The Book of 2017…

This year has been so bumpy for me and as it’s the time for reflection of what the year brought I started to get really caught up and negative about it all, so I thought it was time to dump those emotions into the last two hours of 2017 and write this post as a vent session so I can step into 2018 pumped for a new shot.

2017 was a year of learning about myself and how far I could push myself. So much sh*t happened in 2017 that I’ve spent too much time pondering about how I could reverse it. We all make hard decisions. We all have awful choices to make but at the end of the day, how your body tells you to respond says a lot about you and your values. My body told me to cut the excess. So I did. I chopped out all of the sources of negativity I could find and tried to rebuild from there. Some part of me hoped that doing this would reduce the social anxiety and my problem would be solved. It wasn’t, spoiler alert. In some ways it made it worse, because I did what I did so vaguely I had no idea of reactions or how people saw me and what they thought about me which was just fuel to the fire.

I was a firefighter this year. I had an anxious fire raging inside of me and I tried to conduct myself in the most adult way possible and battle it. Some days were successful and some days weren’t. It’s awful really how the bad days stick with you almost more than the good do.

Basically, I prospered academically this year. And that doesn’t surprise me because my academics have always been an amazing distraction for myself. I can lock myself away in my room and study and no one bats an eye because you’re doing the right thing. I used academics as a distraction this year. ‘I can’t go out I have …. to do’ was a sentence which only became too familiar to my family and friends. And to me, I see nothing wrong with that. I love learning and I love my course and honestly a university degree isn’t going to turn around and tell you that they don’t want to go out with you, or not invite you places, or be your friend. A university degree is my key to a new life. At least that’s how I see it. It’s my key to moving to New York. It’s my key to reinventing myself. Plus I don’t get anxious while studying which is the biggest plus ever. I also worked hard at my jobs. I received the best marks I’ve ever gotten for my dance exams. I’m not mad about any of this completely honestly, by this stage we all know that these kinds of things are what I do best.

Friendship wise, I lost some and I gained some. Honestly friendships are a battle which everyone partakes in, some are just more successful at maintaining a clean slate than others. I am difficult, I get that. I can be competitive and I can be high-maintenance and I have a very thick outer layer. I don’t open up to anyone anymore. I feel like the only person who really knows who I am is myself. This brands me as the b*tch or hard to approach or distant and after the past few years I will happily cop that. I’d rather that than be walked all over and used for my benefits.

I also started a blog (not this one) and I made so many new friends/contacts dance wise and it’s one of my favourite things that happened in 2017. I always think about deleting it but some of those girls are my favourite people and honestly I couldn’t move away from that. We have laughs and inside jokes and challenges for the hell of it and we make google docs and other statistical result documents but most importantly we all bond over our love for dance which is one of my favourite things ever.

Other highlights of 2017 were the Ariana and Shawn concerts. Two of the best nights of my life, seeing people I idolise live and having a good cry about it. Ariana has been one of my idols since I was about 10 which is absolutely crazy to think about, and I got to see her live and sing all of the hits I’ve loved since then. She is who I really wish to be. The definition of resilience should include an example as Ariana Grande. I don’t know many people who could have bounced back the way she did this year. She was faced with fear and stood back up and said ‘try me’. I wish to be like that. Shawn, again, is someone I’ve idolised since I was about 13. It’s so crazy to me that someone I’ve never met writes music which resonates so much with me. Seeing him live was absolutely incredible. I had a real sob during A Little Too Much. I would label that and Praying as the two songs which get me through some real sh*t. Honestly.

An awful thing happened a few days ago, I think most girls I went to high school with will know this, and it hasn’t left my mind since I got the news. It’s made me really think that we all have 365 chances in a year to wake up and do something great. I feel like this year, I spent at least 300 of them just stumbling through the day, or waking up only to anticipate something happening later on. We have 365 new pages of The Book of 2018 and this year I want to write something really great. I want to shape my year to the best of my ability. I don’t want to wake up and dread the day, I don’t want to wake up and wish the day away, I don’t want to wake up and immediately cancel every plan I have out of fear.

