Today I am going to write about a trip I took this weekend to Sheffield, Yorkshire. I went to visit one of my closest friends Gemma, who is currently studying at the University in the City. Then met up with my cousin Beth who lives close to Sheffield near to York.
Before I get into writing about the lovely time I had with them both (which I really, really did!!) I want to touch on the struggles I faced up to, coping with and managing my anxiety, panics and feeling nervous.
In reality, we all have to face struggles and hard times, as well as having the good, enjoyable and lovely times. There are times where we feel the struggles are all too much, and it isn't easy getting through them, I know that for sure. But if you, like me do struggle with, or know someone that struggles with anxiety, panic, nervousness or similar (which, lets face it, a lot of us do, or will at some point in life). Then I am writing about my experiences to help show you that there are ways of coping, and you can learn to manage such difficulties. It's not easy, and its not all plain sailing, but it is possible.
I've learnt that my anxiety is strongest mostly when in situations I feel trapped or unable to get out of; or situations I feel I am being a burden on, or a nuisance to others. This includes a number of scenarios such as being amongst a crowd of people when out and about, in a busy shop, on public transport, and even when out for a coffee or a meal with loved ones, and more.
So, basically, a lot of the time I tend to feel anxious, and because of this I find it extremely difficult to plan things to do, especially things in advance as I worry I won't be up to what I have planned.
There are a number of reasons as to why I now feel this way, this hasn't always necessarily been the case. If you've known me for a while you'll know that I was an incredibly outgoing girl and on the surface I did seem confident.
But, mainly throughout the years of high school, this slowly started to change (on the inside to begin with). I started to feel less confident in myself, and over time this got worse. Certain experiences at home and in school caused the confidence within me to plummet, eventually causing me to be mentally and physically unwell. This is something I will have to work on for years to come now. But I can definitely say I am on my path of recovery, and with time, patience and determination I will get to a much better place, and now, when looking back I have already come an extremely long way.
So, getting back to my trip...if you've read my older posts, including the posts when I was away in America, you may be thinking - but Emily, you planned yourself multiple things to do, trips out and so on...and you did them too; so surely you'd find it easier now especially being back in the UK?
Yes, I know I did plan and do some great things in America and I am over the moon with my achievements and the experience I managed...but they weren't all easy for me. Each day, let alone each trip out was a challenge for me. Learning to manage anxiety takes time, and there are ups and downs. One day I can be feeling super confident and up for almost anything, the next not so much.
I am continuously facing challenges, but I won't lie and say, yes...after each challenge I face I feel things are suddenly a lot easier - that isn't the case. What I will say however, is that after each challenge I conquer I feel I learn more and more about myself and how to manage my feelings, which is definitely very positive.
A huge help will such struggles is having great supportive friends and family around, it really does make a massive difference being surrounded by wonderful people, positive vibes and helpful advise. I am fighting my way through and step by step I am definitely finding my way to better cope and manage.
So travelling to and from sheffield, getting on two trains, for over 3 hours, both directions (so four different trains and over 6 hours), and staying on each train was a massive achievement in itself for me. Doing so was most definitely worth it as my time with both Gemma and Beth was pretty magical.
On day one, with Gemma, I was treated to a great pot of good ol' Yorkshire tea at a very lovely, rustic little coffee shop on a pebbled street, in central Sheffield called 'Marmadukes'. We had a much needed catch up talking about anything and everything, after our tea and chat she took me for a lovely wander around the City. It was so lovely spending this time with Gemma, we spent lots of time together in school, but now that we're in separate counties time like this together is a rarity. This also makes our time together that even more special, and Gem, if you're reading - thank you so much, I love you!
It was very sad having to say bye, but after such a great successful trip I just know I'll be going back to Sheffield in no time!
Then, my time with Beth was also very special - I hadn't seen her in such a long time either (I think it must be about 3 or 4 years since we last met up!); we really did have so much to catch up on.
So, the next day, as I loved the coffee shop Gemma took me to so much, I suggested it to Beth and it was just as lovely the second time! It was great getting to know one another again and finding out about whats been going on in each others lives over the last few years!
We then headed to the Peace Gardens, which is a pretty courtyard area with a fountain in the middle; also to the Winter Gardens which is a little indoor garden sort of like a greenhouse (see photos below).
There's something vey special about time with family, and it's even more special when you get on so well, which is definitely the case for me and Beth.
Saying bye to Beth was just as sad as saying bye to Gemma. But I know that we'll meet up again again sometime this year which is definitely something to look forward to.
With having a successful time in Sheffield I feel I'd love to take small trips out and about to see more of my close friends and family. At the beginning of this post I mentioned how after each challenge I face there isn't the instant feeling of "BOOM I can conquer the world". For me, it's more a feeling of, "wow, I actually achieved that with no major problems, and if I can manage that I could in fact manage it again; I can manage it again, and I will manage it again." This trip is an exact example of that; I have the confidence and knowledge in me now do a similar trip again, which is exciting!
What do I say, ey...its a step by step process that takes determination, and time. I can do this!
Finally, of course I'd love share a few of the photos I took...
The lovely coffee shop...
The Winter Garden...
Inside the Winter Garden...
(Pink water for Valentines day!) fountain by Sheffield Train Station...
As always...thank you for reading!
Don't hesitate to comment, and let me know your thoughts on this post :)
Make sure you check out my previous posts, if you haven't already!
Love you all xxx