Sunday, July 15, 2012

Doubting Debby

I've been studying for the certification test. Two hours a day is what I try to stick to. I've been using a manual. It has 300 practice questions. I answer the questions, and if my answer is wrong, I look the topic up in one of my text books, and I summarize vitually everything about the topic. It is a time of memorizing the Rancho Los Alamos scale, the spinal cord injury information, what damage happens at what level, manual muscle testing scale. It is reading and writing about the complications of diabetes and cerebral palsy. What part of the brain controls what. Every day I open those books, and I get a little sickish, because there is so much in there. I am familiar with it, but how familiar do I have to be? Most astonishingly, I find references to things that I must have studied, but don't remember at all.

I will be taking the test on August 2nd. We are given five hours to finish it. I have paid $500. to take this exam, and if I fail it, I'll have to wait 45 days, and then give them another $500. I wasn't too worried about it until I heard that a friend had failed it. Ack! My heart dropped, because really, of all the people in the class, I figured she'd be one of the ones who sailed on through it. Immediately, my brain went into "Oh MY GOD!!!! I'm gonna fail this test, and I will be working my hind end off for nothing, and I'll have to tell Tim that I need to take $500 MORE and then..."

I went up and spent the day with a friend who'd just had surgery. She was my scrabble partner during those dark cancer days. We spent a lot of time together then, and this was my chance to pay her back, at least in part. So we were playing scrabble and talking about God, and about our lives, and our husbands and our kids. We were talking about feelings. I told her about my test anxiety.

She looked across the table at me and she said, "You always do that." ("Do what?") and she said, "You always look at big thing and you say, 'I'm going to fail,' but you never do, and you're not going to fail this."

I studied her. "Really?" You see, my friend knows me better than anyone on this planet, even Tim, because believe you me, Tim does not want to talk about feeeeeeeeeelings. Her husband's the same way, really. We are each other's confidant, and we have been so since we were 12 years old. Now we are 55. She smiled at my own doubt.

Yesterday, I was studying, away, and I found myself feeling a little hopeful. Superstitiously, I thought, "Don't get over-confident," and tucked that away. I wonder sometimes if my own doubts are the key to my own success?

Oh, and although it means nothing, I beat my friend at scrabble that day, big time. I even had a seven letter word that fell on a triple word. She said to me, "You wouldn't beat someone who felt like I do, would you?" I laughed and said, "Don't pull that on me, sistah! I remember getting my butt beat in the chemo chair for crying out loud!" And we laughed ourselves stupid. Because we could.


jeanie said...

I was talking to a woman at work the other day about confidence - I truly think that one of the biggest blessings I was given by my parents was how to be confident, and how to fake it when it was missing. She didn't have that.

It doesn't mean that you don't also have the anxiety with big ticket things, but it does give an ability to see the possibility that it will all turn out in the end.

If you are lacking, just letting you know that, on this side of the world, I have confidence in you.

(Oh, and you have been thought of lots in the last 12 hours, because yesterday I roasted a chook in the crockpot, and the bones and carcass went back in on top of the veges that were my base, topped it with water and this morning, I decanted a good amount of stock and thought "Deb would approve!")

BUSH BABE said...

Just read my sister's comments and thought: SO true!

Even before you wrote that your friend told you "You ALWAYS do that!" I had thought "You ALWAYS do that!". You do. NEver met anyone that doubted themselves so hard - wonder if its a reverse psychology thing you subconsciously use on yourself? Seems to work!!

Keep studying, but do so believing you can do - it's much less stressful!!