I woke up, got ready, left my house for University and walked down to the bus stop. I managed to hang around long enough for my bus to arrive this time. I watched everyone get on, contemplated whether I should get on, and then turned back around to head home. I just couldn’t do it. It was okay, I could just request an alternative workshop session, or I could probably just self-teach myself. I found myself making such excuses all the time. Making excuses for thinking the way I did and justifying my actions.
The thing about an anxiety disorder is you know that you know you’re being stupid. You know the situation isn’t as half as bad as your mind is telling you it is. But you can’t help it, your thoughts just keep getting louder and louder, and then your thoughts start screaming at you. You just want to run. You know you have no reason to feel like this, but you can’t help it.
I was exhausted with having to fight this vicious battle with myself, tired of pretending like I have it all together. I found myself avoiding social situations which could lead to any kind of confrontation because of the guilt and embarrassment. I started to question my competency until I convinced myself I was never going to be good enough and I would never taste a successful career. I found myself falling into this lonely trap of depression overnight.
The first step was the hardest; accepting that I needed help. Acknowledging that there is help available and there are people who want to help you without judging you, is singlehandedly the greatest motivation.
Now, I could tell you that I overcame my anxiety and depression and that was the end of that, but that would be a lie. However, I am stronger and happier and learning to fight my demons. I am currently attending a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which involves looking at your problems, examining thought and behaviour patterns, and working out ways of changing negative behaviours/thoughts.
I wrote this blog post in the hopes that it can help someone else in dealing or understanding mental health issues. If there is any advice that I can give to someone in a similar boat; it is to take that first plunge, and seek help. Let your feelings out, talk about it, whether it is to a friend, GP, personal advisor at university or a quick call to samaritans.org (24hr service). If you’re not comfortable with speaking to someone about it, write to yourself, as silly as it sounds, it helps.
If you’re a friend, family member or colleague of someone who is dealing with something similar, be kind and lend an ear and shoulder, it may make all the difference in the world.
*PS: This person has already graduated so we hope this can help someone in a similar situation. Also, I have privatised comments for the post so you can get in touch if you need more information or send us a message through the ‘About’ page.