Approaching 21…

It’s currently the night before my last exam of second year of uni. I’m feeling a little bit sick because I’m worried about the exam. I can’t motivate myself to feel prepared for the exam, not because I’m not anxious, but in some ways my anxiety is misplaced.

Approaching my 21st birthday has made me reflect on my life and I can’t help but feel down at the fact I still feel lost about where I’m going in life and how everything is going. I can see how far I’ve come since the paradoxical reaction to an SSRI last year, but I’m now better off now than I was at the end of sixth form- in fact in some ways I feel worse.

At the end of sixth form, I was starting at uni with my panic disorder under control and a close knit group of friends. Now, I’ve got my panic disorder under control still, except now my friends (rightly) have their own lives, I’m only just starting to grow close to a group of uni friends and I have OCD. Not exactly what I planned. This is really what I feel anxiety falls down to- the fear of the unknown. The whole life I’ve been anxious for things to go well, but because I didn’t know I would worry and then I get stuck in a vicious circle.

Someone said to me in September I should have a boyfriend and it made me think. May be I should, but I don’t even really have uni friends, maybe I should have some of them. Hang on I don’t really know what I want to do and where I’m going in life and this has played on my mind ever since. This throw away comment to have a dig at me had a more profound affect on me than I thought. Yes, I should ignore them because I have been through so much in the last 5 years that there’s a reason why I don’t. On the other hand, my anxiety about the future and craving to be like everyone else says they are right and so this vicious circle of worrying about the future continues.

So, as I approach 21, I want to remind myself and others that, we cant predict life, we can’t see into the future and I have wasted so much time worrying about my own future that I’ve sort of forgot to have a life in the present. To be braver and make new friends, to go out more, to focus on my work, but also have a good time.  If anyone reads this and relates, you are not the only worried about what your life will be like, but spending your time worrying won’t change what happens, so your energy is being wasted on such a negative outlet of anxiety.

This post is more a reminder to myself not to stress about the future, but I want to reassure others that such worries are not just confined to you


How I’m feeling now

In a previous post, I wrote about how I was struggling with my anxiety and feeling down. Unfortunately, I’m putting a brave face on it, but I’m struggling to feel much better.

I don’t know what is making me feel this way and it is frustrating. I would love to sail through the next 2 years of uni with ease, but the truth is, I don’t know if I can do that. There are many reasons for this, but I’ve been left wondering what is right for me. I finish first year in a few weeks which will give me some time to think about this, but I just feel like there’s so much going on in my head that I don’t know what I want to do.

Hopefully I can sort this out and I will keep you updated on my choices, but for now I just need to finish the year…

The tough two weeks

Going to keep this brief because I’m writing from my phone and my usual punctuation-less texting style means my phone won’t correct my grammar or spelling errors.

The past couple of weeks have been tough. I think I’ve let things get on top of me. I’ve been feeling really anxious, tired and even a little depressed. This scared me because I didn’t really know why I felt this way, and still don’t really. I’m seeing the psychologist and trying to keep positive but it’s difficult when you’re tired all the time. I just wish I felt like a did even a month ago, its just so frustrating. Just got to keep pushing on until Easter, then I can have a break…

‘Weird’ Stresses and Anxities

When I think about what triggers my anxiety and anxiety attacks and things that stress me out, some seem reasonable and others are obviously totally irrational. I thought I’d make a list of things that have caused me stress and anxiety or induced an anxiety attack in the past or at present, so you can see that if you think you have anxiety attacks with weird triggers, don’t worry I do too 🙂

  • Open spaces
  • Supermarkets
  • Certain stretches of road and motorway
  • Looking at my whole face or eyes in the mirror (but I can focus on specific parts)
  • Driving
  • Upstairs in my house, especially when I’m in alone
  • The bathroom at home
  • Being away from home because I’m a fussy eater and I struggle to sleep out of my own bed
  • Drinking, because being tipsy feels like I’m having an anxiety attack
  • Specific classrooms
  • Concert venues
  • Cinemas
  • Football grounds (Huddersfield Town need to get it sorted because my anxiety attacks are always way worse when I’m there for away matches 😉 )
  • Being alone, in public or at home
  • Presentations and public speaking
  • Exams
  • Change, like from high school to sixth form to uni
  • Talking about anxiety attacks
  • Eye contact, but I more feel uncomfortable with that than it causing me stress
  • Performing on stage (which is a problem when you dance) especially when I know people watching
  • Changes in light
  • Changes in temperature
  • Sometimes if I hear my own voice or see pictures of myself when I feel off I start to feel worse
  • Trying to get to sleep
  • People sitting behind me
  • I sometimes feel better/worse if I sit in a certain place or walk on a certain side of the road
  • Going to a place I’ve had an anxiety attack before

I think some people don’t always understand why these things trigger my anxiety attacks and half the time neither do I, but eventually I have managed to eliminate some of these things from the list. We all have odd thing we stress about, so if you think you are alone, you’re 100% not…

The Football Match Achievement

City Ground earlier this season

Since birth I have been a dedicated Nottingham Forest supporter. When I was younger, I did not make it to many matches because of my dancing commitments on a Saturday, but in recent years I have begun to attend more matches, both home and away. Since my anxiety attacks became a problem, I have struggled with football matches. The first problem is the journey down- I sometimes have anxiety attacks whilst on the motorway and I often feel uncomfortable travelling on them. The second is the match itself. I have been to quite a few evening matches recently and the changes in light (daylight to floodlights) during the match often can give me anxiety attacks. This is teamed alongside the fact I don’t feel comfortable in large,open spaces. So, for the past few years I have taken my medication (beta-blockers) or rescue remedy (a herbal solution with calming effects) before or at the start of a match, but all this changed yesterday.

Yesterday, Nottingham Forest hosted Watford in the FA Cup and the match was a bit of an achievement for me. I only took rescue remedy before I set off and only felt mildly anxious and for a short period of time during the game. To top the day off, I also made it back up the motorway and around the supermarket without my medication or any further rescue remedy too. To many people this may seem like no big deal, but I felt pretty proud at the end of the day!

The only bad part was that it was pretty chilly (I think that helped distract my anxiety slightly) and a defensive error from Kelvin Wilson, late in the match, meant that we lost and were knocked out of the cup. In two weeks, I’m going back to Nottingham to watch us play Huddersfield in the league, so I’ll see if I can make it through the match without my medication again, and hopefully this time it will be warmer and with a less disappointing result…


I thought this A-Level maths was hard…

It is January and the start of semester 2, which means time for semester 1 exams and that means I am stressed out! I always stress at exams but seem to perform ok in them- I think I must thrive of the pressure a bit. At this current point in time, I have done two exams and have two left. I had the worst of the bunch last week and I was a bit of a wreck prior to it. I had been to see my psychologist before the exam and I felt ok once I had left the practice that evening, but a few days before the exam I was stressed out. I was crying and had convinced myself I had not done enough work. Although I had convinced myself of this before every exam, this time I was sure I hadn’t (just like I was sure I was going to mess up my A-Levels, but they were alright in the end) and it got to the point where my Mum had to say stop working and relax. I sat the exam and had a mild anxiety attack whilst there. It wasn’t a great exam but I have found this is the topic most people struggle with. With two exams left, I currently feel less stressed, but a bit nervous as everyone will. My attempts to de-stress have consisted of going to Nandos with my friends last night,for a break, and listening to some of my favourite songs when I wake up. Although, not medically proven, I am 100% convinced listening to the Vamps, Taylor Swift, the Janoskians and Cimorelli has medicinal effects and destressing qualities. I’ll let the doctors test that one out though…