Dealing with Anxiety: Medication vs Meditation

I took somewhat of a big step recently. I made a doctor’s appointment, to ask for medication to help with my anxiety. This is something I never wanted to do, but over the last few months my anxiety has gotten so bad that it is affecting my studies and both my mental and physical health. I need something to help me get through these next few months, the final 6 months of my degree and then I will be able to put my focus on natural healing. But for now, I may have to take the ‘easy’ way. I have found that yoga helps to calm and centre me, I find it grounding. However, I can’t do yoga all day, every day – though I wish I could. Although, I have been looking into meditation, which comes hand in hand with the yogic practice.

I can never quieten my mind, so I always assumed I would never be able to meditate. I tried when I was a young teenager but to no avail. I can sit cross-legged in silence for hours on end, but all the while, there’s riots going on in my mind. A few days ago, I tried meditation again, guided meditation this time, which is something I hadn’t tried before. To my surprise I successfully meditated for 10 minutes, keeping my mind focused on whatever the guide asked me to- my breathing or how my body felt. Afterwards, I felt strange. I felt sad. My heart was heavy and my chest was tight. A couple of hours later I found myself in uncontrollable floods of tears. Part of the reason for my distress was and still is because I feel like I am very slowly experiencing a spiritual awakening, and it is making me feel alone. It is making me feel less and less like I belong here. This in itself is a big topic and should perhaps be reserved for its own post. Anyway, I did some research and I found that such reactions following meditation are not unusual. It was, in a way, a somewhat intense experience, which allowed an emotional release. I am well aware of how much emotion I have suppressed within me, so thinking about it, my reaction is no surprise. Once my tears had stopped I felt lighter, although some sadness about my lone awakening remained.

I’ve begun to wonder if meditation would be a successful remedy for my anxiety. It would be ideal but can I truly heal myself through yoga and meditation? I am most definitely going to try, but at this moment in my life I cannot afford to play with trial and error. I am going to speak with the doctor next week, I would like to try meditation and yoga to combat my problems but if this doesn’t work I will be trying medication. It will be interesting to see how each affects me. I’m scared to begin taking medication and if it weren’t for my university responsibilities I would throw myself into my yogic studies instead. But right now, I have to consider medication as a serious option, at least until June. Nothing is fully decided yet, I’ll see what the doctor can suggest.

Thanks for being here with me.

– Quiet Waters


Why I Wish I’d Never Gone to University

When I made the decision to go to university, I did so because I simply didn’t know what else to do. I was terrified of getting stuck in my hometown and never doing anything with my life. All I knew was that I wanted to travel. I had no idea how to get started or what options were available to me, as far as I knew it was either university, apprenticeship or working my dead end fast-food restaurant job for the rest of my life. The night shift manager I worked with had started at the restaurant when he was 16, 20 years on he was still there. ‘You’ve been here 2 years now, you’re a lifer’ he laughed. Prompted by that horrific notion and encouragement from my family who really wanted me to go, I enrolled for university. I got my first choice and in 2014 off I went, full of excitement and anticipation for the adventure that lay ahead.

I’m going to be honest, I have had some fantastic experiences at uni. I’ve met some lovely people, I’ve travelled to Asia, I’ve met my wonderful partner and I’ve gained a lot of independence. Perhaps at some point I’ll make a comparison post, listing the good experiences I’ve had. However, unfortunately the negatives far outweigh the positives.

Firstly, I do not care about the degree I am pursuing. I picked something I am somewhat interested in but I am not passionate about. For anyone reading that is considering university, you have to choose something you really, really care about. People told me this when I enrolled and I didn’t take it seriously. Now I realise. You have to live and breathe your degree subject, especially in your final year. If you don’t care about what you’re doing you’re going to struggle immensely and ultimately, you will not get a good grade. I didn’t know what to choose, my priority was getting out of my hometown, the actual degree didn’t matter to me. Now, with the unbelievable, completely unmanageable amount of reading I have to do I’m really struggling to make myself to do it. I just don’t care.

When I finish university, I will be in roughly £54,000 debt. I have struggled to live these past three years, working a lot to fund myself through university, I get the larger loan due to how much (or rather, how little) my parents earn and this still is not enough. Tuition fees are constantly rising and in my first year I paid £9,000 per academic year for 8 hours a week of lectures and seminars. A friend of mine, at the same university paid the same amout for 25 hours a week. The prices I paid for my student house were extortionate, particularly considering the landlord never saw to any of the problems we contacted them about including a shit load of mould, a leaking toilet and various other issues. This landlord is also set to charge us almost £2000 for having the house professionally cleaned when we move out and other such fees. The house did not look like it had been professionally cleaned when we moved in, that’s for sure! This landlord has also turned out to be a racist, sexist, homophobic, elitist, megalomanic who is making my life hell but that’s another story entirely. The new place I have moved to is not a student property, it is a flatshare, the bedroom and bathroom are much larger than those in my previous house and I pay almost £100 less – all bills included. The landlord is much kinder and quick to see to any problems we’ve had. Why is student accommodation/landlords so much more… unaccommodating?!

