I’m sure everybody feels a little awkward when bringing up personal experiences online, so I will just go for it. Every now and again, usually every 2 weeks, I have a day where I am really, really low. It usually involves me attempting to drag myself out of the house every couple of hours and I have found ways of coping with it for the most part. If I can blog, I blog. But most of the time, I just feel this supreme level of self-hatred from simply writing. Don’t even get me started on attempting to take photos for posts, especially if they are pictures of myself in any way. It can be so difficult to keep blogging when you’re having an especially shitty day.
In some ways, I always had a bit of a slight mental disturbance, but honestly I think most people have. Mine was when I had social anxiety, which developed during sixth-form, resulting from a sense of isolation in classes etc. It was a combination of embarrassment, long-term self hatred from bullying and just honestly feeling a bit lost. I used to time my bathroom/toilet break visits throughout class so I could just cry, and probably the lowest moment was when teachers found me and made me talk to people in that class about ‘how I felt’ when frankly they didn’t know me at all or had ever made an effort to. I kind of just stuck out like a thumb and whilst I had amazing friends at secondary school and sixth form, it just wasn’t really enough.
University was never a level I thought I could possibly reach in terms of academia, but I made my way through it, which I can’t quite believe! However, I will say that it was sadly one of the worst periods of my life (hopefully). Yes there were some fantastic memories and friends I still remember and made, so it wasn’t all bad! I became a ‘stronger’ person and just generally had some fantastic opportunities that I will never forget. But it’s very difficult for me to separate those memories, from the ones that were awful.
In short, I was in an abusive relationship. I experienced the death of my best friend from cancer unexpectedly during this, and it pretty much sent me over the edge mentally. When you’re dealing with this constant barrage of abuse, it’s difficult to take anything else mentally on. I was in quite close proximity with the first individual, physically in terms of space and I hated everything about myself. For the first time in my life, I thought somebody could be interested in me and appreciate me, what resulted was all of my progress from my social anxiety disappearing and I developed quite severe depression. This all happened around my first year exams. Student counsellors were quite dismissive of the sexual violence involved, considering they’re counsellors you wouldn’t think saying ‘this is going to happen to somebody else if you don’t report it? why didn’t you report it sooner?’ would be on their list of phrases.
Basically I had a really fucking shit time at points. I wanted to write a post about this because frankly, I know there are other students out there who find themselves in these extraordinary circumstances, which is incredibly tough when you are away from family. I ran a student society, edited parts of the student newspaper, wrote for it, ran events, won awards, and I can say that all with a 2.1 in English Literature. But frankly, not everybody can do that. There is much more to this, that I have edited out, due to how it’s too much for me to talk about. Doctors and counsellors from home have slowly started to understand that I have PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I am a lot better, but I used to read mental health blogs when I was going through shit and it really helped for me to feel more ‘normal’. I hope this helps even just one person in a tiny minute way. Sometimes real world shit happens at university, and it probably will do. It is okay if you don’t want to go out drinking every night, or if you’re crying about missing your parents. Sometimes, well a lot of the times, real life stuff can happen, things that aren’t advertised on the open day brochure. I in no way want to put people off from university, as I do not regret it completely, it’s made me the woman I am today.
I simultaneously hated and loved my experience, which I feel a lot students/graduates probably do feel like at times!
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I’m Eleanor, a UK Manchester based Lifestyle & Beauty Blogger. I write about beauty products, feminism, mental health and my adventures in the big city of MCR.