Here I am, sitting on a train in Paddington Station waiting to depart to Bath - a journey that I've done a bazillion times. In fact, I reckon I could get from my parents house in Kent to my place in Bath with my eyes closed, that's how many times I've been here before. But something is different - my heart is beating, I'm sweating excessively and my brain is on high alert. Why? Because I've gotten too comfortable at home and my comfort zone has shrunk because I've been lazy when it comes to constantly pushing my limits. 

It's frustrating, it really is, but at least now I know why it's happening. I've talked about my mental health struggles on my blog before, but until a few months ago it had never been 'properly' diagnosed. Sure, I knew I suffered from depression on and off, and I knew that I had some sort of anxiety disorder, but because it was never given a name or an 'official title', it just felt like I was broken; like something was wired incorrectly in my brain. That was until a recent incident, after which my mother and I decided it was time to visit a real psychiatrist at a proper institute and figure out what was going on. I sat down with a lovely doctor for an hour or so and was questioned about my family, my education, where I had grown up etc. all to get a clearer view of what had been plaguing me for as long as I can remember. When the hour was up, my mother joined the doctor and I in the office, and it was explained to me that everything I had talked about correlated perfectly with a condition called Agoraphobia (with depressive tendencies that may or may not be linked). Many people associate Agoraphobia with crazy people who won't leave their house - but the truth is it's the fear of leaving your comfort zone, however specific or general that may be (here's a wiki page for those of you interested). A huge problem with Agoraphobia is that if you're not constantly fighting it, it creeps back up on you - example, I managed to live in both Russia and Spain in the last few years, but my heart is racing on a train back to my University town because I haven't really ventured that far out of the house in the last few weeks. You see my problem? So frustratingly, no matter how much I've achieved in the past, if I don't constantly flex that muscle, I can regress massively and undo all of my hard work.

So that's what's going on. I can't express the relief I feel now it finally has a name - I no longer feel like a broken toy, but more like a human being that just happens to suffer from a condition (or bunch of conditions) that are actually a lot more common than I could've ever imagined. Despite this, things are still really tough - I'm unable to work at the moment, I'm stuck at home, and my life simply feels like it's on 'pause'. My friends are all moving on to get jobs or complete masters, and I'm just sort of stuck, wondering what my next move possibly could be.

Anyway, I'm not even entirely sure why I've written this post, apart from the fact that my blog is just an overflow of myself and this, as you can probably tell, is a huge part of me. Also, I want to reach out to any of you suffering out there from any kind of mental health issue and let you know that you can contact me whenever - for advice or simply a chat! - and I'll be here! So I guess that's it; sorry if this doesn't interest you in the slightest, but like I mentioned this is a big part of me and I want to share it all with you, my lovely readers.

Isobel x

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