I have no spare time and no money to do anything anyway. I wake up, I do uni work, I tidy the flat, I go to uni, I go straight from uni to work, I come home late at night, do more uni work, briefly talk with my partner when he gets in from work at around midnight, and then I go to bed. That is it. That is my life. And I know its not forever, I know there’s only 6 months or so left, but living like this makes me so miserable.

And now, the stress. This is the worst one for me. I never really had anxiety issues, no more than the average ‘worrier’ until I came to university. Now, as a combination of university itself, an unpleasant situation with the aforementioned nasty landlord and somewhat due to some shitty ‘friends’, I am suffering every day. I have a permanent sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, meaning I’ve completely lost my appetite. I’m exhausted all of the time, I can fall asleep at any moment, not only because I am so tired but also because sleep is my only release. The only waking time I feel almost okay is when I’m doing yoga. I have regular anxiety attacks, my brain and my gut are working overtime constantly, I feel like someone has pressed the fast forward button on me. I can’t relax, I can’t stop thinking. There’s always something I should be doing, everything I do is never good enough. Whatever I do is never quite up to scratch. I don’t remember the last time I felt good for more than 5 minutes before some university related issue brought me crashing back to reality. I’m considering taking medication to calm myself down, let myself space out for a little just to get away from the stress.

All in all, for me, university has not been worth the stress or the money. I am tired, I am weak and I have had enough. I do not want to live like this. I wish I had dropped out when I considered it at the end of the first term of my second year. I stuck with it because I had gotten so far. I should have quit back then. I cannot wait for it to be over because right now I hate my life.

I’ll make a reflective post on my university days in the future. It will be interesting to see if I feel different later on.

Sorry to be such a drag.

-Quiet Waters

The Life Changing Art of Sivananda Yoga

‘Evenness of mind is called yoga, balanced in success and failure.’

All my life I have been a terrible insomniac, even as a baby. Sleep just never came easy, or it never came at all. I tried all sorts to tackle this, then my Dad introduced me to a woman he knew who taught evening yoga classes not far from home. I began going to Haeley’s classes back in 2012 and while it didn’t help me sleep it did introduce me to something incredible. I fell completely in love with yoga and when Haeley stopped her Tuesday night classes I still met with her regularly for a cup of tea and a chat about yoga, spirituality, body image, cats… everything you can imagine. I saw her as more than a friend, she was a role model, a mentor. She gave me her teacher training manual from when she had completed her yogic studies in an Ashram. She wrote up a routine for me and I’ve been practicing it ever since, adding things and changing things up as my strength and flexibility increases. In 2014 I moved from my little hometown by the sea to somewhere closer to London, with university and work taking up so much of my time I began to practice less and less. This year I’ve hardly practiced at all, with work, university, several toxic people sucking my energy and my anxiety becoming an overwhelming and consuming part of my life I’ve struggled to find the motivation. I soon realised that with all this happening, this is the time I need yoga the most, so the last couple of months I’ve gotten back into it and man, it feels good.

It feels amazing to stretch out my body, to build up my strength again. I feel taller, longer, my abs feel tight but the rest of my body feels loose and fluid. I feel so at one with myself I feel almost separate from my body. Like I’m energy, and nothing else. It’s a liberating feeling. I love to see the progress, even within a single session, there is such a difference from what you can achieve at first and what you can achieve after 10 minutes. The most important thing for me though, is how I feel mentally. I feel so at peace after practicing yoga, calm and content.

I practice in front of a mirror, to keep an eye on my form and I do it naked. It helps me appreciate my body, seeing it in all sorts of unflattering twists just makes me love it more. It allows me to really get to know my physical self. When I was a teenager, for maybe 2 or 3 years I didn’t look at myself naked. I would put a towel in front of the mirror when I showered in case I caught a glimpse of myself. I hated my body. I’ve changed a lot since then, I’m far more accepting of myself. I’m beginning to understand more about the connection between my soul, or my energy and my physical being. Practicing yoga is a personal, intimate thing, by doing it naked and watching yourself makes it even more so. I love it.

