What’s ACTUALLY wrong with me…

I am all too aware that my blog posts have been written with no real introduction to the causes of my mental health issues. Writing it down with my mouth shut seems easier than opening it and speaking out loud, so here goes nothing…

I have already spoken about the origin of my anxiety, how I have lived with it and let it govern most areas of my life for the last 15 years. I, along with my therapist and doctors, have tried many times to pinpoint that which may have allowed this into my life since childhood. At one point, after being asked about my earliest memorable habits, I was described as having ‘dismissive avoidant’ attachment tendencies – which basically boils down to suppressing any kinds of emotions and not allowing myself to get embroiled in them in any way shape or form. I have always been independent and headstrong, but due to my constant pushing and ‘arms-length’ strategies, I do feel I have missed out on certain areas of love in my life, all through my own doing. I had a great upbringing, both my parents worked every hour under the sun to provide for me and my siblings and they are still together to this day – I haven’t come from a broken home or was subjected to anything horrific in my childhood. There has, however, been a history of mental health issues in my family.

My dad wasn’t really around a lot when I was growing up – he was always away working, spending two nights at home a week if we were lucky. I was mainly raised by my mother, aunty and grandmother. Then my dad’s work caught up with him. He went through a nervous breakdown when I was 13 years old. My dad’s a geezer’s geezer. He never showed any sign of weakness, cried or chinks in the armour, he was very strong. During this period in my life, I saw him break down to nothing. I idolized my dad and to see him reduced to a quivering wreck truly made me realise the mortality of a human being and how social situations can break down a person – that is perhaps one reason. The second is that, due to my dad’s mental breakdown, my mother went through exactly the same thing six months after – no doubt seeing my father go through it brought hers on. When my mum broke, my dad still wasn’t fully recovered. At this point, I only had a paper round paying me £30 a week. My dad was receiving sick pay but that was it – I was the only one working and I had to look after my little sister as well, make sure she was alright and do the little things as neither of my parents were capable at this time. Of course we had help from family members, but I had to grow up quickly. I didn’t feel any weight on my shoulders or pressure, but subliminally I was becoming the superglue of my family when I was barely a teenager. Perhaps the second reason.

My family feuds are a funny one. I have an older half brother who doesn’t get along with my father, my dad doesn’t get along with most of his side of the family, and my mum doesn’t get along with her father (Still with me?). I am not a confrontational person and these disputes hurt me more than I mentioned at the time, I suppose because I was adopting the head of the household role in my mind. But I’ve always felt like the glue. At times it was like I was the social telescope to members of my family who didn’t communicate and I lived in a perpetual state of ‘I don’t want to say anything I shouldn’t’ and would question why I was asked certain things regularly. I love all of my family and I don’t wish for anyone to get hurt, I have always have the feeling that life is too short for any of this shit and in my own mind, I would be the glue that would bring everyone back together. I realise now that was never, and should never have been my responsibility, but I wanted that to happen so badly. Side note – it still hasn’t happened 13 years on.

My mum is a very strong woman. She’s also half Italian so God help anyone who chooses to piss her off. As already mentioned, she has been a fantastic figurehead and role model for me. But she has had a tough life. She was a single mum bringing up my older brother when she was 19, living on a rough council estate in East London. Times were different then, and the fact she had a mixed race son didn’t exactly make her flavour of the month. I know how much they struggled, taking pieces from my brother and my mum herself. Because of this, she has had to live her life through a series of what ifs, worst case scenarios and planning years in advance. Her breakdown only exacerbated this. I have butted heads with my mum far less than other members of my family (My sister for example), and I understand she only does these things out of love and care, but the constant regimented procedure of life and planning ahead is something that I have struggled to deal with. I consider myself something of a free spirit. I don’t live the same way either of my parents do/ have ever done, yet my mum in particular has always wanted me to find out what I’ve wanted to do with the rest of my life since I left school. Get a career, good pension, good benefits, healthcare and prepare myself for retirement before I’ve started really living. Any decision I made was always answered with: ‘What are you going to do if this or that happens? And if this doesn’t happen where are you going to go? What will you fall back on?’ These questions alone are not a bad thing, but to be bombarded with them for 10 years does take it’s toll. I have always questioned whether what I am doing is the right thing, and have never allowed myself to relax or feel comfortable. I hold no animosity towards my mum for this, this is a way she has had to live to survive, and it works for her and she’s done fucking amazing…But it doesn’t work for me.

