Anxiety Update: Being a 20 year old who’s scared of nightmares

Photos taken by the lovely Abbey Louisa Rose.

Trigger warning: detail of mental health and panic attacks.

I didn’t wanna be doing another anxiety update so soon, but situations have occurred and my anxiety is bad. Not as bad as it can get, but not good.

Ok, so my nightmares have returned.

I haven’t really shared much about them before, but I get messages about how these posts help people, so it only seemed right to share what I am currently going through.

Whenever I talk to people about my nightmares, I don’t think they take me seriously. Nightmares are associated with the monster under the bed when you’re little, and crying and ending up sleeping with your parents. Funnily enough, I don’t remember having many nightmares as a child. But, as an adult, they are persistent and horrid.

And they make me feel so pathetic.

Sleep used to be my safe place when it came to anxiety. When I’d had an exhausting panic attack, sleep would be a comfort to me. However, the nightmares began around this time last year, and they did ease up for a while, but now they’re back and stronger than ever.

Photos taken by the lovely Abbey Louisa Rose.

Sometimes I have actual panic attacks in my sleep. It’s horrible because I feel trapped in my sleep and I can’t wake up. I don’t like it. How do you explain that at 19 years old your nightmares are your worse enemy? You just can’t.

But my nightmares are the place where my deepest, darkest fears are actualised and it’s bloody horrid. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

Continue reading “Anxiety Update: Being a 20 year old who’s scared of nightmares”


Life Update; Starting Driving Lessons! (And Driving With Anxiety)

So, you may know if you follow me on social media that I recently started driving lessons. I know that driving isn’t a big thing for most people but, I’ve just turned 20, and I have officially put off learning to drive for a whole 3 years simply because people told me that I’d be bad at it. I might be bad at it, but at least I have finally found the confidence within myself to push myself to try.

I wasn’t going to write this post, or even mention driving on my social media, because I am SO nervous about it, and I haven’t even told many people that I’m finally having lessons. But, I also put it off for so long because of the same thing, and so I wanted to share this journey (however long it may be!) with you, mainly because I wanted to reach out to others who are also terrified, and are putting it off.

Everyone always told me that I would be a terrible driver. I crashed a dodgem once and sprained my wrist. Another time, I nearly ran a man over in a go-kart. These experiences combined with everyone telling me just how bad they thought that I was going to be, really put me off.

But, when I finally booked my first lesson, I actually felt a bit excited. Maybe I could prove everyone wrong. Maybe I could actually learn to drive. Maybe I would be a fantastic driver straight away.

Reader, I was not. (For the fantastic driver straight away bit anyway).

But, my instructor is kind and patient and has a sense of humour and doesn’t shout at me, which is exactly what I was looking for. He sees my mistakes as part of the experience rather than mistakes, and I find it so reassuring!

I had my first lesson last Thursday, and have had another one since. I’m planning to have two 2 hour lessons a week, so that’s 4 hours of driving. I think a few people close to me are worried that this may be a little too much, but I am SO nervous that I feel like I need longer in order to feel comfortable and gain my confidence! It’s  bloody tiring, I won’t lie, but it’s definitely the kind of set-up that works for me.

Continue reading “Life Update; Starting Driving Lessons! (And Driving With Anxiety)”


Learning To Forgive Myself

cropped-dsc_398911.jpgI say a lot that I am too hard on myself. But, that doesn’t mean that I ever stop being. Until recently, I’d never really spoken about how I experience the feeling of guilt. But, on World Mental Health Day (in October) I was inspired by everyone sharing their stories, and decided to share a side to me that I usually try to hide: my relationship with guilt.

Now, I do not know whether or not this is a product of my anxiety. If I’m honest, I think it probably could very-well be, but I am not 100% certain. What I do know, however, is that I experience guilt very intensely.

If I think back to when this first occurred, I cannot remember ever not feeling this way. In primary school, I once broke a pencil. I was so ashamed that I decided to tell my mum I felt ill the next day, because I didn’t want to go to school and have to face up to my actions. My plan was foiled, however, when my mum made me go to school anyway, and my teacher told her what had happened the day before with the pencil. I was absolutely humiliated, and I felt so guilty for lying. I was around 5 when this event happened, but I still remember it vividly.

More recently I told someone something that I shouldn’t have. At the time, I thought this person actually knew the situation, and I didn’t realise until afterwards that they didn’t. This greatly upset someone, and this honestly makes me feel sick. I cried over this so many times, and I still feel sick whenever I think about it now. Even though I know that that person has forgiven me for this incident, I cannot help but feel incredibly guilty and want to hang my head in shame whenever I see them.

