anxiety · depression · mental health · nonfiction · OCD · opinion · Uncategorized

hello again

This is my first post in over a year.

Sometimes life gets in the way, especially when your are feeling better. Things get steadier, lighter, easier and before you realise it you’ve lost touch with certain aspects of yourself. Certain aspects that darkness possibly enhanced.

I’m trying to fuse both together. I miss creativity, I miss writing and I miss pouring my heart out on here. Mainly, I miss expressing myself. My blog is the perfect way to do so. I will aim to write regularly about a differing range of topics and ideas. My posts have historically been about mental health which I do not aim to change, yet i would be interested in adding some more themes to my writings.

Right  now as someone in their early 20’s the idea of the expectation of adulthood and the comparative reality is something I would love to develop. I have recently made some life changing choices that have jerked my path in a new direction and am intrigued by the journeys young adults find themselves on, and what it means individually and collectively to be a young adult in 2017.

To provide some context to my life, since I was avidly writing this blog I have (as most people have in a year!) changed a lot.

Since I left university I have worked in a restaurant for  a year and a half. I had experienced a strange relationship breakdown that shifted my outlook on who I was and what I could do. I have learnt bout what is best for me and my well being sometimes. I have me some new people who have inspired me and made me feel part of a warm and friendly team. I have furthered my outlook on animal rights by transitioning from vegetarian to vegan and I have met someone new who I can really build a future with.

I have recently taken action to leave a job role that I wasn’t happy in, my anxiety was getting worse again and I decided to remove myself from the situation. So here I am, ready to start again, or rather build on  some aspects and change others.

Mental health wise, I had some intensive CBT at my local hospital which is really helpful. I finally came to terms with the fact I have suffered with OCD for such a long time and maybe that is is the route cause of my anxiety and depression. I feel like I have come such a long way from where I was 2 or 3 years ago.

I am proud myself fro breaking the cycle. I was could feel my anxiety sliding back and I had he strength to remove myself.

xxxxxxxx

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anxiety · depression · mental health · nonfiction · OCD · timetotalk · timtochange · Uncategorized

Recovery, Relapse and Fear

The most frustrating things about the recovery process from Depression is relapse. Or more the fear of relapse.

Fear is key, the start or inkling of a thought reminiscent of my illness ends me into panic. the idea of these thoughts coming back makes me feel like giving up. The possibility of relapse is too much to handle.

Lately i’ve been so positive so when any of these thoughts return it sends me into overdrive- what if my depression returns and I end up throwing away my new life i’ve built for myself. What if my new sense of confidence is delusional and I am actually that horrible, ugly awful person I used to believe myself t0 be when my Depression was at it’s worst. What if I dont deserve the good things i’ve accomplished: a new job and new friends and stronger friendships with old friends.

I’m worried I am seeing the start of it all again but I pray not. Some days I just see so much bad in the world. Sometimes I look at the state of the world and see greed and selfishness and it feeds into the darkness of my Depression so much more. I know love and kindness are all around, its just harder to see this when you are jaded by Depression.

I just feel desperate for it not to return. I hope the uninvited visitor at my door will go away. I’m certainly not letting him in, I just hope he doesn’t break in.

xxxx

OCD · timetotalk · timetotalkday · timetotalkday2016 · timtochange · UK · Uncategorized

MY OCD: Time to Talk Day

 OCD

We’ve got obsessions, I want to erase every nasty thought that bugs me everyday of every week”- Marina and the Diamonds- Obsessions

I never stepped on the cracks cos I thought i’d hurt my mother, and I couldn’t awake from the nightmare that sucked me in and pulled me under“- Jeff Buckley- So Real

4th Feb 2016- Time to Talk Day 🙂

I’ve wanted to write a piece about my OCD for a while now, but its been scary and hard to write about. However today (in the UK) is Time to Talk Day, the goal of this day is to ‘get the nation talking about mental health and to help end the misconceptions around it.’  SO, today seems like the perfect day to write this piece, seen as its a day to talk about mental health: our own experiences can help us by getting things off our chest, and help others by informing them about a condition that they might misunderstand or not know much about, or help others suffering to know they are not alone. This breeds further knowledge and awareness, which ultimately helps those with mental health problems as well as their family, friends and colleges. Overall understanding creates a fairer more compassionate society and this begins with a conversation. 

