TW: very mild reference to self-harm.
I’ve blogged previously about my attempts at Open University study, and my subsequent investigation into something called a Disabled Student Allowance (DSA). This would allow me to discuss my various MH issues with the OU, and have some extra provisions in place to enable me to study with a little more ease.
To update you, I’ve been approved to commence a BSc (Hons) in Natural Sciences and have some forms to complete regarding the DSA and any financial help I may be entitled to. I therefore have the option of taking up the first module in October of this year, or February of next year. My initial discussions with close family members made it clear that people thought it wise to wait until February. I’ve not had a great couple of months, and the general feeling is that I could do with the extra time to get myself together.
But my OT visited me on Thursday last week and, talking it through with her, I realised there isn’t a right time to embark upon this latest challenge. If I hang on until February, I most likely won’t make any giant leaps forward in terms of recovery. Indeed, I have reached a point in my ‘recovery’ where things are unlikely to improve unless I make steps towards positive change. I need to make adjustments. I need to have the courage to try new things. I need to let things happen. That is why I have decided there is no point hanging around until February, when I will most likely just remain embroiled in this current cycle of SH and over-medication. I need to add things into my day, create structure, but continue to maintain my blog, and work on my Art. I need a balance.
The module I will take first shouldn’t (in theory) cause me too many problems in terms of the coursework. I just need to be patient with my concentration and motivation. I can’t allow myself to become stressed, or to demand perfection of myself, for this has been my downfall in the past.
I’ve also been introduced to a wonderfully supportive Facebook Group (OU Disabled Students Association), which is an awesome platform, allowing people to post questions or concerns with an incredible response rate. I put my own dilemma forward a couple of days ago…October or February? The unanimous response was October. People with MH difficulties all agreed that there is no right time, that we just need to jump and hope for a soft landing.