On Friday something went horribly wrong in my life.
I failed an exam.
For most people, this won’t sound like a tragedy but for me, I’m still not sure. The thing is I have only ever failed one exam before now and that didn’t end so well. In fact it ended pretty madly. And whilst that was originally a spelling mistake, it was actually a bit of a Freudian slip. Because mad is definitely an adjective that could have been used to describe me after that first failure.
I sat my first two professional exams (I’m training to be an accountant and due to the current failed exam I’m one exam away from being finished) back in December 2005 and when I received the results in late January, I was horrified to discover that I had failed the exam that I had bizarrely felt more confident about. For most people, failure is something learned relatively early in life. Whether it’s school exams or losing at sport, failing a driving test or a ballet exam, something normally comes up that means that failure is dealt with early on in life. My problem was I hadn’t done any of that. I was academic so failing school exams was never an issue. The worst I ever got on a school report was a C for effort in Chemistry (largely because I knew I could pass without a lot of effort so I didn’t bother). I was never on a sports team being relatively uncoordinated and one of the girls selected last in PE. I passed my driving test the first time (albeit after nearly 18 months of lessons- confidence was the problem rather than incompetence) and I gave up ballet (lack of co-ordination being an issue again) before I could start failing any exams.
So when I failed this exam, my world, as I knew it, was pretty shattered. What shattered it even more was the fact that with a mark of 49% I should have lost my job and only luck and a horrible situation faced by one of my colleagues in the same position saved me. But the damage had been done. Within a month I was developing rampant paranoia which led to the breakdown of an already shaky and admittedly not particularly healthy relationship and within two I had developed full on depression which led to threats of hospitalization and a year off work.
So to fail another, even five and half years later and after two years of therapy, is a bit worrying as although I am much better, I still have some truly hideous days where the only thing I can face doing is putting the duvet over my head and pretending the world doesn’t exist as if I have to get up I’m likely to jump from a very high building. So to go through the thing which put me in the depths of despair again is a wee bit worrying. I’m sure I will be fine, I have a fantastic support network with my family, friends and the Twitter family I have found over the past few months but it’s one of the first tests I have faced since finishing therapy. But how I will cope remains to be seen.
So is this a mountain? Or just a molehill? And am I just making a mountain out of a molehill?
All comments welcome as always
Average Josephine x