      I pretty much burned my past, managed to shake off most of the indoctrination, became vegan and set my sights on music college (which I later successfully auditioned for).
      I chose truth and rationality, instead of conformity and prejudice. I wanted to be nice, understanding, patient and helpful in dealing with other people, instead of err... becoming a clone of my father. I started looking into ethics, autobiographies and started reading books. It all was a lot of hard work, discipline and introspection... but I can finally look myself in the mirror.

      This is my biggest achievement in my life. Against all odds, I have become an independent, autonomously thinking unique individual. I now value truth, ethics and being nice to people. As silly and obvious as that may sound.

      And of course, these are the qualities that'll get you into trouble too. I'm paying a lot of money for a messy university which by whatever standard hardly provides academic education, and I'm not afraid to (politely) bring it up.


      Today my psychologist said that 'normal people' would have no problem making whatever useless assignments a university required of them. Also, apparently I cannot handle the workload and deadlines (regardless of tinnitus and depression). Also, I try to relax from school by pursuing my own art projects.

      Because of these things, she started pushing the idea of me having some form of autism. Apparently, not wanting to conform to nonsensical and arbitrary rules is a sign of a disorder, rather than healthy thinking. And I'm apparently failing classes because it's above my level, ignoring that I'm dealing with tinnitus and depression. And me pursuing artistic goals on my own to escape from school is another sign.

      That what I'm the most proud of, that what makes me who I am and worked so hard to get at, is now being qualified as a psychological disorder. It's such an insult, such a slap in the face :cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:
       
    9. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      I know what you mean. I was actually on a computer science degree for a few weeks back in 1987. I switched pretty quick to environmental science, but really was having too much fun going out and discovering things like drugs and girls to do much work, so I was kicked out before I got far. Went back to uni at 25 while working and did humanities stuff instead. I kind of liked that 'cos there is more scope for independent thinking - you can disagree with the dominant paradigms in your subject areas and still do well if your thinking and reasoning is sound. Still a struggle, and no jobs at the end though. (n)
      Your description is fantastic - just how I remember them from the times I saw them. Sounds like they use a lot of the same films too. The word hope is so powerful in that context - without it the vision is very bleak. I remember seeing the London Royal Festival Hall gig back in 2000 and my friend that I went with actually reckoned that it was not political because there were no lyrics to the songs! Crazy man!

      Anyway, I hope you manage to find a way through the hard times you are having at the moment - and that it is worthwhile. The way you are feeling is completely natural faced with the demands being placed on you, but you are strong enough to survive it. After all...

      "What does anyone want but to feel a little more free?"
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      I've thought a few times that I may have mild autistic traits. I don't see it as an insult. But I don't think rebelling against this stuff makes it a valid diagnosis for you. Everything you said just suggests to me that you see things more clearly than most other people do. If she is not able to appreciate what you mean then I think she is probably in the wrong job. If she is not helping you then do not keep on seeing her.

      And if she thinks that pursuing creative goals as an escape from something that makes you unhappy is a sign of a disorder then well, most of the great artists, musicians, writers, etc., of the world have the same disorder. You are in good company. ;)
       
    11. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      Honestly, I would have laughed in her face. "Autism" is the new buzz word applied to any round peg that can't force itself into the square hole. Applying that label to someone like you who obviously has above-average empathy for others is just plain wrong, needless to mention it diminishes the very real struggle that autistics have in this world.

      Wrong and wrong again. You're failing because your heart isn't in it and you're not convinced it's going to get you where you want to be in life. That's a whole 'nother conversation. As far as escaping from school, every artist is escaping something. That's what art does, it takes you away from reality and transports you to a world of your own creation. If you're good enough at it, it also transports those who appreciate your art. Your teacher needs to go to any world class museum and take a good look at how many people will gaze at a painting or a sculpture for a long, long time. They're escaping their mundane world by immersing themselves in the artist's creation.

      You can either see her assessment as an insult or as a challenge. I say, go forth and conquer! :D
       
    12. JohnnyMx
      Sunshine

      JohnnyMx Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Apr/2013
      Hi my friend,

      Stress and depression about failing in life, is sometimes related with wrong objectives or expectations we place for ourselfs. You have already identified what YOU DONT WANT TO BE, or the system YOU DONT WANT TO BELONG, the worst part now is to change your life paths, to a one which give YOU more happiness.

      I also attended college, got an engineering degree in computer sciences (yes I had already Tinnitus, but was way less stressed). We started engineering school with 80 people, we only gratuated 18, and I was one of the best scores in the group.

      When I finished college, I always followed the professional and economic success, more working hours, more money, starting businesses... but i started to feel less and less happy.

      My problems started when stress, anxiety and depression consumed my life.

      Now, I'm much, much, much better... becase I understand i was chasing the wrong things...

      I ended completely my practice as and engineer, started an small business, and I'm planning to change my location to a really nice beach here in México called Los Cabos, moving my small family business, and live my life for ME AND MY FAMILY, waking up everyday in my shorts, and beach t-shirt, having a nice simple meal, riding my NO brand new car around the town... thats my dream now.

      Just, know which path you need to take, follow it, and depression, stress and anxiety will go away.

      Be strong man! alot of lovely things to do around, you are just searching for the wrong ones now.

      :D

      Regards,
      Johnny.
       

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