The truth is, I fell. I fell really, really hard and I spiralled a bit. OK, maybe I spiralled a lot.
It started last September when I began to lose hope and faith about my visa situation and my academic abilities. I was worried and stressed and frightened and, quite frankly, stressed beyond safe levels.
By October, I had spiralled so deeply into a world of stress and misery that I had a hard time keeping myself composed when my Mom was here visiting. I struggled to enjoy her visit, and I’m sure it dampened her holidays.
When I learned that not only did I pass my master’s course, but that I did so with distinction, I was momentarily joyed. But then I fell again. And even when I got the good news that I had a temporary extension on my visa (giving me more time to make my application) I struggled to be happy.
When November came around, I was still struggling to get up. My graduation was filled with bitter-sweet joys and memories and the uncertainly around my visa meant that I had to cancel plans to return to the homeland for Christmas. And when December rolled around, so did the loneliness of being alone.
Yes, I fell. And to be honest, the bruises and scrapes from that fall are still healing. I still feel tender and uneasy on my feet and I fear that my instability will cause me to tumble again at the slightest little obstacle.
Part of me wonders if I would have felt as out of control and desperate if my blog had been up-and-running. Part of me wonders if I would have been better if I had someone to share my life with. And part of me wonders if I would have fallen no matter what support mechanisms I had in place. And part of me wonders what would have happened if I fell without having friends (real and virtual) to reach out to.
In fact, whilst I was in mid-spiral, I found myself wondering if it was possible to fall any further—and if my state of desperation was the tipping point for irrational thoughts. Yes, I found myself wondering where the line was between desperation and suicide.
Oops! I said the ‘s’ word! But I promise you, at no point did I contemplate harming myself. I merely found myself wondering if the poor souls who have chosen that route felt like I felt. And I found myself looking online to see what others had to say on the topic. I even wrote a short piece about why I wouldn’t kill myself, no matter how bad things seemed. (I may share it here one day, but not today.)
So no, I wasn’t suicidal then and I’m not now. But I did frighten myself by even wondering where that line was. Hence the reason I got in touch with those friends, as mentioned above.
Thankfully, I have managed to stay on my feet since the New Year. Yes, I’ve managed to be a happier me. I’ve had a moment or two of tears and stress, but I’ve managed to keep myself pulled together—despite my continued stress about my visa.
Yes, I have managed to re-connect with my Desiderata view of the world.
So, if I’ve picked myself up, why am I admitting that I fell? Well, I suppose it’s because I keep thinking about it. It’s because I am afraid of falling again. And it’s because I need to admit my weaknesses and fears from time-to-time. And it’s because I want to acknowledge that everyone falls—and that sometimes people will fall and you may not even notice it.
And I’ll leave it there for now because I have to go to Edinburgh to spend the day with a friend. After all, I’ve learned that the more time I spend with friends, the less likely I am to fall.