Sunday, April 14, 2019

Suicidal and Anxious at University

Hey guys,

Now that I have started talking about serious matters, why stop here? I have so much more to say, things that are not spoken about enough. On today's Sunday post, I want to speak to you guys about mental health specifically at university. The pressures and struggles students go through are often joked about through memes most of which mental health related but you know it is easier to laugh it off and share it with your friends that can relate than actually think of it as a serious mental heath issue. If you're a student you know what I am talking about.

Every single one of the four years I have been at university were very different. This year has been by far the toughest. I have lost count of how many times I have cried this year and I am not one to cry ever. Once I realised I was not the only one and more of my friends started opening up to me about things related to their mental health and I realised a mutual factor between us all - final year, university students. We started feeling the pressures of life. I remember in December I sat down and wrote a personal statement specific to a role I really wanted and it took me 8 hours and I accidentally erased it all with the push of one button. I was so hurt, I started crying for hours. It felt like the end of the world. I was able to retrieve the document but I didn't end up getting the job anyway, point is that application meant a lot to me. Another day, I found myself in the library cubicle on the floor just crying my eyes out and trying to breathe but not being able to breathe. The pressure is overwhelming and I used to think that was a sign of weakness, it really is not. It just showed to me how much I cared about this degree. 

From passing out, constant crying, sleepless nights, an uneasy empty feeling in my hart all pointed toward signs of continuous anxiety. This definitely was not a healthy level of stress anymore. My heart would pound, frequent fever, my entire immune system was collapsing but guess what I didn't have a single minute to stop and get myself back up because we were just hit by deadlines one by one. Even if I managed to sleep one night, it wasn't enough. I did about 15 all nighters last month and that definitely was not a healthy amount. Please don't get me wrong, this all didn't happen because I am last minute. I sat in the library and tried every single day, on top of working on the weekends since I have no financial privileges. It just wasn't enough. I take much longer to process and actually get writing on important tasks. It's not because I don't try, because I do try very hard.
From my point of view, I will be the first person in my family to obtain a degree, I am also the eldest of all the cousins and so yes the pressure is on. I want to do well because I have to make my family proud and also have a career that puts me in a financially good position. So yes, it is all on me or it feels like that at least. It is the least I can do for my parents, I had the privilege of getting to even attend university and live an easy life. It is my job to pay them back and that is not me being too harsh on myself, yes it is my parents' responsibility to care and provide for me but the same way it is for me to pay them back than being selfish and provide for my own future. 

Words cannot describe the feelings I have felt this year. It then came as a relief when I found out that I am not the only one suffering from severe anxiety. My friends have opened up to me about how they are feeling, and you know what the scary part is all of us have said "I wouldn't mind if I died right now".  It all started as a joke and a simple statement that actually described how we felt. Until one day, I find out that my friend has just attempted to commit suicide. It all came crashing. We were all battling through University together but for someone to come to the point of taking their  life, it broke me. Just the thought of losing a friend burnt my heart down. It is difficult to not feel alone in this world. Even when there is so many people around you, it is not easy to not feel like you are loved or cared for. Especially, if you are a person to give it all for the people around you, but it is getting taken for granted by simply brushing it off as you being a kind person. I totally understand that and these days I am always one to tell someone if I love them or miss them. People need to know their value on this earth and I cannot risk losing a friend. If you are feeling down, suicidal and depressed and are reading this please listen to me - you are loved in this world  and I care for you.
When someone comes up to you with how stressed they are please don't just dismiss it by statements like "don't worry we are all stressed too" "don't worry you got this" "It's normal, just work hard and get through it". It is a scream for help, pay attention to the little things in life, that's how you miss the simple signs of someone suicidal. Rather than saying such statements, stop them and say "why, what happened?", ask questions, get them to open up. Again, Mental health is as real as it can get! People die from it. 

University does feel like the end of a long journey and yes all the pressures are on, but it is not the end of the world if things don't go right the first time. Be persistent, do not give up and there if your overall goal is clear then you have the ability to go far and pursue your goals. Please seek the help you need. Mental health is real. I went to seek help for my anxiety at University, I have been talking to someone about everything and medication was offered to me but I am trying to get through it all without any beta blockers. 

In recent times, there is an increased amount of University students committing suicide which is why I am making you all aware of it. It is a cry for help! University is tough, it is not just going out, having fun, getting drunk and living a good life. However, you have the strength to get through it and if you don't feel good that is okay too. The reason I am telling this to you all is because if you don't feel good, you're not alone, neither do I, neither do my friends. We are all seeking the help we need and we will get out of this stronger and better. We will all heal. 


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