The concept of time is amazing. Often we lose track of time; we feel as though life is just speeding past, or everything is moving incredibly slowly. 3 years ago, at this exact moment, I was preparing myself for the most important years of his life. While preparing myself for the dreaded university experience, I wondered if the 3 years would fly by or if each hour would last an eternity.
Whispers of terrifying initiation rituals (with some societies lighting up tissue paper up someone’s…), overwhelming workload, and freedom so enticing it was almost frightening, were not amiss. Scared? Nah. I was thrilled to finally embark on the best years of life. Little did I know.
I’ll state it now. I knew I was suffering from depression. Or at least I had an inclination.
I was always a shy, reclusive child. However, in my final year of Sixth Form, it was then it dawned on me that some of the traits I had were not “normal”. I avoided socialising and my thoughts were becoming increasingly darker. Yet, I somehow found comfort in the darkness.
While searching my symptoms on Google, looking for answers to the unknown, like everyone else I self-diagnosed myself with every disorder known to man and thought I only had a year to live. Looking back at it, I laugh now but at that moment in time it was quite frightening. After several months of coping by adopting various vices and inundating myself in music, I realised I was maybe exaggerating just a little bit, but still that didn’t take away from the fact that something wasn’t right.
Fast forward to my first year of university, I tried to socialise with as many people as possible. I wasn’t one to force interactions if there was no common interest; however, I took myself out of my comfort zone. I hadn’t yet realised that these interactions were more of a band-aid rather than a cure.
Trying to meet as many people as possible wasn’t a way for me to help overcome my depression and anxiety, it was a way for me to ignore it.
And, as many of you know, when at university you lose all sense of time. The late night conversations, 3am walks around campus, and walks to (some) lectures with less than 2 hours sleep became the norm. I hadn’t given myself time to reflect, time to come to terms with what I was dealing with and seek help. I existed but I didn’t live. An empty shell with a shallow existence, that’s how I felt.
I may have downplayed the value of talking to many people in my first year. Without some of the people I met, I probably wouldn’t be here today telling my story. They were my support network. They were the people I (eventually) went to when I needed help, they were the people who saved me. Thanks to their support, I was spurred to talk more about mental health and create Alt Ed. To them, I will be eternally grateful.
This is the beginning of my (Alt Ed) journey to exploring mental health, vulnerability and the meaning of life.
Though a brief insight into who I am, join me on my journey and learn more.