Another example is from our trip to Crete earlier this year. Getting on the coach, we sat in a seat on the coach and didn’t realise that someone had been sat there for the journey before. They caused a scene, I moved and cried, and I know that the way they behaved was wrong. But, I still can’t help but be angry at myself and feel an immense amount of shame for not being telepathic and knowing that they were sat there.

I cannot forgive myself. I feel like this is a theme that comes up time and time again in these posts, so I might as well just address it straight on. I struggle with forgiving myself, but I have no issue at all with forgiving others.

I think the main reason for this is that I feel responsible for how I (unintentionally) hurt another person. Even though they’ve probably forgotten about these incidents by now, I can’t help but experience regret in wishing that I could go back and rectify these issues; go back and never break that pencil, or tell that person that thing.

And it’s not even that I just have these experiences as memories that I have stored deep down in my brain. They come to me often, sometimes daily/weekly/monthly, and I feel absolutely sick to my stomach. They’ve been the cause of countless anxiety attacks, and i don’t think that that’s going to be something that stops any time soon.

Before I spoke up about this on twitter, I didn’t realise that anyone else thought this way. I thought that it was just my weird brain being irrational, and I always just accepted that that’s the way I am. But, I actually found quite a few people with similar experiences. So I guess I just want to say that you are definitely never alone in experiencing mental health issues. No matter how weird they may seem, I can almost guarantee you that someone else has felt that way at least once.

Finally, I’d just like to start a little discussion. Feel free to leave your opinions in the comments, as I feel like this will definitely be a hot debate. Do you think that it’s right to ever intentionally make someone feel guilt for their actions?

From my point of view, I would say no. That is not to say that I have not done this before, as I definitely have and they are some of the things that I regret. But, with the immense amount of guilt that I feel for so many little things, I try not to make other people feel guilty for things. Simply because, well, if I did, I would probably feel guilty for making them feel guilty and then we would just start a never ending circle of guilt…


H x


Why Am I So Bad At Taking Breaks?

If there’s one thing that I simply cannot do, it’s take a break.

You’ve probably realised this if you’ve followed me for, well, about 2 weeks.

I always say I’m going to have a break, and I never do. I mean, for gods sake, I started this blog the week of my a level exams because I was panicking that I was going to be bored over the summer. I’m just bloody awful at it, I can’t stop, I always have to be doing something.

For years now, I’ve actually considered this an off-spring of my anxiety, because my brain. is constantly working so quick that, generally, if I don’t have something to occupy me, my thoughts float to those anxious places that I don’t want to go to.

However, this has resulted in an eventual crash, many, many times. A few weeks ago I said I was going to take a blog break, I really needed to because I had an exam coming up, as well as two written work deadlines, and I completed blogmas all whilst working on revision and my deadlines. I had 2 days off over Christmas, that’s it. Continue reading “Why Am I So Bad At Taking Breaks?”


Anxiety Update: When It All Got Bad Again

Trigger warning: Mentions of mental health digression


If you read my last anxiety update, you’ll know that I was actually having a pretty good time. I liked how positive my last update was, and I was in two minds about writing this post for that exact reason, because I didn’t want to put a downer on it. But, I know so many of you like my anxiety updates and I always receive the nicest messages when I post them, so I thought why not post where I am truthfully at right now? After all, there is no straight road to recovery when it comes to mental health.

Ahhhh, where to start.

So, things were good. I felt settled in my new house, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and made friends on my course, and I was very happy. And then life twisted a little, and it went a little down hill.

Two major things happened:

  1. We started having some issues within the house. This made me feel unsafe, and hence, brought on a string of anxiety attacks.
  2. Zack found out that he’s being sent away for 6 months.

And my world got a little cloudier again. Both of these events happened at around the same time, and at first I thought I was ok. I tried to be positive about Zack going away (even though I didn’t feel it) and tried to make light of the situation, I also tried to joke about the house situation. However, I could feel my anxiety bubbling under the surface. That’s how it actually felt, like my stomach was bubbling, and I tried really really hard to keep it all in.

Until last week.

Last week I broke. I’d been feeling my anxiety coming on and getting stronger for weeks and weeks and I’d been trying to ignore it, but I broke eventually. And I felt defeated because I had had such a good run for a few months, and I’d tricked myself into thinking that my life could be like this, and that I could just ignore my mental health/


Today I took the day off of university. I had to, I was too exhausted. Does anyone else get that horrible exhaustion from anxiety where all you can do is stare at the ceiling? You’re too tired to even sleep? Yeah, that. So I had to take the day off.

