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Mental Health And Me: Introduction

Hello all, I’m currently sitting on my sofa, in the afternoon of a very sunny Monday. The weather has been very good recently, which has helped this sodding lockdown. This lockdown has proved very difficult for people who struggle with Anxiety, like myself, and the loneliness of not having a friend to have a beer with. I feel we are all struggling with the loss of human contact. Sometimes, I wake up and I just want a hug and to be told that everything will be ok. I’ve set up this blog, in order to deal with some of my problems that I deal with on a day to day basis, and also to show other people who may be suffering, that they are not alone in this. To start- I thought I would go into detail why my mental health nosedived, when it did.

Since before University, I've had anxiety about leaving the house, and driving, along with self confidence issues. I'll touch on this on a later blog as that is a whole subject in itself!

In February 2020, I was verbally abused in a park by a gang…It doesn’t sound that bad when you first say that. However, it was. I was just going on a walk to the park to have some peace, in a break in work. Anyone who works in the Music Business will tell you that it can be stressful, and that was certainly true at that time. I wanted to go for a walk to clear my head so I could go back to work with a fresh mind. When I was in the park, I was just walking around and I was approached by a group of people, who I later discovered was a gang. They started to question me about why I was in the park, and I just said I was having a walk, and I continued with my walk. However much I tried to enjoy the walk, I had the feeling that they were watching me. In hindsight, I should have left immediately, but instead, I thought I would continue with the walk, not wanting them to spoil it. When I did decide to leave, I got to the exit, and turned back to see if they were still watching me; and they were. Then, two of them ran towards me and got right in my face and starting shouting at me accusing me of being an undercover policeman, and couldn’t see that I was just in the park to walk. I thought that they were going to pull a knife or a gun on me. I genuinely thought I was going to die. I managed to run out of that situation into my house. Since then, I have never really felt safe around the area- paranoid that they would come for me and hurt me, or that they were watching me.

Around a month later, Covid-19 came to London, and sadly, I got it. It started with a fever, then a heavy cough and loss of breath, not to mention extreme fatigue. I could barely walk up stairs without pausing for a breather. Sometimes, I would just look at the stairs and wonder if I would ever catch my breath again. I couldn’t do anything but lie in bed and read. I had some weird fever dreams during this time. There was more than one occasion where an ambulance was called, and hospital was considered but I was told I wasn’t ill enough for hospital. I had to deal with the thoughts that I could die from this horrible virus. The cough, the fatigue and the loss of breath simply wouldn’t go away. Also, although I was absolutely exhausted, I couldn’t get to sleep. I didn’t sleep much for the 3 weeks that the illness was bad. Anxiety was very high during this period and battling the virus was one of the hardest emotional battles I have ever experienced. I am glad that I am thankfully recovered from this virus. I really feel for the people who have had a stronger reaction to the virus. I only had a mild to medium reaction to the virus and it was the worst I have ever felt. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

In isolation, back at my family home, recovering from the virus, I had the time to think about these situations, and the loss of my income in music, as well as other things. Anxiety was completely out of control and my mental health nosedived dramatically, to the point where I was crying so much that I couldn’t move from bed and was constantly terrified about recovering from the virus, and the future. Thankfully, I am now getting the help that I need through my support networks and the wonderful NHS. Through these blog posts, I want to explore my experiences in mental health to face myself and deal with these problems. I hope that you will come along with me on my mental health journey. GT xx

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