November 23, 2012

Katie, a Time to Change bloggerEvery morning, I used to have the same feeling, the same dread and anxiety about what might happen at college that day. The bullies we’re there waiting every day and something would happen most days. The snidey remarks, the topic of gossip at college or facebook and being that target. It’s as if I was their entertainment, I was their entertainment.

In summer 2011, everything changed. The bullying was getting out of hand. I became ill. I isolated myself from the outside world because I was afraid of being judged and scrutinized. At times, it got so bad I wouldn’t leave the house for days on end. I couldn’t even go to the shop. I shut people out.

The new academic year swiftly rolled. I was terrified. I couldn’t do it. My parent sought medical help. After being told I wasn’t ill enough by the CAHMS, they found a private Psychotherapist.

I didn’t think mental health problems would affect me. I thought I was strong enough to deal with it alone 

I didn’t want to go, I really didn’t but it was the only way of knowing what was going on, what monster I was dealing with?! I didn’t think mental health problems would affect me. I thought I was strong enough to deal with it alone but I wasn’t. From that day, everything changed. I was ashamed at first, to tell people what was going on. I mean come on, there’s a massive stigma surrounding mental health. So I kept it secret. Teachers and family knew but that was it.

With the support and guidance from family and my counsellor, I slowly got back into college. My peers saw me around and that was it as I wasn’t in lessons. I changed my therapy and I’m now having hypnotherapy. This has given me the tools and techniques I need to deal with situations and change my thinking styles. Even though these bullies had helped put me in the situation I was in, this time they weren’t going to win. I knew that I could make it.

I battled through year 11, taught myself out of texts books and the internet,

I battled through year 11, taught myself out of texts books and the internet, anything to achieve what I wanted. On results day when I walked in to college, I knew I’d given it my all, even though I hadn’t had the best year and not a lot of support at college. Yes, I’d missed out on loads of opportunities this year....the prom, family events, swimming events etc.

Opening the envelope was a daunting time but there it was. I’d achieved enough...I came out with 11 GCSE’s, 7 A*-C. Since achieving my GCSE, I got a place on a sports massage therapy course at a new college and how things have changed. The support there has been so overwhelming, and I was so relieved that they understand me and understand social anxiety.

Moving colleges was the best thing I’ve chosen to do

Moving colleges was the best thing I’ve chosen to do. Being accepted for who I am and not based just on my past. My personal tips on dealing with mental health are:

  1. accept that there’s a problem – this is the first step to recovery and the hardest one.
  2. ask for help – getting help from the medical profession has put me on the road to recovery.
  3. talk – at first, I didn’t talk to anybody about my social anxiety, but since doing so, it’s helped dramatically, as people understand.

Talking to people and sharing my experiences has given me the confidence to say...’you know what, bring it on, I’m ready for it.’

Now I’ve left the past behind, and accepted that I have a mental health problem, I’m a lot more confident and happier with myself as an individual. Talking to people and sharing my experiences has given me the confidence to say...’you know what, bring it on, I’m ready for it.’

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