Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pilate Program


Luke was only like yes, the world's most beautiful baby ever, and I'm not even remotely biased. I was posting pictures for my "Vintage Lucas" album on Facebook the other day, and even I hadn't noticed the detail of this particular photograph...I just thought he looked really cute. But Luke was quick to point out:

Whoopsie! (BUT OMG, isn't he CUTE!?)

I *probably* took this because Luke had a fresh scar and still a bit of yellowing, healing black-and-blue above his right eyebrow after SuperMom (me) looked away and he tumbled down the living room stairs, cutting open his eyebrow. I 911'd the paramedics, of course, because I thought I'd caused him permanent neurological damage (no, that would manifest itself in his teens, I jest). I remember them sitting him up on the kitchen counter, doing a basic neuro exam, Neosporining the cut, slapping on a Band-Aid and our insurance billing us for like $1,000 based on my overreaction. Jesus, no, he didn't need a freakin' cat scan. It was like 3 stairs.

And whom do we know who's really, really good at overreaction and catastrophizing? If you answered The Offbeat Drummer, you get a prize (I could like autograph one of my 1,000 limited edition came-with-cough-medicine plastic cups and send it to you for when I'm finally famous.) 

If your automatic reaction is "Oh, you damn women and your worrying," fuck you. Lest we forget how extremely rapid cycling bipolar I am. The only reason I'm capable of sitting down and writing a blog at 7:30am is because this is the first morning in weeks, literally, that I've felt any kind of clarity in my head. (Don't worry, I'm sure it won't last long on a cold, rainy Chicago morning.) 

When most people in the know think about bipolar rapid cycling, they associate it with shifts in mood from mania/hypomania to depression over the course of a few (typically several days, to weeks, to months). While I do endure that, I also endure something much rarer and more severe: ultradian cycling, which confounds literally every psychiatric or psychologically trained mind except for the blessed Patron Saint of Loony who is my current, new psychiatrist. 

Ultradian cycling, a visual: You're riding in the Tour de France, (not on steroids, you're just really, really strong), you're clipping along at probably a good 30 mph & you trip over a big rock, are thrown off your bike, and sit by the roadside crying for hours on end, about EVERYTHING. Your bones aren't broken, you have no scrapes or cuts, but the whole thing seems FUBAR, and then you fall asleep for 6 hours. (Let's assume, for the sake of argument, you're wearing a helmet; and, while you look like a douchebag, you don't really, really super want to die like at the moment.) 

Suddenly, a burst of adrenaline thrusts you back on your bike, your energy returns a dozen-fold, you trek quickly for another 20 miles at 30 mph, and the same thing happens again. You wake up, and the (pardon the pun) cycle just keeps going and going over a matter of hours and you NEVER FINISH THE DAMN RACE. If you luck out and DO finish, it's DAYS after the Tour de France is over and you wonder hopelessly why you embarked on this fatalistic journey in the first place. If granted the fortune to fill your tires and stabilize for a few days, at least you can bike to your hotel, take a shower, have something to eat, and chill. (After which, of course, you get a participation ribbon but no prize.)

There's this messy mess of a mess happening at school. Financial Aid is still messed up for the term (Knox's fault), and it's affecting this other REALLY messy mess that's messier than any bomb in my academic career.

Sure, there was that getting put on academic probation and kicked out of Knox for a term, but face it, the time off was alright, I worked my ass off making extra dough and saw my boyfriend in Galesburg every chance I had. I was only around 20 years old, and my future hadn't been rigidly mapped out or planned, apart from earning my BA eventually and getting married eventually (at the time, it didn't include didn't getting divorced eventually). 

But see, now, in graduate school, I have this track I'm on (not unlike a race) of a specific sequence of coursework and practicum and interning that I've already switcherooed into a slower pace and out of order because I am trying to maintain some type of sanity. (And I've been getting very good grades, "stellar!," as Guy said.) So what? So what takes a "normal" person takes me three times as long. My motto has always been, "It'll all get done." And it does.

It wasn't until last week when I received formal Americans with Disabilities accommodations for my tenure at school. I'm thus entitled to "double time" during which to complete all of my work; and, ok, embarrassingly, as many freakin' bathroom breaks for my wild GI tract that I damn well please, regardless if eyes roll or it offends anyone. Prior to that, it was more of an informal understanding and compassion between my professors and I that I had a great number of "challenges" in completing my coursework, but it was always GOOD. 

