Jan 29, 2009

a perfectionist get a "B" grade

Confession time: All of my life I was an academic superstar. I attended gifted classes in school, skipped two grades, earned top marks all the way.

When I applied to my PhD program, I had a straight A average from both my undergrad and Masters programs. I was awarded two scholarships and I was ready to change the world!

Fast forward a few months. Seemingly out of nowhere, my intrusive companion Depression makes a visit before Christmas.

Before I know it, it has me consumed. As I try to write my final papers and exams I feel like I am trying to think through a dense fog. Nothing is clear, my memory has holes in it. Concepts make sense in my head, but as they hit the page, they become incoherent ramblings.

For the first time in my adult life, I get a B in a course. This has NEVER happened to me. I feel dumb as a box of bricks. I desperately want to tell my professors that "this isn't me, this is the depression". I want to haul out my report cards, awards, publications...anything to make them see that I am not this fuck up who can't write an intelligible paper. I want them to see beyond the depression, but I am too scared to tell them.

I worry every day that maybe my academic skills are a thing of the past. Maybe I have to accept the loss and move on to something different in life. But I have to hold on to the hope that one day, something is going to work. There has to be a treatment out there that I will respond to.

To think anything else....I just can't go there yet.

1 comment:

  1. Really interesting to read this. I also just received a B grade in a course. I already have my PhD (in another field), and so this absolutely devastated me. I am not the sort of person who gets Bs!!!! I realised when I got my result, and how upset I was about it, that I was depressed, and this was impacting on my performance. So even though I still hate that B, I guess it was a wake up call to receive it.