I spent the day blogging, reading and recovering. I ate carbs, watched YouTube videos and was kind to myself. I hate taking days off for mental health purposes, but sometimes they are just necessary. If I’d have tried to push myself today, it would’ve just got progressively worse. So, instead I’ve taken a day out to rest and recoup, and tomorrow I’ll (hopefully) be back to myself, and I’ll feel so much better for it.

Rest is necessary, be kind to yourself.


H x


As ever, I am happy to discuss my own mental health experiences with anyone over on my social channels (Instagram and twitter). I am no expert on this topic, but I can be honest and speak from personal experience. If you require support please visit this web page from Time To Change, where further support is detailed. 


Anxiety Update: Starting Second Year

Bloody hell. I have such a love/hate relationship with writing these posts, but I think they’re super important so here goes. 

I’ve started my second year at university. I’ve actually been in it for a few weeks now, and it’s going quite well to be honest. 

I haven’t had a panic attack in quite a while actually. This is probably the longest I’ve gone in quite a long time, so I’m feeling pretty positive at the moment. I haven’t felt ill or even had cramps (my main symptom). I think this is partly down to the fact that I love the people that I live with. I feel safe here and happy and content, and it’s a really nice feeling. 

I’ve also been meeting a few new people. I’ve put myself out there on my course a little more and started sitting with people who were just acquaintances before. Again, it’s pretty nice. I feel very content and a lot more confident in myself. 

I’ve met up with one of my friends that I met through blogging (abbey!!) and it’s really nice to have someone there to discuss that side of my life with, rather than trying to hide it from people who I’m worried will laugh at me. 

I mean, my anxiety hasn’t gone obviously. There’s no real cure, and I know it will always be there bubbling under the surface, but for now I’ve been having a good run. 

I mean, there’s been a few times when I’ve felt myself slipping into a hole. But, I’ve been trying to concentrate really hard on my work and what I need to do to achieve this year, and so far it’s stopped me from sinking. 

So yeah. I wasn’t going to write this update, because it’s quite positive rather than negative, but I realised that I only ever share the negatives when it comes to anxiety. So I thought it would be nice to write quite a positive post about how I’ve been feeling lately, for me to look back on when it’s a little tougher to remind me that I can do this and I can get through this. 

Lots of love,

H x


University Update: The End Of First Year

So, I’ve officially finished the end of my first year of university. I’m no longer a fresher, and I’m a little scared for the future. I have blogged a few times about my experiences at university, particularly when I first went, so I thought it would only be right to update you on everything now that my first year is over!

All in all, I didn’t have a bad first year. Grades wise I’m very happy with what I managed to achieve, and I really enjoyed most of my modules and classes so that’s a positive. But this year has been hard, and I’m not going to sugar coat that.

I’ve really learnt a lot about myself this year. I’ve learnt a lot about mental illness, and a lot about my anxiety and how it can affect my body. I’ve experienced the worst my anxiety has ever been for prolonged periods of time, but I’ve come out of the other end and I feel stronger mentally now.

However, this crippling anxiety that I experienced towards the last few months of my first year did mean that I’ve missed out on things I wanted to attend. I’ve also distanced myself from the friends I first made, and that really makes me sad because I was so happy with my friends at the end of the first term.

To put it bluntly, my anxiety has been making me physically ill. This, combined with the stress of university has really taken it’s toll on me mentally and physically which is why I resulted in distancing myself from my friends a little. This is my own fault completely, but it is because when I’ve tried to explain my anxiety to friends in the past I’ve been ridiculed, so I tend not to mention it now.

I was very unhappy with where I lived in first year, especially towards the end. This made me feel unsafe and contributed to the anxiety I was already feeling, so I was at a real low.

The first year of university just really wasn’t what I expected it to be. However, I love my job, my course, and the people I’m living with in September, so here’s hoping for a much better second year!


H x


Mental Health And Me: An Anxiety Update

Trigger warning: mentions of anxiety, depression, and vomit. 

Hello! I’ve written quite a few posts about my anxiety in the past, so it only seemed right to update you on how everything’s going. Plus, many of you read my recent post and got a little worried, so here’s a little update on where I’m at right now.

For a bit of background info, in case you didn’t know, I was diagnosed with anxiety at 14. My first ever panic attack was the day before my first ever GCSE exam, and it was AW-FUL. I continued to have panic attacks, around 3-4 a day, from this point until I reached the age of about 16. More on that later.  Continue reading “Mental Health And Me: An Anxiety Update”