Earlier this month, I found out that I was graduating University with a 2:1. Not only that, but that I managed to achieve a first in my dissertation – something that was both the hardest and best thing I ever did at uni. The standard: ‘cruise by and get a 2:1, work a little harder and get a first’ is complete bullshit that was fed to me whilst I was doing my A-levels. Many people do get a 2:1, however, I keep having to remind myself that not everyone in my situation is able to even get through uni, let alone graduate.
I’ve gone through uni dealing with an eating disorder, anxiety and depression. I’ve had major relapses, one of which meant I had to take time out of uni. I’ve sat exams with my clothes sticking to fresh cuts, and had meetings with supervisors with burst blood vessels all over my face from purging. I finished my dissertation whilst struggling with exercise addiction, and got through every single academic year despite suicide attempts and sexual assault. I kept up with my lectures whilst being in an abusive relationship, sustained a social life despite wanting to stay in bed, and managed to grow to be fiercely independent in a house that brought me nothing but sadness. I got a degree whilst hitting rock bottom, and I am really fucking proud of myself.
I truly didn’t think I would still be alive just over a year ago, let alone graduating from a good University with a good degree. I bloody well did it!
Whilst I’m here giving a little update, I also wanted to mention that even with everything I currently deal with (which, let’s be real, can make me a pretty difficult person to be around), I’m so happy to finally be able to say that I’m in an incredibly healthy relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot to work on with regards to trusting someone else to not suddenly turn on me, but I am so happy. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that someone loves you exactly as you are. That they care about you even when ED flares up and you need reassurance because you’re an anxious mess. That they genuinely just want to be there for you when you’re low, without the ideology of wanting to ‘fix’ you. I’m not broken. I don’t need to be fixed and I am completely able to do life and tackle my issues alone. However, meeting someone that genuinely has your best interest at heart is truly wonderful. Being with someone you can say is one of your best friends first and foremost, is something I didn’t think would ever happen to me. Knowing that someone can love you whilst I work on bettering myself is something very foreign to me, yet it gives me butterflies and goose bumps every single time (including now lol). It’s still incredibly odd to me when he’s kind and thoughtful – it’s like I’m constantly waiting for the punchline or the imminent hatred. I feel needy af asking if he still likes me and isn’t bored of me, but I’m slowly learning that I can just ask for reassurance.
That these irrational feelings I have are a normal response to abnormal situations.
Even when I’m ugly crying about not feeling like I’m good enough for anything and feeling incredibly low, I can also say that haven’t been this happy in so long. Don’t get me wrong, I can be happy by myself, but to be with someone that makes you even happier than before? That’s pretty wonderful. Who would have thought that telling me to just get over it isn’t the only response I can be given? Who would have thought that someone can listen to your irrational fears and acknowledge that although they’re irrational, your feelings are completely real? Who would have thought someone could actually make time (even when they’re busy) to just talk to you when you’re feeling low and just need someone to talk to?
I’m fiercely independent and stubborn to top it off. Talking about some of the things that torment me day-to-day make me feel incredibly vulnerable, so I tend to just keep it to myself. But I’m slowly realising that although I can do all these things by myself, it doesn’t mean that I have to do them by myself. I can do them alongside someone that squeezes my hand when things are tough, notices when I’m feeling anxious, doesn’t judge me for how I’m feeling or see me as a burden, makes me laugh until my sides hurt, listens to all my interests, makes me excited for what’s to come, and wants me to grow as a person as much as I want him to. I want the best for him, and he *seems* to want the same for me. He’s on my wavelength, and that’s something I didn’t think I could find in a person. Let alone in the final semester of my last year at uni (ha ha ha bants ha ha ha).
I might not always like myself, but I know I’m a good person. I completely and utterly know who I am, which is why I am comfortable knowing that regardless of the challenges (hello unravelling all the remnant issues of a horrific relationship lol), I’m at a point in my life where I can be in a relationship. And tbh, it’s pretty bomb af being this happy with someone as fab as my favourite wet yoghurt.