I have been very open about my anxiety here on The Life Of A. I’ve loved that you’ve all reached out to me telling me that it makes you feel less alone. I thought I ought to tell you my story and maybe then you wouldn’t feel so alone, because you’re not.
After sitting my final exams in secondary school, it was off to college I went. I had no idea what I wanted to do so I had applied for college courses to do with business, my strongest subject in school.
As with any big change it was nerve wrecking but I knew it was the same for everyone. Fear of the unknown, right?
The first day came around and I had to travel up on the train, get the luas and walk the rest of the way. I had done a practice run already to calm my nerves, so I wasn’t overly worried.
I had a panic attack on the way up and the way home every day. It was horrible.
The worst part was I didn’t realise what was happening to me. I was never diagnosed with anxiety so it was such a shock. Looking back I was always a very anxious child but there’s such a stigmatism in Ireland about mental health, that no one ever talks about it.
I didn’t even want to do this course. In my heart and soul I wanted to go into publishing. I couldn’t understand what the course was about and the tallaght accent was a whole other language to me.
I decided to drop out. I didn’t want to have panic attacks every day, twice a day, for 3 years for something I didn’t even want to do.
I found out my triggers by trial and error. I wish there was an easier way of doing it that I could tell you, but there really isn’t. I would suggest writing down absolutely everything you do in your day, the food you eat, what you drink, how you feel and the places you go. Try and find a pattern.
When I said to my family that I had anxiety I was told not to tell anyone. They wouldn’t like me if they knew I had anxiety. Completely untrue. But at the time I didn’t know any better. I felt so alone. This is why I am determined to rid the stigmatism around mental heath. No one should be made feel alone especially when they’re not.
My triggers are caffeine and alcohol. I don’t touch them, not even a sip. It’s not worth the panic attack. I’m happy to day don’t miss them at all.
I take precautions such as making sure I have 8 hours sleep a night if possible, working out 6 days a week and not being afraid of saying no to people, and things, that make me anxious. Your mental heath is far my important, surround yourself with people who understand that.
I hope this helps you in some way. Even just a small bit. Leave a comment below or talk to me on social media if you have any questions or just want to talk.
I’ll leave some links below that may be of some help. Please, please click on them. Asking for help does not make you weak, it just shows how strong you are.