I was recently diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have been in treatment for Anxiety and Depression for a while, but there was something else there, something I never really acknowledged as it was so scary, but also such an ingrained part of me, its been etched into my soul since I was born (well, as long as I can remember). I dont know why, but talking about my OCD symptoms was too hard for me too handle. Its not that Anxiety and Depression are by any means better, all mental illness is equally as dreadful, I think for some reason my OCD symptoms left me even more confused and scared. (That was just my experience.)

However, with the improvement of my Depression and been sent to see a new therapist, I decided now was the time. I would tell her about these things I felt in my head and could not control. I did not know these where symptoms of OCD at the time, I just know they where the things I was always too scared to say out loud.

For me it was repetition and numbers, even number to be presise. These thoughts where almost instinictve, when I was little I remember them haunting me. I would repeat in my head wishes or prayers every morning before school, like please dont let this happen, it would often be thoughts that had come into my head about someone I know been hurt, or harm to myself. I felt like I had control over these events happening, or nor happening, I really believed so.

This has carried on my whole life. It felt if I did not do these rituals that the feared events would come true, the thought would materialize into reality The repetition in my head quickly became physical too, it would be walking in and out of rooms a certain amount of times, re reading a page of a book until it felt ‘right’, winding back a video and re watching sections after an intrusive thought, touching a near object an even number of times

The impact this has had on me is finding it difficult to relax alone. It also makes me feel responsible. When I get these intrusive thoughts it feels like its my fault and that i’m evil for having this in my head, so the rituals get rid of that feeling. I have this warped view of my own responsibility. This is such an inward conflict, as rationally, I know that of course I don’t control events around me, and in the world with my own thoughts and actions, however the illness makes me feel like this is the truth, like those mirrors at the fun fair that distort our reflections: we are aware they are distorted but the image of our body altered looks so real. It feels like they would tear my life appart, any moments of happiness or contentment my uncontrollable obsessions and compulsions would barge into my mind.

 I finally felt brave enough to talk about the experiences I had had for so long. My therapist asked me lots of questions and we had an honest discussion about what I got go through with regards to these symptoms and after analysis and filling in a few forms, she diagnosed me with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) which was scary at first. I had very little knowledge of what this was and what it meant. I hadn’t heard much about it, I had never (knowingly) met anyone with this condition. After some research I read tha apparently only less than 2% of people here in the UK which I found scary!

However, my therapist showed me a diagram of the OCD cycle, starting with the intrusive though, leading to anxiety which leading to the ritual ending in temporary relief. Listening to her explain this to me was like a weight been lifted from my shoulders. As she explained more about the symptoms of the conditions and the causes, it seemed less scary. I felt like all my life I had thought it was just my thoughts, just the way I was but here it was, written before me on paper. It was just explaining exactly the things I felt and had suffered with on a daily basis. And it was an illness, and it could be treated. It can b treated. Talking about my symptoms made me realize it wasn’t just me, i’m not alone.

Now I am proceeding with my treatment. At the moment we are identifying what these thoughts are. We are gong to try exposure therapy, for example having the thought without ‘neutralizing’ (carrying out the ritual). This is terrifying but I am persevering, I’m determined to beat this illness. I thought I would never be able to recover from Depression, and although wouldn’t say iv’e fully recovered at all, I’ve made such a vast improvement. Maybe one day i will get to that stage with my OCD. Admitting is the first step, I’m just trying to stay positive, even when I feel out of control.

I’m so glad I talked to someone about my symptoms, and its helped me understand whats going on inside my head better, and help me work towards battling this condition. I urge anyone who experiences any distressing feelings to talk to someone. No matter what they are, we need to talk.

OCD is one of the most misunderstood conditions. Its not peoples fault but due to lack of knowledge many will say things like ‘i’m so OCD, I just love things to be done my way’ or ‘OMG your so OCD your house is so clean’. OCD is not just liking something clean, it’s intrusive thoughts that take over your mind forcing you in rituals. Yes, with some people these are about cleaning but others they are not. For example many people will say they are ‘so OCD’ but they like their house clean, someone with OCD might think harm will come to their loves ones if they dont clean the oven 4 times, and this distresses them (just an example) or some people, like me, don’t have OCD symptoms that present themselves with cleaning at all. It can be anything. My rituals are repetitive thoughts and everyday actions. I’m the messiest person ever and I have OCD! In summary, jokes or assumptions about OCD are not funny and flippant statements can be offensive. More conversations about mental illness will help people understand this.

