Sandra, a hobby writer that loves creating essays about everything inside her head full of knowledge.
Something really weird is happening to me. I don't know what it is, or where it is coming from. But it doesn't scare me. And that is the weird thing.
Since 2004 I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks. Something happened that summer that I had no control over. Something that turned my whole world upside down. Something that changed me forever. Anxiety and panic attacks have been a constant thing in my life since then.
Part of my life.
It's been part of my life since, on and off on an everyday basis. Sometimes I've felt better or good, no problem getting through the day, some days I've felt so bad, getting out of bed was like the mission of the century.
It's been part of my life, and I've kind of got used to it. Having it around. Being like that. Like an annoying fly that circules around you, and doesn't want to give up.
There was a time, when I was medicating for it, but it just ended up with me being a "pill-zombie", that was good for nothing. No use for anything or anybody. So I stopped.
What was going to happen now?
I was absolutely sure it was going to be getting worse now with being laid off because of the COVID situation. They closed down the hotel where I worked as a receptionist since December, and now I was without income, and also as I lived in one of the staff apartments, without somewhere to live.
For the first time in my life, I was fired from a job. It was a completely new situation for me, I had left jobs before, but it was always because I had find something better, or something I was more interested in.
Strike of luck.
Now I saw myself in London. Without job, and friends. The few friends that I had made here, were to scared of this virus to even go outside, let alone, let me stay at their house until my life got back together and things started to "correct themselves again". Where was I supposed to go? I knew I had to leave the staff apartment where I had been living for the last few weeks.
By a strike of luck I found a house about 10 minutes from my old work. They rented out beds in shared rooms for 140 a week. At first, I thought it was alot, but then I remembered, when I came here in December, I rented the first room for 165, and the second for 160 and that was way out at the end of the city, now I had the chance to live more or less in the center (only about 15 minutes from the Kensington garden and palace) and I thought it was worth it. I paid the first week directly.
I checked my bank account for how much money I had saved, I knew I had put away what was left of my salary when I received the next one. Just forgot about that money. Or not forgot in reality, I had plans for that money for next year, something I wanted to do.
I was surprised to see how much money I actually had in my savings, but at the same time, it didn't feel like it would last to long in this city.
There were nights when I couldn't sleep. Where I had such anxiety that I felt I was going to have a heart attack. What was going to happen next? How long could I stay here? What would I do when I ran out of money. Couldn't sleep at night.
Then I started to feel heartbroken and angry, this world situation had made me worse, and it was nothing I had control over. It made me so furious, and frustrated, and I didn't know what to do with myself.
Destiny stepped in.
But destiny has a way of turning things around for me when I least expect it. Today I actually feel better than what I did when I came here.
It's been two months now, without working and I still have money in my account, I don't know what I did, or didn't do. I calculated wrong somehow, and I still have some money left.
I have had some anxiety attacks, or bad days as I call them, but they are not at all as bad as they used to be. I actually feel better without having a steady job. Without the stress of a boss, without the feeling of always have to be "in charge" of everything.
I've started to do some things online, like writing on this platform, from the beginning I started to have something to do to fill my days with, but I realize, it's actually starting to pay off. Literally, I make money writing, something I always wanted to do, not to much right now, but a little is good, the last two months I've made nothing. I have had time to start a project that I have been wanting to do for ages, it's going to take me a while to finish it, but I don't mind. I feel so focused right now. Focused on me. And I like it.
Now I am looking for other incomes online, and I hope they can make some money as well so I can make a living of this. The hotel told me I can come back "when they need me", but it would just feel so good to be able to say to them that they waited too long to reopen, and I found something else.
That part is still there.
There is still a part of me that is terrified. The part of me where the anxiety and panic sits. The part of me that sometimes scream that I am going to run out of money and end up living in the street being dirty and crazy and raped and all off that.
I mean, nobody knows where life is going to take you, things can switch from one side to another in no time, it happened to me in 2004. But somehow I am not scared anymore. I have learned to live here and now, I am here today, and today I have money. Tonight I have somewhere to sleep. Maybe there will come a day when I am completely broke and live in the streets. Maybe it will come a day when I have millions in my bank account. You never know. I right now I weirdly enough don't feel that I need to worry about it.
I have changed by this COVID experience, I can feel it inside. I don't think about the future anymore. And when I don't think about the future, I don't have any anxiety and panic. For the first time in I don't know how many years I feel something close to ok inside. The other day I was walking in the park and I passed a cafe window, and I saw that I was smiling. By myself. I don't need to put on a fake smile anymore just to pretend I am ok. I can sleep at night now more or less, sometimes I still wake up with panic, but not frequently like before.
I've always known that I am different from most people, I react, think and reason the opposite to most people I know. Now many people that were doing really great are feeling really bad. Me that was feeling really bad, is starting to do really great.