Reluctantly Leading a Radio Show

I’ve been helping out on this community radio show in my home town for donkey’s years, since I was about 13 or 14. And although that sounds nifty on my CV, I’ve always figured it’s fairly simple. I just turn up and talk on the show with the co-presenters, people I already know and I do a few extra things like News and Weather… When I was younger I was even more awkward than I can be (on bad days) now, but the others could spin anything like that into humour, so it wasn’t a big deal.

Not having the responsibilities of being in charge of the show helps.

The only problem is that the main guy goes on holiday every August, and every summer since I turned 18 likes to try and talk me into standing in as the main presenter. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to be on holiday at the same time and be unable to do it. Other times I just find an excuse. I led a show last year with two of the others. It worked out well; I’d maybe rate it 6/10. Having to lead it makes me quite anxious because this means that it’s my responsibility to come up with conversation starters and sound charismatic about it on air (and it’s one thing to start conversations, quite another to simultaneously be charismatic, in my case!)

In short, I had to lead last night, but it we Continue reading “Reluctantly Leading a Radio Show”

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Being Open about Anxiety for the First Time with Parents: Pt 2

This is the part that is actually about me telling my parents I have anxiety. See part 1 for contextual waffle.

It was in the last couple of days before I was going to be moving back to university for Term 2 (just over a month ago). I was in the back room trying to study but thinking about anxiety (as per) and my parents were watching a film in the other room. I was mulling over the prospect of telling them about it for the umpteenth time and having just about come to the conclusion that I should tell them had got on to thinking about the how. Then I looked at my phone and the grade of my first essay of the year had come through. So I checked that and it turned out I’d got a C which wasn’t like me so I started panicking about the future and my grades and job prospects etc etc… And I felt so over the edge that I wanted to finally get anxiety into the open now without any further ado. But they were happily watching their film so I didn’t, I just sat there hyperventilating and staring at my laptop screen.

Then their film finished and my dad went to bed pretty promptly so my idea seemed to be blown. Mum was in the front room packing up Christmas tree decorations and I really just had to say something, even though this wasn’t the calm let’s-all-sit-down-together-and-I’ll-explain-that-I-have-anxiety-like-a-rational-human-being scenario that I’d intended. I composed myself a bit more and we Continue reading “Being Open about Anxiety for the First Time with Parents: Pt 2”

First Group CBT Thing was Today

…Technically yesterday, because I just looked at the time and it’s 1:30am.

So yeah, I didn’t really feel nervous in the build up to it. Frankly I was looking forward to the openness of being around other students at my uni with anxiety. Although I may have freaked out slightly about 10 minutes before when I wanted to just triple check the lecture theatre it was in on the uni emails and the system was glitching and not giving me access. But after going to The Base and uncomfortably asking the receptionist to double check, I got to the right place and was on time.

I put on a very collected demeanor and walked into the lecture theatre. I noticed a lot of students sitting there looking absolutely on edge. I didn’t see anyone I recognised, which was a bit disapointing. I wrote a name badge and took a questionnaire and sat down on one of the front rows. There was a girl sitting on her own there and I internally debated whether to go by the usual unspoken rule of l Continue reading “First Group CBT Thing was Today”

To be Open

So a year and a bit ago I wrote this blog post  about having a dilemma regarding whether to open up to people about having social anxiety. That was just before I started uni. I’ve been at uni forever and a day now. So update time it is.

So I started uni and everything was surprisingly hunky dory with that. Not that social anxiety went away or anything, it just was a lot better than expected. I also went to the counselling people as I had been planning to do once I had moved away to uni, and I went there for 10 weeks.

The first time I opened up about social anxiety with someone in my everyday life was shortly after starting this, because I was meeting up with the pastor’s wife from my new church in my university town every week to study the Bible and pray. So when prayer requests were being bashed around it seemed fitting to mention anxiety, which really didn’t turn out to be that painful a thing to do. I was objective and undramatic about it, I just said how it was and she completely understood and prayed about it.

