Welfare

Mental Health: It was Only Once I Lost Myself, That I Was Able to be Found

My first semester of college was fantastic, or so I thought at the time. I side-tracked my academic pursuits for the pursuit of just wanting to have fun. It then came to the Christmas break, and everything changed. I discovered marijuana. This discovery may sound innocuous enough, but it wasn’t. I fell in lust with the drug and the gateway opened to other, less trivial substances.

By the time the second semester arrived, I had committed myself to smoking weed. This, in turn, led to my discovery of MDMA, or ecstasy as it’s called. Ecstasy was certainly what I initially felt, a feeling I was determined to chase. My whole life began to revolve around going out and chasing that buzz. I took MDMA as often as I could and smoked weed during the intervals.

During this time, I entered a relationship with a girl who had intense feelings for me. I didn’t love her, but I wanted to give it a shot, with her. Deeper into the relationship, my mind deteriorated even further. I became a truly awful person. The only thing I knew for certain was I wanted to get high, whatever the cost. I became an awful boyfriend- I was out of my mind. I felt lost to myself. After the end of first year, I began to work a job I despised. I did this so that I could pay for drugs. I spent a fortune on drugs and drink, spiraling deeper and deeper into the existential abyss. I felt hollow.

Fast forward to the beginning of the second semester in college, I continued to take drugs the habit never stopped. I got a different job just to feed my habit. I didn’t attend lectures. I became anti-social. I was anxious, guilty, ashamed and suicidal. I felt empty. Things eventually got to the point where I couldn’t see a way out. I couldn’t see the light anymore. I lost sight of who I used to be. I couldn’t find happiness in anything. It was then the penny dropped that I needed help. I couldn’t live like this. I told my mam that I thought I was depressed. That was a slight relief, to admit that something terrible was wrong. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with clinical depression and for the first time in a long time, I felt hope, hope that I could get better.

Around this time, the truth came to light and my relationship came crumbling down around me. I committed myself to give up the drugs, taking my antidepressants and making a change. I began to focus on self-development. I took on responsibility. I got up from my bed and made it to college. I completely revolutionised my lifestyle. Rather than work for pleasure, I worked for meaning. I stopped chasing the buzz and began chasing meaning.

Today, I have never felt better. I finally feel like a person again, rather than a shadow of one. My depression and anxieties have faded. I try to do what is meaningful, not what is expedient. I have goals I want to achieve. You see, it was only once I lost myself, that I was able to be found.