One Year On! It Is Time To Discuss My Mental Health Disorder


Good Evening Lovelies, 

This is a little bit of a personal post, so I am going to warn you it doesn’t really go with the norm. However, I wanted to write it because sometimes it is nice to just write and let it all out. Also, I want to celebrate the great work of many people!

Yesterday was a year to the day that I went to Mind and got the best help I could have had. Since I was little I have always been anxious. However, as I got older it got a lot worse. I would worry about saying the wrong people, what people thought of me, failing exams, not being as smart as others and thinking that people would never love me. Even though I have an amazing family and a great bunch of friends who always told me this.

For a long time, I always thought that after leaving school or as I got older that I would lose the feeling. Doctors told me that this would probably happen too. Yet it never did. My problems continued and at the end of 2015, I had a mental breakdown.

All throughout the Christmas holidays, I would be sat with my family pretending to be fine, but actually, inside I felt like I was being choked. I would stay up late to put off going to bed because I knew that I would be crippled by panic attacks and I didn’t want to experience them.

I can remember a really bad time in fact. I was sat watching a film with my brother and his girlfriend and everything would have looked fine to them and anyone who walked in the room. But I was sat there in a blind panic with sweaty hands and a body that felt like it had a vice around it.

Upon going back to university, I was asked one simple question by a friend and that was when I knew something was definitely wrong. When she asked me if I was okay, I cried. And for days after I cried. I sat with my favourite lecturer, Jo, and cried to her about everything. Her great advice and help made the leader of my course call me into her office and together we talked about everything.

The day I walked out of her room I was all set up to go to a counsellor near to where I lived. My train journey home was filled with tears and I can remember the ticket inspector looking at my face and giving me the most reassuring smile I have ever had.

On the same day, I sent a text to those closest to me and told them everything. I told them how I felt, my future plans and what I was going to do. I sat in the car outside of my house with my dad and explained everything that was happening. I sat with my mum and cried before getting up off of our sofa and telling her that I was going to tackle this. I was going to make it know that we were going to work together.

The Tuesday session came and from the moment I walked in the team knew I had an anxiety disorder. Just hearing that there was something going on and knowing that I could get help was a huge relief. They helped me find out what was the root cause and they made me realise that there was something that could be done to help me. From that moment on I was placed into weekly CBT sessions and guided through what I could do.

Once the CBT course was complete the team put me through weekly pottery sessions. I had always wanted to learn and I am so thankful I did this. Debbie who looked after us all was a dream and she made sure that everyone in the room got a few hours of peace, calm and help during our time in class. I found myself loving every moment of it and I was sad to miss out on the last class.

Using their tips and guidance, I left the last session with a huge smile on my face. Whilst I still have anxiety and some days it can cause me horrible panic attacks or nightmares, I don’t have them as much. I know how to actually breathe in those situations. To put my mind somewhere else and to make sure that I talk to people. Being honest in those situations is one of the hardest but best things you can do.

My anxiety disorder now doesn’t take over half as much as it used to. We are now working together. It may have taken cutting people out of my life, finding a way to deal with it and making sure that I voice my feelings to do this but a year on I feel lighter. I feel like a better person and I am ready to take on the world. If we forget how I get when I am cold and hangry aha!

But in all honesty, I am just going out there and doing what I have to do. When you have an anxiety disorder it is hard to describe but it is something I am not afraid to speak of now. I want people to read this and get help. I want them to see what amazing groups or organisations there are to help people and I want them to get it.

One year on and a lot better!
There is no need to be afraid or scared. I know that is hard to say but the people there and those who are around you will be understanding and if they are not then they are not worth it. There is nothing out there that should dull your shine or make you any less you.

One year on I am thankful to everyone at Mind in Hertford for the amazing work they did. I want to thank Debbie for showing me that I could be artistic and helping me to use my anxiety to create something instead. I want to thank Jo, Victoria and Wendy at London Met for always being there for me to talk to. I want to thank mostly though my family. My mum and dad were always putting plans on hold to help me with the classes. My brother John rung me up to ask me how I was each week and let me escape to his house after I finished my course and my brother Robert and his wife took me to lessons to.

I am going to celebrate this one year anniversary by doing something or buying something that I keep putting off! Something my anxiety stops me from buying because if there is anything I learnt from Parks and Recreation, it was to TREAT YO SELF!

Joey X

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