This is a topic that is close to me from my past, but also still relevant at the moment. A brief background on myself, I LOVE learning! I know it’s nerdy.. but I genuinely enjoy learning new things, so found the content side of education interesting and enjoyable. (I am referring to education including high school and college/university). I naturally excelled in school, and always planned for further education. I become unwell in high school, but (no idea how) still managed to complete my exams to graduate. I didn’t plan on further education/college/uni as I didn’t plan to be alive that long. Whilst everyone else around me was looking forward to graduating and planning they’re future, I didn’t do a thing..

As you probably know, I’m still here! (I’m aware my humor is poor…). Once graduating high school, I attempted a few weeks of education before having to leave due to becoming very mentally unwell. I was at the stage that I was very suicidal, self harming but I still could see a little glimpse of a future, which prevented me from my planned suicide. This is where I had a year out from all education. It was incredibly hard for me, considering I am education orientated. I felt stupid and worthless for not being in education. I understand I needed the year away, but was so glad to restart college/university.

I didn’t exactly choose to have a ‘gap yea’ but that’s what happened. I don’t regret it. I did need the space and time to focus more on my mental health. It did help, my suicidal ideation decreased , and I combated a whole range of anxiety’s. ( I think I wrote a blog post on how I significantly reduced my anxiety in a year). The year away prepared me for restarting school. I managed to recognize how to prevent becoming overwhelmed, dealing with the feeling of not being good enough and how to manage stress.

I have been at university for a couple of years now, and am thoroughly enjoying it. I am managing well considering my previous mental health decline whilst studying. It has given me a purpose in life. I still suffer with suicidal ideation, but no way near to the same extent. I now recognize they’re intrusive thoughts, and rarely want to act on them.

I took a year out of education for my mental health. I am not ‘behind’. I am alive, and happy, and that is my priority. I am not a failure for not being able to stay in education. I am smart, I will get my degree. But most importantly, I am looking after my mental health.

12 thoughts on “Education whilst mentally unwell?

  1. I wish I had taken a gap year. I would have picked a major that was more authentic, eventually. I have a parallel problem, where I’m addicted to education. Because it stabilizes me. As long as I am in school, I have the structure, goals, direction, affirmation, growth, interest, and groundedness I need to succeed. I am getting my second Master’s degree next year. I feel this is excessive. But now I have an end goal in mind which is to get published as a writer. When I was in undergrad, I wish I had taken a gap year and gotten more clarity about my desire to be a writer directly. Instead of going off on all these random unnecessary paths because I lacked validation. As an adult, I definitely feel more empowered going back to school though now that I know the real world is not for me and I am ok with that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this comment & I completely understand where you’re coming from. Also two masters is a great achievement! I’m happy you’ve now realised what you want to do. I wish you so much luck in becoming a published writer! (would love to review/include your writing in my blog posts one day).
      Snap! The real world isn’t for me either, and we are OK!

      Like

  2. Taking a year off to take care of yourself is so liberating! I’ve done the same myself (well…I took 10 years off, and have had to withdraw and filed incomplete courses). But after getting my life back together I am in track for graduation. Congrats on taking the steps to do what you need to do. You’ll totally get there, I have faith!πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

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