Just Keep Swimming

This morning, I woke up with practically every possible common ailment forcing its way into my system. On top of a terrible night’s sleep, I did not wake up happy. The day only got worse and worse from there. I felt as if sadness was completely suffocating my core and I knew that I’d be stuck with it all day. When I’m sad, all of those buried thoughts and feelings rise up to the surface. I have to write them down today. I think it’s about time.

I’m completely embarrassed and nervous that I’m attempting to put these thoughts and feelings into words, but here goes…

Just Keep Swimming


Today marks the start of my final week at work. I’ll be heading back to university very soon and I just can’t wait. Frankly, this work placement has been the worst thing I’ve ever done but, I’ve got to admit, I’ve learnt loads. The experience I’ve gained will undoubtedly benefit me in my final year of university but that will never make up for the damage this year has had on my mental health.

Despite what work decides to believe, it wasn’t at all their fault that I broke into tiny pieces  – it was a combination of lots of little things that pushed me into a very dark place. When I started my placement, I was so excited. I felt as if I’d achieved something great by being accepted onto the course. I expected this would be the most exciting year of my life! Maybe if I was stronger I would have been okay.

The office environment very quickly began to make me feel claustrophobic, trapped and lonely. I was nervous of my colleagues. I wasn’t used to being in a strange environment for so long. I was completely uncomfortable. All of those emotions were making me beyond stressed. Then, as the nights quickly became darker, leaving work once the sun had set completely wrecked my confidence. I was terrified. I’ve always been scared of the dark. I began to dread leaving the house.

Things only got worse. I’d leave work with chest pains from the constant nerves, anxiety and stress of being away from home. I became paranoid. I was adamant that I was going to die whenever I left the house or, if it wasn’t me in trouble, my cats would be burning alive in a house fire. I started inadvertently clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth, leaving me with a constantly locked jaw. My hair started falling out in clumps. I saw everything as a threat. I’d imagine somebody breaking into my home or the office with a gun. I’d be sure that the man walking behind me was going to stab me. Everywhere I went, all I could see were possible ways to die. Even in my own home, I’d be unable to walk from room to room unless Matt checked nobody was there. I was a mess.

In the end, I stopped sleeping because the nightmares were unmanageable. I developed completely irrational obsessive compulsions that I’m still unable to shake, I wanted to die, I couldn’t be alone and I was to frightened to leave the house. For months, I was utterly broken and terrified. I didn’t know what was happening to me.

I ended up getting help, but that’s a different story. I left work for a while and, with Matt by my side, I tried to get better.

Eventually, I had to decide whether I wanted to return to work or to leave and pretend it never happened. It would feel like such a waste of a year if I didn’t return so I did, with high hopes and a giant bag of nerves.

Although my mental health had improved massively over the period of time I wasn’t at work, the environment I left had become bitter. I ended up returning to a group of hostile colleagues who didn’t have a pleasant word to say to me. Instead, they chose to ignore me completely. When I was young, I always used to dread going to school because I knew I’d have to face my bullies. At work, I feel exactly the same.

I can already taste the relief of walking out of the office on Friday afternoon. It’s almost overwhelming. I’m completely ready for a new start.

“When life gets you down, do you wanna know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.” – Dory, Finding Nemo.


Now, breathe. 

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10 thoughts on “Just Keep Swimming

  1. You may feel that opening up about all of this isn’t a wise move… Don’t worry. There are bullies out there (yeah, they suck, I know them all too well myself). But there are also plenty of people who understand, and a lot of us who know it’s beyond time for the bullies to be told to shove it.

    In some ways, anxiety is a rather common state of being for me, but it’s from the fact I’m autistic. That still doesn’t make it easy to deal with, and there are certainly days when I totally hate the way I’m feeling, or really wish I could be someone else. There are lots of causes of anxiety and phobias, and we can’t keep them to ourselves, we’ll end up self-destructing.

    I’m really sorry to hear you were suffering so. You were brave to open up, because sometimes people don’t know what to say (or think they don’t). But do hang in there. Life sucks, but luckily not all the time. And you shouldn’t have to suffer more over something that can be fixed.

    I hope you’ll be doing a lot better soon. Keep at it.

    “Each day means a new 24 hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment… You try to walk in the light.” — Legend, by Marie Lu

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the kind words. I’ve wanted to write about this for so long but I always felt it would be inappropriate. Of course, it’s not – it’s my blog, after all. It was one of those things I just needed to say!

      That quote is really lovely.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it’s terribly important to try to be positive, no matter what’s going on. (And that’s not a bunch of “New Age hoopla”, it comes from years of personal experience of fighting the dark things.)

        It’s not inappropriate as long as you want to talk about it. We all need to vent sometimes, and although opening up can be scary – odd, since humans share things, we always have – because we’ve been encouraged not to talk about certain things… It’s well worth it. Not sharing can actually make the trauma worse.

        Not that you have to tell us absolutely everything, of course – it is your choice how much to say. But at least being able to get some stuff off your chest (in my view) definitely helps.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad I did. I felt good to write down and share everything that’s been happening to me over the past 6 months or so. It’s been the worst year of my life, but with 2016 coming to an end, I can feel a weight (even if it’s in my head) being lifted off my shoulders.
        It helped :).

        Liked by 1 person

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