Ah, yes. College. That time in our lives that’s full of education, drinking with new friends, & overall excitement. When freshly graduated 18-year-olds venture out into the real world with Mom & Dad proudly looking on. What a time, right?
Yeah, not for me.
I know I’ve mentioned this at some point before but my tenure in college is a “blink & you miss it.” I know it’s my mind protecting me because I was horribly depressed. But there are times when I try to remember & I just can’t. Or I only remember a fraction of it but I couldn’t tell you the details.
I remember struggling for Bs which wasn’t like me at all. I think I ended up graduating with a 3.4 or something, which is great, but it was extremely difficult for me. It has nothing to do with education & college-level work. Learning always came fairly easy to me. No, this was different. I remember crying because I couldn’t study. Nothing was sticking. My mind wasn’t there. In short, I was very mentally sick. It was bad enough that one of my psych professors saw the signs & kept checking up on me during the semester.
I wasn’t a “social butterfly.” That’s not who I am. I tend to keep to myself. I didn’t make any new friends, & because I was depressed, I pulled myself away as much as I could. This same professor that checked up on me had assigned group projects. God, I hate those. I told her how my group had gotten together without telling me & they were ignoring my emails (this was before texting 😉 ). I was failing the project because no one would keep me in the loop. Or when they told me to meet them at 1300, they were secretly meeting at 1230. I didn’t understand why; I’m not a bitch. I just kept to myself. This happened to me 3x during my 4 years of college. Three. Times. People are dicks.
All I did was work, go to class, drink, & sleep. As time progressed, drinking & sleeping increased & going to class drastically decreased. I had to retake a few classes because my grade dropped so low from no attendance. I knew I was being judged for it. But how do you tell others that you just can’t? I didn’t understand what was going on or how to word it or ask for help.
What I know now that I didn’t know then is that mental illness doesn’t mean you’re “crazy,” in the way that Hollywood portrays. People hear that you struggle & their mind goes to Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), psychopathy, or manic-depression. Thankfully, I don’t hear voices or hallucinate or lack empathy for my fellow human beings. But I do have very low serotonin which requires medication. See, it’s a MEDICAL disorder as well as a mental disorder. My body doesn’t produce enough & because of that, I experience the side effects which includes depression.
Sometimes I wonder what college would’ve been like had I been properly medicated when I first noticed the symptoms way back in high school. Maybe I would’ve gone out for the dance team without being scared of what people thought. Maybe I would’ve gone out with my classmates who kept inviting me to keggers. 😉 Maybe I would’ve put more energy into my mental & physical health.
My choices are to go back in time & change everything or to learn from my history to change my future. And because I don’t own a DeLorean, I guess I’ll have to do the latter. 😉 Wish me luck.
Ugh. That was difficult to talk about. I think I need to take a little break…