A mental breakdown occurred on Friday and exhausted me.
I felt pulled in so many directions, bits of me everywhere: in the dance world, back home with Ben, here at school, etc. Of those three versions of me, I could see clearly where the first two would take me if I dropped everything and focused on that particular version of Alyssum, but the third Me--the one in vet school--was the one most grounded and most rational, and yet, the one whose potential future was the fuzziest. Why, then,/How, then, could I be spending 90% of my time on it and so little time on the other parts of me? For the first time, the answer to "Do you want to be a vet?" was "I don't know" instead of "yes." And for something that demands so much of my life, so much of my life force (!), "I don't know" is not good enough. Hence the breakdown.
My advisor suggested reading the Ask Joey columns from the Sacramento News and Review. I found this article that might be helpful for anyone finding themselves unable to balance their lives.
She says that what we DO with our time reflects our values more than what we say our values are. I think my breakdown had to do with the fact that, since I lost my goal (do i want to be a vet, and if so, what sort?), I found myself spending inordinate amounts of time doing something that didn't reflect my values. What are my values, again? I'm trying to spend this weekend reflecting on that question. I think I can reclaim my goal, but I need major inspiration. [The good thing for most students is that they want to work with dogs and cats, or horses, or even food/fiber animals--so when they get overwhelmed, they have the hospital on campus where they can go to see people doing what they want to do. It's immediate, and serves as a reminder of why they're there. For someone like myself who went to vet school for the nebulous reason of "conservation"....there's not really that sort of feedback and support. Was vet school the right place to get my education?]
I am less exhausted. Contemplating the offer to take a "leave of absence" to figure out my life. But have to jump back in and take the exam that I missed Friday on Monday, and study for the exam on next Friday...can't stop being a student just because I had a "mental health" day.