This time of year, Spring/Summer, has proven to be a really hard time for me, for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it’s the same time of year as when I was struggling horribly with depression at uni, followed by me actually deciding to leave uni. Understandably, these are not good memories. I don’t make it very easy for myself, to be honest: I check Timehop every single day. I am torn between wanting to remember my past and being aware that it is haunting me a little bit.
When I look back on my Instagram posts from when my depression was bad, for example, it’s unnerving. I posted a photo every single day that I was at uni. The aim of this was to find the good in every day, which I could look back on one day and remember the fun times I had. When I see photos from my better days, I experience a mix of content nostalgia and a pang of grief. I literally feel like I am mourning my past. And even when I posted on my worse days, the pictures are still positive ones. But I can remember how bad I felt as I was posting them.
So, all in all, I probably shouldn’t have been checking Timehop in the past couple of months – the bad sort of outweighed the good (but when you are someone who is a little bit obsessed with consistency, breaking a 232 day streak isn’t desirable).
Another reason this time of year brings me down is also university related – a lot of people I know are finishing another year at uni, or even graduating soon. I want to make it really clear that I am SO proud of all of my friends, studying or otherwise. I am so happy for their achievements and wouldn’t want anything less for them – they have earned it and should be so proud of themselves.
But, I am someone who finds it very difficult to let things go. No matter how hard I try, I simply cannot shake the feeling that I should be graduating alongside them. If I had stayed at uni, I would have just finished my degree. And the fact that I did leave and am not going to be graduating just breaks my heart.
When I think about how much of a failure I feel like for not staying and sucking it up and graduating, it hurts. When I think of all of the people I met at uni getting on with their lives while I don’t feel like I am, it hurts. I miss my uni friends SO much. I think about them all the time. I often wonder if they think about me or even remember me. I convince myself that they probably don’t (why would they? I was only there for less than a third of their uni journey). It is so painful to think that people who were such huge parts of my life might not even care that much about me any more. And that hurts the most. I could be wrong, of course. But I worry constantly that I’m not.
Basically, I miss uni and everything about it. I miss living in Plymouth, I miss having my own little room in my flat. I miss doing things for myself. I miss being passionate about my subject. I miss my friends. And right now, I think about it all too much, and it is making me feel depressed again.
I am trying to convince myself of several things. Firstly, that I have just as much worth as those I know who actually completed or are going to complete their degrees. Secondly, that I shouldn’t make assumptions about how people feel about me – how am I supposed to know what they’re thinking? And lastly, that these horrible feelings will one day pass.
I was ranting about all of this to Fi, my best friend, the other day. I asked her why I still feel the mental and emotional pain of leaving uni over two years later, the same level as the day I left. The day I left uni, I got home and cried my heart out. I did the same the other day just thinking about it. Everything has changed since then, but also, nothing has. It is SO hard to deal with. Fi said that two years is nothing compared to a lifetime. I suppose she is right. I have to allow myself more time before I can properly get over it.
I know this was a long, rambly post. But the gist of it is, that I am suffering on the inside. I am doing generally pretty well at the moment, better than I have done in a while. From the outside, I think I look like a genuinely happy, relatively confident person. But this does not necessarily correlate to how I feel in my mind.
If anyone is worried about me after reading this post (I’m looking at you, Mummy!) please don’t! I am ok. It’s just a tricky time right now. But I will get through it. And I have to try my hardest to look forward rather than back.