I’m feeling quite down tonight; I’m thinking of old times. Specifically I’m thinking about my time at University. A time before I was diagnosed with all my mental health problems. It was a simpler time. One that for one year was ABSOLUTELY perfect. Whenever I hear music from that time, it brings me right back. And my stomach fills with butterflies.
I hated school you see. I never knew who I was. I was always an outcast. Sure, I had some friends but we were always people on the periphery. In fact, we probably never really liked each other that much. We just had nobody else. And when I left school, I said to myself that I’d never go back. It was over and I was only going to live for the future.
When I started uni, I was really nervous. I barely touched alcohol. The most I had was a bit of Bacardi at Christmas and the ocassional Millers that my Mum bought me. I had to live off campus at the start at this satellite place. I was scared from being alone from my parents and I cried when my Dad left. I didn’t even know there was a bus that took me into uni and I thought I had to walk for ages and spend loads of money on trains to get where I needed to be. Luckily, when I went into the communal kitchen, I met some of my new housemates include this really great law student and one of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever known. I fancied her like crazy but she already had a boyfriend and I’m the sort of guy that respects that. Plus she was WAY out of my league. I got on really well with my new housemates and became friends though when I started my degree, I immediately met like minded people who I had made stronger bonds with. Some who I even speak to now.
As time moved on, things got better. I moved to a halls of residence close to campus. I took my first venture to a union bar. Was coaxed to a club for the first time by some of my friends (I had a great time by the way); discovered one of my new flat mates had lovely boobs (no I never hooked up with her but clubs have interesting dress codes). I made some even closer friends. Became a music “expert”. Bought more CDs than ever before. Went out to town with friends. Went to country pubs. I fell in love deeply for the first time (I met the girl I thought I was going to marry). I did well with my course. I had a social life. Hell, I was a student bar most nights. Life was the best it had ever been.
I made the mistake of keeping in touch with one guy from school though.
I was under the impression that we were friends. And I felt bad for him. He screwed up in his final year of school and redid his final year again. He originally wanted to do engineering but had a change of heart to do art instead. I wanted him to get ahead and I was loving uni life so I didn’t want him to miss out so I convinced him to apply to the neighbouring university. I wanted to share the happiness. He got into the university and I was happy for him. Plus he would be living with us. I should have known that was a bad idea from the time he visited us. But I was idealistic. Naive. Happy.
In the following two years, the happiness I had collapsed. He took over. He influenced other friends of mine and I partly blame him for one guy underachieving with dreams of bands and stuff. He made a play on the girl I was in love with and told her crap about me. She met another guy the day he first visited me and she ended up marrying him. She even has a child with him. That broke my heat probably the worst. And after the end of the second year where I drank too much, thought hard about killing myself and being genuinely miserable, I nearly decided to never go back. My good deed ended up ruining my life. My degree was in tatters. And in the third year, well the third year I ended up consolidating. I shut myself off from the world. I cried a lot. I lived in hope that I could still get a good enough grade for medical school but it was too little too late. I left uni heartbroken, completely messed up and failing to achieve what I wanted to. And all that I am left with are these amazing tunes that remind me of that perfect year.
These days, my OCD and depression are the worst they have been. I’m socially anxious. Hell, I’m anxious about everything and I’ve lost touch with most of my friends. A knock on effect of the shame of flunking and the pain I went through. I can no longer drink beer with gluten in. In fact, I can’t eat anything with gluten in. I never leave the house unless I’m going to hospital. My life is a shadow of that great time.
I look back it all and it to this day day, even though it happened over ten years ago haunts me. I think of what I lost. What I had. What I could have had. God it hurts so much.