First post is always the hardest…

…when you’ve been away an unforgivable length of time and want to come back.

Sooo, once again I’ve been an awful blogger and failed to update in over two months. And I don’t even have the excuse of having nothing to blog about, because the end of 2013 and the start of 2014 has seen some fairly major breakthroughs (and also some breakdowns) in the Department of Conquering Anxiety.

First off, my own personal triumphs. I drove to Surrey, which is a journey of eighty miles on the motorway, and then spent a day shooting at Bisley (rifles, not films). On the one hand, I made it without a panic attack. On the other hand, I nearly didn’t make it at all, due to spending half the previous night having hysterics from the anticipation. But, I managed the trip, so: success.

In mid-December, I performed in my piano teacher’s annual concert. This was the first performance I’d done after a hiatus of several years because (surprise, surprise) I’d been too nervous before to actually get anywhere near an audience. It was fine. I played the piece flawlessly. There was a teensy moment where my whole head started wobbling uncontrollably but it certainly wasn’t the worst response I’ve ever had to being in front of an audience…

I also got my university application sent off. It was one of those things that I was putting off because I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to make it good enough, but to my surprise my personal statement was actually pretty easy to write once I got over my irrational fear of self-promotion. And the unis I contacted about accepting me with multiple retakes and re-retakes were very nice to me and told me that it was all fine. Even better was the reference I got from the school, which, despite being written by a teacher I have spoken approximately ten consecutive words to over my school career, actually sounded like an accurate representation of me.

Of course, all of this means that I’m now resitting several exams. In order to bump my Psychology and Biology grades up from Cs to an A and a B (at least) I am going to resit three out of the four modules for each subject. This means that I’m having to study for six exams, which leads me to my biggest breakthrough of all: I am actually revising. So far, in five days I have done more revision for these exams than I did for every single one of my GCSEs combined. What scared me the most about taking these exams was that I was going to fall straight back into my old ways and not revise at all (I had every intention of revising, honestly, it’s just that multiple panic attacks when you open a book is not the right frame of mind in which to be memorising complicated theories and I was stupid and didn’t tell anyone about this so nothing was done until it was too late).

But, fingers crossed/touch-wood/wish-I-may-wish-I-might, I’ve managed to start revising. And a big part of this is due to me changing my attitude to the whole process. Instead of the spiral of self-hate as I desperately want to have the motivation to revise but can’t bring myself to go near the books, I’m going for an ‘it doesn’t matter if I only stare blankly at a paragraph for five minutes today, I’ve done some revision and I should be proud of myself’. Instead of ignoring the fact that I am an automatic procrastinator, I’m doing my best to embrace it and work around it. Paperwork I don’t want to do? I’ll do some revision. Do the washing up? Sorry, Mum, I can’t; I’m revising. Honestly, revision is the best excuse ever to get out of anything I don’t want to do, and it satisfies my need to make an enormous amount of mess because I’m using a full-on spectrum of felt tips to write all my notes in and do awesome diagrams with (that Working Memory Model…ooh, you sexy beast, you).

With any luck, entering the exams fully prepared should lead to fewer actual panic attacks in the exam. I’m also talking with the head of Exams at school to make sure I end up in a comfortable environment to ensure I do as well as I possibly can (I told them that I didn’t feel like I could handle the main hall with everyone else; they put me in there for one exam; I accidentally rip a lump out of my chest because I’m scratching so hard trying not to panic). I’m absolutely determined that this year is going to be different, not least because this is my last chance to do well and I am going to Royal Holloway. It’s happening. If I have to forego sleep and live off energy drinks I will, consequences be damned.

In other, non-me-related news, England is once again in the soggy grip of the Great Blocked Drain In The Sky and something up there has been overflowing for the last month and a half. Seriously, whoever’s up there, call your plumberEverything  is underwater; I can’t ride the horses because they are too wet to put the saddle on; the study roof is leaking; I ruin every outfit I step outside in and the soles of my work shoes chose last week to disintegrate. I can’t even run at the moment because the last few times I ran through the mud and now my shoes are broken beyond repair and actually damaging my feet. I’m getting round this one by joining a gym, as of next week.

So, that’s the beginning of my updates. There’s a whole lot more I want to talk about, but it’s now 3am and I am supposed to go into town tomorrow yo buy new, non-Titanic work shoes. Also, this post turned out significantly longer than I expected so if you got this far, congratulations: watch this video, it caused one of the best laughs I’ve had in a while and I’m aiming to make people happy when they read this blog.