The University Diaries: Road to Breakdown

So today we're going to debrief the major incidents that went down during my final semester at Sussex University. How I wish they were better, but alas it just wasn't meant to be. That or life really hates me. I'm still undecided on that one. I hope this serves as a cautionary tale for anyone considering or in university and has pre-existing mental health problems. Learn from my mistakes, please. 

SamiWrites: Road to Breakdown
The University Diaries: Road to Breakdown
Image via pixabay

I guess the biggest mistake I made was to succumb to the pressure of my dissertation. That alone is enough for the strongest of individuals, but on top of assignments and exams it was above and beyond what I could tolerate. I panicked, in every sense of the word, about failing and wasting £36,000 of tuition on a crappy degree. That figure does not include maintenance loans by the way... an undergraduate degree has cost me about £50 THOUSAND IN DEBT. But I digress... Essentially, the biggest problem was my memory. I was so exhausted and overwhelmed that I couldn't retain any information whatsoever. This just compounded the existing stress and triggered an emergence of old coping mechanisms, namely our good friend alcohol and my personal demon, bulimia. My mind was craving an escape and at this point I was propelled, compelled, into anything that would relieve the torment for even a moment. 

Isn't university supposed to be the best time ever??

Desperation took hold and I turned to study drugs. It had been a very long time since I'd engaged in something shady but again, I was desperate and flat-out didn't care what happened to me anymore as long as I finished my degree with everyone else and came away with a 2:1. HA. What a dumbass. As I mentioned in my previous post, the cocktail of drugs I was taking on top of my prescribed medication is more than likely what catapulted me into psychosis and mania. By March I was so highly strung I could have exploded at any moment. At some point, something snapped and I left the house. That's the last thing I remember. I was reported missing and discovered in a hotel by the police a number of hours later. I don't know what happened and I don't want to. 

Since that incident I was psychotic and moving between hypomanic states and suicidal depression. I'd lost the battle and needed help. Mercifully a moment of clarity sent me to the right place and within 4 appointments with a psychiatrist I was admitted into hospital for the first time since 2012. I didn't submit my dissertation, nor did I do any assignments or exams. 

I still get to graduate, however I will have to attempt to submit the exams in July/August alongside my dissertation and any extra work they want me to do. It's not going to be easy. I'm genuinely terrified about what will happen this time. I want to do well. I want to succeed. I want to be proud of myself. Everyone I know got their classifications yesterday and came away with firsts. It's like a knife in the stomach. That would have been me if my mind hadn't collapsed and I'd been a clueless idiot about the symptoms. Things could have been so different... 

Alas.... my journey with Sussex isn't over just yet. 

Samantha Nicholls. Powered by Blogger.

FOLLOW

Back to Top