I guess I should start of by apolgising for my lack of engagement with my blog, it's been a while since I last posted something but after this post it should all become clear. This past year has been traumatic to say the least, everyone says your final year at university is the most challenging but I was not prepared for what was going to happen. As you all know I start my blog last December as a coping mechanism to manage my depression. I had depression all my life but I've been fortunate in the past and it would always come and go but for the past year it's stayed and no matter how hard I tried it dug its feet in and refused to budge.

A few months ago the pressure was overwhelming and in the early hours of the morning I had a breakdown. I had never felt so alone and unsupported in my life and so decided I was not cut out for university, opting to leave. However, after meeting with my personal tutor I was provided with several options. 1) Leave 2) Come back next year with a different group of students 3) Apply for an extension and get all the assignments down within 8 weeks. There was no choice, I knew I wouldn't return if I decided to leave and I'd have feel even more of a failure quitting knowing I am more than capable of getting my degree and so option 3 was chosen. This time round I would have the support of my lecturers which helped my anxiety and the extension helped my depression knowing I'd have a little longer to get the work done. As for motivation, well I still couldn't find the energy to get out of bed most days.

I changed the way I thought about assignments, the thought of a 2500 word assignment would fill me worry but now I decided to do things in little manageable chunks and when you break down 2500 word assignment into small chunks it's sound more achievable. This method was working and before I knew it one assignment was done and dusted followed shortly by my dissertation which had previously caused my last breakdown. There was just one things though, I had an assignment due back in May and told me lecturers I wouldn't be doing it on time and it was causing me too much stress and I feared the pressure of it would set me back. The lecturers reassured me it would be fine as there would be a re-sit opportunity in July.  Problem solved. 

It wasn't until I finished the rest of my assignments, when I reminded the lectuers of the sitatiion regarding the assingment I didn't submit on time. I was advised to go to the student help desk as one of the lecturers informed me there was a chance I wouldnt be graduating this year. I plead my case to the student help desk going over all my challenges and how I was initially informed I had until July to submit, the lady agreed and told me to come back tomorrow to speak to the manager.

Long story short, the manager told me I wouldn't be graduating this year and approached the registrar on my behalf who also confirmed I wouldn't be graduating. I was absolutely devastated, all the hard work and challenges I faced now meant nothing. The lecturers were incredibly supportive and advised me to appeal at this stage I had given up completely but at the same time I had nothing to lose. I filled in my appeal application and I was ready to take on the world, there was no way I was taking no for an answer, this wasn't my fault, I was misinformed. I spoke to a lady who was adamant she could help, I was incredibly skeptical as she planned on speaking to the registrar, something which had already been done. After a 5 day wait she got back in touch and told me she had sorted everything, explained my case to the registrar and I would be graduating this year after all.

I can't explain the relief I felt, for once I was about to burst into tears for a happy reason. I am incredibly proud of everything I have achieved and it just goes to show how you are in control of your mind, it does not control you. If I let my mind control me I would still be depressed with no future ahead of me.

Graduation is all booked, the robes are all booked and come September I will officially become a graduate with a BA (Hons) Childhood Studies. Mental health is extremely powerful but if you find that inner strength and the right support networks then the sky is your limit and you can achieve anything.

Next time your mind tells you no, tell yourself yes, it's like having an angel in one ear and the devil in the other, the devil being depression, anxiety, ptsd etc. Listen to the angel and you'll go far in life. 

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