About a year ago I went through a very tough time with regards to my health. At the time I was so happy with my life; boyfriend I loved, good circle of friends from both college and home, good level of academia, doing well in work etc. I felt at that time that I was truly happy with my lot. I was fun, outgoing, optimistic and passionate about all aspects of my life.
Then I was struck with a serious ish illness (meningitis) and my whole world as I knew and loved it ended. I didn't take stock of just how serious my illness was and adopted a very foolhardy attitude towards it. I didn't fully appreciate how its after effects would impact my life. Two weeks after I was discharged from hospital my boyfriend dumped me unceremoniously on a random weeknight. I was devasted. We had a past history, spanning several years, of friendship and he was without doubt my best friend. I was absolutely heartbroken.
When this happened however my friends rallied around me and really showed their worth. They really helped me pick myself up and in such we bonded more than ever. Then I started back at my 2nd year in college and I felt that my former circle of friends had turned cold towards me. I didn't understand what had happened or what was wrong with them and put it down to my illness. Soon the after effects of the illness got the better of me and my concentration levels fell. I found it almost impossible to pay attention in lectures and even understand what the lecturer was even talking about. Soon my attendence in college began to wane.
Approaching December I became what I would describe as slightly blue. I had lost all my optimism and sociability. My circle of home friends was what I lived for. I spent practically all my time with them. My attendence at lectures was now probably about 40% per week. I began to feel ill again and expressed my worries to my GP who felt I was more than likely just feeling the effects of the cold winter and come spring I would be fine once again. At this time my home life began to spiral downward. My brother was making life for the rest of us absolute hell and we all were suffering. I became very very anxious and nervous and split my time 50/50 between staying out with my real life friends and talking to my internet friends.
After a quiet Christmas I fell violently ill and was hospitalised with enkephalitis in January. I felt warped, totally drained. On my discharge from hospital I felt quite down. I was crying almost hourly, mainly feeling like I was trapped. During my stay in hospital my mother had a falling out with me and some members of my extended family. I felt that she had turned the situation from me being ill to her. She visited me in hospital once during my 13 day stay, while some of my friends visited EVERY day and my father EVERY day. I was very bitter towards my mother. Childish as it was. I felt like she made it into a big deal, when it should have been calm and ordered.
The next few months were very hard. I began to close up more than ever. My attendance at college dropped to zero. I began to despise my colleagues, I felt like they had abandoned me when I needed them. I hated my home life, mainly due to the tension caused by my brother. It all came to head a cousins 18th when I completely broke down in private to another cousin. I felt as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. The next day however the cousin acted like I had said nothing and began to lessen our contact. A few weeks later, a petty arguement with my brother over setting up a PC in the living room caused tension in the house and my mother threw me out of the house. Not knowing what to do I went to my aunt. At first I thought things would be ok but once again I was wrong. My mother had another "moment" and tried to convince my family that I was trying to "cause her mental harm". I was crushed. I knew that we were all going through a hard time with my brother but I didn't understand why my mum was acting like she was. In the end I returned home on the advice of my aunt as to not upset my mother any further.
Come the summer I was doing ok. I was distancing myself from my family and spending increasing amounts of time with my friends. It was around this time I met my boyfriend and it really seemed like my life was getting back on track. Following an argument about accommodation arrangements for a holiday, I began to see less and less of my friends save for 2 close friends. I spent my time going to Dublin (boyfriend from Dub) and spending time with 2 close friends. However I also started feeling depressed. I began contemplating my life and started to think that the only way out of my situation was to end it all. I genuinely began to consider suicide. I decided that I was probably best talking to someone about it so I told my mother. It didn't go well and she said that I was using depression as an excuse to get out of my failures. I began to feel steadily worse and worse.
Everyday I woke up with a new idea as to how to end my existence, but when it came to crunch time I was too afraid. I was so cowardly I couldn't even kill myself when I wanted to. I received my exam results from college to see I'd failed 5 out of 7 modules. I was crushed once more. So here I am now. I have lost my friends, my career, my job, my happiness. The only person I live for is my boyfriend, the one person I am afraid to tell how bad I truly feel. It's hard to to explain it to him because when we I together I genuinely feel truly happy. It's in all other aspects of my life that I feel I am a shadow of who I was. I don't want loads of money or houses or any material things, I just want to be happy.
