I've been a musician for many years now but regardless of the work I've done previously, touring Czechia and Slovakia was truly something special and this is why:
"Anxiety is having to remind myself that being afraid of things going wrong isn’t the way to make things go right."
It seems that mental health is becoming less of a taboo subject the more people tell their stories (I hope), and I'd like to share a little insight into mine. Since 2015, anxiety and depression have taken a complete downward spiral in my life and have left me feeling alone, scared and vulnerable. I've struggled to find a 'proper' job since finishing University, my degree seems to be completely irrelevant to anyone and everyone, and general social anxiety has distanced me from friends, housemates and family. The sphere of my anxiety mainly covers a fear of others opinions and not being able to be the best version of myself, which may sound quite general but leaving the house is a struggle every single day. It's a frickin rocky road (with more of the raisins and less of the delicious chocolate bits.)
So, when I was asked to tour with a bunch of 'strangers' in a foreign country with a setlist of tracks I'd never heard before, in front of massive crowds that would inevitably make their own judgement about me, you can imagine how terrified I was. The feeling of nausea takes over in situations like that and it was one of those all too familiar fight or flight moments. But with no avoidance strategies and no ways of running away or hiding behind someone else, I forced myself down to Gatwick Airport at 4am, alone, to embark on this crazy journey.
* I'd like to note that to anyone not suffering with mental health issues this probably sounds like the most ridiculous thing in the world but I was completely terrified. *
Much to my delight and surprise, I was thrown onto the flight to Vienna (quite literally, we nearly missed it) with a group of down to earth, hilarious, welcoming, friendly and wonderful group of musicians. Despite the fact that EasyJet had run out of croissants and that their blueberry muffins are absolutely rank, I immediately felt a positivity that I hadn't felt in months.
I spent 5 days doing the things I love the most (singing, performing, drinking), and by the time I was home my mentality had completely changed. CBT teaches one to change their approach and mentality towards the things they fear. I think it took a massive challenge like this to finally be able to start doing that for myself. I remember feeling overwhelmed with confidence and consumed with happiness throughout that week. It's now time to attempt to take that confidence into the rest of my life and hope that I can start to make even more positive changes. I feel better and I'm truly grateful for the boost that this tour has given me to carry on. It's just a much of a muc
"’I've only just realised how utterly exhausted and drained I am after living in a near constant state of fight or flight for so long."
Still got a way to go,
But getting there,