Hello lovely people I hope that you are having a wonderful summer despite this whole COVID thing… and actually thinking about it maybe its not summer where you are but I hope you’re having a great whatever season. Today I wanted to talk to you about something that I have been going through recently that I’ve spoken about on my Instagram and I truly believe should be spoken about more online and in social media.
My journey with therapy, coming from a university that has had many issues with student mental health in the past, I want to tell you about my experience and things that I may have done differently if I were to do it again. I want to firstly say that this is in no way me taking a dig at Bristol university’s pastoral care or mental health aid. I originally went to my GP in Bristol back in November 2019, at that point I was recommended to contact the NHS mental health service, I had a telephone consult and I was told that I was being put on a waiting list for 5 months. For me this was hard to hear because at the time I was going through a really low period, however at the same time I kept telling myself that there were many others much more deserving than me of help from the NHS. I waited for the 5 months and I heard nothing from the NHS, now I know that especially in Bristol the NHS mental health service is stretched very thin it being a large student city with two universities.
If I were to try and attempt to get help again I think I would have utilised the help offered by the veterinary school, the reason I didn’t go for this first time was because I believed that my mental health and the issues I was experiencing weren’t linked to my degree and I didn’t want to try and get help for something that wasn’t linked to my course. Of course I cannot say if it would have helped me or not. But I do think that it would have been interesting to pursue that route of help.
In the end I decided to fund my own therapy, of course I am privileged enough to be able to afford to pay for my own therapy and I know that many aren’t hence why for me I did decided to pay for it myself and not continue to pursue the NHS route. So during quarantine I start a 6 session therapy journey and I have just completed it. I truly believe that it has helped me, I worked through many things that I have been struggling with for years and I have learnt to notice my detrimental traits and control them before I go into a downwards spiral. I realised that I had set my whole ideal of being an adult as “ being on top of everything”, I had always been told at school that I was so adult and mature because I was always on top of everything and always on time with my work and dedicated to my swimming. Back in those days I was basically working like a robot I never gave myself time to rest, swimming was my life and my downtime and my one true love. I made myself believe after school and once I started uni that my body could continue to do that amount of work, answer simply was, it couldn’t… Last year at uni I trained for rowing which wasn’t my sport looking back on it and I think that I was using all the training time to distract from how I was actually feeling and how knackered my body was, to be honest I have no idea how I actually managed to do so much in my first year of university. In my second year my mental health really had its ups and downs, hence why I sought out therapy.
The actual therapy sessions, now these sessions were 1 hour long and mostly it was just me full on verbal diarrhoea(ing) everything and nothing, for me it was so nice to get all the things off my chest and just talk through things I wasn’t sure about. I did find it a struggle trying to work on things that I wasn’t directly experiencing at university. I definitely think I will go back once I have restarted university because knowing me I will fall back into my old ways and habits of burning the candle at both ends. I have come so far on my mental health journey, and it is exactly as I said a journey, there are plateaus, mountains to climb and skies to soar in. I’m not saying that I am “cured” or that I am healed this is something that I and everyone else who has struggled with their mental health will have to deal with every single day. Something we must work through and grow through to become stronger better people.
I believe that this needs to be spoken about more in the media and in general, I have always looked up to my mum and she has been my inspiration, I thought that she was always on top of everything and managing everything the world had to throw at her, turns out this isn’t always the case and I feel like if she had talked to me about it then maybe I wouldn’t have had such a set belief in that being an adult is to be on top of all things at all times. So please if you are still reading, 1; well done, 2; please know that you are worthy of seeking help, 3; there are others going through the same thing, speak out to a friend or family member and I’m sure they will help even if just a little. Know that you are enough and if you would like I will always be here to listen and chat about everything and nothing simply message me on my Instagram simply_fit_sam. I hope that your weekend is wonderful and you enjoy the sunshine! Just remember everyday is a new day and to simply smile could make someone’s day 😊