As far as seeing a doctor is concerned, I have. She has prescribed me with anti depressants.
I probably come across as a self centered idiot so I do apologise for my long winded tendency. I'm not even too sure what I aim to achieve by posting this, I really just needed to vent.
'Sorry to hear that. You should remember though that a big an arsehole as family members can be they do love you.
If you want advice I would defer college for a year, rent a room or share a place with your boyfriend, get a full-time job so you will have some structure in your life. Get a job doing anything at all, admin work, whatever. Preferably something with a good social life. It's definitely the last thing you want to be doing, the thoughts of it, but if you actually go out and do it it will help - go out socialising, to the cinema and sports/classes on a weekly basis. Forget about college and your family for the time being, you've been through a traumatic time, it's understandable that college and all that stuff is not your priority. You need time to yourself to recover mentally and physically. You can best do that by moving away from all that grief with your family and especially the stress of studying and exams. Move away and support yourself full-time is my advice. Becoming physically fit, as best as you can manage in your condition, will help a lot too. Also, it would be stupid not to talk to your boyfriend about how you feel.
This is just my advice. Other people might have different ideas.
As always though, professional help should be sought. You've been to your doctor and that's good but maybe also seek some form of counselling.
Good luck. It does get better but you need to work at it and do things that might be difficult initially. Deferring and moving out might be 2 such things.'
That was quite well written. I have sympathy for you.
My suggestion would be to get the hell away from your family. They're poison. Yes, they're your family, you're supposed to love them etc. All the worst people in the world have family of some sort. Get away. I would suggest that considering you failed your exams this is a chance to make a break. Find a new job (preferably one you enjoy) and use the money to find somewhere of your own. It can be small, it can be crappy, it can be a bad part of town...but it'll be yours and you can keep away from the emotional black holes that are your mother and brother.
Mindset is important too. Whenever I hear about people in situations like this, my strongest thought is always "Why oh why didn't they tell boyfriend/mother/sister to just fuck off?" Its hard to make yourself realise that people you have known and loved are terrible influences in your life, but if that is the case you're going to have to accept it.
And if you can, stop turning to other people for your answers. A shoulder to cry on is all well and good but the only thing that will fix this is if you learn a deal of self respect and independence. You're making yourself extremely vulnerable by relying on so many people for your emotional well being, and as you've said, when things go wrong it hits you hard. Its time to tell them to go fuck themselves and carve your own place in the world. Maybe in the future you can make a new relationship with your mother/brother, but frankly you need to do so from a position of strength or they'll just drag you back down again.
I know illness can horribly complicate all that, but you're healthy now yes?
(Alternatively, if you're allowed repeat your college year, see about moving in with some college friends and working part time to pay your way. If you've got some money saved up that could definately work. What about the boyfriend, have you been together long enough that living together wouldn't be innapropriate? Where's he living?)
Don't wallow in depression because you have had a serious illness. I dont mean that in a nasty way, I mean I have a good idea where you are at and from experience let me tell you that its easy to let your life fall apart because you have an excuse but there is no rock bottom, it just keeps getting worse unless you choose, choose to head back to the surface.
I dont know if that fits your situation, only you do but I know that after a serious run of bad luck/illness I trashed a lot of my life before deciding to put a lot of it back in order and I'm still working on that.
Just wanted to say that is sounds like you're having a really crappy time of it at the moment, so it's no surprise you feel like the world dumped on your shoulders...
I agree with some of the suggestions you've been given above for what to do now - definitely start going for walks or swims or whatever exercise you enjoy - it's a really good way to 'use up' stress and it will make you feel physically better. Look at your diet and taking multi-vitamins too, because you need to mind yourself and your health when you're dealing with tough times mentally.
Even though your college situation doesn't look too good right now, don't beat yourself up about it. Take time to figure out if you'd like to work for a bit or go back to college. Either option is good and definitely not failure. You can always go back to college in a few years, and from personal experience, you get a lot more out of a course when you're studying something as a 'mature' student. People fail things all the time, but if you let it knock you or hold you back, you'd never get anything done. Until you decide what you want to do, speak with someone in student support and administration in your college so that they know what's going on in your life. They understand that people are not machines and things happen in people's lives, so just flag it with them now until you know what you'd like to do.
