My year in review 2015

It's that time of year again where I review my past year. I've done this for the previous two years, which can be read here and here.

It's been another intense year with ups and downs but many achievements. I finished my first year studying Law at university and moved into the second with a pass rate I am very pleased with. University has been the best choice I have made as I have made so many great friends, become independent and battled my anxiety head on. I have some amazing memories and laughs from this year which I will never forget.

I have been to numerous concerts and met my idol for the third time, reached a one year anniversary, had many nights out and great times with friends and family and moved into my own house!

This Summer has been a massive achievement for me. I travelled back from Germany to London completely alone, worked in a charity shop for two months, did a weeks work experience in a law firm, held my blogger meet up and did lots of travelling. I also took my driving test for the first time, but unfortunately failed. Nevertheless, because it is one of my biggest anxiety triggers I am so proud I took it. I retook my driving test for the second time and passed! A three year battle which I've won!

Of course, as with any year there have been battles that had to be conquered and I've still battled my anxiety and depression this year and some stages were definitely more tough than others. But, I have felt that by going to university the struggle has lessened. As I look back at my years in review, it's encouraging to see the improvement over time. I still continue to work with it and battle it and I'm hoping that maybe even next year I will be able to come off of my medication. 

I am immensely proud of this year and what I have achieved. You can do it!

Facebook is fake?

Comparison and competition on a daily basis can be hard enough without the influence of social media. However, social media is such a huge and normal part of our lives that sometimes I don't think we can see the damage it is doing.

Throughout the years of my mental illness journey, I have noticed that I have't always been at the same stage as my peers and this can be another mental battle to add to the list. Using social media on a regular basis has given me the information to feed this comparison culture that many of us have engrained. This not to say that social media is bad, because I find it very useful. I am constantly using it and it's a great way to keep up to date, share photos and meet other like-minded people. I think it's great! But, as reminder, we have to look at the issues it can create. 

The main point here is that people pick and choose what goes on social media and generally speaking it is the best bits. You don't see the bad days, the things that didn't go too well or the break-ups. You see the good bits; the holidays, the passing of driving tests, the academic success and the closeness that they have with friends. Of course, even this can be fa├žade; they may hardly speak to their 'Facebook' friends for example. Social media to an extent must be taken with a pinch of salt and with an understanding that this person's life that looks so perfect, is only a snippet and on a lot of occasions may only be for the show of virtual friends. In this way, the comparisons we make with another may not be accurate nor fair. It's also important to remind yourself that you are on your own journey, and the 'race is only with yourself.'

Don't get me wrong, we can all get caught in this trap. However, when social media starts to do damage with comparisons and competition to our mental health, it's time to take a break and remember that no one's life is perfect and social media can be fake.

What do you think?