I’ve been awake on and off for a few hours now with some different things going through my head, and like I’ve previously mentioned in my “Rational Thinking” post it’s probably best for me to write it out and make more tangible sense of them instead of letting them snowball in my head.
So as many of you know, I live in the UK although it’s not where I’m from. Yesterday there was a General Election, which for the benefit of those outwith the UK, means voting to decide who will govern parliament. I have to be honest, and at the risk of sounding ignorant which I do apologise for, I’ve always found British politics somewhat complicated and difficult to understand compared to Sweden or America. I do try my absolute utmost to make an informed decision which normally involves me asking probably stupid questions, reading and watching things. But I really do try because it’s very important and I certainly don’t think democracy should be taken for granted. As I’m not in the UK at the moment, I applied to vote by proxy which means that someone (in this case, my best friend Chloe) can vote on my behalf. I don’t know why, but something about this election has made me so anxious. I think it’s because it makes me feel like I’m not a part of the country, and with Brexit negotiations up in the air that may well be the case. I know a lot of people voted to remain within the EU when the referendum happened, but of course that wasn’t the outcome. To me, a lot of British people dislike Brexit and I understand that as they want to remain in the EU but it still doesn’t change the fact that it feels like I live in a country that doesn’t really want someone like me there. Brexit will play a big part in how I continue, or don’t continue, to live in the UK as an EU Citizen and it’s a hard thing to describe to someone just how uneasy that makes me feel, especially when it doesn’t affect them in the same way. Since living in London I never experienced any form of discrimination, but in the run up to the referendum I did on a few occasions and that was a very strange and surreal concept to me. It still plays on my mind now and then when I hear things on the news around Brexit and that certainly contributes to a lot of my anxieties.
So, to rationalise anything that happens is outwith my control really and it’s just going to be one of those “wait and see” situations. Why worry about something that you can’t change? Easier said than done.
It’s also my cousin’s wedding today, and I’m experiencing both excitement and nerves. I’m nervous about seeing a lot of family who I haven’t seen for a long time, and they obviously know the majority of my struggles of late and the reasons behind them. My anxiety is telling me that it’s going to be horrible and awkward and people will either be talking about me or trying to avoid me, but rationally I need to tell myself that they’re my family, they love me and they’ve already shown me support. If I go in with a negative and anxious frame of mind, that’s how my day is going to pan out and I don’t want that. So, I need to remove the preconceptions and just let the day be what it’s going to be.
I’ve had a really great week since being here and I’ve really enjoyed myself. I’ve had a lot of time to myself to go and do things and I’ve caught up with some old friends too which has been really nice. It just goes to show that as anxious and nervous as I was coming out here, there was nothing to worry about really.