Anxiety and Partying

12031338_10154251740933206_8434969234819998781_o

The last time I had a night out was for my 21st birthday in September, exactly 6 months ago today. Now it’s not because I’m just a total hermit who hates fun. There are so many reasons I don’t go on nights out. It’s mostly because of my spine as well as the fact that as I’ve grown older I’ve got over the whole ‘let’s get wasted and then feel awful in the morning’ thing, which I was never really into anyway.

I don’t really drink anymore partly because I can’t mix large quantities of alcohol with my pain medication, and I do NOT want to go without that when I’m trying to sleep. The other half is that I’ve learnt from the past that when I’m anxious or depressed I use alcohol in a bad way, I drink and drink and drink until I don’t feel my emotions anyone or the depressant side of alcohol makes me feel worse. A lot of people forget that alcohol is a depressant.

So as well as physically not being able to spend the night standing and dancing in bars, mentally my anxiety makes it really difficult. I’ve had many people tell me I’m ‘letting’ anxiety rule my life, which hurts more than anything. If I let me anxiety rule my life there would be a week or two where I wouldn’t leave my house. Just going about my day, going to work, uni or just popping to the shops can sometimes feel like the biggest mountain.

Tonight, I have been invited to go out with a group of people for a friends birthday. While I know I won’t be going to the club, just going to her house for a get together, being social and around people I don’t know fills me with deep anxiety. The anxiety that panics over what to wear and if I look stupid, if anyone will speak to me or if I’ll do something or say something stupid. The anxiety that takes over my normal brain and runs riot with fictional scenarios. Sounds fun having my brain, right?

I think the worst thing is that for the people I used to go out drinking and dancing with they see a change that isn’t always understood. Normally people think that I don’t want to bother to do anything or that I don’t want to be around them anymore. It’s not the case at all, as I’ve said there are a lot of things I still can’t do, and there are also things I realised about myself in the past year.

I don’t miss drinking to get drunk, I don’t miss paying £7 to get into a packed nightclub and have boys try to grope me and I don’t miss having to come home alone at 1am. I don’t know if this is because I’ve changed or I’ve just let myself be who I am and not care. I like to go out to dinner somewhere fun, get a hot drink with someone , going to the gym to build up my muscles again. I’d rather spend my money on books or pops or going to Comic con. I like to spend my time working on my blog, writing a novel or performing music. Oh and I love to read, books have been a constant companion for me when my spine really tries to hurt me. That isn’t to say I judge anyone who likes to go out, I’ve done it! This is just how I feel about having fun myself now.

11882371_10154157111723206_3484982963789270744_o

Where all my money goes!

I wanted to write this post not only to get my thoughts on a page (and possibly avoid my dissertation), because I wanted other people to know that it’s ok. I know for a fact there are a lot of people out there who also don’t like clubs and would prefer not to spend their hard earned cash getting hammered because it’s really hard for them. I’ve been there, when my flat felt like the only place I could feel remotely calm and safe and that’s ok. Anxiety and Depression are really shitty illnesses that can make even the simplest of tasks feel impossible.

So wish me luck for my first ‘night out’ without Ali or my Mum in 6 months and here’s to hoping the anxiety stays at bay so I can celebrate with my friends.

Why having an alcohol-free freshers week is absolutely fine.

It’s that time of year again, 18 year olds (and older) have got their grades and are heading to university. While some of us chose to move away from home, others might be sticking around but commuting. Freshers week has a reputation as an absolutely crazy 7 day party where everyone spends the majority of the time drunk. But what if you don’t drink?

Whenever I meet new students I’m always answering questions by nervous people who either don’t drink or don’t like clubbing. It’s true most university events are surrounded by alcohol, club nights or pub crawls but believe it or not it’s still possible to have a great time without drinking. If you’ve been following my blog since I started you’ll know that I hardly drank at all in my first year and went out to a club a grand total of two times, I did drink I’d usually end up wasted at pre drinks because I was so anxious about going out and I’d panic drink until I couldn’t go. In my second year I started going out with friends at least once a month because I had people I finally felt comfortable enough around and got the party bug. Fast forward to this year and I can’t go clubbing even if I wanted to because of my spine and if I want to drink I can’t take any pain medication for two days, which would you decide?
IMG_3266

After my Freshers Ball, sober but smiling. 