My biggest fear is fear itself. I’ve become very aware of this recently. 2018 is a new year, a fresh slate, a new chance and a new book. The story I write this new year is one that I want to consist of improvement, determination, perseverance, resilience, happiness and stepping out of my comfort zone. And whoever finds their paths crossing with mine next year, I hope you’re ready. I’m ready to become a new me.

XOXO for the last time in 2017… S

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I’ve Come Back For A Specific Reason…

Well, you all know the only reason I come on here to blog my heart away is when I’m anxious so here we go on this rollercoaster again.

As most of you know, I suffer from anxiety. It ruins my life, blah blah blah if you’ve read all of my previous entries I have reiterated this a squillion times before.

The worst part about it though currently, is that it feels like I run a mile in recovery only to be catapulted six steps back from where I started. When I fall, I fall hard. I’ve been so good lately. I’m very independent, I do a lot by myself which for me is a massive accomplishment and I’m so proud of myself. However, I think this may have contributed to perpetuating my introversion. I can’t want any more than I do, to go out and want to do things but I have this extremely powerful voice in my head dictating everything.

Today, I had told myself that I was going to go out I literally talked it up to myself for about two days repeating that I WAS going to go out. So I got ready and dressed up and was feeling so good about myself before I left. I’m always fine in the car until like 5 minutes from getting there where my mind catches up with my body and begins the usual ‘Why are you going?’ ‘You can’t do this’ ‘No one wants you here’ spiel. And I’ve heard it all before and in the wonderful words of Katya Zamolodchiva I say ‘Brenda, shut the f*ck up’ (Brenda is the voice in my head which I name depending – sometimes it’s Brenda because of Katya and sometimes it rotates between people I don’t take seriously just for the novelty). I step foot into the place and I start to feel a little uneasy because everyone is in their little secluded groups but I find a space and chill. I’m fine. I try and lose myself a little to warm up to the situation and it works, I chat with my friends for a while.

Then my mind catches hold of a silence in conversation and begins to in-depth analyse every possible thing that could go wrong in this situation. Everything. And I let Brenda talk. I let Brenda do her presentation and I take in every single word. I go clammy and freeze up. Everything slowly collapses and I fall into this void of anxiety. It’s awful. Honestly it is the worst feeling in the world. And I can’t get out.

I hate giving in, but it’s so hard to stand up against that feeling and combat it. The worst part is that it’s so hard to actually explain to people that I have reasoning. I want to do this, I really really do but my mind is so hard to change that it becomes a match of tug of rope. And I’m losing, big time.

I hate this so much. I’m fighting back with all my might but this war isn’t even halfway over yet. The feeling that I have now, sitting in my room while all of my friends are together, is one I wish I never ever have to feel. But continuously I am subjected to this same feeling where I keep tearing myself down. I can’t keep punishing myself when I’m trying my best. I’m still pushing forward, even if the amount placed against me keeps getting heavier.

To all of my friends, I know it seems like I keep pushing you away and not taking your invitations or backing out halfway through but please, I am trying so hard to spend time with you. I am trying my absolute hardest because you all mean so much to me. This has happened before where people mistake my inability to accept invitations or leaving events early as me not wanting to be there or to be their friend but this is the complete opposite. The last thing I want, as well as absolutely suffering through this, is to also have it push away everyone I care about.

So that’s what’s happening. I am currently blasting A Little Too Much by Shawn whilst writing this and honestly when I hear him sing this on Wednesday I am going to be a mess. I am so excited for Wednesday, and even that is making me feel a little better about the absolute worst that happened today.

Xx S

 

A Celestial Question Set

I found this question set on tumblr and some people asked me a couple on my blog there, but because it combines my two favourite things in the world: questions and outer space, I thought I’d do them all on here.

 

galaxies: what are three things you want to do before you die?

  1. Travel the world: especially Spain, New York, Canada, Bora Bora, Scotland and France
  2. Have a successful job, make a difference and have a great family life
  3. Have children and be a mum

waxing: what is your proudest accomplishment?

