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Anxiety takes up a big part of my life. I struggle to do daily tasks which involve seeing or interacting with other people. I am only comfortable with females. I believe as I grew up with just my Mum around me I’ve become accustomed only to female company that I find it incredibly difficult to interact with males.
This includes some male professionals too; I always feel as if I am being judged by a male, which is because in the past you were always told to ‘suck it up’, which is not good.
I rely on medication to calm down my anxiety, however sometimes I find it easier when I am listening to music on a very low volume, I sometimes get self-conscious. I always think I may be breathing way too heavily or swallowing way too loud.
That happens to me al the time whenever I try and catch a bus. It’s very rare I catch public transport other than taxis. But even taxi rides can be daunting for me too – depends on how the taxi driver greets me and the way he looks at me. Whenever I am feeling anxious I always get physically sick to my stomach that I can barely breath and every time it feels as if everyone is staring at me.
Anxiety is this shroud of darkness that shadows my life. In the future, an ambition of mine was to get into acting, however, since bullying at school it kind of scared me out of continuing drama.
I’ve said to myself that I will get into acting someday but first I must overcome my darkest enemy. Soon, I was diagnosed with emotional dysregulation disorder.
I would like to touch up more on buses and how much they affect me. Now, what is very annoying about getting on buses is that bus drivers are driving before you’ve even sat down. For someone like me suffering with anxiety, it’s horrendously breathtaking having to board a bus.
You’re constantly thinking in your head what’ll happen? Will I fall? Will he drive when I’m not yet sat down? It has happened a couple of occasions when I’ve not sat down yet and the driver continues to drive and I’ve trod on someone’s foot and they were pretty annoyed at me.
Now, I understand that bus drivers need to make sure they are not causing any traffic, but please let me sit down. So to avoid this I normally sit at the front. But before a journey, I am always worry if the front seat is taken or not. I also pray that someone else is getting on so they’ll let me board before them.
Another issue that sets off my anxiety is young people, I can never walk past some young people in the streets without getting scared or afraid that they would shout rude things at me.
I was heavily bullied throughout school because of my sexuality, this is what knocked my confidence and self-esteem. I believe the school has had an impact on my life and how I deal with situations.
Rhys Smart is a 20-year old mental health advocate. He is also K-pop fan and podcast host from the West Midlands.