Anxiety Is Not Pretty: How It Feels To Live With Anxiety

This is a stream of consciousness written at a point in time when I was gripped by anxiety so tightly I could barely think because of it. It’s angry and it’s messy, because that’s the reality of anxiety for so many people. I’m sharing this in order to give one perspective of what it’s like to live with anxiety – of course, many other versions exist out there, some of which will resonate with this more than others.

(Potential trigger warning for those who experience intense anxiety – this is descriptive of my thoughts and experiences and I don’t want that to hurt anyone further.)


Anxiety is not pretty. It isn’t glamorous, or endearing. It may seem that way in books and films and on social media, but that is definitely not how it feels to live with. It is rough, brutal. Mean-spirited and ugly. Anxiety is a constant argument in my head between the unconvincing, faint yelp of the rational, and the fearful, controlling scream of manipulative desperation.

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How To Make Friends as a Young Solo Female Traveller

I know, I’m doing a double take too. A travel post?! From me? What kind of crazy day is this? When I originally started this blog, I wanted to use the space to share lots of travel stories and tips, but found myself feeling a little sad whenever I started trying to write them. I was in a place where all I wanted to do was get on a plane somewhere and explore. And I couldn’t. But I think I’ve realised that now, and feel in a better mindset to positively talk about travel experiences, rather than wistfully. It also might have something to do with the fact that I’m going on some pretty epic travels in June… I’m getting pretty excited, not gonna lie.

Anyway, that is for another post. Today I want to talk about making friends. More specifically, making friends whilst travelling. I’m going to be honest here: this can be a tricky game to play. Trying to balance having fun adventures with the safety alerts going off in the back of your mind can be tiring. But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be ridiculously complicated.

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Femininity and Anxiety on the Basketball Court – Seeking Discomfort #02

I remember the incredulous satisfaction of getting a basketball through a hoop in the school playground when I was (possibly) nine years old. That complete, pure happiness of doing something visibly well without a single pinch of negativity radiating from myself; I didn’t feel the uncomfortable itch of other people’s eyes that sometimes physically makes my skin crawl these days, or the painful awareness of all my body parts awkwardly squirming in an unfamiliar environment. I was just one body amongst others, merging into the lines on the court.

Looking back at how I felt playing any kind of sport as a young kid, it was as if my limbs were an extension of the pitch, or the racket was an extension of my own body. Things flowed easily. Except thoughts, any thinking that was not related to the game ceased. I guess this is what it means to feel fully absorbed in what you’re doing, and I certainly can coax that feeling back sitting at a laptop, fingers flying over the keyboard as I type out a post. But I know for sure I haven’t felt it doing something as physical as a sport in a long time.

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Why I’m Challenging My Comfort Zone – Seeking Discomfort #01

We all have a comfort zone: some are small and particular whilst others are bigger and encompass a lot of experiences. Some have thick walls constantly under guard whilst others have more lenient borders. As I’ve grown up, my comfort zone has stretched out in many ways – for example, my independence, ability to travel alone and slower heart rate when making phone calls.

Yet, in a lot of other ways, my comfort zone has shrunk as I’ve become more self-aware, and as a result of this, more self-conscious. My comfort zone in terms of putting myself out there, doing sport and self-confidence have all diminished; sometimes it feels like the walls have been built up higher and surrounded by a moat. This is something I’d like to change.

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Bruises And Adrenaline: Doing Things That Make Us Feel Alive

“It’s the experiences that count, the bruises and dry faces,” my boyfriend said to me after spending the morning trekking across snow-washed countryside in blizzard like conditions. Walking back through the front door at lunchtime the other day more than a little beaten up felt like a relief and a reward all at once. It was 28th February 2018, the second day in a row we had woken up to a city painted white, and we had decided to make the most of it.

If you’re from the UK, you’re probably over this phenomenon by now as social media has been inundated with snow photos. People, like always in this country, were seriously excited. Of course the media went ridiculously over the top, and 90% of the news was about past, future or current snowfallPublic transport was cancelled or delayed, some schools were closed and the only thing the UK seemed to have improved on since I was a child was gritting the roads. When I was little, it would look like someone had dropped a huge tub of washing powder on the city; the world would be unrecognisable and all movement would halt. Now, main roads carve grey arteries into the landscape, allowing life to carry on flowing.

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What I Learnt From the Hostel Snorer in Sydney: Travel Experiences

There’s a lot you can learn about yourself when lying absolutely and totally awake because someone in your hostel dorm room snores. This is a harsh truth I discovered on perhaps my fourth day in Sydney, seven weeks into travelling and on the precipice of the emotionally-taxing journey to find work, a place to live and friends in a new city.

Up until that point, I had mostly managed to miss out on the hostel experience, living a life of luxury some of the time and in situations more isolating and grimy other times. This included a friend’s family home, a room in a stranger’s suburban house, a tent pitched in the humidity of a Hawaiian farm and a whole floor (bathroom included) of a family friend’s cousin’s house. I’ll let you work out which of these fall into the luxury category and which of these fall painfully short of comfortable.

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34 Thoughts From My First Ever Night Shift

Last night I experienced what it’s like to work a night shift in a hospital – for the first time ever. It was an intense, yet spaced-out experience which I’m finding hard to write about in any sort of coherent manner (probably due to the fact I’ve missed a night’s sleep and the skill of producing eloquent content is evading me right now). Because of this, I thought I’d write a post documenting a fraction of my thoughts throughout the night instead – this allows me to share with you all my feelings in the way I experienced them, rather than editing the events into reflective prose.

So here we go, from start to finish, my first night shift experience in 34 parts:

This feels like a dream, actually no, a nightmare. Is this real? I don’t think this is happening. In the car on the way to work at 7:30pm? No way.

It’s so dark out here. Like, impossibly solid darkness. No one should be heading to work when the sky is this black.

This really is real. I just walked through the hospital’s automatic doors and the antiseptic, musty, microwaved-food smell that I’ve come to know so well is hitting me full on.

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12 Tips To Get Into Manual Photography (From a Newbie)

First of all I’d like to apologise for the sporadic and spontaneous posts that seem to be appearing on my blog at the moment. Recently, having started my new job on top of trying to catch up with some uni work, I’ve been pushed a little off-kilter and my routine of writing a post every day or two has become disrupted. This is something I’m trying to amend though, so hopefully I can find a new sort of routine to slide into once I find my feet at work.

At the start of the year, I wrote a blog post detailing my experiences of what it’s like to shoot manual photos for the first time. Today I’d like to revisit that topic and offer a few tips to anyone out there trying to get into it themselves.

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Misunderstanding My Anxiety

Hands sweating, heart racing, the bones in my legs were suddenly made of string. There was no way I was standing up, let alone on blades a few millimetres thick, on ICE. What was I thinking? Why did I think this was a good idea and I could do this? That’s a crazy concept anyway, people do not belong on slippery surfaces. They belong on solid ground, or in bed, actually yeah, bed sounds like an attractive option right now.

“Size 6.” I forced out of my unsteady lungs, handing my trainers over in return for ice skates and begging my mind to please, please just keep it together and not ruin this fun, yes FUN activity. I will have fun. Will I?

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What It’s Like to Backpack During the Festive Season – Blogmas Day 11

Let me set a scene for you: stormy drives along winding roads, dramatic peaks and valleys of lush greenery, sandy beaches, fog-shrouded deserted towns, new friendships, sleepless nights in noisy hostels, lakes that look like mirrors, mountains that look like stock photos, free drinks, cheeks red from the wind, a glacial hike, sandwiches for lunch and pasta for dinner, a new place everyday, t-shirts and sea spray.

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