So, maybe it’s a little longer than a year… maybe it should be the truth about the pandemic? But, this last year whether you want to go academically or the whole 12 months of it all has been hard. As I sit her typing this up I am warring with myself on whether I will post this because truthfully I don’t think I have fully come to terms with everything that has happened and has been going on.
I think the best place to start this story is in March 2020. Just before Christmas 2019 I had returned home from my placement in South Africa (which is a story in itself!) and I was preparing to go and see Jay for her 24th Birthday. She was studying abroad in Singapore and we had a plan. What was meant to be a 2-3 week holiday in Singapore with a long weekend in Bali turned into a long weekend in Singapore. Due to Singapore going back into Lockdown I had to quickly book a new flight home so I wouldn’t be stuck.
Truthfully, I think this is where the downwards spiral began. I remember being curled up on the plane home with a heavy aching heart because this was the first time I had seen my best friend in a long time. Both of us cried as we had to say goodbye, because all our plans were falling apart in front of us. After my parents picked me up from the airport my mood had worsened, angry and upset about the pandemic and other people’s carelessness about it.
Then Lockdown happened in the UK. I’m very much a homebody, I like spending time at home and avoiding social situations… mainly due to my anxiety and a long list of other issues. But, this I hated. I hated the trapped feeling of not being able to do the normal things I could do with my friends, the suffocating weight on my chest that I was trapped.
As time went on I became more and more withdrawn. Summer came and Lockdown restrictions changed and I got to spend my birthday with Jay and we hung out, but there was still a heaviness to my heart and soul that I still hadn’t notice.
Final Year had begun and for the first half of the first term I was doing well. But, things were quick to go downhill after reading week. My motivation was declining and living at home and studying was killing me. People kept saying that I had it easy living at home during that time, but it wasn’t. I love my parents, but living at home for so long had been taking a toll on me. With Lockdown keeping us around each other all the time and the pressures of doing my university work and the work my parents wanted me to do. If I was asked to do something, there is no sense of later. It is done in that moment and that moment only. So imagine being in live lectures and seminars and having your mum and dad calling and shouting at you to do stuff, it was draining.
Eventually I stopped going to classes, all I felt was hopelessness. It was around this time that I stopped talking to people, not for any reason in particular other than the fact that I didn’t have the energy to talk or message. As well as the fact that I didn’t want to burden the people I love and care about with my issues.
Christmas passes and the New Year has arrived. We went back into Lockdown over Christmas holidays… we knew that it was going to happen, gut feeling. With deadlines looming and I had done nothing I began to spiral badly to the point that I stayed up for 48 hours straight not completing any of my assignments.
Things got worse from there. I completely withdrew from everyone and everything. Not replying to messages or answering calls. Emotionally and mentally, I was lost… maybe trapped is a better way to put it. Final term was coming to an end and everything that once meant something to me, meant little to nothing and I couldn’t seem to bring myself to care. I picked up the phone or responded to a message only when I knew people needed me.
One of my best friends from High School said to me “You are an amazing friend, because no matter what you are going through at any given moment of time, you will push it to the side to help those you care about and you don’t ask anything in return. You call yourself a bad friend, but the truth is you’re a great one.” She then went on to say how she was talking about our friendship to her boyfriend and he told her that you don’t find friends like that often. She then went on to lecture me about allowing others to help me… I’m still working on that.
So, in my final year of uni I had submitted nothing and I didn’t care… I didn’t care because I had lost who I was and what I cared about in a course of a year. I was use to having some darkness in my life, but this was all consuming darkness that left me crippled and alone. A darkness that felt it weighed a tonne and left me with more anxiety than I had before.
So, here I sit back at university, in my dorm fixing what was broken and hoping that some light might return.