An open letter to my anxiety.

I’ve struggled with you for years, since 2012. Nobody knows how you make me feel. It took me ages to figure out what I was feeling, and took me years to finally open up about it, you’ve made my life a living hell. Thanks.

Every time I feel like going out, you pop into my head and stop me from going out, making me overthink every situation, and making me think the bad of every situation. You stop me from going out, you stop me from making friends, you stopped me from working at a job I did once enjoy, but you stopped me enjoying it, and made me quit.

Anxiety, you’re in my head, every minute of my life. Even at this moment of writing this, you’ve made me cry so much whilst writing this. I didn’t ask to have all this anxiety going on inside of me, so why has it happened, why me? I never chose you, so why do you think you should of chose to ruin my life?

I’ve had awful experiences trying to socialise because of you, you’ve made me cry so much in public, you’ve made me have panic attacks in public, and you’ve made me avoid every social situation possible this last month. I’ve even stopped eating completely for a few days at a time just because you make me lose my appetite completely. You even tried your best to ruin the best day of 2016, when I went to my first concert ever, you made me have three panic attacks on the train. But I stopped you.

You’ve made me the person I am now. I have finally asked for help and i’m going to stop you ruling my life forever. It was a battle to even get to the point of going to my doctor, but that battle has made me a stronger person, so thanks for that.

I also found a band because of you, a band that makes me chill out whenever I need to, all I do is just listen to my favourite songs by them, I’m really appreciative of that because they are now my favourite band ever, and I have seen them live.

 

I will not let you defeat me. I will always win.

2016: Mental health, gigs and all sorts.

2016 has been a big year for me, I went to my first gig, I got help for my anxiety, after waiting 4 years to do so. Finished college, got a job, quit the job at the end of 2016 because of my mental health, what a roller coaster of a year.

2016 started out stressful, as I trained to be a chef in college the start of the year for every course is so stressful, so many exams, 5 hour cooking exams, paper exams.. a lot to take in! Additionally to all the stress, my anxiety of course wanted to play up and make everything worse. Having panic attacks when it comes to exams, every time an exam was being mentioned it gave me pretty bad anxiety, then it went really bad on the day of the exams, panic attacks, crying, walking out.

In April, I turned 18 on my birthday, wasn’t the best of days, riddled with anxiety all day, the meal was good though, food is always good. Then there was the month May, a bad month. I had the biggest exams of my life. Two 5 hour practical exams, it was extremely a nerve wrecking, anxious experience. I had a panic attack in the middle of my first one, I thought it was all over, I thought, I wasted my time training to be a chef. But no, I managed to complete both exams (what a miracle!). I also got my first job after the exams, the interview went extremely well, and I enjoyed the job for about the first month, then my anxiety just took over. I ended up quitting in December, I just couldn’t handle the amount of stress the job caused, I was having a breakdown every night. It was not good.

Then the best month of the year came, July. The month where I miraculously finished college, and got a ticket to see my favourite band ever, the 1975. I missed so many concerts due to my anxiety and money. But I got tickets for the biggest show they’ve ever played, it felt good. Throughout all this anxiety and college exams, I found out that I needed surgery for my eye, strabismus surgery it’s called. That made me really anxious, I cried when I found out. I was put on a waiting list, and had countless amounts of hospital appointments in 2016.

I finally, after four years, got the courage up to go to my GP and open up about my anxiety, I then got an assessment to get my self on the waiting list for CBT. I was very scared, it was a new experience, never felt it before, panic all over, scared, but happy at the same time?

December then came, a stressful but very good month. It was the month where I found out my surgery date, my date to start CBT, and my first ever concert. Also, Christmas to top it all off! The concert, was a very anxious, stressful experience. It was the first time I’ve ever went to Manchester by my self, I got lost finding my hotel room, luckily I was going to meet with a friend, who knows Manchester very well so she luckily helped. Then it was the time to line up, for four hours.. what a boring, anxious time. Many people were drunk, shouting, playing music. Safe to say, it was a weird experience.

Now here I am, in 2017, writing this covered up in three blankets as it’s so cold. 2016 was a bad year, had it good moments though. Let’s hope 2017 is good.

 

As always, thanks for reading!

Liam