It certainly seems like I have come a long way since my last post. Almost a year. My exam for the end of my first module at the OU is in 10 days. Revision is going well.
What I have learnt academically is nothing compared to what I have learnt personally. I have learnt that no amount of therapy, medication, self-help books or yoga/meditation is conducive to a healthy body and mind, if that body and mind do not want to make positive changes. I didn’t want to make these changes for a long time.
Not long after my last post, I started volunteering for a project called Right Here. The project supports young people to develop resilience to all that life throws at them, creates awareness campaigns about mental health issues and conducts research into free and paid support networks. The people I’ve volunteered with during my time with the project have been wonderful and engaged and I feel we have made a small but vital impact within our community. It was also immensely helpful to have an external project on which to focus on whilst so much else around me was uncertain.
I’m also now vegan. It took me a while to get ‘there’ but I am sure with all my heart that I will never look back. Veganism and the concept of healthy, sustainable, cruelty-free living are working their way more and more into my consciousness, an incredibly welcome lifestyle and attitude adjustment. Tomorrow I will be attending my first ever Vegan festival and I could not be more excited!
Working hard, studying hard and volunteering hard have kept me deliciously busy. It’s good to be busy. Everyone in their 20’s should be busy! Meditation and yoga have assisted me to keep a healthy routine of self care, one I hope I stick with. Progress photos of some of the more challenging (for me!) yoga poses helps me to challenge and push myself physically. I have serious backbend envy at the moment, and so saving for a Dharma Yoga Wheel…
Turns out, this adult thing just takes a bit of getting used to.
So after dropping out of University after two years (one lecture in 3rd year does not count) I have recently made the decision to study for my last year with the Open University. Spending the last few years in jobs that have depressed me further have helped me come to the realisation that a degree that took me longer to get than originally planned is a degree nonetheless.
Just looking at the different modules the OU has to offer is making me very excited to start studying again! After clearing out all my old college and school papers earlier this year and seeing how studious I was before I stopped caring about my future and started relying too much on alcohol.. I know I’m making the right decision to finish what I started. My confidence in my abilities however are not what they once were. It’s amazing the confidence and arrogance that alcohol and drugs give you. A sober me is a naturally self-deprecating individual and at the moment I am trying to believe that I am capable of finishing 3rd year.
There’s only so much time you can spend on Instagram and Twitter, watching Youtube videos and wishing you were someone else. My therapist recently recommended a book to me called ‘Managing Intense Emotions and Overcoming Self-Destructive Behaviour.’ by Lorraine Bell. It’s not in my local library networks and the cheapest I have found it for is £23 online. Trying to save money at the moment so that I can move out of the hostel I am currently living in, so think I’ll be waiting a bit longer before I actually buy it, but it does sound like the author saw me coming..
This is how my life and my decision making feels at the moment. It’s from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar:
“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”