Monday, March 16, 2015

Thesis defense comic - part one

In preparation for my thesis defense, I had a lot of concerns.  I am a naturally very anxious person.  Something in my brain just keeps sending the wrong messages or chemicals that makes me paranoid and nervous about, well, everything.  The best coping strategy I've developed is to stop trying to fight it.  Instead, I try to accept my anxious feelings because the more I stress about them, the worse they get.  In the end, anxiety itself doesn't really cause any harm.  It's how you respond to it that matters.  I don't ignore it, but I don't try to make it go away.  I just let it be.

One concern I had about my thesis defense was that I would faint during it.  I'm not prone to fainting, but it does happen to me more than I would like.  It's usually triggered by thoughts of morbid biology (like losing blood rapidly), but other anxious thoughts have caused it as well.  Now, I can't say I've ever actually fainted because I've never lost consciousness (I don't think so, anyway; I guess I can't say for sure, haha), but I don't know another word to describe it.  It's just that feeling of your blood pressure dropping so quickly that you are forced to lie down as soon as possible to regulate it again, and the longer you try to hold it off, the more urgent the need to lie down is until you simply can't stay upright any longer and you crash to the floor.

If you have never experienced this before, it is as unpleasant as it sounds.  Thankfully, it is almost never life-threatening, just a normal part of our biology.  It certainly can feel like you're dying, though.  :b

Anyway, I was worried about fainting because it has happened to me more than a few times, and there is no stopping it once it starts.  You can't just try to wait it out or hope that it will go away on its own.  It's funny how we don't have as much control over our bodies as we think.

Actually, there was one time that I was able to regulate it without actually lying down.  I was seeing Antichrist in the theater with some acquaintances, which is a very graphic and disturbing movie.  During the climactic scene (which I will not describe it here), I felt the sudden need to lie down.  Unfortunately, we were in a theater, and I was closed in on either side by other viewers.  The floor was completely gross, not to mention it would've been difficult to lie down with everyone's feet in the way.  So, I doubled over in half and maintained as horizontal a position as I could.  It took quite a bit longer than it normally would've, but eventually, my blood pressure did re-stabilize.  >.<  My memory of that movie is mostly limited to that very unpleasant moment, haha.

Onto the comic!  :b

(Drawn by my sister, Dani, and colored by me!)

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