I haven’t blogged in a while but I think these discussions are so important. I have not focused on blogging so much as I have been so busy, but from now on I vow to make time for it.

In the spirit of time to talk day, has anyone else had any similar or different experiences with OCD? Or any other mental health problems? What do you guys do to look after yourselves if your having a bad day? Starting a conversation is key! 

xxxx

anxiety · depression · education · mental health · nonfiction · opinion

A fish climbing a tree: What is intelligence?

What is intelligence?

treefish

In my opinion, intelligence is a subjective term. It is merely a notion humans have created themselves to construct an ideal that we can measure up to; it puts us into very confined boxes. This post is not strictly related to mental health; however those of us with mental heath conditions often feel so down about ourselves, that society’s expectations can amplify our symptoms of low self esteem, or embed them within us.  I believe many people would relate to this regardless of I they suffer with a mental health problem or not. After coming to the end of my academic journey, I have been reflecting lately of the impact it had on my life, and how I should not be defined by a common misconception. I’ve often noticed people making fun of others for been ‘stupid’, which is so unfair.

As I have expressed in my previous posts, I failed my exam and subsequently could not get my degree, I wasn’t stupid, I was just a fish trying to climb a tree…

What is to blame? Our education system? Our view of what is defined as In telliegnce? Our human nature?

At school I always felt that I was substandard. In Primary school I can remember the feeling of inferiority when my classmates where set in the ‘top groups’ for maths and I was stuck at the bottom. The endless stream of exams begun at a young age, already defining us by are ability to answer some set, and frankly, constricting questions. Of course, I am very grateful that I got to attend school, I know in many parts of the world girls are not allowed to attend school, and in some no one can. I am lucky that in the UK education is free, however I do think our system is massively flawed. I am eternally grateful that I got to learn to read and write, I know this is an invaluable skill that many do not have. However I just think telling young children they are defined by an exam, that they are not good enough, will already set them on a path to low self confidence. I believe that this is exactly what schools are doing. If we get low marks on tests its sending us signals that we are not good. School is all we know, and all subjects are marked in such a rigid way.

In high school I gradually realised that the way we where taught was to reach levels and targets. There was no focus on individuality, on self expression. This is not the fault of the teachers, I had some lovely teachers who where very helpful and inspiring, they are just retrained by the curriculum.   I saw many people become pigeon holed as been low ability or naughty. When my GCSEs came (for those who do not live in the UK these are compulsory exams at the age of 16) I sort of gave up. So many of my friends got straight A’s, and I was so happy for them. I just felt crushed by the system, unable to express myself. At my school, I felt it was the ‘high achievers’ that got all of the praise that got the recognition. I felt like everyone’s achievements should be taken just as seriously. Ability was defined by lettered grades which depended on an exam. I think it is ridiculous to define someone down to a series of letters, like that’s what they are, just melting into an alphabetical classification that forever defines their ability.

When I did my A levels (exams for 18 year olds) I did English Literature. I loved the concept of tearing apart a book and letting its insides blossoms into new ideas. I loved talking about this with my classmates and was an enriching experience. However it always came back to exam technique. I don’t think a matter so subjective and beautiful as the way someone interprets a piece of literature can be examined. It sucks the passion right out of something so raw.

The play ‘The History Boys’ by Alan Bennett (also a film)  illustrated this concept so well. It is about boys studying for Oxford University entrance exams, been taught by two teachers, one who is teaching them rigidly for the exam and one who believes in the power of knowledge and reactivity; that is transcends the confines of an exam paper.

I believe our school system breeds a culture of competiveness that has potential to bring out an ugly streak in human nature. We are taught to compete against our peers, to look out for ourselves to get the ‘best’ grades possible. Some call this ‘healthy competition’ but I don’t believe that competition is a good thing, it breeds monsters within us. It makes us feel inferior, teaching us to step on others to reach our goals. Maybe its time we redefined our process of achievement, as well as the goals themselves. I do believe that it is, of coarse a great thing to have pride in ourselves and our work, I just don’t think we should breed a culture of only caring about ourselves.

I noticed this element even more when I got to university. Often students would blame each other for failings of a group project, not taking into account what other students could be going through. I have met people who will actually lie to others and make them feel awful in order to achieve their own goals.

