Anxiety and It’s Disabling Capabilities

University

Hello Readers,

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post now and I have been juggling university work, job searching and life in general. To be honest, in the past couple of weeks, this anxiety that I suffer from has attempted to rear it’s ugly head back into my life and in the past couple of days, it succeeded. Therefore you can call this moment I’m experiencing, the “relapse”. From the title you can gather I will be talking about anxiety (as usual), but this time (and in more detail) exploring its disabling capabilities.

Whether I’ve explained this before, I cannot remember, but since anxiety has settled itself like a unwelcome visitor in my life, it has continually found ways of rubbing me up the wrong way. Or in other words, found ways to make me pay attention to it.

If that doesn’t make sense, let me go back and explain. Anxiety has a way of affecting you both physically and mentally – as many of us suffers (and non suffers) will understand. The physical affects can range from person to person depending on who you are and the level of which you suffer, e.g. rapid or irregular heartbeat, hyperventilating or shortness of breath, shaking and twitching, light headedness or dizziness and so on and so fourth. The mental affects are racing thoughts, constant feelings of dread, overthinking, negative thoughts etc. Whatever way anxiety decides to manifest within you, it isn’t a pleasant feeling with most suffers saying that when they have an attack, it feels as though they are dying. Which is something I feel all too well.

A lot of these symptoms that are listed above (as long as those that haven’t) are also known as “triggers“. Normally meaning that any of these symptoms can occur and then “trigger” the rest of the anxiety (or panic) attack. Of course, whether you know it or not, anxiety and panic attacks are a cause of the “flight or fight response” in the body. The way I like to think of it, simply, is as a mis-wiring within the body. The “fight or flight response” within the human body is all about basic survival. However, anxiety suffers, our flight or fight fires 100x more than it needs to and within the release of chemicals (such as adrenaline) it triggers the symptoms above. This makes us feel like we are on “vibrate” and as though we need to be running or doing something when all we are doing is sitting in bed and everything is fine. A major problem with suffering from this mental health issue is that it causes us confusion. Humans naturally suffer from a base form of anxiety, e.g. being nervous and unfortunately, we no longer are granted the basic anxiety which helps us. Instead, we are running on overdrive 24/7 for no reason, dealing with irrational and silly thoughts and although we know there is no need to feel this way, it’s difficult to talk yourself out of it, although, not impossible.

This brings me to my journey. Throughout my journey, I have battled throughout a lot of my triggers. It originally started with a rapid heartbeat, that would set me off. Then once I overcame that, it was having a shortness of breath. Defeating that led me to twitching and shaking, I suffered from this a lot. This goes on and on, you get the idea. I am at a point now where I have fought with my anxiety a lot and overcame A LOT. Usually, I relapse badly at least once a month, if not a little longer. This is one of those times. The most recent of these triggers is that of being light headed and feeling nauseated. Badly. Normally, it’s not too bad and it passes easily, however, this time it has decided not to grant me the simple pleasure of having to endure it for a short while. In the past couple of days, it’s completely disabled me in day-to-day life and social situations. I hate it. Ever since early yesterday, it has felt as though the room was spinning. It has felt like, well simply, it has felt like I have vertigo. It seems as though I am unstable and it makes me feel sick to my stomach. Although, it is purely a product of this dreaded anxiety. If I shake my head widely, it does not make me feel sick or dizzy, but, if I sit normally or live my day-to-day life then BOOM! I feel as though I’m about to pass out. Excuse my language but it is completely shit. This has led to me having to miss my girlfriends grandmothers birthday and be in bed for most of the day which makes me feel absolutely horrible. It makes me feel disrespectful, rude and idiotic. It is completely disabling in every way. It is a battle every second. Why do I tell you this? Well, maybe to help me vent or maybe to help you understand that if you are reading this and you suffer as well, you aren’t alone or to let those know that don’t suffer, it is not a choice we make. Our brains are working overtime and the questions never stop; what if I’m out and I faint? what if nobody believes me and they think I am being silly? what if I embarrass myself? And so on. It completely disables you from being able to be a normal human and we want nothing more than for it to stop. We do not choose this.

But hey, all in all, this may just be the next battle I am going to have to face. Just the next step in this journey of an anxious life. It’s shitty but it’s a part of me. However, it will not control me for long. I will overcome this soon.

