This is not gonna last forever It’s that time when you must hold on
My name is Niki, and I have severe anxiety. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at 17, which was brought on through a series of negative things happening throughout my life. These things are too personal for this post, but I struggled so badly. I was self harming daily, and I closed myself off through fear of people. I have gotten to points where I didn’t see a tomorrow. There was no point in the future when the past hurt so bad.
I have been on medication ever since then, a mix of anti depressants and beta blockers to slow my heart rate down during panic attacks. About 2 years after being diagnosed I started cognitive behavioural therapy. A form of treatment that changes the behaviours of your brain. I learnt new ways to control self harming and thank Jesus I have only relapsed a handful of times since. But I also learnt coping and distraction techniques to help with anxiety and panic attacks. This is where I am able to say ‘Nathan Sykes has helped me though anxiety’.
Music is the biggest help to me. I have had times where I am mentally unable to leave the house, so doing a week’s food shop is something I feel I couldn’t do alone. The fear of people in the shops, judging me or not knowing what secrets people hold scared me. The Wanted’s music at first was my go to, my motivation if you wish. I’d feel infected with smiles, and that gave me confidence. I’d put one headphone in, and was able to focus on my favourite songs when out, okay so it would be with friends or family, but I was able to do it. I’d go to work, and instead of looking back, I began to look forward and know that every hour I’d work was an hours pay more towards the next gig, merch or album.
I began to make online friends too, because we’d be excited together. That was amazing to me. Nathan was always my favourite, and when he performed at the Capital Summertime Ball his come back, that to me was a massive turning point. If Nathan can get through surgery and perform like that at Wembley, surely I can get on a bus on my own and win.
When The Wanted split and Nathan went solo, that was my next huge turning point. I don’t go a day without listening to at least 4 of Nathan’s songs off his debut solo album. The past 2 years, I have pushed myself harder then ever mentally. I have gone forward with Nathan there to help me through song. In this time, I’ve travelled 3 hours on my own and to get through the journeys I’ve done it with Unfinished Business keeping me calm. I don’t know if it’s the fact most of the songs are easy listening, moving and relate-able, or even if it’s just Nathan’s voice that soothes me. I scroll through his Insta possibly a bit too much, but to look at photos of the person whose helped me without knowing me. A smile can bring the feeling of safety.
I’ve aimed high in this time, I now have a job which I love and I’m a Fuzzable team member. I have a few of Nathan’s merch hoodies, because they feel like a hug. Maybe not a hug from Nathan, but it’s like a soft teddy. Safe. Plus I get away with it, me and Nathan have the same initials, and NS is embroidered on the jumpers.
Going forward, my plan is to push harder when Nathan next tours, I want to travel up country at least 5 hours away by myself, and meet some of the friends I’ve made through Nathan. I want to get meet and greet tickets, I want to thank him in person for being my strength. I want to come off my beta blocker medication by the end of the year. I can do it, as long as I focus on the positive in high anxiety situations. If Nathan ever Google’s himself and stumbles across this, Nathan thank you for helping me through your gift. You’ve been my strength.
Let us know if you too have someone like Nathan, who you look to for strength by tweeting us @Fuzzable.