Saturday, 2 July 2016

Let's Talk About: Anxiety & School

Living with anxiety is really difficult. It is the constant fear that everything you do is wrong or simply not good enough. Doing simple tasks like eating in front of people, putting something in the bin or standing/talking in front of people can be very difficult. These are things that some people don't have to second guess, things most people regard as easy. Life becomes even more difficult than it already is and an easily collapse without any notice.

I have known that I've had anxiety from the age of fourteen, however when I was twelve I had anxiety too, I had no clue that what I had been feeling had a name, that being anxiety. I remember I would cry before I went places because I was too scared that I would either see someone I knew, or make a fool out of myself. I would have heat palliations while queuing, I would feel like everyone's eyes were drilling into me laughing at me and judging me. From the vulnerable age of twelve I thought I was the weirdest person in the world, I would constantly ask myself why I wasn't enough, or why I couldn't just be normal!

When I was twelve mental health problems were never thought ins school (or anywhere I knew of for that matter), I thought the only health problems you could have were physical health issues such as athsma (which I also have). Don't get me wrong, health problems are serious but why is it that anyone suffering with mental illness's are brushed away? Just because you can't see mental health as easy as health that doesn't mean it shouldn't be dealt with in the same way.

Why is it that children aren't being taught about how serious mental illness's are? They're  not being taught about the dangers of not looking after yourself.
I didn't know that what I was was normal, in fact loads of people suffer with anxiety and many other mental illness's may not know that what they have can be treated. Finding out that what I had (being anxiety) was so liberating and relieving.

Today, I am a sixteen year old still battling crippling anxiety. I still find it hard queuing in shops, I still fall into endless panic attacks over 'stupid' things, but you know what? I am not the only person dealing with this knowing that helps me stay strong. It helps me feel at ease with myself.

Going to school with anxiety is the most difficult thing ever. I started secondary school when I was fourteen (which is actually quite old here in Ireland), I had not yet found out that I had anxiety. That first year of school was hell, I was vulnerable and  immature. Academically, I have always found school very difficult. I was never the top of any class. Maths in particular forever being my dowfnall. I would have panic attack after panic attack in classrooms because the fear of being asked to talk out in class was over-whelming and often I couldn't handle it also the fear of not being good enough in a subject was over-whelming. I have always been hard on myself, so when I didn't do as well as I would have liked that is when the self punishment started.

I will always think that the education system is fucked. I am grateful for the opportunity to have an education, but it is definitely flawed. I found the first two years of school very tough. I am not 'booksmart' and I find school extremely difficult. There were subjects in school I was doing that I hated, I had no interest in. For example, business (important but I could not give a crap about it), music, religion, science (again important but not for me) there are various subjects I had to do in my school which I could not give a shit about. What is the point of studying something you don't like? I'm bad at studying anyway but studying something I don't like, chances are I won't do it.

However there are things that I am interested in which are not tested in school, for example photography and drama. So for anyone in school who is A battling anxiety or B studying something they don't like or are getting bad grades. Don't worry. Everything in life happens for a reason, and there is something you are good at. Stay passionate and stay strong.

Moral of Blog Post: People should be taught at a young age about mental health illness's. Then people will be more aware and will know how to handle it if they ever find themselves having a mental illness. There is definitely still a stigma around Mental Health that needs to be resolved.
Also do the things you love, not everyone is booksmart and some people find school difficult. That's okay, there is always other ways of doing the things you are passionate about.

Stay strong and slay,
Lots of love,

                    Fiona xo

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