My Anxiety, My Struggle, My Control.

I have been wanting to start a blog about my anxiety for a long time, to be able to share my experiences and communicate with others about ways of dealing with anxiety and overcoming it. Doing this project has given the courage to actually start it and finally write my first post. During my research about mental health I looked at ‘New Media as a Powerful Ally in the Representation of Mental Illness: Youtube, Resistance and Change‘ by Katie Ellis and came across an important quote which supports why I made the decision to create this blog.

“Telling illness narratives is a valuable means of recovery when the body becomes what the individual never expected it would – damaged. Narrative is vital, as the ill person works out their changing identity, and position in the world of health, continuing when they are no longer ill, but remain marked by their experience.” (Ellis 2012: 192).

Not only is this relevant for my blog, but it’s also relevant for the purpose of my whole project. Having my life consumed by anxiety was something I never expected or was never prepared for, especially the extreme circumstances it placed me in and horrific experiences it has put me through. By creating a narrative, it has helped me identify in myself how I want to be able to help others knowing what a horrendous experience it can be. Also, I have been subject to the stigma which is attached to mental health and knowing what this is like has inspired me to make my contribution to challenging and changing it. Mental illness can create an incredibly lonely world, so being subject to stigma is the last thing those who are suffering need.

I decided to name my blog My Anxiety, My Struggle, My Control as I want to share my experience of all 3 and also including control in the title shows how I have learnt to handle it and become a better person because of it. This is why I also decided to name my project the same to combine my blog and this project to demonstrate my contribution to changing society’s perception of mental illness and hopefully help others to speak about theirs. Since posting, I have received 2 comments and 7 likes – knowing people are already learning about my journey after one blog post is invigorating and speaking to other’s, even at this point after having anxiety for the past 4 years, that I’m not alone. Despite the negatives of the internet, it can provide a huge support network for those who need it.


 

Hello, My name is Vikki and I have an anxiety disorder.

After long and careful consideration, I decided that was the best opening line. Then I stopped to eat biscuits. I have been wanting to start a blog for a long time with a lot of things to say and now I finally have, I don’t know what to say. It’s probably best to start at the beginning.

It was around Summer 2011 where I found myself revising for the exams of my first year of A-levels, when I suddenly started feeling very, very sick. I stopped writing my Geography notes and tried to eat some chicken soup for lunch, the go-to for when you’re poorly sick. But I couldn’t eat it. I couldn’t shake this feeling. Since then, things haven’t ever been the same. From there, my hazy memory recalls sleepless nights, not being able to eat and fear of what each day held. Before I knew it, I was suffering with crippling anxiety which often left me too scared to leave the house. Each day became a battle with my own mind.

From a young age, I have always had Emetophobia – a fear of vomiting and seeing/being around others who are sick. When I was younger I was unaware it was a genuine phobia, but I knew I hated it and I knew I was scared. Even school trips would fill me with dread incase somebody suffered with travel sickness, my little heart pounding with fear. As I grew older, I realised it was actually a ‘real’ phobia and only recently have I learnt it’s quite common. Sometimes it’s been hard to explain and quite frankly embarrassing, but it’s just something I’ve learnt to deal with. Yet little did I ever think this phobia would end up taking over my life, making me overly analytical of how well cooked my food is, using antibacterial hand gel like my life depends on it and freaking out at the hint of a stomach ache.

Despite my lowest points and rollercoaster ride through the last 4 years of my life, I’m still here and ready to tell my story. I’m using this blog not only to help myself, but to help others as I think it is so important to feel supported, as well as challenging the stigma which surrounds mental health. I’d love to hear from you.

Apart from my anxiety, I am crawling through to the end of my final year of university studying photography, lover of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Emmerdale, music of contradicting genres, eating unhealthily, spending unnecessary amounts of money on shoes and spending time with my wonderful family and boyfriend, about to attempt to teach myself to play the violin and learn to drive…. and get a job of course.

V 🙂


Ellis, K. (2012) ‘New Media as a Powerful Ally in the Representation of Mental Illness: Youtube, Resistance and Change’ In ‘Mental Illness in Popular Media Essays on the Representation of Disorders‘. Edited by Rubin, L. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Company Inc. 184 – 201.

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~ by victoriasimkissphotography on May 11, 2015.

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