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Retaking the year or sticking it out

SpaceOtterSpaceOtter Community Champion Posts: 561 Incredible Poster
edited February 28 in Student Life & Education
Hi, sorry this is another post, its just a bit more centered on college this time.

Ive not been doing well mentally. Ive been getting a lot of help from both mental health proffesionals and the people at college.

The idea of retaking the year next year instead has come up in conversation a few times. Everyone keeps saying if its what i want, theyll support me in finishing this year and they believe i can do it.
But they also say they understand if i wanted to leave this year and start fresh in september.
Sometimes i wonder if theyd encourage the second option more ,if i didnt get so visibly upset when they mention it.

Im really struggling to get assignments written. They take a very long time. College are helping me get extenuating circumstances but everything is still taking so long. I just cant get myself to focus. Plans dont work,music doesnt work. I get so overwhelmed i just have to stim. Its so silly but the only time i get things done is when someone sits next to me and tells me when to start and when to stop.

A support lady at college who is really nice is going to sit with me on monday and help me write my next assignment. Its just so silly and stressful.

Lectures are hard to sit through, i spend a lot of time rocking and tapping. But its progress from sitting with my head on the desk. But im spending so much time on staying calm, the actual lecture doesnt go in. Theres one lecture i frequently cry in and it makes me feel so silly.

My tutor is really kind and supportive. And people keep comenting on how much progress im making.

The anxiety and feelings havent gone away, ive got a little more control. But the problem is ive fallen into old bad habits of self harm. I havent told anyone yet.

TW Self harm
I relapsed after two years free, relapses happen. But i wasnt thinking or feeling anything,it just happened. It keeps happening. I feel so detached from it, like its happening to someone else. Its not a part of my life, its just a tiny part of my nights. But im afraid im going to do somethimg stupid. Im safe. But it doesnt feel like me im hurting and its escalating fast.

It feels wrong to tell people, but I know i have to. People were starting to think i was getting better, and i am happier. Im a little more myself. But it feels like its at a cost. It feels so stupid. Like im doing it to keep their attention.

My tutor said to me "today was a good chat, in the past ive worried about you after our conversations but not today". I felt awful knowing about what i was hiding.

Im going to tell the mental health proffesional ive been seeing on thursday. I think he'll be mad and he has every right to be.

Its just weird how things have gotten simutaneously better and worse.

And I dont know what to do anymore. I dont know if dropping out is right. It feels so selfish and pathetic. Im just being lazy, I dont want to throw away all the help and time ive been given. But im really struggling right now. But what if something changes in the next few weeks, what if a switch is flipped and i feel better. I cant give up now.

It also feels deeply unfair to put my tutor through another year with me. And another class shouldnt have to deal with my meltdowns. It feels so wrong to stay another year.

I dont know when to push myself anymore or when to let go. People keep saying i can do this but i feel so tired. I love my course and i want to do well and i want to finish. But my drive to get things done is gone. I dont care about my work anymore eventhough i know i should, old me used to care so much. I love this course, its just all so distant.

Another one of my fears is dragging myself to the end and getting a grade im deeply unhappy with. I worked so hard last year,barely passing feels unfair to last year me. I know i can do better. I dont know why my brain wont do anything.

Ive kept my parents out of all this. They know i was struggling, they just dont know how bad. Theyll be confused, worried and disapointed if i fail this year. And i dont want them to know everything.

I know no one can make the decision for me. I just needed to get this all off my chest.

Take care <3
You're awesome!
Post edited by SpaceOtter on


  • spoonspoon Posts: 371 Listening Ear
    Hi @SpaceOtter, how are you feeling now?

    It sounds like you have two options, either continue the year or retake it. I think you're capable of doing well which ever option you choose, but if you end up retaking the year, there's no shame in it. If anything, it gives you a step ahead as you already know what to expect. It's a fresh start and you could spend your time doing self care before you start. I think there's so much pressure in education to move on and worrying if your taking too long, people forget that we shouldn't rush and it's never too late. I also understand if you want to continue the year to get it over and done with, I think I would do the same.

    Assignments can be tricky to get started on, speaking as a major procrastinator, and like you said, people have different ways of focusing on it such as music or planning. However, it sounds like your way of focusing is having someone with you, and that is not silly at all! If it helps you get it done than that's all that matters, I'd argue it isn't much different from music or planning because they all have the same goal, focus. There is no shame.

    Well done for managing two years! That takes a lot of strength. Self harm urges are the worst, so don't feel bad because you relapsed. Please do tell someone you have relapsed though, I know you say your safe, but self harm is never safe, not just physically but also mentally and there's always a risk of it escalating. It might not feel like it is you your hurting, but you know it is. They may be able to give advice, such as how to take care of yourself after doing it and ways to prevent it. I found that one thing that helped me was drawing and scribbling on my arm, I think it's the slight pressure from the pen on my skin. I know it's not the same thing, but maybe that could help you? I doubt the metal health professional will be mad, hopefully he'll be understanding because going without a relapse is hard and it was such a long time.

