My Rather Unfortunate Day

I had my first school-related breakdown of the year today, 4 months before I’d expect myself to have a reason to. Though I’m calmer now (though still rather upset), I want to talk about it in typical Elm fashion.

Before I walk you through my (admittedly boring for you but not for me) day, I’ll give you a quick braille computer lesson. It’s relevant… I promise.

I got a “computer” when I was 9, and we’ll call it the Apex because that’s what it’s called and I can’t be bothered to come up with another name. This computer’s not got a screen, but 6 braille keys, a braille display and various other buttons. So basically, I used it for typing, classwork, some internet, email, blah blah blah.

Over the summer I got a NEW computer, called a Touch. I don’t know how to explain this without you going “Wait what that’s not even special,” but it has a screen. And a braille display. So you can type on braille on the screen and I just LOVE IT, because now my teachers can see what I’m writing and I can actually type posts without having to connect the Apex to my phone. Also, when I type, people don’t get pissed off with me when I type too violently because the Touch has a Touchscreen (eyyy get it).

Except this morning, before school, it decided to totally freeze. Because I woke up in a positive mood, I didn’t immediately freak out. I restarted it, went to school, and that’s where the fun starts.

In my school, and yes I KNOW this gives away a part of my anonymity, we have a unit for blind people. We go to regular lessons but the people in the unit are there to prepare our work and give us support. I went in to ask for help, restarted it I think 7 times and steadily got more and more terrified. Did anything work? No. It just sat there, frozen, even when I shrieked at it to “JUST WORK!”

I had to take the Apex to lessons. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great machine, but I just… I was used to working with the other one for my A-Levels, and it had all of my files. I got stressed, couldn’t concentrate much, and had to go to the unit to get my English texts again. There was me, walking through the school and getting progressively more panicky.

Break was spent in the unit (because I’m a loner and couldn’t find my friends, except when Wren came and got me). They told me, again, to come in at lunch, and to “not stress, Elm!” Easier said than done, but at least two of the teachers in there know me so well that they can say that before I even START to panic.

Before lunch, I had Psychology: in that lesson, I sat next to one of the “popular” girls who I was nervous of, and another girl called Lily. Lily’s really lovely, and I’ve always had a great respect for her, but the “popular” girl surprised me in that she made an effort to talk to me. It just shows what an effect me being more confident and willing to talk to people has, and what consequences that can have. I think people are starting to see who I am, or at least my perceptions of what they think towards me are changing.

Then, lunch happened, which dragged my mood down into minus numbers. I got to the unit, heart beating fast because I was so scared something would go wrong.

It turns out that there’s a problem with the Touch, which they’re sorting out (it’s only happened to one other person before). Oh, and it means that unless they can recover them, all of my files have been lost.

The Touch is knew, and is about the best thing to happen to me in terms of school technology because it’s a shitload easier. This isn’t going to make me hate it, or disown it or anything (it’s not my child WOW) because I know that in the long run, it does more for me and makes me feel less overwhelmed.

My brain interpreted it as this: All of the work I’ve done over the past few days, including homework, all my notes, the extra little things the teachers told us that WEREN’T in the powerpoints – gone. My summer work, which I spent so long on and put loads of effort into? Gone. I have no idea if they can get it back or not, but I’m hoping so; all of it might not be able to be recovered, but it’s something.

Of course, at that point, I didn’t see the positives. I started crying, completely breaking down, and my heart felt like it was about to implode. Even though it’s only 4 days of work, for A-Level, that’s a lot. The thought of re-doing it sent me into horrified sobbing, and it may seem like an overreaction, but I felt – and still feel – absolutely terrible. After the worst of the tears passed, I started to feel numb, but whenever I thought about all that work that was gone and all that I had to catch up on, I got that terrified feeling again.

I have to do so much at the moment. Teachers set me homework, and I’ve completed about 4 pieces, but the ones I haven’t done were saved on my Touch and I don’t know and can’t remember which tasks have been set and when they’re due. The teacher in the unit who knows me best emailed my class teachers about it, explaining that I was pretty much distraught about the whole thing (at the time I was still in tears, so it’s no surprise why she put that). My french teacher was understanding, but tomorrow, I have other teachers who may not be as lovely.