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GS 2017 – 02/07/2017

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Hello, Users!

I must apologise as in the last week, I have let my schedule slip a tiny bit. I believe I posted one on Monday but neglected the rest of the week unless you are on Campus Society where I posted an exclusive ‘MA Life’ article – it was short and sweet, as I am sure this one will be!

As usual, I do not have anything to update you on… wow, I’m boring at the minute. Anywho! On the ‘exclusive Campus Society’ article, I mentioned how my graduation was fastly coming around, it is THIS month. On the 20th of this month, I will graduate from Bishop Grosseteste University with an Upper Second Class degree in Drama in the Community. I am terrified.

You may be questioning; why are you terrified for your own graduation? To be honest, I suppose there are a few reasons as to why I am terrified.

  1. As I have mentioned repeatedly over the past few weeks, this is three years of my life coming to an end. An entire chapter just ends right here! After three years of studying, making friends and experiences… it’s all drawing to an end. When I started three years, the end of university seemed like a lifetime away and I could only imagine the end of it and everything that came with that… but now, here we are!
  2. As discussed in my previous articles, I suffer from anxiety. This usually means, from past experiences, I do not do well with sitting in large crowds for long periods of time… especially knowing I am having to stand in front of a lot of people. I am a drama student and this is what triggers me… silly, right?
  3. Also… what if I like, trip up on stage or something? Knowing me, that is something that will more than likely happen. I will be walking SO carefully onto that stage, but, I shall keep you updated!

With graduation coming up, I still haven’t bought my suit yet… but I am doing so this week! I first have to go home and work with my parents for a few days to earn a little extra money and then I shall be buying my graduation suit, happy days!

More recently, however, I have been painting my student house! Now, some of you students out there may be thinking, what the hell? Why are you painting your own student house? Is that no the landlord’s job? 1. Because I want too, 2. technically yes. Basically, because I am living in the same house for another year and have already taken great pride in keeping the garden tidy and planting flowers, I wanted to take care of the house. Over the years, there is just general wear and tear of the house, e.g. scuffs on the walls and cracks etc – therefore, I offered my services to the landlord and luckily, he provided me with everything I needed! In turn, I had a very busy day yesterday and manage to get 90% of the house painted, just some more to do tonight.

As I have mentioned previously in other articles, if you are respectful of your student house and your landlord, they will look out for you. It’s surprising how ignorant some students are and how much they do not care about the house in which they live. Oh well! Some people do respect their houses and that’s the important thing! If not, your landlord will just bill you at the end.

As for today, that is all I have to update you on!

GS 2017 – 26/06/2017

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Good Evening Readers,

Again, as usual in these recent updates, I do not have a lot to tell you as my graduate summer – at the moment – is not that exciting. However, I do have exciting news!

Today, I received my final marks back from university and now know what I am graduating with…

I am very happy to announce that I will be graduating from Bishop Grosseteste University with an Upper Second Class degree in BA (Hons) Drama in the Community.

E.g. I graduated with a 2:1!

This is also good news because it means after three years of hard work, breakdowns, tears and more, I have achieved the classification I need in order to go onto study my Master’s!

Literally, the relief and excitement that came over me today when I received my grades were unbelievable. Relief; this is because I can finally relax knowing that I have safely got the grades to get into the University of Lincoln and the fact that my hard work has actually paid off. Excitement; this has the same reasons as before really but also down to the fact that I can actually graduate with my friends next month!

Therefore, with all of that in mind, it is time to get back to working with my parents to earn some money to buy my graduation suit! Also today, I booked in for my hair/beard to be cut at a ‘fancy pants’ place in Lincoln, all in order to be ready for graduation!

Until next time!

GS 2017 – 25/06/2017

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Happy Sunday Readers!

This article should have been posted on Friday, unfortunately, I have been a little busy and unable to find the time to actually post to my blog. Therefore, you have a Friday entry on Sunday! Today, I am working a 9 am to 5 pm shift over on Campus Society, therefore, I have a day of moderation and blogging ahead of me!

As I previously mentioned, I have been pretty busy the past couple of days getting caught up with various things going on in my life, therefore, I have not been able to keep to my schedule. However, I am back! This time, with probably only a small article in the form of a story time!

