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An Extract From My Journal, by Elena Nicola
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12th Aug 2014

An extract from a journal I wrote during my days at school;

"It's 7am and my day begins. I try to wake myself up, but the task seems ever so impossible. Not only do I feel drained physically, but emotionally, too. Thoughts of worry are inevitably taking over my life, and nothing I can do will stop it happening. Why does this happen? Why can't my mind be settle, after all it isn't as if I'm worrying about anything that needs to be worried about. Exhibit A - yesterday my heart started raising when my science teacher peeked over my shoulder at my book. I don't know why but I panicked. I wanted to cry. Why was he being so nosey? What was he going to say - had I done something wrong? Multiple questions just squeezed their way into my head somehow and kept wanting to be asked. I'm so weird. Exhibit B - I couldn't get to bed last night because I was convinced my house would be burgled.      I don't know why I thought that, I just did."

For too long a time I thought that what I was experiencing was normal - that was until I found help. Anxiety is and will always be my arch enemy, forever the bane of my life. It is the thing that has manipulated and determined my actions for the majority of my life, preventing me from doing the silliest of things such as paying for an item in a shop, because I was too scared of such a social situation. Everything I did had to be questioned, contested and pointed out by the evil voices in my brain. In fact, I couldn't even leave the house when my acne was bad, I was too scared people would snigger. All very self-centered you may think. Indeed, it seems that way - as if all I can think about is myself. I believe what is misunderstood is that yourself is at the heart of the anxiety, even though you don't want it to be. My brain keeps me hostage and I am it's punch bag. In a sense, I am being held captive by my own brain.

Let us not forget the extras that anxiety has imposed - most notably, depression. One does not chose to have depression. Nor do they wish to be sad. Depression is a side effect of reduced serotonin activity - in my case this was anxiety. I'd wake up with a pain in my abdomen everyday. This pain had nothing to do with my muscles or organs. This pain was sadness. Sadness from the fatigue of being anxious. Sadness from being held captive. Depression is just as tiering as anxiety. It is a personal and lonely experience, which effects you in its own little ways, pulling at your emotions in every way it can.

To all those that suffer from the same problems as me, my plea to you is to seek help and talk to someone.

To all those that stigmatise mental illness, my plea to you is to think again.

To all of those who wish to donate, please donate to SANE!

Elena

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