Returning to education after twenty years.

So despite my mind’s best efforts to try and sabotage any attempts I make to move on with my life, today I’ve actually managed to achieve a small victory against it. This morning I completed my college enrollment, and from 10th September I will once again become a student. Something I haven’t been since I was 21 years old back in 2001. So I guess now I am what would be considered a mature student.

I won’t be attending full-time. Merely two mornings a week. But the two GCSE courses I’m taking – Maths and English – will give me the skills and confidence I need to move on to the university access course that I want to do next. And from there, onto University itself to get stuck in to a creative writing degree. Five whole years of education. It’s a far cry from being stuck in a miserable office trying to sell over-priced security systems that constituted my life 3 years ago.

I think the fact that I’m only going to be a part-time student will be good for my continued well-being and rehabilitation. I’ve spent the past two years predominantly on my own in the house and not regularly interacting with other people. I need to learn to intergrate with others again and not hide away just because it feels safer and more secure. Being out of the house and amongst other people with a similar goal for a couple of mornings a week will help me to regain some of the confidence I need to progress, and progression is something I so desperately crave.

If the course had been full-time I think I may well have struggled to cope. I still suffer from persistant anxiety and depression and am prone to severe self doubt and feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. By studying part time I will still have plenty of time to myself to work on my rehabilitation and recovery, but still have a reason and a purpose to exist.

I’m looking forward to getting started on my courses. To meeting new people, visting new places and experiencing new things. Although my mental illness has caused me so much upset and misery over the past couple of years, it has also encouraged me to re-assess every aspect of my life and helped me to decide what it is that I really want to do.

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