STORY TIME!

This story time takes place only a few hours ago from the start of this article.

Our story begins around 2 am. I had JUST fallen asleep when I hear my FaceTime ringing. I reach over and see that it is my friend who is sleeping in our front room for the night – convinced she wanted to update me on a game we were playing, I ignored him. Only to see a bombardment of Facebook Messages explaining how there was something in our kitchen. Convinced it was probably a robbery and/or murderer, I decided to stay in the comfort of my bed.

After more messages, I discovered that is was actually a mouse. A BLOODY MOUSE. Now, go back a few days when myself and my friends were sitting in our living room with our living room doors open. We are sitting there and we see a mouse just run across our garden, it keeps doing it. Obviously trying to get somewhere. Anyway, after a few hours of watching it attempt to go somewhere, we ignore it and that is that. Therefore, that has definitely been a mouse around. Until last night when we realise this mouse has made itself a little home… and is taking liberties by eating our food. I mean, do you pay rent or pay for shopping little mouse? No. No, you do not.

Well, there was not much that could be done at 2 am. THEN, there was this morning. I woke up and the little mousey-idiot had been eating the bananas – again. So, we chucked it away. I made breakfast and what not and went to carry on with work. I was out of the kitchen maybe an hour and a half, I came back, ANOTHER BANANA EATEN. In that time, like seriously? When, how? Therefore, I now have my iPad set up in the kitchen and I am FaceTiming my iPhone so I can see when he appears and where from. Unfortunately, the mouse has to die and it is only a matter of time before he does. This calls for mouse traps!

Unfortunately, all of this is a waiting game and failing all of this, it’s calling the landlord tomorrow and letting him know of the goings on!

Well, there you go, my graduate summer now features a mouse as well, apparently called ‘Gertie’. Until next time!

University

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Good Afternoon Readers,

The title of this article is plain and simple: ‘University’. I am surprised, if I am being honest, that I have never written an article titled ‘university’. Sure, a lot of my articles have featured the word university but, I have never titled one ‘university’. Here we are!

University, what a journey it has been.

Before I started my university career, all I knew of this type of education was that it could be the next step in my educational career if I wanted it to be and if I worked hard enough for it. I did not really understand what it was, what it entailed or what it meant. I just knew it was something that I would be working towards. When I was finally in the sixth form, I had to make the choice. MORAL DILEMMA. Do I go onto an apprenticeship? Do I get a job? Do I go to university? Obviously, in the end, I went with university. However, I originally intended to do Computer Science as I had studied hard and come out with good grades during my ICT course but, Drama was my passion and calling and this is what I ended up doing – as we all know!

From there, we all know the story of my first, second and third year! I bet you are now wondering, “well, what are you going to write about tonight?”. That is a good question! To be honest with you, I have no bloody clue myself! I tell a lie, I do have a rough idea. Therefore, I’ll carry on and we shall see where we end up.