    You are not lazy or pathetic, your brain just works a little differently and that's not your fault. I'm sure your tutor wants to help you. Anxiety is a bitch, so well done for having more control. Progress isn't black and white, sometimes some aspects get worse and some get better, but the better is something to be proud of and the worse is something you can improve on and you don't have to do that alone.

    Lectures sound hard to sit through. Are your lectures filmed at all? Or are you allowed to film your lectures? That way you can go through it at your own pace and come back to certain parts of it in a more comfortable environment.

    Please remember that you wellbeing comes first so do what feels best. You might not know straight away but I'm sure you will. Sometimes you just have to take a risk. Whatever decision you make, please remember that the grass always looks greener at the other side and there's always a way of going forward. I believe in you <3
    Whats a signatureeeww
  • SpaceOtterSpaceOtter Community Champion Posts: 561 Incredible Poster
    Hi spoon! Thank you for your response and advice i really appreciate it. Sending big hugs <3

    Im seeing a mental health proffesional today, theyre really nice. Im going to tell them about the self harm. Im just really nervous and ashamed of it.
    I know theres a lot of different reasons to self harm and relapse. I just dont know why im doing it and that makes me mad and frustrated. I do it on autopilot. It doesnt feel wrong eventhough i know logically it is. I know how to keep myself safe, so im ok. But i know someone needs to know because how unreal it all feels isnt safe long term.

    Im just worried he'll either gloss over it or be really mad.

    Next week ill try to talk to my tutor about it again. We talked about me staying or droping out this week, but i didnt mention the self harm which is my biggest concern. I really hate bothering them so much. And they think im making really good progress. It feels like a selfish thing to do to tell them well actualy i feel better at navigating the days but im really overwhelmed and im hurting myself.

    Im feeling a little better than i did in january but im doing really unhealthy things and i have no urge to get myself to stop because it doesnt feel real.

    I really dont know what to do. Mum will support me no matter what but she will be dissapointed. I made it so far through the year. It just so happens that all our assignments and exams are at the end of the year.
    So eventhough theres not much time left to get through theres an awful lot of work to do.

    Are your lectures filmed at all? Or are you allowed to film your lectures?
    I dont think id be allowed to film them but that was a really good suggestion.
    I found that one thing that helped me was drawing and scribbling on my arm, I think it's the slight pressure from the pen on my skin. 
    Im struggling to find distractions that help at the moment because theres no feelings to channel just this need of its something i have to do. But that sounds like a good idea and i will give it a go!
    think there's so much pressure in education to move on and worrying if your taking too long, people forget that we shouldn't rush and it's never too late. 
    Thats very true and i know deep down theres no shame in retaking the year. I just feel like people tried so hard to get me to the end and i feel so selfish making them deal with me an extra year. They must feel so tired and ready to get rid of ne.

    People also keep saying they believe i can get to the end of the year if i want to. But it doesnt feel right. Eventhough retaking makes me feel so guilty and sad.

    Im sorry for ramblimg. I just find it helpful to get it all out of my head.

    Thank you for your help. Big hugs <3
    You're awesome!
  • spoonspoon Posts: 371 Listening Ear
    How did it go telling them?

    Do u go to uni? I believe most lectures are filmed, but if not, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

    I think the people helping u wants u to do whats best for u. I dont think its selfish, they are just doing their job

    Whats a signatureeeww
  • SpaceOtterSpaceOtter Community Champion Posts: 561 Incredible Poster
    How did it go telling them?
    It was ok. They were really nice and didnt seem too disapointed. Theyre referring me to the community mental health team for assesment and im not sure how i feel about that. It feels over the top. But i also really need some type of help. I have to wait for an email back to know if theyll asess me. I hate waiting for these things, i suppose everyone does. I just wish i knew what was happening.
    Do u go to uni? 
    I do technicaly. But its a uni course run at a local college, so its smaller classes in a classroom setting instead of lecture halls.

    They keep telling me its their job and they want to help. I just feel so damn guilty for taking so much time and help.

    Thanks for your help spoon. Big hugs <3
    You're awesome!
  • ebyrne556ebyrne556 Moderator Posts: 639 Incredible Poster
    Hi @SpaceOtter How are you feeling about things now? I hope your weekend hasnt been too bad and you have taken some time to do something you enjoy.

    As always thanks so much for sharing how you’re feeling about things that in itself takes immense bravery and we r always here for you and proud of you. Also it’s always so lovely to see you all supporting eachother so well so thank you to @spoon for all the kind words and support.

    Firstly well done for reaching out to a mental health professional for support and im glad that they were nice and supportive. Please dont be worried they aren’t disappointed in you and im sure they are just really pleased that you reached out for help. Im hearing that your not sure how to feel about being referred to the mental health team and that you feel it may be overtop and I can understand how it might feel overwhelming and stressful especially if you dont know what they will offer or if you feel you will benefit. It’s really great to hear that you have noticed you want some help.Have you thought about how they can best support you? If you’re not sure im sure they will have some ideas however if you do have an idea then mabye you could write them down to discuss if you get the assessment through? I know when im nervous these questions and thoughts go out of my head so it might be helpful to write some stuff out.

