My name is Kai and I am 20 years old. I was born with a cyst in my brain and hydrocephalus which has led to me being partially sighted. I also suffer from short term memory loss and I have special educational needs. The purpose of this blog is to raise awareness and to potentially help someone who is feeling alone. I go to college and at the same time I am an Ambassador for Mindsum. Some activities I like to do in my spare time are pottery and listening to music. I especially like Capital FM and my favourite presenters are Roman Kemp and Sunny J. When I am not listening to Capital FM I enjoy listening to music through Spotify. I like playing Minecraft and also enjoy making crafts out of paper. When I have support I like to cook in the kitchen as well.
I suffer from severe anxiety which can result in me feeling really sad at times because I used to struggle with managing it. My anxiety can be caused when I am meeting new people, when I am going to an unfamiliar place or from my short term memory loss of things I learn during the day. It helps me to have a set routine in place for everyday so that I know what I need to do and face however if that routine is changed, I start having anxiety again. An example of how my anxiety can get in the way of me doing things is I remember, one day I was on the bus where a man was kicked off and was shouting. This made me very scared and very anxious that my mum had to get me off the bus as I could not calm myself down. This experience has led me to not use the buses again but I am hopeful that one day I will.
That’s when I signed up for the Mindsum Peer Support sessions. They really helped me in learning how to manage my anxiety and I am beginning to cope with this much easier. It has also helped me to talk about my feelings and not keep them to myself as I find that it is very helpful. Peer Support has been very good for me and all the Mindsum staff have been very supportive through my troubles, helping me get back on track. They have helped me find coping strategies such as my favourite one that requires me to close my eyes and pretend that I am in a calm place. They have also taught me a lot of things such as our bodies fight or flight response, helping me understand why I start feeling anxious and how to better cope with it.
My advice for anyone who feels the same way that I do is to find someone to talk to. Even if you believe it is silly or insignificant, it can help you a lot just to talk to someone about it. It can be a family member, a friend or a professional. Something that has been very helpful for me as well is in anxiety inducing situations to try and remain calm and reason with myself. I have found that over-thinking makes things worse and remaining calm can really benefit. Remember that you don’t have to go through this alone and you can get the support you need by reaching out to those around you.