Sometimes you just gotta write.
I apologise for starting this post with mundane reality but the boiler broken down last week which led to five days of electric heaters and duvets and the shower developed a fault too. It seemed everything I touched seemed to break between my fingers.
Last Saturday evening I received news which jolted me right back to reality. My diabetic sister, a first year in university, had been rushed to hospital and had been admitted with dangerously high blood sugar levels. The thought of her lying in a hospital bed hooked up to a drip made me feel completely sick inside.
The boiler didn’t feel so pressing any more. It was just metal and a few nuts and bolts, not my sister, one of my best friends who has seen me through the best of times and the worst of times (quite literally).
Thankfully after a few days on a drip she recovered and she is now resting at home. Apparently stress triggered her blood sugar to spike so drastically. It reminded me of the times when I felt stressed and anxious during my university studies.
When I wasn’t around my friends going to lectures or socialising I felt incredibly lonely. To top it off I was studying at a university three and a half hours from home. Homesickness and perpetual isolation gnawed at my soul.
At night, the desertion of the hall site quad outside my window pressed on my mind during those long lonely nights. I sought solace in music, in fact I discovered a love of folk music and foreign cinema curled up in my room at 3:30 am.
HMV and my local record shop became my refuge. Hiding behind the stacks of music in Cob Records became my simple pleasure. Nothing made me happy any more but the music, films and DVD’s provided an escape. To my friends I was happy go lucky but on my own I was a shadow of what I was before.
I often tuned into my local radio station in my home town when I got homesick. There were radio shows like “Late Night Love” which I used to secretly enjoy listening to when I lived at home. The familiar accents of strangers from my home region acted as a strange comfort.
My halls were a remnant from the 1950’s. They didn’t even have dial up internet connections or fitted en suites in the rooms. Shared bathrooms were the norm. So how did I move forward?
I made changes to my lifestyle through regular exercise and taught myself how to cook healthy meals. Sure, I didn’t know anyone and I wasn’t over weight or anything but I looked forward to going to my class three times a week and coming back completely exhausted, content only to collapse into oblivion when I went to bed. When I remember that time of my life when I wasn’t coping I imagine a lot of grey, the world seemed a darker place.
After investing in my physical and mental health I bounced back. It was a gradual process and it was only when I returned to university for my second year studies that I realised how different I felt about the life I was living and how I was living it. I was in control and sometimes you have to learn how to make sure you are fitting in the important things that make you happy.
Because there’s beauty in the breakdown.