02 December, 2008

I Gave Myself a "Stress Concussion"

It's taken a very loud emotional breakdown to show me that there are people who want to be my friend. That doesn't seem terribly logical, but that's the way it went today.

I made myself physically ill from stress today. I was so angry at my project, I couldn't be quiet about it. I was trying to keep it in but my work was awful and I was so stressed and pissed off that I finally announced I was starting over (2 days before the deadline). I couldn't seem to be consoled, I was too mad at myself.

After two hours trying to rethink my project, I noticed I had a headache. I figured it was time for a cup of tea and something with a little sugar in it to keep me going. An hour after that, my headache was so blinding that I couldn't focus my eyes, and every time I moved I started shaking, lost my balance, and felt faint. I tried to let it pass, or to walk it off, but I felt like I could barely move.

I've given myself three concussions in my 23 years of life, and this headache felt very similar to a concussion headache. I gave myself a stress concussion!

While I was sitting at my sewing machine trying to work, a lot of people came over to try and help me come up with ways to make my garment work. I got a lot of hugs, and a lot of encouragement. I couldn't really appreciate it as much as I should have, but I did notice how people came out of the woodwork to check on me, and that helped me feel less alone in my moody little world.

At 7pm, I felt so awful I could barely stand up, so I slowly packed up my bag and told my tutor that I had to go home because I felt faint. I slowly walked to the tube station, keeping my eyes focused on where I was putting my feet, trying to not get jostled by the crowds, because I thought I might fall over. Thankfully I got a seat on the tube, and I stared at the floor until I got to my stop. I carefully, purposefully walked home, trying to will myself not to pass out.

By the time I arrived home, I was a mess. I tripped on the stairs twice. I dropped my new phone because I couldn't balance while looking at a screen. I tried to cook myself something to eat so I would stop shaking, and had to hold onto the counter to not feel like the world was spinning.

It's times like this when I wish I was home, and I could call a friend or a room mate to help me. But I managed on my own, and made myself some hot oatmeal. I crawled into bed and spooned the food into my mouth ungracefully.

And that's when I got a text from one of the girls in my class. She said,
"hi, I hope you're okay. I was a little worried about you when I left. But you know if you want to get in early tomorrow, we can have coffee and look at your dress and work out wot to do."

I texted her back and thanked her and apologized for taking my stress out on her in class. I said that I would love to meet early tomorrow for some brainstorming and that I would buy the coffee.

She wrote back,
"Ok. I just don't like seeing you like that, especially when you've produced something so interesting and beautiful. Have faith in yourself. See you tomorrow for design boot camp, hehe!"

I also texted a "thank you for being so kind to me, and I am sorry that I was so emotional in class this evening" sort of text to the couple of people who helped me when I began to fall apart this evening. And they all wrote back that they totally understood, that they hope I feel better, and that I could call them if I needed anything.

Of course people say that without meaning it a lot, but I know that at least two of them do mean it. And I appreciate it so much it's hard to say.

By 8pm I was almost asleep. My head was pounding and I was just trying to breathe deeply in my dark room and let it pass. I must have fallen asleep because I woke at 11pm, thirsty, but much better.

I'm going to crawl back into bed now and try to sleep the rest of this stress headache off. But I feel a little calmer, even though I wasted an evening that I should have been working on the project, because I know that even when I am moody and stressed and at my wit's end, there are people who are willing to give me a hug.

(Oh, here's a photo of the fabric treatment I did for this project. We had to use white cotton and white felt ONLY, and so I have been working with the white felt, wetting it, stretching it, creating a lacy pattern of holes before hand gathering sections of it to give it some body and texture. There will be a collar and sleeves and some craziness at the bottom too, this is just a photo of the fabric pinned up on the dress form to give me some ideas.)

Alright, now I'm going to crawl back into bed.

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