For a long time it felt like life was against me.
My family and friends have always helped me to keep perspective and i’m aware that living the life most of us do, we are innately lucky. That is most definitely the rational part of my brain talking! However with the anxiety and the next few years it felt like I was being thrown obstacle after obstacle.
I had dropped out of uni, lost my way, struggled with friends, all relatively low level dramas but made harder to fight with an anxiety disorder. Sadly it was due to get harder, and as the recession hit, any possible luck myself and my boyfriend could have had disappeared. It was pretty brutal, on our knees financially for an extremely extended amount of time, we had no money to do anything, most of our dreams frittered away, and there didn’t seem to be a way out.
So I decided to do something for myself and enrol in University. Obviously there was no way of quitting my job and going to uni, but I decided to stop wallowing in self pity, why me’s? and frustration over the way my life was mapping out and enrol with The Open University. Suddenly I had a direction in my life and a spot of self belief, plus it’s affordable and can be done around work.
Taking control and finding a way to look to the future helped me to navigate a way out of the depressive state I had fallen into. Finally I was proud to say what I was doing with my life, and it felt so good to have some drive and get back into education. I have just finished the third of four years studying English Literature and am still going strong. The self belief that education has given me, has helped me massively to deal with my Anxiety. However it has also brought a new thread of anxiety with my obsession around good grades!!
Sadly, the recession and the darkness it created consumed my relationship. I think it was the anxiety too, I was so desperate to run away from the situation it got me into that in the end I did. Anxiety played such a huge part in the downfall and the way I coped with the bad times that hit us. However as it persevered it did make me stronger, yes it cost me huge parts of my life, but I learnt so much about myself and I learnt that most things tend to get better. It seems so simple and pretty optimistic but I think this mantra summarises the way I learnt to deal:
Hope this helps others, it really is such an important message for any anxiety sufferer.