Don't do it. Please don't go back to bed. I know how tempting it is, believe me. When you've already been up until 5am the day before, when you just can't be bothered and think you need the sleep, don't. I'm not disputing the benefits of sleep, I love sleep (ask anyone), and it is necessary to function, to maintain a happy head and be well. No, this is about help.
Your bed can be such a comforting place, nothing bad can happen to you there. The lecturers can't find you, the deadlines won't appear, and it is just bliss. You can silence your alarms, your parent’s phone calls, the academic alerts… that was part of my problem.
It's an easy thing to do and I didn’t realise I was doing it. I was burying my head, and it was devastating. When I chose to sleep in, yet again, I wasn't choosing to “catch up on sleep”, I was choosing not to catch up on work. I was avoiding the inevitable. In that moment when I let my head hit the pillow, I decided that future David would deal with my problems once again. Have you met him? Future David is a brilliant guy, he solves all my problems. Anxious about something? Don't worry, just ignore it, future David will deal with it. Burying your head is the easy option but it only ever makes things worse. If you ever get an academic alert or an email from your tutor, module coordinator, advisor, it's not then getting you into trouble... it's them asking if you need help. Not one member of staff at the University wants to see you fail, no, they want to encourage you. They’re checking on you, giving you that opportunity to ask for help.
When that opportunity arises, please, take it.
Of course, I know better than some that there are often extenuating circumstances that make it incredibly difficult to deal with work or university life. But just because it's in your hands, doesn't mean you have to do it alone! Life isn't for battling through by yourself, and you aren't supposed to wrestle with your demons in a dark room in bed. Get help, just ask for it.
Ask you friends, ask your family, ask student services, ask someone! The road to recovery is not an easy one, but it is a path I would rather face than go down the road of destruction instead.
I have to be very careful with what I say here, so I hope you understand what I'm trying to bring across.
I think that someone who asks for help is incredibly brave. (As a side note, I don’t count myself as brave). Someone who is suicidal, who feels they simply cannot go on living in this world is not a coward, they are unwell. Your brain is an organ and it can become unwell just like any other part of your body. A battle with mental illness is just like a battle against disease. Someone who reaches out for help isn't a coward; they are saying that they're having a really tough time, and they're asking for help.
And that is inspirational. You’re having a really rough time, and you feel like life is throwing everything it has at you, but still you ask for help. You’re still willing to fight for your studies, for your social life, for your wellbeing.
Asking for help isn't giving up, it's the opposite. Asking for help isn't admitting defeat, it's admitting that you need support, and more people do it than you’d think.
If I didn't get help maybe I'd still be in bed. Maybe I'd be still bury my head.
And I know that I don't ever want to do that again.
So get out of bed. Even if you have to go to bed at 6pm tonight, at least you went to your lectures, to your tutorial, at least you got some fresh air. Please, get out of bed.
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