As I’ve mentioned previously, music has been a massive part of my life -, largely thanks to my older brother, who always played guitar around me growing up. He has also spent his life travelling the world and earning through music – a lifestyle that has always appealed to me. At 15 I started taking my own music real serious. I made my own record label, recorded, wrote and produced my own albums and started producing grime music for rappers I knew. I sent out hundreds of mailshots a day. When I was 18 I signed my own record deal and went on three nationwide tours, including supporting some big names at the time. Unfortunately, these guys I were dealing with turned out to be sharks in suits and, to cut a long story short, I ended up selling all my possessions and having to steal food to eat on a couple of occasions in a grotty flat in South London. I returned to Norfolk more determined than ever, and achieved two top 20 EPs in the iTunes singer-songwriter charts, including supporting Rag N Bone Man, Craig David and Pendulum to name a few. I done alright. But at the same time, trying to chip away in this industry is a draining process. If I do something, I do it 100% or not at all, and to tirelessly work for 10 years trying to make your dream a reality and it doesn’t come off is soul destroying. I would always second guess my next song or album (is this good enough?), are there going to be enough people at this show? Are these scouts going to like me? Who is this person I’m talking to, are they important? It’s not good for a person.

Then the big one:

I have been a victim of sexual assault. Not rape, though these are really the only details I want to go into. What is particularly relevant, I feel, is that the act was committed by someone whom both myself and my family had put their complete trust in. Prior to that, I had always thought of myself as a decent judge of character, though this proved me wrong – I wouldn’t have foreseen it in a million years. This is what I suppose has made my trust issues that much more difficult to overcome. No matter how close somebody gets to you, no matter to comfortable you feel with them, there is some part of them that can still hurt you. I had kept this event a secret to everyone for a number of years, and even now only five people are aware. I was scared, angry, ashamed, guilty and deflated in a million different ways, all at the same time; and some naive part of me thought that by not acknowledging it could be like it never took place.

Throughout all of my assessments, people have described me using the word ‘strong’. One guy, Henry, from the Adult Community Mental Health Organisation said ‘you are an incredibly strong person, to deal with what you have been through’. Strength didn’t mean much to me at that point in my life, I had none left inside me and I my attempt to kill myself had failed. But he was right. My brother told me ‘You’re a stronger man than I am’. I have only recently started to see my silver lining with this: if you are going through/ have been through similar situations or similar outcomes, and you’re still here – you are doing something right. You have made it through to the other side. There are many mean spirited people that walk among us, some will do anything to try and break you – but we haven’t let them win. We are still here. The other side you have broken through to is yours for the taking, so go and take it.

My medicated parole…and the real ones.

I use the first part of the headline of this blog entry with a pinch of salt, it was never described to me as ‘parole‘, but that’s kinda what it felt like. The second part (The real ones) is no understatement. I truly found out after coming home from the Psyciatric Hospital who my true friends are.

I was released from hospital only after my family had been contacted and a care system was put into place. The rules were thus: Under no circumstances was I to be left alone in any environment until my next assessment. I could not leave the house for 14 days. I could not operate a vehicle, drink any alcohol and was not allowed access to a full packet of the prescribed meds due to any urges of intentional overdose. The medication I was transitioned on to was Sertraline, an anti-depressant (hailed as a miracle drug here in the UK) and Pericyazine – an anti-psycotic. I was quickly transitioned up to 100mg of Sertraline per day (the maximum amount prescribable per day is 200mg) and 2.5mg of Pericyazine. Pericyazine is a scary drug, I was told I could potentially hallucinate for short periods of time – if you’ve ever heard a song called ‘Yikes‘ by Kanye West, that song is written about the American equivalent. 30 minutes after I took my first tablet, my pupils dilated into two massive black holes. For me, it was another ‘look at what my life has come to‘ moment.

Sertraline numbed me and made me lazy, spaced out and a permanent state of trance. I’m not a people person at the best of times, but this made me irritable and despise any kind of human company, including my own. I was informed that this was perfectly normal and another reason why I could not be left unattended for two weeks, until my body really had a chance to balance out with the injection of an anti-depressant into my system. My thoughts of suicide were more prevalent. I remember I would pace up and down for hours like a caged animal, my legs were restless whilst a constant war was waging in my head. I could take as much Pericyazine as required. The staff at the hospital said it would ‘take the edge off‘ any irritibality, and at first it spaced me out and made me feel more angry, and then it made me drowzy until it eventually stopped my legs from shaking. A member of my support team referred to it as a ‘human tranquilizer‘. Lovely.