Guy said in a conversation recently that I don't seem as excited or rarin' to go this Fall term as I was last year. There's very sound logic behind that. I took 3 classes over summer term, which were brutal, one being a 6-hour long weekly class in advanced skills for psychotherapy. While the professor and I seemingly got along, she was tough. She's the one who dinged me a participation point the first day because my overwhelming exhaustion the night before of having been in Rockford minding my (at the time) 3/4 of the way dead brother caused me to close my eyes several times, though I actively participated to the best of my abilities. Blah blah blah, the term was going fine--if anything, I was over-extending myself (going the extra-extra-mile, and was being thus rewarded with a 92% (A) heading into the final paper). 

I was side-slammed, swiped and bogged by a major depressive episode which required, as I reported to my psychiatrist and therapist, between 16-20 hours of sleep a day, and I was behind in the final paper writing for all 3 classes. The two online class instructors accommodated me, and worked WITH and not AGAINST me, and I wound up with an A and a B+ in those 2 classes.  This particular professor, though, who did grant me extensions, dinged me again for taking a second sick day during the semester, thus violating her attendance policy (teeth grinding) because I literally couldn't exert the effort to get out of bed that day and was trying really, really hard not to be suicidal.

My mom wasn't being particularly helpful during this period. Our conversations were pretty much like this:

The ultimate shiz that hit the fan was on the morning of July 12th. I was seen by my LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor; what I'll be if I don't go for a doctorate) for said major depressive episode, with the professor's final deadline for the final paper being etched at 5pm that evening, even after a SNAFU regarding a clinical transcription video only the professor could fix, thus delaying me further. I received a letter from the LCPC which I emailed to the professor humbly and kindly asking for 48 additional hours (until Sunday, July 14th, at midnight) to hand in the paper. It went unanswered. I'd kept the professor abreast of my progress and submitted the paper on the evening of the 14th, as promised. Prior to that, the professor relied on the deadline I said (in writing) I should be able by which to abide. Consequently, the professor refused to even read the final, plunked a zero on it, and gave me an F in the course.


In an email copied to several key people at school, I humbly, pleadingly, yet snidely and condescendingly basically begged the professor to at least read and grade the paper and offer me a proper grade based on the quality of my work, not how angry or offended she might have been. Yes, I was (as I've mentioned previously) wrist-slapped for my tone, but by this time, I was outright ticked. According to the school's grade appeal process, I did my part formally, and have yet to hear from her as to whether or not she will treat me fairly.

Which leads me to the last few days. Just hours after meeting with the gentleman who eased my fears by virtue of these accommodations in formality on Wednesday, I was slammed by his notice of being led to Pilate this coming Tuesday for what I assumed to be a post-lot-cast-for-my-clothing, blood-flogging committee hearing with a consortium of folks who decide if I should be expelled or not for this unfairly slapped F, and proceeded to hyperventilate sobbing, panicking and worrying, rallying in the troops and begging Guy for a hug and a kiss on the forehead for courage Monday night (which I still want, hello!?), fearful that all I've worked for--my whole career path, which I believe is my genuine calling from God--would be stripped away and I would, as predicted by my, uh, relative, that no matter how hard I worked, I'd never amount to anything. It didn't help that I was ultradian cycling. I was sobbing, then I'd be ok and able to concentrate, my mom able to divert my attention, then I'd sob again, then I talked to Guy, then I chatted with Pastor Dave, then I'd sob more, text with Meg, up and down and up and down. 

The worst case scenario is that, in the unlikely either the professor or the next step-up, the VP of the school (who'd have a third-party read and grade the paper) still deem me a psychofailure, I have to repeat the course next summer. 

The prospect of band this weekend lifted my spirits, and Friday, I had a meeting with my academic advisor at school, who did, quite honestly, ease my fears considerably, after which I came home and cried yet a little more, but out of relief. Essentially, it's all documented, and I can prove to the committee (who I doubt will be dressed in Roman war gear), as corroborated by my advisor, that I had major extenuating medical circumstances which led to the delay of the handing in of the final paper and that, as my advisor said, I'm not being put on trial for any conduct or behavioral misdoing (my snarky email notwithstanding). I'm still nervous as hell, and will prepare some bullet point statements, but am relieved that said professor will *not* be at the hearing, that it is a formality of the school for anyone who fails a class, and I have to remember that when it ends, and it will end fairly (I am certain), that they really, really need to let Financial Aid know so I can get my living stipend on time (seeing as I'm pretty much dead-ass broke).

