Sleepless in Summertime

alone bed bedroom blur

This morning two of my friends have interviews for scholarships at the university they’re dying to go to. Since they both want to do medicine this is a huge thing for the both of them. It doesn’t seem very important but I know it will crush them if it doesn’t go well and so I had yet another sleepless night. At least today I was awake for the birds to wake me! When K* finally fell asleep I realised I was wide awake so started watching a few episodes of Orange is the New Black and all I will say is that by the end of episode 11 I was in tears. I don’t know who I feel worse for, Piper or her fiancĂ©. It’s become quite rare for tv shows to move me to tears but there was a long time when it got to me – I once cried because someone got engaged haha! So while I’m sleepless in summertime, let’s have a chat.

When I was 14 I was tested for polycystic ovary syndrome and when the tests came back I had a mild case of it but the doctor was concerned about the levels of different hormones in my body. I was started on different tablets and soon I began to feel like I couldn’t talk to any of my friends about it. One of them had asked me if I was trying to grow a beard. At the time, all I cared about was the acne problem. Thankfully, almost 5 years later, I’ve tried a multitude of different medication and finally found one that worked. The side effects were not at all pleasant but you always doubt they’ll affect you.

The doctor warned me I would have to have my mental state assessed at least once a month because these tablets were known to cause quite bad depression in teenagers. Wanting to do anything to get the clear skin I envied, I had lied to the doctor and said I normally am quite an optimistic person who didn’t get upset that easily. The following 6 months were not something I would ever want to go through again. I began to be constantly exhausted, I didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere and, possibly the worst part, I began to become more introverted. Luckily for me, my best friend noticed and helped me try to deal with the thoughts I had. She made sure that if I was on a “down day” she could be free to come help me at any stage. She became my lifeline.

The doctors were aware I wasn’t the optimistic girl I’d said I was but I managed to put on a front when speaking to them, they saw me just become slightly more pessimistic and emotional. I was instructed to keep a diary of my thoughts and feelings, what seemed to trigger them and how I got the moment to pass. Needless to say K featured a lot in it. After having most of my music deleted off my iPod – apparently I listen to some really depressing stuff – I was warned not to take part in any self worth quizzes just to be safe. Eventually after 6 months I was taken off the medicine. It’s worked brilliantly but I wouldn’t wish the effect it had on me on anyone else.

Anyone reading this who read my post yesterday morning may be curious as to what the thought of the day is behind all this, apart from purely sleepless summertime rambles. It is simply, value your friends. K and I weren’t always close. In primary school we hated each other, 3rd form we began to talk, 4th we had a major argument about a relationship I was in (see What Can We Learn for more info) and now we’re inseparable. The truth is, I don’t think I would be here today if it wasn’t for her.

So to finish off, I’d like to wish K all the luck in the world with her scholarship interview today. Even if it means we won’t be at the same uni, I know she deserves it. And thank you to anyone who’s read my sleepless in summertime rambles until the end. I’ve never been able to talk about all this to anyone, not even my family are aware how bad I got. Please, value your friends and make the time to talk to them. You never know what’s going on inside someone’s head.

*initial used as she wants to remain anonymous

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