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    Hello everybody,

    This is quite a person post that you are about to read, but I need to talk and any advice you may be able to give would be appreciated. A lot of it is just about my life for the past few years, what's been going on and what's lead me to write this today. Some things I talk about may be upsetting to some people so just a warning.

    Bit of background on me, I'm 18, in my final year of sixth form, I take biology, chemistry and maths (hellish I know) and I like books, a lot.

    Everything really kicked off back in 2014, GCSE's were approaching and I was struggling, my Grandma had been diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013 and had a large amount of her left lung removed in 2014. Not many people get offered the operation, about 5% nationally, and so as a family we were all chuffed that she was fit enough to get it (not many 81 year olds get through 3 primary cancers, yeah she's had quite a few things). GCSE's started and my sleeping trouble began, guessing it was stress induced insomnia I continued working as normal but work and revision got difficult. Then my Grandma was admitted to hospital, unfortunately it became apparent that the cancer had spread before it was removed, and it had metastasised in her brain. She was given three months. Exams were very hard to concentrate on after that. After exams were over my insomnia still continued (guessing because of my Gran) and summer was spent mainly at her house looking after her. I still had a good summer, with things like prom and Duke of Edinburgh. My Grandma passed away on my last day of my DofE practice. To be honest, I was glad that she did because she was in so much pain and it was awful seeing her suffer.

    August ended and it meant that I would be starting sixth form at a new school since my old one didn't have a sixth form. My GCSE grades where good so I got into the subjects I wanted to do, it was tough to start over, I managed to make new friends but I really struggled to, it was strange. My form tutor seemed to hate me (probably still does if I'm honest) and everyone had their friendship groups already. I had a small group of friends who I sat with at lunch time, it was alright.

    Then I got my first test result back. I had always done okay in end of topic tests, this one was awful, it really showed how difficult the transition to AS level really is. I kept working but I underestimated how much I needed to adapt. I ended up getting close to a friend at Scouts, we spoke every day and it was nice. We started going out in March of 2015. I didn't realise at the time but we were talking alot, texting and online chat, even texting during school time (they went to a different school).

    Exam time was approaching and my insomnia was getting worse, I was waking up at 6AM everyday in order to get to school on time (there was no school bus because I live outside the catchment area). 90 mins before school, 90 mins after school to get home. It was hell, once I went into school on 2 hours sleep, fell asleep in M1 and my teacher noticed. I was falling asleep in quite a few lessons and stress levels were worsening. I then began having panic attacks. I would say they were mild, I know people who have them much worse than I do and I don't want to offend or upset anyone.

    This was about the time I found out my boyfriends school was closing down, a lot of people were loosing their school and it was a very hard time for him. I had to spend a lot more of my time helping him and speaking to him, he had started having panic attacks after his mocks and was worried about the future of his school. Exam time started, and I realised I couldn't do chemistry. I tried to save it but I was working (with my job) all through May half term, so I found it difficult to revise. My panic attacks were more frequent and it was difficult to finish exams. Got through them though.

    Summer was great, got to relax, went to the World Scout Jamboree, got back home and two days later I got my AS results. ABCD. I was disappointed but honestly what I expected. My boyfriend though, failed his. He had to beg for a chance to get into a new school. He got given the chance to resit year 12 at my school. I ended up getting one of my exams remarked, and my D in further maths went to a C. Good grades for me, but not good enough for medicine. I applied anyway, I thought my UKCAT score was good enough, my teachers predicted me AAB, made my personal statement and applied to Bristol, Manchester, Southampton and Newcastle for my choices, I didn't get much support from my form tutor, she discouraged me from applying and only ever wanted to hear my back up plan, the other person in my form never experienced this. Two weeks after the deadline, I got my first rejection from Bristol. I wasn't too disappointed, I expected it. The day after UKCAT results got sent to uni's, I got my second rejection from Manchester. I was devastated, it was my favourite course and it was a real blow to me.

    At the same time, my boyfriend was struggling with school and was getting increasingly bad anxiety and I was spending even more of my time talking to him and checking on his health rather than my own. December came and I got my first offer for an interview, at Newcastle. I was accepted onto the partnership scheme and so would have to attend a summer school if I got an offer. I was so happy that I had been considered. Christmas holidays and my boyfriend got bad, he started talking suicidal and I spent most of my time talking to him, I got no sleep and barely ate because I was worried about him, but he refused to tell his parents no matter how much I begged him. My dad got home from work one day and I just broke down crying, I was exhausted and scared because I thought he was going to kill himself.

    From then on it got harder and harder to help him, he would have be talking to me on chat from first thing in the morning till late at night until I fell asleep from exhaustion. I would wake up with messages from him before I had woke up and he still refused to tell his parents. He was using me as a crutch to get through his day but didn't realise or didn't care what he was doing to me. I argued with him the night before my driving test, and I felt so bad that I had caused him to panic, that was all I could think about the next day. I got to school after the test (I had failed, passed now though which is good), and he tried to talk to me, I was so mad at him and he still refused to talk to his parents and tried to make excuses, and I told him to leave me alone. I spent an hour outside while he panicked and self harmed himself by hitting the wall, he kept going and I felt awful but I left him alone and tried to find a teacher, so I could tell them everything.

