Hello everyone! Part 3 finished with me leaving Uni in October 2014 so in this part I will chat about how I dealt with living with ME and leaving Uni.
I barely made any of my lectures/seminars (to really put that in perspective, I was in 10 hours a week) and I was pretty miserable and lonely, despite my best friend living a floor above me, and my boyfriend living in the city. Nothing was going to take away that ache I felt every day that I wasn’t happy and that I should go home.
So when the day came that I could finally leave, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I actually think I was more excited to leave, than I was to start Uni back in September! You might think from this that by me leaving Uni, everything picked up after that… I got myself out of a difficult situation and so surely things would get better after that?
Unfortunately, that’s not quite how it worked.
I spent the rest of October and November just coming to terms with the fact that I was living with ME and life wasn’t going to be as easy anymore. I was trying to work at the job I had over the previous summer, but by this point my health had deteriorated so much, I couldn’t even manage that once a week. I really didn’t have any plans, any goals, or anything to do at all. I was sort of in a crossroads with what to do with my life. Do I struggle on with a job which I hated and really couldn’t manage? Did I sit at home and mope about for days on end with nothing to do? Or do I forget about my troubles and go on holiday?
Well that’s exactly what I did. My friend conveniently had a week off work in November and we decided to go on a short break somewhere hot! Benidorm, here we come!
After that, Mum had found out about a bookkeeping course that was being run in Haltwhistle once a week. With her being a Bookkeeper herself, and my Dad being an Accountant, it made sense for me to do something similar so I had full support back at home. And with it only being once a week, it was perfect for me, as I had plenty of time to rest as well!
After a difficult Christmas concerning my health and my relationship, I started the year off badly. I was seriously down and really couldn’t work out what to do about it.
In January, I decided to really focus on my health. I started eating properly, and slowly started to do exercise. At first I was only managing a 10-minute walk, 2-3 times a week, and even that was at a snail’s pace. But slowly I managed to increase this and soon enough (2 months later) I managed my first Circuit training class through Healthy Life.
Anyway, after a few months of doing exercise, I was back to contemplating life. What was I going to do? I still couldn’t really work, and I really wasn’t sure about going back to Uni… but what else could I do?
Well I decided in June 2015 that I would just go back to Uni. I would try again. Yes, I was living with ME but I realised that I couldn’t just stay at home for the rest of my life, not working, not studying for anything (my bookkeeping course had just finished in May) and my health was a lot better than it had been the previous year so I decided that would be the best plan.
And you know what? It was. Here I am, a year later, having finished my first year of Uni with grades I couldn’t be happier with and with some great friends I’ve made along the way.
This year has really proved that sometimes, bad experiences can just come down to bad timing. There was no way I should have gone to Uni in 2014. I was told by my Doctors not to, and I chose to ignore them, and they were proved right. But by taking a year out to really focus on my health, Uni is possible for me, and I’m so happy that things have worked out for the best.
Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle, almost daily. But realistically, that is never going to change, not when you have a chronic illness. But what CAN change is your perspective, your time management skills and your symptoms.
I am in a much better place now than I was two years ago and I am so grateful for that. Despite all my down days I have had over the past year, and still have now, I can remain positive (on the whole!) and I can enjoy life to its absolute fullest.
And there it is… my full story of how it all began, from Glandular fever at 16, to finishing my first year at Uni!
Until next time,