To Evie Wynn
Trigger warning: Mention of OCD
Croft Magazine // He is said to be on the road a lot in college, gets drunk, misses lectures, and eats breakfast with a spoon to soothe his hangover. Experiences vary from person to person, but chances are that at some point you’ll have a night out, or your flatmates will have a pre-drink or house party around you. what should I do? Because for me, parties come with some problems.
I struggled with mental health for a long time and when I was suspended from college after two years I finally got some professional help. As a child, he experienced going out and getting drunk and was often in trouble. Many of us suffer from social anxiety and going out at night can be difficult for many. True if you feel it (whatever that means!). Enter question 2. For many people, alcohol makes my anxiety and depression worse. I have obsessive-compulsive disorder, which manifests mainly in intrusive and obsessive thoughts.
These ruminations were already in my brain’s soapbox for the most part, but alcohol gave them a speaker. I was depressed often. But the alcohol caused a sudden drop in mood at one point in the night. This was next level hangover blues where I couldn’t take a shower or swallow a strong cup of coffee.
During the year off, I stopped drinking. A particularly rough New Year and days of recovery, and suddenly it wasn’t worth it anymore.
But it’s not easy. Especially when it’s been a useful tool for years.
When I stopped drinking, I was at home, in my comfort zone, but still riding the momentum of the pandemic, so I wasn’t very social. This feels like repeating Freshers for months. New peopsmall talkme small talk, student event. It’s not easy to face social unrest in a foreign country without a few glasses of wine or a mug of beer as a starting point. And faced with the inevitable “Don’t you drink?” why? ! ‘Even in a country where beer is steeped in culture, there’s little fun to be had.
Back home, it’s still hard sometimes. It may come with stigma. You may worry that you will be seen as a “downer”.But it’s who you are that others want to be with, not your version of yourself you I want to be in my head You have to put yourself first.
Of course, I still have anxiety and depression, but I can deal with it much more clearly than before. So what is my relationship with the party now? His year abroad has led me to some useful realizations.
Every time I had an opportunity to interact, I hesitated whether to go or not. I never really felt like I didn’t want to do something just because I was scared. As time went on, I realized that anxiety wasn’t the only thing that kept me from going out at night. I thought… And that’s perfectly fine.
You are the one who makes the best choice for you. There is no “right” way. As with sobriety, I made an informed choice and took a break. I knew my resistance to small gatherings would be further fueled by depression and anxiety, so I didn’t isolate myself. I am conscious and more selective in what I said yes to. When I wanted to challenge myself, I went to bigger events.
Back in college, I had a deeper sense of what I wanted. Cut down on purposeful nights out, stop drinking, and develop self-compassion and coping skills.
There was also growing interest in mental health advocacy, sparked during the year-long vacation. I started a blog and Instagram page to raise awareness about mental health. With this new sense of direction, I started volunteering for Bristol Nightline as a promotional volunteer.
Most of us have heard of Nightline from posters around campus and numbers on the back of U-Cards.
Nightline is a listening and information service run by students for students. The volunteer answers phone calls and instant girlfriend messages throughout the semester. We operate according to five basic principles: confidentiality, anonymity, non-judgment, non-direction and non-advice. We listen to our students and help them discuss their issues. Having a charity like Nightline on campus is very important. Because many students suffer from mental health to varying degrees.
The problems you may face are very wide-ranging, from friendship problems, work stress, anxiety over nights out and drinking, to more pressing health issues. There is no ‘wrong’ question. Always remember that you are not alone. It may sound clichéd, but someone will go through the same thing as you. No matter what happens, there is no need to be embarrassed and there is always someone you can talk to. Ask for help if you need it, and Nightline is always available by phone or instant girlfriend message.
Featured image: © Lottie Keen
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