Schools Out

This week saw the last exam for the semester, and the last contact day for University in 2018. Though I have enjoyed the learning and content covered this year, I am also looking forward to having some down time and enjoying time with the family, friends, hobbies, and other neglected facets of my life. The journey through 2018 has been an interesting one, with a new child, new mental health issues, and the challenges of continuing to juggle everything else.

close up of apple on top of books

In March of this year, consequently the start of term, my wife gave birth to our third child, and second daughter. The normal strains that come with adding a new screaming bundle of joy into the house were of course prevalent and made work, study, and parenting interesting. I am supremely glad that my wife is the trooper and super Mum that she is. Without her ability to manage the house and children, normally at great personal sacrifice, I would not have been able to get thought the first semester of University, working 10 shifts a fortnight, and contributing were I could. Our daughter is  just over 6 months old and is an adorable happy ball of cuteness. Unfortunately, I cannot post any pictures of her as my wife and I agreed on no pictures of the children online. But take my word for it, she’s adorable.

As I have written about in many posts, my mental health took a sharp decline not long after my second daughter was born. I had thoughts of suicide, I was depressed, I was anxious, and I could barely function on any reasonable level. I sought professional help, I became medicated, and I began seeing a psychologist to talk through my emotions and diagnosis. Everything continued for a while, but alas did not improve. The decision was made between the psychiatrist and myself that ECT was the best way forward. So we began a course of 12 sessions, three times a week, until completed. I saw the course through and things had improved. Now, some weeks on, I have had struggles, but we get through it. Now, I am still medicated, still see the psychiatrist on a weekly to fortnightly basis, and see the psychologist when our schedules align.

Whilst the treatment happened, whilst my second daughter continued to grow and be awesome, I was studying. I managed to get through my first semester with reasonably good marks, one subject was a High Distinction, and I felt pretty chuffed. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of ECT is memory loss, and I have a rather large blank spot in my memory. It extends roughly from June through to the end of August. It is interesting to say the least, people will tell me stories of things that happened, that I was involved in, like rebuilding my mate’s back stairs, or cutting down and moving a ton of firewood. This had lead to the second semester being less fruitful when it has come to my grades, leading me to the expression Ps get Degrees. Its not pretty, its not how I like it, but its what I have to do to survive considering the circumstances.

27862164-school-s-out-for-summer-on-blackboardI will just be glad that over the University break, which runs from now till March 2019, I will be able to spend more time relaxing and doing the things I love doing. I am also glad that I will be able to have a recharge and hit the ground of 2019 running. I still have one more placement to go in just over a weeks time, stay tuned for the reflection, but otherwise, its work, family, and rest.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

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