It’s been a while since I’ve written, but don’t take it personally. Things this term didn’t quite go to plan, and although I’m not in any way obligated to explain myself I feel like it’s in some way necessary in order for me to draw a line and move on, because things are going to change around here.
Two months ago, I said I had one goal for this term: I wanted to ‘make it to the end in one piece.’ In that post, I explained how university wasn’t feeling quite right at the time, and that I was struggling with feelings of anxiousness and sadness. I wrote about the instability of both my internal emotions and the external shifts of life here, but also about how I hoped that things would improve over the coming weeks as I found my way back into student living.
Here’s the thing: they didn’t.
In fact, they deteriorated. Tomorrow I’ve scheduled a post to talk about this in much greater detail and from a different perspective, but the basic outline involves behaviour which was ultimately dangerous to my health, sessions with student support, and an unofficial leave of absence for two weeks once my exams were completed. By that point I didn’t feel that I had much choice: staying here wasn’t safe.
In amongst all of this, everything fell by the wayside – even revision until the final week prior to my exams. I started the term with the aim of keeping a daily diary, but didn’t write a single entry, let alone a blog post to publish to the world. I had nothing to say, and the last thing I wanted to do was immortalise the despair I felt every morning when I woke up, the worthlessness I dragged behind me with every step, and the pain of not knowing if things would be different tomorrow. And I won’t apologise for not writing, because I already have enough guilt.
In the end, though, I had to come back, namely to complete the assessment for my final two modules. When I did, just over two weeks ago, to give two group presentations and put the newspaper together, things somehow seemed a million times more settled.
I’m not sure if it’s because I had some distance and time off or because when I came back I only had a fortnight left here which helped to put everything in perspective. I imagine it’s a combination of the two, as well as the techniques I learned in my sessions with Open Door and the incredible unwavering support of some very special people. All I know is that I’m incredibly grateful.
I’m lucky, because my last two weeks in Langwith have been so wonderful that I won’t leave here with memories of fear or sadness presiding over all else. I’ve with friends, written a piece for the paper I’m really proud of, read deeply and laughed endlessly. I even passed my exam, which I took in the very depths of a particularly anxious and depressive episode, with a better result than I could have dreamed of. When I leave tomorrow it will be tinged with at least some sadness for what I made for myself here at a time when I felt utterly hopeless. I made it to the end – a little fragile, but in one piece – and that’s something I am proud of.
Given that I leave tomorrow, I finally feel able to get back on track with the blog, setting it up for the summertime. Regular readers will know of the ‘summer onehundred’ project which I’ve participated in for the last four years, and may even have noticed that I’m not doing one this year. Over the next seven days I’m going to write a bit about my blogging plans for the summer, as well as getting back on track with previous projects.
I want this space to become a little more curated and crafted, and in order to do that I need to work out exactly what I want both myself and readers to get out of it, so the next few months are likely to be full of experimentation and change. Hopefully at the end I’ll have a clearer idea of exactly what this blog stands for.