Isn't it weird how people look at you completely different to how you look at yourself? Your best friend will see all the loyalty, the humour and the respect you have, your significant other will see adoration, people you don't know will just see you as another background character and people who you don't get on with will see you and remember that one thing that happened.

It's just interesting. Once you see a flaw in yourself you'll focus on that non-stop - but people will see it as another feature that they see different. No one cares about how you eat or how you walk or what you wear because to put it blunt, not many people will care about you to that point. Out of all the people you'll see when you're shopping, how many do you know? Unless you're v popular the chances are little to none of them. They won't notice you most of the time.

I tell myself this, and I'm writing it down, because ever since I moved to uni I've been struggling quite bad with anxiety and I've been thinking a lot about what people think of me. I've not done that in a very long time. Usually, I'd be the weirdo dancing to the busker in the middle of the high street in Leeds. But at uni, I've started to become a bit more.. scared. Not scared to be myself, I don't think I'll ever be scared of that - but scared to push myself. Get out of my comfort zone (my bed) and into the big wide. I don't know, I think it's quite normal for people.

However bad anxiety gets (and I know people have it a lot worse off than me) it just makes me more and more determined to push myself. I do. All the time. I don't think of mental illness as illness, and I've never let it consume me. When it consumes you, that's when it wins. My way of thinking is quite simple, pretend it's just the flu. It's temporary, and laying in bed might make you feel a bit better - but it isn't going to make you actually feel any better.

In meetings I've had with people here, they've always been quite perplexed as to why I'm seeing them - because I'm so confident and eloquent when I'm talking about it. It's still important to talk, and it's still important to let people know not everything is okay 100% of the time. I don't see this as something that will stay, and I don't see it as something that is going to ruin my experience at uni. I haven't let it and I won't let it.

In no way am I saying that how I deal with stuff is the best way, it's the best way for me and it works for me - but people deal with everything differently. Mental health is still quite taboo and people are still afraid to speak about it and I think a lot of people still see it as a form of attention seeking. What I think, is that people need to speak out about it to seek attention. That is important. You need to bring attention to it, and people need to realise that is important - it's an illness. Speaking out about your mental health is attention seeking, in all the best ways possible. As soon as you speak to someone about it, it's out there - and you can take small steps to improve it.

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