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I’ve been dealing with anxiety since I was about 10-years-old, and at that age, I only really experienced it when I was in the presence of a specific person. I had a traumatic experience because of this person. At 10-years-old, I was shouted at badly and it’s affected me ever since. However, for the longest time, I didn’t know I had anxiety. I also developed depression about three years later because of bullying. It takes a lot out of you. I learned to hide my emotions as I didn’t want anyone to know what was happening—this included my friends and my parents. I also became very secretive and started isolating myself.
A couple of years after that I was getting into conflicts with my best friends, but it was so hard at the time as I didn’t know that I was dealing with having anxiety and depression. I kind of knew I had depression by year 12 but wasn’t aware of the anxiety as my depression was more predominant at the time.
By the time I got to university, I was quite timid. Luckily enough, my best friend got me into activities which I’m so gratefully thankful for. However, there were still conflicts occurring. Only recently I finally found out I had moderate anxiety and depression. Furthermore, I have issues with a current ex, so that I can’t be in the presence of this person. It’s mainly because of him but also being surround by his new girlfriend and friends that knew the prior situation we had. Eventually, I realised that I needed to go to counselling to talk about my issues.
Anxiety is so hard to deal with. It can affect your life daily, especially with me anyway. I still struggle to deal with conflict, talking about my problems without crying and always being scared that people are going to shout at me. I have an issue with putting myself down a lot, so that no one wants to be friends with a person like me.
Sometimes I want to give my opinion but I feel that I come across as intimidating which I don’t want people to get that impression of me. My anxiety has also led me to lose a relationship. Maybe it was for the better but I didn’t want that to happen again to the next person I was dating. I try to be the best person I can be. I make mistakes but at least I can admit what I’ve done wrong eventually. But I can’t let my anxiety make me run away from what is important to me, especially my new relationship where my boyfriend wants me to join a society that my ex that I’m in fear of is also attending.
Also, working will become more of a struggle if I don’t control my anxiety. I always worry if I’m doing something wrong, even if it’s the smallest things. Being able to get a grasp on my anxiety will mean I will be able to maintain the friendships that I currently have, as well as being able to tackle confrontation better and being able to express my opinions without constantly worrying about whether my opinions come across as too strong.
I know not everyone is going to like me, but at least I have people that do, and I need to remember that.
It will take time, but I want to fight the fear.
(Going to counselling does sound scary, but I think it’s great to talk to someone professionally about your issues and open the layers of what the underlying problem really is. If it eventually helps you to be more yourself back in society, then I think it's worth it. I’m happy my university has free services for students.)