Dear Anxiety,

Remember the first day we met? I do. I remember it so vividly that it could have been yesterday. You crept into my life one day, like some kind of poisonous gas. I couldn't see you, hear you, nothing. I had no idea you were about to take hold and turn my whole world upside down.

All I wanted to do was go to my lecture. That was all. Something I'd done a million and one times before and I had no clue that today would be any different.

You took hold quickly, and your timing was impeccable. That certainly never changed. You completely took over my body and my mind. Suffocated me. Controlled me. Built up a barrier in my mind that I just couldn't get over. You sent awful thoughts racing through my brain and sent my heart racing so fast that I thought it was going to explode right out of my chest.

My first panic attack. The first of so, so many. You, Anxiety, completely took over my life. You and your buddy, Depression. Together, you warped my brain and changed me into someone that I didn't recognised. I used to be outgoing and sociable, but you changed all that. Day in, day out, I spent living in fear, with your nasty little voice in my head. Whispering. Telling me that something awful was going to happen if I even stepped outside my front door. That I wasn't worthy. That I didn't deserve my friends, my place at uni, nothing. And I listened. I listened to every disgusting word you said and I internalised it. It was engrained in my head. And that almost destroyed me. Almost.

It took a long time, but eventually with a lot of help, I began to fight back. I wasn't going to let you jeopardise everything that I'd worked so hard for. You weren't going to control my life anymore. I didn't want to believe the lies you told me. I was done with having a meltdown every time I went on a night out, or had to go into work. And day by day, I started to get a little bit stronger.

You weren't giving up that easily though, were you Anxiety? You're persistent, I'll give you that. Even now, you won't leave me alone. You keep coming back, filling my brain with irrational thoughts, making me scared of everything. You keep threatening everything.

But you know what Anxiety, I'll never let you destroy me again. No way. I am stronger than you. I am loved. I am worthy. And you are not going to control me.


It's been six months since I, suddenly and without much warning, found myself single. And it's the longest period of time that I've been single for since I was 17.

Once I'd got over the initial shock and heartbreak of my relationship ending, I soon started to panic. Oh shit, I have to be single. I've never really done that as an adult before. How will I cope? Being out in that world on your own, without the comfort and security of a boyfriend is, to put it bluntly, terrifying.

But I didn't really have a choice. Another relationship just wasn't an option for me. I needed time to heal and restore my faith in the male population. I just had to try to muddle through.

It's been bloody hard at times. Things like sorting myself out after having a panic attack, or not having someone there to give me a cuddle or listen to me rant after a bad day. Seeing my friends going on holiday or celebrate anniversaries with their other halves has been difficult, because I've felt like I've been missing out by not having that.

But at the same time, being single has been so freeing. For the first time in a long time, I've been able to be a little bit selfish. I've made decisions about my future that are based on what is best for me, without having to consider someone else. I'm now about to move in with one of my best friends, starting a new adventure in a new city, and that wouldn't have been able to happen if I was still in a relationship.

I've learned a hell of a lot more about self-worth in recent months too. For a long time, I've always needed to be loved by someone, and I think now that was a way of self-validation, and I always felt like my sense of worth had to come from a boyfriend. But now, I've learned that self-worth can only come from me (and yes that sounds obvious but sometimes you don't necessarily know the obvious until it really slaps you in the face) and I like to think that my self-confidence is starting to grow, bit by bit.

I have so much more time for my friends, which is amazing. I can see them more often, and spend as much time with them as I want without feeling guilty that I might be prioritising them over my partner and how that might make him feel.

The last six months have been difficult at times, and being single has been a tough adjustment to make. To me, having two serious relationships fail before I'd even turned 22 meant that I was a failure, that something was intrinsically wrong with me and I was unlovable. It's taken me a long time to realise that isn't true and I just haven't met the right person yet.

And that's okay.

Even now, being single can be difficult. I'm still learning how to be single, really. I was recently on a night out and on being told by a guy that I'm hot, I laughed because I thought he was joking! I clearly haven't learned how to flirt. Hopefully when I do eventually meet someone, he'll love me despite that...

I still have a little way to go before I can get into another relationship. I need to rebuild some of my self-confidence and learn how to trust people again.

But it just goes to show that you're always stronger than you think you are in what you think will be a nightmare situation. And, as much as it surprises me to say it, I'm okay. Being single is okay. I'm actually kind of enjoying it.

I'd love to hear your experiences! Feel free to pop a comment below.

Sian Kathrine xo