Most who know me will probably say I'm pretty easy to talk to, that I'm loud, bubby and always happy to see people. Well, I hope that's what they would say!! But people who know me very well know that I can be those things, but I can also be withdrawn, worrisome and obsessive when I get into a dark place...
Let me tell you a secret. The front I put up (though I don't like to call it a "front" because it doesn't have a good connotation) when I go out and interact with people is easy, breezy, confident, like I couldn't care less who says what to me or about me. And for the most part that would be true. But for the last few years I've struggled with crippling anxiety, been really sad (though not clinically depressed) and spent more than a few nights alone thinking about death. I had, at one point, a team of mental health doctors who helped me to verbalise everything every so often, and I was on a ton of medication at one point, but I've been off the tablets for a while now and everything is level without them. Life used to be a daily struggle. I was afraid. Afraid of being myself, of being weird and loud, not making sense, being too nice, being too strange, and mostly afraid of trying new things.
But that's all changed for some reason. Reasons I cant fathom to be honest. Life seems to have finished dishing out the bad stuff, and now the good stuff has come around. It's wonderful. I feel happy when I'm alone now, not maudlin and a "banter sponge" like I used to be. I really can't take the credit for getting back on track, its all been down to Dr Paul, Dr Joanne, the rest of the doctors, my friend Kayliegh , (who deserves to get a 1:1 in her Psychology degree for all the nights she stayed up talking to me) and my lovely boyfriend Chris, who deserves literally everything good in the world because any other guy would have run a mile, but he's stood by me, held me, fought with me, and cheered me on, as well as up when things were at their worst. He's heard things no 21 year old man should hear from their girl, and he's still here laughing with me and helping me put the finishing touches on my new outlook on life. He's supported me when I told him I wanted to start this blog, and incidentally, he's sitting beside me listening to me read this aloud to get it perfectly right, right now!
People may know you, or think they do, but they will never know your struggles if you don't tell them and let them in. People who are out to hurt you should be kicked out of your life for good... (I feel qualified in this, because I've done it and it's extremely liberating!!).
Having anxiety for the last 2-3 years, made me afraid of expressing myself, it made me fear the opinions and words of strangers. I was afraid to do the things I wanted, or wear the things I wanted, but today was the closing on this chapter, because I did something I was afraid to do. I wore a bold red lip colour and was proud of it. I posted a picture on a Facebook group for people who struggle with anything, and it was received with a great round of comments reinforcing the belief that I can do anything I want, whenever I want.
I want anyone who reads this to know it IS hard to be your inner-self on the outside, but it's a brilliant and freeing thing to do. I don't keep a secret of my problems anymore, I don't lie or dodge questions.
This post may not make much sense, but it wasn't intended to. Rather it was intended to be a stream of thought, hopefully helping somebody along the way. I will probably write a more coherent story of my journey, but for now, I'm in this great place, with great people who I love to death and who love me back. I'm able to rock a red lip, and to me, that is the end of a 3 year struggle.