People choose not to drink for a load of reasons medical, religious, or simply not wanting to. I remember being a fresher and feeling so nervous and like I had to drink if I went anywhere. I was so desperate to make friends and not be alone but I really do regret it. When I’m anxious or depressed, alcohol is not my friend, on more than one occasion I’ve gone out drinking when feeling like that and ended up crying when I got home, because I wasn’t feeling well and plus, alcohol is a depressant. Now I’m happier and have better mental health I can usually gage if I should have a drink or not.

What about you guys though? I’m going to give you some clichè advice, just be yourself. Starting uni is a whole new chapter in your life and for me it was a chance to start over and be who I wanted, it took a little longer but I’m pretty happy with who I carved out here. You’re a great person and I’ll bet you anything there is someone close to you feeling just as nervous and isn’t keen on getting wasted. If you’re in a new place with completely new people you have a right to not want to get hammered and a lot of people understand. There are people who like that kind of thing but if you’re not one of them it looks incredibly daunting.

If you’re not drinking there are so many benefits no hangover in the morning, you have more money, more time to go and do cool things (like exploring your new place!) and work out what you want. There’s also no problem with wanting to go out and try it too, that’s what uni is all about!

I completely understand how daunting starting uni is and sometimes I still feel overwhelmed…and I’m a third year! If anyone wants any tips, tricks or just a chat feel free to comment, email or tweet me!

Have a great Freshers week folks!

Last Night.

IMG_0566.JPG (2)

Last year I didn’t really go out, I think I went out three times on a Wednesday, now I have strong group of friends on my course and they also double up as a bad influence. I casually mentioned I wouldn’t mind going out after I got home last night and Eleanor got straight on it. Within an hour I was changed, make up on and sat on a bus to one of the Student’s Union bars. I’d already had a Jack Daniels , 3 doubles, 2 Jagerbombs and some brilliant dancing to the Spice Girls and Eleanor and I were ready to hit Pryzm.

I danced so much, met loads of new people and a few I already knew as well as having an amazing time with Eleanor. I also made it to my 9am lecture this morning with a raging hangover, ended up having Mcdonalds for breakfast but made it though the day despite also aching from Horse Riding. I count that as a win.

Time out with the guys/ Happy Birthday Ben!

Despite waking up feeling like I’d swallowed gravel and was living in a heat wave tonight proved to be a great night. After last nights promise of an ‘early night’ (I laugh at myself as I write that, essay inspiration always strikes at midnight) I ended up going to bed at 2am again, not my smartest move. That said I did get 980 words of my essay done, half way and I’m not sure if a word of it makes sense! I got myself up and out of bed this morning, warmish shower and tried to carry on despite feeling like death warmed up. My voice was gone, I couldn’t cool down and all I wanted to do was curl up and sleep. Nope not today, still too much to do! I need to pack, pick up my work camera and get to Ali’s all before 4. After eating and possibly reading more of the Hunger Games (yes I’m now hooked, I have no idea how) I was feeling a bit more human. 

Eventually I got to Kingston Hill on time (haha beat that sleep deprived body!) and helped the boys move stuff up for recording while having a lovely little chat with my favourite scouser, Phil. That then turned into a trip to ASDA and it was made pretty clear I’d have to wait to get back to Katniss and Peeta for a little while. I did love it though, me, the boys plus Phil. I felt happy and relaxed, exactly what I’d told my mentor I needed the day before. I was starting to feel sleepy though despite my voice somehow making it back to me and instead of starting on wine when we got back I headed back to Ali’s for food and some rest. 

ImageImageImage

Well that was until we hit the bar with a Jack Daniels and honey in my hand and began dancing around the pool tables, not alone I may add, attempting to play pool a little bit drunk an dancing in an empty SU some more. After all this was a birthday party! Ben is finally 21 (the old man of the band as I have nicknamed his beardyness) and although we lost him a few times it turned out to be a great night of pool, drunk band mates, initiating me as a ‘lad’ and some really embarrassing dancing. It may have been one night but the memories will last a life time :’). In the end we didn’t make it into town, the boys had quite a few pre drinks and after we made sure Rhys got home ok, Dan had his alarm set for the morning and we’d said goodbye to Ben I was sober, and that’s how I write this. We have to be up pretty early tomorrow, the boys are recoding and I’m going home! Maybe I can still get in a chapter or two though…

Neknominations?

