First of all, thank you to everyone who has emailed me or commented on my blog since my last post. I’ve been so busy with university and the mail sorting job (which have been taking up every waking minute of my life) that I haven’t yet had time to respond to you. I’ll hopefully get back to you all soon. Apologies for the wait. I’ve also been chosen as one of Psych Central’s ‘Top 10 Anxiety Blogs of 2014’, which made my day. 🙂
This term at uni has been probably the worst yet in terms of my stress levels and the toll that university has had on my mental health. I didn’t have to ask for any extensions last year but had to ask for extensions for all assignments but one this term. Even then, I really don’t know how I got through it. I felt like dropping out this semester more than I ever have. Thankfully, I’ve made it through by the skin of my teeth, thanks to student support and multiple all-nighters, and handed in my final assignment 2 days ago. Next semester should hopefully be a lot easier, as I’ll only have one third year module. I’m still very much doubting my ability to cope with the final year though. Next semester, two people from student support have said they’ll have a chat with me about any other support that can be put in place, or anything I or they could do to make things a bit easier for me. I really do think that university can be toxic to the mental health of some people. It seems that I spoke too soon with regards to not feeling suicidal, and I remember having ‘Fade to Black’ by Metallica on repeat for a while (epic song, though very depressing). Thankfully, those feelings didn’t last very long, though I’m worried that they may come back during the Christmas break, when my days will be less structured and I’ll have more time to ruminate over things.
I’m actually feeling reasonably good at the moment, despite the most fun thing in my life since my last post probably being sleep, and having no life outside of uni and work since then. Working at the mail sorting job really seems to have helped with my anxiety and boosted my confidence. I’ve gotten better at eye contact and making conversation with people. I really want to find a way to continue my exposure to social situations over the holidays and hopefully not lose the progress I’ve made. It’ll be my 21st birthday next month, and while I am feeling pretty awful about it (more on that later), it’s a reminder that beating my SA is do or die. I really, really want to push myself with anxiety exposure in the new year.
I’m working at the mail sorting centre up to Christmas eve, and then I feel I really need a break to recover from such an awful semester, and spend time with my family. Then I’ll get back to posting regularly on here. I have loads of updates and topics to write about in the new year. I hope everyone with SA is doing okay right now as this can be a really difficult time of year for us. Remember that it’s not your fault if you need to limit the amount of time you spend with relatives or at parties, or sleep a lot more than usual, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for doing so.