There was once a time where travelling abroad for 3 months to the other side of the world seemed impossible. When I was 11 years old, I suffered a mental breakdown… what I like to call my Britney moment.
The line between reality and irrational fear became blurry, all of a sudden, my world felt very small to the point where I was too afraid to leave my house. I was eventually told that I had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD. After a year of CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and many more years of hard work and determination, I was on the road to recovery. I well and truly missed out on being a teenager; getting drunk in the park, kissing boys under the bus shelter, going out with my friends, but I certainly made up for that in my 20’s!
I refused to let this life sucking illness rule my life and have forced myself into uncomfortable situations, one after another to push myself forward and make the most of life. If there is one thing I am certain of, it’s that I don’t ever want to feel trapped again.
So, I pushed myself to go to college which at the time was a very big step for me. It meant the one word anyone with an anxiety disorder hates… CHANGE. New people, new surroundings, THE BUS! Looking back, I am amazed I managed it with such ease. I just took one step forward and then another and then all of a sudden, I was enjoying myself. For the first time in 5 years, I felt like a normal teenager and realised this was what I needed to do more of. I needed to do what makes me uncomfortable. This was the start of me living my life again.
So for my next big step, I decided it was time to move away from my ever so warm and cosy comfort blanket and I moved 150 miles north to Nottingham, to move in with a bunch of strangers at university. I knew if I remained too close to home, I wouldn’t be independent, the first moment of doubt I would go straight back home to my cosy comfort blanket. So, I eliminated that opportunity and moved so far that I couldn’t afford the trains home even if I wanted to! It was the best decision of my life.
Since then, I have been taking slightly smaller steps like travelling abroad on my own and going in the sea (which I hate) but now it’s time for another big adventure to overcome many of my struggles all in one hit.
Myself and my Fiancé Lewis will be backpacking around Southeast Asia for 3 months. This will involve many encounters with dirty toilets, crowded smelly busses, questionable food joints and most importantly, it will be totally unplanned. I am someone who lives every day with a well organised plan of action, I don’t like to deviate from my plan and I certainly don’t like surprises, so this is going to be my biggest test of all. I am already nervous and starting to worry about every possible thing that could go wrong, but this is why I need to do it. It is the ultimate push that I need to be able to move forward in my life.
I WILL embrace change by the time I am finished!