I’ve always been a quiet, introverted person but I thought nothing of it.
I always get anxious about meeting new people and speaking in front of others, but I assumed it was a ‘phase’ that I was yet to grow out of.
Having anxiety is not always blatantly obvious. Yes, I am still able to go to work and I have a solid group of friends, but it took me a lot of experience, reading and research to put the pieces of my puzzle together.
During high school, I was bullied for a few years. Although the bullying stopped, I thought I overcame the trauma. It depleted my confidence and self-esteem. I tried my hardest (and still do) to put on a brave face and act like everything is ok.
Pretending to be happy was my best party trick but inside I was breaking down. I started to isolate myself purposefully. I moved to Canada by myself hoping that the change of scenery will change how I feel inside.
Throughout university, I consumed A LOT of alcohol in order to overcome my worries, but they soon returned the morning after.
Upon graduating university, I hit a brick wall. HARD.
I am a Business and Psychology graduate however, I didn’t get the grades I wanted. I was upset to say the least as I felt that I put so much energy into university. I neglected myself for much of my degree programme and it didn’t pay off the way I anticipated it would. Graduating university was the biggest anti-climax… ever.
For some reason, I am embarrassed that I couldn’t achieve what I set out to achieve. Sometimes I glaze over all the things that I have accomplished so far and only focus on the things that I ‘failed’ at.
So, I didn’t complete university with a first in my degree or a 2:1 at that. I shouldn’t have been surprised baring in mind that I was not getting enough sleep, struggling to concentrate and I was isolating myself from others.
Shortly after graduating, I got a job cleaning planes at the airport. I had a panic attack one day prior to going to work. I was working 48 hours a week; 12 hours per shift. Being exhausted emotionally and physically was becoming an every day occurrence. I quit within a month of starting that job.
Fast forward to October, I became a Christmas sales assistant at a department store. All was going well until I was confronted by a customer and I suddenly burst into tears on the shop floor in front of my manager. I was humiliated because I mastered the art of crying in silence and someone saw me crack. I felt that my co-workers were aware of what happened, so I tried to avoid them as much as possible. My contract ended in December and boy oh boy, I couldn’t wait.
At the end of 2017, I decided that enough is enough.
I was tired of being anxious whenever I left the house, I was constantly grinding my teeth and my palms would get super sweaty. I could no longer put my thoughts on the back-burner.
Eventually, I came face to face with my problems instead of constantly running from them.
I gave counselling a go. I had a dozen sessions and I believed that I benefited from it. I started using breathing techniques to remain calm. I incorporated meditation into my daily routine. I started to write in a daily journal and I began to say thanks to the universe for all that I am blessed with.
I have found some helpful tips to change my mood when I start to feel low, but I do believe I will reap the benefits of long-term counselling as I have a lot to unpack. I am becoming stronger mentally but with a little extra help, I will continue to grow.
As of now, I am a support worker. I work in a challenging environment which is difficult at times, but this is what I need to push myself. I want to inspire others who have experienced mental health conditions and I want to be an example of how to overcome the negative thoughts that try their hardest to take over.
What do I hope for the future?
I hope to consolidate my routine. Eating healthy, working out, incorporating self-care into my daily routine is a MUST for me. Also, I would love to continue counselling.
I will continue my studies in mental health, so I can be as knowledgeable as possible.
I want more people to be aware of the mental health conditions that many people across the world are experiencing.
My goal is for young people to be in a comfortable environment where they can talk about how they are feeling. I will provide a space for young people to be able to spot the symptoms of disorders and be able to practice self-care individually.
And I will accomplish my goals.
My journey is only just beginning and so is yours.
Maybe one day I’ll pluck up the courage to talk to my doctor in more detail but as for now, this is my diary.
I hope you are all ready to push yourself and love all of you in order to be the best version of YOU possible.
Thank you for reading.
Take care of yourself.