Coming to terms with the fact that something is not quite what it should be is difficult enough, so it makes sense that coming to terms with something that isn't quite right inside your own mind should be even more of a challenge. This was my situation during my teenage years. I hated school for a variety of reasons and it deeply impacted my mental health. I felt such a pronounced disconnect between myself and my peers. I had no group. I wasn't an athlete, I wasn't a musician and I wasn't an artist. I was someone who felt he had to hold the tension between a multitude of peer groups rather than subscribe to one alone. My sense of self-identity was therefore incredibly shaky and precarious. This impacted my self-esteem and led to me associating with a rather delinquent peer group outside of school, I felt I deserved nothing better and I failed my first round of A-Levels as a result of the distraction and neglect of my studies.
My A-Level transcript in summer 2012 read DUUB. All fails.
But fast-forward 11 years and I now have 2 degrees, a wonderful partner, better mental health than ever before and a deep and lasting commitment to improving the lives of those around me.
It's never over. Even if you feel destitute, downtrodden and simply lost. It's never over. Reach out for support and don't feel pressured not to. There is always another way.
Much love, Ryan