Whilst I was a prisoner in my own home I was subject to numerous phone calls and home visits from hospital staff and support networks. Initially, I was referred to ‘Wellbeing‘ – a mental health support team in the UK, though two days after my release from hospital, they wrote to me saying they only deal with patients with (and I quote): ‘mild to moderate mental health issues‘, whilst they viewed mine asserious and prolonged‘…another WTF moment. Therefore, I was sent to the Adult Community Mental Health Organisation – who didn’t view me as too fucked beyond repair. It felt like I had to have the same conversation about my life story with ten different people. Opening up to my therapist initially (when I was paying for the privilege) was hard enough, but sharing stuff my parents weren’t even aware of with people who I was ‘assigned to‘ was pretty soul destroying; I felt detached from the whole process. Without going into the causes at this stage, my diagnosis was: ‘agitated depression with borderline bipolar disorder, bought on by complex post traumatic stress disorder.’ In a way, it was a relief for me, to know what I had, and not question everything all the time. I didn’t recognise this as a positive at first, but I should have done.

I am not the kind of person who plasters all of my issues over social media in order to gain attention – even my writing of this blog is anonymous. I have always thought of asking for help as a sign of weakness and I suppose through the adversity I have faced at times in my life, it was important for me to uphold and indestructible image (not too be confused with macho I might add). Very few people were aware of what I had been through over the course of the last year, mainly only those it was impossible to hide it from. This was a time in my life I needed the help of those closest to me, and as I’d gotten beyond the point of all caring, I used this as some kind of social experiment. I made who I thought were my closest friends aware, told them where I’d been and what I’m going through and then left the ball in their court over the next few weeks.

The results both upset and relieved me simultaneously. Those who I thought were sure to be there, I heard nothing from. Not even a whatsapp. Those I never expected to hear from spoke with me for hours day after day. A guy I know now is my best friend, Dan, messaged me every morning without fail just asking me how I’m feeling and what he’s been up to – almost like a conversation with himself. But it made a huge difference. Another friend, by the name of Max whom I was inseparable with from the age of 12, I never heard from for over 9 months. Of course I live in the real world and I understand people are busy, but that really broke my heart to know that somebody you thought could be your something to lean on…isn’t and won’t be. It allowed me to fully filter out a lot of things in my life, which I now understand was a big, subliminal part of my recovery process. I could see very clearly who would be there for me during the best and worst times in my life, and those who would simply stand next to me in the best. My message to anybody reading this would be: send that message now. Not tomorrow or next week. Let somebody know how highly you think of them. If you know somebody is hurting, be that shoulder to cry on because you never know the difference it can make that person’s day, week, or even life. Understand the people you surround yourself with, and realise if they are there for the right reasons. We are all busy, but you have probably spent two hours of your day so far scrolling through instagram. Take two minutes out of it and speak to somebody you hold close and let them know that, whilst we are all busy, you will always have the time for them. Be the very thing you would like to receive.

Over and out.

My Psyciatric Hospital experience…

Growing up as a teenager, me and my friends used to drive past this Psyciatric Hospital regularly as it’s on the main road into our city. Without even thinking, we would joke ‘wave to the crazy people!‘ Or ‘Those guys are fucked.‘ Little did I know that ten years later I would be in there myself…

If you have followed my earlier blog posts, you will know the events leading up to what I am about to go into. I have never been one for going to my doctors for any kind of medical help; if it’s a headache, I’ll get over it. Feeling sick? I’ll just stay at home…that kinda guy. I especially stayed away from discussing my mental health issues with them as I didn’t want anything like that going on my records. In the end, I was left with no choice. I had been undergoing private therapy for three months prior to my suicide attempt, and with my families growing concerns, I was shepherded along to my local surgery and sat with a guy I can’t even remember the name of. It was there that he questioned the marks on my neck and broke me down. He asked me about my thoughts, my experiences and my outlook on life. I cannot recall exactly what I said, but I know that it shocked him so much that he picked up the phone straight away (literally, I was sat a foot away from him in his office) and called the Psyciatric Hospital on question, quoting I was in the ‘danger zone‘, an ‘urgent case‘ and I need to be in the care of the ‘crisis team‘. The next day, I was on my way.