    I broke down in front of some teachers I told them how bad it had got, how much he relied on me, how bad his anxiety and panic attacks had got. I didn't tell them about the suicidal talk. I felt that would be too much. The next day my head of year got involved talking to me about how much support I have now. But it was an intervention, he told me the school had noticed how much my grades had dropped and one teacher had said I had changed as a student. And that terrified me. I was told I had to be selfish with my time, to not talk to him as much and to put myself first.

    I had my interview at Newcastle the next day and I thought I had done well. From that point things went downhill once again. My insomnia was getting worse and I was regularly getting home from school and just crying. I did explain to my parents everything that was going on though. I felt like I was trapped trying to improve my grades, keeping my boyfriend okay and my friends happy. What was strange that for a couple of weeks my form tutor nice to me, and tried to offer help in my "predicament". Basically all my teachers now knew what was going on in my life.

    My health deteriorated, my insomnia got worse and I started going dizzy and fainting. I'd had instances of it in the past but only when I'd been in hot rooms. Not from being sat down and going dizzy. I went to the GP, got blood tests done. When they came back there was no action needed, which was lucky but I still had no answer. I lost my job because of flooding unfortunately, but it gave me my Saturdays back for revision.

    I was lucky and got to go on the school ski trip this year, and my boyfriend managed to get to go too. I was worried though because I thought at the time he only went because I was going. It was as I expected, he was put in the same group as me and didn't appreciate that I needed space, he constantly wanted to be next to me, followed my exact line when I was skiing, he was relentless. I got so upset it felt like I was trapped. My friends noticed this tension and checked on me, and I told them what a struggle it was becoming to be with him. We argued but I always had to make up with him, out of fear that I would cause him to have a panic attack and do something. One of the days I told him that I couldn't deal with it anymore, and I basically told him to tell his parents everything as an ultimatum almost. He did.

    But this behaviour carried on through the trip. I didn't manage to get on the same lift as him and he accused me of avoiding him, and he shouted at me, so I told him to stop being so childish, but he started ranting at me, saying he couldn't help thinking that and I shouldn't be so selfish. I got back to the hotel that day and cried for a solid hour, I avoided going outside so I could avoid him, I rang my mum leaving messages of me sobbing because I couldn't take it anymore. I had panic attacks and halfway through dinner my mum rang me back. We spoke for half an hour and it ended with me deciding to end the relationship.

    I ended it and I felt like the worse person in the world. I ran to my room and cried to my friends. Then the teachers knocked on my door, they had had to ring some teachers back in the UK to find out what had gone on previously. He had a massive panic attack that lasted all night and it was all my fault. His dad flew to the nearest airport the next day and he went home. And it was all my fault. That's all I could think about.

    The ski trip ended and when I got home, my mum spoke to the trip leader and agreed that my now ex, hadn't treated it like a school trip, but expected it to be like a couples holiday. He messaged me that night asking for us to remain friends, and I agreed. On the Monday, I had to speak to my head of year, the head of sixth form and my form tutor. I was promised support of the school and all my teachers were told. My head of year thought it would be appropriate to take away my free periods in order for me to try and get my grades back on track. In that same week, I received news that I got rejected from Southampton and Newcastle. I was incredibly upset about Newcastle, I thought I had done well in my interview, but my best wasn't good enough on the day.

    My ex avoided me completely, until at the last sixth form party, he spoke to me (probably because I was more than a bit tipsy), I wanted to talk about his sister and her uni course, but he kept trying to make excuses for his behaviour at school, and then kept putting his hand on my leg and kept trying to hug me, and I was really not okay with this. Luckily my friend saved me by dragging me to the bar.

    Since then, my insomnia has been constant and I've started using sleeping tablets to try and get to sleep, they sometimes work. My fainting episodes happen infrequently now, but I don't like eating, I think the fainting may be due to low blood sugar, and the crying after school has still been going on.

    And that's what's brought me to write this today. I recently learnt that my ex thinks that it is a "break" and not a break up and had been telling people that. One friend said to me that he thought I was leading my ex on. I am scared at what this means honestly. My revision isn't working as I've lost all motivation to do anything productive with my time. Today I have been sat staring at notes and trying to do something but feeling like I'm going to cry. I'm barely eating because everytime I eat I want to throw up, I feel disgusted forcing my self to eat, everytime I want to try to make myself sick so the food doesn't stay inside me. I haven't done that yet though, but I'm scared I will. I'm stressing about my resit exams and I'm scared about my A2 exams. I feel like giving up and just stopping. I feel tired all the time and its really getting to me now.

    I'm sorry for the long post. I needed to write my feelings down. I don't really talk to my friends much about how I feel because I don't want to burden them. I don't mind if no one reads this. I just need to let everything out.

    Thank you.

    You've certainly had a tough time and I know how Good it is to let things out. Because ultimately, letting those around you know that you are struggling is better than bottling it up in the long run- take it from me x

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Updated: April 18, 2016
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