What did your life look like 5 years ago? Watch
2019 - PhD student
Also very close to joining the volunteer team here at TSR.
Story times. Here's a thousand mistakes for everyone to learn from. It's a long one.
At the time I was doing the first year of my degree but had to stop studying at the end of the academic year because I had pretty bad psychosis during exam season. For years before this I suspected myself of suffering either borderline personality disorder or bipolar, but didn't do much about it until the psychosis hit me because it made me realise that I've been having paranoid delusions since I was a child. I received the bipolar and BPD diagnoses months after I left uni. I thought it was only that which I suffered, but over the next few years I officially received my PTSD and bulimia diagnoses on top of the BPD and bipolar. I'm totally fine now. The BPD doesn't affect me at all anymore. PTSD and bipolar can get triggered at times but I know my triggers and symptoms very well so I can now control it before it worsens. The bulimia is something I still struggle with mostly because of work related stress.
In every single aspect, I was a mess. I was dealing with a lot of trauma which I didn't realise was trauma until I started reliving everything that happened to me so my episodes and suicide attempts were severe and frequent. For a few years after leaving uni, I worked in retail and continued my toxic, codependent long distance relationship because I didn't know better - I thought the relationship was what I needed to heal but it turns out it was making things worse in the long term.
In 2016, I completely broke off the relationship and jumped in and out of other relationships because I didn't know how to deal with my BPD. Eventually, by the end of 2018/early 2019 I accepted that I had to learn to be alone. I put myself in positions where I forced myself to do that (e.g. travelling a lot mostly on my own) so that I could heal because my greatest trigger for everything was abandonment and feeling alone/unloved. I had to learn to become self-sufficient in all regards.
Now, five years later, I'm the most mentally stable I have ever been. I haven't been in a relationship for a long time because I just don't want to be in one, especially one with the wrong person - I'm finally learning from those mistakes. The BPD's gotten triggered a lot lately with ****ty feelings of loneliness, emptiness and abandonment, but I'm still SO stable and more functional than ever.
Between last year and this year, I'm completing my degree in a top 20 university (NEVER thought I'd be able to do that! ), travelled a lot on my own, finally got a car (a huge deal for me as I've been sexually assaulted on public transport a couple of times), and I cut out all of my toxic relationships. I'm more alone than I have ever been but I'm enjoying it. I currently work as a support worker for struggling families and individuals who have pretty severe additional needs, including mental illness. I'm dealing with a lot of trauma sufferers (mostly those dealing with sexual/physical abuse, asylum seekers, domestic violence victims, etc.) and it's helped the BPD heal because I give and receive so much love and affection without the toxicity.
The greatest thing after so many years of suffering, after doing the work I do with the kind of families I work with, I've finally started settling into my identity and learning who I am - not who a narcissist or a bully wants me to be. I've developed a strong sense of boundaries and that's helped me tone down the strongest, toxic parts of my personality while embracing the healthier, more compassionate parts.
Within these five years I've healed so much, I'm totally unrecognisable compared to who I used to be. Instead of being the victim, the severely mentally ill/disabled, the vulnerable child in an adult's body, I've gone against all odds and basically said **** you to all the bad because I'm emotionally and mentally exhausted from it all. I've come out on the other side and **** is finally ****ing sorting itself out. Instead of crying over trauma, I now cry over assignments, approaching deadlines and car maintenance costs. Happy days.
5 years and a half? Kicked out of school, unlikely to get any GCSEs except maths and English, told I should prepare to become a bricklayer and forced to attend bricklaying classes, I was also in a very very dark period in my life, I was only in year 9. And putting me there was an unfair decision that they should’ve never made. Back then mental health issues, especially for guys were a tough thing to deal with, incredibly hard to be open about. The first half of year 10 was dreadful, I was in a school I didn’t belong in with nasty people, people who are convicted criminals now. I was forced to play football with them, one guy even had a police tag and at the time because I was going through a lot I had lost around 15kg in 6 months and that didn’t help when they’d come rushing at me... people used to pass the ball to me on purpose knowing I’d get attacked. At least I was smart enough to stay away from the pool table, the last person to beat this fatty called Muzzi ended up getting whacked with the pool stick, they passed out on the floor, had to call the ambulance. At least the windows had bars on them and the toilets needed a security pass + someone to stand outside, didn’t stop someone climbing out the window though
But just short of 5 years ago I was given another chance and let back into school! my little brother was born and it gave me new life. After just a few months back I did my Maths GCSE (our school did it early, so I missed most classes) and I bagged an A! I Got a few A’s at GCSEs and AAB at AS, sadly A-levels didn’t finish so great at BBB but I landed myself at a top UK university studying Economics I’ve also just recently started my own company. Mentally I’m much better, I can’t associate or understand that kind of pain anymore. I’ve grown so much and lived a very ambiguous life as things have always been unstable, but I used to my advantage now. Usually you can put people in a box (even if they try not to be in a box, that just puts them in a box of not wanting to be in one!) but I think people would struggle with me as I do myself, I never fail to shock and I think that’s what’s always motivated me. A shock to get kicked out, a shock to get myself back in and a shock to exceed expectations. If it’s expected of me, I struggle to do it (hence why A-levels dropped! That’s my theory anyway haha)
Good on ya. Really
Now: Year 12, crippling depression.
So much has changed it's unreal.
Then: Year 7, crippling depression.
Now: Year 12, crippling depression.
So much has changed it's unreal.