Hello, my loves. Long time, no speak.
This blog post has been lingering on the edges of my mind for the past month or so and I didn’t know what kind of post it was going to be. Truthfully, I still don’t as I write this.
You may or may not know that this past year has been pretty rough for me. After everything in second year, situationally and mentally, I knew I needed a break before returning to my third year studies. Little did I know how much I would need the year away. I relapsed with my mental illness at the end of 2017; there were times when I was unable to care for myself, I constantly slept, and didn’t leave my room for days. I ended up visiting A&E a couple of times and got admitted to the care of the crisis team. Eventually, I got to a point where I could begin the recovery process, but things came to a screeching halt when we lost my Grandad in April. I’ve been grieving his loss and working on my recovery since then. In the time between then and now, I’ve stepped away from a decade-long friendship with someone I considered my “other half” because things got turned ugly. I hadn’t felt so disrespected in a long while; personally, I cannot see a future where we revisit our friendship because our parting spoilt the happy memories that we have together and, frankly, I think it would be unhealthy for me to pursue. Losing a friendship like that has been a grieving process in itself.
I’m back in Bournemouth, starting my third and final year as a university student. There have been a lot of things I’ve been dreading since coming back. There are people I’m nervous to see, because I don’t know where I stand with them since I finished second year. I have the magnitude of the university work I need to complete to graduate. I have the management of my own life and my recovery to cope with after a year of living at home and the regression of my coping skills; I’m trying to bounce back from the days that I was unable to maintain basic hygiene levels. (Gross, but true). I worry about relapsing again like I did in second year. I have the distance I am from my main support system, my wonderful family, and missing out on their daily lives. One of the perks of being at home for a year was getting to spend so much time with my family again, but it’s made it so hard to adjust to being back and being so far away from them.
I worry about a lot of things, but I’m also excited. I’m excited about what this year could hold when I put in the safeguards to protect my mental health. I’m trying to swallow the dread that comes so freely with my anxiety and panic disorder. I’m trying to dust away the cobwebs of my depression and hope for more.
So, the naked truth I suppose is this: I’m Grace Richards, a 21-year-old uni student starting my third and final year. I’m still grieving the loss of family and friends, terribly homesick, managing my recovery process carefully, extremely single, and clueless about what lies ahead for me, but I’m hopeful, eager and ready for what awaits me.