Two blog posts in very close proximity. I guess it comes with the nature of writing when you need to write, rather than writing for the sake of writing, that the frequency to which I post will be somewhat sporadic.
Anyway, this is by no means a lengthy post, and it’s also not a post designed to brag. I’ve just received my first set of third year exam results and I am really proud of myself for the marks i received. Basically, I’ve always worked very hard and I think this has been reflected in my grades. However, as mental illness began to engulf me, my grades began to drop and I felt pretty hopeless to be honest. Grades have always been particularly important to me, and whilst I know they are not the be all and end all, it’s something that I’ve always had paramount anxiety over. Ask anyone I am close to, particularly my close family, and I have no doubt they’ll confirm how obsessed I was with doing well and getting good grades. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a really terrible attitude to hold and somewhat unhealthy, but that’s my personality and that’s ok.
Anyway, as my mental heath really began to deteriorate, I felt like I was drowning in academia. I was working incredibly hard, and pushing myself, but those demons were holding me back and preventing me from excelling. As a result, my grades from my second year of university reflect my deterioration in health. They are not diabolical, but they are not what I know I can achieve. Whilst that sounds like I’m quite full of myself, what I’m trying to suggest is that I can almost use my grades as a marker of my mental health. Whilst this fluctuation left me feeling exhausted and I suppose hindered my self esteem yet further, today marks the day where I can use those grades positively.
Today I’ve received 2 sets of grades that I am over the moon with. I’m not elated simply because I did well in my exams, but because it demonstrates to myself that I can still do well and that I’ve not been completely destroyed by depression and anxiety. It also marks one of the first days where I can truly say that I am recovering from mental health and that it is no longer defining me, and this is reflected by my achievement in my exams.
Importantly for anyone else who may be reading this, please don’t think that I’m suggesting achievement is illustrated by success in academics. I am not. I’m suggesting that these grades, personally, provide evidence that I am getting better and becoming the person I once was before this awful illness took over. What I’m saying is, it demonstrates to me that I (and therefore anyone) can beat mental illness and come out the other side happier than before.