Well, it’s been a while. I think the last time I posted was about a month ago? If you follow my Instagram (@pband_chelly), then you might have some idea of what life has been for me lately. This is extremely hard for me to write and open up about. I feel so ashamed and like a failure about my life as of late. I don’t even know what to say, or how to say it. Here goes…
As you may know, I started my freshman year of college this September. I had a lot of concerns and reservations about going away, which I wrote about in this post. The week before going away to school was especially hard for me. I was so nervous and cried everyday that I didn’t think I was ready and did’t want to go. However, I DID want to go because I knew it was all in my head and the initial transition is the hard part and that I would love college. Or at least I hoped.
Last Wednesday, I went to my class in the morning and did all my work for the classes I had the next day. I went about my day as usual. Then, my mom came to visit and took me to my therapist up there who I had just began seeing the week before. That appointment had an outcome I didn’t think would happen. Last Wednesday, I left my university under medical withdrawal.
I genuinely wanted to love college, please believe me when I say this. I tried so hard to like it and get the college experience that everyone talks about. I tried to put myself out there and make friends. But, I was struggling. A lot. It pains me to say this, but, even my eating was suffering. I was miserable at this school. You know how it’s hard for everyone at first but then it gets better? Well, I kept waiting for it to get better, but it never did. It was getting worse each week I stayed there. And yeah, I was only there for 4 weeks but I just couldn’t do t anymore. I was forcing myself to stay. Up until that appointment on Wednesday I had every intention of pushing through the semester. I refused to leave every time my mom asked me if I wanted to. “I have to stay,” is what I told my mom on a daily basis as I cried to her over the phone about how unhappy and alone I was.
Every weekend I came home. It was my saving grace, the only thing that got me through the week at school. I would leave Friday at 1:30 and return Monday morning just in time for my 11:00 class. Friday, I was so excited and happy to be leaving that place and going home but come Sunday night, Monday morning, I was hysterically crying at the thought of having to go back.
I was falling into a depression at school. The therapist said it herself, my mood was scaring her. I didn’t even realize how depressed I was coming off to others. It’s funny because the day she saw me was Wednesday’s, which were actually my good days because that’s when someone from my family usually came to visit me. So, the terrible mood and depression that she saw, that was scaring her, was actually in a better place than it would’ve been on say a Monday or Tuesday. She proposed putting me on anti-depressants to make it through the semester because she saw there being no other way that I could continue on at the school the way I was feeling.
My mom and I were not for the idea of going on medication. Not that there is anything wrong with using medication to help with depression and anxiety because I know that is is super helpful and necessary for some people. However, my mom knew that it was the situation and environment that I was in that was causing me to be that way. She didn’t want me to take medication just so I could stay at a place that was bringing me so much unhappiness and placing such a toll on my mental health when I didn’t want to be there. My therapist agreed and realized just how much I hated being at the school and saw no reason for me to stay there. I kept repeating that “I have to stay” but my mom and therapist were adamant in telling me that I did’t “have” to. All the reasons that I was giving them for my having to stay, were not viable reasons. They convinced me that I needed to stop caring what everyone else would think and trying to please other people, in order to take care of myself. They told me I needed to put my health and my happiness first, not someone else’s.
I was so scared to leave because I didn’t want to be a failure and let her and my family down. I told my mom this constantly. She kept telling me that that wasn’t true and I could never be a failure or let her down. She told me she was proud of me for trying but that I needed to leave because she was scared for my health. I literally cried all the time. I also felt just numb to life, like I wasn’t fully living. I was just trying to make it through the day. Everyday my mom would tell me “have a good day” and I said “I’ll try” and I did try, but the days just kept getting worse and harder. I would write emails to my mom explaining how I felt because it was too hard for me to say it out loud, but still I remained persistent in the fact that I had to stay there for the semester. I couldn’t give up, I couldn’t be a failure. People say it’s like this for everyone at first and it’s supposed to get better. I have to wait for it to get better. Everyone around me was happy and loving college life, but I was miserable. I had no one. Not one friend. I tried to make friends but nothing clicked. I made zero connections. The only person I would talk to was my roommate. Who by the way, was really nice. At first, we were in the same boat with having a rough time but that ended for her and it still hadn’t for me.
