With a new term at SNHU coupled with the stress at work brought me down to all new lows. Tuesday, I had a scare which brought me to a painful decision but I have no regrets. I looked deep inside to find out why I was doing what I thought was the right thing when in reality it was perhaps not the best decision at all.
As mentioned, a couple of times I was struggling with classes in college. After spending 12 hours on night on pre-calculus alone I put everything aside to take a real deep look at what was going on. Why was I back in college?
My whole family graduated with degrees. Mom had her nursing degree, Dad graduated with a business management degree and my sister graduated with a degree in child psychology. Once again, I felt like the outsider of the family. The black sheep who was different from everyone one else. I felt this ‘expectation’ to get a degree to ‘better my life’. Honestly, I was just lying to myself.
But I tried to make things work as my stubbornness kicked into high gear. On the other hand, my body said – no f**king way!
Tuesday night I experience another episode. I just didn’t feel right. Something was going on physically but I tried to convince myself everything was okay. It was just stress. Perhaps I need a quick break. But I didn’t have the time. Suddenly I could feel my heart racing like it wasn’t ever before. I took my blood pressure: 187-104-87. Holy crap…I haven’t seen those numbers in decades. So I got on the phone with an emergency nurse, we talked and she suggested I drop everything I was doing and immediately rest, then call the doctor in the morning. Did so, actually taking a nap, then called the doctor. They had a cancellation, so I was able to be seen within a couple of hours. Reported to the office with a blood pressure of 172-97-65. I ended up talking to my doctor and someone else (I’m not even sure what she was). We basically talked about stress and living a healthy lifestyle. After the conversation, I cried but it made all the sense in the world. I had to slow down before I had another stroke.
By now I’m sure you know what I had to do; I had to made the hard decision to withdraw from SNHU.
It may have been the best decision to save my life. By the time I got to work the next day, I actually got a compliment at work, “Mike, something’s changed. You don’t look so stressed out.” It was true.
What it comes down to is I was living in this expectation to get that degree. Look, I’m going on 50 years of age. I have health issues due to my alcoholism – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression on occasion, etc. I also don’t like in a ‘big city’ nor do I have any intention of moving back to one. Is it really likely an employer will look at my resume after college, with no experience in the computer science field, at age 50 (everyone knows they DO take that in account), living no where near a metropolitan area with (currently) no transportation and says, “We’d like to make you an offer…?” Don’t think so.
I just makes sense, at least to me. Now I’m back to taking care of myself and I feel much better about it.