Mental health, blogger

Mental health of a mature student.

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Referring to myself as a mature student makes me feel a little strange. I think it is maybe because I am still a big kid at heart, but there is no denying that I am a mature student. I am a mother of two most amazing, boisterous and fun loving kids, a wife to an incredible husband and a psychology student. I started studying this degree in 2017 at the age of 33. Prior to commencement of my studies I never envisaged myself having my own struggles with my mental health.

My first year couldn’t have gone better. I was working and taking care of my family while studying. I felt on top of the world. I was Wonder Woman! Yes I thought of myself as a superhero because this mum not only gave birth in her kitchen, she successfully completed her first year of studies with great results and her family survived fit and well! So I was on cloud 9! Summer 2018 was when it all hit me like a ton of bricks.

So many things transpired that left me physically and emotionally exhausted. My life was in turmoil and I no longer had the drive or motivation to continue on with my studies. My mental wellbeing was in tatters and non existent. Panic attacks became my new normal. Life as I knew it changed for good and I couldn’t see a way out of my mental state. Anxiety was all consuming and by hiding from the world I found myself in an intentional state of isolation. Hiding away from the world was two fold. One, I didn’t want people to see me in that state and two, I wanted to see people and have a laugh but my isolation left me feeling more and more depressed and petrified to socialise.

My life was in disarray. My studies took a back seat and I fell further and further behind.For days I sat contemplating whether I should just give up or not. I came very close to giving up, but my husband wouldn’t let me. He knew just how much I’ve always wanted to do a psychology degree and he knew better than me how disappointed I would have been had I quit. The day I decided to pick my books up again it just so happened to be on a chapter covering anxiety and depression and how it affects the brain. It covered so much on the treatment thereof as well as the pharmaceutical treatment I am on.

It spurred me on. From out of nowhere I felt motivated again. My studies and especially my course has been such a blessing because I have learnt so much about my own mental health and it is enabling me to in a way take the view of a counsellor towards myself. This may not make sense, but thinking about myself as both counsellor and patient has helped tremendously. I now look at my studies as another form of therapy. It has helped pull me out of the dark abyss of chaos and confusion I found myself in. I am by no means “cured” but it is teaching me chapter by chapter how to embrace and deal with my own struggles.

It has given me a whole new outlook on mental health as such a complex condition but importantly my own mental health. Through this course I am learning to stop fighting my mental illness and instead to embrace it as it is and will forever be a part of who I am. I’ve said this before but allow me to say it again. My mental health does not define me, it is an extension of me and by embracing it I am healing each day. My journey has not been without setbacks, but studying and learning about mental health has helped me rebuild the pieces. I may be broken, but I am not defeated. Buildings can be demolished and rebuilt so why can’t I rebuild myself into a better version of me.

As strangely as this might sound, life with anxiety and depression has changed me and I am so much happier than I have been in a very long time. I believe the lessons am I learning was meant for me. My journey continues and so will my studies for at least another two years, but I am motivated and well on my way to being super woman again!

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Hey and welcome to my little corner Abbey's chronicles, a blog where I share my raw and unbiased thoughts on issues on mental health, lifestyle, wellness and self care. No topic is ever off limit as long as it affects lives and relationships, it's subject to discussion. This blog strives to provide solace for everyone going through issues they might not be able to talk about on a daily. My name is Abbey, a mental health advocate and enthusiast with a love for helping people who feel alone or are facing issues relating to life and mental health issues with the aim of raising awareness as well as providing succor. This blog was started as an avenue for me to deal with my own monsters. The aim of starting this blog was to for it to serve as some sort of therapy during my darkest times of depression and though it isn't all over yet, I hope this blog serves as a form of therapy to others going through similar issues relating to life and mental health. Finally in my free time I can be seen drowning in movies, food, sleep and books. I guess I am a blogger at night and an aspiring medical student at other times.



    It sounds like I could all do with reading the chapter on anxiety. I’d love to know how it works. I can really inspired to write and to draw my head just stops me sometimes and tells me I’m tired. It really does drain you.
    Such a lovely journey though. I love the idea of going back to uni at 33

  • Nyxie

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I would love to start a new course, especially counseling and psychology, but I’ve always been stopped because I thought ‘I’m too old to start looking for something new now, it’s too late’. But you’ve inspired me.

    I’m chronically anxious, though, and fear that this could cause issues.

    • Abbey

      Believe in yourself, age is just a number and trust me you can achieve your dreams and get that degree without age nor your anxiety been a barrier.

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