This is just a short post because I’ve just finished my evening routine and I am glowing. I wanted to share how I felt. In the future, I will write about the philosophy of yoga. I won’t share my routine or any suggested routines as I’m not a teacher, I don’t want to cause anyone to harm themselves but I implore you all to go to a yoga class, they’re everywhere nowadays. Go just once, see how it makes you feel. Or try a gentle routine at home. It will open you up. It will be beautiful.


‘The aim of all yoga practice is to achieve truth.’


-Quiet Waters

Being an Empath

I have always been highly sensitive and emotional, even as a child. I talk a lot about the energy or vibes that people give off, and that’s because I feel every single inch of it. I can feel the slightest shift in energy, I know how people are feeling, sometimes before they even realise it themselves. I feel my own energy burning inside and around me every second of every day. Sometimes I can’t sleep at night because I feel like I’m electric, I can’t switch it off. This alone is tiring, but what really exhausts me, is the fact that not only do I feel these energies, but I absorb them. I take on the emotions, the vibes, the feelings of those I surround myself with. And I hate it. I have no control over it, and believe me I have tried to gain control. If someone has bad feelings towards me, I know it the second I am in their presence, even if they’re not sure of how they feel, even if they are masking their upset I can feel it and I absorb it and I begin to feel that way too. When someone is ill, physically or mentally, I absorb their black and grey energies and I too begin to experience their symptoms. This is not psychosomatic. I have been perfectly healthy, spent time with a friend and then found myself at the doctors being diagnosed with the same illness- contagious or not. My boyfriend is extremely hotheaded, he is quick to anger and quick to cool down again. This is particularly hard for me, I’ll be sitting working in the kitchen while he cooks, he might burn himself for example and explode in a burst of rage, this swells up in me and I feel his anger and pain. Just a minute or two later he is calm again but I am still full of the red hot energy he just emitted. I will spend a while in this energy, processing, feeling and then I’ll drop down to calm and then struggle to find my balance again.

I’m finding it more difficult than I thought I would, to explain this.

I get lost in the energy of others. I often can’t find my own vibe, I don’t know how I feel, I don’t know if I’m experiencing my own feelings or that of the person sat next to me. I absorb emotions I cannot understand, the emotions of strangers I’ve never spoken to. As I have said before, every single thing I feel, I feel so incredibly intensely. It’s like my senses are heightened, every touch is almost painful. I struggle to be around large groups of people as all the different energies are just too much for me to handle. I need to spend a lot of time on my own to recover from being around others and to find my balance again, to find myself again.

I usually feel very heavy, weighed down. I tend to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, I take on everyone’s problems as my own. And there is no way to escape this. In times of confrontation, if I stand up for myself I feel overwhelmed with aggressive and negative energy from myself and the other party. If someone feels negatively towards me I can barely handle the weight of their energy, let alone add to it myself. I will always try to diffuse a situation, but then I become upset with myself for not defending myself. If someone continues to feel badly about me I become consumed with black, rotting energy, I cannot cope with others having negative feelings towards me.
There are some positives to being like this though. I can read a situation quickly, I can feel how things are going to go before they happen. My first thoughts and opinions on people are always correct. I’ve judged people before, and decided to go against these first judgements, to give them a chance to prove me wrong. They never have. Someone I met during my first year of university gave me a particular feeling right away but I chose to ignore this and pursue a friendship and at first it appeared my initial judgements were wrong. However, sure enough, after a few months their façade crumbled and they revealed who they really were. Who they really were, was who I thought them to be the first moment I met them. In addition, people often come to me with their problems; they feel like I understand them and always give good advice. I’m not being arrogant here, this is just what I’ve been told. I feel responsible for others. I want to help everyone and I feel like it is my duty, I’ll go out of my way to help others, no matter how much it hurts me. And it does hurt. Absorbing the energy of others physically hurts me. When I’ve been around a lot of people, with a lot of different emotions I will become weak and sick. My body will ache, my vision will blur into colourful waves, my spine tingles so much it hurts and I can’t sit still. I was speaking with a customer at work yesterday who was clearly very stressed, they were rude and angry but I could feel their sadness. They felt defeated. I don’t know what they were going through but it was bad, all vision in my right eye turned to blurred waves of primary colours only, my spine tingled and my heart began to ache.

I could write about this for hours, I could give example after example but it will never be enough. I’ve only just begun to learn about empathy, clairsentience and the spiritual aspects. It’s reassuring and makes a lot of sense for me, answers a lot of questions. I’ll probably make another post going more into my experiences as an empath. But for now, I’ll leave it here. I’ve rambled enough. If this isn’t coherent enough for you to understand, the following post gives a lot of clear and helpful information on being an empath:

This has been a messy post. I’m feeling a lot right now.

