Finding my “study group”

During the first semester of my freshman year of college (which was only about 2 years ago), I took a science class on astronomy. The professor kept telling us over and over again that we needed to work and study in groups, but we all thought we didn’t have time. He kept making the homework problems more and more difficult until we finally had no choice but to work together because none of us could do the problems alone. Even if you went to the professor for help, he would only go so far before referring you back to the study group.

More than anything else, that’s what I took from the class: when things get really tough, go back to your support group. That semester it was a group of students struggling their way through astronomy like I was. This past year it was a different group of students and a different subject (math). Now, it’s a really rough week (possible pregnancy, exhausting rehearsals and performances, and bad therapy sessions), and the only group that I can turn to is the one inside. When life gets so hard that I can’t do it on my own, they are all I have really. I feel strange admitting that because I’ve been doing it on my own for so long, but right now I don’t feel like I can. I need help, and I’m not convinced that it’s help I can get from any external source. I turned on my “most played” playlist on iTunes, a lot of Celtic music, Sarah McLaughlin, Enya, Piano versions of Enya, and one random funny song. I often use it as study music and it fades into the background. This time it threw me back into the past.

I happened to turn it on while I was writing the last post “From the past…” and emailing Therapist because I needed some background noise to distract me from what I was writing. I suppose it was the combination of touchy material and Enya that did it. I found myself back in the hospital, on the psych ward, in art therapy. I could feel the gnarled wood table under my hands, smell the paint, the markers, old paper, glue. I could see the art therapist with her long blonde hair and gentle smile. Suddenly I found myself in another space, sitting in my room on the unit with a piece of poster board in front of me and surrounded on all sides by hundreds of magazine cutouts.

I know that I can “go home” to a dance studio when I get stressed and worn out by life. I’ve been dancing for decades and it is my release. I had forgotten that collaging is a kind of coming home as well. It was the way that we solved conflicts, communicated, and expressed ourselves…all of us. I think now it may be the way that I can ask for help. I really do need help. I feel like I’ve lost my happy thought and I’m falling out of the sky.

When all else fails, do what you know…and seek out your study group.


~ by Kj on June 6, 2010.

One Response to “Finding my “study group””

  1. […] He kept pushing me to take some step in some direction, and I finally did. (See post ““). I collaged and thought that we were again going to get somewhere in therapy. BUT…we […]

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