Germany in Mind again?!

For the second year in a row I have cycled for Mind charity. Today, I will explain why this journey has been a little different. However before discussing that, the places I had traveled to this year seemed quite nice. Munich was like a bigger London and the various places after that were very traditional. At various points the views were spectacular and you could see the Alps. It was my 3rd time in Germany and I was fortunate enough to do some translation and speaking! Unfortunately the weather wasn't that great, but that was okay.

Starting from the beginning, we traveled by plane to Munich to begin the four day round trip of a total of 120 miles. However this didn't quite go as planned. Due to unforeseen circumstances of my anxiety, I only managed to complete two days and a total of 60 miles on my bike. On the 3rd day of the trip, I had a massive panic attack and my mental health started to go into the turmoil of a downward spiral due to various reasons, which weren't entirely expected. But it doesn't stop there...I knew that on that day, I could either continue to the end of the holiday, which was a further 4 days and possibly put myself in danger or get home. The only issue I had was that I would have to travel by myself. Not only does travelling make me anxious, but I now would have to travel 2 hours by train through Germany and then 2 hours by plane, all alone. This is something which I had never done before. However, I had to get out of there and thus I did. I managed to get back to England completely independently, speaking German language on the way to help me find my way. I'd say that although I only did half of the cycle which is an accomplishment in itself, in a weird twist of fate I also managed to accomplish something massive whilst facing some sort of blip.

I appreciate all of the support I have had during the build up to my sponsored cycle and I appreciate all money that has been given during my cycle. It's a shame that I couldn't finish it, but you can still sponsor me for the cycling I did do, here. Be proud of how far you've come!

I've included some photos down below:

My Journal

I write everything in my journals from poems, wordly thoughts, struggles and special moments. It's always on hand so I can write something down if I need to and once I have, I feel a whole lot better. People always say that if you're worrying about something, you should write it down and although it doesn't solve the problem completely, it sure does help (along with a cup of tea!) 

Suffering with anxiety often means that I feel a loss of control and by writing what I'm thinking down, I can come to a conclusion and feel relaxed. In a similar way, if my depression is becoming too much, writing what I'm feeling reduces the pressure that I feel. 

It's not just journals that I would recommend keeping, but also a book of achievements, as I like to call it. I bought a cheap exercise book off eBay and have filled it with my achievements/best moments of 2015 and at the end of the year, I can review it and see how far I have come in my recovery. I also did this in 2014.

Both of these have helped me immensely and it's amazing to see the differences I have made. Why don't you give it a go?

Amy Xx

The best year of my life?

The first year of university is already over and I can't believe it! It only seems like yesterday that I was packing my bags for university and yet I am now packing everything to go back to my hometown for three months. I have to say that university was the best choice I have made and I have had the time of my life. I've met some incredible people and made friends for life, had so many opportunities, so many laughs, funny experiences, memorable nights out, memorable days, learnt how to live independently and studied something I absolutely love. It definitely is an experience unlike any other.

I feel so blessed to be where I am right now considering I didn't even think going to University was possible only a few months before finishing my A-levels, but I continued to battle my mental health issues and achieve my goal. It definitely wasn't easy to get into university; far from it. But the experiences of mental illness has made this experience just that bit more special. It has made me step outside of my comfort zone further than ever before, leaving only a few things to accomplish on my anxiety hierarchy; a job and driving, both which I have already have plans to accomplish this Summer. There isn't really too much of a hiding place at university either; you have to get taxi's, buses, ask for things, make complaints, pay bills and so forth. I'm not saying that it is easy because it's not, as anxiety and depression have still been part of my life at university and I'd be lying if I said at some points I haven't struggled, but it's much less than ever before and luckily through some strange twist of fate, I found someone whom I am very close to, that has experienced similar and we have both helped each other through this first year. The majority of people I have met have also been very supportive. Nevertheless, I am proud of how far I have come and I am hoping to continue into my second year.

It's sad to say goodbye to my first year, but it has been the best year of my life and I am so grateful. I never thought I would see the day and it's hard to comprehend, when you're used to living in a place of darkness and are now experiencing quite the contrast. Roll on year two - I'll leave you with some anonymous pictures! 

I begin my Germany cycle for Mind charity next week and you can still sponsor me, here or text RFAB60 £5 to 70070. Any amount is greatly appreciated.

Amy Xx