Drowning, Drowning, Drowning

Stress is a cruel thing. Inevitable. Harsh. All consuming. Mind & body. Hard to escape, right in your face. Downward Spiral. 
Tonight I’m really feeling it.
This has been the semester from hell. I’ve had way too much on my plate. Two jobs. 5 courses (two of which have really just kicked me in the butt). New apartment. Working enough to make sure I can pay for rent, have groceries in my kitchen, save, and still have a some left over to do things I enjoy. Finding time to do those things I enjoy. Sleeping enough. Eating good. & trying to keep my sanity throughout all of this.
I’m not sure how good I’ve been going with that. I’m trying to stay afloat, but I just feel like I’m 
drowning, drowning, drowning.
I’ve never felt so defeated, so drained, so hopeless, so ready to be done. I work hard, I’m a good student, I’ve been successful in the past. I’ve put myself in a position that makes me feel like someone I’m not: a student who struggles to get by, a girl who is not as happy as she should be. 
Tonight I write my fourth exam. I’m so tired of studying. I have a cold, and I’m struggling to hold focus on anything because of that. I’m trying to rest, but then I feel guilty for it. I’m trying to study, but I’m not giving it my all. I’m trying to do all that I can… but is this really my all, my best? I feel like at this point, this is my best. My body is crippled by this stress. My mind is overwhelmed by this stress. No matter what I do, this stress seems to win. 
2 hours and 15 minutes until test time, and my stomach is killing me from the stress. This is the way that stress takes over me, mostly. It feels like it’s destroying me from the inside, out.
 I put on the kettle to make some ginger tea to help soothe it, and go in my room to tidy up a bit so that I can come home to a little bit of cleanliness and order. Soon enough, I smell burning, and run to the kitchen and realize that I turned the wrong burner on and burnt a baking sheet instead, causing it to burn dry. I’m trying to help myself, help my body and help my mind, but instead I cause more chaos.  
In my apartment that is turned upside down – clothes, kleenex, dishes, papers, textbooks scattered everywhere – I know I need to get a hold of myself. The stress cannot win. I am strong, I am smart, I am successful, and unfortunately this semester is trying to show me otherwise. The only cause of my stomach pain is stress, my emotions are awry because of stress, I feel discouraged because of stress. 
So I close my bedroom door to stop the smell of smoke from wafting in, I find the only clear spot of my apartment, a tiny space at the foot of my bed, push a few kleenexes out the way, place my oil diffuser with soothing oils basically on my lap, I pull my knees up to my chest, and I 
Breathe in peace, confidence, knowledge, sanity…
Breathe out stress, chaos, discouragement. 
I am smart. I am successful. I can do this. Soon, this semester will be over, and soon I can get back to  the me that I want to be. 

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