On a family level, your dad sounds like a decent support for you since he came to hospital every day. YOur mum does sound like she's completely absorbed in her own problems. I had a similar situation - my parents separated when I was about 25, and my father turned the entire situation into a major woe-is-me when he was the bully and the problem. He mentally tortured myself and my siblings for a long time, ringing us and telling us all the things he was going to do to my mother/ himself/ etc etc. The reason I am telling you this is because it passes. Unbelieveable when you're in the thick of it, and family tension is all you've known for the past ten or fifteen years, but really it does. I dealt with it by having as little contact as was possible with the trouble maker, and only really making the effort with those people who were going to be positive for me. Looking back it was a horrible time and I was pretty stressed, but it did pass.
Regarding your cousin, maybe he/ she didn't know what to say to you the next day, and was maybe overwhelmed or thought you'd want them to act 'all normal' in case you didn't mean to tell them everything. As for your aunt, well she's known your mother all her life, so I suppose she was conflicted about what to do.
Those people in your life who are good to you (your boyfriend for example) will keep an eye out for you, but make sure you're being a good friend to them too so the friendship works both ways
For the moment, do what you can to keep yourself well, happy and safe, and just remember that these things do pass! They take time, but there will come a time when you will look back on this phase in your life, shudder, and then get back to what you're doing!
The thing that struck me is the way you describe SO many people as pulling away from you. That seems odd to me. It's normal to lose contact with a few people now and then, but almost everyone you know and love? Are you sure that it's not YOU who's pulling away? I'm not trying to place any blame on you here whatsoever, but maybe have a look at your own behaviour. Take your friends at home for example. You fell out with them all over a single argument and now they're not your friends anymore? After being incredibly close? That really doesn't happen. Did you maybe pull away from them without realising it? It could be a self-esteem issue, causing you to try and protect yourself.
I know I went through a phase of pulling away from my friends, and thought they were the ones who didn't like me anymore. However, I spoke to them and discovered that wasn't the case. I was the one cutting them out.
'DeVore: Yeah I understand what you are saying, that's my biggest worry tbh that I'll spend the rest of my life with a "poor me" complex. I really want to just pick myself up and get over this period of my life. What's stopping me? I'm not sure really, more than likely myself.
Faith: I agree with you, after rereading what I had written last night (after meds and stuff, no excuse I know) I present the scenario regarding my friends kinda badly. I think you are right in what you said about pulling away. I definitly didn't help the situation with my attitude.
As for the situation with my mother/brother, I can understand that tensions are already high and my parents don't need the added pressure of me being the way I am. Sometimes I feel very resentful towards my brother but then I cop myself on and realise there isn't a whole lot I can do about this situation.
In regards to moving out, this is an avenue I'm looking into alright. At the moment my boyfriend is living at home (long story short his mother is quite ill and needs someone to live in with her). While some people may find this hard to deal with it's working quite well for us at the moment, I spend rather a lot of time in Dublin with him and that definitly helps my state of mind. As for moving in together, he has suggested it on 3 separate occasions and I was the one who put a stopper to it. I feel that we are both two young (I'm 19, he's 20) to get into that situation at the moment.
Thanks for all the replies, I'm still trying to sort stuff out in my head.'
Sorry to hear that you're feeling so down. But you really need to start taking some responcibility for the things that are going wrong in your life. I've been ill all my life (birth defect) & could never imagine using my illness as an excuse when things start going wrong for me. You really need to start liking yourself again, there really is no difference in you as a person since you got sick, you just think there is so you expect people to threat you differently. I really hope that you can work things out with your mother, in the long run friends will come & go but no matter how hard you try your family are always going to be there. Maybe your mother just couldn't cope with you being ill, maybe she felt helpless, or even to blame (mothers can be weird to times) Maybe she might have relied on you for help you your brother before you got sick & she might think that you're not going to be there for her anymore if your ill - there must be more going on here than you're telling us, i find it very hard to believe that this all started just because you got sick??? But either way, keep the chin up & remember you're the only person that can change things for yourself
I don't think there is anymore to tell besides what I wrote tbh. I'm trying to think if there is but I can't think of anything else
You are all right though about me needing to take responsibility. I really need to grab a hold of the situation and cop myself on.
I really think you will start to feel better when you realise that people aren't againist you like you think. You just need to try to keep the chin up. Life is only as hard as we make it.
Is there a history of animosity between you and your mum? Or is she just not good at dealing with stuff like this? Her behaviour towards you, her daughter, is dreadful.