The thing about magazines is that once you've sent it to print, it's out there in the public (and, by proxy, so are you), and there’s nothing you can do about it. And when I first became an Editor, that had a surprising effect on me.
For a good part of my first year in that job, I would wake up between 3 and 4am feeling anxious af. I would be incredibly panicked about what I'd sent out – the use of a certain image or phrase now seemed overwhelmingly important, and was obviously the wrong one. Sometimes, I got so panicked I truly thought I'd be fired over a bad celebrity image or something.
It sounds pretty silly now as I type this, but honestly, at the time, my stomach felt like there were snakes writhing around in it and you're just kind of overcome by this wave of fear.
Of course, I didn’t talk about it with anyone – I didn’t want people to think I couldn’t handle the job.
Over the last few years though, the more I talk to my friends, who are all amazing and successful (like, to the point that they've been featured on the cover of their university alumni magazine), the more I realise that most people have felt this way at some point or another. Mostly, they’ve suffered alone, for reasons similar to mine. You guys, we need to start having these conversations.
Feeling anxious, finding yourself unable to feel hope or happiness, or suffering from OCD in no way means you're weak or a lesser person. It's not a reflection of your performance or your personality. But it's a sign that maybe some support could help. Please turn to p77 to find your support, or how to be that support for someone else.