Winning the tour scholarship last year. I entered with no expectations and ended up winning. It was a confidence booster I definitely needed.

 

full moon: what type of person do you hope to be?

One that is successful, makes a difference in peoples’ lives and fosters happiness in those who they meet.

contemplation: if you could wake up one morning and everything in your life was perfect, what would that look like?

I don’t know. I think the version of ‘perfect’ I’m thinking of, if I lived in it, I’d still pick flaws in it. Let’s just say having a phone that would hold charge (sooooon).

night light: who/what makes you feel safe?

Having a light on, and people around me.

ponder: what do you want to do with your life?

I really want to be a human rights lawyer and maybe do some work in the UN. So I want to help people in the plight for equal rights, basically.

sunset: who is someone you thought would be in your life forever, but you no longer talk to?

I think that’s a little obvious.

midnight: are you a different person late at night than in the early morning?

Definitely. I become more perceptive and have a greater outlook on everything late at night. I write more reflective essays, blog posts, poetry and other things at that time because my brain is more reflective.

candle light: are you an indecisive person?

Yes. I always feel like decisions are so important because your life can be altered by which path you take. If I say I’ll go out with friends, I could meet someone who could change my life. And if I stay home, that might hold a greater experience. So it takes me ages to make decisions and usually I’ll go back on them minutes before I have to do whatever I agreed to/or didn’t agree to do.

reflection: have you ever changed something you liked about yourself to satisfy someone else?

Yes.

sweet dreams: are you happy?

Like 1/2 of the way there.

nightmare: what are you most afraid of?

The dark, failure, not being enough, and fear itself.

constellations: who is someone you could talk to for hours and never stop?

Gemma, Zara, Courtney, Tia and Becky I think.

reminder: who is someone you will never forget?

The little Turkish girl who was on my plane to Paris. She was my plane buddy and she was crying but I was the one who made her happy (to her mum’s delight).

11-11: what’s something you want, but feel like you will never have?

I don’t know if I can answer this hahahahahahaha.

shooting star: who is someone you trust to help you make the right decisions?

Honestly, myself. It’s my life, I’ll choose the right pathway.

earth: where do you feel most at home?

In my room, at the beach or somewhere as far away from Brisbane as I can get.

soothe: what’s one thing that always makes you feel better when you’re upset?

Music, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Glee, The Flash, Teen Wolf, Supergirl and probably a hell of a lot more TV Shows, chocolate, mint chocolate chip ice cream and YouTube videos.

slumber: what’s one thing that helps you fall asleep when it feels impossible?

Vancouver Sleep Clinic.

XOXO, S.

 

I Think I Owe You All An Explanation…

Hi, I haven’t blogged for a very long time and here I am making my long awaited return.

I have tried to write this a couple of times but I keep getting lost, story of my f*cking life. This was actually going to be an explanation of why I left a group that I did but I decided against that because I’m not going to reignite that forest fire and if they want to know, they can message me and we will chat. If you’re reading this, I still want to be on good terms, I left for a very personal reason and you can ask me why if you please.

I also deleted my spam instagram and I’m going to restart, it was giving me bad vibes, and I am too fragile at the current moment in time to put up with bad vibes.

So, in the past four months I’ve being drowning in severe anxiety lol. I say lol to lighten the blow that I have to accept that it’s legit a thing, but nevermind that. I go to a psychologist every four weeks now (was every two but she said I’m doing really well which is very promising). She is very nice and I am working towards a strong management system for it. I will have to live with it forever, but I can learn how to manage it. Humans wouldn’t have taken over the world if it weren’t for a little fear. My brain just gets a little puzzled when faced with different obstacles and doesn’t know if I should be fearful or not. And that’s okay. You learn and you grow. If any of you want to learn a bit about it or just ask me (you know who you are who did ask me and I love you lots and I’m glad we can work through this pain in the ass together) feel free to FaceBook message me, talking about it is good for my management.

