I withdrew from a class today. It's literally the last day I'm allowed to do that: if I had given it a couple more hours (when the office that handles these things closed) I'd have to take a "No evaluation," which is the Hampshire equivalent of an F. Instead, I get to take a "W," which means the same thing everywhere, I think.
Friday night, after I blogged, I fell asleep from exhaustion for about two hours. Then I woke up, and I didn't go back to sleep until the sun came up. Every time I closed my computer, turned off my light, shut my eyes, my head flooded with anxiety about class. So in the afternoon when I woke up, I wrote an email to the professor explaining what was wrong and why I was withdrawing. In the five hours following writing that email, I got more work done (especially self-care work) than I had in about two weeks. So, I added another 300-ish words in a postscript and sent it. (It ended up being about 1000 words long.)
I feel like I learned a lot from that class, and I may write about that more later, or share parts of the email. But I think very importantly one of the things I'm doing better about now is controlled failure: I could have stayed in that class, and maybe done okay, and let my other three classes' work suffer, damage my personal relationships, and just generally live in a state of constant anxiety. This loss, this incompleteness -- it was already there, manifest in my circumstances and the kinds of control I had and didn't have. It feels like I've packaged up another month's worth of personal loss into a neat little "W" rather than let it spill everywhere.