Sleepless on Saratoga
It’s 2 am and I can’t sleep. This feeling in my chest is persistent and it’s shooting up and down my throat. I need to do something because it’s becoming overwhelming.
Over the past year my anxiety had gotten so bad that I truly was not myself. Every night was a pity party in my bedroom where I would sit and recount events that I wish had gone differently or miss people that I really shouldn’t care about and weren’t worth my tears. I decided that I had to do something so I signed up to the free counselling service that my university provided.
I am SO glad that I took this step! My counsellor helped me realise that my feelings were valid and enabled me to realise why I felt the way that I did. Just having the opportunity to speak freely about things that were plaguing my mind to an impartial and non-judgemental stranger was such a cathartic experience. I cried A LOT over the course of our six sessions. Six sessions doesn’t seem like enough time to work through your emotions but we covered a hell of a lot during those 45minute stints. She honestly worked wonders for my self-esteem and allowed me to see myself through someone else’s eyes and taught me the importance of self-care. She even helped me navigate my coming out speech to my parents! I encourage anyone who feels overwhelmed/ just needs someone to talk to to go to counselling, it honestly changed my life.
I didn’t feel anxious for a long time after our sessions. That is until it was time to move to New York…
Moving to another country is something to be nervous about. Even if it is only for 89 days. I had anxiety about it the night before. My brain was telling me not to go because I’m going to hate it. I was so overwhelmed because, in true Nyle fashion, I had left the packing to the last minute. I remember crying in the bathroom, telling myself that I would spend my time there counting down the days until I was back home and feel so lonely. I had to snap myself out of it and tell myself that I was being a brat because I was about to embark on this amazing adventure that so many people in the world would do anything to be in my position.
I moved to New York under the excuse that it was to build up my portfolio. Two weeks in and it was finally happening. I had been emailing with a modelling agency and was in the process of finalising the details for my first shoot with a model and them BOOM! Hello darkness my old friend.
~Side note: I want to name my anxiety so I think I’m going to go with Brenda. I don’t think I know any Brenda’s, apologies if I do…~
Brenda was just doing her best to freak me out.
What if the shoot doesn’t go well? You’ll lose your contact with this agency.
How do you have the audacity to style this model when you can barely make outfit decisions for yourself on your own?!
There’s a reason why you don’t like to label yourself as a photographer anymore!
She made me second guess myself and made me think that it was the wrong thing for me to do; the shoot, going to New York, the career path- everything. It kept me up until 2 am. This feeling in my chest was persistent and was shooting up and down my throat. I needed to do something because it was becoming overwhelming. I decided to text my friend back in London.
Hey sorry to unload on you right now but I’m feeling a bit anxious and I think if I just tell someone about it it might subside and allow me to sleep.... I think it’s because I’m getting close to actually starting to shoot in New York. Like I was apprehensive to set a date but I made myself do it and I think I’m just scared that it won’t go well and I’ll ruin the relationship with the agency.
Luckily, due to the time difference, she replied 10 minutes later and was able to talk me off that ledge. If I’m honest, just the simple act of typing out that message shut Brenda up. I was somewhat calm again and I could focus on trying to get to sleep. I hate feeling I am burdening someone with my problems but I am so unbelievably lucky to have people in my life who care about me and don’t think of it as a burden and will always be there for me.
Having said that, because the simple act of writing down how I felt was such a relieving feeling, I think that in the future I will just type it out in the notes app on my phone or write it in a notebook. Having the chance to literally spell out my problem allowed me to look at the situation in a way that I could offer up explanations of why I may be feeling this way. When I started the text I didn’t necessarily know that I had anxiety because of the shoot, that just came out while I was typing the message and I sat there and thought oh wait, yeah, that’s what it is and that I had probably felt this way because I hadn’t worked with an agency since January…
Wish me luck and look out for the images on my Instagram accounts and portfolio!