- Michael Rigby
I guess my mental health concern came throughout childhood. I was just another one of those kids who would be treated differently due to being overweight. My first problem came when I was in my last year of secondary school. The stress of my exams was just one factor that caused a lot of stress in my life at the time. My focus was also on losing as much weight as I could and I achieved that. However, I ended up making myself very ill. The real issue that really effected me during this time was that I completely messed up my exams. The exams that were supposed to open doors to the future. My stress and anxiety levels had created me to be very weak and I just couldn't concentrate.
Two years of college, enrolled onto a course that wasn't my first choice. I wasn't satisfied with the position that I had got myself in. However, I felt my choices were limited. I felt that I had failed myself and that I was still being punished. I use to sit there in the classroom thinking about the time I messed up my exams and what caused me to lead to that extreme. I would often interact with others on the same course and I did make friends. However, this wasn't what I worked hard for. I felt my potential was never shown to others. My mind was always in a different place and people wouldn't even recognise that I was suffering, “suffering in silence”. I completed the two-years with ease and achieved top grades. However, that was still not good enough for me.
The Two-Years Of Quitting- The worst two years of my life came within my time at college. My mind would always take over me in any situation. Whether it was learning to drive, socialising with friends or whilst at the gym. I just wasn't interested in anything I loved to do. I quit driving because I couldn't concentrate and I felt it was unsafe to keep learning. My friends would ask me to do something and I would make up an excuse. The gym, this is a place where I always enjoyed going, I quit my membership. These were just three things I quit during that time. I ended up staying in my bedroom staring at the ceiling whilst getting stressed about anything. I still didn't want to talk about it.
It's Time To Talk- My time to talk came in the last few months of college. My parents were worried about me so they had contacted my college tutor for help. I was given an appointment to see the college counsellor, I told her everything. I went from feeling I had a weight on my back too feeling calm for a while. I realised it was good to talk about things. She understood everything and put her time into helping me. In some ways counselling did help me. However, I also found that I was strong enough to get back up from, “hitting rock-bottom”. Sometimes, I would still get confused because I'm very good at helping others rather than myself. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that. My first step to getting back up, was signing up for the gym again. And I've been attending ever since. My advice on the way to get back up is to take a “step by step” regime. Gradually restart your passions that you always loved or start new interests. It's your choice and don't let anybody stop you.
I'm currently a University student in London. Over the past year I took some time out for a gap-year and a break from education. I feel it's the best decision I've ever made. It's vital that everyone, “takes a moment”. Give yourself time to rebuild and create a solid mind for the future. Take my advise, KEEP ON GOING! DON’T GIVE UP!
Hi, I'm Michael Rigby and I study Sports Business and Broadcasting at UCFB Wembley. I have experienced a mental illness such as; depression/social anxiety since the age of 14.