Hello sixteen-year-old me again, it’s you six years on at twenty-two years of age and two years since I wrote to you for the first HMIY book. A lot has changed since then! But a lot has also stayed the same.
We’ve been working with the wonderful Hannah to grow Hello Me, It’s You into a wonderful charity that is only going to get bigger and better as we both learn more about how to run a charity and how to provide the best help for other’s enduring mental health problems. I know you’d feel proud of us, sixteen-year-old me!
What has not changed is that you still suffer from anxiety and depression. But what has changed is that you’re now taking medication for this, after finally building up the courage to speak to a professional about it. Despite a rocky start, it seems to be working quite well for us, and almost most importantly you no longer feel under any obligation to hide your feelings, we find it a lot easier to talk to others about our feelings with friends, family and will even write about them on a blog post on the Internet to complete strangers! This feels so liberating and freeing, although you’re still worried about seeming ‘attention seeking’ to those who don’t or won’t understand, it doesn’t hold you back as much as it used to. Whenever you feel embarrassed or scared of your confusing feelings and thoughts, try to remember that you are by far not the only one experiencing this and there are people and places you can reach out to for help, don’t be afraid to ask.
Here’s some amazing news- we’ve completed university! I don’t want to scare you but there have been times when we weren’t sure that we would. Anxiety has often held you back and I won’t pretend that the university process will be easy- but we have made it! Now you’ve got the ‘real world’ to contend with and adulthood to tackle. Keep calm and try to be confident, it’s okay to be a bit scared and apprehensive of the future, but life is about taking risks and chances. Don’t plan too much or too precisely, don’t be afraid of just seeing where life takes you.
Overall we’re doing much better, younger self. This means less frequent and less severe panic attacks, you don’t worry constantly that your friends don’t like you, only a little bit, the health anxiety has quietened down a considerable amount and not every day is a constant battle with your own mind, only the occasional one. I can promise you this- life does become more manageable as you grow and mature and experience new things. You will less frequently and intensely find yourself in that dark, confusing and scary place that unfortunately we still do not understand nor could begin to explain to us or anyone else. But people start to seem less scary and you will get to a point where it doesn’t terrify you to simply leave the house. There are still ups and there are still downs but life wouldn’t be interesting without them.
Always remember that it’s okay not to be okay sometimes. There’s no making anxiety and depression disappear for good, unfortunately, but you learn how to manage more effectively. Life can be daunting but it can be amazing and exciting too! Keep going, sixteen-year-old Jenny, “it’ll all be fine in the end, if it isn’t fine, it isn’t the end.” –Oscar Wilde.
Jenny is a 22- year-old soon-to-be Graphic Design and Communication graduate. She has been involved with Hello Me, It’s You from the start when Hannah asked her to help brand and design the book and charity and is loving working with her best friend on something so important and inspiring to many! To help manage her depression and anxiety she takes a daily dose of Citalopram which helps considerably with making her feel more ‘normal’. She also finds running and cooking very therapeutic and is a bit (a lot) of a gin fan.
Hello Me, it's You
Welcome to the Hello Me, it’s You blog! We are launching this blog with weekly content from different contributors, giving their opinions and experiences on all things Mental Health.