Then in the summer just gone I was talking to someone I’ve been friends with since school days on snapchat and she casually made a comment about her social anxiety and fear about this phone call she had to make. So I asked if she was serious about having social anxiety, and so she said how she had Generalised Anxiety which included social anxiety for her and she’d just been put on medication for it. So I shared about my own social anxiety too and we had a really long conversation about both our experiences. We talked about it some more recently. She is starting to work towards a career in politics so mental health is one of the things she wants to campaign for, so sometimes she asks me for ideas, and I love to try and contribute these. We’ve been friends like 10 years now so it’s pretty surreal to find we both have these experiences with anxiety and can share both our points of view with each other (that sounds like I’m pleased she has anxiety though, I’m not I swear).

I haven’t opened up to the entire world about having anxiety like I envisioned in that earlier blog post. The thought is still tempting at times but I haven’t deemed it necessary so I haven’t done that, so far. So far I’ve opened up about it to 3 people. The third happened like last week, that was much more of a big deal and incredibly challenging to do, so recounting this episode is something I’ll talk about in an upcoming blog post I think đŸ˜›

Anyway, hooray. I must do coursework now so TTFN.

 

Week 1 on Fluoxetine

I figured I might as well use this to log my experience with the medication I’ve been taking for anxiety.

This first week hasn’t been so hot for me, but I already knew that antidepressants can make it feel worse before it gets better.

Sooo

  1. I have had points where I’ve felt extremely anxious, on a new level than what I am used to. Most of this anxiety is not actually social anxiety but general worries about the future and worries about academic work which leads me on to the next one…
  2. My creativity has gone to pot and I am finding it extremely hard to write essays which are due after Christmas. The first night I had this was while I was experiencing a near hysterical level of anxiety about the future, so I couldn’t tell if the fact I was suddenly finding the act of stringing a sentence together a mammoth task was because of the anxiety or the medication. It might have been a mix of both but I guess you can’t re Continue reading “Week 1 on Fluoxetine”

End of first year, CBT… General Positivity (really scraping the barrel for a title here, can you tell?)

So it feels like ages since I last posted. In a nutshell what has happened since then is I finished CBT for social anxiety, I had end of year exams which stressed me out a lot considering they don’t even count towards my degree, my internship got postponed until next summer, I finished first year (and sort of fell for someone in the last few weeks, round of applause for me…) and I came home for the summer.

In a nutshell. But you know I never just write “In a Nutshell”!

On the SA front: I finished CBT after 10 sessions, and it seems to me like I can barely remember the stuff I learnt but somehow anxiety improved a lot anyway. I’ve practically written a book from the notebook/diary thingy I had to keep documenting all the situations that happened which caused me anxiety. The psychologist guy read it every week, and towards the end he said there was a Continue reading “End of first year, CBT… General Positivity (really scraping the barrel for a title here, can you tell?)”

A Process of Nerves, aka “Stop Introverting and Go to Bed”

Here are the crazy positive and negative thoughts that were spinning round my head in the run up to the interview which I mentioned in my last post. I wrote them down in a book which I keep to show me where my thinking is going wrong or right. It is full of terrible syntax and grammar, for which I apologise! That’s because writing as I think makes sure I don’t cut anything important out. So, if you care to read a long-winded back and forth about nervousness, you can make of it what you will!

“Thursday:

Just found out I might have a Skype interview next Tuesday and I’m terrified (even though last time I did one it went well)

Friday:

Maybe if I think about this interview with an assumption that they’re probably going to accept me unless I say something absolutely shocking, I can jinx myself into feeling confident.

I mean essentially they’d be hiring me to do free labour anyway, it’s not like a long term paid job, is it?

I don’t know if this is the right approach but I’ll give it a go.

…And I get 2 more chances even if I do fail this one. But I still want to do my best.

Sunday:

I’m still doing a good job of keeping a cool head about the approaching skype interview.

But actually I will be so, so relieved when it’s over. I hope I pass this interview just so I won’t have to do another one with some o Continue reading “A Process of Nerves, aka “Stop Introverting and Go to Bed””