I have decided to do what other Mental Health bloggers are doing and write a letter you (i.e. myself). Apparently it will be therapeutic and I do hope that by the end of this, you will agree with me. Please take time to read this whenever you are feeling low again.
Soon, you will be moving back to London and restarting Medical School. This will be the first time, bar exams, after you were admit in psychiatric hospital. I know how nervous you are feeling about it right now, and how many break downs you have had just thinking about it. Unlike others who are returning, you will be going back with the feeling as though you have no one close to you. Not only this, but a small group of people who you thought you could trust, who found out your secret, have hurt you badly and abandoned you will be there. This will undoubtedly be isolating and tormenting – it was Robin Williams who said: “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel alone.”
I want to remind you of some things, however. Firstly, remember what your psychiatric team told you about the anger that you feel as a result of what has happened. Obviously I won’t be repeating in on a public letter where anyone can read, but don’t forget. Secondly, remember that you had a huge role to play in helping your so-called friends when they needed you the most. Sure, they may say that your mental health eventually pushed them away – but they still wouldn’t have made the progress they did without you, whether they want to admit it or not. It is a cruel irony that they ended up leaving you alone after that, or came up with excuses to say you were expecting too much but again, I will refer you to what your psychiatric team has said to counter all of that. You’ve always put others before yourself in the past – and now sadly, this has had a huge expense on you.
Recall when you were first rejected from Medical School. Everything seemed so difficult at the time. Your Granddad was severely ill, you had been betrayed once again by people whom you considered to be your friends, you had six A-Levels to be revising for and you felt like a failure all round. But did you not manage to overcome all of that, despite your headteacher himself telling you that you wouldn’t be able to even pass your A-Levels if you continued the way you were going? You will get through this one again too.
Let’s not forget your year of Medical School either. It started off on top of the world. It ended with a psychiatrist asking you the question: “How can I know that you won’t kill yourself when you leave this building?” You have not killed yourself. You have kept your word to the psychiatrist – the one who also said you will go far in Medicine after you made him laugh. You made many people laugh at Medical School despite your problems. I know that your confidence has taken a massive hit with what people said to you and so you’ve struggled with it – but it will come back. You managed to get through the year and pass, despite being in hospital just a week before. I have no doubt that with the same perseverance, you will get through it.
TheDepressedMedStudent, no one ever gives you credit for what you have done or been getting through. It has always been them trying to say you’ve not been working hard enough, or them taking frustrations out on you. Even a simple, sincere (note the word “sincere”) “thank you” is something which many people did not give you, and something which you wanted more than anything. Everyone needs recognition for their efforts – and you are no exception. You are not a guinea pig or a punch bag like people tried to make you. Remember that.
Now go out there and make me proud. You have done this once before – you can do it again.