Monday, 10 October 2016


The topic of mental health is something close to my heart, and to many others. Mental health affects everyone so differently, it's hard to generalize, and even if you have anxiety or depression for example, it affects people in different ways.

This is my story. 

I started to struggle with my mental health the summer before I went to university. I was spending most of my days alone, trying to pack, worrying about what was going to happen when I moved out of my home into halls. It was in this time I started to obsess about little things. I was convinced my teeth were falling out, that I was loosing lots of hair and I would wake up with a headache most mornings, which worried me more. 

Some of the worries went when I went to university, but some stayed. I was too scared to drink alcohol and go out, because I wasn't sure I trusted the people I was with. I then started to get chest pain and palpitations. I would sleep for 2-3 hours because I was too scared to fall asleep, I would be in the doctors multiple times and cry on the phone to my mum most nights. I didn't tell anyone I lived with, until I opened up to a girl who lived a few doors down. And that's when I knew that I needed help.

I finished a course of CBT at university, but it consisted of about 5 sessions and I came out not feeling much different. Things in my social life changed though. I had a group of friends I trusted, and I eased myself back into social events and I remember the first week that I slept 7 hours each night, and it was total bliss. 

My second year was much better. I realized that keeping busy kept me from feeling anxious and obsessing over little things. And this worked for the majority of the time. Those feelings don't go away, but they were kept at bay, and this was probably the best year of university. 

The bliss was short lived. In the summer going back to university for my final year, things turned again, more concentrated of obsessing over my health. I checked, prodded and scratched my body until it hurt. I was feeling my neck every 2 minutes, checking for lumps, I then moved to my breasts, convinced myself that I had breast cancer and spent most of the time googling. I opened up to a friend, who would often find me crying in the evening, and I couldn't lie any more. 

Talking to my GP about it was the best, and bravest thing I think I have ever done. I then started another course of CBT, this time, I learnt techniques and tried to understand why I felt these feelings. 

Things are better. There was a time in the last end of final year where the worry of grades, a job and the end of an era threw me off balance. What I did was made sure that I talked about it. Talking through things with friends or family is okay. Admitting you are not okay is okay. People will be there for you, people will listen. 

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I don't take it for granted though. I know one thought can spiral it all off again. But for now, things are under control. I'm busy, but not too busy. I meet up with friends, but I also take weekends to myself. You will get to know your own body and mind. You'll know what works and what doesn't. And if you're still figuring it out, keep going. 

The internet is such an amazing place to realise you are not alone. Whilst I am totally against googling symptoms for example, realizing that life isn't all peaches and cream, that people experience hardships that are beyond physical and that there are other people like you out there, shows how important breaking the stigma of mental health problems are. 

So I urge you, listen to someone who is experiencing problems, talk to someone if you are worried about anything, because there are people who will listen.


Monday, 3 October 2016

The Graduate Diaries - Chapter 5

Moving back home after university was necessary. When I started university three years ago, I never thought about what I would do when it was over. And moving back home wasn't what I imagined I would have to do. But, for the time being, I am saving a heap of money, and it actually isn't as bad as I thought it would be.

The only thing that sucks is seeing your friends move back to university or worse, move to London, and let me tell you the FOMO is real. They're having independent lives again, either studying or working in these fancy city jobs whilst I am back in my old bedroom being told to turn my TV down at night.

Now don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my job, I love how close to home it is, that it is so laid back, and the industry is absolutely perfect for me, but there are points when I wish that maybe I was moving to London, being this independent city living girl and living with some of my friends who are either studying or working there. Their weekends look so exciting compared to mine which include food shopping and watching Netflix.

Plus, it's moving in weekend at my old university, and I see friends going back, moving into their new houses, ready for another year in a place that I love. I really really miss living with my friends. Someone to gossip with, stay up late with and talk about mindless things, people to bake things for, borrow clothes from or to go for walks with when you need to get out of the house.

Ah I could go on and on about the things I miss about university and the intense London FOMO, but maybe this time next year, I'll too be making the move to the city - I've just got to save a bit of money first.
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