Learning to accept support from friends
I felt like this throughout my first year of college, but I couldn’t talk to anyone.
Successful on the surface
I had made my family so proud by getting to UCD, I didn’t dare admit to myself I wasn’t happy there.
On paper I had come so far and had even made a solid group of friends in a university known to be quite anonymous.
I had moved out and was supporting myself. How could I be unhappy?
This feeling began to get stronger and stronger. I stopped attending classes and isolated myself. I hid in my bed, hid from the realisation I was struggling.
One morning I tried to turn it around. I went to my English tutorial and it was the day of group presentations. Everyone in the room looked at me in a funny way as I hadn’t been there all semester.
This was the feeling I was dreading. I got sick on the spot and left. My body started panicking as the realisation set in: I couldn’t do this.
I went to the student welfare officer and we came up with a plan. I dropped out of the semester. Immediately I felt a great weight off my shoulders.
I decided I needed to go find myself, so I booked flights to America and left for the summer. My family supported me, though I’d never told them about dropping out of college.
Figuring out what I need
In America I learned a lot about myself. I identified what was wrong with college and what needed to change.
I was so sure that when I came home, things would be different. I had taken time and figured out what I wanted. I had a plan.
Still not better
But the same feeling came back. Stronger than ever. I couldn’t get back on top of things.
I started going out every night and after seven days of imploding and making my body suffer in silence, I broke down. My body gave up and I found myself in hospital.
Friends to the rescue
The news had spread to my friends that I was in hospital and within three hours, they came in to visit me, with food!
For the next two months they nursed me to a safe place. I stayed in their houses, they made sure I was eating, they helped me to figure out what was going on and how I could fix it.
The thing that had upset my friends wasn’t that I couldn’t cope, but that I felt I couldn’t talk to them.
Need for support
I don’t know why I thought I could do this with out them. They were my rock. 24/7 my friends were on the phone to me, making sure I was okay.
It was the darkest year of my life and if there’s one thing I learned, it’s that the darkest hour still has only 60 minutes. But things are good now, as long as I remember to let those closest to me stay close to me.
If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to let your friends support you. It’s only when you need them that you realise how much they will come through for you.