Having anxiety has actually stopped me doing so many things that I actually really want to do. It stopped me doing things in my first year of university, like going out and socialising, and even going to lectures was a problem for me. It was literally as if something was constantly creeping up on me, and I’d have no idea when it would hit. Social situations were the worst for me, as I don’t like too much attention on myself, otherwise I start getting uncomfortable and very paranoid – so doing presentations for university hasn’t gone down too well for me at all.
Admittedly, having a first hand experience of anxiety has taught me quite a bit, and currently it is not as bad as it used to be! I can actually do presentations in front of people without really getting too worked up, I enjoy going out with friends and I’m saying ‘yes’ to more things now than I ever have done. It’s still not ‘rosy perfect’, but in reality, it’s not going to be. I’d love to be someone who can do things without having a worry and feeling calm in every situation, but it’s something to work towards. University helped me wean myself into doing things I would never usually do, as well as helping me to make friends which always has been a huge struggle for me since I was bullied horrifically.
Even today, as a 20 year old, I struggle with anxiety. Sure, it’s not as bad, but it’s still there. I’m trying my hardest to put caps on it, even though sometimes the panic and worry breaks through. It’s okay to have anxiety, it’s okay to not be okay, but it’s also perfectly good to be okay too. I want people to know that if you have anxiety, it doesn’t make you an outsider, even though you may feel it. It’s something that can be tackled, it just takes baby steps, motivation, courage and help. You’ll get there one day, it won’t be this bad forever.