When my depression and anxiety hit, something that really brings we down in confidence in my own ability. I often wonder if the way society and the education system has conditioned me has a role to play in this aspect of my illness

Some people are academic. And that is brilliant. It is a skill that involves strong memory skills, ability to focus on a question and decipher what is been asked, condensing points. However it is not all there is to life. There are so many more ways a person can be intelligent and this is only one of them.

Some people are amazing writers with beautiful ideas in their head, but cannot get it down on paper in a way that will be acceptable for exams, for their environment of confinement to grades is inspiration. Some people are brilliant painters, some people are exceptionally sensitive, some are conceptual, musical, poetic, logical, social, friendly, analytical, open minded. All equally amazing additions to the world. Everyone is so different, if everyone was the same, life would be very boring.

In my opinion, every single person is intelligence and has something that is brilliant to offer the word. Whatever it may be, you are intelligent, you are amazing in your own way. I would say to those who feel the pressure of not been good ‘enough’, just remember you are a genius who has so much to offer the world. We all do!

The best education we can have is meeting a verity of people, travelling and learning to accept each other. Stupid is a word that should be eliminated from the English language! I truly believe that kindness is one of the most valuable forms of intelligence, that knowing when someone needs your help, giving up your own time to help another, is a skill we need more of in the world. Maybe they should teach that at school!

Everyone is equally ‘bright’. I think what really makes someone appear ‘stupid’ is making fun of others or their ability. Just because someone isn’t academic and doesn’t know all the facts in the world, it does not make them worthless. Mockery of other people’s intellectual ability and opinions is just closed minded. Embrace your genius and do whatever makes you happy and don’t worry about what society thinks.

xx

anxiety · depression · mental health · nonfiction

Identity and Mental Illness: Who am I really?

“The body I was in might belong to someone else, someone kinder, someone surer, someone innocent, young and beautiful, someone purer”- The Mystery Jets- Someone Purer

In my last post I touched on the idea of identity in mental illness. I have read recently that those who suffer are much more likely to feel like they are not themselves, to change their image to the world and to themselves. A warped sense of identity or uncertainty.

 

I think this comes from one of the worst symptoms of depression; low self esteem. Low self esteem to me has always seemed like a generalized term that doe not really represent how harrowing and painful it is to hate ones self. To hate the person you are is truly ugly.

Some days I have hated the way I look so much I can’t even look in the mirror.

When I was at my worst I hated everything about myself. I hated my personality, the choices I had made. The worst thing is when you are in the spiral of depression and self hatred; you do things that you end up regretting even more, which just adds fuel to the fire. The thoughts of that time still haunt me, like vicious ghosts. I know that I was not myself.

Through my life I have changed my mind about what I have wanted from life, what I would like to do as my job or within my education so many times. I feel like I have a personality of extremes. AT a points in my life I felt too dark to go out with my friends but a couple of years later I went out all the time to drink away the pain, I try and numb it and ended up been sick, but at least the pain wasn’t in my head, and going out getting drunk was better than crying myself to sleep. At school and university I would sometimes be super motivated until depression caught up with me and dragged me away, back down.

I liked politics, modern history and documentaries and I liked fashion and creativity. I felt like I often felt frustrated as I couldn’t really express myself through the mediums at school. I was conflicted in my outlook. I could never settle on opinions, what I liked doing or what I represented.

I didn’t know who I was. I would make my own life hard for myself for no apparent reason. Maybe it was because I felt like I should be punished. Maybe it was fear of the world. Maybe it was exhaustion from trying so hard to act like I was a ‘normal’ child at school. I don’t know.

I applied to do about four things at university before settling on Fashion Buying and even that was a spontaneous decision. This was after a painful move and return home. When all my friends where off at university having an amazing time, I hated myself for not sticking at it, for failing.

I don’t think I have ever been comfortable with who I am. Its also that lack of certainty, that you aren’t really yourself.

The blurred lines can also come from what is the illness and what is me as a person. I am a firm believer, of course, that ones illness does not define them, however at times I have felt so intertwined with it, like an evil Siamese twin, sharing the same body. For example I have often been thought of as nervous and shy, which could be my personality or could be my anxiety. When I am feeling really low people will often say I have a ‘miserable’ personality, but really it was depression showing its face to the world. So sometimes human characteristics and symptoms can become knotted and hard to define. This was especially apart prior to my diagnosis as I wasn’t aware this part of me was an dark disease talking.