-Quiet Waters

Can the World be Saved?

Ok so we’re jumping straight into a pretty heavy topic here, I’m sure it won’t always be this deep on my blog, but this is something I was talking about in counselling today and it’s something I’d like to share.

I have a very strong moral compass, I am very compassionate and everything I feel I feel so intensely. All I want to do is save the world. It’s not good enough for me to simply make it a better place by doing my part, like recycling and letting old people get on the bus first. I want to do more. This world, our society is undoubtedly heading fast towards self-destruction. And I want to change that. There was a time when I wanted the human race to die out, to give the planet a chance to heal and to survive. We really are a cancer upon this earth. However, most of the time, I am a lot more hopeful than that. I have to be. Hope is the one thing that keeps me going. I hope we can change, I hope we can repair the damage we have done and I hope I can make a difference.

I am going to save the world. Or I am going to die trying.

But as I discussed this with my counsellor today, I began to wonder, can the world be saved? Even if every single person on the planet became good and honest, considerate and hardworking. If we all dedicated ourselves to undoing all the countless years of damage we have done, would it work? I think religion causes a lot of problems, a lot of hate. I think veganism is the kindest, healthiest and most sustainable lifestyle. These are big topics that will have their owns posts at some point, but if everyone denounced religion and their omnivorous ways, would it be enough? Have we gone too far?

Unfortunately, I fear the answer is yes. We have gone too far to turn back. But does that mean we shouldn’t try? If we have destroyed all hope of bringing the world back to what it was, does this mean we should continue to head full throttle into oblivion? Or should we at least try to prolong the inevitable? To spend however long we have left on this planet, fully appreciating it- and each other?

I truly despair for the world today. It breaks my heart to see such suffering, to see such evil. From the politicians on the tv to the children starving in the streets, it feels as though everywhere I turn there is corruption, poverty, pain, greed, vanity, materialism, consumerism, all these horrible words and ‘isms’. I know there is light on this earth, I know there are good people. But the darkness we have created is so powerful and so consuming, I can barely see the light anymore.

I know that I alone will never be able to save the world. But by singing my song loud and clear, others will hear me and together we can work towards a better world. Give to charity, not just your money but your compassion, your heart and soul, work and work hard, CARE! Give a damn because this is our world and it is what we make of it. For too long we have allowed others to abuse it, to wreak havoc on this beautiful, bountiful earth which is now only a mere shadow of the glorious eden it once was. I can’t sit by and let this go on any longer. I’m standing up for what I believe in and I’m going to spend my life trying to bring this world back from the brink of death. And I know there’s others that will do the same.

We need to speak up for the earth, she’s been screaming at us for a long time but nobody seems to be listening. Well, I’m listening. Are you?

-Quiet Waters

The First One

This is the third or fourth blog I have started over the last few years. I’ve never been good at keeping up with my projects. And to date, I have never finished a project either.

The introduction post is always the worst. I suppose I’ll start with a little bit about myself. I’m in my early twenties and I am about to complete my final year at university, where I have spent almost three years pursuing a very demanding and difficult degree, that I do not give a single shit about. I went to university to get out of my hometown, I saw it as a launch-pad into the real world. In a way, it’s done what I expected of it. I am independent, I have had experiences I never would have had if I’d stayed at home, I’ve met wonderful people, I’ve met awful people. And I’ve learned a lot about myself, although I still feel as though I’m barely scratching the surface.

I am a creative. I love to read and to write, to make things with my hands, express myself through art, literature and music. But I am lazy. I find my motivation is always fleeting, and when it arrives, it arrives at the worst of times. I’ll have writers block for 6 months, then a fantastic idea will keep me awake all night before an exam or a 12 hour shift. Come morning, or the day after when I have time to write, the idea is dead.

I am obsessed with identity. More specifically, who am I? I want to know myself, but I have not finished becoming myself. I am always changing, and this is difficult for someone so taken with the idea of defining characteristics that can tell you who a person is. Names, heritage, fears, passions. I love exploring all of these elements that make up a person.

I’m also very interested in philosophy, I like to wonder.

I’m not sure where this blog is going really. I’m going to post about my experiences, how I feel, what I learn. I think it will be good for me to talk about some of the thousands of thoughts tearing through my head. It feels like there is a hurricane in my skull. Let’s get some of it out.
– Quiet Waters