Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Mental Illness And The Ever-Looming Future

It's a total cliche but it's definitely true - life doesn't work out how you expect it to. I expected by 24 I would be married, moved out with kids; instead, I'm gay, living with my girlfriend's parents and going back to university. That isn't a bad thing, don't get me wrong, but it's pretty far from where I had anticipated being at this point in my life - and it's got me feeling some anxiety. Life is more complicated than ever, and I feel as though I'm constantly running as fast as I can in a circle but never getting anywhere - the future is so uncertain that the idea of it can leave me crumpled in a ball at any given moment.

For now life is one big limbo, pretty until I go on my year abroad; we aren't really planning on anything big. I don't think we're planning on moving out before then, we aren't planning the wedding before then, we aren't really planning anything too much in the long term as this is like a huge giant on the horizon casting a shadow over my life now. I am so excited for that chapter in my life, spending a year speaking my new language in a culture I have spent 2 years learning about by then - but it's also scary. However I look at this, I'm likely going to spend just shy of 12 months in a foreign country on my own. Though I know this is a life experience I will thank myself for later, right now it feels like a hurdle I need to get over before embarking on the other things going on in my life.

Before we even get close to that though; I'm scared of starting university. My time at Chester wasn't great for me, and I'm holding out serious hope that Liverpool will prove to be a better experience - with both this and my year abroad, I'm worried about how this will effect my mental health, knowing that more than anything I never, ever want to be in the position that I was two years ago. I still struggle to find the line between natural, typical anxiety and 'this-is-too-much-for-me-get-me-out' jarring anxiety that GAD used to bring me. I know the feeling is very different for each, but even the slightest hint of anxiety or fear has me at panic stations that I'm falling back into old patterns.

The future is a huge fear for me - partly because once I never saw myself having one; it scares me every day I see this black, unsure future; which everybody has, but each person reacts to differently. I have no idea how the future is going to go, and it's really triggering my anxiety; as ridiculous as that is - because in this case I truly am fearing the unknown, fearing a big, fat nothing. I've been doing so well that this idea of change has me right on the edge, and I feel as though I'm teetering and I haven't even started yet; the idea of not knowing what is going to worsen my anxiety has my generalised anxiety disorder running riot - and though everything will be fine, I feel as though right now I can't really convince my head that that is the case.

This isn't a sympathy post - just an honest one, I know that when everyone around you is excited for their future, fearing yours can be a really isolating prospect; and I hope this makes anyone feeling like that feel less alone. Here's to seeing what the future holds, and hoping it reveals itself soon.

Sammy xo.

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