After something had happened in my life, I would rashly think ‘right ok, fresh start’. After things had gone horrifically in certain relationships I would try a ‘fresh start’ but this would be sparked by something superficial like dying my hair pink, doing yoga or going out drinking with my friends. These where all things that are fun to do, but they don’t get to the core of the problem. A fresh start is gradual and makes you become the person you are meant to be. As I used to become self loathing, but didn’t understand my illness ten, I would keep having these ‘fresh starts’, I will live this or that way. But really change comes gradually from the inside. I think it is learning and becoming ones self. I feel like I have slowly archived a new fresh start. I have acknowledged what is good for me and what isn’t. I feel like now I do have a stronger identity, I’m firm with my beliefs and who I am. This is something that develops everyday but no it’s right. A slow drive in the right direction is better than speeding and skidding off the road.

xx

animalrights · foxhunting · politics · UK

Keep The Ban: Fox Hunting in the UK

Keep The Ban: Fox Hunting in the UK

Today I have decided to give my blog post a slightly different spin. Keeping the fox hunting ban in the UK is something I feel very strongly about, and I hope my post has presented some valuable points.

In the UK, fox hunting has been illegal since the ban passed by Tony Blair and his Labour government over a decade ago.

Since the Conservative party won a majority as a result of the UK general election on the 6th of May, 2015, a repeal or relax of the hunting ban has been a possibility.

Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed that he supports the ‘freedom to hunt’ and the conservative manifesto expressed an interest in a change regarding the sport.

On Wednesday the 15th of July, the commons will vote on repealing or relaxing the hunting ban.

Firstly, although I do believe that our rights and civil liberties should be protected at all times, and in order to live in a civilized society our personal freedoms should not be restricted, the question of how a freedom or liberty should be defined is imperative. Many supporters of fox hunting would argue that it is a right, that they should not be restricted in the actions as we live in free democratic society.

This raises the question of what civil rights are. For example, although freedom to hunt would be restricted, it should be questioned, is hunting really a right?

It is clear that this is not the case. Rights and liberties should respect the freedoms of all parties involved. In the case of hunting, an animals life is been compromised for a superficial idea of tradition, sport and control. A personal freedom should be something with roots that hold onto the basic ideas of humanity, which fox hunting does not. After all, violence towards other humans is not seen as a ‘right’, is seen as barbaric and uncalled for, and this should not be any different with regards to violence against any living thing. Democracy means freedom for everyone.

Secondly, supporters of fox hunting often argue that the practice is effective in controlling the damage left by foxes effects the livelihood of farmed and foxes are pests that cause damage. This argument is fundamentally flawed. A fox is creature acting on base instinct, it does not see right and wrong, it is not conscious of the act it is causing destruction. More sustainable and less cruel ways of defending against damage have to be considered. Why should a fox be punished for acting on its natural instincts? As humans, we have the greater developed intelligence, we do have the ability to define right from wrong. Many may believe that this means we should have control over animals, that we should decide when and how they live or die. I think that it is time that we question this notion. Why should we have the power over animals? They are sentient living beings who each have brilliant qualities and attributes. Just because we have a higher level of developed intelligence, why should we have power over these creatures? . We nurture children, who are less cognitively developed than adults, so why can we not show the same attitude towards animals. If we see ourselves as carers, not dominators, I believe that we will live in a much more conscientious society where creating pain towards living things is not acceptable, and been kind can be appreciated and valued. Maybe we should use this issue as an opportunity to assess how we treat animals in general. We have been given intelligence, and it’s an essential flaw in our nature that we do not use it for kindness and only for control. However it is not too late to question this, and protect the vulnerable. The practice is truly brutal. A fox who is living in their natural habitat is ripped apart by hounds or the sport and pleasure of those riding horses.

Another argument I have heard in favour of fox hunting is that it is a traditional English sport. Many argue that it is inherent in countryside living. Yes, I do agree that England does have some brilliant traditions that as a nation we can be truly proud of (as all countries do) however, why hold onto a ‘tradition’ that is represents cruelty and inhumanity. A tradition should only be preserved if it fits with modern society. Just because something is ‘traditional’, it does not make it right. We should be working towards preserving the countryside through helping the environment by recycling and using less energy, we should support local country pubs and other businesses, as wel as using the country side for walking and exercise. We do not have to hang on to every old English practice due to a stubborn desire to keep with English tradition. A truly strong nation or cultures can acknowledge when a practice is outdated and inhumane, and work to preserve those elements of our culture we can be truly proud of.

