I always prided myself on being a reserved and independent person

“I always prided myself on being a reserved and independent person. Someone who didn’t have to discuss their feelings and acted professionally in every situation. I was brought up in a, you could say, a typical Irish family. We didn’t really discuss feelings. I never let emotions control the way I dealt with things, until one day… a close friend of mine went through like, a psychological breakdown. It happened from one day to the next and it was so severe that a couple of days later she couldn’t even recognise me anymore… We were around 18 at the time, and for the first time, I saw how fragile life can be… The whole situation felt way too adult to deal with. I suddenly realised that I didn’t have the words or means to express how was I feeling. I was struggling. I couldn’t keep up my image of not needing help from anyone and I had to look for ways to open up. I thought of joining something like NiteLine, being someone who stays up and listens to others, would help me understand and teach me how to deal with my own emotions. Being on the phone with complete strangers who would openly talk about their intimate, heartbreaking and often tragic life experiences is really empowering. I felt like I owed it to myself to start talking to people about my own feelings too. Thankfully being part of NiteLine meant I was surrounded by these lovely, warm and funny people who are always ready to listen.”

NiteLine Dublin is an anonymous, non-judgemental, non-directive listening service geared towards students. Find out more in the comments section.