I like a drink as much as anyone else. I’m happy sat in the SU bar with my double Malibu and lemonade and chilling with a few friends…if one happens to turn into three then that’s fine with me too, even if I end up falling asleep in Ali’s bathroom (true story). One thing I really can’t stand though is heavy drinking games…especially ones where you sit on your own with a camera. I heard about Neknominations on the news a week or two ago over the deaths of a few guys a bit older than me. I didn’t think much of it and then it started cropping up all over my Facebook page. 

I won’t tell people what to do, that’s up to them but I really don’t understand it. I get games like ‘ring of fire’ or where you watch a TV show and take a shot for certain things and I don’t mind never have I ever (a few nights have been spent playing that as well as fuzzy duck). I just don’t understand sitting in on your own, pouring a load of drinks into a cup so that it tastes revolting and filming yourself, I hope I’m not the only one. Now I’m ready for this shit storm over this one so let me make this clear YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU WANT. I just don’t understand the point of it all…

I have to say though some of them have made me laugh and not because I like watching my friends do it. My friend Amy added Garlic Salt and Nesquick with hilarious results. My favourite though is when people take the piss out of the whole thing, starting with a guy I know called Phil who done it with apple juice, followed by Dan who slowly drank a mug of tea and edited the video and then of course my favourite crazy American Rhys drank a pint of fruit twist Fanta (nothing new there). Out of all of No People Club Ali and I are the only ones not to be nominated although if the occasion does arise I have something up my sleeve! 

 

The midweek crash

There are three words on every students lips right now. I’m so tired. Followed by how is it only WEDNESDAY. It’s all I’ve heard this week, you still go out and get on with things but this odd haze seems to have come over all of us right now, the midweek crash is in full force. I’m actually finding myself wanting to nap in the the afternoon and stay up all night because even when I do stay up in an attempt to sleep through the night I wake up at 3am again. 

Some of my friends have started trying to get into routine in the week and start healthy eating…this was my reaction to their idea of sleep.

I don’t know what it is lately, maybe it’s because I’ve been more social than usual and not hibernating over the weekend.  There is one thing that can resolve this horrible feeling of tiredness, something until last month I didn’t understand. Drinking, every Wednesday and every Friday at the moment, student deals are a bugger. While the rest of my fellow students head to the local clubs and freeze their butts off queuing to get into overpriced places that smell of vomit and sweat I will be in the Student Union downing £2 doubles (come on £2?!? why would you go anywhere else) whilst enjoying some good live music, oh and performing…before the doubles that is.

So this is a kind of pointless blog post, possibly due to the lack of sleep…actually more than likely because of the lack of sleep (I was in bed at 10.30pm last night…yeah I was that tired). Tomorrow I’ll be attending another talk for the KUTalent team with Ade Adepitan (look him up he’s pretty awesome) as well as spending some time with Ali before heading home on Friday…maybe I’ll get some sleep there.

 

The blog after the night before

Pulling my best duck face with Jodie, Ben and Amy in the SU.

When I woke up this morning I was slightly surprised. My head didn’t hurt too badly and the need to be sick didn’t seem to exist yet, for a brief second I wondered if I could have been as drunk as I thought I was last night. Then things started coming back to me, Malibu, Archers, Vodka, Jager and more doubles than I should have followed by attempts at twerking, slut drops and dancing in the middle of the bar with just Amy…no one else. 

I know what your thinking, where has all this come from? First the pub on Wednesday now out at the bar Friday night? I really don’t know, I suppose I’m trying to enjoy uni more this semester and socialise. I’ve realised that uni isn’t just about getting your degree. So I’m relaxing on the work front a little bit and trying to enjoy the other parts. So far I have something on every night next week. 

Managed to get Ali to come out too! Victory!! 

Although I definitely couldn’t do it every night, the change of company definitely made a difference. I can’t wait to go out with my Kingston Hill friends again! Sadly next weekend is a no go but I’ll be spending a night in with my little sister instead. It’s kind of a relief actually that last night happened. I haven’t been brilliant with my blogging this week because I’ve been struggling at uni. Creative Writing is really starting to wear me down and a lack of motivation doesn’t put me in the best mood. I guess there is a silver lining though,  while I only have to worry about passing Creative Writing I can go ahead and meet up with friends a bit more and simply get on with passing and then being able to let go. 

So there it is my lovely readers I’ve officially been accepted into the fold of ‘the fresher’. Of course there are a lot more embarrassing moments that happened last night, not that I’m going to let you all know them! It was the most brilliant night, I had my band boys around me, I was with friends and I finally let my damn hair down! Here’s hoping this year has started how it means to go on…