I’ve really neglected this blog over the last few months, mainly due to uni and just not being in much of a writing mood. I really want to start posting more regularly again though, because frankly I need the therapy and catharsis that comes from actually putting my pent-up thought processes into words. Things actually seemed to be going quite well for me for a short while but now I’m back to the same old worrying about my future and feeling that I’m not really getting anywhere. University finished for the summer a month and a half ago now. I got good marks in the four modules I sat this year but I still feel inferior and even guilty for being part-time at university while other people can handle being full-time, as well as their part-time jobs and social lives.
I did three more weeks of work experience in May, at the same vet practice as last year (I’ll be writing a post about this at some point). It was supposed to help me figure out what I want to do with my life but it just made me even more confused, unsure, and stressed out. I did enjoy the actual work experience though. I also managed to get myself a weekend job at a stables (post coming about this also) but I’m still on trial there, so I’m not sure if they will be keeping me on as a permanent member of staff. My anxiety goes through the roof when I’m there, because the owner of the farm yells at me whenever I do the slightest thing wrong, even though most of the things he yells at me about have not been explained to me, and he seems to expect me to know everything despite the fact that I’m only there for a few hours each week. It’s been quite difficult to keep my anxiety in check while working there. It’s a minimum wage job and I’m only working between 4.5 and 9 hours a week there at the moment, so I’ve also been trying to find a summer job but have not been successful so far. I’m also determined to pass my driving test this summer, but progress with my driving has been very slow (again, mostly due to the high anxiety that I experience while driving). It would give me more independence and would mean that I’m not having to rely on my parents for lifts to my weekend job, so I hope I can do it.
I feel like I’ve really not achieved much between finishing work experience and now. I tend to feel worse when I’m not at university because I’m even more socially isolated and I have more time to over-think things. I’ve promised myself that I will read and work through four self-help books before university starts up again (all are CBT-style books). I just hope that they will help me. I’ve also been trying to look into getting a befriender – I feel that this is something that could really help me – but I may not qualify for the befriending services because I don’t live within the city of Edinburgh. There doesn’t seem to be any similar service in my own area. I hate how getting help with mental health problems is so often a postcode lottery. Having a befriender could mean the difference between sitting at home and feeling miserable/ suicidal for most of the summer, and actually getting out and trying new groups and building my social skills.
I went on a caravanning trip to Pitlochry with my family a couple of weekends ago. I love it up there and I love just being able to get away from everything for a little while. I can’t really explain this but just getting away from the town where I went to high school, was bullied, and where so many bad memories were formed, even just for a weekend, can feel really liberating. Unfortunately, I had been ill with tonsillitis for a couple of weeks, and still felt a bit ill while we were caravanning, but I was still able to go cycling with everyone else on the last day (though this was a shock to the system after spending nearly 2 weeks just lying in bed). I’ve since got my fitness levels back up and I’ve gotten back into cycling 20+ miles once or twice a week. Exercise really helps with my mood, as well as taking the stress (about my future and also more pressing things) away for a little while. The weather here has also been unusually warm and sunny over the last week, so that has really helped as well.
It’s been months since I’ve written something non-scientific so I hope that my updates won’t bore anyone who reads this blog. I’m also going to use this blog to track any progress that I make with CBT, or with any of the other things I mentioned.