Following my recent mental health struggles, I never realised how important having a support network was. I mean, I knew I could talk to my friends at uni and my best friend anytime I needed to but each time I felt like I was burdening them with my problems when they had their own to deal with. I also didn’t want to burden my lecturers with what I was going through because they too had other things to worry about and I find it hard to talk to my family about my mental health. This meant I was keeping my struggles to myself and trying to suppress them by focusing on trying to get everything ticked off my ‘to-do’ lists that I write every week but ended up getting less done each week because I mentally couldn’t focus on any of it.
My friends could see that I was really struggling and when they asked if I was okay, I just burst into tears. I just couldn’t cope suppressing it anymore and knew I needed to talk to someone. So, I spoke to my friends and my lecturer about how I was feeling and what I was struggling with and they were really supportive. I felt guilty that I burdened them with my troubles, but they said they were okay with it; something I wasn’t used to. During that weekend after my meltdown, my friends checked on me to see how I was doing which I really appreciated. It wasn’t until this that I realised just how many people were there for me. I haven’t had the most stable friendships over the years so I was worried that the friends I made at uni wouldn’t last just like the others so when my friends stayed and supported me and continue to support me, it made me realise just how much support I have. Also, knowing I have the support of my lecturers as well and knowing I can go to them for anything means a lot too.
Knowing I have this amount of support has made me feel a lot stronger in fighting my mental health. Having this support network means so much to me and until now I have underestimated how powerful a support network is. I’m so thankful for mine and would be so lost without them.