The purpose of my time at the specialist hospital for the mentally ill was to monitor my safe transition onto anti-depressants and anti-psycotics. I was informed that during the first few days of this medication entering my system, my suicidal thoughts would almost definitely worsen. I was driven into the hospital and the atmosphere was a dark one. Although, as mentioned above, it is situated just back from a main road into my city, the grounds were deafly, eerily silent. Every member of staff I first encountered was protected behind a glass screen and every door could only be opened by a key code. I have never been inside a prison, but I imagine that this is what it would feel like.

I sat and waited for my initial assessment, it seemed to take forever. The whole time I could hear nothing but murmurs from the staff between each other and the buzzing of opening doors. Then a woman came through who reminded me of my mum. She was followed by a large, muscular guy who I assume was there for her protection. It is important to note at this stage that I have no history of violence and I am not a dangerous person, but I suspect they have many cases of people come through their doors who are. It is an unpredictable place. I was escorted through two sets of doors, and shown to a room on the right. It was not what I expected. It was just like a corporate estate agents meeting room, one wooden desk and three chairs (everything nailed to the floor).

Then my assessment started. I was asked about my entire life from childhood to the present day, my therapy, my struggles and my current outlook. The man simply watched over me whilst the lady carefully noted everything I said. I was asked such questions as: ‘Do you believe you have superpowers?‘ And ‘Do you believe you can see things others can’t?‘ Then she moved on to my cause of my (at the time undiagnosed) complex post traumatic stress disorder, which is for another post entirely. I uncomfortably discussed this with the perfect stranger, and she confirmed I would need to transition onto medication. It was at this point I asked to use the bathroom. I was escorted out of the room by the guy who followed me down the corridor and pointed me to the bathroom, stating he will wait outside. I didn’t think he meant literally. He stood an inch from the door the whole time. Even just the bathroom was a strange thing to me. Everything was sunken into the wall – no light chords, no basins, nothing to slip and fall on. It was clear to me straight away why this was the case, and my assessor confirmed it. She said that if nothing else, patients here are extremely resourceful. She also mentioned that the reason I was listened to whilst using the bathroom is that, some years before, a woman swallowed a tampon she requested in the bathroom in an attempt to kill herself.

She then told me about some of the patients currently being treated at the hospital. One chap she mentioned is convinced he invented the paperclip, another deficates on windowsills, another is convinced news readers are talking directly to him, and some are fully aware they will never leave this place. This served as a reminder to me of something my mother used to say to me: ‘No matter how bad things may seem, you don’t have to go far to find somebody else worse off‘. Whilst I despise using others positions to justify my own strength, it made me realise that yes, I am mentally unstable but I can get through this. Even in moments of darkness, you must do anything to hold onto whatever light you can, for that small flicker could be the difference. Be the light for somebody else, hold the torch. Realise the strength you have and keep walking. I transitioned onto medication and was subject to frequent visits and assessments, but I made it…and you can too.

My failed suicide…

I have sat for a good couple of hours at the opening paragraph of this blog entry, trying to put into words just how I can convey the idealisation of suicide to my reader. To explain just how one arrives at the point of not wanting to live for one moment longer. But I can’t. The following is the best I can do…

I remember the day very well. Though my mental health was already at breaking point and all the therapy I was having seemed ineffective, a particular incident occurred that made me want out, and quick. Whilst I will not mention the occupation, a long and very long winded job application came to a shuddering halt through no fault of my own. What is particularly important to mention at this point is that it was this role that for me, at the time, was an everlasting light at the end of the tunnel. The ‘thing‘ to hold on to, so my therapists, doctors and family advised.

I have had a history of suicidal thoughts before, though they were never acted upon. One friend in particular commented she could ‘feel the darkness flowing out of me‘ and to date, I still cannot think of a better description of my mood and mental state at that time. I suppose that what I’m trying to explain with the above sentences is that, though the aforementioned news was devastating to me, my actions were not that of a petulant child throwing their toys out of the pram because something didn’t go my way. It was merely the tip of the iceberg. When the very thing you hold on to is ripped from under your feet, I truly felt I had nothing to live for, and I did my best to make sure of it.

