High school dropout my story part 2
I’m so overwhelmed by the response you have shown me these last few days. Thank you to those of you that shared their stories with me and opened up about such terrible and inspiring experiences. I treasure each word you have passed on to me.
A small disclaimer- this post is a continuation of my previous article. The article contains topics such as depression, mental health and anxiety.
So where was I?
Ah, prefect selection.
How foolish was I to think that such a title held the weight of all my worth…
A small piece of background information before I begin. In grade 6, we had our primary school prefect selection which was the beginning of this sad saga. I had already been short listed however due to my lack of experience my anxiety got the better of me in an attempt to prove myself to a toxic group of friends I did something that got me kicked off the list completely and almost suspended. I won’t go into detail but those of you that were there during this experience will know exactly what I’m referring to and for those you that do remember please bear in mind things aren’t always what they seem. Especially in the eyes of a 12 year old. After this particular situation I promised myself I would make up for what I had done. So when the day came for our grade 11 prefect selection interviews I thought I had done everything in my power to prove to myself that I could make up for my mistakes and that I deserved to be there. Unfortunately things didn’t quite turn out the way I had planned. The interview went well, I was sure I had it, what made me even more sure was after a teacher who happened to be one of the judges on the prefect committee came to me and said and I quote, “you should get your head girl speech ready”. I was so sure I had it and then the day came where I realised I didn’t. A nonchalant text from a friend completely broke my heart. I was happy for her and so proud, but couldn’t help but dwell on the simple question, why am I not good enough?
Looking back I still struggle to understand what went wrong, it could be that it was because my academics weren’t up to standard but I knew for sure that there were people that were selected that were on the same academic level as me. It could have been the fact that I was so sick all the time but there was another girl selected who was always sick and in hospital and yet she was selected so why not me? I know it sounds so conceited saying out loud now but that depressive state completely took over. It was as if this was confirmation that I was not good enough and ever will be.
My mother came to my room and found completely broken down, that was when she had decided enough was enough and simply sent an email to let the school know I wasn’t coming back for the year. She was utterly disappointed. She felt as though I had given so much and sacrificed so much for the school and to continuously be treated as if I was nothing simply was not going to happen, not anymore at least. Evidence of how much life that school sucked out of me is shown in my weight. In 2014 I weighed a healthy 52kg, but by 2016 the anxiety had fed off me so much that I weighed a total of 39kg. After I left in June 2016 for that five months of my life were the best thing that happened to me. I started picking up weight, I finished grade 11 through my brother in laws distance learning school YaleSA. There was only one problem, I missed school. I somehow imagined if I went back things would be different. I felt that I was different person and my health was back in order so why not go back?
My matric year was important to me, I wanted to be normal. I wanted to have the best senior year just like in the movies. So I went back and I hated every second of it.
A big part of the reason I found it so difficult to keep my anxiety under control was the fact that I was separated from my friends. They were put into the “smart” class you see and the unhealthy atmosphere teachers project surrounding the two classes got a little too much. So, going back I demanded to be put in the same class as my friends, it was the only way I would be able to cope. The few months I was back at school, I loved being around my friends but I still felt like everyone looked at me like I wasn’t good enough. Snide remarks from immature boys in my grade didn’t help either. If you’re reading this,
“Hi, my name’s Fatima, yes I heard you when you whispered to your friend isn’t that the girl that cried because she wasn’t prefect. Oh, and yes, I am that girl. It was something I cared about, just because you’re too scared to let yourself feel vulnerable doesn’t give you a right to condemn for it.”
as for my depression, my psychiatrist had already given me options of different mental health care clinics to go to and firm warning that if I tried to act on any of my suicidal thoughts I’d be forced by law to be admitted into a psychiatric institution, but before any of could happen, all the pressure ended up causing my health to take another massive turn for the absolute worse. I ended up back in hospital pretty much unable to lift my head. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, as well as, endometriosis. The biggest lesson I learnt from all this is everything happens for a reason. Being back at school made me realise that everything in that world was toxic, petty and unnecessary. Being sick opened my eyes once more and showed me how much bigger problems the world is going through and that things you think are the so fan-freaking-tastic are actually not as great as you think. Being chosen as a prefect was filled with double standards, my grade had no sense of respect, and everyone was just filled with this toxic bitterness and I was done being sucked into such a negative toxic world. I realised that I don’t have to do what every else is doing, I don’t have to follow this boring structure that everyone else seems to think they have to follow. I realised I wasn’t learning anything despite studying for all those tests instead all I was doing was tearing myself apart and for what? So that I can go to university, get a mediocre job, sit behind a desk from 9 to 5 and go home where my three children and ungrateful husband expect me to feed them as if they don’t have the hands or brain capacity to cook for themselves and then hopefully grow old hoping I don’t die of heart disease or diabetes and spend my days knitting socks for my six grandchildren.
I was not having it.
I wasn’t going to let a confused society dictate what I do with my life. I decided to do what I love doing which is helping people, and making people smile and spreading love and that’s what I hope to achieve always until the day I die.
Your life begins when you realise success is whatever you want it to be. For some that may be being the CEO of a mega corporation and for others that’s making people smile the brightest smile they can. You get to decide which path you take and whoever judges you for that isn’t your problem.
I hope this blog post helps you realise your potential.
Thank you for reading my story, I’m open to hearing yours as well. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to share your story privately or publicly.