So. Long time no post.
Over the last 10 months, my life has taken a direction that has been unexpected, to say the least. In short, I have had to drop out of university due to my mental and physical health and I am now currently attending an eating disorder unit at a local hospital.
For a number of months following dropping out of university (this occurred in January), I felt like my whole world had fallen apart. I had assumed the next three years of my life were planned all out, that I would graduate as a registered mental health nurse in 2020 and would then start a career as a staff nurse in that field. Well damn, I’d mucked all that up. I had to move back home because I was a risk to myself, I couldn’t feed myself properly and the only people who would get me out the house were my CPN and support worker. To say that life hadn’t panned out like I expected it to, would be an understatement. The guilt and shame I felt as I scrolled endlessly through Instagram, looking at my old school cohort posting pictures of ‘university life’ and their progress on clinical placements was overwhelming. How could I have let it all go so wrong? What the hell was I doing with my life?
As time has gone on, however, it has allowed me to come to terms with where I am at the moment and has actually given me time to think about things. A lot of things. Although I would have had the opportunity to go back to university and re-start the mental health nursing course when I was ready, I have decided not to and have formally withdrawn my name from the course entirely. The time I had spent studying the course before I had to leave had highlighted that trying to maintain my own mental health, whilst also being responsible for, and trying to help maintain others’ mental health in a professional environment is too much for me. My poor state of mental health was greatly affecting my ability to provide support to those in services and that’s not what I want or what they deserve. Although I will always love and continue to raise awareness and campaign about mental health, I feel that extending that into my professional life is not the best path for me to take at this time.
So, what are my plans now? To be honest, I don’t really know. This year so far has been a whirlwind and I’m just trying to get myself more stable. I’m hoping to do some volunteering to help reintroduce myself to some work in more of a slower, progressive fashion. I’m trying to tell myself that actually, maybe I just needed this time out. Sure, maybe I’m not taking the ‘normal’ path of university that we’re pushed towards by sixth forms and colleges, but that’s okay. At least that’s what I’m trying so hard to convince myself of. I shied away from posting here because I wasn’t able to collect or articulate my thoughts for a long time and honestly, I was also ashamed of myself. Our minds can be a tricky old place to exist in, but I’m working on it.
I hope over the next few months, I’ll be able to start posting again and to maybe help others who find themselves in a similar position. I’m learning life isn’t always linear, but I think that’s what helps shape us into resilient and unique individuals.
I promise to post soon, thank you for being patient with me over these past 5 years (I know, I can’t believe it’s been that long either). I’m feeling the most uncertain about life right now than I’ve ever been before, but I’m learning to be okay with that. Let’s see what the next few months bring…