Thursday, 21 July 2016

Mental Health Update

AHey Guys,

Someone contacted me recently asking about my mental health as I've previously spoken about it but not in a long while and they were wondering how I was doing now that I was living in a city for most of year.

I did reply back with an answer but it got me thinking and thought I would make a full blog post about it to show that as time has gone on I'm finally getting better or definitely learning how to manage it.

                             

Before I moved to Glasgow I had noticed a big difference anyway in my daily life while at home with my family but as always when you suffer with mental health you still have the occasional bad days and on these bad days I would constantly worry that as soon as I was living on my own I wouldn't be able to push through these bad days as my Mum and Dad certainly help me do that to an extent.

Once I was in Glasgow I still had these fears that everything would get bad again and my anxiety did relapse a bit to begin with but I think this was because my life was so different to before and it was just all part of me adjusting! In the beginning I went home nearly every weekend as this helped me calm down a bit from the busy city life I was now living and loved coming back home to the view and sounds of the calming sea.


After we had a two week break in October I started to go home less frequently as I was now fully enjoying spending time with my friends up in the city. At this stage I could go days sometimes even weeks without panicking which was the best feeling ever because my anxiety was no longer in charge of how I was living.

Before I started college I had put in my application that I struggled with mental health and this was such a good idea as I had meetings with a guidance counsellor every block where they would check how I was doing as well as asking if there was anything I could do to help me cope but honestly I didn't need their help but these meetings helped show me how well I was doing! My guidance lecturer was also the best and if I did have bad days which did happen, not too frequently though, I could just email him telling him today wasn't such a good day and I could go in late without any worries or not go in at all because he knew that I was struggling.

Obviously as it came to the stressful time of doing my graded unit which is my final exam and where my whole grade from the year comes from I did really struggle. This was probably the worst I was where I went back to panicking at least once a day and took quite a few days off from college. While this was happening though I was able to tell myself that I wasn't necessarily relapsing but was just at a stressful time and that was why I was feeling anxious which is perfecting normal. After I finished my graded unit my anxiety went back to being what I call 'normal' so was pretty proud that I didn't let how I was feeling control me!

Excluding college, my everyday life wasn't too bad anxiety wise. I was worried that living in a city would set me off all the time because it is always so busy but I actually liked it. I enjoyed being able to walk down the street and recognise no one and no one recognise me. Part of my struggles is feeling like everyone is watching me so this was such a relief! In the first couple of weeks I went on a hunt for quiet cafes as I knew these places helped me to calm down as well as actually leave my flat. That was another of my fears me excluding myself from the world because I have previously done that and never want to do it again!

A big part of student life is the drinking culture and going out clubbing an awful lot of the time. I was super excited for this new part of my life but also extremely scared of how many people will be there as some nights back home I can hardly cope. Throughout freshers and afterwards my friend group and I tried a lot of clubs. This was great as I was able to find out which clubs I could deal with and ones that I couldn't. My friends as a whole were great on nights out and would always help me in anyway they could. I'll admit I did panic quite a lot on nights but I tried not to let that stop me going again or carrying on my night out!

All in all my mental health is doing super well! Of course I have good days and bad days as well as panicking but I've learnt how to cope with it and it feels amazing! So if you are struggling right now as cliché as it sounds it does get better!

Catriona...