Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mental Nausea

We've all been nauseated before. It usually happens when one's about 9 years old and has just eaten Thanksgiving. You eat turkey like a pig, and then try to fit in apple pie on top of three piece of pumpkin and whipped cream. Finally, you look at the fruited pastry in you spoon and feel repulsion and a little bit of remorse. You think to yourself, "Why?" You realize that consuming half the turkey and one piece of pie would have given you greater pleasure. Now all that food is in your belly and you've got to let it sit there. After a couple hours you'll be able to sit up, run around, sing, and laugh again. But for now, all you feel is overload.

I've got the brain nausea. My head feels like vomiting, but it can't. There's too much going into it. "Don't cram," they tell me, "don't cram." But what else can one do when one has 15 chapters of reading and two papers due a week on average and must progress in group projects, independent clinical assessment study, and group research papers too? So I sit down with my text book and read for hours till the page swims. Then I go "work out" or hike while listening to my prof's lectures I've recorded.

It'll get better. Eventually, I'll digest and the pressure will diminish. But meanwhile when I say stupid things, or look at you blankly, or lash out senselessly, or burst into tears unreasonably, hold me accountable but forgive me. I am cognizant that I've a pretty easy life: I've parents who love me and each other, a home with electricity and running water, a church with pastors of high theological and liturgical caliber, food on the table, opportunity for education, a healthy body, employment, love. But I am weak and in my weakness, I am ashamed of my weakness. I am ashamed that you should see me in the nausea of my mind. When my wits return I wish that I could take back whatever I've said or done in the pitching and tossing of thought and word and deed.

It would be nice to be normal for a change, but it would be even nice to feel normal. I don't know that I remember in what "normal" consists.

1 comment:

elizabeth said...

yes it is intense. but also as an resident director told me years and years ago when I was in my first full year of Univeristy, 'Elizabeth, you HAVE to take an hour off a day from studying' ...
perhaps though it seems like you are going to drown in it all, you need at least 30 minutes where you DON'T study. maybe less listening to lectures on the treadmill?