Lots of people say that “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and I totally agree with that.
I don’t know why but this month I have just been including more health related posts and I don’t know why. I quite like writing them so I shall continue to include them.
This is not something that I talk about much and have only spoken to a couple of people about it but I do have anxiety. It affects everyone in completely different ways and mine is linked in a lot with stress so I feel particularly anxious during exams and around deadlines for coursework. I also don’t deal well in crowds and unfamiliar situations and I’m sure that there are other people out there similar to me with this.
Therefore during my GCSEs I can’t describe how anxious I felt. I was constantly having panic attacks and I even had one before an exam and basically spent the whole thing crying. I had it quite bad in September and October cause I was in a new place at a new college but since then it has been relatively calm as I am a lot less stressed and a lot more happier. I’m just in a much better place.
I have decided to write a post about this not to make people feel sorry for me or to gain attention or anything because that is stupid. I have decided to write this to raise awareness and to tell you guys that this happens to people and sometimes just writing it down or talking to people can really make you feel better. So if you ever want to talk to someone then I am here (so cheesy I know) because the chances are I will understand how you are feeling. And if not then I am here to listen (or read) so you can message me on Twitter or email me or anything.
A lot of people struggle with anxiety. It is not uncommon.
If you know people who do struggle with it then be supportive and sometimes people just need someone to listen because talking can help you stop bottling things up. If you personally struggle with it and feel you need to talk to someone then reach out to people because, trust me, bottling it up makes it worse.
I recently took the train to Somerset and it was totally new to me because I’ve never been on a journey this long and I’m usually with other people but this time I was alone. I haven’t felt that anxious in a very long time and I was so unbelievably close to having a panic attack on a train crowded full of people. As it emptied and I managed to get a seat I just decided to write down how I was feeling and the experience for no apparent reason. But I found that it helped because I quite like to write and instead of bottling up how I felt I decided to put pen to paper (putting finger to tablet doesn’t have the same ring to it). So I am going to share with you what I wrote on that train journey and I promise I am not exaggerating any of this, this is honestly how I was feeling. I also haven’t altered what I wrote last Friday (10th Feb), I just corrected the spelling mistakes.
Part of me is terrified that I will get hate for this so please don’t judge and just by posting this and writing about something different I am stepping out of my comfort zone.
Okay… here goes…
“As I sit here on a fold out chair on the South West train to Yeovil Junction I have only just managed to get my heart rate and temperature back to normal.
I started out in Hastings, getting the train to Clapham Junction and it was all going well until it rolled into London and everybody decided to get onto the train. Someone came and sat next to me and I could slowly feel the panic rising. It was so horrible as I felt so trapped between the buildings that were racing past and the stranger who was sitting next to me. My body temperature soared and my heart raced and I didn’t know what to do because my stop was next and somehow I needed to make it to the doors through the crowds of people with my luggage to get off.
I should probably explain. Well I’m not going to explain why I’m going to Somerset and why I didn’t want to go there cause that’s too personal. I will however state that yes at times I do get anxious and have panic attacks which is never something that I really speak about. This is the first long train journey that I have done by myself and to make it even more terrifying I had to change trains in London. During rush hour. Oh and it is a Friday.
As the train slowed into Clapham Junction I managed to squeeze out of the door but the panic was still lingering. I then had the challenge of finding the correct platform and the signs were no help at all and I was too scared to ask somebody (don’t judge). Eventually I found it but the panic had not gone away and even though I knew that I was at the right platform my head kept telling me that there is a chance that I was at the wrong one.
I stood there in the snow and the freezing cold for half an hour with my bright pink suitcase and, you guessed it, the panic was with me as well as if it was one of my bags. As it was rush hour there were a lot of people slowing building up on the platform which didn’t help. Also as a 16 year old I stood out. A lot. People kept staring at me and the bright pink suitcase was not helping. By the time the train pulled in (which was already full) I was on the verge of having a panic attack and crying my eyes out because all I wanted to do was go home and not to Somerset.
I squeezed myself and my bags onto the train along with a lot of other people and ended up cramped against the door. This was it, I thought. I’m gonna have a panic attack surrounded by strangers (and there was a pug as well) in the middle of nowhere on a train. I was crying a little and trying to remain calm for a good 45 minutes with people still staring at me.
Now it is about half an hour after that and I only have an hour left on this 5 hour journey and I have managed to find a seat.
For me this is a big step getting the train on my own but we learn from these experiences. I’m glad I managed to calm myself before having the panic attack and I think that it is important to step out of your comfort zone.
You’re probably wondering why I decided to write this down… well I can then look back at this post and be like yeah I kicked my anxietys butt this time and if I can then so can you.
Now I have the return journey to panic about. And I have learnt from this mistake of getting the train at rush hour on a Friday.”
So that is everything that I wrote on my journey and I can happily say that the return journey was fine. I didn’t get a seat for half of it but I was a lot calmer and I felt panicky at times but not the extent of having a panic attack.
I think that I also felt better because I had done it before and all that panic of the unfamiliar situation had left me.
I have no idea what type of response this post is going to get or if anyone will actually read to the end but I’m glad I have written it. Also if you want to talk to someone then I am here and I know how cheesy that sounds.
How have you stepped outside of your comfort zone?
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