TW: depression, mental illness
So this post may come as a shock compared to the last two light-hearted, music-related posts. But I started this blog to talk about everything that affects a 21-year-old uni student, i.e. what goes through my head on a daily basis.
I just came across an old diary entry, dated July 2013. At that time, I had just finished my first year of uni, had bright blue hair, and was terribly depressed. I just hated myself, simple as that. It was an illness, a disease I couldn’t find a cure for. And I wrote this:
“Most days are fine. Most days I know that I’m not ridiculously ugly, stupid, and unloved. Most days I smile and do things I love. Most days I’m normal. But there will come a time when it feels like someone’s put weights on my ankles and taken away the floats, and I go sinking down into the dark.
But ‘dark’ isn’t the best way to describe it. ‘Dark’ is death, nothingness, a void. Depression is… navy blue. The murky blue of the bottom of the ocean, where no light will ever reach. And instead of exotic animals and discoveries, you just find anxiety and fear.
People try to pull you up, your friends and family taking you by the hand and tugging with all their might. But they can’t take the weight of the load around your ankles. No-one can.
I eventually found my cure, in the least healthy way possible. My former best friend turned out to be the worst person on the planet, and made my life hell by punching me in the face, breaking my laptop, telling me to kill myself, and generally making me terrified to enter my home. It was the worst time of my life.
But it helped, in some weird, crazy way. Before, it had just been me telling myself I was shit and terrible and didn’t deserve to live. When someone else told me that, I realised it wasn’t true. I realised I was worth something, and that I could be happy. I recovered.
The number of students with mental health issues increases year by year, especially in Exeter, with the strained Wellbeing services. The list for counselling is so full that they’re not taking on ANY new patients. Like, at all. And it gets worse in postgraduate study and academia, because research is so lonely.
Something needs to be done, and it can start with people speaking out. I was so ashamed of my invisible mental illness, and that’s just not good enough. We need to start a discussion before it can start getting better.