Had a real-life "Do You Realize?" moment on Friday as I was leaving school. God bless the tirelessly positive receptionist, Ivy. She's amazing. We were both tired, and she said she couldn't wait to hit the bed that night. I told her I had to drum the next 2 nights, "But it's for Jesus, so it's ok!" I said. She said, "I've been meaning to tell you how beautiful you look since you put on some weight!" (I was anorexic. Now I'm....meh...slightly between average and chubby.) She said I look so much better "since my face filled out a little" (how gaunt WAS I?) and she said, "I've always thought...I remember the first day you came to visit the school, that you had such a beautiful face!" (OK...people don't routinely tell me I have a beautiful face. This was a humbling and sweet surprise.) Made my day.

Band turned out pretty well, having roused the congregation to at least stand up and clap along to the last song, and when they get pumped, we get pumped. The round of applause at the end was unwarranted but appreciated. I played the djembe for the entire set, but got the bright idea (alright, borrowed) to play my crash cymbals with my hands, which did augment things quite a bit. My left hand is bruised, but for art, one must suffer, right?

So wish me luck Tuesday. The more virtual hugs and forehead kisses, the better, as I try to wrangle Guy for one in person. All in favor, say "I!" ("I!")


Rob Cheney said...

Glad band lifted your spirits music is good like that and have everything crossed for you for you result, I'm off to Ozzy Osborn country on Tuesday to resit my oral exam on Wednesday so expect some ranting shortly after

Andrea Miklasz said...

You'll do fabulously this time, Rob, I know it! I'm not good solo in front of committees, so I feel your pain!

Rant away!

Anonymous said...

It's inconceivable that you could have had a cuter little guy. I love Luke!!!

Very Moon said...

I! Lots of hugs and love to you from Tacoma. It'll really be okay. You have notes!

Anonymous said...

Caution: Falling Babies!

I call dibs on the autographed cup. It'll be worth millions.

Hugs and big kisses that your meeting goes well--I'm sure you'll do just fine. You did nothing wrong. You got the'll all work out.

But damn it, Guy, give her a hug and kiss! Poor girl's been crying for days.


BMF said...

Lucas is beyond cute. That was almost 14 years ago. Now he's a MAN, for God's sake. And a fine one at that.

Having been privy to the evening's events, I think Guy made a critical mistake: he should've let you know before you got to the restaurant that he had to split in 20 minutes to meet the realtor about the ghastly Corian counter tops, which, if they're the color you described, sound like living inside of a perpetual fucking Easter egg hunt. Who the fuck decided on that? With black appliances? Fuck. I couldn't eat there. My wife's no interior decorator, but she did a smashing job coordinating our, uh, "offbeat" house. Depends on how mod the Guys want to go. My guess is not so much.

How was he to you? Factual, to the point and split, or did he actually comfort you like a loved one would comfort a loved one? Your text didn't convey that at all. He's too busy thinking about the mansion.

Oh, Guy, but thanks for asking how we (my friend and I) were handling Annie's issue at school. We'd been traveling, but popped in when we could.

She's far, far stronger, smarter and savvier than she gives herself credit for. I understand she's panicky and nervous, who wouldn't be? For as open and blatant as she is, she's actually, if you know her, a pretty meek person in person. Unless you piss her off, then the crap goes flying. So let's just hope the committee keeps her cool, her advisor keeps her cool,and sweetheart,it's an hour of your life that will resolve fine. You have everything you need to plead your case, nicely. No "Fucks." Don't call anyone a "douche." After the hearing, you know where I'd go (across the street), and call me, but it's ill-advised, and boogie out of school for the rest of the afternoon. Your excuse is validated, not unexcused.

Good for Guy for actually showing up, though briefly. We bet that he'd bolt. What you said, though, about having to almost knock his head over for a kiss on the forehead? Guy? Come on!

"Well, bye! Good luck!"

Go to sleep and I'll call you before you go to school.

Luke wears that scar like a badge of courage. Fine boy.

Panic texts will be promptly answered tomorrow in case of emergency. Break glass. Wear those funky maroon punjammies--those rock my world--classy, sexy, far out.

Love you,

BMF said...

I forgot.....

Your "Do You Realize?" moment?

