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Starting University

"Go to university, you need to experience it."

"University will be the best time of your life."

"You're never to old for university."

I came to university at 22 years old, a recovered drug addict with mental health problems and a previous eating disorder. If anyone told you that as a description, you would think of course they won't fit in, they're a nut job, they're a mess, they're this, their that.

But I'm not, or I wasn't?

I fixed myself, and I was pretty damn proud of it.

I went to therapy, after years of suicide attempts and outbursts full of self-harm and rage, and I got better. I took the meds, I did the exercises, and I stopped doing drugs alone in my bedroom. I only ever did drugs to numb the pain, the pain of how I felt.

The doctors have diagnosed me with a lot over the years. BPD, EUPD, Manic Depression, Bipolar, Anxiety, the list really does goes on. I guess because my mood changed so much, and I was so manipulative and I guess always so high, nobody could really tell what my problem was. Go figure, the stuff that stopped me from ending it, stopped me from fixing it. But I stopped eventually, I got help, and eventually I got better. I'm always going to be mentally ill. Mental illness is terminal. But I manage more than I ever thought was possible.

Sure, my friends do coke and sometimes I still do too, but it's different, I don't need it anymore, or yearn for it like I used to. I really did get better.

I had friends, and boy was that something I had waited a long time for, years. As a teenager in High School I had acquaintances, but I never had any friends, people didn't like me, and I hated myself. I thought I had friends for a long time, but I realised they only spoke to me when I was in front of them. They had plans to go out after school or the weekends, and I thought I was invited, but if I message them I'd be left on read. When I would see them later, they would discuss group chats and sleepovers right in front of me. As sad as that sounds, that became totally irrelevant in my life, I didn't get upset over that anymore, I'm a grown women and I made a life for myself.

I left school at 17, it was rocky and I moved out at the same time, my life got worse before I got better, but that isn't the point for now. The point is eventually I made friends, I got a boyfriend, and goddamn it might be the most dysfunctional relationship out there, but we really do love each other. My friends drink a lot, and do a lot of drugs, but we aren't crackheads if that's what you're picturing, just normal 20-something's living their life.

I worked, I always worked hard, and I did well at work, I was always the boss and being promoted and sure it was shitty hospitality jobs but I did well, and I ended up running a few businesses as a Store Manager.

I wasn't a 16/17/18/19/20 year old waste of space anymore, I really tried hard.

Then I went to college, to get some qualifications so I could get into uni, so I could make something of myself. I was surrounded by other older students and I made friends pretty quick, turns out we all had pretty similar experiences and backgrounds, and it only made me work harder. For the first time I saw everything I could achieve. I had even more friends and I really was happy. I did really well on that course, turns out I went from a high school solid 'E' student, to getting all A's. It really was my mental health that let me down before. I got into an amazing university, ranked UK Top 20, and a Russel Group, I really outdid myself. I had never been more proud of what I could achieve.

I got to university one month ago, and I'm starting to get depressed again. I went into mature student housing, everyone was the same age as me, and it was still halls, I thought it was the best way to make friends, I thought it would feel like college. I was wrong. Everyone in my flat is perfectly nice, and we sometimes watch TV together, but we aren't friends. Everyone has their friends already, on their courses. The people in my flat it turns out are postgrads, meaning everyone on their courses are also older, and they all made friends pretty quick.

I however, am doing an undergraduate course, and everyone around me is 18. I didn't think that would be a problem, but I don't think any of them really like me. I have tried, talking to them, asking them to hang out, I always sit with the same group of girls in lectures, and at lunch. I am not their friend, I have acquaintances again. They go out together in the evening, and on the weekends, and I just sit in my room. I messaged one of them today, told them I bought a ticket for the event they were going to, asked if I could tag along... of course I didn't get a reply. I remember these days again, now it doesn't feel quite so long ago.

I'm alone a lot now, for meals, for drinks, for walks, for everything really, I always seem to be alone. I'm not unused to the feeling, this was my life as a teenager. But things are different from school, I grew up a lot, peoples opinions didn't mean a lot to me anymore, I had friends, in fact I became fairly 'cool', probably the most sociable out of everyone in my group. My friends aren't losers too, if that's the impression you're getting. They are the people that don't give a fuck, that most people would love to have around them, some of them are drop dead gorgeous and the kind of girls people want to be like (I definitely am not one of those girls). By that I don't mean 'pretty girl American high school, kind of cool'. I mean beer drinking, rock listening, they are the moment sort of girls. We dress in fashionable clothes not trendy clothes, we are the girls like Roxy in New York Minute, not Regina George. But the best part is that none of them care about that, or even know that's how I or other's see them. We laugh, we joke, we have a great time and we all seriously love each other. I miss my friends, my friends that are four hours and 200 miles away. I always wondered why they chose me to be their friend. In a matter for a few years, I went from no friends and depression, to lots of friends and doing really well, back to no friends again- how did this happen?

I miss my boyfriend, he has come to visit me a few times and that's been great, but when he isn't here I'm lonely. I can't have him here all the time, or how will I possibly make any friends, but when he's not here, I'm... well alone. The truth is I need him here with me, I need him to hug me and make me feel better, I need someone to talk to and to actually listen to what I have to say. I haven't spoken yet today.. its 17:34 right now.

I left my whole life behind, because I thought I am smart, and capable, and cool and funny, I thought I was stuck in a dead-end town and I think I thought I was better than it, better than the people around me. Worth more than drugs, and alcohol and minimum wage jobs. But the truth is my friends are at home right now, in that dead end town, and they're all happy. Me, I'm sat alone in my dorm room, at my Russel Group University, in my big city, with nobody to talk to.

I guess the truth is this is, I was meant to be alone. I was the 'cool' girl once, when I was starving, coked up and drunk, but maybe I'm just not anymore.

So I guess the question is; when I was at my worst, is that what everyone perceives as the best me, and the one they want around,

and the sober, healthy me... that's the one they don't like?

Bipolar Lola x

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