This is Andy, with yet another new blog. But hey, I have a great feeling about this one. Perhaps I should do an introduction. Yeah, I’ll do that. I will just assume you guys are all new readers and begin my story from the beginning.
About 3 years ago, I finished my last year of high school. I achieved pretty good grades despite not studying at all. That really surprised me. With the grades I got, I was able to apply to many different universities. While they weren’t quite good enough for the very top universities like Cambridge and Oxford, they were enough to get me into Red Brick and Russell Group universities like the University of Birmingham, University of Manchester and Imperial College London etc.
My future seemed pretty set. After the summer, I’d go to a university to complete a degree and graduate. Then, I’d get a well paying job and work my way up from there. It was supposed to be so simple, so straight forward. So how did I fuck it up?
When it was time to apply for univeristies, I realised I had no idea what course I wanted to do. I had a feeling I wanted to do something computer related, but I didn’t want it to just be a feeling. I wanted to be certain. My friend had told me about gap years and I decided that it could be an option. This led to extensive research on the Internet. I spent a solid week looking up different gap year ideas and organisations that supported gap year takers. I finally picked a website called RealGap. They offered a working opportunity in Australia, where applicants would have to do labour extensive tasks such as moving boxes and fruit picking. Not desirable and not well paid, but I didn’t mind because there was a lot of free time included, and I wanted to explore another country – a country I’d never been to before.
After a couple more days, I presented the research to my mother. The research contained things I’d be doing, places I’d go to and potential costs. Upon finding out that I didn’t plan to go to university, my mom got pretty mad. In her eyes, gap years were for losers, and her son was not to be a loser. She somehow had the idea that gap years are pointless and will affect the person’s ability to learn the next year. I don’t feel like I need to explain to anyone right now why gap years are great and why people should take them if they feel like it.
Anyway, saying my mom was pretty mad was a huge understatement. She reacted as if I had killed someone and then smiled about it. It was ridiculous, but understandable. My mom is only sure of the things she knows, and all she knows is that university led to success.
Just realised how long winded this post is. I may go into more detail in a later post but here’s the long story short:
University of Manchester (Sept – Dec 2012)
I ended up going to the University of Manchester but dropped out 4 months later. Think my depression developed in the fourth month. There was a week where I actually didn’t see the sun at all – that was pretty crazy.
London internship (Jan – Jun 2013)
I moved to London where I did a media internship at the place my cousin worked at at the time. It was unpaid but the experience was good. At this point, I only had about 3 friends that I talked to, but I couldn’t open up to them about anything so I felt extremely lonely.
Moving back home (Jun – Sep 2013)
Half a year later, I moved back home. Helped out at my dad’s takeaway until September 2013. During that time, my daily routine consisted of waking up in the afternoon, eating, taking a nap, waking up and going to work, come back and watching TV/gaming, sleeping, repeat. It really wasn’t a great time for me. I had no purpose. I felt… extremely low. I was always tired. Powerless. Oh, one good thing that came out of this period of time was that I got into cycling. While at work, I watched Tour de France and watching Chris Froome win the race was inspiring. Although I don’t think I’ll be participating in any races in the future, I do enjoy bike touring and hope to ride to France one day!
Aston University (Sep 2013 – Jun 2014)
Having no direction in life, my mom made some choices for me. Looking back, I should have taken control of what I was doing but I was so clouded by depression that I just blindly followed my mom’s orders. In September 2013, I ended up attending Aston University. I’ll make a separate post for Aston and I’ll link it here once I’ve done it. I lived at home which severely limited my social interactions, plus living 2 hours away made it worse. Once again, I dropped out. This time, it was just before my exams started. I didn’t even officially drop out, I just didn’t turn up and they ‘kicked’ me out. It was around this time that I felt extremely suicidal.
A year of nothing (Jun 2014 – present)
I didn’t go through with suicide, obviously. I was too much of a coward and I didn’t want to hurt my family. Since Aston, I did a summer job at my friend’s dad’s printing company. It was boring as heck and I hated it there, but I got money so it worked out. My parents had recently bought an apartment in the city so I lived there while I was working. After that job, I continued living there, occasionally going back home to work for my dad. My parents were pretty nice in the way that they let me stay at the apartment to try and find another job and just to be in the city rather than at home home, which is located in a small town. It felt much better to be away from my family where I could suffer alone and in silence.
Embarrassment and shame
This whole university thing really got me down. I didn’t drop out once, but twice and I doubt many people could say they’ve done the same. I already have a debt and for what? My parents hard work was for naught it seems like. Suffice to say, the embarrassment, shame and stress really got to me. Being actually happy has now become a rare thing. I died a little inside every time someone asked me what I was doing with my life. The worst is when my mom’s friends tell me what a mistake I made. I’m just like fuck you. You think I wanted this? You think I wanted to waste my time and money? Okay vent over. I just needed to get that out.
I didn’t even say goodbye to most of the friends I’d made in UoM. The very few I did say goodbye to, I told them I was cutting off contact because I wanted to spend the rest of the year focussing on improving myself. I wanted them to see me at the end of the year and be like, “Whoa Andy. You’re amazing now.”
Well, that didn’t happen. I basically cut off contact with all of my friends but 3 and now I’m still cut off with most of them. I am too ashamed to even start up a conversation with them again. I basically cut them out for nothing. I was so lonely.
After Aston, I did the same thing but worse. I didn’t turn up to my exams and never gave an explanation to my friends why. They messaged me but I blocked them. I’ve never seen them again. I know, I’m a huge dick. But I’m just too embarrassed and ashamed to explain my situation to them. I’m sorry guys.
So that’s my story so far. I’ve mainly focussed on education and my parents but there are a plethora of reasons that contribute to my depression as a whole. I’ll make separate posts for them.
My depression has been fluctuating but generally getting worse. I still have daily suicidal thoughts although I don’t think I would ever go through with it, so no worries there. I’m still lonely as hell. One of my downsides is that when people give me attention, I end up clinging on to them because they make me happy. This more than often freaks them out so I try to distant myself before it gets to that stage. I think that it’s for this reason that I have no close friends. I can’t open up when I want to because it makes things worse. It hurts to keep everything inside but I must. This is just until I can make peace with myself, until I get back on the path that fate had laid out for me.
I have a plan to get better which I’ll talk about in another post. I have faith that it will work, because if it doesn’t, I don’t know what else I will do…
With this blog, I want to record everything I do so when I get better, anyone who reads this will have a better insight of me and how I cured my own depression. Perhaps it can inspire others but also I want to observe my own progress. These are my goals
- Make inner peace (mind)
- Become healthy (body)
- Have faith (soul)
I believe I can achieve these things and be reborn through travelling, hence the name of this blog. I am writing this while I’m en route to Hong Kong in a plane. Every time I go to HK, I have done the same things and stayed in the city. This time I will go out of my comfort zone and have new experiences. I hope you can join me on my journey to find the answers to my life’s questions.