I received the news at just past 10:30am, it was a nice day, the sun was shining and I actually woke up feeling positive – far removed from the crashing thunder, lightening, torrential rain and darkness some of you may have in your mind! I had to go out for what I believed would be the final part of my application. I was up early, dressed smartly and stayed up most of the night before to ensure I was fully prepared. I had a 90 minute drive to my destination and no sooner had I walked through the door, the end had already begun.

The drive back seemed to take five times as long as the journey there. I arrived back home without any visual recollection of the drive and immediately broke down into tears, rage and confusion. At this time, I still lived at home with my mother who cared for me under the guidance of doctors. She asked what happened though I think the answer was very plain for her to see. She cancelled all of her plans that day to ensure I wasn’t left alone at any point and every 30 minutes she would peer in through my door, only to see me red eyed, motionless, laid back on my bed in the silence staring at the ceiling.

I knew what I was going to do 10 hours before I tried. My mother’s house is an old converted barn, and there was a beam that ran right through the centre of my room. In the evening, my mum told me she was going to sleep and she made me promise I would wake her if my mood worsened. I lied to her and said I would.

I didn’t have any rope, and to be honest, I probably wouldn’t know what to do with it if I had. The tieing together of said rope looks far too complex for me to manage and pull of successfully. What I did have, was plenty of ties. As soon as I was satisfied, I stood off the bed frame that was supporting me in the preparation stages. Surprisingly, I remember it didn’t hurt. I have never self harmed, I was too afraid of the pain and the scars. Plus, I always felt that you either do or you don’t want to kill yourself – there are no half measures. Suicide is not a cry for help (my black and white theories again). I didn’t want to cut my veins on my wrists as what if I bled out enough that I would pass out, but not enough that I could be saved? I also felt shooting myself would be a good idea, as there’s no real mistakes to be made there, but I didn’t own a gun and could only get one by stealing one from a local farmer (there are plenty about). Hanging seemed like the best option, and I had also researched I could slip into a state of euphoria before my major organs gave out. That appealed to me – reminiscent of my druggy days, but that’s for another time.

I hung there suspended. I’m 6 foot tall and my feet were only inches from the floor. Unlike a movie scene, I didn’t swing, I was fairly stationary, I didn’t struggle. I felt my head boiling, no doubt the rush of blood. I was facing my magnolia plain wall and I simply stared at a spot. I thought of nothing, for the first time a family member finding me didn’t make me feel ashamed and my life did not ‘flash before my eyes‘, I was as motionless as I was 8 hours ago. It was very un-Hollywood. Not once did I think about trying to stop the process, I simply hung there as though it was already complete. Then I heard the tear start.

If there was ever a proving ground as to why you shouldn’t buy cheap ties in the sale, this was it. I weigh 12.5 stone (79kg). Though I had tied the tie many times around the beam, it was now struggling to hold me. My neck was secured well but as I heard a small rip, I knew what was happening. I looked up to see the seams slowly tearing apart, and it was if as the life in me started to give out, so did the fabric. I did not crash, merely stumbled onto my feet. I gasped for air as the pressure had been released, then I slumped down and broke down again. To me, it seemed like another failure and something else for me to be mad at. I can’t even leave when I want to, I can’t even kill myself when I try. I did not attempt again that night, I simply sat there, shrouded in defeat and joined the darkness of the night.

Here’s an answer for you. There seems to be some debate at the moment around the phrase: ‘Commit suicide‘. In the UK, it has been recently argued that the word ‘commit‘ should be removed from the phrase as it sends a shameful message, that to commit something has negative connotations. Instead, it seems widely accepted that the phrase ‘death by suicide‘ is more acceptable. Just in case you weren’t aware, we don’t give a shit. If, like I was, someone is in the frame of mind that they do want to live a moment longer and chose to take their own life, the terminology is completely disregarded. There is no feeling of shame or weakness, in fact the majority of any kind of feelings have completely deserted the body by this point. The point of this blog entry is to reach out to anybody who feels they are in a similar position, you don’t know me and I don’t know you. But I was there, and I am better now. And you can be too. Let’s talk, no holds barred, nothing off limits. No judgement.

I don’t want to make this seem like a Batman-esque: ‘Find out next week on…‘ but you can follow my mental health journey on this blog. Stay strong.

