Hello, it’s me, I was woooondering

Hey, my name is Maddy… I feel like I should reintroduce myself it’s been so long since my last post… don’t look – it’s embarrassing. So, I started this blog at the end of last year when I was going through a very difficult time, pour en dire le moins. I found the process of writing all my feelings down (ok… typing if you’re going to be pedantic) almost therapeutic, and the fact that a couple of people found what I was saying remotely useful was an added bonus. To explain my absence, I entered into my final year of university last October, and, as you can imagine, it was a little overwhelming with the pressure of deadlines, dissertations and exams (can’t think of another ‘d‘ word). But, here I am, about 8 months later, out the other side :). My graduation is in a few weeks time, all very exciting, but a quick update on my mental health.

So, as I believe I mentioned in my last post, I finally plucked up the courage to admit that I needed help. I had suffered in silence for a good few years, and I reached the point where I simply couldn’t cope alone anymore. It was the best thing I have ever done. I think I will still be able to say that in 20 years time, because I’m not entirely convinced that I would still be here otherwise. I’ve spent the last 6-7 months on escitalopram (an SSRI anti-depressant/anxiety medication). Did it do all the work for me? No. Is it a magic pill? Certainly not… but in a world of eternal darkness, it acted as a very much needed lighthouse. I had a couple of falls at the beginning of the academic year, but, for the last few months, I have actually felt… good?! Don’t jinx it. It’s very unlike me to be positive. That being said, I’m hoping that this blog can become a little more positive, a little less anxious, and more about the person behind the anxiety. Moi 🙂

I’m currently trying to find some good meditation/relaxation classes or books – so if anyone has any tips – please let me know! If last year’s me could see me now… relaxation? Meditation? Who are you?! I know… but, one of the exercises my therapist gave me to try and cope with panic attacks (I won’t do it as it makes me look like a crazy person) involves clapping your hands and finding your happy, safe place. For me, it was my bedroom in my last house, fluffy blankets under my feet, surrounded by cosy pillows, looking out the window at the trees in the garden, the smell of winter (you know, that smell where everything is crisp and clean) and the sound of nothing, the snow falling outside acting like a wax seal on ambient noise. This is my safe place. To my absolute shock and surprise, it worked. I felt incredibly relaxed and calm, my heart rate slowed down, by hands weren’t shaking anymore, and I was back to myself. That being said, I want to give meditation a go to see if it helps me with my day to day anxieties (of which there are many). So do let me know!

As for what I’m doing now… well, I feel at a bit of a lost end! Having spent the last 8 months working non-stop, staying at university during holidays, writing thousands upon thousands of words, revising things I don’t completely understand – it’s all over. The end of your degree isn’t as euphoric as I thought it would be…  no fireworks, champagne popping etc. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but I don’t know what to do with myself now I’m back home for the summer. So, I’m hoping to make it as productive as possible – learn a couple of new languages, learn some new skills, read a million books… I don’t want to waste the weeks away. Oh, another thing, all going well (touchons du bois croisons les doigts) I will be embarking upon an MSt at Oxford University in October (I say ‘all going well’ as I have to get a First, which is definitely not a fait donné). I’ll get to study a mixture of all the topics that I love – French philosophy, psychology, literature and feminism. I really can’t wait, something I never thought I’d say about academic study lol. Again, look at me now, fresher me!

I think that’s everything for now, although I’m sure I’m forgetting something. It feels really good to be writing again. Talk to you soon!