Follow yourself

Something we all must understand is this is your life and it is up to us what we do with it. Now, I know we all have things in life that stop us from doing certain things including mental health issues, various other disabilities and responsibilities, but I feel we still should embrace what we can and ultimately it is up to you what you choose to do. 

I find that the younger we are, the more reluctant we are to accept other people's words of wisdom, but more often than not people are usually right as they have more experience than yourself. However, whether you choose to go along with this advice is completely up to you and as you go through your life you will be able to make more decisions in the surroundings of yourself and it's important to remember this.The reason I am writing this now is for two main reasons. Firstly because too often than not you can get caught up in other people's visions and dreams only to forget your own and fall among the crowd just to be like others and end up losing yourself. And secondly, the battle with mental illness is completely your own and you should not let those who comment badly on your situation to rattle your progress and stop you from following your own path. Again, advice from professionals should be taken notice of, but when I have experienced comments that are heartless or misunderstood, I have just wanted to walk further down my own path and I made that choice.

Ultimately, this post could be seen a naive, but I am fully aware that there are restrictions in everyone's life and not everything will always go in the right direction, but I want to send a reminder that sometimes, you need to follow the path that you want to choose, because it's you who is going to be affected in the long run and if you have something that you really want to do (as long as it's legal and preferably doesn't hurt those surrounding you!) and you have a gut feeling, putting apart others words, then perhaps you should go for it. 

Amy Xx

#2 University life: Introductory weeks

I'll be honest, I had no clue what to expect when I went to university. But, I feel that you may feel more prepared if you have some sort of a step by step process of how it all weeks. I presume most universities will be the same.

  • Friends - everyone is in exactly the same boat, so don't worry about not making friends. You'll meet new people left right and center. I was worried I wouldn't meet anyone, but there are thousands of new students, so it's never a worry. You will find someone.
  • Freshers - typically this is the best two weeks of your university life and I have to say i really enjoyed it. Try and get into it as much as possible; drinking doesn't have to be a part of it if you don't want to. All the events should already be organised, so don't worry about not knowing where to go.
  • Enrollment - You should have a few days where you'll pick up information for your course, ID badges and so. Your university will let you know the details of that. It's usually the first weekend of arrival and there are usually checklists online. It's a busy few days, but once it's done you don't have to worry about it anymore.
  • Accommodation - your university should tell you the dates that your able to move into your accommodation. From that day forward it's up to you to move your new life into your new room!
  • Lectures -  I think lectures tend to start on the second week of freshers. These are only usually introductory, and the main body doesn't tend to start until after freshers is over. 
  • Relaxed - university is unlike anything you've ever experienced. Depending on your course, attendance may or may not be registered in seminars or in lectures. And although you are paying to attend, it is generally up to you how much you attend. Of course, there is a correlation between low attendance and grades. But, university is all about your choices.
  • Societies - there will be hundreds of societies to join, I signed up to too many, so I am intending to stick to two or three at a time. Although, it's great to join, there is also a balance that needs to be struck with money and when the work starts to roll in (to be fair, isn't too much in the first year compared to others.)

You may feel like a big fish in a small pond, but you will begin to understand it all within a few days. Things will click into place. 

Amy Xx

I travelled the world with my anxiety

Well I didn't exactly travel the whole world as the title suggests, but I did manage to find my way from Germany back to London completely alone with anxiety right by my side. 

Actually, travelling anxiety has never been a major issue for me. However, battling my health anxiety and travel has. I once couldn't get on any form of transport in the fear I wouldn't be able to leave. Fortunately, with the help of CBT and medication, that fear is almost completely gone. Travelling is also something I love to do and I have traveled alone on various occasions. However, I have never gotten two trains in a different country on my own and gotten on a plane on my own, and this is something which I had to do to get out of the situation I was in whilst I was in Germany. I thought I would give you all some insight as to what it was like.

Travelling on the two trains themselves wasn't too much of an issue, it was more the worry of being on the right train and not knowing every aspect of the Germany language. However, pushing my anxiety out of my way, I managed to ask multiple times whether it was the right train and where my stop was (even some was spoken in German!) When I left my final train, I then had the ultimate struggle - to find my way through Munich airport, which is split into two massive and separate sections in which I got utterly lost. Luckily I was a fair few hours early, and I managed to find someone who could point me in the right direction. Even after been given instructions, I still got a little bit lost until I finally found the security checks. I would be lying if I said I wasn't at all anxious being alone in a massive queue, but I was pretty calm for travelling and being alone. Knowing that I had to rely solely on myself to get home, was fairly scary. However, going on a fair few planes in the past helped me to be acquainted with the situation too. After going through security I was out into duty free (woooooo!) and I just had to find my gate to my plane, which I luckily did. I got onto the plane wondering how the hell I managed it. 

If this experience has taught me anything, it's that you are way more capable than you can ever imagine and if you need to do something, you will. I never thought I could do it, but luckily I arrived safe and sound and I am proud!

You can do it!
Amy Xx

I was just like it

Thinking over the whole of my mental illness journey, there is still one thing that I will never
be able to understand - that I was just like it. My mental illness came out of nowhere and overnight even, and it is a mystery that I am still yet to solve. 

Looking back to my younger years, my mental illness issues just appeared. I can think of the time before I had all of my problems and I can think of a time where they lessened, but I cannot see the gradual build up. It just happened overnight and this I find it very strange. I find it odd that you can wake up one morning and find yourself incapable of doing something that you were able to do only a few hours earlier and I know I am not alone in this. I have heard from some counselors that there is a gradual build up that isn't noticeable, but there perhaps comes a time where you just go 'bang' and I can see that happening. However, for the person themselves it seems that their life can be turned upside down overnight. When I had my breakdown, I did begin to struggle long before a switch was flicked in my brain. Nevertheless, I did wake up on a Thursday morning after going to school all week with the inability to walk to the end of my street. For me, I couldn't understand and today, I still can't seem to comprehend it to some extent or another.

Perhaps the mystery will never be solved and that might be something that must be accepted. It just gets me thinking about the range of things that us as humans can experience and our complexity with the knowledge that we are just able to wake up one morning and everything could be different. What are your thoughts?

Amy Xx

To make me feel better

We all have those bad days (Queue 'Bad day' by Daniel Powter!) and these aren't just exclusive to those of us who are suffering with mental illnesses. However, when having a bad day in terms of mental illness, it is a lot more difficult to sort and I still believe part of the solution is to look after yourself first and foremost, but that is for a later blog post.

With this post, I wanted to generically write about how I cope with having a bad day. Here's my list:

1. Cup of tea
2. Warm bath
3. Sleep
4.Writing down your thoughts of the day
5.Yoga or mindfulness
6. Something to take your mind off of the day (whatever your escape may be!) For me, it would probably be music or TV.
6. Exercise can make you feel better, but I often don't feel like doing when I feel a bit 'down in my boots!'
7. Ice cream always saves the day.

What does your list consist of?

Amy xx