The petition against repealing the ban can be signed on the link below. I urge anyone who cares for the welfare of animals to sign it.

https://www.change.org/p/david-cameron-mp-keep-the-ban-on-fox-hunting-2?recruiter=325330814&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_page&utm_term=mob-xs-share_petition-no_msg&fb_ref=Default

KEEP THE BAN

#keeptheban

Thank you for reading,

xx

anxiety · depression · mental health · nonfiction

Failure and Mental Illness: Feeling Scrambled

“Is there no way out of the mind?”- Slyvia Plath

Failed.

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Such a brutal word. But that’s what I saw on the screen as I checked the results for my three year university degree.

I couldn’t believe it. I just started at the screen blankly, in this strange daze as I drank in that savage word. Failed. This wasn’t just a result for a piece of work, or a first or second year, it was my whole degree. Three years of my life had built up to this moment and there it was, just cold as it was stationary on the screen of my computer. I didn’t feel anything; I just sat numbly on my bed and calmly went for a shower. My Mum got home shortly after and I saw her and I started crying as my voice said the words out loud.

All of my anxieties came to life in front of my eyes. Like when you read a book and it’s made into a film. You imagine your own ideas of the charters, plot and scenery but its never quite what you pictured. I pictured doing badly, I didn’t really picture failure .

My brain is all scrambled but I have noticed that the edge has been taken off. Its like a dull muted sadness than the sharp pain I would have felt before my medication. It still hurts, of course, but is more of a numbness.

I am starting to come to terms with it now. In some previous posts I have expressed how much I struggled at university due to my battle with Depression and Anxiety, along with finding some of the topics very challenging and not naturally been great at academic study. Its disappointing as I tried so hard with these exams, I spent all day revising during the lead up to these exams. I know I tried my best and my best was not enough, which is crippling for someone who’s self confidence is already in tatters due to depression.

It is a tough reality to accept. I know comparison really is the worst thing for a human to do, however I just can’t help it. All of my friends who have been to university have come out with really good degrees ( and should be so proud of themselves). The girls I knew from my course at university all got really great results. By me saying this, I am not bitter and I would never wish them to do badly and I would never swap with anyone, however I just feel so inadequate compared to all of my friends. They can all celebrate their  great achievements whist I am stuck. Its so hard, on social media loads of others I went to school with who finished uni at the same time as me are posting about getting great degrees and its so hard to see. I wish I could feel like that, I wish I could have that happiness.

This is something I have experienced before. When I was at school and all of my friends had offers to the university they wanted to go to. I did not as and I accepted I would not get good grades. I felt like all of my friends where swimming whist I was tethered to the land, trying not to drown. I remember everyone doing great things at university, and I went a year later and I still managed to mess it up. I feel like I deserve it and it’s my own fault. I just feel like I am in this useless position again.

I remember my friends at uni saying how upset they would be if they where to fail, and even been worried about getting a low grade. I am the only one who ended up here.

I don’t want to sound like I am been a victim or ungrateful because I do know I am still blessed to have great things in my life. As much as I look at others I know and think they are so much more successful than me, I know there are aspects of my life that some people would wish they had. I know I have a very happy family which is a blessing as not everyone does.

However the thing that gives me so much pain is that I feel that the good things in my life are not things I’ve achieved myself. I have really great friends and family and live in a nice place, however these are not things I have got through my own ability or hard work. I feel like I don’t have anything that I have done myself that I can be proud of. I just feel useless. I know that its my Depression talking but it feels so real. Some people don’t go to university and they active brilliant things in other ways, I am not implying that not getting a degree is the awful part, its just my incapacity. I just feel like so far, my efforts with anything have amounted to nothing. This just makes me spiral into hating myself even more, making my self esteem crash.

Obviously the issue is not just failing the degree; it is just a trigger for something that is within me already, something that has fired up from the past. I think the problem is my mental illness, combined with the expectations society has of us, and the education system. I just regret going to university at all.I feel like my elation and pride for finishing has been shattered and I have just ended up back at square one. Like a game of snakes and ladders and I have slid down a long serpent.

I do know it’s ok and that I will start for feel better and not be so hard on myself. I know I would have dealt with this so much worse if I had not been taking medication. It’s just depression is so cruel. I think that when something negative happens its so painful for anyone, but having depression amplifies the pain. This is especially true when it is anything around ourselves, like our own failure. I just hope that the pain will stop soon, that I will see things more clearly.

xx