Okay, so the time has come.  The official end of the academic year.  It has flown by so quickly.  1 more year and I will be a graduate with BSc (Hons) Psychology.  I can’t quite believe it and when I think about the journey I have taken to get to this point, I feel very overwhelmed.

Since the age of 16 it has been an uphill battle for me – leaving school at 16, panic attacks, depression, 2 failed attempts at university and I can now safely say that I am beginning to see the light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel, that I thought I would never escape from.  The year has been difficult – I have had a number of ups and downs, meltdowns, a couple of bouts of low mood and 1 quite serious bout of the onset of depression, but here I am – I MADE IT!!!

I feel as though there has been a change in me…I feel stronger, more confident, more equipped to deal with my panic disorder and depression.  Not only am I stretching myself at university, I am also pushing myself to do things outside of university that I would not have been comfortable to do before.  I am singing in a new choir, I am planning to go travelling on my own next year, I have started to try and communicate with friends who I lost touch with many many years ago, who I felt an underlying anger towards because I felt that they did not care when I became ill.  I guess you could say I am growing for the better.  Of course I am not all the way there yet, I still have moments where I wish my life was different – when I see people my age buying their first houses, or having babies, or getting married, I feel like I have got nowhere in my life for someone my age.  But then my mum always reminds me, that I have had more issues than a number of people my age have had, and I am alive to tell the tale.  I may not have what I wanted to have at this point in my life, but I am strong, hardworking and ambitious and if I can get through the darkness that I was in, then I can achieve anything I want to do in my life.  I may not be there now, I may not get there by tomorrow, but I will get there!!!
That is one thing that I am thankful for; if I had not have suffered from panic disorder and depression, I would not have ever known how strong I am as a person or that I would be so interested in psychology as a subject and want to get into it as a career.  Silver linings eh…

So that is about it from me – I can’t really think of what else to say.
I suppose in summary, I hope my posts over the year have shown you a bit about me and my life and how you can come through hard and dark times for the better.  Also that battling mental disorders such as these aren’t a linear progression, you have ups and downs and that is okay; as long as you are aware of the signs for you and don’t fight alone but talk openly with someone about your thoughts and feelings.  I hope in some way my story has helped someone out there, I have tried to be as open as I can, not hiding anything and I hope at least one person has been able to relate to my story because of that.

Thanks to all for reading and hope everyone has a fantastic summer – ONWARDS AND MORE IMPORTANTLY UPWARDS!!!!

Love, Joelle xxxx