Overcoming Anxiety With A Smile

Loneliness, we all experience it at some point in our lives. Feeling like you are isolated from everything and everyone is the worst feeling in the world and there have been many, MANY times in my life where I could be sitting in a crowded room that is full of laughter, happiness, friends and family but still feel amazingly alone. I have battled with dark thoughts and dark times for most of my teenage years which I believe is a crucial time in your life. It is a time where you begin to discover who you are and where you want to go in life. You begin to make contact with the world outside of school and before you know it you are pushed out of school with just a handful of skills for adult life. Dealing with anxiety and depression through those years are more common than ever, and will seem like the biggest challenge you will ever endeavour… believe me it’s not, but it is a stepping stone in building up your strength, even when you feel you are at your weakest. In my personal experience I went from school routine to adult life much earlier than my friends. I don’t regret doing it at all, although it really pushed me to the edge, but I learnt so much about myself through that time. Even when I was at the point of wanting to end it all I realised my strength and pushed on through. I came to realise that it wasn’t me against the world, as much as it felt like that, it was really me against myself.

You are your own worst enemy

Now at twenty-three I can safely say I have gotten through the worst of the storm. I know my limits and that if I push them, or even if someone else does, I can overcome those obstacles. I encourage myself to challenge my limits, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my days, or even weeks, where I feel the anxiety creep up on me and loneliness kicks in. I am much more social than I ever was, but I still have a little anxiety when meeting new people, which is something I continue to work on everyday. I am currently on a good run because I have made myself goals, but for the last month I was getting low, so low that I felt at any point I could fall back into that hole I was in when I was at my lowest at the age of seventeen. I was lucky that I had good people around me to talk me out of the darkness, something I really value in the people I have in my life. When I had weeks of going into work tired from lack of sleep because of my brain running a million miles an hour and unhappy about the rut I feel like I’m stuck in I had my friends who picked me up off the ground and encouraged me to push on because they believe in me enough to reach my goal.

Embarking on new adventures has been my cure, or progress making, in relieving the stress and anxiety I feel, and even though this technique for me has had shortish term effects, it is very helpful. It enables me to push myself out of my comfort zone and experience more things. Making the move from my hometown, Ballarat, to the big city of Melbourne I put myself in a much bigger environment that made me have to meet new people. This started with a new job an living in a share house. Soon I was able to feel happy most days and meet new people and not feel awkward all the time. Once I got comfortable I was able to feel confident enough to go on holidays on the other side of the world and meet people along the way and actually have fun instead of standing in the corner. But soon this feeling of being stuck in a rut made me feel down and I found myself in that same dark place I was before I came to Melbourne. I had really bad days and the lifestyle I was leading wasn’t helping. So I packed my bags and moved to the other side of Melbourne, it seemed so much exotic as it was by the beach and the people differ from the Brunswick area so much! I got myself a new job and began to be happy again, vibrant and eager to meet new people. For the last two years I have been so happy with my life, then it hit once more. The rut feeling came back and I was watching people come and go, travelling the world. A sense of jealousy sunk in and it was time to make a change. I have decided to fix this feeling of unhappiness this time I must embark on a whole new adventure, much bigger than previously, hence, my decision to pack my bags in November and move myself to the UK for two years. It incorporates my lust to travel and gets me experiencing so much more than I have ever experienced! It also allows me to catch up with friends I have made over the years in Melbourne who have since returned back to their home countries, which excites me so much!

Anxiety and depression is not an ideal thing to go through and feels like your whole world is falling apart, but with ambition you can find your own way of dealing, this is not to say that if you don’t enforce ambition upon yourself you will be stuck forever, everyone goes through this at their own pace and will go through different difficulties as someone else who is going through this. For me, a change of scenery helps me through my dark times, even if I have to do it several times, I am content with that.

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