Basically, these past three weeks have been me tuning out of the stresses of the world and tuning into National Dance Conventions. I also made a dance blog if you want to see my alter ego (here you are, click this)

I have been re-immersing myself into my first love, cheesy I know but its really true. I needed to figure out who I was without other peoples’ validation and anxiety. Watching dance for three weeks has been a joy. Being able to share my love of dance with new friends on tumblr is so much fun, we have so many jokes and similarities it’s so refreshing.

Other than that I have been spending a lot of time with my family. I also absolutely adore AFL, so I go to a lot of AFL games. I love the positivity of our club and all of the friends that I have there. It makes me very happy and during those really dark couple of months that I’ve had, happiness was really hard to find. All of the girls there are delightful, I don’t know what I would have done if every Friday night/Sunday I couldn’t escape and be with them. The best memory I have is a very cold Friday night at Springwood where the canteen was closed and everyone was starving. So we all ordered pizza to the AFL ground and shared it. I love the team, I really do. The parents are so nice and the kids are amazing. I am forever grateful to have such amazing friends at AFL, they truly make life a lot nicer.

I must include that one thing I really struggle with is parties (we are currently working on it). And I will say, I pushed myself and went to two parties in one day in June. There were so many moments I wanted to throw up, have a panic attack and leave – but I didn’t. I went to two! Just a personal goal that I’m really proud of, I know some of you will be really confused because it’s just a party but it’s something that I really can’t do. As I said earlier, I am in the process of learning and growing and this is just the start of my evolution from an anxious soul to one who is still anxious but knows how to properly manage it. If you are struggling, I would recommend reading ‘First We Must Make the Beast Beautiful’. It is beautifully written. I am enjoying it immensely.

I also finished semester 1 of Law with a really high GPA which I am so proud of. I am in the process of accepting that I am capable of achieving things, even when that little dark voice is trying to convince me that I can’t.

I am still dancing and teaching and I love it. Every Monday I get to teach the 3-6 year olds ballet. For that 45 minutes I can dance around to Moana and Frozen with a fairy wand and watch how much happiness those little ones get from it. It reminds me of the little joys in life. Sometimes we need to dance around our room to Glee, or go outside and jump in rain puddles, or smile at a stranger. Little joys are sacred. In a time where I was surrounded by pain, suffering and complete sadness, being able to remember what life is like as a 3 – 6 year old eased some of that pain.

I’m going to three concerts in the next eight months. For all of you who ask why I waste my money, when you’re going through what I am, you need something to look forward to. I’m looking forward to dancing and singing to Ariana with Court, Zara and Steph. I am so bloody excited to cry and laugh and dance and scream the lyrics to Shawn with Em, Zara and Steph. And I can’t wait to dance and sing to Harry Styles with Shamah. It’s all a process, and I’m taking my time and doing what I can to make it the most enjoyable and least stressful process that I can.

Of course I miss what life used to be like. When I had a ‘group’ or when I went to parties or when I was invited to things (they were my best friends, I miss them a lot and I don’t know if it will ever be fixed but if I could try, I would) – but I’ve learnt to accept that I’d rather be working towards a better me and do it alone, than suffer quietly and have moments of slightly less sadness. I don’t know what’s in store for me. So much can change in a minute, let alone however many years lie ahead of me.

I just really hope that somehow, I will know what it’s really like to feel happy. And not a manufactured happiness that lasts for however long the moment does. I want to be eternally happy.

As A.R. Lucas said, ‘If there’s even a small chance at getting something that will make you happy, risk it. Life’s too short, and happiness is too rare’.

XOXO, S

Pray for Manchester

My heart is heavy today.

I have been a huge Ariana Grande fan for about 9 years and for many fans who were going to her concert tonight, it was supposed to be one of the greatest nights of their life. It is devastating that it had to be like this.

Ariana absolutely adores her fans. Over the years she has been the sweetest to me; DMs, follows, liking my tweets, tweeting me and making me feel like the greatest person alive. I was ONE of her millions of followers and I felt loved, cared for and appreciated. She is going to be absolutely wrecked by the events of tonight.

Concerts are my safe place. I’ve been to so many and I always feel like I’m in some alternate universe where everything is amazing and I’m detached from the cruel world. Things like this break that safety.

