‘“You’re okay. And that’s okay.” When I realised this in the shower a few months ago, I spent the next hour on my bed in a damp towel, having a happy cry. I’d read these words before. But for the first time, I actually believed them. For someone whose anxiety disorder is made worse by low self-esteem, this was huge.
School bullies’ taunts about my weight and an innate sense of shame around my body contributed to a lifelong quest for validation. I went on to achieve ‘A’ grades, national bylines and even landed my dream job. But instead of pausing to pat myself on the back, the pressure left me experiencing daily panic attacks.
Getting well has been a messy, unpredictable journey with no neat solutions. A low daily dose of an antidepressant helps; fortnightly therapy sessions are essential.
Leaving London for Margate, I’ve found swimming. Moving through the water, I’m able to work through the noise in my mind.’ How To Be A Grown-up by Daisy Buchanan (£14.99, Headline)