Anxiety makes me anxious…

It could come from anywhere. It could be from/ directed towards anyone. I could wake up with it or it could creep up slowly throughout the day – like the dark clouds you see in the sky in the morning that make you think, ‘it could rain today, and that cloud looks nasty.’

I’ve struggled with anxiety for probably 13 years. I say probably because I first really noticed it’s existence when I moved up to another school and thought it’s just those natural nerves and that it’s something I would surely grow out. Only problem is, I didn’t and haven’t grown out of it. It has governed most corners of my life for the best part of those 13 years and really grows to prominence in any kind of social situation; whether it is people I haven’t met before or people I’m perfectly comfortable with but for some reason or other, they might expect more from me today.

I can feel it coming too – I get agitated, snappy, disinterested and frustrated easily. Not only does it affect me but it affects the others around me, which in turn brings its own bout of anxiety due to that overwhelming fear of losing the love of those closest to me through my actions.

Im a pretty creative person (If I don’t say so myself!) I’ve always had a strong passion for playing music, always been sporty and active, and I’ve always been decent at using words to convey my emotions. My creativity also comes into play when removing myself from any of these social situations when the darkness has truly overcome me – you should hear some of them! Have you ever called your voicemail and acted like you were speaking to that robot, just to remove yourself from the room? I have. Plenty of times. The funniest part is, I know it’s ridiculous. Anxiety attacks however, are not. My palms will get sweaty, my words get stuck in my throat, I will visibly start shaking and thoughts go round my mind like they’re trying beat the lap record at the Nurenberg ring. Then it’s like, “I’m fully aware I’m having these symptoms, are other people fully aware too? What are they thinking? What will they think of me?’ Having anxiety makes me anxious.

Out of all the therapy and medication I’ve had (which is for another blog post entirely) they all tell me I should search for some deep rooted, un-healed wound where this anxiety has come from. I have had one deeply scarring event in my life, but that is completely unrelated to anxiety – that causes my agitated depression, PTSD and borderline bipolar disorder (apparently). I’ve never not been able to get along with people, they’ve always liked me and always remembered me…for the right reasons! To have this crippling fear of some kind of social failure remains all the more frustrating to me as I don’t know where it comes from, nevertheless it will keep me from venturing outside my house and instead of going to parties I was invited to, I’d rather whimper in the corner of my bedroom with a glass of vimto and a bag of onion rings.

As soon as my back is turned I wonder what people are saying about me. Literally as soon as I leave a room. What if everyone is plotting against me? What if all my co-workers are trying to get the boss to get rid of me? It’s these sorts of questions that have made me shut off from the world completely at times. They have never allowed me to truly love someone (until very recently). Trust is such a big word and one that has been very difficult to reason with. Anxiety has caused me to leave a few broken hearts in my wake, which I am of course not proud of. It still makes me think that if every morning we don’t wake up like it’s not straight out of a Hollywood love story, does this person still want me? Are they falling out of love with me? Are they intending to search for someone else whilst we live together? So many questions.

I am male, therefore I am a ‘bottler‘, as we say in the UK. I dont actually ask these questions to anyone, only myself and give myself a thousand different answers over the course of a few minutes. Even if I was to ask these questions to the relevant party, any answers that were given wouldn’t satisfy me anyway. It is truly a no win situation. In regards to a relationship, or in fact anyone you chose to surround yourself with if you are suffering with anxiety (as I believe you are since you are reading this post) make sure those people understand that. Make sure they understand you might need to leave at any point, make sure they understand sometimes you will cancel dependant on how you wake up that day. That alone has helped me cope with the overwhelming uncertainty anxiety brings to everyday life. It is one less thing to worry about. If anxiety is part of you, it’s part of you. Try to embrace it, instead of fighting it as though it is your failure as a human being. If you can look at yourself in the mirror and truly believe you are a good person, then having anxiety is no biggy. Those people worth staying in your life will also see things from that viewpoint, and anyone who doesn’t isn’t worth all the worry anyway. Now, I am trying to see anxiety as part of my being that allows me to be as sensitive as I am. Anxiety allows me to think everything through fully to make a sound decision. Anxiety has made me an articulate person who has been able to fully subversive myself in creativity. Anxiety has made me fully comfortable in my own company. Anxiety has made me un-materialistic and search for something in my life that truly means something – which is something I am sure some people would give everything for.

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