I’ve been to numerous concerts alone. I was 14 when I went to my first concert with friends. Parents are TRUSTING of concerts with heightened security and bag checks and what not. I can’t even imagine as a 14 year old, how I would have coped with that situation. I honestly don’t even know what I would have done.

I’m due to attend one of her concerts in September. I would much rather her cancel the tour and take the time that she needs to recover. I don’t even want my money back. I want it to go to a charity or be donated in some way to help the families who have lost their children.

Terrorism is destroying our society. Slowly eating at our safety until we won’t even feel secure leaving our houses anymore. This is an incredibly sad day. My thoughts and prayers are extended to those who lost their lives tonight, who lost their children and those who experienced the events of tonight.

Let’s pray for a peaceful world, which seems further from reality as each day passes.

I Have No Title For This Other Than a Brief and Extremely Angsty and Depressing Rant

I feel placid. So damn placid. I spent every day sitting on my couch binge watching dramatic television shows and stress eating because everything seems to be going downhill and it’s my only distraction from this hell I’m living. 

My favorite text post is,

“People say you can’t go any further than rock bottom, but I have my shovel and I’m ready to dig”

And I feel this on such an emotional level right now. I try to pick myself back up and find a reason to believe that everything will be fine and I will have friends that want to spend time with me in opposition to when it’s convenient for them to have me around but then I get stabbed in the back and blindsided and I’m still here, 10 weeks later, on my f*cking couch. 

And people say to cut out negative people and I told myself I would do that in 2017 but I can’t cut out 10 people from my life just like that. I want to. God, I want to find people who uplift me to be the best person I can be and we can radiate positive energy and live happily ever after but it’s seriously never going to happen. I can’t believe this. 

I think my kind of relief is watching Annaliese Keating get completely smashed on How To Get Away With Murder. For those split seconds she forgets about everything that’s going wrong in her life (far worse than what’s happening in mine, to be fair) and dances around her house. I feel that on an emotional level.

I can’t wait for my life to change. I’m ready for everything to change. And you know what, maybe having no friends is good because I can concentrate more on my job and my future and accomplishing my dreams. Maybe. 

XOXO, S

The Difference Between Naivety and Just Not Giving a Sh*t

Disclaimer: sorry if this is angsty as f*ck, this has been on my mind since 2013

The definition of naivety is showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgement.

I don’t think I have to define the second option…

To preface, I will admit I am extremely “woke” and passionate about a lot of things and obviously this was quite rare in a 13/14 year old, but to be fair, this wasn’t just as 13/14 year olds instead running well into 17/18.

When I think about this concept one particular memory comes to mind. When I was 13 and coming to terms with my generalised anxiety and severe panic attacks, I had a friend who I was unable to hide all of this from. She was around all of the time. She saw numerous attacks, so obviously, one day after her complete and utter confusion I just told her, “I have GAD (generalised anxiety disorder)” and explained my symptoms and what it entailed. And I kid you not, the response which was given was,

“I don’t think that’s true. I think you’re just making that up. Has the doctor said so?”

??????????????????????????????????????????

This didn’t stop at 14. At 15 she taunted me for being unable to confront people. This is not naivety. At 15, you shouldn’t be naive. Maybe when you’re 5 or 10, but certainly not 15.

Naivety. It comes to most when you’re young. Life experience is lacking. It’s quite normal. But I have seen naivety in the next level in this case. Using naivety to be “cute”. Uneducation is not cute. And to be completely honest I don’t even think youth is an excuse.

We have the world at our hands. We were blessed with the internet, adults and other people with extensive life experience, and literally f*cking books, you guys. If you choose not to educate yourself, that’s your problem and this will continue to be your problem.

I was curious, I was inspired and I was inquisitive. You can’t play naivety off for so many years because when you inevitably grow up and become a teenager and even an adult who literally has to vote, you can’t be taught how to have an opinion.

