Before uni, I’d never done drugs apart from smoke a bit of weed. During the second term of my first year, my friends and I decided to go to an event in Cardiff which we’d heard was amazing. We’d all shown an interest in “getting on it” so we decided to get some MD and ended up having the best night of our lives. 

The next day, we didn’t feel great, didn’t want to touch food, but it was fine. All good.

I’m now in my final year at Cardiff and I’m writing this as I procrastinate from my dissertation that’s due in a week. FML.

This year has been quite tough. I’ve been super stressed with managing deadlines, graduate scheme applications and, for the first time in my life, my own mental wellbeing which I began realising was being made 100 times worse from doing MDMA… along with other stuff.

Since second year, my friends and I have tended to go to house parties and events where everyone gets on it. We started doing MD, a bit of coke, then ket to wind down. 

I have had comedowns before but a few weeks into third year, my comedowns were starting to last for up to a week.

Not only was I more exhausted than before; I felt so down afterwards.The first of the “bad ones” was after an event on a Friday night, where I was still tired enough to sleep through until 3 pm on the following Tuesday. I felt completely and utterly exhausted and then the anxiety and stress I felt from missing my busiest days of lectures made me feel even worse. 

“ ​I've always known that alcohol and drugs are depressants but I'd never felt that way. I fucking loved them! ”

Unlike comedowns in first and second year, I now felt like all of my emotions were more sensitive and heightened. I got rejected from a graduate scheme and wasn’t able to be rational and accepting about it, as I normally am, I didn’t get a text back from a guy I’d been on a few days with and ended up tearful about it, and don’t get me started on daytime TV adverts showing starving children and donkeys who need help. 

Instead of getting over these feelings, which I normally did, I felt like I remained down. My motivation to get work done, go to the gym, and even to eat healthy completely evaporated the week after one of these events. As a self-confessed #fitfam and #cleaneating Instagrammer, I can’t press how unlike me this was.

It also started happening after drinking. I’d have the most amazing time whilst I was out, not thinking about my dissertation, the module I have no idea how I’m going to pass, and what the fuck I’m doing with my life after uni. Then, as soon as I woke up and the buzz wore off and hangover kicked in, this dark shadow loomed over me and didn’t shift for days. I’d think about everything in almost 100 times more detail than usual - an ex-boyfriend, a tiff with a friend, a slightly blunt response on whatsapp, a comment that I’d usually see as banter, my granny who died two years ago… everything.

“  I'd think about everything in almost 100 times more detail than usual ”

I’ve always known that alcohol and drugs are depressants but I’d never felt that way. I fucking loved them!

It’s important for us to have nights off in our final year when we wind down and relax but, after having an open conversation with my GP, I realised that alcohol and drugs were beginning to act as a depressant for me because, underneath everything, I was so deeply stressed. It was as if the drugs and alcohol were triggering depressive episodes. 

This explained why I hadn’t felt so awful in my first or second year because, really, there was nothing to be stressed or upset about in my life.

I love going out more than anything but I realised that I valued my wellbeing and degree more. I haven’t touched drugs since my last come down and, whilst the FOMO almost killed me the first time my mates went off to a house party and I didn’t, I felt so much better waking up fresh the next day knowing that I had a productive and happy week ahead of me. Instead of having nights off, I now have days off where I try to explore new places. I recently climbed Pen Y Fan which felt amazing and I felt so much healthier. I’d recommend checking out the Adventures page of this site for recommendations on places to explore.

It’s really important to have an incredible time in uni and I won’t lie, I’m gutted that this had to happen in my final year when I want to make the most of our time left together but it couldn’t go on. I would have failed my degree and been miserable.

I’d be lying if I said I won’t get on it once the exams are over because I know I will. However, if I feel the same way despite having no deadlines, then I’ll know that it’s no longer for me.

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Written by Alice Webster, 9 months ago