HELP-discuss failing due to addiction/mental illness?

<p>Okay, so I am struggling with these questions on the application, which are for the same college that I went to when i got out of high school, did poorly in, and I am not kidding when I say poorly...did okay at first, and fourth semester I had straight Fs. I do want to mention that I have searched this forum and have found a couple threads regarding mental illness, however, i feel that my situation is quite different than the others, therefore the good advice received in them are not exactly helpful to my situation, so I am hoping to get some replies...PLEASE REPLY!!! </p>

<p>anyways, here are the questions on the app:</p>

<p>"The University values an educational environment that provides all members of the campus community with opportunities to grow and develop intellectually, personally, culturally and socially. In order to give us a more complete picture of you as an individual, please tell us about the particular life experiences, perspectives, talents, commitments and/or interests you will bring to our campus. In other words, how will your presence enrich our community? </p>

<p>Tell us about your academic goals, circumstances that may have had an impact on your academic performance, and, in general, anything else you would like us to know in making an admission decision."</p>

<p>A little background about my life, got very good grades up until the end of freshman year in high school...went to a parochial school from K to 8th and when i got to high school, i was overwhelmed, was diagnosed with depression, began drinking, smoking weed, skipping school. This all progressed throughout high school, got in to college, and this is when things were the worst. I was a daily drug user, and by fourth semester (this was in 2005 at 20 years old) had to drop out of college. Life got even worse here and every minute of my life was dedicated to my addiction, I lived breathed and slept it. Anyways, I finally got squeaky clean in 2008, got a job, and began doing what i needed to do to remain sober, which included helping other drug addicts/alcoholics when possible. In 2009, i was asked to do a couple interviews that would end up in the news paper (did them anonymously though) discussing my addiction and recovery. I was also asked to come and talk at a few schools and I am not a professional speaker by any means, and probably would not even be classified as a motivational speaker, but now every year I am asked to come back to these schools, and also have teachers get my contact information because they want me to come to their other classes. When i do these talks i am very honest and tell many details, but i focus on pressures, influences, drugs/alcohol, self esteem, family and friend relationships, and even eating disorders. I have a few letters of recommendation from teachers, and I can get more if i need to. i now have a passion for helping other young women struggling with not only addiction, but other mental disorders, and would not like to possibly major in psychology, maybe be a drug and alcohol counselor, because of my experiences, and have a personal interest in health and fitness, which is also due to my experiences in addiction as well as recovery. I would love to also help with awareness of mental illness and how it is progressing among teens. </p>

<p>In many other threads regarding "discussing mental issues in college application essays/statements", many people that sounded very insightful highly recommended to pick something else to discuss. The problem is, I don't have anything else to discuss. Through out high school and college i was not active in any kind of club or any extra curricular activities at all, and I honestly do not have anything positive to talk about from those years (i did varsity gymnastics freshman and sophomore year). From my consequences and experiences in those years have been my encouragement and inspiration for everything today in my life. I am struggling with this, and I know that I don't really have a choice other than to mention the mental health issues, and i find it hard to even write it without mentioning addiction as well, because this all needs to be mentioned to tie in the positive things in my life today that are all i have to include in my answers. And this college application is also the same school that i flunked out of with straight Fs in my fourth semester in 2005, so i do feel the need to explain that I was involved in my addiction at that time. I guess I am just stuck on this and don't know what to do, or how in depth i should get in to my past life. PLEASE HELP IF ANYONE HAS ANY FEEDBACK, THANK YOU :)</p>

<p>I really think this is the best prompt for you.
I mean explain your life experiences, perspectives, talents, commitments and/or interests? You just described them to us. Now go put that out on an essay.</p>

<p>Mental disorders tend to be a very bad topic to breach because it can be read as a red flag that this person may relapse and have problems in school. However, your case is very different you convey a strongly positive rehabilitation, in both your words and actions (as a speaker) and in your passion and future goals to help others, and like you said, it makes sense to explain to your school why you flunked out and why they should reconsider you.</p>