Ah, the end of the semester. That time when a graduate student such as myself can relax and breathe a little bit … well, that is, until summer classes begin in two weeks or so. Since I’ve written about it before, I’m not going to go into how difficult it is to write anything here while my classes are going on. What I will do, however, is provide a quick update about some of the happenings in my life since I last sat down at a keyboard and wrote anything here.

School continues to go well. My grades have been good enough so far that I was able to join Phi Kappa Phi, “thePKP_CIRCLE nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines” (That’s their words, not mine, lest you think I’m boasting.). I’m also a member now of Mu Sigma Chi, Murray State University’s chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, an international counseling academic and professional honor society. In the fall, I will begin my practicum at Recovery Works, an alcohol and drug addiction treatment center in Mayfield, Kentucky.

Of course, all of this could fall apart in a heartbeat if I don’t make it through the upcoming summer session. If going through classes in counseling has been beneficial for anything so far, it has been to show how glaring my problems with self-esteem are. As I told one of my classmates, I have convinced myself weekly since I began the clinical mental health counseling program at MSU that I was going to flunk out at some point. Not bomb a test or miss a deadline or even get an “F” in a class; I mean straight up tumbling right out of the program. My classmates have even picked up on my poor self-image, and they have been nothing but encouraging so far. I’m thankful for all of them.

So much of my identity has been wrapped up in being a student these past several weeks that I struggle sometimes to remember exactly what else I have been up to. I guess I watched a few movies, caught glimpses of some television shows, went to a concert, and very reluctantly turned over the duties of mowing my lawn to my children. I’m sure I’ll manage to write about at least some of these things over the course of the next two weeks, but I’ve also struggled with so many emotions that the wars inside my head might be a better place to start. I’ve doubted, despaired, grieved, and even thought about just giving up on life completely. I’ll explain what all that means later, but for now let me just say the road has not been easy for me emotionally as of late.

I realize this is short and sweet, but it felt weird to just jump in and start writing about all kinds of heavy topics without some type of re-introduction. I’m looking forward to being able to get everything out of me and onto the page again, though. Don’t forget, you can also keep in touch with me when I’m not here by emailing me at info@lightsinthedarkness.net. I would love to hear from you.

Okay. Let’s begin…

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