If the stress was affecting your health, you did the right thing by taking a break. I took the first two years part time, usually 6 credit hours per semester, sometimes 9. I made it through eventually. Even now, thinking about a year of school is overwhelming.
I think the first thing for you to address is the depression and anxiety. You’ve attributed it to school, but could it be that school has made an existing problem with depression/anxiety worse? Have you officially withdrawn from college, or just stopped taking classes. I’m asking because as long as you’re still maintaining a student status, even if not attending classes currently, you can talk to a student advisor about how to take a more manageable class load. You can also ask for a referral to a therapist/counselor. Colleges usually have such people on staff.
You need to stop feeling guilty immediately. Guilt feeds depression/anxiety and erodes confidence. In other words, guilt can keep you from doing what you otherwise could do.
I can imagine you’re feeling anxious about being out of school, but also believe that being in school will cause you stress. How would you feel about working part time and taking one class at a time? It might take more time to finish, but you’ll get more out of the experience, and have a higher GPA.
That’s because you’ve been through a lot emotionally. Depression/anxiety is exhausting. Guilt is debilitating and exhausting. Both of these things cause such a loss of confidence, it’s easy to find yourself afraid to leave the house.
I repeat, you have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. You’ve done your best, even if it feels like you haven’t.
It might help to look back on those times when you were managing much better, and work on recapturing those feelings. Although it may not feel like it, you have learned a lot, and in reality, are more capable now than you were then.
An unfortunate outcome of stressful circumstances for many people is to “hypnotize” themselves into believing they are unable to face the same issues they’ve already done well with in the past. Guilt is one cause of those negative hypnotic effects.
I just thought of a time when I was with my brother. He asked me a question. I answered, “I don’t know.” Then he asked, “if you did know, what would your answer be?” Then I came up with an answer! At the moment, it seems you feel that you have no answers. Imagine that you do have some of them, perhaps just enough to take the first steps in a direction of your choosing.
I’ve had some rough times. At one time, I had to ask myself if, “can I at least get out of bed and take a shower?” I had to keep asking myself about each manageable step until I was able to get into a regular routine again.
A long walk will help you sleep better. When you’re more rested, you’ll feel more confident.
A lot of people drop in and out of college multiple times. It can be the very best approach for someone who’s not sure about what to major in. You can maintain student status, even if withdrawn from classes for health reasons. That includes mental health reasons. I did that in grad school.
Please stay in touch. You’re among friends. Wings