A new friend I made, who’s in my French class, helped me a lot. She doesn’t quite know how I work, or understand all of the little things I can’t do and when I need help, but she was willing to aid me and I haven’t thanked her properly yet.

Remembering exactly how I felt after I realised that the work I’d put so much of my time into was potentially lost makes me feel ill. It was just miserable, and then the awful thoughts kicked in: that I should have expected it, that now I wouldn’t get free time until it was sorted, that I should have backed up my files. Then again, it’s early in the year and I thought it would be alright to wait for a bit until I had a bit more work done. Stupid, I know, but there’s nothing I can do about it now.

It all seems so trivial, right? With everything else happening to different people, a few lost files shouldn’t be an issue. To me, it is; I’ve been trying and trying to keep this positive attitude, and I succeeded until now.

When I learn, I need to have a mindset that isn’t negative. If I don’t want to freak out, I have to have ways of coping: thinking what I’ll do next, which homework I want to complete, why I’m looking forward to a lesson and what new things I learned. Today, I felt none of those things; I just felt a blankness that quickly transformed into worry and then panic.

Hopefully, everything will be okay. I’ll end up smiling about this, because it was just a momentary blip. At the moment, though, it doesn’t feel like that and that’s what’s important: it feels all too raw and real now for me to think of it as a “little thing”, even though it is. Remember – everyone’s worries are valid to THEM.

I’ll try and rekindle my attitude for tomorrow, despite the fact that I’ve done very little homework. As my teacher said to me, I just relaxed and tried not to burst into tears again.

When I got out of the unit, Pine found me. From the minute she saw me, she knew I’d been crying – she knows all of my expressions – and she took me to the side and talked it through. I don’t know what I’d do without her, because she’s always helped me.

I’m feeling okay. Stressed – though my teacher said I wouldn’t have to catch up EVERYTHING – and scared that I won’t be able to manage this – but otherwise I’m bearing it. It’s only a small thing, after all.

From Elm πŸ™‚

61 thoughts on “My Rather Unfortunate Day

  1. What a day! I hope everything works out for you with your Touch and you get your files back. Try not to stress too much, and don’t rush yourself to get work done– you’ll just stress and stress! Hopefully your teachers understand, I’m sure that they will. Hope things work out, Lu

    • Oh thank you so much! You’ve made me feel more encouraged. Today wasn’t so great because I have no idea what’s happening about the files, but I’m just trying to remain hopeful. Thanks for your comment and for helping me! My teachers were actually really understanding XX

      • That’s good, your teachers understanding the situation probably helped loads! It must suck not knowing what’s happening, as it could be hours to redo, but even if you don’t get he files back, don’t stress, your teachers will understand and it’ll work out xx

  2. I know how stressful losing files can be. I’ve been there so I get you. This isn’t trivial at all. It’s hardwork gone down the drain. Don’t worry too much about it though.☺ I wish you all the best.

    • Thanks so much! Yeah, I realise now that I have valid reason to be upset. Thanks for telling me that; I don’t often let myself feel properly upset because I think it’s not as important. I’m not sure when it will get sorted, but hopefully soon!

  3. That sounds so stressful Elm and I’m so sorry technology chose today to fail on you 😦 Although it must be very extremely annoying, upseting, frustrating etc that you may have lost the past four days work, what you have to do is just put that out of your mind now. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing, get a good nights sleep, make sure you have eveything you need organised for tomorrow so tomorrow can hopefully be less stressful. Tomorrow is a new day, after all, and you can do this Elm, I believe in you! Tomorrow just focus on the work your doing and put everything to do with the Touch and today in a little box in your mind, lock it up and leave it until the weekend to deal with. Best wishes with the timetable and I hope your Touch gets fixed soon and your work is recovered! πŸ™‚

  4. Oh, Elm, that’s terrible! I totally understand why you were upset, but of course you’ll have friends and teachers to help you catch up back to where you were, and you’re smart enough that you’ll be able to figure most stuff out. Good luck and I hope your Touch is able to be fixed soon! πŸ™‚

  5. That’s so shit Elm, something like that happened to me once and all my pictures and stuff were erased, and they went back for ages. I really hope you have a better day tomorrow, and all is fixed soon. Just take a deep breath and let everything in your mind fall back into place ❀

    • Thanks so much! I did my best – today wasn’t as bad, but I still don’t feel 100 percent. Your comments have helped though! Sleep also did, and deep breaths.

