“I use the classes to get out of my house and my state of mental confinement”

I was 19 in 2019 when I experienced a huge moment of absence. I was in my first year of undergraduate studies at Sciences Po Bordeaux. It was like I was in moonlight, but more intense and for hours. I was physically in class but mentally I felt like I was flying, like I was nowhere. I was completely disconnected from my physical reality. From that day it kept happening again and it was out of control, I didn’t even realize I was in this condition. Once I came back to reality and looked at my watch, I realized that three hours had passed. At first I thought I was lazy and slept all day, but actually I didn’t close my eyes, it wasn’t sleep. I hid my face, I tried to live my life despite everything, but that year I suffered a lot.

Eventually, if I felt an episode coming on, I could contain it while I was in class. I can’t concentrate 100% but I can answer when someone asks me a question. Over time, I learned to recognize the moments when I was tempted to slip into this state and put it off. When you really want to smoke a cigarette, but you know you can’t. The desire will grow more and more, until we find ourselves at home, and there we will smoke ten. I often went to work in university libraries, because that’s where I felt less tempted to stay in bed and “phase” all day.

At the end of my third year of Bachelor’s degree, which I pursued In Martinique, I decided to stop my studies and withdraw from all forms of social life, partly because of my mental state. For two years, I lived alone here and there, on the way to Compostela, in a family house in the mountains, I worked in the market garden… I also started having episodes of psychosis. These were persecutory delusions: I was convinced that certain people were going to hurt me or had hurt me in the past. It was hell, because I imagined terrible things, then I constantly doubted their reality.

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I was extremely angry with myself for even thinking that these things could happen. At the same time, I also had moments of absence, so either I was off or I was “on”, but it didn’t shine across the board. A vicious circle that made me lose control, this time is so blurry in my head. I had suicidal thoughts. It was only when I almost took action that I decided to ask for help.

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