So I suppose it’s probably time I ‘came out’ and told you all what my vague tweets have been about lately. You should all know I’ve been thinking about this since New Year; I’ve had these thoughts since we came back to university after Christmas. A few events in most recent weeks have just confirmed a few things to me.
I’m taking some time out from university.
By ‘some’ time, I mean, I intend to, hope to, am planning to return next January, to continue where I left off. I need a break. I need to get my health sorted, especially my mental health.
I’ve been mentally exhausted lately. I can’t think straight or focus on anything. I’ve not been sleeping well, my anxiety is going through the roof, and I’ve been feeling really incapable this year. All of these combined is playing havoc with my depression. I don’t think there’s been a day in the last four weeks that I haven’t cried. There’s no way I can complete second year when I can’t even get through a day without breaking down. There’s no way I could do a six week mapping project – I wouldn’t want to put this on the shoulders of the guys I’m meant to be going with. I’d feel even worse than I do now.
I still want this degree and I want a career in this field. I’m fairly confident that I can gain a really high class degree – I just don’t think I can do it this year. There’s no good time to take a year out of a degree, but this is probably the best time to do it. I can’t keep taking random days and weeks off to relax because I just get stressed about missing random days. It’s a vicious cycle.
This year, I hope to get myself sorted – really, truly, sorted. Currently, my medication has been increased, I’m back to weekly GP appointments and I’m investigating counselling. In the meantime I want to do some volunteering – I think now’s the time to do those things I said I would when I was watching my Nan die for a period of 6 weeks. I’m going to spend some time with my family, watch the niece and nephew grow and develop. I’m going to spend time up at my allotments, getting back to nature. I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to look at doing a couple of one day courses at my local college. I just need this time for me. I’m going to try different therapies and workshops and things to help me understand my depression and to try and overcome it.
I need to remember why I love geology, why I want it. I need to realise how far I’ve come and how close I am. I feel like I’m just going through the motions. I’m just turning up and doing something, because it pleases people. I’m getting really good grades, but they mean nothing to me.
I always say I don’t do things if it jeopardises my health, and at the moment, it is. I haven’t been 100% well since I had a chest infection last month and that’s dragging me down.
I need to do this for me, my sanity. I can get a degree at any time in my life; I only get one attempt with my health.
I’ll admit that over the past week or so I’ve been having the thoughts of just staying, getting my head down and getting on with it – to be honest, these thoughts make me feel worse. At the moment, I think I’ll regret going. However, if I don’t do it, I’ll regret not doing it. Whenever I take a few days off, I feel better, and I go back to uni and I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I can’t cope anymore. Maybe I’m just not cut out for uni? Or maybe I am, just not at this moment. I think it’ll always bug me that I’ve had to do this, but I need to put myself first for a change. I need to get my health sorted, I need to learn how I work so I can deal with this in the future. There’s no miracle cure for depression, but there are tricks to alleviate it. I need to learn some of these over the next year. This hasn’t been an easy choice for me, please don’t think I’m taking it lightly. I’ve been thinking about it since Christmas. I just need to do it, for me. I’m all too aware that people won’t understand where I’m coming from (members of my family included), and I have a feeling I’m going to be fighting a battle with them over the next few months. Hopefully when I go back in January 2013 they’ll see why I had to do it. I feel like a huge weights been lifted off since I made this decision, and while I have these thoughts of making a huge mistake, I need to go with my decision, my gut feeling.
All I ask is that you support me – I can answer your questions until the cows come home but you’ll never understand.