  6. I hope everything will go okay in the end. It wasn’t your fault the computer froze, the teachers surely have to understand that.

    • Luckily, they did πŸ™‚ Or at least the ones I’ve had so far have. I don’t think they quite got how MANY files I lost, and the powerpoints haven’t been resent yet, but I’m okay. Thank you! xxx

  7. I’m dealing with a similar situation right now! Two of my chemistry assignments that I typed in nemeth got saved in the wrong format originally and now there’s no way to save them in a Word file without entirely retyping them. They amount to 50 questions total. That being said, I had a VERY bad experience with the Apex and will NOT be owning a Touch because of it. I currently use a BrailleSense, made my HIMS, and it’s possibly the best device I’ve ever owned. The chemistry issue did happen on it, but I’m pretty sure that’s a result of me having a moment and forgetting how to make math files… It’s a terrible feeling when stuff gets lost like that! There was a time when it happened about once a month with my Apex, and I lived in stress! But everything has a way of sorting itself out in the end, and in my experience, most teachers are happy to work with you. Hope it all gets better tomorrow!!! 😊

  8. This sounds like a horrific nightmare! I know must suck so much for you, but hey, there is a possibility that you might get them back right? So hang on to that sliver of hope, it’s the best you can do atm. Oh and please try to not let this take over yourself completely. I know it’s really hard, but keep your chin up and relax for a bit, if you can πŸ™‚ The teachers will understand, and if they don’t, I’ll MAKE them (in my own very special way).

  9. Oh Elm that just must’ve been a horrible day. I hope you feel much better. I feel very very very dumb and mean asking this but why did you you go to the blind unit? Are you …. ummm…….blind? SO SO SORRY SORRY SORRY SORRY! I just was curious but I am really sorry. 😭😭😳😳

  10. Oh my, I’m so sorry! I never even stopped to think how blind people would have different devices for things like a computer screen or a cellphone. Where do you buy them? I’ve never seen them in stores. Or maybe it’s a regional thing? It’s crazy how much people take things for granted. I’m so glad everyone was supportive until now, and no one gave you a hard time.

    • You can’t buy them in shops πŸ™‚ Companies make them, and then you order them; they’re RIDICULOUSLY expensive though.
      Thanks! Yeah, I’m surprised no one’s got irritated!

      • Right. I understand. Yes, I did look up the costs of the devices, and I was quite surprised to see how costly they were! I believe it might be because of the technology it requires. Like 3D printing for example. They haven’t quite figured out how to make it cheaply. Maybe that’s why.
        No, if they did, then that would make them look bad.

      • Yeah, exactly πŸ™‚ Again, a lot of people use laptops which have screenreaders, but because my counsel pay for it (I have to fight to get them to) I can use the devices I use

  11. Ugh I feel for you… that is really stressful especially in your final year! I hope it is/gets sorted soon… also, thank you for sharing information about the technology that blind people use. I’ve always wondered how it all works.. I have a question though, how do you read what other people (for instance this comment) type on the screen? Sorry if you already explained that or something πŸ™‚

  12. Take a deep breath Elm. I understand how stressful this can be. Once my memory file containing ALL my school work and photographs wiped itself and that put me in a grumpy, panicky mood for a while. But I realised that I could still get things done without it. Yes, you may be spending slightly bit more time catching up and doing extra work, but in the long run, you will find it beneficial. Copying or typing notes out twice will help you remember more. Also have I ever mentioned how intelligent you are? You have the capability to go ha you can kiss my arse technology – you ain’t gonna stop me going place. I’m sorry to hear what a nightmare today was, but sending all my wishes to you x

    • Thanks so so much!! πŸ™‚ Yeah, I’ll have a feeling I’ll manage. I haven’t had the motivation to do much really the last few days, but I’ll MAKE that change.

  13. Don’t worry about the notes even though they seem to make a huge impact on you but there will be teachers and students willing to help you recap/go through the relevant parts of the course and what you’ve done πŸ™‚
    It will work out in the end, don’t worry πŸ™‚

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