It feels like things are changing here in NicLand, and that is most definitely a good thing.
It’s now been three years since I finished my multimedia journalism degree and a lot has happened to me since then. When I graduated I felt mentally and physically stronger than I had ever done. I could walk further and do more for myself than I had been able to in the past, and my anxiety and low moods weren’t impacting on me anywhere near as much as they had done when I was studying for my A-levels and in my first year at uni. Yes, I was scared about what the future might hold, but more than anything, I was excited.
Fast forward two years and the story became very different. Even though I’d done work experience, an internship and a bit of freelance work, I still hadn’t found a fulltime job. I wasn’t getting out much during the week because everyone around me had jobs, and that meant that I spent a lot of time alone with my thoughts. I spent far more time focusing on my worries, my anxieties and everything and my OCD-like thoughts about germs. I started showering up to three times a day and changing my clothes, worrying that they would have germs on them that would infect the house. I spent a lot of time crying and not a lot of time sleeping. To put it bluntly, I was a mess.