Anxiety, You’re Not Winning Here

On 11th May this year, I decided that I’d had enough of all the awkward questions, lack of awareness and silence about Anxiety and other mental health problems. Spotty Sunflowers was born. My first post was the hardest I’ve ever written and the one I’ve never had second thoughts about posting. It was the first time that a lot of people had any idea about what had been going on for the previous five months in my life. To say I got an unexpected reaction is putting it mildly. And that was just the beginning.

Pretty quickly followed a post about Mental Health Awareness Week and then one about the amazing people who I sometimes forget to thank. Back in May I was useless at talking openly about mental health or emotions of any sort. It was hard for me to admit to myself, let alone other people, how bad things had got in the previous few months. However, now, after writing about Anxiety, Panic Attacks and CBT, I can talk about any of these in person.

I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog determinedly writing about how a mental illness is just as bad as a physical illness. There has even been a post as the answer to a question that a friend had asked me that I just couldn’t bring myself to answer in person! The more I blogged about mental health, the more I learnt and learning about Insomnia really helped me to understand ways that I could start to control it. Low and behold, days after I’d written a blog post on this topic, my sleeping improved dramatically!

The Socially Acceptable Drug is probably my favourite post that I’ve written, I’m not sure why but I’m just particularly proud of it. My most read post (probably by accident) is definitely My First Time, it’s been read by people in 28 different countries! Obviously being retweeted by Alistair Campbell, which sent my view count into triple figures for the day, was a particular high. However, nothing has quite compared to the reaction Time to Talk received. I wrote a post and within an hour my news feed on Facebook had gone crazy with people changing their cover photos and telling ‘the world’ that they weren’t afraid to talk about their problems. I’m not naïve or cocky enough to think this was all in relation to one blog post but that was one of my favourite evenings this summer!

Having written posts on everything from The Apprentice to my dog to little things that people say inconsiderately, I can safely say that I’ve had a lot of fun writing for this blog for the last few months. Spotty Sunflowers has become my safe place, the place that I can say things that I don’t want to talk about in person or more commonly things that people don’t want to have a conversation about. At almost 40 posts and 3000 views, I’m pretty glad that on that one day in May when life was looking pretty grim, I decided that talking about mental health online was a good idea! In fact it wasn’t just a good idea, it was the best idea ever.

Having received my results for my second year at university today and talking about how going back into third year is going to be a whole new start for me with so many people, I feel like this should really be the end of this blog. However, I suggested this to one of my friends and the reaction was ‘NO’ and them sending me this quote:

‘What appears to be the end may really be a new beginning’

This quote rang true in my ears because it encompasses everything that people have been telling me to believe in the lead up to results day. With that in mind, I’ll be back next week but I’m happy to say that Anxiety, you’re not winning here!

PS. Everything in bold is a clickable link to the relevant blog post. Please use them because it took me a LONG time to put them in!

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