    I can understand how frustrating and even nerve wracking it must be waiting for the email back especially as it’s out of your control how long they will take to respond etc.Have you been managing to distracted yourself ok? I can imagine how hard this may be but it’s always important to distract and destress to help take your mind of things.

    It’s good to hear that the people around you though in uni are so supportive and wanting to help you. I know you might feel guilty but its great that you are getting some help and support and theirs people their wanting to.

    Take care Space Otter and you know where we are if you need us always here for you
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  • SpaceOtterSpaceOtter Community Champion Posts: 561 Incredible Poster
    Thankyou for your kind reply @ebyrne556 , im sorry my brain is struggling to read and process it. My thoughts are very loud, So i havent been able to write out a reply yet. But thank you for your kindness <3

    I hope youre well
    You're awesome!
  • SpaceOtterSpaceOtter Community Champion Posts: 561 Incredible Poster
    I feel so overwhelmed. I made good steps this week with talking to people about resitting and opening up about self harm. But my brain feeks like its screaming. My body feels all wrong, like im full of electricity. And no matter how much i write things out i keep dwelling on the discussions ive had and things ive done.

    I was a mess yesterday,kept rocking and refusing to talk to people or do anthing. Until the end of the day when i rambled to my tutor eventhough he was ill. He asked me if i was looking for his permission to drop our, i dint know what i was looking for. I find it helpful to talk things out. But i felt awful for bothering him. He was so kind and patient even after id been a jerk all day.

    We decided im probably going to resit and leave next week. But my brain is starting to panic about that. I know its the right decision im just panicking. Its about 24 weeks until id go back. Thats a long time, with only work as a big distraction. I need a break but im worried stopping will cause me to crash even further.

    Everything in me feels wrong. Even spinning around listening to loud music doesnt help
    You're awesome!
  • JJLemon18JJLemon18 Community Champion Posts: 1,620 Extreme Poster
    Heya @SpaceOtter. Sorry to hear that everything feels wrong for you and overwhelming. I'm glad you're making good steps by opening to people about your situation, and even though your brain makes you think its wrong just know that I'm proud of you. I know the feeling, I have something similar every time I open up about myself on The Mix but it was by far the worst when I reached out to uni about my mental health for the first time. It's like my brain doesn't want these feelings getting out and after so many years of holding it all in I have opened up and my brain is suddenly panicking.

    Some advice I could give is maybe try doing some exercise or simply going for a walk every once in a while, it could be a good way to let all that energy out and going for a walk could even give you some peaceful time for thinking because I've heard that if you reserve some time in your day for thinking, it stops you from overthinking in the worst situations. I know I need to start doing these myself but I just can't seem to find the motivation to start. I don't know how much this could help tho.

    Its really nice you have such a helpful tutor that is willing to talk even though he's ill. My tutor takes over a whole day to reply to my emails and didn't even answer my question in the last one. You sound so caring of him by saying you feel like you're bothering him, I'm sure he doesn't mind and is even happy to help.
    You know, you said something on another thread that really stuck out to me, "sometimes the kindest thing you can do is give someone the opportunity to help". Trust me when I say this hit me hard when I read it, ever since I have this in my head and can't stop thinking about it. So please, don't feel bad for asking for help, your tutor could have easily ignored you or just told you he's busy or sick, but he didn't.

    In regards to you retaking the year, I agree with @ spoon, it can be a great opportunity for you to start over again with a clear mindset and you will have the advantage of knowing whats coming as you will be prepared for it, but I also understand your worry in doing so. I myself can't concentrate on anything at the moment and would love the option to go back and start over again, but I don't think that's possible in my case and I'm just too worried about losing so much progress. I know this is a big decision for you but I believe you will chose what's right for you.

    I'm sorry, I said so much but I feel like I didn't help at all. Just remember if you need you can always ramble to us. I hope you're feeling better at the moment. Sending hugs!
    Believe in me - who believes in you!
  • SpaceOtterSpaceOtter Community Champion Posts: 561 Incredible Poster
    Thanks for everyones help and kindness i really appreciate it!

    I defferred from college. Im having a six month break and will return in september to resit.

    Thank you for everyones help. Im really sorry for not giving more detailed less generic replies. I really do appreciate the help, im just really struggling processing and writing things now. Talkimg about other peoples problems sometimes feels easier, and it helps me in a selfish way. Because sometimes im giving advise and i know deep down i need to follow my own advise.

    My posts are weird lately and im weird in chat. I really love this community. My brain just isnt doing too great right now. But ill get better,this break will help.

    Im still waiting on findimg out what is happening proffesional help wise. Im trying to keep myself distracted.

    Big hugs to everyone. I appreciate the help an awful lot. Sorry for all the bother.

    Take care!
    You're awesome!
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