So, last Wednesday, I withdrew. It was a really hard decision for me. Really hard. I like learning, I like being in a classroom and then having work to do and getting that accomplished feeling after getting it all done. But I was starting to become obsessive with that. I would put all my focus and energy on doing homework and studying and going to the gym. Even school couldn’t bring me enough happiness. I really didn’t want to leave in the middle of the semester and ruin my progress at the school and my future at other schools. This decision was so scary for me but let me tell you, as soon as I walked out of that office after the call was made, I felt like a 500 pound weight was lifted off of my chest. I felt so much better already. It finally hit me that I couldn’t do it to myself anymore. I made the right choice, I need to get out of this situation. I was relieved to be going home and leaving this place that caused SO much distress in my life, but still, I struggled with the idea of being a failure.
I was terrified of telling my sisters and brother and grandma and friends and of what they would think of me. The next day, I started freaking out that I was a college drop out and my future was ruined. I said, “Maybe I made the wrong choice, I mean I wasn’t happy but at least I was on track and in school. Maybe being happy isn’t worth giving that up. I should just push myself to make it through the semester and not give up.” I felt like a failure.
Sometimes, I still struggle with not being in school because well, I’m supposed to be. Everyone else I know is. They all love it too. Why couldn’t I love it. I must’ve been doing something wrong. Why can’t I just be like everyone else. Why can I never be normal. My regal therapist said this to me the other day, that I’m mourning the loss of what I thought college would be. It really stuck with me, because it’s true. I get a little upset when I see other people’s pictures of them at college loving life, going out to parties, hanging out, studying with friends because I don’t have that. I didn’t have that at school. What I expected college would be like, what everyone told me college would be like, didn’t happen for me. I had to leave. And calling it a medical leave is something that I sometimes struggle with too because I feel like depression isn’t a real reason or excuse and I know that’s not true but I don’t know. Wah, wah, you weren’t happy? Who cares, suck it up. There’s people out there with real problems and you couldn’t make it through one semester of college at an amazing, high quality, beautiful school!?! I just feel broken and like there’s something wrong with me. I know it’s probably not right and crazy to say but, it’s the truth.
I may struggle sometimes with these thoughts now that it’s been a week since I withdrew but I still know that it was the right decision. I feel so much better and happier now that I’m home and surrounded by love and support and not in isolation. I’m enrolled in a community college now that I was fortunate enough to find has classes that start in October so I can apply to transfer to a different university for the Spring semester. This school wasn’t for me. I will find that happiness and amazing college experience that everyone has. I deserve to be happy. I deserve better than how I was feeling at that school. And I’m grateful that I made that scary decision to leave because it truly was in the best interest of my health and mental well being. So go ahead, judge me all you want. I don’t care though because at the end of the day, I just want to be happy, and I am happy at home. When I struggle with feeling inadequate about leaving and feel down about that, it doesn’t even compare in the slightest to how I felt while at school. I’m taking care of myself, which sometimes is hard to do. It’s hard to admit defeat, but I had to do it. I will find the school that will bring me happiness. I will love college. I will be happy. And dropping out was the first step I needed to take in order to get there.
So, that’s what’s been going on with me. I needed to write and get it off my chest and I was finally ready to sit down and write this, which was just in time for Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud Thursday linkup! I wanted to let you know, although I’m sure many of you didn’t really care lol. I didn’t write this for pity so that people would feel bad for me, trust me, that’s the last thing I wanted. I just wanted to let you know that life isn’t always great and how we expect it to be and it gets really hard and it’s important to keep going and fight for yourself but sometimes in order to move forward, you need to give up and admit defeat.
Until next time (which will hopefully be soon because I want to get back to regular blogging. I don’t have an excuse now, right? I have all the free time until classes start.)