I can’t teach anyone what to feel. And I saw this firsthand in my final year of schooling. I was asked what LGBTQ+ meant, I was asked why Muslims aren’t terrorists, I was asked why we should care about the wage gap, I was asked so many dumb questions that 17 year olds shouldn’t have to ask their peers. I can’t hand write my opinions and make people believe them. You can’t memorise what I believe and deem it your own. You have to care. If you don’t empathise with things that don’t directly involve you, you’re living in a little bubble of not giving a sh*t. And that, my friends, is not naivety.

So, in conclusion, naivety isn’t cute. Being ditzy isn’t desirable and won’t keep your friends wrapped around your fingers. Because some day they’ll get sick of educating you on second base or human rights or literally just what it means when someone is bisexual. I don’t want to be the only person in this generation who is “woke”. Wake up and take a look out of the rock you’re living under and maybe you’ll finally understand why we need to give a sh*t about world events. Because you can’t reverse history to fix what didn’t matter to you because you weren’t involved.

XOXO, S

 

Women’s March

Wow. Today, the 21st of January is a day for the history books. The Women’s March in over 600 countries protesting the Trump Presidency and the objectification, oppression and sexualisation of women. Trump wanted to separate us, pit us against each other via race, gender, sexuality, nationality etc. but guess what? He brought us closer together. Because we will fight this and we will fight it together. Here are some of my favourite photos from today’s events #womensmarch.


Xoxo, S (a feminist who isn’t afraid to say what she feels)

MLK Day

Today (16th January 2017) is Martin Luther King Day. This day is an American public holiday on the third Monday of January each year in memorial of one of the greatest men to walk this Earth, Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

How do I begin to compile words to describe how much Dr King has changed my outlook on life?

Dr King was a man of charisma, passion, dedication, fearlessness and an eye for equality. He pushed every boundary, no matter the consequences. He was a pioneer of African-American freedom.

I first learnt about Dr King in 2015, and it almost felt like everything in my life clicked. He was a man with a burning desire to reach the “promised land”, one where all could hold hands and rejoice together. He was a man of faith and love and a man who would forever dedicate himself to his cause. He had found his calling. He knew that he was supposed to be the deprived voice of the African-Americans.

Seeing someone with so much passion and dedication reassured me that making change was possible. There were people like me, out there.

MLK taught me that I should follow in his footsteps. Be an ally, work for equality and never be complacent. I was going to be a Human Rights Lawyer. I was going to fight, and I was going to fight hard.

I know it won’t be easy. But neither was his journey. And just look at the influence and legacy he has left on the world. I want to do the same, I want to change the world for the better.

So, as I am so inspired by him, I am going to share some of my favourite quotes from him:

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you can’t see the staircase”

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear”

“Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”

And my ultimate favourite

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

Thank you Dr Martin Luther King Jr, you will never be forgotten and are dearly missed.

It’s Time to be Honest

I don’t know if I’ve ever actually talked about this on here so here goes nothing. This is something which is so super personal but I think the first step to full recovery is acceptance and at this point in time I am so sick of suffering I need to move on. So I’m going to write about it, and maybe some of you can help or have experienced similar things. I am just so sick of dealing with it on my own. It’s time to ask for help because I’m getting nowhere trying to fight this battle by myself.

Here it is.

I have anxiety.

It feels so weird to put it on this page, knowing I only have a rough idea of who will see it.

This is how the story goes. I became very aware of how I worked differently to everyone else in about grade 9. I couldn’t do things like others could. People could get up and make a fool of themselves in front of everyone and laugh it off. If I ever did that, I would be replaying that moment over and over again in my head, telling myself it was stupid or it was dumb and I shouldn’t have done it, wanting to never show my face in public again. The thought of having to continue on and see those people again almost made me throw up. People could make mistakes and laugh it off. If I were to ever screw up, I wouldn’t be able to breathe, let alone “just move on”. It came to a standstill at one point, where I would be having panic attacks almost weekly over some small issue that even I knew I shouldn’t be worried about.