You'd be surprised how many stories like that we've heard. Everyone's beautiful in their own way, but you, Annie, are particularly exquisite, and if anyone can't see that, it's their loss. Indeed bless the receptionist who alerted you to that after a frustrating week. You ARE beautiful and you make a lasting impression.

You said Veronica Moon asked if we were good guys or something. We try to be. We fail too. We fail Annie. But in general, we give back the love we've received, which is a lot. That's what it's all about, to me anyway.

Rob Cheney said...

Good luck Annie !!!!!!!!! (hope 'im not to late but been travelling all day

Andrea Miklasz said...


Andrea Miklasz said...

No word from the committee today. They're probably still looking up ultradian cycling in the DSM.

Or they're casting lots for my Punjammies at Golgatha.

In any event, I have huger fish to fry.

Night night. Guy never called back, BMF...

Very Moon said...

Oh, I said you guys sound like you're good people. All good people fail. I don't think we learn if we don't. The beauty is in the learning why.

Guy is a chode. Not to go all 80s on ya, Anniekins. Can I call you Anniekins? :p I might be overtired.

BMF said...

I had to look up what a "chode" was (but I'm old). Wow, lots of urban dictionary definitions!

Anniekins sounds cute. I call her Princess, which she doesn't slap me for, amazingly. She does not like it when my friend calls her Andrea, because she thinks she only gets called that when she's in trouble. But he said he thinks it's pretty.

Very well put, Very. We're not ignorant and don't deliberately go out be careless with other people's hearts, especially those we love, who love us--unlike the chode (on occasion). Sometimes hes alright. But rarely. Annie's got another disgruntled story I'm sure she'll share when she wakes up (wake up, Annie, it's 8:00!) xo

Andrea Miklasz said...

Yes, yes, amid the fury of the school hearing/financial aid situation, and homework, Guy has managed to irritate me again. We were getting along really well and he was VERY supportive of the whole school situation, but then we spoke on the phone about getting together the last week of Sept/1st week of October. He'll be on a beer-tasting tour with some guys (I assume, unless he has yet another secret girlfriend), and he brought up November.

I had emailed him several days ago (he's been keeping up with emails from me re: everything lately, but this probably went off his radar, gee, can't imagine)regarding an Anoushka Shankar show coming up in Chicago on Nov. 13th. On the phone, he brought up November, but we're trying to make plans for early October. DO YOU THINK HE COULD'VE MENTIONED AT THAT POINT THAT HE'D BE OUT OF TOWN VISITING HIS YOUNGEST DAUGHTER ALL OF FUCKING NOVEMBER?

I think he could've.

Impulsive me went ahead and bought us two tickets to the tune of $119 on my mom's credit card, over which she'll have a TOTAL COW unless I can sell them quickly. I put them up on craigslist and threw around work online (any Chicago readers, chime in if you're interested). He chastised me in an email that he can't go and for someone who hasn't received her financial aid yet, I had no business buying concert tickets and he hopes I won't be reduced to eating mac n cheese for the rest of my life if I don't get my living stipend soon (Which WILL be delayed, sad to say, because of this committee not making a damn decision yet).

I love Anoushka and it'd be a great date--premier seats, dinner there beforehand, and worst case scenario, I'll take Meg and eat the costs, after my mom kills me.

I called bullshit on Guy and blamed him, I assure you that. He had every opportunity to tell me on the phone, "Hey, babe, you said something about November, but I'll be out of the state the whole month!"


Anyway, the professor in question who flunked me refused to read or grade my paper, so it's moving to a 3rd party professor grader, who evidently is going to review all of my coursework for the term in that class (which was awesome, so go right ahead)and my $ is in limbo until they decide. The hearing itself was an absolute nightmare. Guy's kiss on the forehead of the luck of the Irish didn't work.

Very Moon said...

OMFG I just had a stroke of genius. Sell the tickets to the prof trying to fail you. DONE! Right? Does that work? Or, Guy pays for them, and you give them to Professor Pain in the Ass.

Eh, chode was an 80's thing. I'm 39, not TOO young.

BMF said...

If I were Guy, and caused Annie such dreadful inconvenience, even if she's impulsive and cooky, I wouldn't chastise her about eating mac and cheese for the rest of her life like a smug at-least-half-millionaire he must be.

If I were Guy, and blindsided Annie for the zillionth time, I'd send her the $120 and tell her to have a great time with Meg and that he was sorry he caused her trouble by not be clearer about his November month plans, which, yes, he should've said something about on the fucking phone!