University for me has been an experience and a half. It has had it’s highs and lows. It’s positive and negatives. It’s happy times and sad times and so on and so fourth. It’s been a rollercoaster. It has been a juggling act! That is most definitely the most accurate term to use. University has definitely changed me in many ways, then again, other parts of me are stubborn and have not changed. Friends have come and gone, so have relationships – though, those that matter are still here at the end of the journey. My eyes have been opened to study I did not previously know and opportunities have been given to me to do some amazing things. University has not only gave me academic experience but also life experience. Sure, sometimes university was absolutely terrible but there were times when nothing could be better than it. I have had times where I drank all the time and then others were I was sober for weeks on end. I’ve had moments where I did all my work weeks before it was due and then other times when I handed it in the day before. I’ve had times when I’ve been completely in the dark about a subject and then others where I knew the most on a subject. I’ve had moments where I have been proud of my work and others were I’m disappointed in myself because I could have done better. I’ve made some memories for life that I will cherish forever and then there is times that I am trying to forget and would prefer never to think about again. There has been times when I’ve been completely motivated by university and eager to go to a lecture and then others where I’ve taken days off just to stay in bed. There has also been times when I’ve wanted to help everybody and anybody on my course with their work and then times when I just wanted to focus on my own. I’ve had moments where I thrived being independent and being away from home and being able to do what I want, where as there has also been times when I would have given anything to be back at home in comfort with my family. There has most certainly been occassions where I am financially stable (as much as you can be as student) and other times where I am having a complete breakdown about money. I’ve had jobs come and go when I’ve needed extra money and times when I haven’t had to work. I’ve gone through times when I’ve wanted to volunteer to go everything and taken too much on and times when I’ve turned away amazing opportunities. There has been the classic situations where I have worked myself to the bone in 24 hours and times when I’ve spread it out. I’ve experienced eating like a king for a good few weeks and moments when I’ve struggled to find a decent meal at all. I’ve had moments where I’ve been on top of the world and confident and then I’ve had the opposite where I am scared and terrified to do anything. I’ve had moments where all I’ve wanted to do is be at university and those when I’ve wanted to drop out altogether. I’ve experienced feelings of being utterly social and saying yes to everything and other times where I am a complete introvert and just wanted my own company. I’ve had times where I’ve chased my dreams and future and others where I’ve completely gave up on them. I have been happy and sad simultaneously. I’ve been angry and calm together. I’ve been positive and negative. I’ve been everything and anything all at once. I’d argue I’ve been at the highest point in student life and at the lowest – arguably at the same time sometimes. I’ve been inexperienced as a student and I’ve become a hardened (nearly veteran) of a student. I came into student life with misconceptions that I tried to live by only to discover I needed to discover it for myself.

I’ve come to realise ‘student life’ is a unique experience that you can not really experience anywhere else. It’s like a teenagers life smashed together with a working life. You are working 24/7 towards a degree but still manage to go out and achieve the mother of all hangovers. It’s having to take full responsibility for your life but at the same time, having no responsibility at all. It’s still enjoying life as a ‘teen’ but having to make pretty serious decisions as an adult. It’s everything you never imaged it could be whilst being nothing like you ever thought it would be.

‘Student Life’ and ‘University’ are unique to everyone, personally. Sure, there are the same generalised situations and feelings that we all experience but they are still unique to everybody. Every student experiences student life differently and they will all only ever be summed up as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or ‘successful’ or ‘unsuccessful’. Society often views student life has a drugged up, alochol fuelled time of study but that’s the stereotype. Student life is in a bubble from the rest of society and unless you are living it, you will never understand the hardships of being a student. Volunterarily going into debt, volunterarily moving out and being independent, accepting that at this point you are not guaranteed a job no matter what you do but desperate to stay in education because it is the next logical step. For 18 years we are told to sit down, shut up and listen and learn and then expected to make one of the most important decisions of our life. Continue in school or go to work. Then, it’s all go from there. University and student life is a transitional period that anybody on the outside does not understand. It’s a struggle. It’s mentally and physically testing in every aspect of those meanings. Some soon find out that they aren’t ready for it or can’t handle it where as others just keep trudging through the challenges of this life, then there are those that seem to sail through it. No matter how it appears on the outside, everybody struggles with student life at some point.

As a student you will always face a judgement at some point. Whether that’s being judged for the course you study, the way you study that course, the way in which you live or act – whatever it is, you’ll face it because no matter what you did, someone isn’t going to approve of this life you have chosen. You’ll change mentally and physically – you’ll lose weight, you’ll gain weight. You’ll get into debt with various banks, friends or even family. You’ll experiene a ‘student breakdown’ of questioning everything. No matter what though, whatever you experience, you will keep fighting and living this ‘student life’.

From what I’ve learned, I could write a million and one articles providing hints and tips, advice and my own experiences but at the end of the day, they are just words on a screen. Nothing more. They are just words of one student. At the end of the day, student life needs to be lived to be learned. There is no other way and being honest, despite whatever I’ve written in the past, there is no way you can be prepared for it. As I’ve said, every experience is different and unique.

Though, one thing is for certain. No matter what happens during student life, what you study, who you make friends with (or don’t), whatever you decide to do… students always stick together and to be honest, we need too. It’s becoming more of a challenge to be a student. It’s becoming more expensive, more challenge and all at the same time, under appreciated. I truly believe when you pass your degree you should get your degree in the subject you’ve studied and one for surviving student life because, it’s an experience in itself and does train you to survive the world in ways you never thought you could.

So… here we are again, one students words on a screen.

This is university.