I thought that, since this week is mental health awareness week, it would be nice to publish something mental health-orientated. I’ve already shared my experiences with anxiety on this blog. I could share my experiences taking anxiety medication but I’ve already written about this before several times, once on my previous blog and twice here and here.
I thought it would be nice to do something different. I’ve decided to write something that might boost my self-esteem and prevent the negativity that often fuels my anxiety. Kinda like throwing a middle finger up at my anxiety. I’ve decided to write about some of the things I’m proudest of myself for. One of the purposes of this blog was for me to document my self-improvement, and, personally, I think that this is an excellent opportunity to do so.
A lot of these things might seem small or inconsequential to most people, but that’s really the point of this post- to celebrate everything I’ve achieved in spite of the barriers anxiety has created. I hope I can inspire people to similarly celebrate their own achievements, no matter how small these may be.
Ok, let’s jump in!
I’ve completed my first two years of university. It has not been without stress, but I’m just proud for getting through it because it has not been easy. Regardless how the outcome of my grades I’m just happy that I managed to produce several essays that meet the word count and are all appropriately referenced, as well as attending the majority of my lectures and seminars and reading as much of my essential reading as I could (which is a hell of a lot more than I managed last year!). Granted, it caused me a lot of stress but I DID IT.
I regularly made the 40 minute drive to and from university. I’ve always been quite a nervous driver, but since I’ve been driving to university (from the start of the academic year in September) my confidence has improved massively. I honestly cannot believe how much more comfortable I feel behind the wheel now!
I’ve managed to grow my Twitter following quite a bit... I’ve even broken 1k! Thank you to everyone who follows me on Twitter because this seriously means a lot… I didn’t think I’d get more than 100 followers there at the most, so to have made it into four digits is amazing for my low-self-confidence ass.
In fact, my blog progress in general. I love that I actually have followers on this blog! That I get likes and comments on my posts! I also love that my blog has become this super meaningful place where I can let my creativity flow without any inhibitions and that it’s become something I’m really invested in. Ok, this got really sappy and cringe. Ew. But, also, it is nice to have a (well, another) hobby that I genuinely care about.
This gets a personal and sensitive but in an effort to be open with my mental health and stuff, I have very, very few intense crying spells. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had any since starting my medication. Whenever I got really really anxious and overwhelmed, I’d basically break down in hysterical, uncontrollable sobs. Pretty, right? It was just as fun as it sounds, i.e. it wasn’t. So it’s been pretty useful not having to deal with that, even if I’m still experiencing a fair bit of anxiety.
I generally have a more fair, rational and compassionate approach to life. I’m really really not perfect and this still needs a lot of improvement but I’ve already improved a bit in terms of this. I think.
I’m finding I can address people with a bit more confidence and a bit less apprehension. Like making the odd mildly humorous remark here and there (e.g. when engaging with a cashier or waiting staff). I’d say that I’ve actually become a lot better at putting myself out there in general, and I overthink doing so a bit less.
I’m going to leave this here because this post has gotten fairly long and I want to avoid rambling. If I think of anything more I guess I’ll just tweet it (and hell, if I think of lots more or see a fair bit more improvement I might even write a follow up post. A sequel, if you will). In short, there is a fair bit for me to be proud of, which I actually hadn’t really realised until I wrote it all out in this post. In that respect, this post was quite a success haha! Thus (I’m still in essay writing mode I guess, the amount of thus-es I tossed around in my essays was unreal) I would encourage anyone who has a blog to make a post like this one- it’s really important to remind yourself of all your personal achievements and your own personal growth. Or, you know, you can also just drop them in the comments. Either way, I’m eager to hear!
Take care, and make sure you look after yourself and your mental health! Not just this week but every week following.