This is for all you little badgers who have been waving the flag for me for years , and who I promise I will send all the thank you flowers and Lindt chocolates I owe you all at some point when London and Pret aren’t in cohorts trying to rob me blind at every turn.
Because if you’ve been around that long you might remember way back when I wrote a little something about social anxiety and how I had been coping.
Or not, as the case may have actually been.
Well I’m here to give you an update, so hold on to your hats and try to contain those excitement levels because shit is about to get cray(fish).
Partially through personal engineering and slightly through a little bit of luck, I am phenomenally pleased that the place I am sitting in in January 2017, almost a year to the day from writing that article, is about a million miles away in terms of happiness.
Reading your own words is always a particularly jarring way to confront the inner workings of your brain from 12 months ago (if you think Facebook Timehop is a dick for bringing up that picture of you in 2007, you know the one with the H&M rosary beads and green eyeshadow – why?) then your own words are even more toe-curling.
And reading that article back, as well as some of the comments, where I reassured people that I was a “happy” person despite having just inflicted 800 words of misery on their poor retinas, it is so clear that I wasn’t.
But that’s the trouble with troughs, you can’t see out of them when you’re in them, especially when they’ve been dug for so many years they become your normal.
It is only since I’ve made some massive life changes, which I won’t bore you with again, because please oh my lord what a broken record won’t someone put a Twix in this girl’s mouth to get her to stop yapping, that I have been able to change my entire outlook.
No longer do I have a crippling fear that people secretly hate me (win), nor convince myself that everybody wants me to fail/will talk about me as soon as I leave a room, which is a good job really, because it’s so bloody exhausting I dont’ know how I would have kept it up for another year anyway.
Now I have confidence in my friendships, in my capabilities, in that being a nice person you deserve to have people respect you and value you and you shouldn’t have to constantly work for people’s approval.
If they don’t like it, we show them where the door is, whilst blasting some Destiny’s Child out of the front window.
And in turn, being able to let go of those anxieties has fed into being able to always have a more positive outlook. To live every day with contentment and being at ease, rather than riding real highs and lows of happiness, that are never quite predictable or often controllable.
It has been liberating to feel more on top of the vicious cyclical tornado that when you’re going up is exhilarating, but also the same snowball effect that can push you into the ground so quickly.
So here’s to 2017 being the year that I fully appreciate how much of life is what you make of it in your head. Because that person who took your seat on the bus doesn’t want you to have an absolutely terrible day and make your life a misery, they’re just busy with their own trials and tribulations too.