Annie forwarded me Guy's email about the concert. Oh Guy, if I was a less even-tempered fella myself, shit would hit the fan. You were really kind of mean to her.

Annie needs a BREAK from all this hulabaloo with school crap. She wants to spend it with the man she, uh, loves. (Regardless if he loves her or not. I'm out of town.)

Annie, luv, this hearing is holding up your entire life. I'm sorry about that, but there's nothing you can do about red tape. It is what is is.

My buddy still thinks you and Guy should do hot yoga together, before you kill one another. Or she kills you, Guy, which is more likely.

My counter tops rule, motherfucker!

Anonymous said...

Hey Superstar!

Yoga changed BMF's life. Physically and mentally. He sent you that DVD, why aren't you doing it? Don't crab, girl, you told me you have a yoga mat under your bed. Excuses exhausted.

I wish to God there was a reason behind all this bullshit about the hearing. (Or lynching, however you want to look at it.) To me,it's a black and white issue. Still, I wish you the very best. It will all work out eventually.

I can't speak for Guy's counters, but mine are the original 60s formica, which goes along with the rest of my pad. Corian, though, has GOT to go. Especially pastel.

$50 bucks says their carpeting is "neutral." I will say about the topic, other than the color of people's houses and carpeting is akin to their prowess.

Sorry you're sick on top of it all, Andrea!

Rob Cheney said...

Having been away from the land of our offbeat drummer for a few days i have been catching up. I am still sending positive thoughts that your meeting about school and everything will go the way you want. Nothing surprises me about Guy anymore but the whole ticket and mac and cheese thing is another low point, coming from a man who probably enjoys throwing bread rolls at the poor people when away on jollys with his mates!

Death by Yoga sounds an option if you can pin him down to a date

And to "anonymous"
I have child and dog coloured carpet, lord knows what that say about my prowess

Get well soon Annie x

Andrea Miklasz said...

Rob, chances are you don't remember WHAT color your carpeting originally was before William and Ralph. I doubt highly it was pastel, however. With regard to your prowess, you must be doing SOMETHING right! ;)

Thanks for the well-wishes, all around. I feel less physically crappy today, the fever broke, now just waiting on the school.

Oh, Guy. I had to chuckle at your visual of him throwing bread at poor people for jollies. That's hysterical. No, his email wasn't very sympathetic or even gentlemanly. You and Vyk fly across and go to see Anoushka. I'll pay for drink on the plane and watch the baby for you.

Great Thanksgiving gift. Er, wait. You're English. Never mind.

Very Moon said...

I have wood floors, with this rag rug that's this red and orange with just the little bit of green running through it. Wonder what THAT says! Rarrr!

Anniekins. Do I need to find my camera for the 'puter, and we Skype yoga? That could be beautifully ridiculous. You should see me try to touch my toes!

Oil of oregano cures a host of ills. Hope you are feelin' better!

Andrea Miklasz said...


BMF actually offered to Skype yoga with me, but I have no idea what I'm doing and need to watch the DVD he gave me at much greater length. Once I get my act together, I'll take y'all up on it.

We'll see what our Anon says about your rugs!


Anonymous said...

Very's rugs are sultry.

Very Moon said...

I totally read that as "slutty" at first. I like sultry, could see that!

I will wait til that time of Skype yoga!

Andrea Miklasz said...

I wish *I* had slutty carpeting.

I don't have carpeting. I have a rug, however, but that goes without saying.

No committee decision yet...I'm telling you, if I can confound a doofus like Guy, what must a panel of PhD's make of me? I was told to stay off-radar for a while, as there's a big "red light" over my head right now at school. Pay no mind, I'll just blab about it in public.

My girlfriends and I think we've solved the Shankar conundrum. I shan't give away the details here.

My weekend fevers eased but now Luke and I both have wicked sore throats & my ears are fire red, which is never a good sign. No fevers, so we both went to school, but I told Craig if Luke still feels shitty tomorrow, keep him home & we'll go to the doctor.

If my professor (who waved to me on the train home today) says anything about me dozing off this morning, I'm playing the "I don't feel well" card. She won't. She's cool.

Band this weekend (if I luck out). Guy's leaving at some point for his beer fest, but has been asked to call before he departs. Ma's leaving on vacation to Niagara Falls (Canada) on Saturday. Woot! But boo, I want to see him when he gets back!