Eating disorders are tough; they’re destructive. You’re left raw and in an aching pain. It’s a whole new world, where your trips to Boots are daily, and the empty boxes of laxatives keep on piling up in your room. It’s a mixture of being overworked and sleep deprived from the multiple trips to the toilet in the middle of the night and, yes, the fear of getting too drunk and embarrassing yourself always plays on your mind. It’s a load of shit to be honest, and you really have no idea where you’re going to end. The icing? No one can fully relate to your experiences – everyone goes through a different nightmare and gets the same label. That’s the kind of thing some students here go through today, everyday.
It’s the same story for students with other long-term mental health issues. There will be days when getting out of bed is a bit too much – when everything is confused, uncertain and just plain frightening. The insecurity is crippling.
Students like us don’t just suffer in Week Five when everyone’s feeling down. For people like us, every week is Week Five and CUSU’s campaign for a Reading Week doesn’t help us. What we need is better welfare provisions in our colleges and at University level; we need GPs who will listen and not dismiss our concerns, and a feeling of being supported by friends, colleagues and supervisors. It’s a cultural thing and CUSU isn’t doing much to help.
We could ask why CUSU LGBT+ hasn’t had a Welfare Officer since October last year when the elected officer intermitted. That would be a good place to start.
Or maybe, we could ask why there is not a single gender-neutral toilet in most faculties in the University? As I become increasingly questioning of my gender identity, the frustration of choosing from a binary of two toilets, both of which I feel equally distant from, makes me panic and a tad bit angry. I’m not unique; there are others like me at every college. Maybe it’s unreasonable to accommodate for a small minority and maybe no one actually cares. After all, you’re reading this and you’re feeling very sorry for all of us and how much we struggle, but will you actually get on and do something about it? Probably not.
Hesham Mashhour (Chief Editor & Director)