This week has been bad in terms of anxiety and depersonalisation; simple things like a busy bus or a doubting thought, that normally I can deal with absolutely fine, have been sources of fear and thought-loops instead.
Considering this was also the week where I started the Broadcasting module, I was worried. While the course as a whole is outside of my comfort zone, a module where I’d potentially have to appear on microphone and on camera is lightyears away from comfortable.
But today, I woke up feeling calmer. Then something happened that put the last few years in perspective.
Today was the second day of our broadcasting group, and we were focusing on radio. Our first task was trying out voice recorders to interview a classmate. I returned our voice recorder to my lecturer as we were finished, only to find the next task was analysing an interview as a full group.
When I was younger, even before my social anxiety kicked in, being recorded was the worst social fear I had. The idea of hearing my own voice on a recording, and of any mistake I made being left audible to others, terrified me.
But today, I sat through it. I was in a recording, and listened to it back; and, while it was still grating to hear my own voice, I coped. Despite it not being a great week, and being anxious in general, the fears I had before didn’t return.
That was reassuring, in a way. Dealing with mental health stuff is a bit of a rollercoaster anyway, but the amount of times that my main difficulty has evolved: where things that used to be fine become a problem, or things that used to be problem stop being one, that I can sometimes forget I’ve ever made any progress. Today was a good reminder that though some challenges will reappear, other actually have been overcome.