My anxiety takes different shapes and I continue to grow. In grade 10, it was the continuous feeling in the pit of my stomach that wouldn’t ever leave me alone. It’s that feeling when you’re walking down stairs and you miss one. That jolt of fear that almost makes you throw up right there on the spot. I had that almost every time I had to do anything. It was debilitating. It was an awful and almost inhumane way to live. However, I ignored the problem and continued to live my life, thinking that “it’s probably no big deal, you’re probably just making it up”.

I most certainly was not making it up. In Grade 11 there was an altercation in my friendship group which made me so unnerved I could barely force myself to go to lunch and sit there. This did not work in my favor. It made me look guilty, like I was the one who caused it. Which caused an avalanche of other issues, like this whole “avoiding confrontation” being brought up. This obviously caused my self-confidence to plummet to record lows. Nobody knew that I was silently fighting this battle. I could barely get myself out of bed so arguing with someone was definitely not something that I could do. I felt like a fool. I was so ashamed of my anxiety and cursed that I was who I am. Why did I have to be this way? I was furious that I had both lost an almost lifetime friend and had to suffer everyday from this illness which I could not shake. I had an assessment piece for one of my subjects and I froze. There was no way I could have ever done in it front of an audience. I had to schedule a time privately to do it and even then, I was a complete wreck. It caused one of the things I loved the most to become a subject which I absolutely dreaded. I almost dropped the subject entirely, because I couldn’t face the uncertainty and rumors and the ‘who believed who’ crap. I felt like a failure.

Grade 11 was awful. I suffered. I made new friends which helped slightly but the fear was what silently ripped me to shreds. The fear of absolutely anything and everything. Slowly, I began to accept it and learn to deal with it in ways that worked for me. I even danced about it in term 4, something which I never ever thought I would be able to do. I had two teachers I could confide in and who knew to look out for when I went quiet, became snappy, or looked completely drained. I survived.

Grade 12 was one of the hardest years. I had this enormous trip I had been lucky enough to win a place on. An opportunity one could only dream of. Except I was almost paralyzed with fear. Flying by myself with people I’d never met, staying in rooms with people I’d never met, being in foreign countries, not being with my family for three weeks. I constantly analysed and reanalysed the situations I would be put in and I scared myself so terribly. However, I told myself to woman-up, I’d beaten out so many people for this opportunity and I was not going to succumb to my own fear. And I didn’t. I used to have a repressed fear of planes which I conquered, a repressed fear of travelling which I also conquered and I met so many new people, another fear which I conquered. Everything was going great, I came back and I was absolutely fine.

Until about August. The fear of QCS was almost plaguing me. QCS is our big standardized test for every graduating senior to take in order to help with our exiting grades and choose which university we get into. It was a big deal for me. Unbeknownst to myself, I had an enormous cyst on my right ovary, pushing on my bladder during QCS, meaning not only was I in extreme pain, I was exhausted, drained, completely pale and needed to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes either because I thought I was going to throw up or wet myself. Neither option was great. Time passed and the cyst is almost gone and still, I have this overwhelming urge to go to the bathroom every hour at most. But, it only happens in exams, on long car journeys or other situations where I feel trapped. It’s my anxiety, causing my body to think that it’s happening. I’ve tried everything the doctor said. Hold it for as long as you can at home, retrain your bladder, try and cause the symptoms in real life so you can conquer them when they happen in those situations but it’s not working. I don’t want to live this way. I’ve lived like this for 5 months. It’s stopping me from living my life. I’m so scared about uni because at least at high school the teachers knew and it was fine and I sat my exams in special consideration but now I’m in the “real world” everything’s changing.

It sucks, you guys. It really sucks. And no one gets it. Everyone just thinks that I’m a “worrywart” or I “care too much” or I’m a “coward” or a “backstabber” and I just can’t escape it. This is serious and it’s more serious than I put out because I don’t want to be an “attention seeker” or a “bore” or a “fun killer”. So now, I hope some of you understand even just a tiny bit more why I’m so hesitant and scared and have to escape to a quiet place or can’t be around people for too long.

I’m going to fight this. I’m going to make it out stronger than I was before. I’m going to do it, and those who have stood and will stand by my side mean more to me than you will ever know.

XOXO, S