Depression, University, and the myth of the ‘easy degree’ – a very honest ramble.

I haven’t read a book for pleasure in two years, approximately. I’ve read books – for my course, and out of choice, dragging my brain through the tight lines of text, meanings fading into my brain as I desperately wade through metaphorical tar to reach the final page. It wasn’t until yesterday, after a day of discussing rape in Titus Andronicus and death in The Wasteland, and came home to my copy of Bloom sat on the dining table, that I sat down and started reading a book that I really, genuinely enjoyed. I couldn’t wait to turn the page, drinking in every line with insatiable interest, only forcing myself to close the book to make dinner and savour the experience.

Today, the piles (yes, multiple) of course texts on my desk stare at me, judging my enthusiasm for a book that I wasn’t supposed to be reading. I stare back from beneath my piles of blankets, lacking all desire to leave my bed and read even a page. It’s gone 4pm, and Gilmore Girls has been the only attraction I’ve felt today. Since I haven’t been out of bed yet, my medication remains untaken in its packet. The ultimate catch-22. The days I need it most, I go longest without. I force myself to believe that it’s okay I’ve chosen not to function today. It’s been a long week – two crammed days of lectures, with a trip to A&E for a cracked open head/suspected mild concussion sandwiched between. I need this.

And while University is what you choose it to be (ugh, gag, cliché), for the depressed and obsessive control-freak, balancing self-care with study, self-care and contributing to student society, self-care and … pretty much all aspects of being a semi-responsible adult is a near breakdown-inducing task. Think bouncing out of bed at 7:30am on Monday morning, making fresh coffee and ready to do 6 hours of intense text analysis, then spending the next two days in bed willing yourself to read the texts for Thursday, torturously mulling over the consequences of not doing so. And that’s my week, folks. Rinse and repeat for 12 weeks.

I hope you’ve enjoyed (?) this little insight into my brain. I don’t really care, it felt good to write either way.

Love, Merry xoxo

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