Studying while drowning

Originally I wanted to wait to publish this for the Mental Health Awareness Week. But – as much as I think the MHAW is really important I also regard mental health issues as something that should be talked about not only one week per year. That’s why I decided to publish this post today even though it would be probably easier to talk about that while I’m not yet again swimming in my tiny pool of anxiety. Anyways – let’s kick off.

Not many of people who know me know that I’ve got more issues than Vogue. Since I’ve turned 15 I’ve been suffering from body-dysmorphia because of which I’ve been obsessively checking my body measurements and not a single day went by without checking if my weight finally dropped. Although I can now say that after a long I feel comfortable being myself – I still try to get that perfect figure I’ve always wanted and I don’t see myself as other people do. It’s been a while to realise that counting calories and restricting myself is of no use and strict diets can do only harm to my body. Going through the process of trying to see myself in the mirror and not the person that my mind wanted to see was hard and I know that I still have a long way to go.

Apart from the dysmorphic situation going on I’m also a person whose one of her biggest friends following my every step is social anxiety. It used to be not such a big problem when I used to move houses a lot as the feeling of upcoming changes was so overwhelming that I had no time to worry about social interactions but now since I’m still at Uni it became a rather problematic aspect. Smallest conversations with my course mates make me nervous and I’d rather stay in bed than go out and talk to people. Reading something out loud during the class seems to me to be a harder task than climbing Mount Everest and when someone asks me about something my palms are sweaty and all I can think of is ‘how to respond quickly enough and in such a manner that I don’t come across as… dumb’ which makes me come across as rude and ignorant most of the times. People talking loudly stress the fuck out of me and make me want to stay quiet till the rest of my life, my voice is constantly shaking even when I talk to my closest friends, that makes me seem as if I was on the verge of crying all the time. Which I probably am close to when there is more than five people in the room.

Anxiety usually is not seen as that big of a deal by many people. Usually when I tell someone about it I get one reaction – ‘how come? Aren’t you a model?’. What I do has no connections with the anxiety. If anything modeling made it easier for me to communicate with people as it taught me that not everybody is constantly judging me. When someone starts the conversation it is because they actually want to know your opinion or maybe, just maybe, they like talking to you. Sometimes people just want to talk to me but the voice in the back of my mind just does not want to shut up when I’m trying to say more than two sentences. The fact that I absolutely dislike my voice is another factor.

How to be a student while drowning? It’s not that easy but it is most certainly doable. If it comes to the worst case scenario – you don’t have to go to your lectures or you can leave after a few hours but that should never be the option you go for. Overcoming something that rules your life is tough – trust me been there, done that – but at the same time it is a sort of small victory when you manage to get out of bed and go out to the people, do your stuff and live your life -with the mean voice in the back of your head or without it.